Gain the information you need to make a purchase decision by asking the right questions


 

As you continue to evaluate different franchise opportunities, eventually you will have the opportunity to talk with representatives at the franchise corporate office directly. Most often, this happens over several conversations, culminating in a final meeting where you typically visit the corporate office in person for one to several days of presentations and discussions.

This process takes a varying amount of time, depending on the franchisor and your personal preference. For some people it can be a matter of weeks and others a matter of months. How long it takes is not important. What is important is that you feel like you have all the information you need to feel comfortable with making a final decision—one way or another.

Gaining that information has a lot to do with the questions you ask. While any reputable franchisor will provide you with as much information as possible, based on the (typically) hundreds or thousands of sales they’ve done and questions they’ve answered. But, it’s your first time going through this process, so it doesn’t matter so much how many times they’ve answered a question, it matters that you’ve asked for yourself and received a truthful and satisfactory answer.

Here are 40 recommended questions to ask a franchisor as you go through your own discovery process.

About the Market

  1. What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)?
  2. Which would you say is the one biggest in each SWOT category?
  3. What is the size of your industry? How did you come to that number?
  4. What is the TAM? How did you calculate that number?
  5. What is your market share?
  6. What has happened in your market in the last 5 years? 
  7. Where do you see this company in 5 years? 10 years?

About Competitors

  1. Who are your competitors? 
  2. Are they in my local market?
  3. What are your plans for positioning against current competitors?
  4. What are your plans for responding to potential new competitors?
  5. What new competitors have entered the market in the past 5 years?
  6. What do your competitors address that you do not?
  7. What is your competitive strategy?

About the Product and/or Service

  1. What are you really selling?
  2. Why do people need your product/service?
  3. What pain points have you uncovered through customer interviews that you address?
  4. How have you adjusted your product/service offering over the last 5 years to keep up with changing trends?
  5. What is your plan to continue developing a relevant and competitive product/service?
  6. How much do you spend on R&D?

About the Training and Support

  1. What does initial training cover?
  2. How long is initial training?
  3. What type of field support and training is provided during the launch phase?
  4. What support do you provide to franchisees in their first 12 – 24 months?
  5. What support do you provide to franchisees beyond their launch/ramp phase?
  6. Who are your major vendors?
  7. What are you doing to obtain the best possible price from your vendors for franchisees?

About the Sales, Marketing, and Brand

  1. What is your target market?
  2. Who are the key decision makers?
  3. What is your marketing strategy?
  4. What is the monthly marketing fee requirement?
  5. What tactics/initiatives is the marketing fund being used for?
  6. What are you doing to increase/improve brand awareness?
  7. What are your key differentiation messages?
  8. What is the marketing and sales process for franchisees?
  9. What is your average time to close?
  10. What is your Customer Lifetime Value?
  11. What is the sales process?
  12. What tools and technology are you currently using for sales and marketing?
  13. What tools and technology do franchisees typically use for sales and marketing?

Investing in a new business opportunity is a huge decision. You likely have many thousands of questions over the course of your investigation. This list of questions will help give you a better understanding of the business, the corporate office, and how well the organization’s strategy has been researched, developed, and implemented. 

 

If you would like to ask Crestcom any of these, and other, questions contact us today. We’d love to answer them for you!

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