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Posted on Jan 03, 2011

12 Questions You Must Ask When You Interview Existing Franchisees

Even the most honest and forthcoming franchisor can’t tell you what it’s like to be a franchisee. You should take the time to call existing franchisees and get some candid answers to your questions. Be careful that you don’t get a limited list of hand-picked contacts. It would be a waste of time to talk only to the most successful operators or those who are coached to give the “right” answers. Calling franchisees at random will give you the clearest picture of what you’re getting into. Here are some questions you should ask:

  1. Are you happy with your franchisor? How is your experience different from what you expected?
  2. How long did it take for you to realize a return on investment?
  3. Approximately how much are you earning? Is it what you expected?
  4. How many hours a week do you spend working on the business?
  5. Did the training your franchisor provided really prepare you to run this business?
  6. Were there any hidden fees or unexpected costs?
  7. Are there restrictions on the products you sell and use in your business? If so, were you told of those restrictions beforehand?
  8. What do you think of the marketing and advertising? Does the franchisor advertise as much as you were promised it would?
  9. What kind of support do you receive now? When you have a problem, is your franchisor responsive or do you feel like you’re on your own?
  10. What did it cost you to build and start the franchise?
  11. Did your franchisor accurately estimate the start-up and operating cash you needed?
  12. If you had it to do all over again, would you choose the same business and franchisor?

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