10 Best Franchise Consultants to Follow in 2024

Reading Time: 10 Minutes

Many executives start franchises to break free from the corporate world or to create a second stream of income. With over 3,000 franchises to choose from, many people turn to franchise consultants to find the perfect franchise to meet their personal and financial goals.

We ranked franchise consultants based on an in-depth review of each consultant’s testimonials, industry reputation, and track record placing candidates.

In addition to links to their websites and LinkedIn, we’ve shared the resources that stood out from each consultant, whether it be their blog, YouTube, book, podcast, or consultation offer.

Matt Frentheway

Our top franchise consultant has helped 25 franchise candidates start their businesses.

Matt’s consulting company, Learn2Franchise, rigorously evaluated 3,000 franchises and narrowed their list down to the top-performing 300. This data-driven approach and large pool of recommended franchises gives Matt’s candidates an edge in finding the right fit.

Matt’s consultations are informed by his real world experience. He has started and exited businesses and worked as a franchisor. Today he “walks his talk” as a franchisee himself with one of his favorite fast-growing franchises, Bar-B-Clean.

People praise his empathy, enthusiasm, and positive attitude. They also speak highly of his uncanny ability to find the perfect franchise for them, often suggesting options they hadn’t considered themselves.

Kim Daly

Kim Daly runs a popular YouTube channel and podcast, where she shares success stories and teaches beginners about the benefits of franchising. Kim also leverages her network to educate and match franchise candidates with franchisors.

Kim’s candidates praise her motivational guidance, personalized attention, and dedication. Candidates say she is a true partner on their journey, supporting and mentoring them every step of the way.

Melisa Lewis

Melissa Lewis excels in identifying high-margin franchise opportunities within overlooked industries. She focuses on finding a strategic fit for each franchise candidate. She also aims to empower candidates with knowledge so they can make informed decisions.

Franchise candidates praise Melissa for her detailed and personalized approach. They appreciate her commitment to understanding their individual needs and circumstances, which she uses to guide her franchise recommendations.

Pete Gilfian

Peter Gilfillan creates a personalized model that reflects each candidate’s goals, interests, and investment capacity. This data-centric approach helps him connect candidates with opportunities that best match their criteria.

Peter is known for his book, Hire Yourself, which is both a manifesto and a guide for people considering franchise ownership. It’s clear Peter has a passion for teaching people and helping prospective franchisees invest in their future.

Rick Bisio

Rick Bisio advocates for franchise education through his book and extensive online resources. Above all others on this list, Rich has invested heavily in producing free resources to make franchise education accessible to everyone.

With a mission to empower others to achieve more than they dreamed possible, Rick offers a relationship-driven, highly personalized consulting experience.

Bob Bernotas

Bob Bernotas helps candidates find high-ROI, semi-absentee franchise opportunities. These are popular for professionals who want to maintain their careers while building wealth.

Bob’s industry connections and personal franchise ownership experience make him a reliable guide to finding the right franchise investment.

David Greenberg

David Greenberg transitioned from a corporate executive to a multi-unit franchise owner. In his blog posts and consultations, he frequently shares this story to give candidates confidence to do the same.

David’s consultancy, The Empowered Franchisee, focuses on aligning franchise opportunities with candidates’ financial and lifestyle goals.

Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens leverages over three decades of franchising experience to provide tailored guidance.

Matt specializes in helping candidates replace their executive income or diversify their investments. He also provides ongoing mentorship to candidates after they launch their businesses.

Paul Whitaker

Paul Whitaker uses his experience as a top-level franchise owner to match candidates to successful franchises. He is also known for supporting candidates after they start their businesses.

Irving Chung

Irving Chung uses his marketing acumen and franchising expertise to guide candidates.

Irving specializes in veterans, although he also helps many experienced corporate executives transition to franchise ownership.

