Most franchise brokers call themselves free franchise consultants.

Most franchise brokers call themselves free franchise consultants.

I recently went through an evaluation with a franchise placement company and they concluded that my best franchise opportunity was a concept in which I have little or no interest – a retail shop. To be successful in a business I think I should have a real interest, but the placement expert says otherwise. He says that I have to demonstrate leadership and place the right people within the business for me to succeed. Who’s right?

Great question that deserves thoughtful answers including the use of a broker or a consultant

You’re right; 100% right. This ‘expert’ needs to go back to expert school. First, only you should decide which business best fits you and your needs. Second, the expert argues with you after you express discomfort. If it feels wrong then run as fast as you can from this kind of help.

Every time you see the words ‘free franchise consulting services’ you’re encountering a franchise broker poised to earn a commission or finder’s fee if you buy a franchise they represent. All the while you’ll be encouraged to feel your that your needs are of prime importance. It’s not true. Under these arrangements brokers have established relationships with franchisors that agree to pay a fee when a sale is made. True consultants charge for their services; brokers work for commissions and post-sale incentives.

Ultimately, nothing is free and after brief consideration, we can appreciate the difference between a dedicated guide and a salesperson working on a sale. When a bad franchise purchase is made, the cost goes way beyond the “total initial investment”; a bad franchise purchase WILL BE LIFE ALTERING. If you want to read about some of the horror stories, here’s your source. Be sure your guidance is really has YOUR best interests at heart.

Competent guidance is the result of knowing the industry, how it works, how to investigate a concept and being dedicated to the buyer. Nothing replaces experience and a plan for building a relationship between the client (buyer) and a possible franchise. But the first step should be an assessment tool that allows prospective entrepreneurs to define themselves in a self-employed environment, not a test or questionnaire that calls for a ‘consultant’ to tell the client where they belong and what they should do. Our proposed launching pad for reaching reasonable conclusions about yourself is The Focus Program for Emerging Entrepreneurs. In this program you are challenged to absorb information, reflect on it, and create a personal portrait of yourself as an entrepreneur. It’s the only logical tool you’ll find for this type of evaluation.

Here’s the bottom line. If you use a franchise consultant for the purpose of buying a franchise, use one who has YOUR best interests at heart.