NFA Franchise Consultants
20Mar/17Off

Well Written Operations Manuals

Keys to Successful Franchising:
The Importance of Well-Written Operations Manuals

Reflections of a Franchise Consultant : Franchise Operations Manuals

Stephen S. Raines
President, National Franchise Associates
Atlanta-based Franchise Consultants

In my over three decades of experience as a franchise consultant, I am often asked “What makes one company a successful franchising entity while another fails?

Rarely is there a single reason for successful franchising versus franchising failure. Here, I will examine some of the significant factors that can help a Franchisor put together a successful franchising program.

There are many benefits to having a comprehensive, well written set of Operations Manuals for your franchise program.

These benefits include:

  • Operations Manuals are invaluable and effective training tools, promoting consistency and quality throughout the franchise network
  • Operations Manuals can help your Franchisees open their businesses more efficiently
  • When properly drafted, these Operations Manuals can serve as one of the strongest selling tools for the franchise program
  • Operations Manuals help your Franchisees run their businesses more successfully
  • Operations Manuals contain the details of the proper procedures, saving both the Franchisor and Franchisee valuable time and money by reducing the amount of time needed to assist new Franchisees
  • When all the standards of your operations are detailed in a clear manner in the Operations Manuals, these standards and procedures become part of your Franchise Agreement
  • The act of creating Operations Manuals can enhance your company's systems by forcing you to examine and improve the way you currently operate your business
  • As you react to new market trends, technologies and competitive forces, Operations Manuals can be updated to reflect new products, services, policies and procedures
  • Operations Manuals strengthen the operations at company-owned locations

A proven and documented system of operation can be the single most valuable asset a Franchisor provides a Franchisee. Operations Manuals can be a strong selling point for your franchise program. These Operations Manuals serve as an invaluable aid to both franchised and company-owned locations.

National Franchise Associates offers the following types of Operations Manuals:

  • Pre-Opening Procedures Manuals
  • Daily Systems & Procedures Manuals
  • Operating Manuals
  • Sales & Marketing Manuals
  • Personnel Manuals
  • Accounting & Bookkeeping Manuals
  • Revising and Updating Existing Operations Manuals
  • Training Manuals
19Dec/16Off

Operations Manuals

Focus on Operations Manuals & Marketing

Reflections of a Franchise Consultant: Operations Manuals

Stephen S. Raines
President, National Franchise Associates
Atlanta-based Franchise Consultants

(Continued from previous blog)

In my over three decades of experience as a franchise consultant, I am often asked “What makes one company a successful franchising program while another fails?

Rarely is there a single reason for a successful franchising program versus a failure.  Here, I will examine some of the many factors that can help a Franchisor put together a successful franchising program.

In my last issue, I addressed in detail the importance of careful franchise planning, in particular determining each aspect of the relationship between the Franchisor and Franchisee, such as mutual responsibilities, communication, payments and support, among others.

In addition to proper franchise planning, at National Franchise Associates, as franchise consultants we believe it is also vital to document each detail in opening and operating the franchise.  These particulars are typically spelled out in the Franchisor’s Operations Manuals.

Well crafted Operations Manuals are vitally  important for a number of reasons:

  1. Operations Manuals provide a written guide for helping the Franchisee launch the business
  2. Operations Manuals are an invaluable tool for on-going operational excellence
  3. Operations Manuals ensure the Franchisee has been given all of the necessary information
  4. Operations Manuals act as enforcement documents for quality control and compliance with Franchisor standards and procedures
  5. Operations Manuals serve as a step-by-step training guide while the Franchisor is performing pre-opening training for  Franchisee personnel
  6. Operations Manuals are used by the Franchisee to train new hires after the business is up and running
  7. Operations Manuals are an excellent tool for updating information provided to Franchisees
  8. An unexpected benefit of Operations Manuals -- focusing on operations can help enhance procedures system-wide, improving the bottom line at company-owned locations

It is often advantageous to bring in an experienced technical writer to draft a franchise company’s Operations Manuals.  This professional can streamline the process and provide significant help in determining the proper structure, format and contents for the Operations Manuals.  Also, they can usually produce the Operations Manuals more quickly.

In addition to Operations Manuals, careful franchise planning must be put into sales and marketing programs for the new franchise company.  How are prospective Franchisees to be reached?  How will inquiries be handled?  What marketing materials are needed?  Who is responsible for each step in the franchise sales process?  When a new franchise is sold, what steps will be taken next to cement the relationship?

Taking the time to put together a well-structured franchise program leads to greater success, both over the short term and the long term.