What support does the Head Office team give a franchisee?The main difference between a franchise investment and starting your own independent business is the level of support that you can expect from head office.
In my experience, head offices come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the size of the franchise network, the complexity of their franchisees businesses, the level of support that they want to give you, and how ‘corporate’ the head office business is.
As a general rule of thumb, a start up network with less than 15 franchisees will generally be operated and managed by the founder; however by the time that they have reached 20 franchisees they are often stretched and looking to employ a franchise manager! A ‘corporate’ network owned by a listed PLC will have an entirely different setup to an independent network, in that there will be a pre defined management and reporting structure; placing additional staffing demand on the head office.
When a network is growing, it will tend to employ regional managers to help manage the franchisees. Typically, a franchise manager will look to both support you and also ensure that you are complying with the operations manual and the franchise agreement. As this person will be your main contact at head office, it would be worth trying to meet with them before committing to the franchise, so that you can be sure that you can work with them.
The above is an extract from The Franchising Handbook, which is due for release imminently. Follow this link to pre-order and be one of the first to read it!