Questions to Ask at a Franchisor’s Discovery Day

With the Right List of Questions, You Can Find Out What You Want to Know About a Prospective Franchise

Even if you haven’t quite narrowed down the list of franchises that you want to invest in yet, it is worth being prepared for when you get invited to franchisor's discovery days. This event allows you to go to the franchisor's corporate headquarters and meet with them to learn more about the franchise. After meeting with them and speaking with other franchisees, you should have all the information that you need to decide if the franchise is right for you

To make the most of your discovery day experience, it is important that you come prepared with specific questions. Instead, these questions should get you the remaining information you need to know before making your investment.

Here are some questions to ask at a franchise discovery day:

How is the Franchise Going to Support Me?

A major benefit of owning a franchise is that the franchisor will provide you with all the support and training you need to run the business successfully. Franchisors typically help franchise owners with site selection, site construction, providing them with an operations manual, and more. It is also good to know how the franchise will help you after your location opens. This includes ongoing training for managers and staff.

How Long Will it Take to Become Profitable?

Since owning a franchise may be the biggest investment you will make, it is crucial to know how much you will earn. This information will likely be shown in item 19 of the franchise’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Including an item 19 is a way that the franchisor can be transparent with you and allow you to understand the earning potential. Ask the franchisor about their item 19 if they have one, how long it will take to make a return on your investment (ROI) and any associated costs.

What is Your Relationship Like with Your Franchise Owners?

It is important that you work with a franchise that has an easy and personable franchise team. Part of the due diligence process is to speak with other franchise owners to see how they feel about working with the franchise’s team. By asking this question at the franchise discovery day, you can figure out if this franchise is ideal for you.

How Does This Franchise Compare to the Competition?

All franchises have competition that have to be considered. Use this discovery day experience to ask the franchisor how they plan to stay ahead of the competition and where they position themselves within the industry. You want to work with a franchise that is ahead of the curve!

Are You Looking to Improve the Business?

It is important to know where the franchisor is looking to take their business long-term. Is the franchisor planning to bring the business across the country and internationally? Do franchise owners in the system have opportunities at multi-unit ownership? The franchise should always be improving.

Have You Ever Terminated Franchisees?

Does the franchisor have contentious relationships with other franchise owners? If so, why? Why were they terminated?

Do You Get a lot of Complaints from Franchise Owners or Customers?

It is important to know how the franchise handles complaints from franchisees and customers alike and what they are doing to address them. It is good to know if the franchise will take your complaints seriously and work to fix them

What Happens if I Sell the Business and Leave the System?

When evaluating a franchise opportunity, having an exit strategy is essential. Some franchises help you with a franchise resale, which will save you time and money from having to hire a third party. Ask the franchisor if they will help you with the resale so you know if you have to look elsewhere for help when the time comes to sell it.

Do You Offer Financing Options?

Purchasing a franchise can be a costly investment. To make this investment easier, the franchise may offer financing options that will allow you to take out loans to buy the franchise. These financing options typically cover construction costs and more. If the franchise doesn’t offer their own in-house financing options, look to the Small Business Association to find out your funding options.

Will My Territory Be Protected?

Most franchises offer protected territories, meaning that you are the only one who can own a franchise location in that area. This will decrease your competition and increase the likelihood of the business succeeding. Ask the franchisor how the territory will be defined if you are offered a protected territory.

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