The Franchise Search Group 10 Step Process

The Franchise Search Group process can be broken down into just 10 easy steps.

STEP 1: The Initial Contact
STEP 2: The Interview
STEP 3: Research
STEP 4: Presentation
STEP 5: Introduction to the Franchisor
STEP 6: Review of the FDD
STEP 7: Call Franchisees
STEP 8: Narrow down choices, consult with your Attorney and Accountant
STEP 9: Attend a Discovery Day
STEP 10: Final Decision  

Step 1: The Initial Contact

The Franchise Search Group will spend time answering any of your questions about franchising. We will explain the benefits of working with us and the 10 Steps of the The Franchise Search Group Process. Depending on your interest and time, we will conduct the interview or will set an appointment to conduct the interview at a later date.

Step 2: The Interview

The Franchise Search Group will contact you to setup an appointment to discuss your background and goals in finding the right franchise for you. This may take about an hour and will be done over the telephone. Understanding your particular goals and needs will allow us to find the best opportunity for you. During this interview we will ask you a lot of questions that will help us get a better understanding of your background, employment history and financial situation.  In order to present franchises that will be the most appropriate choice for you, it is imperative that you provide as much detailed information as possible.

This process will provide The Franchise Search Group with the information needed to find the franchises are the best fit for you and your particular situation.  We will require a financial statement. The franchise companies require that The Franchise Search Group provide them qualified prospects, and this includes being qualified financially. The financial statement will also insure that The Franchise Search Group doesn’t waste your time showing you franchises that you can’t afford or franchises where you do not meet the franchisors qualifications.

The more complete and accurate the information is that is provided to us the better job we can do of selecting  quality franchises we will be able to introduce to you.  We will also set a follow up appointment to present you with the franchises that best fit your requirements.

BELOW IS JUST A SAMPLE OF THE INFORMATION THAT WE WILL BE ASKING.

General QuestionsProfessional HistoryPartnershipsBusiness GoalsBusiness SearchLifestyle ConsiderationsFinancial ConsiderationsOther
  • What are you currently doing?
  • Why are you looking to change your current career?
  • Why are you interested into owning your own business?
  • Are you looking at other options to owning a business including:
    • Becoming an independent consultant
    •  Developing a startup business
    • Purchasing an existing business
  • What goals have you set for yourself in your new business?
  • When would you like to have your new business open?
  • What is timeframe for opening a business, and what is driving this timeframe?
  •  Your work history from present back to college or high school.
  • Past or present business ownership?
  • Likes and dislikes about your work experience or previous business?
  • Education?
  • Veteran? What did you do in the military? Rank?
  • What part of your current, past jobs or businesses owned have you liked doing the most? The least?
  • List your skills and evaluate how well you perform each.
  • Describe the work environment that is most appealing to you most?
  • Does it matter what the product or service of the franchise business is, or does the business potential matter more?
  • Do you have sales experience? Business development? Consulting experience? Management experience?
  • Are you comfortable with sales and the sales process? Cold Calling?
  •  Do you have experience managing employees? Did you enjoy it?
  • Do you want a business that is related to your past work experience or business ownership?
  • Will your spouse be involved in the business? In what capacity?
  • Does your spouse support the concept of you going into business?
  • What is your spouse’s profession? Income?
  • Will you have any partners? Will they be active or passive participants?
  • Are you interested in a home-based, office-based, mobile, retail or food-related business?
  • Do you plan on being an active (owner-operator) or a passive (absentee) owner?
  • Part-time or fulltime business
  • Would you want your business to provide services or products to other businesses, to consumers or both?
  • Are you looking for a business that will build equity or build cash flow?
  • What is your exit strategy for the business that you buy?
  • How many years you are expecting to operate your new business?
  • How long have you been looking for a business?
  • What businesses have you looked at?
  • Why didn’t you buy any of the businesses that you looked at?
  • Even though you didn’t buy what did you like and dislike about the businesses?
  • Are there any types of businesses that you would like to explore – disregarding experience and financial consideration?
  • Are there any types of businesses that you would definitely not like to explore?
  • How many hours per day are you willing to work in your new business?
  • Weekends? Holidays? Nights?
  • Do you want a business where you can have family involvement?
  • Where do you want the location of your business? Close to home? Within 30 minutes? Open to location? Willing to relocate?
  • What are your hobbies and other interests?
  • Do you like to help people, coach, or teach? Take care of people or animals?
  • What is your investment range for a new business?
  • How much capital do you have to invest? Liquid Capital? Net Worth?
  • Can you afford to go without a regular income during the start up phase of your new business? For how long?
  • What are your financial goals? Year 1, Year 2, Year 3?
  • How do you see your lifestyle changing as a result of meeting your financial goals?
  • How do you feel about the risk of becoming a business owner?
  • Are you considering financing options? Family? Home Equity? SBA? Other?
  • Do you have a 401K or other retirement plan that could be used to buy your business?
  • How much equity do you have in your home?
  • Do you know your credit score?
  • Are you the type of person that would be more comfortable in a “tried & true” business, unique business, or new and innovative?
  •  Franchising is all about following someone else’s system. Can you picture yourself in this role, executing a system you didn’t create?

This process will provide The Franchise Search Group with the information needed to find the best franchises to present to you.  We will require a financial statement. The franchise companies require that The Franchise Search Group provide them qualified prospects, and this includes being qualified financially. The financial statement will also ensure that The Franchise Search Group doesn’t waste your time showing you franchises that you can’t afford or franchises where you do not meet the franchisors qualifications.

The more complete and accurate information provided to The Franchise Search Group, the better selection of quality franchises we will be able to introduce to you.

STEP 3 – Research

Based on the information that you provide us including your experience, stated goals and needs we will research available franchises and match their models and requirements with your goals and preferences.

