6 Essential Resources for Franchising Your Business

(The Bonchon booth at the 2014 International Franchise Expo.)

Franchising your business can seem like a massive undertaking. Fortunately, there are plenty of franchise resources available to help new franchises get off the ground, from industry associations and trade shows to educational publications and consulting firms. Here are a few resources that franchisors need to check out as they begin to expand their businesses.

International Franchise Association

Founded in 1960, the International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest franchise organization, providing education, support, exposure, and advocacy for more than 16,000 members. Some of the IFA’s most notable franchise resources include the Franship mentoring program, the VetFran initiative for military veterans, and the FranSocial online community, which fosters connection and cooperation among the IFA’s members. Learn more about the IFA at Franchise.org.

Franchise Consultants

Unless you have experience opening multi-unit businesses, launching a franchise without the help of a franchise consultant is usually a bad idea. Franchise Marketing Systems, MSA Worldwide, and iFranchise Group rank among the most trusted and experienced consulting firms around, and serve franchise businesses of all types. From connecting you with franchising attorneys and guiding you through the legal and operational paperwork, to helping you with branding and marketing, franchise consultants ensure that you’re set up for success.

Trade Shows and Expos

Franchising trade shows and expos are great opportunities for franchisors to learn more about best practices in their industry, as well as meet experienced franchise operators who are looking to invest in new concepts. There are dozens of annual events to choose from, but some of the most worthwhile include the International Franchise Expo, the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit, the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference, and the Emerging Franchise Conference.

Franchising Publications

Successful franchisors and franchise operators tend to have one thing in common — they consume as much information as possible about industry trends, business strategies, and what their competition is up to. Franchise Update Media is the leading publisher of franchise-related content, including the news site Franchising.com, Franchise Update Magazine, and and their targeted newsletters. We also highly recommend Franchise Times for breaking news, reported features, and profiles of major figures in the franchising world.

Data Analytics

Assuming you don’t have a full-time data scientist on your team, you might benefit from working with a data firm that specializes in franchise businesses. Proven Match is a consulting company that analyzes your top-performing franchisees, then uses behavioral assessment tools to identify and attract potential franchisees with the same qualities. Buxton offers a customer analytics platform that can help you maximize everything from site selection to sales.

Free Franchise Documents

When it comes to creating your franchise agreement and franchise disclosure document, most of the heavy lifting should be left to your franchising attorney. That being said, you could pick up a lot of great ideas from seeing how other successful franchises set up their legal documents. FreeFranchiseDocs.com features hundreds of contracts, disclosure documents, area development agreements, and other important documentation, all collected from big-name franchises. Also worth a look: FDDExchange, which focuses on franchise disclosure documents, and RocketLawyer, which provides free contract templates in case you’re taking the DIY approach. (Our advice: Don’t do that.)

Want to learn more? Download our free journal on growing your business through franchising for expert advice from 14 franchise founders and thought-leaders, including 1-800-GOT-JUNK? founder Brian Scudamore, Two Men and a Truck founder Mary Ellen Sheets, and The Chipotle Effect author Paul Barron.

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