When shopping for a franchise to become part of, most potential franchisees have a lot of questions ready to ask their top picks. It’s great to have a long list of detailed inquiries about everything from territories to support and profitability, but one of the most important elements of the final interview process often goes overlooked: Which questions are the franchise leadership asking you?
People looking to join a franchise tend to focus on their own quest for information, but they don’t often pay attention to what kinds of questions the franchises are asking them. A great franchise will be choosy about who they work with, so pay attention to what they want to know about you. If you encounter brands that are ready to let you sign after little more than a Q&A that’s mostly based on your financials, keep looking.
Every franchisee represents the brand and will be a fundamental part of its growth, identity, and success, so a solid brand will be picky about who they want to partner with. When you interview franchises, these are the kinds of questions leading brands will want to ask you.
What is your background?
A grounded brand will take a close look at your resume. Previous franchise experience shouldn’t be a requirement, but the franchise leadership will want to see evidence of past business experience, particularly if you have managed or owned a business before. The amount of experience a brand looks for may be somewhat based on the training tools they have available. It’s important that your experience pairs well with the training and support tools a franchise has in place; otherwise, you could both feel frustrated later on if you need more help than they are willing to provide.
Why are you interested in franchising?
This is a question many franchises don’t ask because if you reached out to them, on some level you want to be a franchisee (or you think you do). However, this is a question you should have an answer to, and that’s largely for your own benefit. Too often, people think franchising is a guaranteed way to turn their money into a profitable venture, but a franchise is still a business, and every business has inherent risks. Working with a franchise means following the operations and marketing systems laid out for you, supervising and managing others, and being a team player. If you’re more interested in doing things your way, startup entrepreneurship may be a better fit. Ask yourself why you want to franchise, and make sure those dreams will coexist with the reality of being a franchisee.
Why are you interested in our franchise?
Quality franchises are interested in making money, but they’re also interested in working with franchisees who will be a great match for the brand’s product or service, culture, goals, and ideals. If you haven’t exercised in 15 years but you want to open a gym, the franchisor should want to know why—not just take your money and let you sign your life savings away. Different franchise concepts work well with different types of people, and the franchise should want to make sure you blend with their culture, values, and ideals. They will want to see that you blend well with the team and are passionate about the product or service, but also that your goals and needs mesh with the profile for their ideal franchisee.
What are your goals?
This question goes hand in hand with why you’re interested in franchising. Every business has goals, and so does every individual. For a compatible partnership, those two goals need to line up. Everyone has a different reason for franchise interest, from wanting to run their own business to hoping to hire family members, acquiring more units over the years, or trying to find greater stability in their career. A franchise should want to discuss those goals so you both understand whether they’re compatible with what you can expect from the franchise experience.
What are your expectations?
Understanding and managing expectations is a key component in any healthy relationship. If you go into a franchise agreement expecting profitability in 30 days and the franchise believes most units require a year to be profitable, you’ll be unhappy later. Rather than rushing you to sign the dotted line, a quality franchise will take the time to talk to you about your expectations of life as a franchisee. It’s important that a franchise care about being on the same page when it comes to training, communication, sales, and financial expectations.
Only work with a franchise that takes the time to get to know you. Wanting to know more about you shouldn’t be seen as prying, but as a good sign that the franchise is focused on working with the right people. A poor fit can ruin a franchisee’s experience and lead to a lot of frustration and even lost funds, so smart franchises want to do as much as possible to ensure a perfect match. The more involved the interview process is, the better.
Kyle Zagrodzky is president of OsteoStrong, the health and wellness system with a focus on stronger bones, improved strength, and better balance in less than 10 minutes a week using scientifically proven and patented osteogenic loading technology. OsteoStrong introduced a new era in modern wellness and anti-aging in 2011 and has since helped thousands of clients between ages 8 and 98 improve strength, balance, endurance, and bone density. In 2014, the brand signed commitments with nine regional developers to launch 500 new locations across America. Today, the OsteoStrong brand is staying true to its growth towards a brand with global reach with the addition of more franchise sales and new regional developers.