Key Questions to Ask other Franchisees
Before you become a franchise owner, no doubt you will want to speak with other franchisees who are a part of the brand. This should be an important aspect of your research as you determine whether you want to build a future with a franchisor.
Fellow franchisees can tell you the ins and outs of the business, what the relationship with the franchisor is really like, and what kind of success you can expect. The goal is to determine a franchisee’s satisfaction within the system and validate the information being shared by the franchisor.
9 Questions for Franchisees
- What is their personal background? Generally, a system with people from different backgrounds succeeding is a very good sign. Keep in mind, most franchisees have no experience in the industry prior to becoming a franchisee.
- Is the franchisor being honest? The franchisor will give you a multitude of data points to evaluate the brand. Verifying this information will help you determine actual start-up costs and whether you can trust the franchisor.
- How long did it take to see a ROI? Franchisors are limited in the information they can share with you, so you will likely need to ask franchisees to get a sense of how quickly you can expect to make a return on your investment and become cash flow positive.
- How effective is the training and support? Responses to your questions about training and support will provide insight into the franchisor’s training and support.
- How competitive is the brand in local markets? This is important to ask, as you will want to know how similar businesses in an area have affected current franchisees.
- Were there any unexpected costs? These conversations can help prepare you for costs you were not expecting, both good and bad.
- What is the time commitment? You want to get a sense of time management. How much time do they devote to daily operations versus growing their business, marketing, training, etc.?
- Would they buy the franchise again or invest in a different opportunity? This is an important question to ask and will speak volumes to franchisee satisfaction. Be sure to have franchisees not just answer “yes” or “no”, but to explain why.
- Have the earnings met their expectations? Beware, not all franchisees will be comfortable answering this. If they are comfortable, try to gather information about the cost of starting the business, recovering costs, and profitability.
You should view this as a starter list of questions depending on your motivations and goals. Most importantly, do not be afraid to reach out to franchisees of a system you are reviewing. Most likely, they have been in your shoes at some point in the past and are willing to help you.
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