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Researching a Franchise

Don’t Choose A Franchise Until You’ve Talked To People Who Already Own It

Some lessons you shouldn’t learn the hard way, like how a company treats the owners of its franchises.

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Incorrect expectation is the chief reason for disappointment in life… and business. With so many franchise concepts in so many industries, searching for a franchise can be a daunting task.

Aside from finding something that is a good fit for you, your skills, your future and the community in which you will operate, how do you even know if the company itself is worthy of your time, effort and money? What should you expect from your investment?

The good news is that investigating a franchise is great because it’s an investment vehicle that allows you to actually talk with people who have made the investment already. This way you are not just reading spread sheets, brochures or listening to testimonials from people who may be paid actors.

Once you engage in conversations with the franchise representative of the company you’re considering, you will receive a plethora of information boasting about the greatness of the company.

Related: The Perils Of The Franchise Agreement

They’ll probably also say why they happen to be the best in their industry and why this is the perfect time to get involved with them. They will probably even throw in a comment about being recession resistant, too.

Full(ish) disclosure

The voluminous, detailed manuscript about the franchise you’re considering is called the franchise disclosure document (FDD). If you have not heard of this item yet, you certainly will as you plunge into your franchise search.

Although the FDD looks like an overbearing prospectus from a public company, it is really a document that makes the company transparent for the prospective buyer. It is your best friend during the due-diligence process.

You must understand the information given in the FDD. The best thing about the document is that is provides the contact information for every franchise owner in the company at the time of printing, including a list of units that have closed their doors or sold.

However, after distilling and digesting all the information disseminated by the franchise company, the very best way to gain clarity on the franchise and correctly set your expectations, is by talking to their franchisees.

This process of validating the franchise is the single most important thing you can do in your franchise search and it may save you from franchise failure.

Moreover, you’re permitted and encouraged to contact existing franchisees. Great franchise companies want franchise owners to come in educated and with eyes wide open, so there are no surprises.

I have some tips to help with making these calls and face-to-face visits. You need to plan on calling and, when possible, visiting a number of the existing franchisees. Talk with a sufficient number of the existing franchisees to ensure you have a sense of the prevailing attitudes of the group.

You should begin making these calls after the sales person from the company gives the go ahead. (Remember the franchise company is evaluating you on how you follow systems so please follow their process for investigation.)

Related: 3 Of The Biggest Misconceptions Of Entering Into A Franchise Agreement

Find unhappy people

unhappy-franchisees

Though you want to find the overwhelming majority of franchisees to be happy and supportive of the franchisor, it is important to try to find an unhappy franchisee during your investigation. When you do, not only listen to the complaints but also try to determine what makes this franchisee different from the rest.

If you find that you identify with the positive ones, and feel the negative franchisees are not at all like you — that’s a good sign.

Remember, evaluating franchise owners is similar to assessing a sports team. The players span a bell curve, meaning that 20% of the players will be the top of the heap, superstars. Next, 60% will be average and doing just fine. Then the other 20% will be under par and sitting on the bench.

You want to emulate the superstars but also know why the under-par performers are not pulling their weight. This will help you define if the franchise is right for you or not.

When you make the call, introduce yourself as a potential franchisee. State the name of the sales person you are working with so that they know you are not the competition spying on the company.

Also, franchisees with businesses very close to your area of interest might have future plans to expand into your area, so often they will attempt to taint the success of the franchise.

I suggest to first talk to franchisees who are far away from where you plan on opening, in order to get a real sense of the company, then talk to local franchisees to see what’s happening in your local market.

If the local owner has some negative things to say, you can hold that up against the other information that you’ve gathered to understand the real, average situation within that franchise company.

A good way to approach this is to begin by calling franchisees with as much history as possible. We want to know early if your financial goals can be achieved. Then call owners with one to two year’s history and focus on break-even expectations. Finally, call a few owners who have just started, as they’ve received the most recent training, and have had recent interactions with the corporate office.

Related: How Do You Know That You’ve Found The Right Franchise?

Please note, franchisees from systems that are undergoing significant growth may get inundated with calls from potential owners. It may take a while to connect with these owners. This is a good sign — it means they are out building their businesses and not sitting at home watching daytime TV soaps. Don’t get discouraged, be persistent.

I highly encourage you to make the most of these phone calls. This process may save you lots of time, money and heartache in the long run. I have a list of 39 questions to ask existing franchise owners. Email me for a free copy or go to my website to download the questions.

Enthusiastically following the system I’ve outlined in this article will save you from incorrect business expectations and disappointment in the long run — you’ll thank me later.

