For good reasons, entrepreneurs realize that there are many advantages to a proven franchise system, to be “in business for yourself and not by yourself.” With hundreds of options to choose from, the process can be overwhelming and daunting. That’s where a franchise consultant can help. Working with a franchise consultant can be beneficial to prospective franchise owners by guiding them through the process, from discovery to selection, saving significant time and effort. Together with Bonnie Beinhorn, MBA, Certified Franchise Consultant at Franchise Finder Solutions, we discuss how consultants can provide value to their clients.
What Is the Role of a Franchise Consultant?
A franchise consultant, sometimes known as a franchise
broker, helps streamline the process by being a “match-maker.” Consultants should
not charge any fees to clients for their services. They are compensated by the franchisor once a
placement is made. Franchise consultants
do not “sell” franchises, rather they provide relevant information and guidance,
and identify specific franchises that are aligned with their client’s goals,
preferences and investment level, so the client can decide if there is enough
interest to take the next step in exploring the opportunity.
The goals of the franchise consultant should be “to make the discovery and selection process efficient and enjoyable by taking away the confusion,” says Bonnie. A franchise consultant is most helpful by “presenting concepts and options that someone would not have likely found on their own and showing how they are a good fit.” According to Bonnie, “A consultant should be client-centered and not allow their own preferences and biases to affect their search.”
Franchise consultants can be helpful at every step of the process, as the client desires, usually until their agreement is signed with the franchisor. According to Bonnie, franchise consultants can “guide clients through Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) review, validation calls with existing franchisees, and provide tools for assessment and referrals to funding sources and franchise attorneys.”
Qualities and Skills of an Effective Franchise Consultant
According to Bonnie, the most important quality of an
effective franchise consultant is strong interpersonal and communication skills.
This includes listening well and conveying information in a simplified way.
Bonnie says that also having business experience, knowledge of franchising and
federal/state/industry regulations adds value to the client discovery process.
To make an informed decision, having a diverse franchise
portfolio is needed. This includes a breadth of business types and categories
at every investment level. In addition to knowing the right questions to ask, a
consultant should be able to search quickly for franchise opportunities that
most align with your goals.
Questions to Ask Your Potential Franchise Consultant
When you decide to work with a franchise consultant, you’re looking
for someone who has the expertise and skills to guide you through the major decision
of buying a franchise. To determine if the franchise consultant is a good fit
for you, some suggested questions to ask include:
What is your background and why did you choose
to become a franchise consultant?
How long have you been a consultant?
Do you have any franchising experience?
Are you affiliated with any franchise consultant
How do you stay current with industry changes
What is your process to identify and present
After the introduction is made, how involved are
you until the agreement is signed?
How available are you? Can you take calls in the
evenings and on weekends?
If I prefer (texting/emailing/talking on the
phone), can you accommodate?
What expectations do you have of your clients?
How many franchisors do you represent?
Next Steps in the Franchise Buying Process
“The more the consultant knows, the better the consultant can help determine opportunities to present that are a good fit” says Bonnie. The first step in the franchise search process is to have a clear understanding of your goals, preferences and any ‘must-haves’ before reviewing specific franchises. By asking the right questions, a consultant will learn about the type of business model you prefer, your skills and interests, desired territory and timeline.
Bonnie concludes, “Remember that as the client, you have the option to choose who you want to work with. We are professionals who can bring knowledge and expertise to what is otherwise a very time consuming and overwhelming experience. Find someone who you connect with and let them get to work for you!”
What do these three things have in common: Rock ‘n’ Roll, LeBron James and Lake Erie? If you guessed Cleveland, you’re right! While Cleveland is all of these things, it’s so much more. It’s a city reinventing itself and a great place to start a business. Cleveland is a culinary mecca with a rising food scene. And soon, it will be home to the BirthdayPak gifting program that brings together local, upscale businesses with their best customers. See why Cleveland is an ideal hot spot that will place BirthdayPak on the map.
