10 questions you may not think to ask a franchisor before buying a franchise
According to the International Franchise Association:
Before buying a new franchise, there are several things you should ask the franchisor. These questions can give you a lot of insight into what you can expect as part of this franchise.
- What initial services do you offer? This will let you know the level of involvement you can expect from the franchisor to help you get your new franchise off the ground.
- What assistance do you provide in obtaining finance? Starting a franchise can be expensive, so knowing whether or not you can expect some help from the franchisor is important.
- What help will I receive in arranging local advertising and promotions? Are there standard promotions (radio spots, print ads, etc.) available for my use? Advertising can be a big upfront expense, so it is important to know if you will need to budget for your own advertising campaign or the franchisor offers assistance in this area.
- Can you give me specific examples of problems that your franchisees have faced and how you have been able to help them? This question will help you find out how the franchisor supports franchisees. The franchisor should be able to provide examples about how a franchisee in need was helped.
- What can you tell me about some of your franchisees that have been very successful? What about those who have not had great success? Knowing what has worked in the past (and what hasn’t) will be very beneficial in developing your business plan.
- What kind insurance must I have? Do you have an arrangement with a broker or company offering special rates? Again, this is another expense that you may have to include in your budget.
- Do you provide ongoing training in the form of workshops, conferences, seminars, regional meetings, refresher or advanced courses? Knowing that your franchisor will continually be offering support and guidance can put you at ease when you are starting a new franchise.
- What is the day-to-day business like for your franchise? This important, often overlooked, question will let you know what you can expect on a daily basis as a franchisee.
- What employee characteristics are typically found among employees at one of your franchises? Employees are often the face of a business, so knowing what characteristics to expect could be important to your decision.
- What are relationships like between the franchisees? Knowing if there is a familial feeling among the franchisees or heavy competition is an important dynamic to understand before becoming a part of a franchise.
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