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Creating Your Franchise Operations Manual

When it comes time to branch out into the world of franchising, as the founder, owner, or operator of your own successful business, you’ll need to prepare an effective operations manual to pass on to your franchisees. This manual essentially works as a “how to” guide for your franchisees to follow. However, creating a franchise operation manual is not quite as simple as it sounds.

For example, in order to make your business the success it is today, it’s consumed your life since day one. You’ve poured your time and energy, heart and soul into making everything run smoothly. How do you translate the day-to-day operations, the best practices, and the overall business management system that took you years of trial and error to figure out into an easy to read guide? How can you expect someone else to sum up the business model you worked so hard to perfect?

While many new franchisors turn to a third party to tackle this challenge, it’s truly not in your best interest to pass off the creation of such a powerful tool to someone else.

First, it’s important to understand that the process of creating a great franchise operation manual does not happen overnight, in fact, an effective manual will continuously change and grow with your franchise over the years. So, to help you get started, we will discuss the most important elements to include in your operations manual in a blog series, starting with:

Your Story and Your Mission

If you want someone to replicate your business model, you’ll want to share your story and your goals. It’s not enough to simply lay out the daily tasks that need to be completed; you need to show your franchisees why they should care about following your lead. Some points you may want to include are:

  • Why you began your company
  • Major achievements your company has made
  • Inspirational anecdotes
  • A sense of the company culture and traditions you have created
  • How you see your company growing and your long-term goals.

Other topics that should be included

  • What exactly are we selling? Goods? Services? How much and how little?
  • How are we selling it?
  • How do we develop and prepare said goods or services?
  • What are the exact steps involved with providing said goods or services?
  • Pricing – how much does our goods or services cost to provide?
  • Who are the exclusive suppliers of our goods or services?
  • How do we handle customer service?
  • How is employee management handled?
  • How and when do you report revenues and performance data?

Keep in mind that, while we have boiled down these key steps into manageable sections here, each one must be thoroughly explained within your manual. Remember that whoever is entering into a franchise with you must be armed with as much knowledge as you are able to provide, in order to be successful. The more detail the better. Whether you are in the franchise development process or have been a franchisor for years, please feel free to contact the Internicola Law Firm, P.C. for further insight and guidance into what makes a standout franchise operations manual. We are more than happy to lend a helping hand during this process to make sure all your bases are covered.

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