On the journey to convert prospects into franchisees, the franchise disclosure document (FDD) sign-off process is a critical milestone. A candidate must see and sign off on your FDD before moving forward in the process — so the easier you make that FDD process, the quicker you can move prospective franchisees forward and get them started on a path toward success.
However, many franchisors run into challenges during that sign-off process that slow down not only the deal, but also the overall growth of the brand.
This week, FranConnect began rolling out a long-awaited update to the FDD delivery process for FranConnect customers, designed to improve the process for both franchisors and prospective franchisees.
Below, we’ll explore the common challenges of the FDD sign-off process and how the new FranConnect enhancements can solve those issues — and help franchisors close more deals.
How the Franchise Disclosure Document Sign-Off Process Works
The FDD is a key component of the franchising sales process. The FDD is a required gate that a candidate must pass through in order to move forward with the sales process. The candidate must sign the FDD before signing any agreements with the franchisor or before giving the franchisor any money. For the franchisors, this means if there is no FDD, there is no growth.
Challenges of the FDD Process
Getting the FDD sign-off may sound simple enough, but for most franchisors, there are several obstacles that often delay or disrupt the process.
First, the element of time: Not only do franchisors want prospects to sign; they want them to sign in a timely manner. The date of the signature represents the start of the mandatory 14-day waiting period. In other words, a hot candidate who is ready to sign a franchise agreement and put down a payment can quickly come to a halt if they have not yet signed an FDD. Research shows that the faster the sales process, the more likely it is to result in a sale. Timing is key.
With today’s technology advances, shortening that timeframe seems like it should be easy. However, take electronic signatures for example. While e-signature capabilities have been around for several years, not all platforms — or franchisors — have accepted them. Instead, many opt to rely on email or even snail mail to send and receive the FDDs. This creates extra steps for both franchisors and potential franchisees, and it can cause substantial delays.
3 Enhancements to Streamline the FDD Process
To better serve franchisors and prospective franchisees, the FDD process needs to be more efficient and streamlined. FranConnect’s improved FDD delivery process addresses these challenges in several key ways:
- Enhanced electronic signatures: Our sales platform has helped customers manage their FDD delivery process for almost a decade, and during that time, it has evolved from a manual process to a much simpler electronic process. Now with enhanced electronic signature capabilities, FranConnect enables franchisors to quickly and efficiently collect signatures from potential franchisees.
- Improved information syncing: While there are platforms that specifically (or solely) offer e-signature capabilities, FranConnect accounts for the nuances of franchising and the FDD. FranConnect syncs all the information franchisors need during the sales and FDD delivery process, such as timestamps and copies of documents, within the system.
- Tracking dashboard: The FDD is a required piece of a franchise prospect’s journey. Tracking this information is key for all franchisors. The FDD tracking feature within FranConnect provides a dashboard that informs the franchisor of the FDD status, including if and when they have the green light to move forward with the sales process. With FranConnect, a franchisor can be sure they have all the required data throughout the FDD delivery process.
At its core, FranConnect’s mission is to help franchises grow successfully, from the sales process through unit opening and beyond. By streamlining the FDD delivery and sign-off process, FranConnect can be the key to shortening time to open and driving franchise growth. To learn more about FranConnect, including recent enhancements to the FDD delivery process, request a demo.