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Q.

What are my obligations as a franchisee?

Author: Louise Harris

answered by Louise Harris

Head of strategic partnerships at easyStorage

Louise Harris writes:

I would ‘oblige’ prospective franchisees to undertake research into what being a franchisee means before they look at a franchise model. Doing the British Franchise Association’s free Prospective Franchisee Certificate is a great place to start.

The second obligation I’d put in place is to be honest with oneself about skills and interests. For example, if you don’t like making cold calls on the phone, don’t sell yourself into a franchise where this is critical.

Being a franchisee comes with its own set of obligations specific to each franchise. These might include timed actions, event commitments and key performance indicators.

Obligations should be clearly laid out in the contract and/or a disclosure document that’s seen before you sign for a franchise.

You’re typically obliged to engage in some form of financial reporting, managing some form of sales and marketing, handling local staff and/or enquiries. You may be obliged to renew machines or kit, so understanding the financial implications of this is key.

Above all, I feel the obligations on a franchisee are to engage with the franchisor in a professional manner and together drive the business. This means talking through challenges, disclosing concerns or niggles and giving positive feedback too.

Louise Harris is franchise director of Wilkins Chimney Sweep. She sits on the British Franchise Association board and chairs the membership committee.

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