The Franchise Discovery Process
Step 1 – Initial Contact
The first step is deciding to work with a franchise consultant. When we are working for you, your information is kept confidential and reviewed only by us to identify the best opportunities available to you.
Step 2 – Interview
We interview you and request that you complete a candidate profile. This helps us determine what kinds of businesses meet your needs and qualifications. We discuss your lifestyle, business and financial goals to identify a franchise that best meets your unique personal and professional goals.
Step 3 – Research
Then we spend a few days doing our research based upon the information provided by you to determine the best franchises or business opportunities for you to further explore. Our goal is to identify 3-5 franchises that will be a potential match for you.
Step 4 – Presentation
We present you with the opportunities that we have identified in our research. This meeting should accomplish two goals. First, if any of the opportunities are of interest to you, then we will arrange an introduction directly to a representative of the franchisor. This will require that you complete and submit a confidential questionnaire to be supplied to the Franchisor. The candidate profile that we used in Step 2 usually is acceptable. The Franchisor wants to know that you are financially qualified to purchase their franchise, that your timeframe to buy is within reasonable limits, and that your partners or family are in complete agreement with you buying a business. This does not obligate you in any way. It simply shows the Franchisor that when you find the right opportunity then you are capable of buying it.
Second, this step will allow us to clarify your goals and needs identified in Step 2, possibly sending us back through Steps 3 & 4. This may take place several times throughout the process.
It is important to remember that we are presenting opportunities, but you must make the decision that is best for you and your family. Therefore, refining the criteria for the best opportunity for you is an ongoing process.
Step 5 – Introduction to Franchisor
For each of the opportunities that you have an interest, we will introduce you to the Franchisor. The Franchisor will send materials to help you become acquainted with their business concept. They will also send the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which is a disclosure document for their franchise opportunity. The FDD receipt should be signed and returned immediately.
Step 6 – Review of Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
We will discuss the items that are contained in an FDD; in particular items that you should pay close attention. You should then review the FDD in complete detail writing down any questions or concerns for discussion with the Franchisor. The FDD will contain a list of franchisees and contact information.
Step 7 – Call Franchisees
The Franchisor should provide you a list of several franchisees for you to call to ask questions about the franchise. The reason for calling these references is that you want to ask them why and how they became successful. Then you need to determine if you can be do the same things that they did to be successful.
Step 8 – Consultation with Attorney and Accountant
You should always consult with an attorney and an accountant before making a decision. It is important to ensure that both people have a good background in franchising. We can help you find skilled professionals in your area.
Step 9 – Attend a Discovery Day
Most franchisors have a Discovery Day, where they will invite you to their location. You will not only get crucial information for your decision, but will get to meet the staff that will be providing your initial training and continuing support.
Step 10 – Decision Time
You have taken all of the steps up to the door, and now you must open it — decision time. When you move forward, you’ll have become a “Frantrepreneur,” a cross between a traditional entrepreneur and a modern franchise owner. A person who desires to be a business owner but does not want to recreate the wheel.