Some franchisers hold their Discovery Day toward the beginning of the process. Personally, I’d rather see would-be franchisees be invited to headquarters after they’ve learned a lot about the concept and have spoken to franchisees. That said, if you really like the franchise opportunity, and you can afford the travel expenses (and the franchise business!), you’re welcome to go. It’s your choice.
3 Crucial Things to Do When You’re There
1. Come prepared. Put together a “burning question” list. These are the things you must find out before you personally say yes to becoming a franchisee of the specific franchise opportunity.
The good news is you’ll usually have an opportunity to ask several people your questions. That’s because most Discovery Days include short meetings with all of the department heads.
2. Insist on having 1-on-1 time with the founder/CEO. The best way to make it happen is to have your franchise development representative arrange it. Many franchises assign one to serious franchise candidates.
The reason I want you to meet the CEO is so you can get a feel of her management style, ask questions about the future of the franchise business, and to see how savvy this person is. Make sense?
3. Observe. I want you to observe the employees.
Do they seem nervous? Flustered? Disorganized? Do they seem to be under a lot of pressure? Or are they easygoing? Do they smile? Laugh? Do they seem pretty sharp? Can you see yourself working with them long-term?
Without question, the decision you make on whether to buy a franchise or not is going to come down to data, trust and feel. Take the time to gather all the data you need, including time spent around those at franchise headquarters. Then after your visit, reflect on your time at the franchise headquarters. Did things feel right when you visited? Do you trust the folks there to lead you and your business?