These consulting and business coaching franchises help take businesses to the next level and guide franchisees toward opportunity
by Georgie Binks
When it comes to matters of scaling operations, managing resources, or implementing training, every prospective franchisee could use some extra support.
Fortunately, a business coaching and consulting franchise can give tips and advice for curious entrepreneurs. For existing entrepreneurs looking to make their mark on the franchise industry, partnering with a consulting franchise might just be the way.
Read on to see how these three franchise consulting and coaching systems spin industry expertise into success by guiding franchisees on their next moves.
If you’re interested in owning a franchise but don’t know where to start, FranNet is likely a good place. “FranNet represents approximately 100 franchisors. You’d come to us and say I’m interested in this industry, category, or even a brand,” says Gary Prenevost, president, FranNet of Southern Ontario and Eastern Canada.
Prenevost then helps prospective franchisees evaluate different types of opportunities. For example, he says, you might love a specific franchise but if you have no experience in that industry, it might not be the right place for you. “We look at why someone wants to go into business, what are their short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, what have they been doing in their career that they’re really good at, and what are the skill gaps.”
Prenevost notes that franchisees take a community-focused approach. “Historically, we’ve focused on embedding and getting to know the local market. I’m here in Ontario, in Mississauga, and I cover the entire Greater Toronto Area,” he explains. “We have a franchisee in London, and he covers southwestern Ontario, so we’re embedded in the community. People who buy from us live in the same communities—we have to make sure they’re okay.”
The company also screens the franchisors it represents extensively. “We say no to more brands than we say yes to,” notes Prenevost, “because they don’t have the financial depth to scale the growth, the leadership maturity, the system isn’t refined, or existing franchisees aren’t completely happy. That means there’s something not happening in the system.”
Prenevost says FranNet consultants introduce potential franchisees to franchisors who fit the model. “We’re not selling them; we’re guiding them to where they can make a decision. It’s a free service; we’re paid by the franchisor on successful matches.”
According to Prenevost, the benefit of running a FranNet business is the “intellectual brain trust of one of the founding companies of the franchise consulting industry.” Mentoring programs help as support mechanisms. “It compresses the time to get up and running and compresses the time to get to full speed.”
Franchisees are assigned a coach for the first six months and attend two conferences a year, with ongoing dialogue. The biggest challenge is shifting consumer behaviour, from in-person pre-pandemic to almost completely digital now.
“An ideal franchisee has to be a good listener, have good facilitation skills, and guide the research but cannot influence the decision,” says Prenevost. “They also need to be savvy financially, with savvy marketing.”
When you look at a FranServe executive team member’s business card, don’t be surprised to see Alesia Visconti and the team dressed up in superhero capes. Visconti, CEO & president of FranServe says, “we have a superhero theme. I’m a sci-fi/sci-fantasy nut and love all things superhero. My executive team and I frequently wear capes at events.” FranServe’s trademarked slogan is “Franchising Is Our Superpower.”
FranServe Inc. is the world’s largest franchise consulting firm and expansion organization. “Think of us as a franchise matchmaker, helping investors navigate the process of researching brands and narrowing down their overwhelming choices,” says Visconti.
She says FranServe supports franchisors in expanding their brand and finding potential franchisees. FranServe was founded in 2012; Visconti joined in 2014 and acquired the company two years later.
She says FranServe is now experiencing tremendous growth.
“Owning a franchise has become the preferred method of building generational wealth for many, and our job is to help potential investors find their perfect fit,” says Visconti. “We’re always looking for talented people who would make ‘fran-tastic’ franchise consultants. A low investment, strong ROI, full training, outstanding support, no territory restrictions, and true flexibility make us an ideal choice for many.”
One benefit of running a FranServe business is that franchise consultants can work from home. “With a phone and internet connection, you’re ready to rock,” notes Visconti.
The ideal FranServe franchise consultant affiliate has strong communication skills, Visconti says. “Building trust, having empathy, and possessing solid listening skills are all critical.”
Training involves an intensive curriculum to ensure franchise consultants are well equipped to help their candidates in multiple facets. Live training sessions are recorded so franchise consultants can review material at any time. There are also weekly one-on-one and group mentoring sessions for the first 90 days. After that, there’s ongoing support with more live and recorded webinars, and two certification designations to mark trainees’ progress.
Visconti says FranServe has more than 700 affiliate franchise consultants and more than 750 franchise brands in its portfolio. “I joke that our next move will be to put a franchise on Mars, but with a team of superheroes, it may not be a joke!”
Valenta may have just launched in 2019 but it’s already taking the world by storm.
With franchise partners across Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, the U.K., Ireland, Austria, Romania, Kosovo, Angola, the U.A.E., India, Australia, and New Zealand, there’s no stopping the B2B franchise.
“We help organizations increase profitability by optimizing processes, implementing automation, and staff augmentation,” explains Jayesh Kasim, a co-founder of the business.
“In the short term, Valenta wants to grow its network with the right franchise partners and once we have adequate global coverage, our vision is to help every franchise grow to its potential.”
Kasim notes that the brand’s distinct model is helping to fuel this growth.
“Our model is unique in that there are no other businesses that service SMEs (small and medium enterprises) with all these services under the one umbrella. For our franchise partners, it’s also a unique model where they get to work on their business rather than in their business. Valenta’s head office takes care of service delivery, which lets our franchise partners focus on growing their business.”
According to Kasim, the success of Valenta’s franchise partners depends mostly on their professional network. “Someone who has 15-plus years of strong connections in a senior management role will have a higher chance of securing meetings to identify opportunities than someone with five-plus years’ experience in a junior to mid-level role.”
Kasim says it’s very important to sit across from C-level executives or business owners and identify their needs before presenting them solutions. Securing these meetings is as important as having these conversations and converting them into sales. “The more time and effort our franchise partners put in, the greater the results.”
A marketing budget is also vital. “Having a marketing budget to generate leads will result in great success,” notes Kasim.
An ideal Valenta franchisee has sales and business development experience and great communication skills. Franchise partners receive an initial 30-day training program, then unlimited ongoing training and support. They also have access to the entire franchise support team.
“Franchises are a great way to start your business. However, starting a franchise will not guarantee success,” explains Kasim. “While the franchise will have proven systems, it comes back to implementation in your local market. Networking with the head office team and other franchisees in the region goes a long way. Making sure there is cultural alignment with the leadership team is important.”