What to Ask When Buying a Franchise

Joining a children’s franchise is a chance to become part of a supportive community, build a rewarding career and create a flexible lifestyle for yourself. Of course, buying a franchise is a big step though and one that you’ll want to take carefully. Do your research, take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

You will find franchisors in the children’s sector to be warm, open and happy to give you as much information as you need. Your success is their success so they will be as eager as you to get it right.

Getting to know the franchisor is a two-way street. You will have questions for them and likewise they will need to get to know you. It has to be a good fit for both sides.

10 Questions to Ask when Buying a Franchise

Here are our top 10 suggestions for what to ask when considering buying a franchise business.

What is their USP?

What makes them stand out from the crowd? If you’re going to replicate their business model then you need to know how the brand will make an impact in your local area. Have they developed a business that will have genuine appeal and generate enough interest? If there are already similar businesses in your location then it’s important to feel confident then there is enough demand to justify you setting up too.

What are the day to day activities of the business like?

Beyond the official offering of the franchise, what else is involved in running the business? Tasks may include marketing, administration, preparation, recruiting and training staff. Getting a sense of how all these different elements come into play will help you to assess if the business is right for you.

How does the training work?

The sharing of knowledge is what franchising is all about. There will be some initial training as well as ongoing support. Find out where and when things take place, if it’s individual or group, in person or remote. You should receive sufficient training to make a real success of things. Don’t be shy to speak up about the areas that you’re most unsure about. Franchisors will be ready to support you as an individual.

What is included in the start-up package?

A bit like a shopping list, the franchisor will be able to give you a full list of what exactly you are paying for. The business know-how is a key factor but there are likely to be physical items such as equipment and marketing materials as well as tech and administration systems.

What costs are involved?

There are several different elements to consider with the costs; the initial upfront fees, the ongoing management fees, additional expenses that you will need to meet and any working capital.

If you want to know more about how to secure funding for your franchise head to our ‘Funding A Franchise‘ information page. 

What is the earning potential?

Your own efforts will be crucial in making the most of the business. But the potential of course has to be there to begin with. What does a typical franchisee earn? What are the growth areas for the future? Can you expand or move to a managerial role?

How flexible is the business?

The beauty of many children’s franchises is their flexibility. Often you can start part-time and scale-up if and when it suits you do so. This of course has particular appeal to parents of young children or those looking to continue part-time employment as they get their franchise going. Discuss the hours involved and how the franchise will fit into your lifestyle. You may find that you can even take your children to work with you!

What would your territory be?

Most franchises are defined by an exclusive geographical area to operate your business within. This is referred to as the territory. Make sure that you are clear what that specific area would be and that it works for you in terms of location and transport. 

What are the terms of the contract?

A franchise agreement covers all the legal side of things and the franchisor should be able to give you a brief overview even at an early stage of discussions. Some of the key points will be how long the contract is, licenses or qualifications that are required to be held throughout the term and minimum targets to meet.

Is there a network of franchisees?

Being able to speak to an existing franchisee can be incredibly useful. They’ve been in your shoes and can help give you a greater insight into how likely the franchise is to fit your needs and expectations.

Ask how the network of franchisees come together – be that an in-person annual conference or an online forum for sharing resources.

Knowing that there is a group of like-minded people to be part of is one of the key advantages of joining a franchise. It’s often said that you’re in business for yourself but not by yourself.