You’ve done your homework. Your franchise consultant has written up your franchise business model and has presented companies to consider. You’ve kept an open mind, looked at the options and one company has risen to the top. You know everything about the franchise territory you are interested in, the legal agreement, the best way to find employees, and the investment involved. Your investigative journey has taken place. Now that you are ready, you say, “I’m really interested” and your chosen franchisor says, “We also like you, so we’re inviting you to confirmation day.” What are the next steps?
This is the last step in a long and research-filled decision process, for you as an investor and for the franchisor viewing you as a candidate. This day is an opportunity for a little deeper dive on both sides. For many, the easiest analogy is a job interview.
For instance, the franchise may show you a training manual, or you’ll get a closer look at the systems underpinning operations. You will want to meet the leadership team, the subheads of different departments, talk face-to-face with the people you’ll be in business with, the ones you’ll look to for support and mentoring if you are awarded a territory. Be prepared to ask any remaining questions and look for other clues.
- Are they good communicators?
- Do they respond to your questions and concerns with transparency?
- Are they open about what they are looking for in a franchisee?
Is it a fit both ways?
Since most agreements are for seven to 10 years, they will be looking at you to get a sense of whether you are really committed and want to work with them.
A franchisor will want someone who’s coachable, someone who’s going to use their systems, someone who possesses a degree of business acumen and business savvy. They are seeking the best person to award a territory. Self-motivation is high on their list. Don’t be surprised if you get tough or sometimes deceptively simple questions.
Consider one franchise company that provides healthy food options through cafes. They do the meal planning and seek candidates who will live their lifestyle. They want their franchise owners to be healthy and active, living the brand. One of their questions focuses on what fast foods a candidate might eat for a typical lunch. They’ve been known to turn down a candidate when that person admitted to being a two cheeseburger kind of guy. Understanding the depth of commitment to a company message about healthy eating and lifestyle might prove essential.
Confirmation Day is the last step prior to making a commitment to invest in a franchise. That step depends on whether you are offered the award of a territory. If they make you an offer, you will have approximately a week or two for your decision. You will know the timeframe and honoring it with a yes, or a no, within that window, is essential.
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