The Role of a Franchise Consultant

A franchise consultant is a professional who guides you through the process of identifying, evaluating, and purchasing a franchise that fits your goals, budget, and interests. They provide expertise and resources to help you make informed decisions.

Qualities of a Good Franchise Consultant

A good franchise consultant has a deep understanding of the franchising industry, a strong network of franchisor contacts, and a track record of successful placements. They should be transparent, communicative, and genuinely committed to your success.

Cost of a Franchise Consultant

Typically, you don’t pay directly for franchise consulting services. Consultants are compensated by the franchisor when you purchase a franchise. This payment model allows you to benefit from expert guidance at no direct cost.

Benefits of Working with a Franchise Consultant

Working with a franchise consultant saves you time and reduces the risk of choosing an unsuitable franchise. 

Streamlined Search Process

There are over 4,000 franchises in North America. A franchise consultant simplifies your search. First, they weed out the junk by reviewing hundreds of FDDs and staying on top of the latest news and trends in the industry. Then, by understanding your goals, financial situation, and interests, they narrow down the field to franchises that are most likely to succeed under your management.

This targeted approach saves you considerable time and effort, allowing you to focus on options that genuinely match your criteria.

Expert Insights and Risk Mitigation

How familiar are you with the nuances of franchise operations and agreements? Franchise consultants bring a wealth of knowledge about the franchising industry, including the fine print of franchise agreements and the operational challenges of different franchise models.

Their insights help you avoid common pitfalls and make well-informed decisions, significantly reducing your risk of a costly mistake.

Access to a Wider Network

Franchise consultants often have extensive networks. They can connect you with exclusive franchisors who are not widely advertised. This access can get you access to opportunities with emerging brands or in high-growth industries that you might not discover on your own.

Ongoing Support and Education

After your purchase, a franchise consultant often provides ongoing support and resources to help you through the early stages of business operation. Whether it’s training resources, marketing strategies, or operational advice, having an experienced advisor can ease the transition into franchise ownership.

How Franchise Consultants Match Candidates with Franchises

A franchise consultant’s objective is to ensure that the franchise you choose is both a viable business opportunity and a perfect fit for your personal and professional goals.

Most franchise consultants follow a specific process to find the right franchise for you.

1. See if Franchising Makes Sense for You

Many franchise consultants will start with a quick chat to get to know you and see if a franchise is really a good fit for you. Franchises tend to make sense for people who are either:

  • Looking to replace a corporate job, typically to gain freedom of time and location, or
  • Interested in adding a new revenue stream, leveraging their business skills to achieve a higher annual return than the stock market or real estate.

To have a productive initial meeting, jot down a few questions you have about franchising.

2. Understand Your Goals and Preferences

A good franchise consultant will start by asking you questions. Some use detailed questionnaires, while others focus on one-on-one discussions.

Their goal is to understand what success looks like for you. They’ll aim to thoroughly understand your personal and financial goals, including your preferred level of involvement, income expectations, and lifestyle needs.

Some candidates are already interested in specific industries and business models, while others come in with a blank slate. Franchise consultants are used to working with both types of candidates.

3. Evaluate Your Skills and Experience

What are your strengths? What industry knowledge do you possess?

Franchise consultants assess your professional background, skills, and previous business experience to identify franchise opportunities that align with your capabilities.

4. Assess Your Finances

A franchise investment should never put your financial health at risk. So, a good franchise consultant will review your financial situation to determine your buying power. This ensures you have enough capital for your initial investment and ongoing operations.

5. Analyze the Market

Your consultant will perform a market analysis to identify the demand for potential franchise operations in your specific area.

Franchise consultants have tools and expertise to research local market conditions and demographics. This helps them identify franchises with high growth potential in your area.

6. Select Appropriate Franchises

Based on your goals, skills, financial capability, and market analysis, the consultant will present you with a curated list of franchise opportunities. These options are carefully selected to help you achieve your goals.

