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10 Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Future Franchisor

When considering prospective franchise opportunities, it’s important to know the right questions to ask to get all of the details necessary to make an informed decision about your purchase. Researching the background of your franchisor, and determining the support and assistance they will be able to offer you as you get started are just two key elements that you will want to consider before you sign any contracts.

  1. Have you and your lawyer looked over all of the franchise documents, and feel that the terms and conditions are fair and equitable? Do you understand all of the terms and conditions set out in the contract? Do you feel comfortable signing the contract?
  2. Will you have exclusive territory rights for the duration of your contract, or is there a risk that your franchisor will allow other businesses to start up within your chosen area?
  3. What will happen if you want to end your contract? Are there penalties involved, or are there circumstances under which this is acceptable?
  4. Are there any requirements within your contract that would encourage you to engage in illegal or questionable practices? This is a huge red flag that you shouldn’t be involved with the business.
  5. How many years has your franchisor been in business, and how many other franchises do they have within their chain?
  6. What kind of support will you receive as a new franchisor, and then as an established franchise? Is there training, upgrading, and emergency support available? Are there a series of scheduled visits throughout the year?
  7. Have you had an accountant review all of the figures released by the franchisor, and have these numbers been independently verified?
  8. What kind of reputation does the franchise have within the business community? Also, can you speak with other franchisees to see how they feel about working with the company?
  9. How much money will be required to purchase a franchise, and keep it running until it turns a profit?
  10. Has the franchisor investigated franchisees thoroughly enough? You will want to ensure that they are doing their part to hire qualified people on their teams to maintain brand standards before buying a franchise from the company.
Determining Your Priorities

At its core the decision to open a franchise isn’t a trivial decision. You are making a serious investment, but if you take all of the factors into account it can be an amazing one. But before you get there you need to sit down, analyze your needs, capabilities and limitations in relation to a franchise business. This could take a few days to consider or a few weeks or months. In either case, it is one of the most important steps in the franchising process, so don’t skip it.

Big Sandwiches Equal Big Profits at Potbelly's Sandwich Works

The Potbelly’s train is firing on all cylinders and has successfully penetrated the uber-competitive fast casual sandwich sector. Potbelly sells a basic sub (PBJ, Pizza, etc) with relevant options (health, supremes) and offers an awesome dining experience. Their main target demographic is the lunch market, and their lunch lines are often out the door. Their menu includes soups, shakes and salads in addition to subs and the old-wood decor and live music make for a warm, neighborhood feel. Atmosphere is only the beginning though. Their products are well-crafted and satisfying. The quality of their ingredients is a cut above, yet price remains similar to that of their competition.

What Draws Investors to Franchising

Most prospective franchisees are drawn to the business by previous frustrating experiences in their past employments. This could have been caused due to lack of control over one’s work environment, being bound to report to superiors and insufficient room to exercise one’s authority at their work place. The micro- managing bosses, unresponsive organizational structures, or lack of voice in the organizations process are a few of the reasons why many people decide on investing in franchises as their new career. By investing in this business they take control over their own life with a little risk as compared to starting their own business from scratch.