5 Amazing Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Your Franchise Investigation Procedures
OK. Some people get annoyed with process, some get annoyed with systems. Guess what? If that’s you – don’t read on. Franchising is most likely not in your future.
But if you can work within a system, follow a process, and let your ever brilliant penchant for meeting people, making decisions, and enjoying the freedom to determine outcomes these 5 amazing franchise investigation procedure tricks might be just for you.
1. Review Franchise Disclosure Information Thoroughly
The FDD (a US term, in other countries it will have a different name) is one of the most important documents you get to read – so make sure you go through it thoroughly. Yep, it’s going to be long, it’s going to have a ton of detail (and paying attention to detail may not be your greatest natural talent), but it tells you a bundle of great information about the franchise you are investigating.
Reviewing the details of the FDD can be a post by itself. Suffice it to say – take all the time necessary to read and understand the FDD. Oh, one last suggestion – read it as if you already are a franchise owner and are reviewing two years after you purchased the franchise.
2. Interview Franchise Owners
One of the most important considerations you have is finding out from current (and past) franchise owners their take on the franchise you are investigating. In franchise terminology this step is termed validation. Validation calls help you identify several things about the franchise.
Speaking with current franchise owners will be the absolute best source of information you will have in this process, as these owners are “in the trenches” every day. Keep in mind that when you call owners and ask questions, you will get a range of responses – some good, some not so good.
When you have conversations, view your assignment as “fact finding” and listen to their issues carefully. Try to determine why they are experiencing these issues (i.e., did they follow the franchise company’s directions, or did they “do their own thing?”). Is their site location less than optimal? If you are not comfortable with what you are learning, or if negative feedback outnumbers positive feedback have several long conversations with the franchise development representative about the conflicting information.
3. Ask The Same Questions Of The Franchisor And The Franchise Owners
That’s right, and there are a number of areas you need to cover, including training programs, opening support, marketing programs, buying power, franchisor/franchisee relations, investment required, and earnings. You’ll get a variety of different answers. Look for patterns, consistency, and reliability in the responses. That will help you identify the strength of the systems and processes the franchisor has developed and how well they work with franchise owners to be successful.
4. Go To A Discovery Day
If you’re serious about the franchise and the franchise representative thinks you are a good match, chances are good that you’ll be invited to meet the franchisor at their home office (often called a Discovery Day). These are great opportunities to meet the key people with whom you will be working. It’s also a great opportunity to ask and review all the documentation to their different systems and how they work. Most importantly – you’ll be meeting your future business partners – they’re people just like you, and you need to see if the chemistry is there to make the relationship work.
5. Make A Decision
Since franchise investigation procedures are one of mutual due diligence it is up to the franchisor to offer you the opportunity to purchase a franchise. As you consider your answer, here are three more questions for you to ask – and answer for yourself:
- Have you received the answers to all your questions?
- Have you completed your due diligence, and have realistic expectations regarding potential earnings and a return on your investment?
- Does this franchise meet your self-awareness sniff test?
If you’re satisfied with all your answers – go for it. You’re ready for the world of franchise business ownership – enjoy.