Buying a franchise is a huge decision that involves much thought, understanding, and guidance. Given the amount of responsibility that comes with it and a lack of experience from most franchise buyers, it is imperative that proper support structures are put in place for those venturing into this field.
Benefits of a buying franchise
With proper support structures in place, the benefits of buying a franchise may supersede those of starting up a small business from scratch. Employing the services of business development consultants can cost a pretty penny, whereas the franchisor should have proper processes in place to walk you through every step of the franchise.
These methods are often proven with the success of other franchisees in the chain. Franchises may also offer a Franchise Advisory Council where franchises from each region are represented by an elected person who then becomes the region’s eyes and ears, and keeps them abreast of changes and all relevant information. Franchisees do not operate on their own but rely on the support of the franchisor.
Support is central to franchise success
A support office is essentially the hub of the franchise system. An effective support system is specifically designed to strengthen both the franchisee and the franchisor. This support office offers training to the franchisee in every aspect, from marketing to sales advice, retention, and software. Keep in mind, however, support office services vary from franchise to franchise, so make sure you ask specific questions about franchise support before buying that franchise.
Training is not limited to just a product but covers even the day-to-day running of the franchise so that the franchisee is equipped for all their needs. The training time frame can range anywhere from a week to several months depending on the type of franchise. It should also be ongoing so that any changes are efficiently and effectively incorporated without loss of time or revenue.
Ideally, a customer-centric support office will have the proper measures in place to provide continuous feedback, knowledge, and support within set time frames. Again, researching and asking the right questions before purchasing a franchise is critical to making a good decision.
The purpose of a support office is to proactively take each franchisee under its wing and be a one-stop shop for them. With this in mind, openness and transparency are key. The franchisor should be able to answer all your questions and give you a solid foundation from the get-go.
A few tips
It is important to remember to obtain legal advice especially when it comes to scrutinising a franchise contract (called a franchise agreement). Engaging the franchisor is imperative for clarity, and conferring with other franchisees beforehand about the process, working with the franchisor and the type of support that they offer is central to understanding the extent of services offered.
It is important to acknowledge that support offices are constantly busy, and therefore to help you make the most of their services, it’s always best to present challenges to them as soon as possible so that problems are dealt with speedily.