Fantastic Questions To Ask Before You Buy A Franchise

Asking great questions as you go through the process of buying a franchise will pay off handsomely.

You can’t just go into franchise ownership blindly. You can’t just take the franchise representatives’ word for it. The investment is just too much for that.

The bottom line: You need to gather as much information as you can before you buy the franchise business you’re interested in.

Who To Ask Fantastic Questions To

The first opportunity you’ll get to ask questions about the franchise you’re interested in is right after you submit your information request to the franchisor. Doing that gets the ball rolling. Expect to get an email and/or a phone call from franchise headquarters verifying your request for information.

Next, you’ll be asked to schedule a call with the franchise sales representative. During the call, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your background, your goals, and some money-related questions. Then, it will be your turn to ask questions. But, what are the best questions to ask? Keep reading.

I’m going to give you a list of questions to ask when buying a franchise. Write them down; that way, you’ll have them in front of you when you’re on the phone with the franchise rep.

1. How long has the franchise company been in business?

You’re going to want to know how long they’ve been in business and how long they’ve been franchising. There’s a big difference.

2. How long has the franchise salesperson been with the company?

You’re looking for turnover here. Is the salesperson new, or has he or she been with the company for several years.

3. How many franchise units does the company currently have?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to find that number on the franchise company website. Asking this question will give you the current number of franchises operating.

4. What does the franchisor look for in a franchisee?

Hardly anyone asks this questions, and it’s one of the best questions you can ask. The answer (s) may help you determine if you’re a fit for the franchise concept you’re looking into.

5. What is the total investment?

While the investment numbers are usually located on the franchise website, it’s still important to find out what they are-currently.

Tip: Make sure you can afford the franchise opportunity you’re interested in. You can use this handy-dandy free net worth calculator now

Questions like the ones I just provided are a good starting point for you as you do your franchise research. Would you like a few more?

You can find 5 more in my article on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website.

The Best Questions To Ask Franchisees

The questions you ask franchisees will provide the best answers about the franchise you’re interested in.

After all, they’re the ones who have already invested their money into the franchise opportunity you’re thinking of buying.

Don’t be shy here. Ask tough questions-but nicely. It wouldn’t hurt to make a few franchise friends…ones you can call if you need help when you launch your new franchise business.

Call And Ask Franchisees These Questions…

1. What do you like best about the franchise you purchased?

The answers you get will enable you to find out what gets franchisees excited…what keeps them going.

2. What are some of things you don’t like about the business?

Wouldn’t you rather know some of the negative things about running the business before you write The Check? I know I would. Ask this question. That way there won’t be too many surprises if you choose to move forward. It’s totally unrealistic to think you’ll like every aspect of the business.

3. What do you wish you knew before you bought the franchise?

This is another question that no one asks. The answer you get could end up helping you in ways you never imagined. Look at the answer-or answers, as valuable tips. Who knows, maybe-by asking this question, you’ll be able to get to break-even faster…and to profitability faster.

You want more questions to ask? More franchise research tips? Go here!

(The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is a top franchise expert, the author of Become A Franchise Owner! (Wiley Publishing), and owns and operates Franchise Business University, where you can increase your franchise IQ with the online franchise courses offered there.)

Originally published at www.thefranchiseking.com on November 5, 2008.