In my different roles as a franchise manager, franchisor and franchise consultant, Iíve seen a few disclosure documents. And most, I have to say, arenít worth the paper theyíre written on.
The situation is just as bad overseas. The worst DD Iíve ever seen, from a well-known international franchise system, contained text that was all capitalised, for Godís sake! HOW EASY IS THAT TO READ?
But isnít a DD simply a compliance document designed to satisfy franchise legislation or, in unregulated countries, franchise association codes of practice?
Well, yes it is, but that doesnít mean it has to be dreary and all but unreadable. The best you can say about 95% of DDs is that theyíre a surefire cure for insomnia.
The franchisors who produce these DDs seem to believe that by the time prospective franchisees get to see the DD, theyíre basically sold. Sighting the DD and franchise agreement is a mere formality. Unfortunately, that simply isnít true, and not just in cases when the DD reveals that the franchiseís performance doesnít meet prospectsí expectations.
What these franchisors donít seem to realise is that even though some of the content is mandatory, the whole DD doesnít have to be that way. The smartest franchisors Iíve worked with have realised that the DD is another opportunity to reinforce their franchisesí brand and sales message. At the same time, theyíve been smart enough to know that you need to be open and transparent with prospects right through the recruitment sales process, not just when it comes to mandatory disclosure. The DD should contain no surprises.
Is your DD heavy going, a yawn-fest, and the last thing a prospective franchisee needs at around the same time as being confronted by your (necessarily pretty dull) franchise agreement?
Talk to me about changing all that and increasing your franchisee prospect sign-up rate.
Article by Robin La Pere, No Ordinary Business and Franchise Consultants
Contact me at email@example.com.
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