There are over 3,000 franchises available, in the United States, and for you to find the right fit could take weeks. The Franchise Search Group has access to a proprietary database of franchise companies.  Therefore we can quickly filter out franchises that do not match your requirements. Our goal is to identify 3-4 franchises that match your requirements so that you can than find “the right franchise” for you. The Franchise Search Group should be able to complete the search to present these choices to you in 3-4 business days.

STEP 4 – Presentation

The Franchise Search Group will present the franchise opportunities that we have identified in our research. Please keep in mind that these franchises have met your goals and requirements that were highlighted in the interview. If any of the opportunities are of interest to you, then we will arrange an introduction directly to the representative of the franchise. You should let us know of any reservations that you may have, but it would be best that you have an initial conversation with the franchise people before making any decisions to eliminate a choice. We have found that many times people are reluctant to go forward with a franchise because of a preconceived bias and/or lack of information.

In some cases you will need to complete and submit our proprietary confidential Consultation Questionnaire, which will be supplied to the Franchisor or Franchisors of interest. Franchisors want to know that: you are financially qualified to purchase their franchise, your timeframe to buy is within reasonable limits and your partners or family are in complete agreement with you buying a business.

This does not obligate you in any way. It simply shows the Franchisor that when you find the right opportunity then you are capable of acting on it and buying it. During step 4 (Presentation) we will also try to clarify your goals and needs as identified in Step 2, and if necessary repeat Steps 3 & 4 multiple times. This is a self-correcting process and it may send us several times throughout steps 2-4 of the process. Please keep in mind that we are presenting you opportunities, but you must make the decision that is best for you and your family. Therefore, refining the criteria for the best opportunity for you is an ongoing process.

STEP 6 – Introduction to the Franchisor

For each of the opportunities that you have an interest, The Franchise Search Group will introduce you directly to the Franchisor. The Franchisor will send materials to help you become acquainted with their franchise. They will also send the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which is a document that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires each franchise company to provide to individuals that are interested in their franchise.  The FDD Acknowledgement of Receipt, a document that verifies that you have received the FDD, should be signed and returned to the franchise company immediately.

STEP 7 – Review of the FDD

Your next step is to read the company’s FDD, a document every franchise in the United States is required to provide – per Federal Trade Commission regulations. The FDD is a disclosure document that covers a wide variety of useful information for your due diligence. (The Franchise Search Group will discuss the 23 items contained in this document, specifically those items that you should pay close attention).

Some franchisors also provide earnings claims in the FDD that will help you estimate the potential of the business and if it can meet your personal financial objectives.

The FDD clearly explains the responsibilities of the franchisee (you) and the franchisor. Your FDD review and understanding is a very significant part of the research process. Every FDD is structured identically so they are relatively simple to navigate, read and understand.

By paying attention to what you discover in a company’s FDD, you can weed out franchises that just don’t measure up. Pay particular attention to signs that a franchise has extensive litigation with franchisees.

You should then review the FDD in complete detail, writing down any questions or concerns for discussion with the Franchisor. The FDD will contain a list of franchisees and contact information.

STEP 8 – Call Franchisees

This is a major step in deciding which franchise you should buy. Never hesitate – CALL THE FRANCHISEES!

Call both current and former franchisees.  A list of current and former franchisees is found in the FDD.

Interviewing the franchisees will be the best source of information on any franchise company. You can find out if they are successful and happy with the choice that they made. You can find out what they did to become successful, and if they followed the procedures provided by the franchisor. You will be able to find out how the initial training went and whether the support is adequate. If there have been any problems with the franchise company, and whether they adequately resolved. Finally, you can ask them about their sales volume, operating expenses, and profit margins.

You should not make any final decisions after only a few calls. Get a variety of opinions and you will see patterns forming. If you feel that the franchise company is one that you would like to pursue, then write down any concerns that you have heard and discuss them with The Franchise Search Group The Franchise Search Group and with the franchise representative.

We can provide you with a proprietary questionnaire that has key questions for you to ask. Based upon the answers from the franchisees, it should justify the overall advantages and justifications to invest in acquiring a franchise.

STEP 9 – Narrow down your choices, then consult with your Attorney and Accountant

Your next step is to narrow down your choices and make a decision about which franchises you want to pursue. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each company with us.

Your final selection should be discussed with your attorney and CPA or other advisers. It is important to insure that they have a good background in franchising. If they do not, then the process may be more costly and time consuming while they do their research.

You should visit the franchise company before making any final decision. Therefore, you should have all of your questions and concerns answered before spending the money to make the visit.

STEP 9 – Attend a Discovery Day

After you have all of your questions answered to your satisfaction, it’s time to go to Discovery Day (an on-site meeting with a franchisor). At this meeting you will be introduced to the leadership in the company, to your trainers, and the support staff. Remember, these are the people that you are committing yourself to have a relationship with for the next 10-15 years. Also, you may make a visit to a local franchisee, allowing you to ask even more questions and maybe to get some hands-on experience with the business.

Discovery Days are very interesting and exciting. When you leave, you will have a good understanding of the franchise. Don’t forget that this is a two-way street. They’ll be evaluating you as thoroughly as you evaluate their business.

STEP 10 – Final Decision

The last step, of course, is making the final decision. Like any major decision, you will be filled with anticipation and anxiety, excitement and fear. Those are very normal feelings, experienced by almost everyone.

But if you’ve done your homework and followed the steps as outlined, you should be very comfortable with your decision. You will be ready to fulfill your desire to be a business owner, without having to reinvent the wheel. Now, you will be able to own your business while minimizing risk by buying a proven business opportunity.

Congratulations – you’re ready to be a franchisee! 

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