By Taking a Step-by-Step Approach to Discovery Day, Potential Franchise Owners Will Be Prepared to Make an Informed Decision
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential franchises and are getting closer to your decision, you’ll likely get invitations to franchise discovery days. These are typically held at a franchise’s corporate headquarters. During this time, the franchise’s team meets with you to answer your questions, and you’ll meet with other franchisees, as well. But how do you make the most of a franchise discovery day?
STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL DISCOVERY DAY
Dress Your Best
While the franchise is selling itself to you, you are selling yourself, as well. Presenting yourself in a professional way shows that you’re serious about the opportunity, so dress to impress!
Demonstrate That You Can Follow a System
A major benefit of owning a franchise is that it provides you with a working system. While success isn’t guaranteed in franchising, the best way to ensure success is to not reinvent the business and follow the system provided to you. It is important to follow the franchisor's directions through the discovery process. This includes reading the materials provided and being on time, which can show that you are serious about the franchise business opportunity.
Stay Calm and Don’t Get Overwhelmed
You will be given a lot of information at a franchisor’s discovery day, so it is important to not be stressed. It is impossible to remember everything that is said to you. Come prepared with a notebook and read through all of the literature that is provided to you throughout the event. There will be a lot of people in attendance, so you’ll have names and other information to remember. Take a break when there is an intermission during the day in order to remain calm and digest all of the information. It is impossible to digest everything that happens so take note of the important things about the franchise business that you couldn’t find online or didn’t know before. Being overly emotional can negatively impact your decision making and can cause you to make a bad decision to own a franchise that isn’t ideal for you. It would also benefit you to tell the franchisor that the successful system attracted you to the franchise business and you will follow what has been provided to you to the letter.
To make the most of a franchise discovery day, asking good questions is important. The franchise’s team is there to answer questions that you have about the franchise. But you have to narrow the questions to a few specific ones. Check the franchisor’s website before making your list so you’re not asking questions you could have found out on your own.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Franchises are like families, so it’s important that everyone has the same mission and goals. Put your best foot forward, but also make sure that you like the franchise team, as well. Are they inclusive and friendly? This is an important factor.
Do Your Due Diligence and Show Your Industry Knowledge
Even though you’ve done a lot in order to get the invitation to discovery day, you can still learn what your knowledge gaps are and do your best to fill in those gaps. Doing your due diligence on the franchise and the industry, in general, can help you make a good impression as well as help you make an informed decision.
Study the Corporate Culture
All franchises have a corporate culture. They all stand for something and have their own beliefs and culture. If you don’t fit in with the corporate culture, then the franchise may not be for you. Look for a franchise that has similar values to your own.
Determine if You are Capable of Running the Business
While not all franchises require previous business experience, it is essential to have the skills to run the business. If you do have prior experience, find out what skills you need to be successful. This can include managing staff, as well as sales, marketing, and customer service experience. While having these skills off the bat is beneficial, being a franchise business owner can help you learn these skills over time
Show Your Financial Qualifications
The franchisor wants you to be successful and won't award a territory to someone who isn't financially prepared. Thus, you should make sure that your finances are in order prior to discovery day so you can run the business successfully.
If there’s one thing you can take away from a discovery day, it’s that you will be overwhelmed. There will be a lot of people in attendance, so you’ll have names and other information to remember. Keep in mind that discovery day is basically just a big sales pitch. The leadership of the franchise business will try to sweep you off of your feet with their demonstrations and talks. If you are new to franchising and have never been a franchise owner before, be aware that you don’t usually invest in the first business that invites you to discovery, so don’t get too wrapped up in the dog and pony show and invest too quickly in a franchise business.
Try to Fit In
Franchisors are looking for a prospective business owner who fits in with the rest of the franchisees in the system. What differentiates a business owner from a homeowner is that the person selling you the house only cares if you can pay for it. While being financially stable is important to owning a franchise, the franchisor also considers your personality, background, business savvy, and more. Being a team player is essential to franchise ownership, so do your best to fit in with the other franchisees in the system.
Reflect on the Experience
After the franchise discovery day is over, take the time to reflect on the experience that you just had. You’re tired and just got bombarded with a wealth of information. To make the most of franchise discovery day, don’t look at your notes and reflect until the next day. After getting some rest, ask yourself some important questions. Do you like the corporate culture? Do you have the financial resources to run the franchise successfully? Do you believe in the product or service and like the system? All of these can help you decide if the franchise is for you.