Key Questions to Ask Franchisees

Last Update: June 19, 2017

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Jack Findaro, Product Development Director at Visa Franchise

Overview

We at Visa Franchise have helped coach many of our clients through the franchise review process as they analyze investments that will qualify them for the EB-5, L-1, or E-2 investor visa. An important part of our service includes teaching our clients all about the franchise industry in the U.S. A major benefit when looking at investment opportunities in the franchise industry is having the chance to speak with individuals that are already franchisees of the system. These franchisees are typically very transparent with prospective franchisees regarding their experience with the franchise, including both the positive aspects as well as the negative aspects. It is imperative to know the type of questions to ask these franchisees when the time comes to schedule these meetings. Below, we have prepared a list of the most important questions to ask when speaking to the franchisee.

List of Questions to Ask Franchisees

  • How long have you been in the business?
  • How would you describe your adjustment to this business?
  • What is your business background?
    1. My business background is……. Is that a good fit for the business?
  • What do you feel is the main function of the owner of this business? Please describe a typical day.
  • Are you working full-time in the business?
    1. About how many hours per week do you spend in the business?
  • What do you like best and least about this business?
  • How would you rate your initial training?
    1. Ongoing training?
  • How would you rate your ongoing support?
    1. If you need assistance, do you get it easily?
  • How do you rate the franchisees relationship with the franchisor?
  • How do you rate the management of the franchise company?
  • How do you rate the marketing and advertising and promotional programs?
  • Does your location meet your customers needs?
    1. Who picked your site?
    2. How involved in site selection was the franchise company?
  • How difficult is it to find, train, and retain employees?
  • Did the franchisor help with, or review your business plan?
    1. How is business doing, in relation to your business plan? (Note: this is a critical question. A young business may be “struggling” and at the same time be at, or better than the business plan. “Struggle” is the norm for a young business!)
  • How are you doing in your business?
    1. Are you pleased with your earnings? If the franchisor made earnings claims, are your earnings close to that earnings claim?
  • Do you see your volume growing?
    1. What is your best ball park estimate of your annual growth?
  • If you had to do it again, would you buy this franchise?
    1. Do you own, or would like to own, additional units?
  • Are you aware of any franchisees that are doing great with the business?
    1. Do you know why?
  • Are you aware of any franchisees that are not happy with the business?
    1. Do you know why?
  • Would you help me out by sharing with me some of your monthly costs of doing business:
    $__________Rent
    $__________Utilities
    $__________Advertising and Promotions
    $__________Inventory/Cost of Goods
    $__________Labor /Payroll
    $__________Insurance
    $__________Other
  • How much can I reasonably expect to earn in my first year?
    1. Second year?
    2. Third year?
  • Is there anything else that you would like to share with me, or that you think might help me?

Note: The franchisee has just spent a good deal of time with you, and shared a good deal of information with you. Be generous in your thanks for his or her generosity.

About the Author:

Jack Findaro is the Product Development Director at Visa Franchise. He and his team focus on the research, analysis, due diligence, and ongoing relationships for the different franchises and businesses in Visa Franchise’s portfolio. Before Visa Franchise, Jack worked at Miami-based global franchise company Restaurant Brands International, parent company of global iconic brands such as Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes. He worked within various departments, including Global Finance, Investor Relations, and Global Development. His experience at Restaurant Brands International has enabled Visa Franchise to provide deep insights to their foreign national clients, many of whom are interested in investing in a franchise in order to obtain their investor visa for themselves and their family.