Tom Scarda consulted with FranChoice in 2000 and purchased a Maui Wowi Fresh Hawaiian Blends franchise and quickly expanded his operation to three locations. In 2003, Tom took on the role of director of regional support for the greater New York area. He sold his Maui franchise in 2004 and now shares his knowledge and expertise of franchising with people like you who are in search of making a lifestyle change and taking back control of their lives. Tom is Amazon bestselling author of Franchise Savvy and can be reached at 866-545-6191 or Tom@TomScarda.com.

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Researching a Franchise

The Digital Headaches Of A Franchise Marketing Team

Here are my top 5 tools that can help control and regulate franchisees marketing with minimum friction.

JG Bezuidenhout

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Franchise marketing teams already know that managing campaigns for a business with multiple locations and/or stores is a time-consuming job.

When it comes to online marketing, many franchisees are frustrated with the mother brands’ national campaign strategy, as it may not suit their immediate needs. This often means they embark down the dangerous route of “rogue” or unapproved campaigns.

This is a huge risk for any brand as there is limited to no control over the message and quality of creative, often resulting in brand CI and best practices not being followed.

Rogue advertising can be totally avoided by a franchises’ marketing team by employing tools that allow them to set up a managed process where franchisees can advertise through. With a managed approval process (preferably automated) it is easier to manage “rouge” content.

Here are my top 5 tools that can help control and regulate franchisees marketing with minimum friction.

1. Create a consistent Facebook content experience whilst still allowing your franchisees to post to their own page

Facebook location pages makes it possible to, as an alternative, allow every store to open a Facebook page, each with different versions of your logo as their profile picture, as well as incomplete profile data or even old or past promotions as their cover image. You as a brand manager can set up each store as a location page on the brand’s main FB page.

The pages can all be linked to the main page and if you change the profile image or cover art, it will automatically update all the other pages. There are also a number of other marketing advantages to this, but most importantly for me was the ability to manage them all from a single interface and clean up all the old and abandoned pages that just confused customers.

2. Manage social media content

Gain is extremely simple to use and connected to all the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. As a user, you can create posts or ads and schedule them all from the same window. Once said posts are scheduled, the marketing team can preview the content and approve it for publication or request changes all within a matter of seconds.  Best of all, nothing will get posted without your approval.

3. Free professional looking content in a template

Pablo is an old favourite of mine! It supplies predefined size templates where a user can use free professional stock photos and quickly overlay text. The feature I love most on this tool is the “insert logo” feature, which with the click of a button can overlay a banner or brand element that creates consistent content experiences. Once done, you can export the image and post it to gain for approval. Simple right!

4. Create email alerts for when your brand is found online

Talk Walker alerts is a nifty tool and acts like your personal internet detective who constantly crawls the internet for keywords that you define. I like to use my clients’ brand names and sometimes even my competitors just to keep tabs on their activity. Once set up, you receive daily emails with links to the content in question.

5. Pre-approved marketing creatives and targeting with machine learning optimisation

Lead Gener8or tool can define a bespoke target audience per store and lock advertising geographical areas to prevent any cannibalisation. Once completed, franchisees can execute pre-approved marketing campaigns as and when they wish on any of the integrated channels (SMS, Email, Facebook, Google and Youtube), without any further involvement required from the marketing team.

Powered by big-data machine learning, campaigns are automatically optimised while in flight. Marketing teams can monitor all campaigns in real time. This tool really is a game changer for franchise marketing teams and brand managers.

With these tools correctly implemented into your business, the digital headache of your franchise’s marketing team can subside and focus on what you do best, delivering results!

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Company Posts

Choose A Job You Love, And You Will Never Have To Work A Day In Your Life

Join Col’Cacchio’s 26-year-long love story.

Col'Cacchio

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Vital Stats

  • Joining fee: R125 000
  • Monthly management fee: 6% of turnover
  • Monthly marketing fee: 2% of turnover
  • Total investment: approx. R2.5m to R4.2m (turnkey) Size: 140m2 to 350m2
  • Unencumbered cash (before loan): 50% of total investment

(Above figures exclude VAT) 

“Owning your own restaurant is like owning your own future.” – Dominic Dempers, Franchisee Durbanville, Belvedere & Meadowridge Cape Town

We’re looking for passionate franchisees who will love our brand as much as we do.

Why you should join this delicious success story

colcacchio-pizza-franchise-dessert

  • Assistance with site selection & lease negotiation
  • Store design & build
  • Full training provided for management and staff
  • Marketing & operational support
  • Product innovation & menu development
  • Efficiency in all systems
  • Healthy margins.

