Five Due Diligence Questions That Are Worth Asking Before You Buy That Franchise
by FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
- Created: March 1, 2012, 8:55 am
- Updated: January 3, 2013, 3:52 pm
Before you write out a check for $30,000 (the average amount of the upfront franchise fee), it’s important to ask lots of questions.
Some are questions that you can only ask yourself; they’re the ones that have to do with courage. I really can’t help you with those.
But, I can help you learn which ones you need to ask the franchisees when you’re calling them to learn more about the opportunity.
Let’s say that you’ve landed on a franchise business opportunity that you feel is “The One.” You’ve done some preliminary research and have learned that, as far as you can tell, it’s a viable business. Great! Now, let’s find out if the current franchise owners, the franchisees, feel that way, too.
Ask them these important questions:
1. When you were doing your due diligence, did you discover any competitors to the franchise you now own?
Asking this question will help you find out who the current competitors are. You may even learn of others that you may have missed.
2. How are you dealing with your competitors?
Are the competitors in the marketplace worthy? In other words, are the franchisees that you’re talking to facing stiff competition? Are you about to enter an extremely crowded market, or is there room for you to do business, too?
3. How long did it take for you to break even?
The franchisee on the other end of the line may not be willing to share this information, but it’s worth it to ask this important question. You really need to know when you can expect your revenue to pay for your business expenses. That’s because after you break even, you can start to anticipate some profit…maybe not immediately, but at least you’ll know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
4. How much can I make?
This crucial question needs to be asked correctly, or you’ll end up upsetting the franchisee, and your call may end shortly thereafter.
And, please don’t to ask this question too early in the conversation. When it comes to money and earnings, you never know how the franchisee will react.
5. "If I were a member of your family, would you recommend this franchise?"
I promise that no one has ever asked the franchisee this question.
As bizarre as this question may sound, and as awkward as you may feel asking it, the answer that the franchisees give to it may reveal a lot about the opportunity. This question could turn out to be a lot more important than it seems to be on the surface.
Before you buy a franchise, make sure that you spend a lot of time on the phone with current franchise owners of the franchise that you’re thinking of buying. Believe it or not, lots of people don’t do this.
Don’t be like them. Do your homework. That way, you’ll know what to expect when you finally do become a franchise owner.
* Non-US Government website
About the Author
The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is the author of the book, Become a Franchise Owner! He's also a franchise ownership advisor; Joel teaches people that are interested in franchise ownership how to properly select and carefully research franchise business opportunities so they can increase their odds of success.
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