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Franchise Development Services Let’s Clear the Smoke

It can sure get confusing when trying to franchise your business and learn about franchise development services. Over the years the term “franchise development” has become so confusing and convoluted that it can make anyone’s head spin.  So many people and companies out there seem to have put their own twist on what franchise development services means in order to benefit themselves and in some cases camouflage what they are really about (hiding from you their intent). Which in most cases, if you pay attention, you can identify the sneakiness right away in that company’s name or acronym they use for their name.  

A little bit of background. In 2005 our President Dave Waldman founded The Franchise Maker with the passion to help businesses get to the next level of growth through franchising. After years of working with very large and successful franchising companies in both the hotel and service industries Dave saw the power of what franchising can do for people when done right (read more about us and the history of The Franchise Maker). And when he started the company, rhe embodied the true sense of franchise development introducing the term into the marketplace. Two decades later and well over a hundred-plus successful clients that have been taken to franchise from start-to-finish, he operates The Franchise Maker with the same level of passion and commitment as when he started the company. So, it is time to set the record straight and clear the smoke! 

The Actual Definition of Franchise Development

Well let’s break down this term to its literal meaning.  Development means to develop something or according to the oxford dictionary to “turn into something”. Or a good synonym would be to “make into something” and the example given is “the process of producing or creating something new”.  The term franchise, also according to the oxford dictionary, is defined as “formal permission given by a company to somebody who wants to sell goods or services in a particular area”. In other words, permission given by a company to operate a business the same way and under a defined set of rules which includes operating the business under the same name.  So when referring to franchise development, it is the process of making a business into a franchise or the process of creating a new franchise.  And that means you work with a franchise developer.  

What Franchise Development Involves

When making a business into a franchise there are lots of different things that need to be taken into consideration. True franchise development is putting together a program that hits all the marks when to comes to abiding by all federal and state franchise regulations while also crafting a program that is attractive and affordable to aspiring entrepreneurs.  This is the technical side of franchising. Regardless of the type of business you have and want to roll out as a franchise, the entire relationship (rules of the road) has to be spelled out in a set of documents known as the Franchise Disclosure Document packet.  There are many parts to this packet of which spells out the costs it will take someone to open their own business, responsibilities and obligations for both sides, protections afforded to you for the use of your trade secrets, methods, processes, etc. and so much more (take a look at “What are the Elements of a Franchise Disclosure Document“). But before all the technical stuff is done there is a bit of leg work that needs to be done first.

Learning About Your Business

Well it sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many times we hear from people that companies they talk to about franchising are quick to slap a pen in their hand and want money. In fact just the other day when a business owner called wanting to franchise his business, he was reluctant to share the even name of his business with us and said “well no one else asked me why should tell you?” Really, you’ve got to be kidding me.  Now how in the world can we learn about your business without at least knowing the name of the business and being privileged to the same type of information that a perspective customer or client would have who is looking to buy whatever product or service you offer? Learning about your business and what makes you unique or different is step one in this journey (take a look at “How to Know if My Business is Franchisable“). 

What You Want out of Franchising

Putting it pretty simply, what are your expectations and what do you expect to get out franchising?  Let’s be clear there a tons of people out there that will tell you what you want to hear. The minute you open your mouth and tell them what you want out of franchising and they are like “yeah sure” or “absolutely” even going so far as to help solidify your expectations even if they are unrealistic, unattainable or flat out impossible. When you call us to wanting to know how to franchise and what it takes, be prepared for a no BS approach. That’s right, if you have wacked expectations we are going to tell you. As our President says, it would be an injustice not just to you but to your future franchisees to play along with might be an unrealistic fantasy and lead you down a wrong path. 

Sometimes we find what people think franchising will do for them and their business and what happens, in reality are two different things.  It is important to understand your expectations and if such expectations are off base then bring that to your attention.  If your expectations are not off base then to build a franchise program around those expectations. Franchising is about control that you have over operators however we want to stay away from excessive control (read a bit more about “Franchising and Excessive Franchise Control“). A good franchise developer understands excessive control in the franchising relationship and will help you navigate those waters.

