You would think that asking this question of franchisees, (during your research) would yield simple answers. But, sometimes you don’t want simple answers. Sometimes you want deeper answers….the kind that could end up revealing flaws in the franchise system that you’re thinking of investing your money in.
Of course, the opposite could be true, too; you could end up learning about some of the best things that the franchise business opportunity you’re considering brings to the table.
A table that could end up being yours.
Ask This Question Of Every Franchisee
In my continuing series of the Top 40 Questions To Ask Current And Former Franchisees, I’m teaching you how to gather The Facts about the franchise business opportunities that you’re investigating. You’re not allowed to get off track, here. Your old college roommate-the one with the MBA that you want to do some brain-picking with, is not allowed to be contacted during this phase of your franchise research. Family members, including your rich Uncle Mort, shouldn’t be contacted now, either. These questions, (for now) are between you and the franchisees that you’re contacting.
Here’s Question #15;
“How do you rate your franchisors product?”
Obviously, this one is important. (All of the Top 40 Questions can be found in my book, on pages 184-186)
The franchisees that you’re calling now have already taken some risk….they wrote The Check. In addition to writing a check for the $25,000+ franchise fee, they may have put their houses on the line. (To get approved for a small business loan, you may have to use your home as part of your collateral.)
Unless you borrow money from yourself, which a few of my clients have done.
Are The Franchisees Impressed?
They should be. Most of the franchisees that you call and/or visit, should be product or service evangelists.
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If you’re lucky enough to find a true evangelist, pay close attention-their enthusiasm may rub off on you, and if you end up feeling the same way about the franchisors products and/or services, you will make more money. That’s because your customers/clients will feel your enthusiasm, too. And, if they end up becoming “believers,” they’ll tell their friends. They’ll write reviews on local sites like Yelp. They’ll talk about your franchise on Facebook.
A few years ago, I met someone who is considered to be The Evangelist.
(That’s me, with Guy Kawasaki)
Now, in case you don’t know about Guy, he was with a meaningless little company called Apple. His college roommate helped him secure a job there, and he was able to get involved in that ground-breaking company. Take a quick break now, and read Guy Kawasaki’s bio.
“Evangelist isn’t simply a job title. It’s a way of life. It means that the evangelist totally loves the product and sees it as a way to bring the good news.”
-From Guy Kawasaki’s, How To Change The World blog
Meeting a franchisee that exudes excitement about their business, and what their business sells, is quite a sight to see. Very few franchisees can fake it, so take advantage of these special moments, if you’re lucky enough to experience them.
Because if the franchisees are genuinely enthusiastic about their businesses, they’re probably making money. Learn from them. Find out what’s, “doing it” for them. This is the time to do some digging. Don’t just ask them if they’re impressed with the franchisors products and services. Ask them why? Ask them what could be improved? Ask them if they’re even more impressed with them than they thought they would be? Dig.
Finally, if the franchisees are not all that impressed with the franchisors products and services, ask them if the franchise executive team is focused on improving things.
If 75% of the franchisees you contact are happy with what they’re selling as franchisees, it’s a good sign. Of course, the opposite is true, too. If you contact 15 current franchisees, and all but two are unhappy with the products and/or services they’re selling as franchisees, run like the wind. There are lots of other franchise concepts to choose from.
And, I know how to find them.