You’ll Fail As A Franchise Owner If You…

franchise fails

You will. You’ll fail if you do what the guy I’m about to introduce you to did.

So, this guy called me last week. He wanted some franchise advice.


Ring Ring

Hello, I just found your website, The Franchise, and wanted to know if you can help me. I’m almost ready to buy a  franchise.”

Me: “Well, I’m glad you found me. How can I help?”

My wife and I are looking at a children’s education franchise, and we wanted to ask you a few questions. There are only 7 of them in the US, now, so we would be among the first.”

Me: “Well, I can try to answer them for you; I usually work by appointment; I offer franchise advisory services. But I can talk for a couple of minutes. Go ahead. Let’s see if I can help you with some free advice”

We have some questions about the Franchise Disclosure Document.”

Me: “I see. Well, I’m not a franchise attorney, so I don’t really go too deep into the FDD. But, maybe I can provide some general non-legal guidance, though.”

Well, any help you give us would be greatly appreciated. We have to sign our franchise agreement tomorrow.”

Me:Tomorrow? Why do you have to sign it tomorrow?”

Because that’s when the Franchise Fee discount ends.”

Me: “Wait…wait a second. You mean to say that you’re calling to get some pretty important questions answered the day before you’re going to be sending in a check for thousands of dollars and signing a 30-page legal document?”


Me: “But, what will you do if you find out, (after getting some of your questions answered by me) that you’ve missed a few things in your research? ”

We’ll still buy the franchise.”

Me: “So, just so I understand, you and your wife are prepared to move forward with this franchise no matter what you find out after talking with me?”

Yes…I believe we would. The franchise only costs $14,000. ”

Me: “It’s going to cost more than $14,000.”

Well, actually it would be $20,000 if we waited until next week to sign up.”

Me: “But, the total investment will be more.”

Not much more, Joel.”

Me: “What about your equipment? Aren’t you going to need computers, and an office? Aren’t you going to have marketing expenses? What about your travel expenses to get to training?” How much working capital is needed?

“Well, it may be a little more, but we have to sign our franchise agreement tomorrow.”

Me: “Have you contacted a franchise attorney?”


Me: “Really? You haven’t even called an attorney? Well, as far as I’m concerned, you still have a few things to do before you sign on as a franchisee.”

I’m curious; just in case we decide to talk with you a little more before we do anything, what do you charge for your services, Joel?

Me: “Well, we can schedule a call for later this afternoon, if you’d like, since you want to move quickly with this. Your cost would be $250.00 for an hour of my undivided attention, and I’ll suggest several things that may help you lower your financial risk if you decide to move forward with this opportunity.”

Okay. I’ll talk to my wife, and we’ll let you know in a little while.”

Me: “Great. I’m glad you called. Best of luck!”





Yes, really. This was a real call*.

I wish you knew how angry I was during this phone call. As each minute went by, I could actually feel my pulse rate increase, and I was starting to perspire. He was missing so many things…so many pieces of the puzzle. I usually excel in situations like this.  I get lots of calls and emails from people who are getting close to signing franchise agreements. Almost all of them slow down enough to at least listen to a suggestion or two from me. But, not this guy. Nope.

This gentleman was about to make a huge mistake.


You’ll Fail As A Franchise Owner If You…

Approach buying a franchise like this guy did.

He convinced himself that he was about to make a good decision.

He (and his wife) either talked themselves out of having an attorney look their franchise documents over, or they didn’t know that they were supposed to. I’m not sure. Actually, I’m not sure about anything they were doing…or were about to do.

But, they called me. They were obviously looking for something.

I guess I didn’t supply it.

And, they are going to fail as franchise owners. I guarantee it.

But, you don’t have to.

Tip: Don’t ever buy a franchise until you’ve had a franchise attorney look over your franchise documents, including your franchise contract.


I don’t care how much the franchise fee is being discounted. I don’t care if the franchise fee is about to go up in price.

  • Franchise ownership can be an amazing experience.
  • Learn all you can about how to choose the right one.
  • Learn how to do great research. And, learn how to find a franchise attorney.

The bottom line: Learn how to do enough things right so you can increase your odds of success as the owner of a franchise business.

*He never called me back to arrange a franchise ownership advisory session.


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  • Tom Yuhas

    Joel Libava, He says, “The franchise only costs
    $14,000.” You say, “But, the total investment will be more.” Pow! You
    hit this right on the head. This is a monster misunderstanding that I encounter
    all the time. And it makes it very difficult for the candidate to compare
    apples to apples. Thank you for bringing it forward.

    Tom Yuhas, VP

    Sparkle Wash the
    Commercial Pressure Washing Experts


    • The Franchise King

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      I’ve found that most people-when asked how much the franchise they’re looking into is, mention the up-front franchise fee…but forget everything else.

      Franchise buyers need to compare total investments when they’re looking around for that right franchise.


  • Pingback: News | Franchise Chains Slashing Fees — Opportunity for Entrepreneurs, or Red Flag? | Franchise 101 | Franchise News and updates()

  • Michael

    I have to say, I was about 1/2 way through this article, and I found myself making a face, and then I scrolled down and you had the PERFECT image for my face. REALLY? This person had NO understanding of how a franchise worked. I hope, for their sake, that you are wrong and they didn’t fail. Better yet, I hope they just decided to not become franchisees. Great post Joe.

    • The Franchise King

      Thanks a lot, Michael!

      I hope they didn’t fail, either.

      But, chances are…