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Should You work with a Franchise Consultant or Deal with the Franchisor Directly?

Franchising has long been a favored route for entrepreneurs looking to establish a business with a proven model and recognizable brand.

In the quest to own a franchise, prospective franchisees are faced with a crucial decision: should they navigate the waters with the guidance of a franchise consultant, or should they dive straight into discussions with a franchise brand’s development staff?

Let’s weigh the differences.

a man considering whehter to deal with a franchise consultant or go to the franchise brand directly

Both paths offer distinct experiences and benefits, shaped by varying degrees of personalized advice, breadth of options, and direct brand engagement.

This article aims to consider these two approaches, comparing the insights, support, and overall experiences they offer to help future franchise owners make an informed choice.

By understanding the benefits and potential drawbacks of each, entrepreneurs can position themselves for success in the competitive world of franchising and avoid any red flags along the way. Enjoy!

Understanding franchise consultants

Let’s first examine the role, pros, and cons of working with a franchise consultant.

What is a franchise consultant?

A franchise consultant acts as an intermediary between prospective franchisees and franchisors. They provide expert advice, helping entrepreneurs find and select the right franchise opportunities that match their skills, interests, and financial capabilities.

Consultants are typically well-versed in the franchising landscape, offering insights into various brands and sectors. In short, they know the best franchises in the business.

Key benefits of using a franchise consultant

  1. Broad Access to Opportunities: Certified franchise consultants have extensive networks and access to numerous franchise options. This broad access allows potential franchisees to explore franchise ownership opportunities they might not have discovered on their own. According to a report by the Franchise Brokers Association, consultants often work with hundreds of brands across multiple industries, significantly widening the choice spectrum for clients.
  2. Unbiased Insights: Unlike franchise development staff who are inherently focused on their own brand, franchise consultants provide unbiased guidance, aiming to match clients with the best-fit franchise. This objectivity is crucial, especially for newcomers to the franchising world who may need an honest perspective on what different franchises and business ownership opportunities can offer.
  3. Navigational Help with Legal and Financial Complexities: Franchising involves substantial legal documentation and financial commitments. Consulting services bring expertise to these areas, often helping to streamline the process. They can guide prospective franchisees through the fine print of franchise agreements and assist in obtaining financing. Data from the International Franchise Association (IFA) suggests that franchises acquired through consultants have a slightly higher success rate in securing initial financing.

Potential drawbacks

  1. Consultant Fees: Engaging with a franchise consultant isn’t always free. Some consultants charge fees for their services, while others receive commissions from franchisors once a deal is closed. This cost structure can influence their recommendations and should be considered by first-time prospective franchisees.
  2. Variability in Quality: The effectiveness of a franchise consultant can vary widely based on their experience, expertise, and network. Franchise buyers should conduct thorough research and seek reviews or testimonials before choosing a consultant to ensure they receive valuable guidance.

Working with franchise development staff (i.e. sales)

Now let’s compare that info with working directly with a franchise brand’s in-house sales team.

Role of franchise development staff

Franchise development staff are employed directly by the franchise brand to recruit and support new franchisees.

Their primary role is to present their brand as an appealing investment opportunity and guide potential franchise owners through the process of joining their network. These individuals are highly knowledgeable about their specific brand, including its operations, culture, and business model.

Benefits of direct interaction

  1. In-depth Brand Knowledge: One of the key advantages of dealing directly with franchise development staff is their comprehensive knowledge of the brand. They provide detailed insights into the day-to-day operations, support systems, and growth opportunities within the franchise. This firsthand information is invaluable for potential franchisees looking to fully understand what they’re investing in.
  2. Direct Negotiations: Engaging directly with the development staff may offer opportunities for negotiation on various terms, including startup costs, royalty fees, and territory rights. This direct line of communication allows for clearer, more personalized negotiations, potentially leading to better agreement terms tailored to the franchisee’s specific situation.


  1. Brand Bias: Unlike independent consultants, franchise development staff have a clear agenda to promote their own brand. This inherent bias can color the information they provide, focusing more on selling the brand’s strengths and possibly downplaying limitations or challenges.
  2. Possible Pressure to Close the Deal: Since development staff are often evaluated based on their ability to secure new franchisees, there can be a push to move prospects quickly through the decision-making process. This pressure can sometimes lead to a rushed commitment without adequate consideration of all factors involved.

Comparative analysis

Choosing between a good franchise consultant and a franchise brand’s development staff often depends on the specific circumstances and what the prospective franchisee needs to make an informed decision. Here’s a closer look at when one might be preferred over the other.

Situational preferences

  1. Newcomers to Franchising:
    • Franchise Consultants: For individuals new to franchising, consultants can serve as a critical guide. They help navigate the vast landscape of opportunities and simplify complex legal and financial details. This ongoing support is essential for those who may not yet fully grasp the intricacies of franchise operations and agreements.
    • Franchise Development Staff: While direct contact provides detailed brand information, it might overwhelm newcomers who are still gauging the broader franchise environment.
  2. Experienced Business Owners:
    • Franchise Consultants: Experienced entrepreneurs might use consultants to efficiently filter through options and find unique opportunities that align with their business acumen and goals.
    • Franchise Development Staff: Those with previous franchising experience may prefer direct negotiations to leverage their expertise for better terms, fully aware of the potential biases but equipped to manage them.

