Questions to Ask During the Franchisee Validation Process

Potential Franchise Owners Can Gain Valuable Insights From the Franchise Validation Process

The franchise investigation process allows prospective franchise owners to vet a franchise to determine if it is a good investment. This investigative process usually has three steps: foundational calls, franchisee validation, and discovery day. During the franchisee validation portion, the prospective franchise owner can speak with franchisees in the franchise system, giving the candidate a greater understanding of what a franchise is like.

These business owners have already made the leap into franchising, so their experience and knowledge are invaluable. While there are many questions that you may want to ask, it would be wise to ask a few specific questions that will allow you to get the most out of your time with these franchisees

Here are some questions to ask during the franchisee validation process:

What was Your Experience with Site Development?

In business, it’s all about: location, location, location. This is especially important for franchises that have retail brick-and-mortar locations. Use your time to ask a franchisee about the franchise’s site development assistance. The location can be a make-or-break decision.

What is the Average Time to Open a Location?

After signing a franchise agreement, an agreed-upon amount of time is required to open your location. Ask follow-up questions to the franchisee to see if this process was completed in the agreed amount of time.

Has Staffing Been Difficult for You?

In business, staffing is one of the most critical factors in success. But finding great employees and managers isn’t always easy. It is good to know if other franchisees had difficulty finding talent.

Are You Looking to Expand?

A good business owner is goal-orientated and already has an idea if they want to expand or not. While it is a positive development if the franchisee is looking to expand their business, ask follow-up questions if they’re not.

What was the Biggest Challenge You Experienced in Your First Year?

In the first year of a business, the possibility of failure is highest. It is critical to ask franchisees about their difficulties as it can help you avoid unforeseeable circumstances if you decide to go with the brand.

Did the Franchisor's Training Set You Up for Success?

The major advantage of investing in a franchise is that the franchisor provides you with support and training, which isn’t the case when you start a business from scratch. While there is no guarantee of success in franchising, the best way to ensure success is to follow the working system and training that is provided. If the training is helpful and leads to success, that franchise could be for you.

Were There Pleasant Surprises in Opening This Business?

The opening of a business can be nerve-racking, but it’s not all bad. It is important to get the full story from franchisees about their experience with business ownership, good or bad. This will allow you to appreciate the successes and failures when they come.

Is the Corporate Team Responsive and Supportive?

In a franchise system, the franchisees can expect a corporate team to be there to respond to questions and concerns that they may have. Franchisees in the system will let you know what to expect when you need support from the franchisor, which usually includes site selection, site construction, and providing marketing materials and ongoing support as time goes on.

How is the Corporate Culture?

In addition to providing the public with a product or service, a franchise also has a corporate culture that comes with it. The founders of a franchise have certain values and beliefs that can make a franchise enjoyable or unenjoyable. By asking another franchisee what the culture is like, you can determine if the franchise aligns with your personal values and beliefs. If the brand goes against what you stand for, you may have to look elsewhere.

Do You Have Any Regrets?

As a franchise owner, you will make mistakes. Whether the mistakes are big or small, you have to deal with them and try to fix them while not obsessing over them. When you ask a franchisee about their regrets, you can use it as a way to not make the same mistakes and find out how happy they really are with the business.

When narrowing down questions to ask during the franchisee validation process, make them specific in order to get the most out of your time with the franchise owner.

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