New franchise consultants enter the marketplace on a regular basis. After all, unlike accountants or lawyers, no license is required, no examination or certification is necessary. Becoming a franchise consultant is easy. All it really takes is to know a little more about franchising than the clients you hope to attract. With a convincing and well designed website, methods to appeal to a very vulnerable audience, use of social media to promote you or your consulting company, low balling of realistic consulting fees, and promising delivery of required services in speculative and unattainable time periods, you’re open for business.
Having provided franchise related consulting services for over 35 years, we have witnessed firsthand the plethora of new “consultants” entering the franchise space to offer advice and counsel. They attempt to do this where the parties in a franchise relationship must invest considerable sums of money, which in most cases, they cannot afford to lose. The depth, wisdom, experience and ethics that are required of those who offer franchise consulting services must be unquestionable and backed by many years of excellence with a proven track record of accomplishment in this area.
There are, in fact, a limited number of what we believe are reliable and experienced franchise consultants. They understand that those seeking to franchise their business are vulnerable, in that they believe and aspire to be the next “golden arches” in the business they desire to franchise. Realistically, few if any will achieve that, and most will not even reach less ambitious goals. Much of this can be determined up front by experienced and ethical consultants who, when it is called for, will tell a potential client that their business is simply not viable for franchise expansion, and that they need to avoid a costly and harmful investment by a prospective franchisor with unattainable goals. Responsible and experienced consultants will do that because it is the right thing to do.
Before retaining a consultant, do your due diligence very, very carefully. There is a lot at stake for all parties. Only very experienced & ethical consultants know and honor this. Unqualified and unproven consultants will all have a story to tell about their accomplishments but it is up to you, as their prospective client, to ask all the hard and essential questions that will help you to determine their true depth, experience of accomplishment, and motives for offering franchise consulting services.