Should a prospective franchisee work with a franchise broker or consultant? I am often asked that question by prospective franchisees. Alternatively, someone will contact me and after speaking with me may decide that they want to look at other franchise opportunities. Typically, in those situations I refer the prospective franchisee to both the IFA website (www.franchise.org) and to a franchise broker or franchise consultant who does not charge the prospective franchisee.
A franchise consultant or franchise broker works with the “candidate” or prospective franchisee by performing almost a matchmaking service. A good broker learns about the prospective franchisee’s financial and personal background and determines franchises that would be a good fit, both financially and personally, for the candidate.
Once the prospective franchisee narrows down his or her selection to a few franchises, typically the franchise broker will recommend that the prospective franchisee speak with existing franchisees of those systems, make suggestions to perform validation of the franchise and encourage the candidate to attend the franchisor’s Discovery Day.
The best franchise brokers or franchise consultants also understand the importance of encouraging the prospective franchisees to utilize experienced franchise attorneys as part of their candidate’s validation or due diligence. They are not concerned about losing the deal, but rather making sure that the prospective franchisee has a clear understanding of the franchise opportunity and is properly represented. The best franchise consultants or franchise brokers understand that good relationships with their candidates is critical to consultant’s future success.
In my experience the prospective franchisees that contact me after working with a franchise consultant or franchise broker are typically most prepared to pursue the franchise opportunity.