In Part 1 of this franchise consultants/franchise brokers post, I shared the following;
Just about 3 years ago, I became an independent franchise consultant/broker. I just couldn’t take all the BS that was going on in the franchise brokerage that I was still with. My Dad was losing his battle with cancer around this time, and I had told him that I was thinking of going out on my own. His words;
“Go for it, Joel; you don’t need to be with them anymore. You’re better than them.”
Here’s Part 1, in case you missed it.
So, I left. I was very comfortable with my decision. It was like this huge weight had been lifted off of my torso.
As I said, I couldn’t take the BS that was going on internally, at this soon-to-be-under-new-ownership-franchise brokerage. Plus, I was quickly finding out that my marketing skills were starting to blow their’s away. Several other things were getting under my skin with regards to how they were conducting business, so it was just time.
I had no problem securing contracts with franchise companies; my Dad’s reputation with them was always fantastic, and I carried on with the same great work ethic-and business ethics as his. (And still do. Thanks, Dad.)
I did pretty good on my own. Except for one little thing; the economy was just starting to tank. Credit was just about frozen, millions of people lost their jobs and the equity in their homes, so it was not a great time to try to convince hard-working people that it was in their best interest to invest in a $250,000 franchise business.
I never actually convinced anyone to do anything in my franchise consulting business. It wasn’t my style to push people to invest lots of money if they weren’t ready, or able, to do so. I could have made more money if I did it that way, I’m sure. It just wasn’t me. And it isn’t now, either.
So, the past couple of years have been rather ugly for my business. (And a lot of other ones, too.) My franchise consulting business was changing. I started to write articles on franchising. In lots of different places.
Anita Campbell, of Small Business Trends, reached out to me 3 years ago. She asked if I’d be interested in being her “Resident Franchise Expert.” (She had been watching my posts on this blog, and for some bizzare reason, she liked them.) I wasn’t super-confident about my writing at the time, but felt comfortable enough to help out her community with franchise-related questions posed by her readers. So I did. And, yes, Anita did convince me to write for Small Business Trends.
My business was changing. A lot. I was ok with it, too. I was a little burned out of franchise brokering, anyway. Not only was the economy lousy for my kind of work, but franchise candidates were starting to take longer and longer to make their decisions. I was waiting way too long in between “deals.” (But the paydays were pretty big.)
The other thing that was starting to happen was that I was starting to get more and more angry. I was getting quite aggravated about how the franchise industry portrays franchising. How not all the way true franchise success rates were being thrown around by the members of little groups like The International Franchise Association, for instance. The IFA can spin stuff with the best of them.
In a bold move, (and not by choice) the IFA sent a letter to it’s members asking them to stop spouting off franchise success and failure rates like a bunch of idiots. Read what I wrote about this craziness back in 2009 on OPEN FORUM by American Express. (Where I’ve been a writer for almost 3 years now.)
* At this point, you may as well see where else I’m writing franchise articles.
Somehow, I’ve turned into a franchise buyer’s advocate. I can’t stand it when everyday hard-working people get screwed by franchise companies that don’t have the courage to turn down a $30,000 franchise fee from someone who’s just not right for their franchise concept.
Another thing that get’s my BVD’s all bunched up are high-pressure franchise consultants and franchise brokers.
First of all, there are way too many of them. Read!
Secondly, lots of them have absolutley no franchise background. They’re folks who were attracted to a $60,000 total investment, and were anxious to hang their “franchise consultant” shingle. Heck, they’re just trying to get their investment back. (On the backs of franchise buyers.) They got sucked into the “easily make $200k a year as a franchise consultant” hype, and they want out. They’re a little tougher to spot than some of the high profile, tootin fallootin franchise brokerage groups. That’s because they’re G O N E .
Which has left me an opening. I’m now a franchise advisor.
I love advising folks that are looking to become franchise owners.
Here’s what you need to know; there’s a huge difference between what I do, and what a franchise consultant or broker does. Huge, I tell ya.
1. Franchise consultants and brokers only work with 100-200 different franchise companies. That’s roughly 10% of all franchise companies that are registered in the US. So, if you’re working with a broker, you may want to ask about the other 2,800 franchises that are available.
2. I don’t work with a specific set of franchises. As a matter of fact, I’m not representing any franchisors as a consultant/broker.
3. The reason that franchise consultants and franchise brokers only work with a couple hundred opportunities is that they’re the only ones paying them a large commission. That’s how I worked too.
Now, a few consultants/brokers may tell you that “you’re welcome to look at any opportunities you want.” But human nature (and $15,000 commissions) will probably win out. In other words, if you’re not investigating the franchises that they’re getting paid on if you become a franchisee, they’re not going to spend too much time helping you with the other, non-paying ones. They can’t afford to, just as I couldn’t.
4. I’m not getting paid a $15,000+ commission on any franchises. The franchise companies aren’t my brokerage clients anymore; the people that are interested in possibly becoming franchise owners are my clients. If you (as my client) end up buying a Subway franchise, great. If you instead, end up buying a Pizza Hut franchise, fantastic. If you opt to go find a new job instead of becoming a franchise owner, again, great!
My income doesn’t depend on the outcome. That’s the key.
I do get paid though. Clients pay me for my expertise. And because I can help my clients not lose money in a franchise.
I’m about to get real busy. More and more people will be calling on me, because of how my business model is structured. And because I’m writing a new, (and really needed) book on becoming a franchise owner that’s due out this Fall. (John Wiley & Sons, Publisher)
Of course, more and more franchise consultants and franchise brokers will be calling on me, too. Or calling me out. Or just calling me to yell. First they’ll be upset; then maybe they’ll want to join forces, so they can stay in business, and do things right. I hope they do join up with me, somehow. The entire franchise industry would instantly get better!
If you or someone you know is considering franchise ownership, I offer franchise advisory services for all stages of the franchise buying process.
I can really help
I’ll help you figure out if franchise ownership is even something that you should look at.
I’ll show you how to customize your search for a franchise business that makes sense for you.
I’ll show you exactly where to look for franchises, and then once you’ve found a few, I’ll teach you how to narrow down your choices.
I’ll also teach you how to do amazing franchise research.
I’ll discuss the money part, and show you how to find proper legal guidance.
Let me know if you’d like to work with me.
You can follow me on Twitter @FranchiseKing