by John Francis

Franchise Brokers and Consultants: Step by Step Guide to How They Help

The universe of franchise opportunities is never-ending; continuous growth has been the trend in the past and foreseeable future. More new brands are always coming online every month, every quarter, every year. It’s fabulous! And can be overwhelming!

Along with this continued growth in franchising, many entrepreneurial individuals are investigating those opportunities and looking to expand their ownership opportunities with new franchises. There is a growing segment of professionals in the industry helping people find the right match; they are typically called franchise consultants or brokers - I call them matchmakers.

Franchise consultants - what do they do?

Franchise consultants operate similarly to a real estate broker, helping buyers find a suitable home that fits their needs and budget, from finding the right number of bedrooms and baths to the square footage and other factors like neighborhood and location. There are so many variables it takes a real professional to help find the best one and then negotiate a good offer.

Equivalently, in the franchise world, there is just as wide a range of possibilities and opportunities, and a good matchmaker can help you narrow down the field and find the best fit for you. Typically there is no negotiation of fees but more on helping people determine what is a good fit based on their background, experience, skills and strengths, and what they can afford. The range of choices are complex and a good franchise matchmaker can really make the difference and save a ton of time.

The Hidden Value of Buying a Franchise

Also, a good franchise broker or consultant can answer many questions about franchising, giving this new potential franchisee the background and resources to learn more and better understand what they are considering and have more clear and complete expectations for when they buy a franchise. All too often, franchisees rush into a quick decision and need to be more prepared for what they have committed to.

Franchise consultants and brokers spend time with their candidates to really understand what's a good fit for them, what type of business, what type of industry, and what type of operation. They will also help potential franchisees determine how many employees, what level of complexity, what level of investment to make to open the business and what level of commitment is necessary to be successful with a particular brand. As you can see, there is much to consider when you take on a new franchise business of your own, and this is why having an experienced consultant at your side can help you be more confident in the decisions you make and actions you take.

What’s the cost?

Usually, the process is free of charge to the candidate franchisee; if there is a successful transaction, the franchisor business pays a commission fee to the broker consultant for making the introduction and connection. The franchisor will complete the process and make the final determination if the franchisee candidate is a good fit and then award the franchise based on their own determination, even though they rely on the work done by the broker consultants on the front end. It's still a relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. Typically the broker consultant is not involved in the ongoing relationship or the business.

Franchisor and Franchisee, What’s The Difference?

How consultants empower franchisees

A broker consultant can help you succeed in your franchise endeavors and point you in the right direction. However, it's in the best interest of the franchisee candidate to continue to do more research and I suggest looking at competitors to those brands that are recommended. There may be another brand that's a little bigger or more mature or a newer brand that's more innovative and has a different approach to the same business category. Using what the broker consultant suggests is a good starting point, check out others in the same category. However, it's still advisable to complete further research and see if there's anything else that might be even better than the brands they initially recommended. 

Most people are looking for a quick answer and a quick result. However, it's critical you take time in this decision to ensure that you are making a good choice for the franchise that you might be investing in; it is a long-term commitment to become a franchisee. I suggest spending a lot of time looking at the brand, looking at the headquarters, and visiting with franchisees. Do the due diligence, know as much as you can before you make a decision for or against a particular opportunity. I've written other blogs about the validation process and how to know everything you possibly can so that there are very few surprises or uncertainties as you develop a new franchise business as a franchisee.

Choosing a franchise consultant to work with

The good news is a broker consultant can help you narrow down the universe of thousands of opportunities in the franchise world to a few that are the best fit and most appropriate for you, the candidate. However, brokers and consultants don't work with every brand out there. I suggest looking at the brands recommended by a broker consultant as a good starting point and being aware of why they recommended that particular franchise brand to you as a candidate franchisee. What were the reasons, the motivations, the connection, and how accurate is the matchmaking? You want to be sure that a broker consultant did the work based on their experience and your facts and findings, and although not too common, it is not based on the commission they are looking to earn.

Related Read: How a Franchise Business Coach (FBC) Can Help You Achieve Success

It's also worthwhile to look for brokers and consultants with significant experience and high ratings. This is a situation where you want to check their references and talk to other people who have worked with them in the past. If they have a good track record, chances are they've earned that respect and good reputation. If that's not the case, take your time and don't be afraid to look for another consultant. There are thousands of franchise broker consultants doing this match-making work worldwide. Make sure you find someone who you have confidence and trust and behaves like a professional that you would expect.

If you would like to know more about your franchise opportunities, contact me today. Whether you are a franchisor or a franchisee, I'm glad to share ideas and help point you to other resources to help you succeed in your business.

John Francis of Johnny Franchise is an enthusiastic, engaging, and entertaining public speaker, advisor and franchise coach; he speaks from experience and the heart. He is the creator of the successful Franchise Lifecycle Program that will take your franchise to the next level. Franchising is in his blood, and his parents were true pioneers in the industry, turning their family haircutting business into a 1,000-salon franchise empire. He has been a franchisee and a franchisor and has a deep understanding of the issues both face. Connect with John, and you and your franchisees will learn how to look at your business in new, positive, and profitable ways.

John Francis

Written by John Francis

About the Franchise Expert


JF Professional_Blog_214x214px

John Francis is an enthusiastic, engaging business advisor, and an entertaining public speaker for franchise brands because he speaks from experience and he speaks from the heart. Franchising is in his blood, and his parents were true pioneers in the industry, turning their family haircutting business into a 1,000-salon franchise empire. He has been a franchisee and a franchisor, and has a deep understanding of the issues both face. Engage John as an advisor or to speak at your event, and you and your franchisees will learn how to look at your business in new, positive, and profitable ways.

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