Franchise Resources

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Preparing for Discovery Day

Discovery Day is designed to allow a prospective candidate meet the owner of the franchise, their staff and view the operation in greater detail, before joining the franchise.

Here are some recommendations for your Discovery Day visit:

Confirm your travel arrangements. I know it may seem obvious, but confirm all the travel arrangements prior to leaving and have alternative arrangements if your flight is delayed. Some franchisors may pick up the cost of some of the travel but you will need to confirm this prior to departure. Being on time is an important of this process.

Confirm the agenda. Most franchisors will have several other candidates arriving for Discovery Day, so you will want to confirm what will be covered at the meeting. Ask for an agenda ahead of time. If the franchisor doesn’t provide one, create your own list of questions so that you can maximize your time.

Confirm if bank statements and other proof of assets are needed. Some franchisors will confirm if you have sufficient funds to buy the franchise. Be prepared to provide the necessary documents they request and make certain they are recent.

Confirm the dress code. Franchisors vary on this item, but you need to confirm what you should wear, so that you fit in with the corporate culture. Most franchisors typically dress “business casual” but check ahead of time.

Travel to Discovery Day a day in advance. Avoid travelling to Discovery Day on the same day as the meeting. Stuff happens and you will feel more pressured if you arrive late for the meeting due to a travel hiccup. Spend the extra night and you will be more relaxed for your visit.

Bring your validation questionnaire. You may be talking to franchisees at the franchisor’s headquarters. Have the FranFinders validation questionnaire ready so you can ask pertinent questions.

Test drive the software. You will be using the franchisor’s proprietary software system to manage your business. Take time to see how it works and ask a lot of questions.

Avoid bringing a checkbook. If a franchisor asks you to sign the Franchise Agreement at Discovery Day, let the buyer beware. Buying a business is a very emotional and long-term commitment. We do not suggest paying the franchise fee until you‘ve had your attorney review the agreement. This step typically happens after Discovery Day.

Discuss additional concessions. We recommend that you discuss important concessions at this meeting. It is more effective to ask directly with the owner. If you are uncomfortable with this approach, you can wait to mention the concessions after the attorney review.

Discuss attorney review. Before you sign the agreement, you will need to contact a franchise attorney for final review. After you complete your Discovery Day visit and validation calls, then the attorney will review the document with you. Let the franchisor know your plans ahead of time. If the franchisor indicates that they don’t allow for any changes, don’t be intimidated. Most franchisors will make reasonable concessions.

Size-up the corporate culture and the office setting. Up until this point, you’ve probably only talked to the franchisor on the phone. At Discovery Day, you will want to evaluate the franchisor’s corporate setting. Are the people friendly and easy to communicate with? Is the office professional? Is the staff prepared for my visit? Do they appear happy to be working for the company? Is there positive synergy amongst the staff? Watch closely for clues that will guide your decision.

Confirm the franchisors next steps. Give the franchisor a reasonable time frame when you will complete your due diligence. If you are no longer interested, communicate that information to the owner of the company as soon possible. Either way, send a thank you note after your visit to all those who accommodated you with your visit.

Following these simple steps will minimize your stress level. You can also enlist the help of one our franchise consultants to assist you. You will want to be prepared and stay focused at Discovery Day, but most importantly, have an enjoyable time.

About the author

Sue Bennett

Sue has always enjoyed serving others in her various roles as a business owner and employee. Her broad business background includes experience in the financial services, insurance and real estate industries. She also authored a book, Jumpstart Your Life, 401 Ideas to a Winning Attitude, and inspired hundreds of individuals with her upbeat messages. Sue has spent her lifetime pursuing her dreams, but more importantly, she’s committed her time and knowledge to encourage others to become successful business owners.

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