7. Make Introductions

After you express interest in specific franchises, your consultant will introduce you to the franchisors you want to meet. They’ll also help you attend a Discovery Day event, where you meet the franchise team in person and learn all about the franchise in depth.

8. Help with Due Diligence

Even after you choose a franchise, the consultant assists with due diligence, helping you understand the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), connecting you with other franchisees, and advising on legal and financial evaluations.

They’ll help you ask the questions you need to ask to make sure it’s the right investment for you.

9. Guide You on Financing

If needed, consultants can connect you with reputable lenders, explain different financing methods like SBA loans, and help you prepare the necessary financial documentation to secure funding.

10. Support You After Your Purchase

After you launch your business, your main support will come from the franchise you invest with. However, many franchise consultants will stay in touch. A good consultant will be curious to hear about your experience, even years after your deal closes, so that they can provide the best advice to future candidates.

Post-purchase, your consultant will likely be interested to hear about any challenges you’re facing. Since consultants are often franchisees themselves, and they stay in touch with so many franchisees across various franchise networks, they often will have ideas to help you improve your operations, local marketing, recruiting, and employee training.

Of course, consultants may also use these calls to get testimonials or connect with other people in your network who would like to own a franchise.

FAQ

How do franchise consultants evaluate franchises?

Franchise consultants evaluate franchises based on several criteria: historical performance, market demand, franchisee satisfaction, and the strength of the franchise’s business model.

They also review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) to investigate legal and financial stability, and the support structures that each franchisor offers to franchisees.

How does a franchise consultant stay informed about the latest franchise opportunities?

Franchise consultants stay informed through continuous industry research, attending franchise expos, networking with franchisors, and participating in industry workshops and seminars. Many also subscribe to franchise databases and maintain relationships with franchisors to keep abreast of new trends and opportunities.

What is the difference between a franchise consultant and a franchise broker?

A franchise consultant focuses on helping franchisee candidates, while a franchise broker focuses on helping a specific franchisor.

A franchise consultant will get to know you and what you want. Then they’ll choose the franchises that are the best matches for you out of the hundreds of franchises they know well.

In contrast, a franchise broker typically works directly with a specific franchisor. Their goal is to find as many franchisees as possible for the franchisor they work for.

How long does it take to choose and purchase a franchise?

It typically takes 3 months from your first chat to a final closed deal. A franchise consultant adds structure and expertise to your decision making process. This radically speeds up the process.

Can a franchise consultant help me buy multiple franchise units?

Yes. They can help you negotiate multi-unit deals, understand the complexities of managing several locations, and develop a strategy for scaling your operations.

What if I want to franchise my own business?

Turning your business into a successful franchise often costs $250k+. So it’s a meaningful investment for business owners.

If you’d like to franchise your business, a franchise consultant can help you develop a franchising model, create operations manuals, and establish training programs. They can also assist in market analysis, franchisor-franchisee relationship strategies, and communicating your value to potential buyers. Finally, they can connect you with a franchise attorney and other specialists.

Many franchise consultants focus on helping franchisee candidates, and they do not offer support for businesses looking to become franchisors. So, check with the consultant you’re interested in meeting with. Even if a franchise consultant does not offer franchisor consulting as a service, many can refer you to someone who does. 

What are the best ways to evaluate a franchise?

  • Talk to your franchise consultant. Discuss the brand’s market reputation and growth potential as well as the level of support the franchisor offers.
  • Identify how many franchise locations the franchisor has sold and how many have opened. This will help you see whether the franchisor is truly invested in the success of their franchisees.
  • Talk to current franchisees directly, especially people who live in similar markets. This will help you gauge the range of financial performances franchisees are experiencing. It will also help you assess the level of support the franchise gives franchisees.
  • Read the franchise’s FDD. Make sure you’re satisfied with the value you’ll receive in exchange for your initial investment and ongoing fees. Also assess how well the ownership model fits with your personal goals and lifestyle.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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