Cleveland: From Rustbelt City to Resurgence
After decades as a rustbelt city, Cleveland is on the cusp of a resurgence. The area is booming as new businesses and industries thrive and it’s attracting young professionals. In fact, Cleveland ranks among the top 10 cities with a dramatic increase in college-educated millennial residents. And from 2011-2015, $8 billion was invested in new development.
Cleveland prides itself on a distinct history of manufacturing and the innovation that has sprung from it. The economy of the Cleveland metropolitan area is diverse, with industries including healthcare, banking, finance, education, insurance, and technology. In fact, 8 Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Cleveland. As a major city, Cleveland is the second largest metro area in Ohio and 33rd most populous in the United States with more than 2 million residents.
A Great American Food City
Cleveland’s diversity is reflected in its art, culture and, of course, food. While well-known for polish cuisine, Cleveland also rivals the best for ethnic, trendy and upscale restaurants. Iron Chef Michael Symon, who hails from Cleveland, and other prominent chefs, catapulted the city into the culinary limelight. Accolades include being ranked by TIME as the 7th best food city in the country. Travel + Leisure readers also ranked Cleveland 7th out of 20 in a listing of America’s Best Cities for Foodies in 2015.
Restaurants Contribute to the Ohio, Cleveland Metro
What impact do restaurants have on the local economy? Consider these statistics for the state of Ohio: More than 22,500 eating and drinking establishments had estimated sales of $24.2 billion in 2018. Restaurant and food service jobs amount to 10% of employment with 585,000 jobs in 2019. That’s expected to grow by 9.1% by 2029. With Cleveland as a major metro area and culinary center in Ohio, this industry in particular is a boon to the local economy.
Why Invest in a BirthdayPak Franchise in Cleveland?
It’s clear – Cleveland’s strong economy provides a solid
foundation for a business to grow and thrive. The city’s nationally-acclaimed
food scene is hot. This combined with a proven model at BirthdayPak provide you
with the skills and flexibility to launch your business. Want to learn more
about this exciting, high-potential franchise opportunity in Cleveland, Ohio?
Start with these
10 articles and contact
us to take the next step to your new career.
Many factors can give insight into the strength of a franchise: Number of locations, good financials and how much it’s grown. But one of the most important components of a strong franchise is sometimes overlooked: The brand. It says everything about the customer experience and how the franchise is perceived. A strong brand is a good indication of happy customers and franchise owners. If the brand is widely recognized, it creates trust and loyalty. And when a franchise is recognized by external organizations, it’s further validation of a strong brand. We look at what makes BirthdayPak an award-winning franchise and how excellent support elevates a brand.
Recognition as a Top Franchising Option
BirthdayPak has been consistently recognized as a top franchising option. While we are honored, we know it’s a team effort. With multiple franchises open across the United States, our franchise owners help make the BirthdayPak brand what it is today. The continued trust in our gifting platform builds from our one million annual BirthdayPak recipients and hundreds of business partners! Over the last year, we have been awarded with these prestigious franchising honors:
“Best of the Best” in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®:This listing is one of the most competitive rankings and an invaluable resource for potential franchise owners. BirthdayPak is proud to be #183 on the list and named #1 Franchise in the Advertising Services category for outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power.
While awards and accolades are reassuring, you should also look for a franchise that has a strong support system. An excellent support system contributes to trust that underpins a strong brand. Franchise owners have faith that the franchisor will provide them with the tools, resources and support to run their business well.
BirthdayPak provides top notch support, and this sets us apart from other franchise brands. Every new owner has training at the corporate office in Springfield, Pennsylvania and onsite training in your franchise territory. We also provide continual support once your franchise is up and running. In addition, our community of franchise owners rely on each other for advice and guidance.
Invest in a Strong Franchise Brand
A strong brand is an important element when buying a franchise. It signals a good reputation and is typically more established, reducing some of the risk of franchise ownership. However, a due diligence process is key when considering franchise options.
At BirthdayPak, we’re looking for franchise owners in these available markets to help us achieve even greater success, together! For more information, contact us.
