Your mind is made up. You have decided to follow the entrepreneurial trail and buy a franchise. Now what? There are so many choices that the process of narrowing the list down to the one that fits you best can be daunting.
For the sake of this post, lets assume you have followed the conventional methods of whittling the list down to your top three choices (by using portals; i.e. franchise.com or by talking to existing franchisees). You have determined that all your finalists are the right fit and best suit your lifestyle. You have talked with existing franchisees and they are all happy with their choice and speak highly of the franchisor. Hmmm? Now comes the more difficult task of untangling the intangibles assets and the ones that just don’t surface at first glance or while discussing the opportunity with the franchise sales team.
Your search to find the right franchise should leverage the same strategies that you may employ if you were searching for a job. Had this been a job search, you would have surely networked with friends and associates to gather intel on businesses that you may want to seek employment with. As a savvy job searcher, you would have searched company and individual profiles on LinkedIn and tapped into the company RSS and Twitter feeds about the company who’s attention you may want to attract.
Below are a few steps you can take to help you get a clear picture about the franchise system with who you are about to sign a 10-year agreement:
- What are consumers saying about the product or service of the franchise system you are thinking about joining? Follow the company twitter site and facebook fan page. Although you will usually find raving fans; the insight you gather from a dissatisfied consumer and how the company handled the complaint will provide further intel about the companies internal culture.
- Type ” What are customers saying about XXXXX franchise?” into your Google search. Your search will reveal consumer affairs links that will be helpful in providing you a list of questions to discuss with the franchisor.
- Search and follow franchisee twitter and blog posts. Is the tone of the franchisee posts upbeat and supportive about the business they now own?
- Check out Careerbliss. This site may provide you insight into what the employees are saying about the business opportunity you are reviewing.
- Is the franchisor using social media to promote the brand? Like our not, social media is here to stay. Does the franchise system you are looking at have a powerful social media strategy? Is it updated frequently? How will your location be able to leverage what the existing corporate strategy? And what if they don’t have a strategy? This may says volumes about the system you are about to join.
We hope this has been helpful. We’d love to hear how you have used the web and social media to assist you in your search for entrepreneurial freedom. As always, our team at the Franchise Sales Solution is available to assist you in finding the right franchise opportunity.