When starting your franchise journey it is important to get to know your franchisor and their business. Below are some of the most important questions we would recommend you start with.
Is your prospective franchisor a BFA member? Our accreditation process looks for a proven business model, a strong support structure and a satisfied network of existing franchisees. Our brands are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain aligned with the standards, and the European Code of Ethics.
How does the franchisor support their network? What ongoing training and business support does the franchisor provide once you are a franchisee? How will they support you to achieve your business goals?
How do existing franchisees feel? Franchisors should always be happy for you to speak to their network before making any decisions, and provide you with contacts. Speak to their existing franchisees to get their views.
Is it a good financial fit? Initial franchise fees and monthly working capital costs will vary depending on the opportunity. Are you able to afford the outlay? Also, when are you likely to make a profit and will it be enough for the lifestyle you’re hoping to achieve? It’s vital you enter any agreement knowing all the hard facts.
Does it fuel your fire? We can’t emphasise this enough. Being your own boss is hard work, but doing something you love will make your commitment feel worth it.
How long have you been franchising?
May I speak with your franchisees, and may I choose who?
What does your franchise support team comprise of, and can I meet them before I start my business?
How many franchisee failures have there been since you started?
How do you choose your franchisees? Do you turn people away?
What ongoing fees do you charge, and what are they for?
Do I have to buy products from you and if so, do you take a commission? Does this include equipment too?
What do you spend on marketing/advertising, and do I have to contribute?
Will there be a promotion when I launch my business, and is this included in my franchise fee?
Where is the training, and do I pay for that?
Once my business has started, what continuing services will you provide me with?
Can I see a copy of the franchise agreement?
Can I sell my business? Are there any restrictions that affect my rights to do so?
How long is the franchise granted for? And what happens at the end of the agreement?
How much is the franchise fee, and what does this include?
How much working capital will I need?
May I see financial projections and are these based on actual performance within the network?
Did you run a pilot or company owned franchise before you launched? If not, why not?
Can you assist me with raising finance and will the finance company require security?
Can I end the agreement early/terminate the contract?
What point of sale and promotional literature do you supply? And do I have to pay for this?
Will I own the equipment necessary to operate the business once any finance has been cleared?
Do I have to commit to refurbishment/redecoration and equipment replacement?
Do I look for premises or do you find them for me?
Communication & Operations
What systems do you have in place for keeping franchisees in touch with you and each other? Do you hold regular franchisee meetings?
Do you provide instruction and operation manuals?
If I run into operational problems I am unable to solve, what help and support can I expect?
Are you a member of the British Franchise Association? If not, why not?