To become a franchise business consultant requires significant hands-on experience with franchise business operations management. Many positions require a minimum of five years experience in management of a franchise operation in an industry related to the consulting position, such as fast food, retail operations, tax preparation services, etc. Successful management background in non-franchise operations, coupled with solid experience in communications or consulting, are also often acceptable qualifications. If you become a franchise business consultant, be advised that the position normally requires 50% to 75% travel to consult with multiple franchisees.
A competent franchise business consultant is essential for the success of many franchises. Franchisees often have little or no experience in the industry in which they purchase a franchise and rely on professional support to make many decisions. To become a franchise business consultant, it is advisable to have a proven track record in operating a successful franchise, regardless of the business sector it is in. A history of success will help you to become an asset to a franchisee who needs guidance.
Once you become a franchise business consultant, you will serve as the liaison with area developers, corporate personnel, and the franchisee to identify and correct problems to achieve optimum sales and profitability. Regular visits to the franchise are required to quickly spot problem areas and offer solutions. Employees often require retraining, and operational policies and procedures sometimes need to be fine-tuned to improve sales and service.
Aside from frequent on-site evaluations and personal interaction with the franchise business owners, the consultant advises on long- and short-term business plans. If goals or time lines require adjustment, she advises and approves the changes for the franchisee. The review of financial statements and profit and loss statements provide the consultant with information on the business' bottom line success, and she is expected to strongly advise the franchisee on necessary modifications.
Franchisees are sometimes hesitant to expand their product or service lines even if they are achieving above-average sales and profits. The franchise business consultant is expected to counsel the franchisee and build confidence so the business owner feels comfortable with expanding their market share and investing in the future. Advice on marketing strategies, capital improvement purchases, and training development programs is also provided by the consultant.
If a franchise is failing and the business owner appears unable or unwilling to take steps towards profitability, the consultant is required to communicate the problems to corporate headquarters. A store sale or transfer may be in order, and the consultant is expected to assist in finding prospective buyers or negotiate terms of transfer. Once the transaction is complete, the franchise business consultant may be asked to continue to mentor the new owner/operator of the business.