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Before I invest in a franchise, should I speak to other franchisees in the network?
Even if you did no other research on the franchise in question, you must talk to as many of the existing franchisees as you can - even some of those who have left the network if the franchisor will let you have the details. Any reasonable franchisor will let you have a list of all the existing franchisees with their phone numbers or email addresses, though any sensible applicant will realise there will be a mix of reactions as not every franchisee is in love with their franchisor every day during the relationship.Sampling an appropriate percentage is probably best, but make sure it’s you who selects who is in the sample. Sometimes a franchisor may ask you not to contact a particular person for a particular reason, and you should respect that. Try to meet some of the franchisees if you can - many franchisors make it a feature of their recruitment process that applicants spend a day with one or more franchisees, maybe even working in the business to see what it’s really like and whether they can take to it, either as an operator or a manager depending on their eventual role.
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