Do I need premises to carry out these activities?
No need; most of our consultants are based at home.
The royalties seem high…
Yes, there is a cost, but it is reasonable, given the service provided. With Wikane the fee is not an unreasonable levy but fair payment for high quality services: professional support, communications, CPD or Continuous Professional Development (15 to 20 days), technical back-office skills, business support, etc.
Is it possible to make contact with franchisees?
Yes of course, once we are sure you really want to launch yourself into this line of work. We are very sought after so we need to filter out enquiries so as not to swamp our consultants.
I am not up on finance, is that a problem?
Mastery of financial concepts is very important with Wikane but we have a training programme which enables novices to learn very quickly, which is also true of the five Wikane expertises.
Does the network provide us with potential customers?
Decidedly not, it is assumed that the franchisee is an entrepreneur, but the fact remains that Wikane creates an environment very favourable to the business success of its franchisees. You are independent but never alone.
I am an expert in my field so what can you offer me?
It does not suffice to be an expert to succeed in consultancy. More precisely, we bring you everything that constitutes an environment favourable for you to succeed in your field and above all a proven concept based on 25 years of experience and modelling.
To what turnover can I lay claim?
That really varies but, after two to three years, a Wikane consultant who works hard and engages with the business sphere can expect £160,000 to £220,000 worth of fees and four to six clients.
What are the tools and models put at my disposal?
Wikane’s intranet is brimming with information, news and tools. Everything’s there, no need to invent anything, simply adapt it according to the particular needs of your clients.
What differentiates you from other networks?
The high level of responsiveness and the level of fees charged. We really stand out due to our unique take on the market. We have a high level of credibility among our targets and our partners, thanks to our experience, the success of our assignments and the glowing testimonies of our clients over 25 years. In short, a first-rate communication system involving recognised and celebrated economic players.
Where lies the originality of your concept?
Wikane journeys alongside SME owners/managers in their development. Our job is to unleash a process of success for our clients. Our franchised consultants are themselves entrepreneurs, all are experienced, all are animated by a passion for consultancy. They carry out a global diagnosis of each company along five axes: strategy, finance, marketing, sales and organisation, and each of these components is analysed in a systematic manner. We intervene at key periods in the life of a company: its creation, its growth, its expansion and its sale. Our objective is to embed each high-potential SME in a sustainable growth pattern – whether that be internal, external or international – or through an effective partnership. The Wikane model is unique, and allows our clients to achieve superior economic performances, relative to those in the same market.
What is the added-value of the concept for the franchisee?
Once incorporated into our brand, the franchisee benefits not only from 25 years’ experience in the space of two months’ immersion, but also from the strength of a network. Indeed, we encourage working together on the same brief, irrespective of the departure points of each franchisee. The return on investment, taking into account the entry fees and royalties, is usually acquired at the end of the second or third year of the franchise. To facilitate the customer-approach strategy, we set up numerous communications activities aimed at SME owners/managers, including about thirty meetings per annum and these facilitate their entrance into the game.
Furthermore, we are the only ones in our sector to make CPD or Continuous Professional Development an absolute priority, first and foremost, not only to improve the performance of our consultants, but also to reinforce group cohesiveness. At a rate of one session every month, it is clear that this training is immediately followed by the wrapping-up of business matters on the ground. Once a term, meetings are programmed with those consultants who wish , to take stock of their consultancy file.
What are the key aspects of your support in the start-up phase?
The process of integration is focussed, so as to evaluate the skills of the consultant, to test the level of expertise against each of our five specialisms. At the end of initial training, ongoing support is vital because, once alone, the franchisee must prove their worth. A focussed follow-up for four months is therefore set by senior ‘tutors’ of the network, so as to accelerate the signing-up process of the first commission. This constitutes the trigger to success.
Is the prominence of Wikane an issue for you?
The Wikane network has been in existence for 10 years and has actively communicated on the subject. What is important for us is to be known in the market on which we are focussed, i.e. 5-10% of V/SMEs, and recognised by major influencers. The communication plan of a franchisee just starting-up will take account of this factor. But, in truth, if Wikane’s prominence does not harm, it is of no matter in business to business (B to B) transactions. What counts above all is to survive the first information retrieval operation and on that score we are unbeatable. Our credibility and legitimacy are established and the information found on the Web is proof.
What profiling are you seeking?
We are careful to maintain a qualitative screening of our consultants. A very good basic training is indispensable. Preferably a candidate would be a Cambridge, Oxford, LSE (London School of Economics) or an MBA graduate. The ideal candidate is a former executive who has succeeded professionally. To get into the network, you must pay an upfront sum equivalent to the entry fees and one year’s working capital. To succeed in this field, consultants must possess a real capacity to sell themselves, a natural empathy, and to be able to put others before oneself.