How to create a franchise manual?

The importance of a franchise manual is akin to a Bible; it outlines everything that a manager needs to know about ensuring that franchisees give an accurate service based on the brands they are responsible for. For many businesses, there is the concern that franchisees may misuse the brand in a manner that contradicts the franchisor and potentially hinders their reputation.

These are some points to consider when putting together a franchise manual that guarantees all franchisees fall in line with the brand with no room for error.

What it should include?

The franchise manual should outline subjects such as marketing and selling, staff training, statutory requirements, and HR practices. This may be standard procedure for most businesses, but the content will be focused towards doing so with a franchisor’s brand.

Outlining the franchisor and franchisee’s obligation

If your company is undertaking a franchisee to carry your brand, you should have a very specific idea of what those services entail. But the manual should not just contain what the services will be, but how they will be carried out.

When writing the manual, one should focus on being specific in the writing in regards to how the text is layered out – so that there can be no room for misinterpretation – and making sure that they correlate to a specific franchise.

The financial side

One subject that will feature heavily in the manual is all information relating to the financial aspects, such as cash flow, accounting and staff payments. This information for the franchisee will be invaluable, particularly if they are looking to either renew the contract or sell the business.

The author

This is going to be an important aspect to consider. There may be multiple authors of the franchise manual, on account of the regulations that need checking over. There is the option of commissioning a professional manual writer for the task. However, your initial authors will be experts within your company who are familiar with the processes related to franchising. Following on, you can look to professional experts to ensure it falls in line from a legal and contractual standpoint.

Keep the manual up to date

It’s hard to predict what circumstances will befall a contract, but there may be a need to alter the terms of the contract. Perhaps this is based on how the brand is utilised or if changes to a contract need to be taken into account. Or if you manage to obtain some new suppliers, their details and obligations will need adding. Never treat a manual as finished copy and remember that you need to regularly update it.

You will find that crafting a franchise manual will bring a range of franchising benefits to your business. You’ll be entrusting your franchisees with your brand and because of the added awareness, they will be able to act more independently on your behalf. If regulations are followed to the letter, you will likely see an increase in projects. All of this can be made possible with a carefully crafted franchise manual.

To find out more about franchising your business, take a look around the Franchise UK website or speak to a franchise consultant.

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