HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ADVISOR
Many of the articles on this website talk about the importance of consulting ‘specialists', ‘good' advisors and ‘experts' before buying a franchise - but how do you ensure that your chosen advisors fit into this category? Here are seven handy hints.
1. Don't assume that your normal family lawyer or accountant has the skills to analyse a franchise opportunity. Franchising is a specialist field and it pays to use specialists. They may charge more per hour but they will know what is and isn't acceptable, they will have contacts in the field and they may well take less time than someone inexperienced in franchising
2.Look for advisors who are demonstrably focusing on the world of franchising already. The Directory is a good place to start, as it lists both members of the Franchise Association and others with specialist knowledge in this area.
3. Choose people who are able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of franchise systems in the field in which your chosen business is operating. Don't be afraid to ask for a summary of their relevant experience (FANZ members are required to provide this).
4. Check the reputation of each advisor with your other advisors - some may work particularly closely with other specialists and be able to recommend someone.
5. Make sure that you choose people with whom you can build a good rapport. You need to be honest with your advisors and trust that they will respect your confidences and give you good advice. In all likelihood, you will be working with them not just while you are buying your franchise but as your business grows, too.
6. Be prepared to pay reasonable fees for professional advice. It's not worth saving a few dollars at the outset and getting poor advice. Most advisors charge on an hourly basis, so find out what this is and get a written estimate of the likely number of hours involved. Ask to be kept informed in writing of any extra hours incurred.
7. Finally, accept that the advisor's job is to advise. The decision whether to proceed or not is just the first of many decisions you will need to make in running your own business, so be prepared to take responsibility for your own future.
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