Keeping You Out of Trouble   

Learning about your business and your expectations are just the tip of the iceberg.  A genuine franchise developer listens well and aligns your wants and desires (if realistic) within the confines of a franchise relationship that not only complies with federal and state franchise regulations but is also not too onerous and is franchisee friendly (take a look at “Creating Franchise Friendly Documents”).  The franchise developer you work with should be focused on teaching, mentoring and coaching you to avoid the landmines common with franchising and then craft a franchise program that keeps you out of trouble.

Building a franchise program that has a solid foundation is really the most important step when it comes to franchising. If you are talking with someone whose only focus is on franchise marketing or franchise sales then you are talking to the wrong person (going back to what we said at the beginning of this piece it is a dead giveaway if franchise marketing, franchise sales or anything of this nature is in their name or an acronym is used as their name to try to fool you). These companies focus on franchise sales and are technically franchise brokers (take a look at “Franchise Brokers vs Franchise Developers What You Need to Know” for more detail) trying to rope you into their web so they can build themselves into your franchise program. Not understanding what you can do as a franchisor, what you cannot do as a franchisor and what will get you in trouble as a franchisor coupled with not having specific protections built into your franchise program can result in disastrous consequences in the future.  

Putting Together the Franchise Disclosure Document Package

Now we talk about putting it all together (the technical part of franchising).  A genuine franchise developer will craft your franchise disclosure document packet but will do it with you.  Yep, there are horror stories out there of people posing as a franchise developers or calling themselves franchise consultants (take a look at “Knowing the Difference Between a Franchise Advisor, Consutant & Broker“) and using some template to throw together this document (see why “Franchise Templates Are Bad“).  Well, you should be part of putting this packet together.  In fact in our opinion, it is imperative not only so you know what is in this document but also so you can answer questions about it in the future and know what you can enforce when it comes to managing your franchisees. 

Once this packet is prepared and you understand every aspect of it then it goes to competent counsel (a franchise attorney) for review and filing. While we all love attorneys (wink), we cannot skip this step. But be careful not all attorneys are equal (take a look at “Working with an Attorney to Franchise a Business“). The franchise attorney’s role is to review the packet that has been put together by the franchise developer to make sure it not only complies with franchise regulations but also to ensure that you and your business is well protected. A good franchise developer will have an arsenal of attorneys, so you do not have to worry about finding one later. 

Hold Your Hand, Guide and Mentor

While there are finer points to making a franchise out of your business, hopefully this clears up what franchise development services are really all about.  When wanting to turn your business into a franchise it is important that you work with someone who will hold your hand, guide and mentor you throughout the entire franchising process so you are well prepared and well protected.  When speaking with someone about becoming a franchise you should be talking directly to the person who will be writing your packet (this is the person you should be working with directly throughout the process rather than being tossed around to different people).  For the best experience and so you are well prepared without having to depend on anyone else later, the franchise developer you work with should hold your hand, guide and mentor you every step of the way. That means clocking the hours with you. 

Unlike other companies that claim to do franchise development (learn about “Franchise Consulting Companies“), we actually do it and focus only on making franchises (hence our name The Franchise Maker). We do NOT market franchises, we do NOT sell franchises or dilute our services with frivolous extras and most importantly we do NOT keep our hand in your pocket or make any money off your future success. Integrity is the cornerstone of everything we do and we have never deviated from our values over the since we have been in operation (take a look at “Who is The Franchise Maker“). Our steadfast commitment to excellence is reflected in our honesty, transparency, accountability and drive to contribute to the success of each of our clients. This is why we are the ONLY franchise development company ever recognized by the Better Business Bureau and presented with the highly regarded Torch Award.

If becoming a franchise is something you have been thinking about but have been hesitant to talk with anyone about it, you can now put your concerns to rest. We invite you to call us for a non-intimidating, non-threatening and no pressure conversation so we can learn about your business, give you straight answers and honestly determine if franchising makes sense for you. We encourage you to simply call us at 1-877-615-5177.

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