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?
Franchising and the Economy Infographic
In all the talk about deficits,unemployment, and the precarious state of our nation's economy, one of America's most powerful engines for recovery is often (and foolishly) excluded from the conversation -- a classic case of missing what's right under our nose. Developed and perfected right here in the U.S., the franchise business model represents the ideal blend of national heft and local business, accounting for hundreds of thousands of stores, millions of jobs, and billions in annual output.
Three Keys to Franchise Success
The first is to understand the key drivers of success in your business -- that is to say, the three or four major strategies or operational processes that make up the engine of profitability and success for your organization. As an example, for a restaurant these factors may include things such as speed, consistency, freshness, cleanliness and friendliness. For an auto parts store the key drivers will probably include inventory availability, customer service, expertise and pricing/margins. Once you understand the key drivers, it is critical that you focus on them incessantly and help everyone in your organization understand that it is their responsibility to make sure those drivers are the top priority for them every day at work.
The Best Home-Based Franchise Opportunities in the USA
Other major advantages of home-based franchise opportunities are low start-up costs and overhead expenses.The initial investment required for an at-home franchise is typically much lower than a conventional franchise, often in the $15,000-$30,000 range. Some home-based businesses can be started with just $10,000. Since franchisees do not need commercial space, work-from-home franchises also have low overhead costs and require little to no inventory.