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Five Questions You Must Ask
March 09 , 2010

If and when you get far enough into the franchise investigation process that you are ready to start calling franchisees keep in mind these five key questions you must ask when polling existing franchisees.

They will not only help you perform adequate due diligence.  The answers may also mean the difference between success and failure in your venture.

1. Do the support people in the franchise provide genuine help and guidance when you ask for it?
2. Has the business plan you developed  when you started your franchise been accurate insofar as to the cash required to operate in beginning stages?
3. Knowing what you do now, what would you do differently if you had the opportunity to do it all over?  (Let the franchisee tell you first-they usually are more than happy to point out initial mistakes).
4. What have been the two or three biggest challenges you have faced that either the franchisor didn’t tell you about or that didn’t account for in the business?  (Hint:  these could be issues such as finding qualified help, product availability, finding clients, etc.)
5. If you had it to do over, would you again purchase and operate this particular franchise?

Of course you should also ask about the benefits and enjoyable things that exist in the franchise business.  You should intersperse those kinds of comments and questions with the key questions suggested above.

The point is….you only have one chance to do this and do it right.  Do the research, ask the tough questions, be thorough, listen to what others have gone before you have to say about the franchise.

Be sure you make enough calls to get a good sampling of comments.  If you only talk to one or two existing franchise owners you may be getting only part of the story.


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