Free Franchise Consulting: What It Really Means
‘Free Franchise Consulting’ = Franchise Sales or Franchise Broker
I recently went through an evaluation with a firm offering free franchise consulting. They concluded that my best franchise opportunity was a concept in which I have little interest – fast food. My goal is a solid money maker and this might be a great investment, but it just doesn’t excite me. Am I right or wrong in feeling doubtful about this suggestion? Any thoughts?
Nothing Is Free In Franchising Or Otherwise
First, you’re 100% right about having your doubts. Only you should decide which business best fits you and your needs. When a franchise or any opportunity doesn’t feel right, run as fast as you can. The money doesn’t matter.
The words ‘free franchise consulting’ indicate a franchise broker. A commission or fee is paid if you buy a franchise they represent. They’re free to call themselves consultants, but they’re paid when a sale is made. Fee for service consultants charge prospective buyers for their services and help analyze any franchise. On the other hand, brokers are limited to concepts that have agreed to pay a commission. Further, a broker is not going to disparage a franchise they represent. A rosy picture will be painted as opposed to exposing any negatives as found through true franchise due diligence. If you don’t perform such due diligence you’re lacking information needed for a good decision.
Ultimately, nothing is free. This is not to say brokers are deceptive. In fact, your free consultant is probably very sincere. But understand this: A bad franchise purchase WILL BE LIFE ALTERING. If you want to read about franchise horror stories, here’s your source.
Franchise Competence & Experience Are Critical
Competent guidance is the result of franchise industry experience and how things work. Knowing the pitfalls and dangers of franchising only comes from time and dues paid. Many ‘free franchise consultants’ are themselves new to franchising. They’ve purchased a franchise to be a consultant. Does your guide really know the industry?
The first step in owning a franchise should be a personal assessment to define oneself in a self-employed environment. A questionnaire sometimes used by a broker does not provide that kind of insight. Our proposed launching pad is The Focus Program for Emerging Entrepreneurs. The program challenges you to study yourself and create a personal portrait describing your entrepreneurial self. It’s a logical first step to business ownership.
Here’s The Bottom Line
Free franchise consulting can provide an introduction to franchising and a variety of opportunities to consider, but if you’re buying a franchise and want serious due diligence protection, a fee for service consultant is for you.