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Intellectual Property

South Africa

Franchise Operations Manual

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What Is a Franchise operations manual?

A franchise operations manual is the primary document that governs the day to day franchise procedures and operational requirements. The manual should be specify in detail the procedures with which franchisees should comply in order to operate their franchise business. The most obvious benefit of the operations manual is that it allows franchisors to teach and implement the business system consistently for all franchisees.

Franchise operations manuals are essential to a franchisor because they act as a training tool for new franchisees. But most importantly, should the franchisor face a claim for franchisees’ errors, the document can serve as demonstrable evidence that the franchisee has received guidance on how to operate and use the business system.

Franchise operations manuals vary in length and content. Some franchisors may be able to prepare their own manuals, but due to the great importance of the manual, franchise consultants are often engaged for this purpose.

Franchise operations manual will address for example, the following categories:

  • Training of new franchisees.
  • Support and references for established franchisees.
  • Quality control documentation to enforce standards.
  • Suggested retail prices.
  • Marketing.
  • Approved Suppliers.
  • Overview of responsibilities – descriptions and specific details of the franchisor’s standards of operations.

There are two prominent areas which may be included in an operations manual, namely:

  1. Operations and procedures
    (which product or service and manner on how it is sold or presented)
  2. Administrative Controls
    (marketing plans, management costs, business planning and equity goals).

Writing a manual isn’t just a matter of writing down what is seen. To document an operating system, there should be adequate time, resources and materials. It is strongly recommended that the franchisor update the operations manuals frequently to ensure effective development and improvement of the franchise system.

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