There are some questions prospective franchisees ask that never go out of fashion and you better have the right answers
Many things have changed since Tutor Doctor came to the UK: the economy, diversification of the industry and digitalisation to name but a few. But no matter what sector your franchise is in, I’ve found the main questions that we, as franchisors, get asked by potential franchisees have stayed largely the same. Of course, there’ll be differences depending on the brand but the most common queries that come up at each stage of the process haven’t changed for over ten years. And I’m sure if you asked me, I’d say the same again in another ten.
One of the first things people ask about is training: what do they get? That’s because it’s usually the part most franchisees worry about. We all know it’s common to have prospective franchisees who haven’t run a business before, let alone owned one. Understandably they’re nervous about making an investment without the experience to fall back on. Communicating your training programme – what you o er and when – especially at an early stage, is vital to attract and engage the right prospects. As a franchisee, especially if you’re coming into a sector that you don’t hail from, this detail is going to be crucial. For example, 80% of Tutor Doctor franchisees don’t come from an education or teaching background but that’s ok. And it’s the same with most brands. My advice about training is ask, ask and ask some more.
Questions about finance are obviously common. Franchising involves a huge investment – financially, physically and emotionally – and money worries remain the same. Franchisees need to be sure they can a afford to make the initial investment as well as the ongoing fees. So, there are always questions around the types and levels of funding available and how individual circumstances impact on that. Another FAQ is “how will you support me?” Franchisees want to know exactly how they’re going to be supported for the duration of their agreement. What you say in your marketing literature about this could be the deciding factor for a lot of people before they even get as far as speaking to you. And be warned, if you say you’re going to o er it – make sure that you do.
Another question almost guaranteed to come up is the one about where customers will come from. Franchisees want to know how they’ll get clients and what they can do to retain them. Not everyone has sales and marketing experience and these skills might not come naturally so reassurance is essential. As a prospective franchisee you should ask about the processes you’ll be shown that empower you to win business in the first instance and most importantly, keep customers coming back.
The reason these continue to be the most common questions is simple: potential franchisees remain largely the same too. They possess entrepreneurial spirit but crave that sense of security and, often in uncertain times, that’s not a bad thing. Franchising is a mutual agreement between two parties and respect has to be on both sides. Questions are important, so don’t be afraid to ask.