The day you travel to franchise headquarters – for a visit, is a big one.
It’s when the rubber will meet the road.
It’s when you’ll experience a sense of excitement and at the same time, a sense of doom.
Real fear will set in.
So, are you ready to grab your luggage?
Grab Your Luggage For Franchise Discovery Day
You feel that your search for the right franchise is over.
You’ve landed on an opportunity that feels like it’s the one.
You’ve done your research. You’ve visited a franchisee or two.
You’ve put together your franchise biz plan.
You’ve contacted a lender.
You’ve located a franchise attorney to look over all of your franchise documents.
Next stop: Discovery Day.
In most cases, you’ll need to get “invited” to a Franchise Discovery Day. (A Discovery Day is the day that you’ll visit franchise headquarters. It happens towards the end of the franchise research process.) The franchise development representative will make an official invite if he or she feels that you’ve got what it takes to become a franchisee of their concept…and the financial wherewithal to do it. The representative also needs to feel that you’re in a position to make a yes or no decision, either while you’re there, or a week or two afterwards.
In other words, you must be ready to buy…or pretty damn close. If you’re just kind of curious about the opportunity, you’re not going to be invited.
And, you shouldn’t be. Heck, I wouldn’t invite you to headquarters if you weren’t serious, either.
A Real Business?
That’s what you need to find out.
Is the franchise opportunity for real? is it a real business? Is there really an infrastructure in place to help franchisees succeed? To help you succeed?
You’ll get to see the operation in action. You’ll finally get to meet your franchise development representative and the rest of the executive team. You’ll also get a tour of the facility and spend some time in all the different departments. You may even visit one or two franchises that are located in the vicinity of headquarters.
The Discovery Day is one of well…discovery. It really should be called a “Meet the Franchisor Day.” But, it’s also a “meet the prospective franchisee day,” in the eyes of the executive team at franchise headquarters. And it’s also the “I’m Close to Getting Paid a Nice Commission Day” for your representative. (And if you’re working with a franchise broker-it’s their special day, too) That’s fine; they should get paid. And, believe me-they really want to!
You should read this article about franchise brokers.
This Is Serious
Now, assuming that you do receive an invite for a Discovery Day, you’re probably going to notice a difference in the way your franchise development rep is communicating with you; things may start to feel a little more intense than they have been in the previous weeks or months. That’s because in his or her mind, things are starting to move in one direction; The Decision. Well, actually two decisions. And, both of them take place after your Discovery Day.
The first decision will come from them; they’ll need to decide if they feel that you’d be a good franchisee, and if so, formally approve you. If they do so, your franchise representative will call you a day or two after your Discovery Day visit, and formally tell you that you’ve been approved as a franchisee and that they’d love to have you as one. It’s a great phone call to receive.
The second decision will of course be yours; The Decision to accept their offer, and become a franchise owner.
That’s where that sense of doom comes in. The fear.
Just make sure that you’ve left no stone unturned*.
And, don’t forget to grab your luggage.
*If you want to make sure you’ve left no stone unturned-in your research, or in your choice of a franchise, you should take this online franchise course.