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Breaking Down the Five Sections of Your Franchise Operations Manual

EDITOR NOTE: This is a post from The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. Joel will be writing a blog post monthly for Franchise Direct.


Part of the reason to buy a franchise has to do with what you're going to be getting.


Now, the things you're getting aren't free; you're paying for things like marketing assistance, site location help, software programs and the like. 


But, there's one more thing you're paying for...and it's crucial to have in your hot little hands.


It's your franchise operations manual. It’s an important part of the partnership you’re creating when you sign the franchise agreement. 


The franchisor is entrusting you with it. That’s because in it you’ll have access to their special sauce... their trade secrets. All of their proprietary information. And, you’re trusting that all that information is there and that’s it’s great stuff.

 Your Franchise Operations Manual

Your operations manual will be divided into sections. Check out what some of the sections are.

5 Sections That Are Included In Your Franchise Manual 

From, these are 5 sections you should expect to see included in your franchise operations manual:

  • The Introduction: Included in this section will be a bit of company history and a company's short and long-term goals, along with some information on how the franchisor plans to support its franchisees.
  • Operations: This is the step-by-step procedure area. If it's a food franchise, portion sizes, food preparation processes, and order times may be included. If it's a business-to-business type of franchise, specific lead-acquisition methodology and sales procedures will be included in this portion of the operations manual. A section on marketing will usually be found in this section too.
  • Payroll and Accounting: This section will explain specific accounting procedures that you'll have to follow to run a profitable business. There will also be an explanation of hiring and firing procedures, along with suggested employee pay scales, and possibly some information concerning labor laws.
  • Customer Service: This portion of the franchise operations manual lays out specific customer service policies and procedures. Everything from how to greet your customers to specific ways to handle customer complaints will be included here.
  • Personnel: This section will provide all the information you'll need to train your employees. Job descriptions and even sections on employee motivation will be found in this section.


Whose Operations Manual Is It?

So, is this 250-300 page document yours? Are you the owner of this fine piece of operations magic? Yes and no.

Your Franchise Operations Manual

Yes, it's yours; it's used to run your franchise business.


No, it's not really yours. It's the franchisors. It's theirs. They wrote it. They designed it. They've tested everything in there. It's their baby. Just like the franchise concept they came up with is. But, it's yours to use as long as you're a franchisee.


And, it's really a magical document. Especially if you follow it. And, speaking of franchise concepts, we feature new franchise concepts all the time. Here are several new franchises to learn more about


The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is a franchise ownership advisor and the author of several books on franchising including these eBooks.

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