It is difficult to require compliance to brand standards when they have not been effectively communicated to franchisees. ​It's essential to keep your franchise's manual library up to date and written in a way that speaks to its target audience.

Keeping your Franchise Manual Library up to Date

If you are an established franchisor and find that your system manuals are out of date, unfortunately you are in good company. ​Franchise system manuals easily become outdated as the system evolves, if there is not a dedicated person who owns the task of maintaining the manuals and regularly communicating updates to franchisees.

updating-franchise-manuals.jpgIn most franchise systems, even when manuals are updated, the content has been added by different writers. This results in a tool that is disjointed and does not express the requirements of your system in a consistent and easy-to-understand manner. The task of aligning the wording of your manuals into one voice can be daunting, and frequently franchisors push off the project for a later date. Delaying updating your manuals, however, can create serious business and legal problems.

It is difficult to require compliance to brand standards when they have not been effectively communicated to franchisees. If the revised standard does not find a home in a consistent reference book as generally required in your franchise agreement, brand consistency will suffer.

Equally important, with the currently charged environment related to joint-employment and the frequent claims of vicarious liability, what used to be safe to include in franchise system manuals may no longer be appropriate. It is important for you to have your manuals reviewed and, when necessary, revised ​with disclaimers and nuanced language, especially related to training and human resources content. It is essential to make certain that your franchisees have the ability to train, and equally essential that the training material they use does not create risk for you and the franchisee.  

We work with our clients in taking a disciplined approach to reviewing manuals and training programs, and updating them when necessary, to ensure they are not only compliant with best practices but also in alignment with disclosure documents, franchise agreements, and franchisee recruitment materials. 

MSA-Worldwide-GFA-Award-2023-2022-hz.pngAs businesses change and grow, so does the information you need to provide to a hopefully increasing audience in the United States and internationally. We build manual libraries piece by piece as our clients' ​franchise systems evolve. 

The presentations below provide a concise overview of the purpose of your operations manuals and how to approach them:

MSA Worldwide: Operations Manuals - "Their Purpose"

MSA Worldwide: Operations Manuals Library - "What to Include"

MSA Worldwide: Operations Manuals Library - "Ties to Legal Agreement"

MSA Worldwide: Franchise Operations Manuals - "Language & Format"

Document your franchise operations manuals with our help.

For additional information, contact Marla Rosner, Senior ​Learning & Development Consultant, at (​415) ​225-​8607 or

Do you have questions about franchise operations manuals and training?

MSA can provide guidance on ​ensuring franchisees stay updated on what they need to consistently deliver your brand promise to your customers. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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