Free Franchise Consulting: What It Really Means
Free Franchise Consulting = Franchise Sales/Brokerage
I recently went through an evaluation with a firm offering free franchise consulting. They concluded that my best franchise opportunity was a fast food concept they are familiar with. My goal is a profitable franchise and this might make money, but it just doesn’t excite me. Any thoughts as I continue my search?
Nothing Is Free In Franchising Or Otherwise
First and foremost 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. There are plenty of franchise opportunities to choose from.
The words ‘free franchise consulting’ indicate a franchise broker. A commission or fee is paid when a client buys a represented franchise. The title franchise consultant is their choice, but the payday is related to a sale. On the other hand, a fee for service consultant charges prospective buyers to analyze and discuss any franchise. The free consultant is not going to disparage a concept they represent. How are you going to find the negatives about a concept if your ‘consultant’ is being paid by the concept seller?
A rosy picture will be painted as opposed to exposing any negatives as found through true franchise due diligence. And if you don’t perform real 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 may be very sincere. But understand this: A bad franchise purchase can ruin your life. 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 knowing how things work. Understanding the pitfalls and dangers of franchising only comes from that experience. Many ‘free franchise consultants’ are themselves new to franchising. They’ve purchased a franchise to be a consultant. What does that tell you?
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.
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.