Buying a franchise is a huge decision that can have long term implications for you, your family, and your financial future. While the process does not have to be long and complicated, there are definitely some steps that every potential franchise owner should take before embarking on this exciting journey. This post will be the first in a series outlining those critical steps that will help you answer the question: how do you buy a franchise? The first step we will address is determining whether the franchise you want to buy is the right one for you. It is critical that you choose a franchise that is not just a solid business but that is a good match for you as an individual.
Who to Talk toIf you want to buy a new vacuum from Amazon, you can read reviews and consumer reports and eventually decide which model you want to buy without ever talking to a human being. Using the same process to buy a franchise would be a mistake. One of the best ways to find out if the franchise you’re considering is a good match is to talk to the people who are involved in the company — both on the corporate and the franchise owner sides.
What to Ask the Franchisor
During the franchise consideration and ultimately buying process you will certainly have contact with someone from the franchise’s sales team. Like any sales person, the franchise sales team has a specific goal, but they also want to find franchise owners who are a good fit. The franchise as a whole does better when franchise owners are happy.
Some good questions to ask your franchise sales person include:
- Do you think I’m a good fit for this franchise? If so, why?
- What industry trends might affect my franchise in the next 5 years?
- What is the most important quality you look for in a franchise owner?
What to Ask Franchise Owners
Before making such an important decision, you will want to get all sides of the story. In this case, that means talking to current (or former) franchise owners for the franchise you’re considering buying. The franchise will provide you with testimonials from their most successful franchise locations. You should also feel free to seek out owners who are not turned over by the corporate office, so you can get the whole picture. Most owners will be happy to be candid about their experiences.
Some of the questions you may want to ask franchise owners include:
- Would you buy this franchise again?
- How useful was the franchise training?
- Do you feel listened to by the corporate office?
- Do you have any plans to sell your franchise? If so, why?