So, you’re thinking about owning your own franchise. That’s great. Even better — you’ve realized there’s a lot about franchising you don’t know and you’ve partnered with a Franchise Consultant to help you fill in the blanks and make a sound decision. A good franchise consultant is similar to an effective sports coach — they teach, guide, provide strategy advice — then they trust you to play the game. A franchise consultant’s job is to empower aspiring owners to make smart decisions when it comes to franchise ownership.
However, as with anything else, not all consultants are equally talented. How can you tell if a potential franchise consultant will add real value to your exploration while respecting your personality and needs? Further, how can you determine if you are working with a true, professional franchise consultant who is prioritizing your future as opposed to simply making a quick commission?
Well, to find out, I spoke with five highly reputable franchise consultants who, like myself, are truly invested in consulting and empowering their clients. These franchise consultants listed 20 specific warning signs to help franchise prospects determine if it’s time to find a new consultant. Here’s what they had to share:
- The Mr. Wonderful — Your franchise consultant has an ego the size of a hot air balloon.
- The Chatter Box — Your franchise consultant talks more than he listens.
- The Cover Up — Your franchise consultant tells you the franchise has had lots of failures in the past but they now have a “new model.”
- The Sunday, No Funday — Your franchise consultant gets mad and yells at you because you don’t want a business that operates on Sunday.
Matt “The Franchise Guy” Stevens.
- The “Oh, But You’re Special” — Your franchise consultant believes that a franchise with a high failure rate is OK for you because “you’re special.”
- The By-The-Seat-of-Their-Pants — You ask a question and then hear your franchise consultant typing quickly into Google to find the answer.
- The Combative Debater — ask a question and your franchise consultant provides a rapid-fire reply with all the reasons why you are wrong.
- The Sneaky Recruiter — Your franchise consultant suggests you become a franchise consultant too.
Jeff “The Franchise Matcher” Shafritz.
- The Lost in Translation — You say you want a business with professional, white collar employees that runs five days per-week and your franchise consultant suggests Subway.
- The Jump to Conclusions — Your franchise consultant starts to introduce you to the “perfect company” within 10 minutes of your first conversation.
- The “It’s Not My Job” — Your franchise consultant introduces you to a laundry list of 20 franchises and asks you to choose one.
- The “Can We Push to Tomorrow” — Your franchise consultant can only speak with you in the evening or on the weekend because he still has a “day job.”
- The Uninformed — Your franchise consultant doesn’t know the difference between IFA and FDD.
- The “Silver Bullet Sure Thing” — Your franchise consultant tells you the business is a “no-brainer.”
- The “Let’s See if it Sticks” — Your franchise consultant registers you with lots of companies, “just in case.”
- The Media Darling — Your franchise consultant advertises on billboards or has free “giveaways.”
- The Biased Recruiter — Your franchise consultant tells you, “This company is so good that I invested my own money in this franchise.”
- The “Look Over Here” — Your franchise consultant tells you the ROI is “really much better than the FDD indicates.”
- The Hometown Hero — Your franchise consultant only works locally and doesn’t know the national trends.
- The Out of Their League — Your franchise consultant has no practical experience in franchising or business ownership.
Here’s the bottom line — like any business or occupation, there are a ton of excellent, well-informed consultants out there… but there are also some pretenders. While we all recommend conducting your due diligence on franchise opportunities, I also recommend that you conduct due diligence on the franchise consultant helping you through the process. And if you’re noticing any of the warning signs above, it’s probably time to fire your consultant and find one that has your best interest in mind.