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How Brands Benefit from Franchise Consulting and Development Firms

2022 Franchise Supplier Rankings: Top Consulting/Development Groups

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Franchising is a competitive business, and today's brands need every edge they can get to attract top-quality candidates and expand their systems. While many franchisors depend on in-house teams to handle the structure of their networks, systems and corporate culture, an increasing amount of brands are partnering with consulting and development groups to enhance their operational prowess. There are between 3,000-4,000 concepts on the market today, as well as an estimated 300 new or emerging brands that enter the franchising industry each year. Yet, of this total, less than 20% of franchisors make it to 100 awarded units.

It's incumbent on franchisors to position themselves for growth, maturity and resilience. Not only are they competing for a finite amount of investor demand, but also the unpredictability of outside market forces. Partnerships with consulting and development groups assist franchisors in multiple ways, from marketing and lead-generation to operational support and market capitalization. The ultimate goal is to develop and foster healthy and sustainable franchise systems that align with the brand's growth strategies.

Related: 5 Things to Look for When Hiring a Consulting Firm

Entrepreneur has announced its annual Top Franchise Supplier rankings, a multi-faceted directory which includes the best of the best service providers in the industry. If you're a franchisor in need of a top-down assessment of your systems and programs, below are the Top-10 franchise consulting and development firms who earned a well-deserved spot on our 2022 list:

1. iFranchise Group

The iFranchise Group is the world's premier franchise consulting firm and provider of substantial depth in all of the key areas of franchising, including franchise strategy development, quality control, documentation and training, franchise marketing assistance, and franchise implementation services. Founded on the principle that great people make great companies, the iFranchise Group brings franchise consultants with decades of franchise experience to every engagement. Our services are primarily geared toward three markets: first-time franchisors, existing franchisors, and manufacturers-dealers/distributors. Our recommendations aren't based on what we've learned from textbooks, but from our decades of experience building some of the world's most successful franchise companies. While most of our clients are emerging franchisors, our consultants have worked with over 30 Fortune 2000 companies and with dozens of the world's top-rated franchisors. Our team has around 800 combined years of experience in franchising and those consultants have held senior positions at more than 60 different franchise companies. The iFranchise Group can provide the guidance and assistance needed to help companies reach their full growth potential. CEO Mark Siebert shares his opinion of what makes iFranchise Group special. "In a word, experience," Siebert says. "The team at the iFranchise Group has over 800 years of combined franchise industry experience and our senior consultants average over 25 years of experience, with expertise in almost every industry. We have now been named the best in the Entrepreneur survey four years in a row, so obviously the franchise community seems to agree with our assessment."

2. SMB Franchise Advisors

SMB Franchise Advisors was created with a mission to provide best-in-class franchise consulting services for startups, emerging brands, and established franchises. SMB specializes in helping concepts become a franchise brand, with a full-service approach. Our process starts with an exploration of the brand's potential, then journeys through preparation of documents, and continued support, as clients grow from their first units all the way up to hundreds of franchise-owned operating locations. Our team of experienced franchise professionals participate on executive boards and provide advice for legacy brands looking for a fresh perspective before investing in new initiatives. When asked what makes SMB Franchise Advisors a top supplier in the eyes of their peers, VP of Marketing and Brand Development Dawn Abbamondi replied, "First, when our clients share their vote of confidence, that speaks volumes, and we are grateful for their continued trust. Second, the entire team at SMB Franchise Advisors works collaboratively with our clients to lend them our expertise in financing, training, operations, marketing and development as they learn franchising — literally sharing our own personal and professional insights on how to be a great franchisor. Finally, our clients become part of the SMB Franchise family — we bring them together long after the initial term is done — whether at industry conferences, networking events or webinars and educational summits — we invite them all to share and learn from each other."

3. Big Sky Franchise Team

The Big Sky Franchise Team understands that you have a dream to build something great, but it's hard to operate a business and grow it at the same time. That's why franchising just makes sense. Our experienced franchise consultants use proven systems to provide franchise consulting, development, and marketing solutions for businesses of every growth stage, from emerging brands to established franchisors. Grow your business and share your success with others at the same time. Multiply your success, franchise your business.

Related: 4 Changes an Elite Management Consultant Would Tell You to Make to Maximize Your Productivity

4. Franchise FastLane

Franchise FastLane is an accelerated turnkey franchise sales organization (FSO). We work with a limited number of franchisors to perfect their discovery process, bring them qualified franchisee leads, and drive explosive growth.

5. Raintree

Selling franchises can be hard, but Raintree makes franchise growth much easier. Raintree partners with emerging franchise brands to help grow them into national successes. Raintree takes on all facets of the franchise development program, from design to digital lead generation, consultant network management, and of course, franchise sales. This allows the founders and executives of the brands we partner with much more time to focus on improving their business model and franchise support program. In our short history we have awarded over 2,500 franchises and have taken 12 franchise brands across the 100-unit mark.

6. Global Talent Solutions

Global Talent Solutions (GTS) is the premier executive search, recruiting, and talent acquisition partner to the franchise industry, empowering franchisors to rapidly accelerate growth and bottom-line profitability by quickly assembling corporate teams and recruiting "right-fit" industry professionals through systematic franchise executive search.

Related: How to Use the Power of Purpose to Market Your Franchise

7. Franchise Creator

Franchise Creator is a leading franchise consulting firm providing a one-stop approach to converting businesses into successful franchises. We have turned many small businesses into successful franchise operations and have helped them grow both nationally and internationally through franchising. Aside from converting businesses into franchise systems, Franchise Creator also provides franchise marketing, advertising, franchise consulting, and franchise sales services.

8. Pinnacle Franchise Development

Pinnacle Franchise Development is a full-service franchise development team with over 40 years of combined experience. Our team is equipped and ready to assist franchise brands with their development needs in an effort to reach the next level of success. Our clients range from emerging brands just starting out in franchising, to young franchise brands, and larger more established franchise brands that are looking for a fresh approach to add to their development efforts and process.

9. Franchise Performance Group

Franchise Performance Group help brands achieve rapid, sustainable franchise growth. Our consulting and development firm provides a full platform that brings together digital marketing best practices, proven franchise sales practices, and outsourced executive solutions.

10. Angela Coté Inc.

Angela Coté (AC) Inc. helps both established and emerging franchises identify, analyze, and implement effective solutions for improving franchise system performance. Our key services include franchise business coach training programs that help franchisors create the coaching structure to support their franchisees for success. Join our community by trying one of the free AC Roundtables for franchisors. Belle White, Angela Cote's director of marketing, explains why the company is a top industry supplier. "As a team of former top-performing franchisees, franchisors and field coaches, we genuinely understand every challenge our clients go through and have a solution: our signature growth strategy, the AC Method. We build long-term partnerships, so our clients are supported at every stage of growth. And we focus on untraditional, effective strategies that work for all kinds of franchise concepts."

Related: Why Every Franchise Should Pivot Right Now

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