What To Ask an Existing Franchisee

4 Points to Cover With A Current Franchisee

You've finally found the Canadian franchise you want to join, and you're taking the next steps to become a franchisee. Part of the process will be a conversation with a current franchisee with the system you're planning to join.

This existing franchisee will give you a sneak peek into what being a franchisee with this system is really like, so here is some important ground you should cover during this crucial discussion.


The Franchisee's background

Ask the franchisee how long they've been with the franchise. A franchisee who has been with the brand longer will be able to offer more comprehensive and detailed information than a newer franchisee. You'll also want to discover what type of experience, such as a previous job, best prepared the franchisee for their business. This will give you an idea of what type of skills are most useful in the franchise. If you're lacking in those skills, you'll be able to take steps to get up to speed before you open your doors.


The franchisee-franchisor relationship

How well a franchisor works with and supports its franchisees will have a direct impact on the entire system. Be prepared to ask the franchisee many questions about how well the brand works with franchisees, what type of support is provided--including marketing--and what the lines of communication are.

Ideally, you want a franchise that supports and works with its franchisees without constantly interfering with daily business operations at its locations. What type of involvement you want to see from a franchisor will depend on your own preferences. You may want a franchisor who only steps in when you need help, allowing you more freedom as an owner, or you may want a franchisor who is more involved.


The franchisee's day

You can get an idea of what your daily life will be like as a franchisee with the brand you're considering by asking the franchisee about their typical day. Find out what they do each day and how involved they are in the running of their location. If what you are told does not sound like something you would want to do regularly, it's time to consider another system.


The financial figures

A franchisee can give you information about the financial aspects of their franchise if they feel comfortable doing so. It may be difficult to come right out and ask them directly about money, but you can get an idea using the right question.

Ask, for example, how often the franchisee meets their sales goals and how consistent their sales levels are across the year. Find out what financial information they keep the closest eye on; this can help you identify potential trouble areas in the business model.