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Once you've narrowed down your Canadian franchise list to a handful of brands using online resources, expos and other sources, it's time to make a call and reach out to learn more. Your initial contact with a franchisor can really shed some light on whether this is the right opportunity to pursue, especially when you get answers to the five must-ask questions below.
What is your mission statement?
The franchisor's mission statement will help you decide if your values actually align with the brand's. This also gives the franchise the chance to ensure you understand what the brand is really about and how their principles are brought into each franchise location. Does the brand focus on creating experiences for its customers, or is it one that aims to help clients plan for their futures? Regardless, you want to ensure the franchisor's values don't clash with your own as that can make it more difficult for you to be happy or even successful.
What are the financial requirements?
You may have already seen estimates online, but you want to hear this directly from the brand as well. Find out what the franchise fee is and the initial investment range--this is the total amount needed for things like training, build-out (if there is a location), licenses and so on. Ask the franchise what liquid capital and net worth is required for franchisees to qualify; this will allow you to determine whether you would qualify for this franchise.
What type of franchisee are you looking for?
A franchise search is about finding the fit that's right on both sides, so ensure the brand is right for you and you are right for the brand. Does the franchisor want franchisees with specific experience or skills or just general business sense? To see how well you line up with the brand's typical franchisee, ask for an ideal franchisee profile and see where you land.
How would the franchise describe the franchisor-franchisee relationship?
Whether you want a brand that is hands-off to a degree or one that provides a lot of support, this question can give you insight into how closely the brand works with its franchisees. Is there ongoing training? Who is the contact person for franchisees at corporate? How often does the brand hear from franchisees? With some insight into this relationship, you'll have a better idea of what to expect should you decide to go with the brand.
What else should I know?
A handy catch-all question, a good franchise representative should answer this by providing you with some new information or taking a deeper dive into something you previously asked. Not only will you receive additional information, but you may even learn the answers to questions posed by previous franchise candidates.