6 Essential Questions to Ask Every Franchisor Up Front
While each person has his or her own personal questions and criteria for opening a business, the answers to the following six questions will help you evaluate a franchisor’s foundation for franchisee stability and success. Ask these questions early, in the first phone call if possible.
• How many locations do you have? Look for systems that have over 50 locations. If the company has a national presence, even better. Harnessing the power of a nationally recognized brand will benefit your local business at launch and in the long term.
• How many years of franchising experience do you have? A certain maturity is essential for franchisee stability. 10 years is a good minimum.
• What access to senior staff will I have during the application process? The franchisor should, at some point, host you at their home office to meet senior staff, learn about the vision of the company, and see their franchise program first-hand.
• What is the ratio of franchise support staff to franchisees? It’s important to be able to get the personal attention and guidance you need. Look for less than 30 franchisees to each member of the support staff.
• What kind of protective trade zone policy do you have? Some kind of protective trade zone is important to keep another franchisee from being located in close proximity to yours.
• What is the growth potential for this opportunity? Find out if there will be opportunities to open another franchise location in the future. If the growth potential is limited, you might want to consider a different franchisor or a location that would offer more growth potential.
Good answers to these questions should give you a basic level of confidence in moving forward in the application process with a franchisor. But remember, you still need to thoroughly vet every opportunity before making a commitment!
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