Related: 300 Business Ideas To Inspire You Into Entrepreneurship

#FoodwithaStory

“Our journey started with a single restaurant on the foreshore with the aim to serve the very best pizza around” – Greg Mommsen, Business Development Director

“Watching this brand grow and empowering people has been immensely rewarding. We have staff that have been with us for over 20 years. It’s like a family, we work hard, we laugh, we cry, we celebrate and of course, we eat a lot of pizza.” – Michael Terespolsky, Founder and Managing Director

“Becoming a franchisee is an amazing opportunity to join the family and become part of the Col’Cacchio success story. We’re 100% behind out franchises at every step, making sure that we all continue to learn and flourish” – Greg Mommsen, Business Development Director

“It has been filled with challenges along the way, but all the rewards have made every moment worth it.” – Michael Terespolsky, Founder and Managing Director

Related: Got An Awesome New Business Idea? Here’s What To Do Next

Visit www.colcacchio.co.za or call Tarryn Godley on 084 800 7264 and let’s get this adventure going.

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Smoothie Franchise Opportunity: Puré Frooty Is A One-Of-A-Kind Smoothie Franchise Business

Looking for the next greatest franchise opportunity? Puré Frooty Smoothie is a highly perfected Australian business model launching in the South African market that doesn’t require extensive shop fitting or a large workforce.

Pure Frooty Smoothie

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Vital Stats

Puré Frooty Smoothie is a unique business model to the South African market. A delicious, fruit filled smoothie will be created at the touch of a few buttons.

An Innovative Franchising Concept

This innovation in the healthy smoothie industry is ground breaking for South Africa. The machine is manufactured in Australia by a highly skilled team. It took six years to perfect this business model for the consumer market.

The vision of Puré Frooty Smoothie is to offer convenient on-the-go smoothies for anyone. The experience and quality will always be of the highest standard. We aim to be a staple convenience in malls, schools, office parks and hospitals. This is a platform that will allow for self-growth for passionate entrepreneurs.

Our mission is to create a unique customer experience. We want to satisfy the nutritional needs of customers by providing quality smoothies. Puré Frooty Smoothie will be packed with all the goodness a smoothie should offer.

Related: Why Your Franchise Should Adopt A Shared Value Business Model

The four values we pride ourselves in are:

  1. Convenience
  2. Consistency
  3. Quality
  4. Customer Satisfaction.

Why Consider This Franchising Opportunity

healthy-smoothie-franchise

Extensive research into the business model and market

Puré Frooty Smoothie was an idea, researched widely, by people looking to simplify the business process for the consumer and business owner. There was a gap in the market for simplified customer service and a demand for a quicker turnaround time.

Simplified process for setting up a business

For an entrepreneur it can be very overwhelming to start or buy a new or existing business. There are so many crucial decisions that need to be made from the beginning and new concepts to adapt to.

Puré Frooty Smoothie simplifies that drastically:

  • Free-standing machines: The business model revolves around a free-standing vending machine which needs to be visited to refill and maintenance.
  • No shop-fitting required: There is no need for shop fittings or a large work force. All that is required is an inside space for the machine with a power supply.
  • Minimal human resources needed: In terms of a work force, you could either do it yourself or have one person to assist you. There is also a part time involvement where refill station teams can refill and maintain the machine.
  • Cashless business: The business is completely cashless so there are no worries of a note jam, full cash canister or insufficient denomination rand values. More importantly the machines would do a higher turnover than an ordinary vending machine so safety of no cash is important.
  • Easy tracking of stock and performance: A cloud-based system is linked to the point of sale which allows you to monitor your performance and stock from the back-office platform at any given time.
  • Efficient handling of maintenance: With a live point of sale system, the business is linked to a software which monitors the operations of the machine. Should anything malfunction an immediate notification will be sent with a diagnostics report.
  • Human error is eliminated: Everything is done with a computer which leaves little to no room for errors. It is self-order and very user friendly.

Related: SA Fast Food Franchising On The Rise

Why Will Customers Love It

Puré Frooty Smoothie offers a vending machine that can produce a delicious smoothie in forty seconds. An informative touch screen ordering panel which displays all the nutritional information of the smoothie ordered and has the current news and weather.

No time wasted for the consumer. In fact, it’s a learning session disguised as a waiting period. The machine has two wash cycles after every smoothie is made to be freshly prepared for the next smoothie, business hygiene is important.

Consumers live in the fast lane. We are looking for something quick and most times we would like to be healthier. With the hustle and bustle of today’s life every little bit helps. Puré Frooty Smoothie fills that gap in the market.

Interested in Becoming A Franchisee?

Visit our Franchise Info Page for everything you need to know about how to become information a Puré Frooty Smoothie Franchisee owner.

You can also call or write to us:

Phone / 012-942 6360
Email / info@purefrooty.co.za 

Want to know more about this franchise? Watch the video below for more.

 

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