ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Questions To Ask A Franchisor

Updated on August 14, 2010
Questions to ask a franchisor - don't rush into your decision, getting it right is better than getting it fast!
Questions to ask a franchisor - don't rush into your decision, getting it right is better than getting it fast!

There Is So Much You Need To Ask...

When I bought my franchise, I was so excited because it felt like I was at the beginning of a new chapter of my life - I'd left the corporate world behind and was starting up something of my own. If I'm honest, I was high on the excitement of it all. I also had a pocketful of cash from my redundancy.

Interesting combination - I was high on excitement and feeling flush with money. So I wasn't as cautious as I now understand you should be. I asked a whole bunch of questions - in fact the franchisor told me I asked more questions than anybody else!

But still I got the uneasy feel that...

I Didn't Know All The Answers...

Because I didn't know what questions you should ask. And that really is the challenge - exactly what questions are important?

You need to know all the details about:

Territory - will it be yours alone or will you share it with other franchises. There's a horror-story somewhere from a McDonald's owner in a major city in Australia who had another McDonald's open up opposite his store and his sales dropped by around 20%.

System - the major value in a franchise is the system. So how do they keep it updated and in line with modern trends? Do they update it regularly and to what do the last updates relate? Just make sure they care about the franchisees by keeping the system up to date!

Profitability - the thing I found amazing was the number of my fellow franchisees who were making so little money. Even though they had good turnover, they were spending all they earned to win more business and on their costs. Once I realised this, I saw there could be no going back. So when the franchisor is telling you about how much you could earn, ask to speak to franchisees who will tell you about profit, not just total sales. They are not the same thing!

Getting Customers - for some franchises the brand is so strong that if you just open up a store in town you will get enough trade from people passing by to make a profit. Other franchises have no recognised brand name and so have to work much harder to win customers. Talk to other franchisees before you buy, find out how they get their customers and how well the franchise system works to keep you busy and profitable.

Quality Control - Imagine that you buy a franchise and are doing ok. Then another guy buys a franchise in the area next to you and starts to get a bad name for letting people down, double-dealing etc. Can you imagine how the damage from his behaviour will spread to your business because you operate under the same brand? You need to find out how the franchise manage franchisees to ensure that nobody spoils it for the you. The saying that "one rotten apple spoils the barrel" comes to mind - and I saw this happen first-hand.

Loads of other stuff too! - Oh, there's just so much to ask a franchisor, I really could stretch each of these out into several sections and add a whole bunch of other things too. I didn't learn most of what I needed to ask until AFTER I bought. And as another thought, you also need to...

Ask Other Franchisees Some Questions...

Because the franchisor won't tell you the whole truth. Why would they? They are looking to sell you something that will make them a lot of money. They are most interested in getting the sale and so don't want to tell you all the bad things that they know about.

Let's just look at that. If you were selling a car and knew it had a stain in the carpet, would you tell the buyer to look under the mat? It is human nature to be a little sparing with the truth when we are selling. If the franchisor is not going to tell you everything about the franchise, you need to find some franchisees to speak to.

Remember that you can depend upon franchisees to be at least 95% enthusiastic and positive about the franchise. If they were not, they would be admitting they made a huge mistake buying it in the first place, and nobody likes to admit to being a mug!

So you have to ask them questions that give you hard facts and ignore the enthusiasm that they speak with. That is tough, but it is important to stay as unemotionally involved as possible while you are evaluating your franchise opportunity. Consider the cost of getting the decision wrong!

Here are some good questions to ask them:

Have you met your financial goals that you set down when you bought your franchise? You want to listen to the clean yes/no, not the reasons they didn't!

What were the biggest problems in getting your franchise going? Listen to find out where the holes in the franchise are. If the problems are the same across all the franchisees you speak to, there is a hole in the system that needs plugging.

You need to be armed with a long list of questions to ask your franchisor and other franchisees. Don't be arrogant or ignorant or afraid of seeming stupid or niaive - you will feel a lot more stupid if you spend thousands on a bad business franchise.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 

      10 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Nice blog, lots of good information here. Am looking at starting a franchise, so this will be useful hints from the other side! Cheers!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)