A Good Coach Can Guide You Through The Challenges
There is confusion around what a franchise broker, coach, or consultant actually is, what their job entails, and what it’s like working with a franchise broker.
For clarity, here at Franchise Beacon we use the term Franchise Consultant to mean a company that helps franchisors start and grow their business, and we refer to someone that helps prospective franchisees find the right business fit for them as either coaches or brokers.
So what’s the job description?
Just like in any other profession, different franchise brokers have different styles and different levels of dedication to their craft. Those differences should help guide you to what franchise broker to work with, but they all have the same basic function; ask you some basic qualifying questions, present you with some brands you may be interested in, and then introduce you to those brands. That’s it, when it comes to the bare minimum. If that doesn’t sound like much of a value-add to you, read on.
Not all coaches are created equal
Beyond the basics, the services you receive working with a franchise coach vary greatly depending on who you work with, as does their ability to execute on those services. Just like when you are working with a realtor or other professional service provider, there are some key signs to look for when selecting a franchise coach.
Don Daszkowski is the Founder of the International Franchise Professionals Group, an organization which was voted the #1 franchise broker group in the country by over 500 franchisors. He had this to say:
A good franchise consultant is typically part of a national franchise consultant network, will have hundreds of options to show you, and will be able to introduce you to other trusted advisors as you explore franchising opportunities. By their nature, independent brokers who are not affiliated with such an organization all not have the reliable, vetted contact you will need along the way.
Signs of a good franchise broker
Good franchise coaches will generally:
- Take the time to get to know you and your business goals.
It is difficult to help guide someone through the franchise decision making process without first having a deep understanding of their motivations.
- Question your initial assumptions about your goals.
If a prospect says they are interested in a gym franchise, or preschool, or restaurant, or any other specific category, a mediocre broker will take that at face value. A good coach, on the other hand, will seek to understand why that particular vertical is attractive to you, and if there are other types of franchises that would fit the same business goals and personal desires. Starting with a broader net will allow for more opportunities to find the perfect franchise fit for you.
- Help you evaluate your financial considerations
When you are looking at franchises, there are three financial pieces that have to fit together:
- Your investment level comfort
Obviously, the investment you are comfortable or are able to make, irrespective of returns, sets hard boundaries to your search.
- Your ability to give up current income streams
If you are not in a position to forego an income stream for any length of time, you are likely limited to either purchasing an existing, operating franchise or investing with a franchisor that allows some level of passive ownership.
- Your short- and long-term income requirements from your franchise
Some prospective candidates are perfectly happy with a franchise that can just replace their current income, others are looking for a franchise that they can use to build wealth, and still other prospective candidates are looking for a low-investment franchise that has a modest return as a diversification strategy. Its highly unlikely to find a franchise brand that realistically fits all three, so understanding your ROI needs is typically something a truly professional franchise broker will spend a significant amount of time discussing with you.
- Present you with brands that they believe have the best chance of fitting your business, financial and personal goals.
Again, a franchise coach may not present you only with the type of businesses you initially indicated where interesting to you. After all, if you didn’t know there was such a thing as a crime-scene restoration franchise, how would you know if it was something you might be interested in?
- Help you narrow the selection down to two to four brands that seem to fit your needs.
Casting a wide net up front makes sense, but by the time you begin engaging with franchisors, you should have your selection narrowed down. To really get to know a franchisor, their system, culture, and growth opportunity can take several months; you don’t want to try to do that with 10 franchisors at the same time!
- Guide you on what information to expect, when, and why.
You might want to look at the financials of a franchisor right away. Your coach will likely tell you that you need to become familiar with the brand first. Think about this; if a franchisor’s franchisees are averaging a $75,000 a year take-home, is that good? Without several other data-points (how much is the investment, how much time do you have to put into the business, do they support multi-unit development, how long does it take to reach that $75K number, etc.) you simply don’t know if those are “good” returns or not.
Are You Ready to Bring a Professional to the Table?
If you are considering franchising, let us help guide you from the beginning. If you have already started your franchise exploration, it’s not too late to get us involved. The best part is that you never have to pay for us to be on your team. Go ahead and reach out today, and let’s see if we can help you enter the exciting world of being a business owner!