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What should I expect from a franchisor ‘discovery day’?
The purpose of a discovery day is twofold. First, to give you as much information as possible concerning the franchise opportunity. Bear in mind that the franchisor is trying to sell the franchise, so you do need to treat what you are being told with suspicion and check it out.
The best way of doing that is to obtain a list of the franchisor’s franchisees - not just the ones the franchisor wants you to talk to - and ask them how good is the support from the franchisor, how much money do they make, will they renew, etc.
The second purpose of a discovery day is for the franchisor to find out more about you and establish whether you would be a suitable franchisee. That doesn’t mean you should be on your best behaviour, but it does mean that if you’re offered a glass of wine or a beer at lunchtime that you don’t have too many and start behaving badly.
You should remember the golden rule in picking a franchise, which is never to hold back in asking whatever questions are troubling you.
John Pratt is senior partner at specialist franchise firm Hamilton Pratt and has advised franchisors for over 25 years.
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