Essential research – Digging Into The Company

Your mission is to understand and research the franchise companies and industries that appeal to you. Obviously, you’re going to make sure that the tasks you will take on in running the business fit the role you want to fill, but you also want to consider:

  1. The culture of the organization.
  2. Transparency: How forthcoming is the franchisor about their business processes, profits and efforts on their franchisees behalf.
  3. Their reputation with consumers, suppliers, the public, and existing franchisees.
  4. Your budget.
    1. The cost of buy-in.
    2. The franchise requirements for liquid assets.
  5. Competition near your intended location, both external and internal. ie How protected is your territory?
  6. What costs other than basic fees are you liable for?
  7. What are the financial arrangements upon termination of the agreement by either side?
  8. What are your rights to sell the franchise or leave it in your will?

This is a first stage list, providing a starting point to consider the important issues. If you are considering multiple industries or companies you’ll do this a lot more efficiently, if you use a limited list like the above to prepare your shortlist of companies that meet your income standards, your personality, and personal standards. Use your spidey senses, if your research on these any of these raise questions for you, then take your reservations seriously, especially if you really want to ignore them.

To interview experienced franchisees, you should first ask the prospective companies for lists of former and existing franchisees. Request names of both those that lasted a long time with them and those that failed and quit. Find out all the good and bad that you can. Don’t stop there though, ask friends and family for names as well and use LinkedIn as a resource.

Once you have come up with a list of no more than 5 opportunities, use a much more robust checklist with as many pertinent questions as you can come up with. Click here to get our questionnaires emailed to you for your deeper research phase.

Many franchise organizations will have questionnaires specific to their industry and business, and you should ask prospective companies for any such planning assistance materials they may have. When you get this, you should add your own questions.

As you work through the questionnaires, don’t just write down the answers, take the time to record your impressions and the clues that they are based upon. These fresh impressions from your original research will be invaluable in assessing your personality fit.

Don’t rush this stage, plan to spend at least 40 hours doing research and preparation on a thumbnail plan (including your writing time) to assess the worthiness of doing a detailed plan. At this point, you should know enough about the business you are examining to know if you are still interested in looking at it further. Of the multiple opportunities you were considering, some of them should have been abandoned by now in favour of the better fit. Those that remain should be ranked.

There are good reasons to work in stages, one being that you should examine all aspects of a proposition before choosing, and you can’t possibly do that with multiple opportunities if each first plan is the master plan; Another reason is that if you look too deeply into one or more aspects of the business that do work before you run across those that don’t, you may have developed an emotional attachment to the particular business that overpowers logic…to your disadvantage.

Working in stages allows you to look at complete pictures of the potential business at ever increasing degrees of clarity.

100 hours is a good place to ballpark the next level of research, it might take less or significantly more depending on the complexity and scale of the business and the market you are looking at, but it’s a realistic commitment. It’s also enough time that you should choose your top ranked company to be your focus at this point.

Your continued research at this point will either further your interest, or it will allow you to disqualify them and move to your next ranked company.

If you are relatively inexperienced in business and find that your goals are big enough that your plan takes more than 100 hours, you should consider hiring a consultant and/or finding an experienced mentor to guide you through the process.

The planning process may take a long time, but it’s an investment that will provide great returns in helping you find the right franchise for you. Knowledge is power and time spent planning is the cheapest investment you can make with the best overall ROI (return on investment).

Please click here to review the latest opportunities listed on We have great businesses to suit every personality and levels of investment from.