Relationship Questions To Ask Other Franchisees During Due Diligence

02.08.22 07:53 PM By Stacey Riska

Relationship Questions To Ask Other Franchisees During Due Diligence

We're back again, to continue discussing questions to ask franchisees during your due diligence phase. We've been asking a lot of questions in a lot of different categories prior to this. Check out our previous episodes/posts on this topic. Today, we're going to be covering some questions to ask regarding relationships. So question number one on relationships. 

What do you like most and least about the relationship with your franchisor? 

It's really going to depend at what phase of franchise ownership you ask that question. If Dave, a prospective franchisee, is asking me when I'm just a newer franchisee my answer would be "I love the support and they're always there to help me and support me." If I were answering that question now, 16 years into the business, I would have a much different answer. Therefore, that's why you want to understand the person that you're talking to, how long have they been in their franchise business? Again, we keep saying this, but it's worth repeating, are they a top, mid or a bottom level performer? That goes into interviewing enough franchisees that are at different lengths of time in the franchise. If you talk to new, mid, been there 16 years, you're going to get different answers. 

Do you feel you have a positive rapport with your franchisor and your fellow franchisees?

My answer would be yes. 16 years later I can send an email ... I actually just did yesterday ... I can send an email to my franchisor when I have a question and when they respond immediately that makes me feel good. It’s nice because I know I can get the answers that I need from a franchisee's perspective. I love that we have our own little franchisor Facebook group. You can go on and ask questions, post a challenge or post a success. People really are there supporting each other. 
Now from a broad perspective, in looking at franchising in general, I think that is a key benefit of a franchise is the whole ecosystem.  When you're starting a business from scratch, you're one and one is the loneliest number. Who do you go to when you need to run an idea by somebody? Who's going to tell you not to do it that way? Who's there to pat you on the back when you have success with your business? With a franchise, you have a whole ecosystem. The franchisor wants you to be successful. Other franchisees want you to be successful. Your suppliers and your vendors want you to be successful and a rising tide lifts all boats.

I'll just end it like this. There's a book called "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. I highly believe if he were alive today he would be talking about franchising as a key to a successful business. In "Think and Grow Rich" it's all about a business Mastermind. It's all about having a group. It's all about collaboration. It's all about coming together and working together as a team. I think the franchise system as a whole, not just in our franchise, really helps perpetuate that thought.

I don't know whether we had the best relationship with our franchise all the time because there's always friction there - just because they're the franchisor and I dislike paying them fees, and that just is what it is. The relationship with the franchisees was fantastic. I mean, we could reach out, we all pat each other on the back. We were sharing, we'd share equipment, we'd share supplies. Whatever you needed you could dig into this group and get what you needed and that's what you're buying into when you're looking at a franchise. So really great question. 

Final question for today. 

Does the franchisor sincerely care about your success? Can you provide an example?

So if you're asking me as a prospective candidate in our coffee smoothie business, I would say yes, the franchisor definitely cares about our success because again, of course, there's going to be bumps and bruises. We had some pretty big bumps that we had encountered. See our previous episode/post to hear more about it. But you know what? The franchisor flew out, took us out to dinner, and was willing to listen. Now, granted, we may not have liked the answer, but there was communication. I think that's the most important thing. Is there going to be open dialogue and open communication with the franchisor? I would also say other franchisees that we recommend, there is a very cohesive network and the franchisees all work together. I've heard rumblings in some other franchises that that may not be the case. Sometimes that's just because they're too focused on just selling more units and then they don't really open them up or operate them to the standards you would hope, but we don't recommend those brands.

Be careful on this one ... be really be careful on this one. This is where turning to someone like us to help you evaluate franchises is really important. There are over 4,000 franchises out there today. The network we work in, they do a lot of due diligence just to allow only high-quality franchises that we can offer to you into their network. So they're actually greatly helping us in this area and looking for franchises that really are some of the best out there. If you're going to be the best, your franchisees have to be successful. Look at McDonald's. If the business owners/franchisees of McDonald's weren't successful all these years, do you think McDonald's would be as successful as they've been? So don't skip this question really important question.

If you'd like a copy of the full questionnaire: questions to ask franchisees please just click on this link and ask us to send you a copy.

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 Author Bio

I’m Stacey Riska aka “Small Business Stacey”, your franchise placement specialist. I help aspiring business owners find the PERFECT franchise so they can get to the next level in life and business.
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