EDITOR NOTE: This is a post from The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. Joel will be writing a blog post monthly for Franchise Direct.
Once you’ve narrowed down a few franchise opportunities that you’d like to learn more about, the next step in the process is to contact the franchise development department. The way to do that on Franchise Direct is to fill out an information request form like the one that is shown here (toward the bottom of the webpage). Once you’ve filled it out, it’s sent to the franchise concept you’re interested in.
The Franchise Representative Will Contact You
You’ll get an email and/or phone call from the franchisor acknowledging that you’ve requested information, but don’t worry; there’s no obligation. Filling out the information request form simply means you have some interest in the opportunity, and that you’d like to talk with someone at headquarters.
FYI: Franchise representatives receive several information requests every week…sometimes every day. If you don’t hear back within a couple of days, it’s alright to call franchise headquarters and ask to speak with someone in franchise development. You won’t be looked upon as being too anxious. The franchisor may have a large number of information requests, and is just behind.
10 Important Questions To Ask
The first call you have with the franchise representative is an important one. Expect it to last about an hour, and if your wife, husband, or partner can join the call, all the better.
The importance of the first call with a franchisor goes both ways. You-the prospective franchise owner, wants to find out if the opportunity could be a possible fit, and has potential. The franchisor wants to find out if you are qualified and could potentially make a good franchisee.
This call is important because usually by the end of it, you’ll know whether or not to continue pursuing the opportunity or not.
Here are 10 questions for you to ask your franchise representative during this call. Try to get to all of them if you can. If you run out of time, ask if you can email them.
1. How long has the franchise representative been with the company?
2. How long has the franchise company been in business?
3. How many franchise units/franchisees are there currently?
4. What do you typically look for in a franchisee?
5. What is the total up-front investment?
6. Is there territory availability in my area?
7. How long will it take to go through everything I need to know?
8. Do you offer any financing options?
9. What is the approximate franchisee failure rate?
10. What new products/services are expected in the future?
The answers you get from these important questions will help you decide if you should continue your investigation into this franchise opportunity or if you should move on. If you’re still not sure, go to the next step in their process and see what you can find out.