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:
- Are you happy with your franchisor? How is your experience different from what you expected?
- How long did it take for you to realize a return on investment?
- Approximately how much are you earning? Is it what you expected?
- How many hours a week do you spend working on the business?
- Did the training your franchisor provided really prepare you to run this business?
- Were there any hidden fees or unexpected costs?
- Are there restrictions on the products you sell and use in your business? If so, were you told of those restrictions beforehand?
- What do you think of the marketing and advertising? Does the franchisor advertise as much as you were promised it would?
- 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?
- What did it cost you to build and start the franchise?
- Did your franchisor accurately estimate the start-up and operating cash you needed?
- If you had it to do all over again, would you choose the same business and franchisor?
What Would You Do with $25,000?
Have you ever had one of those days when you were just kind of fantasizing about what you would do if you had a crazy amount of money? I had one of those a couple of weeks back when I was looking for a new apartment. I decided to go onto an NYC realty site and take a look at what paying an absurd amount of rent gets you in the city. I was looking and came across one for $25,000 a month (and that’s nowhere near the top end) and just had to laugh. Of all the things you could do with $25,000 - paying one month’s rent on an apartment seems pretty nuts to me. But that got me thinking, what can you do with $25,000 - from rational to fun to downright wacky.
How buying a franchise is different from a start-up
History has shown that a struggling economy encourages entrepreneurship, which leads to a significant increase in new start-up businesses. But what if you are a hard-working professional with limited business knowledge and resources? You are motivated and more than willing to do the work, but you need a roadmap to guide your efforts. In that case, franchising may be a good option for you.
The KFC Ad You Can See from Space
Yes, according to a report on space-visible ads by NPR's Mito Habe-Evans, the Kentucky Fried Chicken gang has paid the ultimate tribute to their late leader, with a tile portrait of Colonel Sanders, out in the middle of a dry expanse of dirt in Nevada, that's visible from beyond our atmosphere.