Chicago truly has it all! It’s easy to see why so many are drawn to the area with world-class dining experiences, culture and history, and a strong economy – to name a few. Just as Chicago is perfectly positioned on the shores of Lake Michigan, it is also a perfect location for a BirthdayPak franchise! Chicago is filled with local upscale businesses that are looking for a unique way to connect with their best customers. And the BirthdayPak gifting program is ready to deliver! Are you a sales-focused entrepreneur looking for a high-potential franchise opportunity in Chicago? Learn how Chicago has everything needed for a successful BirthdayPak franchise.
Chicago also has a thriving business community. More than 400 major corporations have headquarters in Chicago, including 36 in the Fortune 500. A diverse number of industries make up the job market, including finance and business sectors, engineering, healthcare, government, pharmaceuticals and transportation. Chicago’s economy is so strong, it’s equivalent to the 20th largest world economy, just ahead of the economic output of Switzerland.
An Internationally-Renowned Culinary Scene
Chicago is so much more than hot dogs and deep-dish pizza. The city is not just a standout in the nation – it has also received the world’s attention with Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winning restaurants. The accolades have stacked up to make it one of the best food cities in the country. In 2017, Bon Appétit named Chicago its Restaurant City of the Year and Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards ranked it #1 city of the year, largely due its food scene. Chicago has been host city to the annual James Beard awards ceremony, which will continue through 2027. These are just a few reasons Chicago ranked #3 in Zagat’s 30 Most Exciting Food Cities in America.
Restaurants Boost the
Illinois, Chicago Metro Economies
When it comes to industries that have a significant impact on the economy, we can’t forget about the restaurant industry. Illinois has more than 25,000 eating and drinking establishments that brought in estimated sales of $18.1 billion in 2018. And nearly 600,000 food service jobs make up 10% of employment in the state. That’s expected to grow 7.7% by 2029. The majority of these numbers can be attributed back to the Chicago metro area, which comprises approximately 75% of the Illinois population.
A BirthdayPak Franchise Opportunity and Chicago: Perfect
When you think of an entrepreneur, what vision comes to mind? Is it of someone who developed an innovative idea and starts a business from the ground up? Owners of startups are clearly entrepreneurs, but what about franchise and small business owners? Apparently, some debate exists about whether franchise owners (in particular) fit the definition of an entrepreneur since they didn’t come up with the original business concept. While there are key differences between startup and franchise owners, we believe they share many more similarities – making them both entrepreneurs. We take some commonly-held beliefs about entrepreneurs and apply them to franchise owners.
Entrepreneur, Defined and Expanded
At BirthdayPak, we have a broader view of entrepreneurship, and believe all business and franchise owners are entrepreneurs. The dictionary definition of an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” This precisely describes franchise owners. They manage all aspects of their business, from hiring and operations to sales and prospecting. Franchise owners have all of the characteristics of an entrepreneur, including passion, initiative and the willingness to take on risk.
Entrepreneurs Think About the Big Picture
Entrepreneurs have to manage the day-to-day aspects of the business, but they also have to think about the big picture. BirthdayPak franchise owners are encouraged to think about the larger organizational goals and their important contributions to them. They bring new ideas through collaboration and think long-term about the future direction of the company. At the franchise level, this may also mean opening new mailing zones, hiring staff and planning for the next day, week, month and year.
Entrepreneurs Take Risks – Or Do They?
Do you think franchise owners play it safe because they have a rulebook to follow and support? Franchising may be more of a calculated risk, but there is always some risk with any investment. And the risk may be greater with an emerging, less established franchise. Even if the franchise is well-known and operating with a proven model, building and growing a business comes with challenges and requires hard work.
The opposite point also can be made – entrepreneurs are risk-adverse. Before starting a new venture, they fully understand the risk and potential returns and conduct thorough research and due diligence.
Entrepreneurs Are Passionate
This statement is 100% true of business owners, and BirthdayPak franchise owners are some of the most passionate people you’ll meet! They believe in the product, get excited about it, and this passion spills over to our business partners and communities. Their passion drives them forward – and adds to the persistence, collaboration and dedication needed to bring success.