Taking on a franchise requires you to weigh up all the possibilities. Asking the right questions when choosing a particular company to work with is vital. Not everyone goes for the big names that have a proven track record and a sound system in place for helping franchisees. There are plenty of medium size companies that are starting to offer franchise opportunities and working through the pros and cons can be challenging to the say the very least.
Our advice is to make sure you have a list of pertinent questions for each opportunity and ensure you get full and honest answers from those prospective franchise companies.
The History of the Franchise
How long has the franchise been operating? How many outlets are there? Where are they situated? Finding out about how the franchise has operated to date is the bare minimum you should be finding out about. You wouldn’t start a business relationship without knowing how your partner is able to perform. You shouldn’t rule out contacting existing franchisees to find out how they are getting along – in fact it should be top of your list of things to do. Good franchises will be open about their history, the good as well as the bad.
Talking to Franchisees
You’ll get some great background to what it’s like to work with a particular franchise by talking to those already doing it. What’s a typical day like? Do they like working with the franchisor and what support do they get? How much profit are they making? What hurdles do they have to overcome? Ask them also, if given their chance over again, would they choose this particular franchise. Look at the big as well as the small issues when asking your questions.
Costs and Revenue
Of course, you’re going into a franchise to make money and earn a living. What are you expected to put into the franchise? What are the running costs? What are realistic earnings for the franchise? Don’t take the franchise’s word for this – facts and figures produced in house can look attractive until you start to drill down a little deeper. That’s why you need to check the potential against the reality on the ground by talking to existing franchisees.
Support from the Franchisor
Key to the success of any business opportunity is the amount of support that you get. For many franchise companies, potential is a lot more important than qualifications. Do you have the drive to succeed? Are you the kind of person they are looking for? From your side, you’ll want to know what type of support and training they are going to provide to enable you to succeed. What happens if you have a specific problem and who will be there to help? Don’t underestimate how important this aspect of running a franchise is, particularly in the early stages of set up.
Building your list of questions and making sure you get adequate answers to them will ensure that you go into a franchise opportunity with your eyes pretty much open. Asking the right questions will also show potential franchises that you are serious about coming on board and have the business sense to properly check out the opportunity.