The Importance of Meeting Franchisees Before Becoming One
If you are considering taking on the title of franchisee but are unsure of some of the factors involved such as what daily operations look like or particular requirements associated with the role, gaining additional insight from people who are already in the position can be critical.
As with most big decisions in life, you want to feel confident in your choices, especially when it comes to your career. When it comes to franchising, you are investing from both a personal standpoint (in terms of your time and effort), as well as from a monetary standpoint. You may be stepping into a world that is a major change from your current job and because of this, you may be interested in reaching out for advice. This why it is important to thoroughly research if a franchising career is right for you. One of the best ways you can do that is by meeting franchisees in person.
PRIOR TO MEETING FRANCHISEES
Instead of showing up at a franchisee’s store unannounced, it’s best to contact the franchisee beforehand to explain your interest and schedule a meeting. This not only ensures that they will be there when you arrive, but you can get more out of your visit if they have time to prepare.
Although casually visiting some of the franchise locations of the brand you are interested in investing in can be a great way to observe the natural flow of the workspace, this should only be done if you are visiting as a customer. If you want to speak to the franchisee to dive deeper into their experience, you should arrange a mutually agreed-upon meeting with them.
Before meeting with franchisees, it is also important to have some knowledge of how their franchise systems work. That way, you can better understand some of the terminology they may use, and you can ask about certain aspects of franchising that are pertinent to the role.
THE VALUE OF ASKING QUESTIONS
The idea of meeting with franchisees before becoming one can be comparable to the process of shopping for a car. You likely research the cars you are interested in beforehand, visit the dealership to look around, ask questions to the salesperson, and go on a test drive.
While you may not find a franchisee willing to let you “test-drive” the role, you will find some who can answer your questions. The value of talking to someone who has already gone through each stage of the franchise process can be extremely helpful. You will likely find answers that are more authentic and personal than what you may find in the franchisor’s marketing material, and you can have a more natural conversation about the topic rather than limiting yourself to the search terms you enter online.
Some of the questions to ask can be about the franchise business itself, what daily operations look like, investment costs, time commitment, how vendors work, the training and ongoing support provided from the franchisor, some franchising mistakes you can avoid, and more. Try to ask questions that you could not find answers to on the franchisor’s website or by searching the web, as this meeting is an excellent opportunity to uncover details that you won’t necessarily find elsewhere.
A GLANCE AT YOUR FUTURE ROLE
When you visit franchisees in person, you can get the chance to observe a relatively similar scenario that you will adopt if you successfully carry on with your franchising journey, especially if you meet with the franchisee at their franchise location. Prior to this point, you may not know what a “day in the life” looks like for a franchisee in a particular industry, which makes visiting that much more enlightening.
Please keep in mind that every day can look different for franchise owners, and you may catch them on a day that does not reflect their typical responsibilities. If this happens, take it as an opportunity to ask what their average days and ownership look like.
PREPARATION FOR DISCOVERY DAY
Depending on how far along you are in your franchise journey, you may receive an invite from your franchisor to attend a Discovery Day. This is where prospective franchisees visit the headquarters of the franchise business to learn more about it while also giving both franchisors and prospective franchisees the chance to determine if it is a good fit.
Whether you meet with franchisees in person prior to or following Discovery Day, you can gain insightful knowledge that builds upon what you learn from the franchisor.
JUMPSTART ON BUILDING FRANCHISEE RELATIONSHIPS
If you decide to move ahead with a franchise, meeting with franchisees in person can be a great opportunity to create a support system of others who are in similar situations.
A successful franchise is all about support, both from the franchisor and from other franchisees within the business. When you feel supported, you feel confident, and having other franchisees to turn to or ask for advice can be extremely valuable.
FRANCHISING WITH DOGTOPIA
At Dogtopia, we have more than 210 locations across North America, which means we have a network of amazing franchise owners who are passionate about working with dogs and who put our Dogtopia culture into practice. We also offer a great deal of support to our franchise owners, so that they can feel confident and prepared when they open the door to their location. If you are interested in learning more about franchising with Dogtopia, be sure to check out our FAQ page that provides details about the opportunity, and be sure to fill out our online inquiry form if you meet our requirements to continue moving your franchise journey forward.