Choosing to become part of a franchise brand is an important and exciting one that will likely affect numerous aspects of your life. That’s why it’s essential that you go into your investment with as much knowledge as possible, and that means asking questions. There are plenty of essential questions to ask a franchisor that have to do with lots of topics, from how the brand got its start to where the brand sees itself in five, ten, twenty years from now.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the more important questions to ask a franchisor as you narrow your scope and settle on a brand to partner with.
It probably goes without saying that some of the most relevant questions in relation to a brand partnership have to do with the numbers or what your investment will cost (as well as what it gets you). Questions that have to do with money should include:
- What is the franchise fee?
- What are the monthly royalty and advertising fees?
- How much working capital will you need?
- What net worth is expected of you?
- What will any supplies, fixtures, and inventory cost?
- What are the buildout costs, if any?
Your questions should be aimed at nailing down as closely as possible what your startup costs will likely be and what it will cost you each month to do business as part of a brand. The more clearly you understand and define your financial obligations, the better.
Next on the list of essential questions to ask a franchisor are the ones that have to do with the industry the brand sits in. This inquiry should include questions like:
- Who is the industry’s best customer?
- How resilient is the industry?
- What kind of growth has the industry seen?
- How does the brand compete in that industry?
- What is the brand’s standing in it?
- What plans does the brand have for growth in the industry?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of industries to choose from when deciding on a franchise opportunity, and these kinds of questions will go a long way toward helping you narrow down your choice.
The Training and Support
One of the most important reasons investors choose to do business as a franchisee is the training and support they can count on to help establish themselves as a small business owner in what is likely a competitive landscape. That means you should ask a franchisor plenty of questions that have to do with their support, including:
- What is the pre-opening training curriculum?
- How long does it last?
- Where does it take place?
- What does ongoing support look like?
- Does it include regular marketing
- Is some of that support available 24/7 online?
- Does the brand host an annual conference?
- Is there a franchisee advisory board?
Your franchise investment should always come with comprehensive training and support, and if it doesn’t, it’s probably best to consider a different brand.
The Franchise Opportunity Differentiators
Presumably, every brand has something to offer consumers that competing brands do not, value propositions that will give their franchisees an edge. You should make sure to ask a franchisor what its competitive advantages are, with questions like:
- What kind of proprietary technology, products, or services does the brand offer?
- What kind of research and development do brand leaders conduct?
- How often does the brand introduce new products or services?
- How time-tested is the business model?
- What sorts of vendor relationships does the brand have?
In conclusion, there are any number of questions that you can ask a prospective franchisor, and the more you get answers to, the better. Questions like the ones we’ve just identified will not only help you decide on which brand to partner with but will prepare you for what’s expected of you as a franchisee.
Reach out to Children’s Lighthouse today to ask us your questions about everything our early childhood learning center franchise opportunities have to offer you and your community!