What Goes Into Building a Franchising Manual?

the franchising manual

(Courtesy of Window Genie®)

You’re going to get one if you end up buying a franchise.

It’s a big part of what you’re paying for.

It’s an incredibly important document. So important, it’s been referred to as The Bible in my industry.

So, merely calling it a “franchising manual” seriously diminishes its importance. But, don’t worry; I’m not going to go all religious on you and refer to it as The Bible of franchising. That’s because I’m not a big believer in mixing business and religion.

Just know that this document isn’t really a manual. It’s your business.

Building A Franchising Manual

A franchising manual typically contains 250-300 pages of standards and procedures you’ll need to learn before you can open for business. It’s also something that you’ll refer to often, especially during the first few months of your franchise business being open.

Here’s what you’ll usually find in the manual:

  • Company history, plus its short, and long-term goals
  • Information on franchisee support
  • Step-by-step operating procedures
  • Employee hiring and termination policies and procedures
  • Employee training information, plus job descriptions and pay scale recommendations
  • Payroll processes and implementation
  • Accounting and banking procedures
  • Customer service policies-complaint-handling procedures

There you have it. The franchising manual is the “how-to” part of the business you’ve purchased.

Keep reading.

The Prototype

When people call me to ask me if I think they have a business that’s easily replicable… an independent business that can be converted into a franchise business, one of the things I ask them is if they have a prototype up and running.

The prototype is what the entire franchise business system will be modeled after. It’s also where most of the information contained in the franchising manual will be derived from. It’s all part of building the franchising manual.

Let’s pretend that you own a full-service restaurant, and you’re thinking of turning into a franchise.

Your location has been open for three years, and it’s doing really, really well. You’ve always been an aggressive Owner, and you’re never satisfied… you always want more. So, you start doing research on franchising a business, and everything you read suggests that you start documenting everything that goes on in your day-to-day operations.

What you’re doing —and you may not even realize it— is you’re building your franchising manual. You’re documenting all the different things that have to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to keep your restaurant running as smoothly as a greased wheel. You’re writing down everything that a franchisee would have to know about, in very specific terms. But you’re also putting something else into your potential franchising manual.

And There’s This

Some of things that go into a franchising manual can’t be seen.

The person who came up with the franchise concept in the first place has put his (or her) heart and soul into their franchising manual. Their business is their “baby.” They’re putting their ideas, their processes, and their entire proprietary business system into a document that will hopefully set the stage for their franchisees’ success.

If the franchisees are successful, the franchisor is successful, too.

A great franchising manual can go a long way in making that mutual success happen.

Maybe you should think about developing a franchising manual for your company, even if you aren’t going to convert it into a franchise someday.

It couldn’t hurt.

What do you think? Would it be worth it for you to document all the things that need to be done to keep your business up and running?

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  • http://jacksonandwilson.com/ Mitch Jackson

    Joel- I like the idea about putting a manual together even if you’re not thinking about franchising. Are you aware of any sites where sample manuals for different businesses and industries can be downloaded and reviewed? Thanks!

  • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

    Hi Mitch…I actually don’t know where to find any sample manuals. Sorry!

    JL

    • RMRStyle

      Sounds like a business opportunity! :)