Talk to existing franchisees
A good franchisor will always give you access to any franchisee in their network. If they try to fob you off with one or two names then walk away; as you can bet this will be their top performing franchisees and not a true representation of the network.
Many franchisors will also let you go and work alongside a franchisee for a day to get a better understanding as to what the franchise entails.
Franchisees will be your most useful source of information on the franchise as who better to tell you how it REALLY is than someone who has went through it all.
Below are some questions that you can ask existing franchisees:
- Why did you pick this franchise? What USPs does it have over competitors?
- Did the franchisor provide sufficient support and training at the launch of your franchise? What about the support now, are they there to help when you need them?
- Is the operation manual comprehensive? Does it get updated it changes are made to the franchise?
- How does the franchisor adapt to any changes?
- How long did it take you to make a profit? Are you profitable now? Have you had a return on your investment?
- What happens if you were seriously ill? Does the franchisor offer any provisions for this?
- In your opinion is the franchisor meeting their objectives? Is there anything they could be doing differently?
- Does the franchisor welcome suggestions from the franchisee? Has any franchisee suggestions been implemented?
- How does the franchisor deal with problems in the network? Has there been any major problems?
- What marketing support do you receive? Is it sufficient?
- Do you know the company sales figures? How do they compare to last year/month?
- If you wanted to expand your franchise, i.e. buy more territories, does the franchisor allow this?
- If you could do it all again would you?