Buying a franchise is a big decision and commitment for anyone, especially those who have not run businesses before.
It’s important to remember that the selling of a Franchise is in itself a business, which has to make money, even if its business is delivering a means of making money for its customers, the Franchisees.
You have to respect that up front, but equally you are the customer, and you can and should expect to have complete confidence in the Franchise model before you sign up.
Every Franchise system will have its happy customers and its not so happy customers. You should make sure you talk to both, and preferably visit them face to face, before you sign up.
If a number of Franchisees raise a similar issue, it could well affect all Franchisees. Don’t ignore it, it needs further investigation.
Here are a number of questions you should ask existing Franchise holders when you speak to them:
- How relevant was the pre-start up training, did you feel ready when the business opened?
- What sort of support did you get from the Franchisor around the opening of the business?
- What sort of on-going support have you received from the Franchisor?
- What is your on-going relationship like with the Franchisor?
- If relevant, what sort of marketing support have you received from the Franchisor & has it been effective?
- Do you consider the Franchise value for money?
- Are you happy with the Franchise?
It’s all part of doing your due diligence, which is a fancy way of saying doing your research.
Check everything you can, and then have someone independent – a lawyer, an accountant, a financial advisor – do the same thing.
You need to be certain that what you are signing up for is what think you are signing up for.
Once you’ve done all that, and are satisfied and confident it’s the right thing for you, you’re ready to sign.