What is a franchise operations manual?

A franchise operations manual is a guide on everything that is needed to carry out the daily operations of your business, if you like a “painting by numbers” guide of exactly what a franchisee ( investor in your franchise ) need to do to set-up and then operate your business.

Most people think this is quite straight forward but how much of all those years of successfully running your business is in your head? It’s a lot isn’t it? When you write a franchise operations manual you need to take it to the lowest of understanding, remember you know your business, they don’t!

Areas covered by a franchise operations manual will include

Company formation – VAT registration and any additional licencing requirements that are required which could be food preparation licences, consumer credit licences, professional accreditations anything that is needed for the new franchisee to be in a position to start trading.

Premises – Does the franchisee need premises? If so what are the processes, suppliers and requirements? These need to be clearly documentated in the franchise operations manual.

Franchise induction training – You will need to train franchisees on every aspect of company formation and setting up then business. Seperate franchise training manuals are usually created to deliver this but you will need to refer to these and specify induction and all ongoing training for both the franchisee and their staff in the franchise operations manual.

Business plans & forecasts/targets – You business strategy including assumptions of the franchisees trading profit & loss, cash flow forecasts, marketing strategy all need to be thoroughly detailed in your business plan.

Daily operations – Everything you use in your business, emails, spreadsheet templates, suppliers, paperwork, contracts needs to be replicated for the franchisees. That’s all documentation, software, systems all need to be clearly documented so that the franchisee can use the same systems and processes that you use and carry out the daily operation of their businesses as effectively as you use in your business, this is a huge task for some businesses.

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