Aside from due diligence research performed with care prior to franchise investment, potential franchisees have another research option that allows them to dive deep into the company culture of potential franchise systems. An option perhaps not often chosen, actually working within the ranks of a franchise system as an employee can shed much light on how the franchise functions.
Working within a franchise system prior to investing may or may not be possible or desirable for all investors. Each potential franchisee must choose how far to go to find out whether a particular franchise system is compatible with their personality and goals. Nonetheless, employment within a franchise system for some period of time can reveal a considerable amount of information about how daily operation works and may be of particular interest to aspiring single unit operators.
Some current franchisees became interested in their franchise after spending some time as employees, and this interest happened gradually all on its own as they began to contemplate operating their own location. It could be argued that, having worked within the location for some time, franchisees like these learn a great deal more about the franchise than they would have performing research as a potential investor with no internal experience working within the company.
No two franchise locations are the same. As a franchise there are no doubt similarities, but not sameness across the board. Therefore management styles and certain aspects of daily operation can differ, which is important to note when considering franchise operation based on having worked at a single location. Franchise employees working in more than one location certainly gain the very best picture of the system from various perspectives.
Experienced employees can also make some of the best franchisees and franchisors are often excited to set up new locations with qualified former employees. Former employees may also have even more access to information related to operations and contact details of current franchisees to speak with regarding operations. With such an important investment on the line, potential franchisees do well to consider advantageous and workable ways to ensure their own personal success when stepping into a particular franchise.
An interest in a franchise brand leading to a natural step into franchising after employment within the company is not necessarily indicative of a happier or more informed franchisee. The degree to which a franchisee is happy with their decision and informed depends on their comprehensive understanding of the franchise system, the FDD of the franchise in question, and their own business acumen.
Seeking professional legal and financial advice as well as working up a business plan are still wise aspects of the research process regardless of any previous experience working within a franchise. Moving from employee to managing your own location requires dedication to the brand and patience as the process of starting franchise operation unfolds over time.