Get Coached, Not Consulted
Describing the Key Differences Between a Franchise Coach and a Franchise Consultant
Owning and running a franchise can seem like an overwhelming endeavor, so it’s no surprise that prospective franchisees often seek outside help in the form of a franchise coach or a franchise consultant. Coaches and consultants may seem similar; however, they actually play very different roles. By definition, choosing a consultant is the right move if a specific project is giving you trouble, but choosing a coach is the preferred approach if you’re looking to find, own and operate a franchise business that’s poised for long term success.
When is a coach or consultant most valuable?
The beauty of a franchise coach is that he or she can function as an incredibly valuable asset to your franchise location at any time – not just when you’re seeking out opportunities. Working with a franchise coach is the start of a long term relationship. If you’re exploring franchise opportunities, a franchise coach can help you conduct an effective due diligence that will help you make a smart decision. Once you start your franchise, a franchise coach should still be there for you providing a sounding board for your business ideas and a stable platform to keep you focused on your long term goals.
A consultant, on the other hand, is typically brought in only when an expert is needed. Consultants of any kind are most used as a resource for a specific business operation or event. Therefore, while consultants can be helpful in the short term, franchise coaches help franchise owners make smart decisions and navigate tough issues over the long haul.
What do they do?
A franchise coach is brought on to provide guidance and strategic thinking. Franchise coaches work in a similar manner as athletic coaches. Coaches won’t do the work for you; instead they act as a supportive resource. They recognize that you are the player and that coaches are just there to help you succeed. A coach will cheer you on from the sidelines, offer tips on how to perform better and suggest strategies you can use for future events.
Franchise coaches also work on a very personal level. While a coach may work with more than one team member, well…franchisee, at a time, he or she will focus on each person’s unique goals and aspirations. A franchise coach is someone who will take an invested interest in your future and will help you find, purchase and launch a franchise business built for your personal and professional goals.
A consultant is similar to a pinch hitter. Consultants will step in and complete a project for you that you can’t do yourself. Consultants often come to the table with a set vision regarding how the job should be done (or the handful of franchise opportunities from which prospects should select) and work quickly to make decisions.
So, in this respect, a franchise coach is different than a consultant because they are truly invested in the long term success of their clients and enter each client relationship with an open mind – helping those clients find franchise opportunities that meet their personal and professional needs.
How long will they stay?
Hiring a franchise coach is an investment in yourself and your future. It’s common practice for a coach to provide advice and guidance for years at a time. By investing his or her time, a coach can get to know you and your specific needs before helping you develop a big picture plan that suits your needs. A coach always strives to help you maximize your business potential and uncover business ownership opportunities that fit your skills.
Consulting is a temporary position within a finite period of time. A franchise consultant is brought on to help complete a specific project or business goal (like finding a franchise opportunity). A consultant’s main objective is to complete the job at hand and then they will move on to the next project or company. And thus, most relationships with franchise consultants end at the time of purchase while franchise coaches remain available for the long haul.
Why choose a coach over a consultant?
A quality franchise coach wants what’s best for you. They don’t see you as a quick paycheck; instead they see you as an investment. The better your company does in the long run, the better the situation is for everyone. A franchise coach may be on hand to provide guidance and support, but ultimately you create your own success.
A coach will teach you to fish, so to speak, while a franchise consultant will catch a fish for you. A consultant may get the job at hand done, but the next time a problem arises you will be less prepared to solve it. Franchise coaches give you the tools to solve problems yourself. They guide you to become a better businessperson.
Don’t choose a short term solution to achieve your long term objectives. Trust a franchise coach and watch your company excel.
Rick Bisio is the Amazon-bestselling author of The Educated Franchisee, a leading franchise coach with FranChoice, the co-host of Rick Bisio’s Franchise Focus, and the creator of the FDD Exchange and the Franchise Glossary. Since becoming a franchise coach in 2002, Bisio has assisted thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs nationwide explore the dream of business ownership. Prior to joining FranChoice, he was the director of international development at AFC Enterprises, the parent company of Popeye’s Chicken, Church’s Chicken, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Cinnabon, establishing locations in more than 30 countries