Finding The Right Franchise
Whether it’s hamburgers, pizza, telecom, coffee, Internet, muffler parts, or seniors’ services, there are Franchise opportunities available to evaluate. There are great Franchise systems, good Franchise systems, and bad Franchise systems. The challenge is to ask the right questions to find the right system that will fit your goals and dreams. The key is to ask the questions – and listen closely to the responses. Only then can you determine if the Franchise opportunity is the right fit for you. So whether it’s food services like burgers or coffee, professional services like telecom or IT, or manual services like cleaning or oil changes, ask the questions and record the answers.
Communications With Existing Franchisees
One of the most important sources of valuable information will be the existing Franchisees. The Franchisor’s system should include available exposure to all of the Franchisees. First of all, in most jurisdictions where Disclosure Documents are required, one of the required disclosures is a full list of all Franchisees, including contact information.
If you get a feel that a Franchisor is discouraging you from communicating with certain Franchisees – well, there’s that alarm bell again.
That’s not to say that all Franchisees will be happy, or that all will be great operators. In fact, most systems have disgruntled or unsuccessful Franchisees. It will be important for you to speak to the top echelon, the middle range people, and the poor performers. The test should be to identify the factors that differentiate the groups. Then determine how you are more like the successful people, and how you are not like the unsuccessful people.
The most important point is that the Franchisor has a system to allow efficient access to all Franchisees. Some Franchisors will provide email questions to send to all Franchisees plus ask you to call your own sample from the complete list. Others will provide for conference calls with several Franchisees. Others will provide for Discovery Days including existing Franchisees. Of course, conference calls and Discovery Days will include ‘favorable’ Franchisees. That doesn’t mean those processes aren’t very helpful – you just have to realize who you’re dealing with.
Other Franchisors will ask you to talk to people in your geographic area. Or people with a similar background. All of these things make sense, but you must ensure that you also have the ability to communicate with any existing Franchisee, and not just the suggested sample. You will be able to judge the Franchisor’s openness through their reactions in this process.
To receive a free copy of an E-Book titled ‘Franchise Opportunity – Making The Right Decision’ by Dennis Schooley, email that request to email@example.com.
Dennis Schooley is the Founder of Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants, a Professional Services Franchise Company. He writes for publication, as well as for schooleymitchell. blogging.com and franchises. blogging.com, in the subject areas of Franchising, and Technology for the Layman. http://www.schooleymitchell.com, 888-311-6477, firstname.lastname@example.org.