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Posted on Jan 02, 2011

12 Questions You Must Ask Franchisors Before You Buy

You're in the market for a franchise and after months of reading brochures, watching slick videos, and poring over FDD’s, you've pared down the list of possibilities to two or three. Now what? It's time to meet with these franchisors and start asking questions. You may feel like you're already on information overload and the franchisors have been eager to spill their guts, so what more is there to know? Ask the right questions, listen closely to the responses, and you'll be surprised how much more there is to learn. The FDD provides answers to many of these, but you should expect details and clarification.

  1. Have any of your franchisees bought additional units? If so, how many?
  2. Who are the members of your training and support teams and can I meet them now?
  3. Can I get a ball-park estimate on my break-even and how long it might take me to reach that figure?
  4. Do you provide hands-on training in an existing store and/or my store?
  5. Will you provide me with a complete list of franchisees and their contact information?
  6. What makes your product or service special when compared to competitors?
  7. Will I be required to purchase supplies from you or a designated source - even if I find a better deal?
  8. What is the target market?
  9. At what stage is the market for your product: developing, stagnating, growing, or declining?
  10. What happens if I want to sell my business in the future? Are there are restrictions?
  11. Can you provide me with a true calculation of the start-up cost including working capital?
  12. What happens if your product or service becomes obsolete?

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