One of the goals franchise salespeople have is to get you to visit headquarters.
Before you grab your luggage, there are a few things you need to know about visiting franchise headquarters.
The salespeople want you to experience all the great things their franchise opportunity offers. They want you to meet the staff. They want to give you a first-hand look into the operation.
The executive team is going to want to meet you. After all, it’s up to them-not the salesperson, to award you a franchise. They have some risk, too. They have to be sure you fit into their system.
You have to be sure you fit, too.
There are two ways for you to accomplish that.
1. You need to talk to as many franchisees as you can, and visit one or two to see their franchise businesses in operation.
2. You need to visit franchise headquarters to make sure you fit into their culture.
Back to your question…
Should I Visit Franchise Headquarters?
You should only pay a visit to franchise headquarters if:
You feel that you have a good handle on the franchise concept
Have done your research
You’re convinced that the franchise is right for you
In addition, you should be far enough in the process.
That means that you’ve started your franchise business plan.
You’ve started to approach lenders
You’ve contacted a franchise attorney
When Not To Visit Franchise Headquarters
I’ve had clients ask me if they should visit franchise headquarters just so they can see the operation in-person. It’s a great question, and I have a great answer: No.
There’s actually a formal name for a visit to franchise headquarters: Discovery Day.
It’s a formal name because it’s serious business. Franchisors put on a Discovery Day-which is usually a scripted event, for a reason. They want to impress you. Your “visit” to headquarters is part of the franchise sales process. Remember I said that one of the franchise salesperson’s goals was to get you to visit them in person? For them, it’s just one more step towards a possible deal close. As a matter of fact, it’s usually the final step. That’s why you have to make sure you’re ready.
If you’re still at the “curious” stage of the process-and you’re not ready to move forward if all goes well, don’t pay them a visit. It’s a waste of time.
FYI: Some franchise salespeople want you to visit headquarters early in the process. But, should you? Sometimes.
If you want more information on how to determine if a headquarters visit is in your best interest…and maybe it is, contact me. Don’t be shy.
Let’s make sure you have all your ducks in a row.
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"I was pretty focused on a particular franchise opportunity when I reached out to Joel Libava. In the course of a 1-hour conversation, Joel was able to ask questions and provide direct advice to help clarify the process for me and help guide me through the next steps in my vetting process. He even put me in contact with other professionals who were able to help educate me further in my particular industry. The time and money were well spent."
-Brian Grayson, Cincinnati