A key step in owning a franchise is getting feedback from other franchisees. They know the ins and outs of the business and how it is to work with your franchisor, and advice they found helpful when they first purchased their franchise. This information will come from a validation call.
A validation call is when prospective new owners call current owners and ask what it’s like being a franchise owner and part of that brand. From these calls, you should expect the current franchisees to make the specific franchise business clearer and provide feedback to better your own business. It is suggested to talk to successful franchisees, ones that may be struggling, and ones that have left that specific franchise. This could be eye-opening to find out certain challenges faced with that business, but also the benefits and rewards of being a part of that brand. These calls should be your questions about the company. It would be beneficial to create a list of key questions to ask the current franchisees.
What is the relationship between franchisor and franchise owners?
How often do you meet with other franchise owners?
What is the communication like from the franchisor?
How many changes does the franchisor make and are you aware of them before they happen?
These are a few questions that can get you started on the right track when talking to the other franchisees. Along with these questions start to formulate your own. Get to know the franchisees and their experience working for the franchisor. The franchisor should not be a part of these validation calls, this is your chance to get the truth and facts about the brand you could potentially buy.
Being a franchise owner is different for everyone, and all franchisees have a wide range of experiences. It’s important to hear what the franchisees are saying, but it is just as important to listen to what they are not saying. Some franchisees may be overly positive about their franchising experience. This isn’t always bad, if everything they said was negative that would be a red flag. Again, you should be talking to multiple franchisees to have a firm grasp of what you could expect during the first months of ownership.
Owning a franchise is time-consuming and can become frustrating at times, but it could be one of the most rewarding jobs you do in your life. Franchising can allow you to grow and take pride in something that you have built. Current franchisees can offer knowledge about the business that franchisors might level out. These phone calls can be a deciding factor in your decision to own a franchise. Take your time, be vigilant, and don’t be afraid to ask hard-hitting questions. This will be your business too and you deserve to know all the facts before you sign.