Real-world examples

  • A 2019 study by FranchiseGrade found that franchisees who engaged with consultants reported higher satisfaction in the initial years of operation, attributing this to better fit and preparedness.
  • Conversely, testimonials from seasoned franchise owners highlight the benefits of working directly with development staff, noting that their ability to negotiate specific terms directly impacted their profitability and operational success.

Discussion of long-term impacts

  • Franchise Consultant Engagements: The long-term impact of using a consultant often hinges on the quality of the match between the franchisee and the franchisor. Effective consultants ensure a fit that supports sustained success and satisfaction.
  • Direct Engagements: Direct negotiations can result in more customized agreement terms, potentially leading to greater autonomy and control over the business, which can be crucial for long-term growth and satisfaction.

Practical tips for prospective franchisees

Whether considering a franchise consultant or dealing directly with franchise development staff, here are some practical tips to ensure you make the most informed and beneficial choice for your franchise venture.

Tips on choosing the right consultant

  1. Look for Industry Accreditation and Positive Reviews: Ensure that the consultant has recognized credentials in the franchising industry, such as those from the International Franchise Association or similar bodies. Check online reviews and ask for references to gauge their reputation and effectiveness.
  2. Evaluate Their Understanding of Your Desired Market: Choose a consultant who demonstrates a deep understanding of the specific market or industry you are interested in. They should be able to provide insights into market trends, competition, and growth opportunities within that niche.
  3. Assess Their Network: A competent consultant should have a robust network of contacts within the franchising world. This network can provide you with additional resources and potentially better franchise opportunities.

Tips on engaging directly with franchise development staff

  1. Prepare Specific Questions and Concerns: Before meeting with the development staff, prepare a list of detailed questions about the franchise’s operations, support, financial expectations, and any other pertinent areas. This preparation will help you gather the most relevant information and demonstrate your seriousness about the opportunity.
  2. Understand the Financial and Legal Implications: Have a clear understanding of all financial commitments, fees, and legal stipulations before entering discussions. Consider consulting with a legal or financial advisor who specializes in franchising to review any documents or agreements.
  3. Take Your Time: Despite any pressure to make quick decisions, take your time to consider all aspects of the franchise opportunity. Engaging in due diligence is crucial to ensuring the franchise is a good fit for your goals and financial situation.

Fibrenew does franchise development differently

Choosing between a franchise consultant and directly engaging with a franchise brand’s development staff is a significant decision that can affect the trajectory of your franchise business.

At Fibrenew, we’re proud to never use high-pressure sales tactics or persuasion techniques. We prefer to be transparent, supportive, and understanding with every prospective franchisee that comes our way. After all, our franchisees success equals our success as well. Join the family!

Get in touch with your local Fibrenew professional for all your leather, plastic, and vinyl repair needs.

Want to run a business that gives you incredible earning potential and the flexibility to take control of your time and life? Join the Fibrenew Family!

Check out our free Franchise Information Report for everything you need to know.

Also, enjoy these valuable resources on all things leather, plastic, and vinyl repair, franchising, sustainability, and more:


Franchise consultant vs. direct franchisor contact FAQ

What is a franchise consultant, and how can they help me?

A franchise consultant is a professional advisor who helps potential franchisees navigate the process of selecting and buying a franchise. They offer expertise in evaluating opportunities, understanding market trends, and matching candidates with franchises that suit their goals and investment level.

Why might I choose to work directly with the franchisor’s sales team?

Working directly with the franchisor’s sales staff allows you to receive information straight from the source, which can include up-to-date details on financial performance, brand-specific training, and support systems. It also allows for direct negotiation with the franchisor.

Are there any costs associated with using a franchise consultant?

Generally, franchise consultants are paid by the franchisor as a referral fee once a franchise sale is completed. This means there are typically no direct costs to you as a franchisee. However, it’s important to verify this as practices can vary.

Can I trust the advice of a franchise consultant?

While franchise consultants can provide valuable insights and guidance, it’s important to remember that they may receive commissions from franchisors for successful referrals. Always ensure that the consultant is reputable and consider getting a second opinion to verify their recommendations.

What are the benefits of consulting with a franchise consultant over dealing directly with the franchisor?

Franchise consultants can offer a broader view of the franchise landscape, providing comparisons across various brands and industries that might not be apparent when dealing directly with a single franchisor. They also help in preparing financial documents and understanding the legal aspects of franchising.

What should I prepare when meeting with a franchise consultant or the franchisor’s sales team?

Be ready with a list of questions, your business goals, budget, and preferred locations. Also, prepare to discuss your previous business experience and your strengths and weaknesses. Having this information at hand will facilitate more tailored advice and quicker decision-making.

How do I decide which route is best for me?

Consider your specific needs, comfort with the franchising process, and how much support you feel you’ll need. If you are new to franchising or seeking to explore multiple options, a franchise consultant might be beneficial. If you have a specific franchise in mind and prefer a direct line of communication, contacting the franchisor directly could be better.

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Meet the author

Denver Dominas

Franchise Developer Canada + USA

I’m passionate about introducing entrepreneurs to the world of franchising and helping them with their journey to business ownership.

See other posts by Denver Dominas