You'll have many chances to ask a Canadian franchisor...
A business model is an important part of any company's success. This model is usually written down in the form of an operation manual. Everything of importance about a franchise is listed in these documents and works as a guideline to ensure consistency and communication from one franchisee to another.
Some companies have one operation manual that will work for everyone in the business. Others will have several manuals that are more specific and have an emphasis on certain parts of the company. For example, the employees may have a manual to use as a reference while another set of documents will be more beneficial for management. One manual may focus on getting things started and set up while another will focus on the day-to-day operations of the company.
If every branch of a franchise has the same set of operating manuals, it means that each one should involve the same start up steps and each one should treat customers the same way at each and every visit. Consistency tends to be the key to success and the way to establish a solid brand and a solid reputation.
There are a variety of different topics covered in an operations manual. An outline is often available that goes over the big picture including things like the values and mission statement that set it apart from others in the industry. From there, things get more specific and may include everything from a company's secret recipe to the detailed job of every employee. Procedures for hiring, firing, ordering supplies and local and national marketing are often included. When a franchisee isn't sure about the best way to proceed with any aspect of the business, the operations manual becomes a source of reference material.
In business, it is often said that no one wants to reinvent the wheel. The manual is the culmination of experiences, both successes and failures. When a franchisee follows the operation manual, they can avoid some of the mistakes that were made by others in a similar position. It is a positive source of information that many see as a key to success.
The operations manual can change from time to time as things update. When new technology is introduced or a policy or procedure changes, there are portions of the manual that will need to be updated.
With the help of an operation manual, you can gain everything you need to be successful. If you are interested in a franchise, now is the time to take the next step.