(This is a guest post from The Franchise King®, Joel Libava.)
In order to do this right, (buy a franchise) you need to ask the right questions of the right people. Your contact at the franchise's headquarters, (usually the director of franchise development) has the ability to teach you all about the specific concept itself, but isn't a franchisee. And that's ok. You're getting the "corporate view." You need that. But you also need to get some questions answered from the people who've actually made an investment in their future; the franchisees.
When researching a franchise system, you should speak with as many of them as possible.
The following questions will give you a great starting point, and will enable you to get to the meat of the franchise offering you're interested in.
1. What is your professional background?
2. Why did you decide to become your own boss?
3. Did you involve your spouse (if applicable) in the process? What did he or she think of the franchise?
4. Why did you choose this particular franchise to purchase?
5. What other ones did you look at?
6. How long did it take you to make a decision?
7. What types of finance options did you look at?
8. How did you ultimately finance your franchise?
9. Would you finance it the same away again?
10. Do you have any finance tips for me?
11. How many franchisees did you talk to during your own franchise research?
12. Did you visit any franchisees in person, before you made your decision?
13. How long have you been in business?
14. How are you doing in your business?
15. About when did you break even?
16. What other franchisees should I call?
17. How do you rate the support?
18. How's their marketing? Does it work?
19. Do you spend more in marketing than you thought you'd have to?
20. Is their anything you wish you would've known before you invested in your franchise?
You'll end up thinking of more questions to ask as you move through the franchise research process.
Would you like to learn more about the Spring-Green Lawn Care opportunity?
(The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, provides advisory services for prospective franchise owners, and can be found at www.thefranchiseking.com. His 1st book is coming out this fall. Here- www.becomeafranchiseowner.biz)