6 Key Questions to Ask When Researching a Franchise

You've decided to team up with a certain franchise of your choice, and start the business with the help of a company that offers you the best terms and conditions. The process of finding out whether the franchise actually fits your criteria and if it's good for you or not can be a rather delicate and precarious endeavor at times, especially since you don't know all the ins and outs of a business. That's completely understandable, and you really don't have to worry about that too much. The fact that you're a beginner doesn't have to put you at a disadvantage.

There are actually many different ways to find out everything you need to know about the franchise you're interested in and make the learning process go smooth. The most effective way to collect this information is by asking direct questions. You should know exactly what it is that you're getting yourself into, so don't be afraid to bring up various topics and subjects at the different meetings you'll attend before you sign the contract. These are some of the key questions we'd recommend you to ask before the agreement is actually signed by both parties.

1. Ask about the early days of a franchise

This is one of the first questions you should ask when meeting the franchisor to negotiate the terms. You want to know how everything started, who were the founders or founding members, whose idea was it and what was the vision about the general direction of the company when things were just starting to develop.

This way you'll get a clearer picture of what the company really stands for and whether they meet the criteria and plans that you personally have. Learning about the history of a company can really tell you if the franchise knows the fundamentals of the business. You'll easily notice what kind of an approach those people have and if they have adequate experience.

2. Ask about the amount of money you'll need to invest

This is crucial for determining early if the franchise is suitable for you or not. The first question aims at clarifying if you're speaking the same language and to feel the pulse of a franchise to find out whether you're a good match together. If the franchisor 'passes' the first question, it's only natural to get down to the business side of things as soon as possible.

The answer to a direct question about the expected amount of money you'll need to invest can also tell you a lot about the franchise. If they're serious, they'll instantly tell you what is the expected (even if it's only an approximation) amount you'll need to pledge early. Discussing these terms should include the talk about costs of real estate, equipment, licenses, and so on.

3. Ask about whether the location is good

The franchisors are mostly aware of all of these things and should have a ready answer for you in most cases. Asking about whether the location is good can give you a nice indication if the franchisor is being honest with you. We'd recommend you to do a little research of your own, before asking them this question.

This is, of course, something that really depends on the type of franchise you're negotiating with. Not all franchises can expect the same kind of revenue in different parts of the globe. For example, if you find a suitable tea business franchise for sale in the area where the market isn't overly saturated with similar franchises, you should always make a move and go for it. This way you'll greatly increase your chances of success.

4. Ask about the level of support you'll get

One of the main reasons why people decide to team up with a franchise is the safety net they provide to them. This means that you're not putting yourself out there at the mercy of other competitors and businesses, which will often use every opportunity they can get to squash their rivals.

When you're doing business with the franchise, you know you can expect some level of support if things don't turn out the way everyone hopes they'll do. Simply put, you need to know if the franchisor has your back covered or not.

5. Ask about how quickly you can expect to move up the ladder

You're aiming for success here, so there's no need to be shy about your personal goals and aspirations. The franchisors generally love to hear that kind of determination, focus, and the will to constantly progress. It's only natural that you would ask around about what exactly can you expect at what time. If things aren't developing fast enough for your liking, you should consider pairing up with a different franchise.

6. Ask them about what they expect from you

Our general advice would be to start as transparent as possible. That's why you should pretty straightforwardly ask them what is it exactly that they expect from you. This is paramount to know, so you can prepare yourself for the upcoming challenges. Knowing what are your obligations and things that are supposed to get done on a regular basis will help you determine if the opportunity is right for you.

In case you feel like the level of responsibilities is too high, we'd suggest you reconsider some other options. That way no one will be left disappointed once the contract becomes valid.

The Bottom Line

Finding a suitable franchise is not an easy task. That's why you need to make sure you're on the same page with the franchisor and ask them all these questions directly and straightforwardly. Knowing exactly where you stand in terms of the amount of money you need to invest is crucial, as well as determining whether the location of the object is suitable for that particular business.

On top of that, you should also ask about what the company expects from you, how quickly you can move up the ladder, what level of support can you expect, and how the franchise actually started. All these answers should provide you with enough information to correctly assess if the situation is right for you or not.

Guest Author

Lucas H. Parker

Lucas H. Parker is a business consultant and editor in chief at savingforserenity.com. Besides that, he has a passion for writing. Doing his research, exploring and writing are his favourite things to do. Besides that, he loves playing his guitar, hiking, and traveling.