Talking to the Franchisor's Team
People You'll Encounter in the Canadian Franchise Discovery Process
When you are interested in a Canadian franchise, you're going to talk to a lot of people on your way through the process. Knowing who they are and when you're most likely to meet them can help give you a clearer vision of the brand you're considering.
The franchise salesperson
The first point of contact is almost always the brand's sales representative. You may meet them in person at a show or speak to them on the phone once you've contacted the company for more information. The rep may be part of the senior management team, an in-house employee, or a consultant hired by the company to sell to its franchisees. You will want to know what the arrangement is because a consultant who sells multiple brands may not be as familiar with the ins and outs of the brand you're considering as an in-house rep would be.
If you decide this is a brand you like after speaking to the salesperson, you'll be asked to complete the application form the franchisor will use to evaluate you. When you're accepted, the next phase is usually a meeting with the management team in charge.
The senior management team
The most important thing to remember about meeting the team is that the conversation should not be one-sided. It's important to ask the senior team questions about their level of experience in business development and franchising. Ask about the level of capital they have available for expansion and about the vision and future of the franchisor. Your franchise agreement will probably have a term of ten years, so you'll want to confirm the brand is supported and stable.
The field team
At one point in the process, you'll meet the field team, which should include the area manager and a marketing director, if applicable. It's important to be confident you can work well with the field team. If you can't, it's time to look for another brand. Even if the senior management is stellar, it's the field team you'll have the most contact with, so they need to be an ideal fit.
The current franchisee
Many brands allow prospective franchisees to meet with current ones. This presents a great opportunity to speak to someone who is already in the system. Ask about their days, the franchisor and any other topics about which you'd like an insider's view.
You'll meet many people as you move toward owning a franchise. Make the most out of these meetings so you can identify the best franchise opportunity for you.