There are numerous steps of due diligence required when looking to open a franchise, but one stands out above the rest: communication with existing franchisees. There is much to learn about a franchise opportunity, such as involved costs, business practices, company structure, and expected earnings. By Matt Wiggins
There are numerous steps of due diligence required when looking to open a franchise, but one stands out above the rest: communication with existing franchisees. There is much to learn about a franchise opportunity, such as involved costs, business practices, company structure, and expected earnings. Much of this information is provided by a franchisor as one begins the franchise process. However, an existing franchisee is another great source of information that should not be overlooked. Franchisees can explain their experience with the franchise opportunity. They are a first-hand source of information about what the day-to-day franchise ownership experience is like. They can share their highlights and concerns, helping calm some nerves about uncertainties in the process.
This process can look different, depending on the franchise opportunity. Some franchisors require that franchise candidates speak with a current franchisee about the business to ensure they can get first-hand knowledge. In other circumstances, it could be as simple as picking up the phone and reaching out to an existing location to speak with the franchisee. However the process looks, the information gained from such conversations is invaluable.
For veterans especially, franchising is a great method of getting involved in business and entrepreneurship. Veterans typically enjoy the community aspect of a franchise, working with other veteran franchisees to help one another grow their businesses. In this regard, existing franchisees can provide a sense of reassurance. Speaking with someone who has gone through the steps of opening the business can help confirm that the franchise opportunity is the right decision. Opening a franchise is a major investment and hearing from others how they handled that initial stress and uncertainty can make the entire process much smoother. So, when taking the leap into franchising, be sure to reach out to a franchisee. You certainly won’t regret it.
– Matt Wiggins
Matt Wiggins is the VetFran Associate Manager for the IFA Foundation. As the leader of the revered VetFran program, Matt works to connect our nation’s former service members to their next chapter in small-business ownership. VetFran has a nearly 30-year history of helping veterans to find success in entrepreneurship through franchise businesses. Matt has traveled the country to meet with veterans face-to-face and to share his insights into the world of franchising, delivering workshops and seminars to hundreds of interested service members. Matt launched VetFran’s nationwide ambassador network, aiding in fostering a connection between successful veteran franchisees and those aspiring to become business owners. His experience as the member of a military family has fueled his resolve to ensure that the franchise community does its part to give back to those who have served.