• Does the prospective franchisee know any location where the franchise concept is likely to flourish?
• Does the prospect know of underserved markets to which the company could consider selling its goods? Why does the prospect think they’re viable markets?
• How interested is the prospect in learning the ins and outs of growing the business with the franchisor?
• Does the prospect have sufficient resources to grow a network of outlets as the company expands?
TIP: If you can’t afford formal market research, go undercover. Go around and visit the stores of your prospective franchisor. Observe the store at different times of the day, not only during peak hours, to have an idea of what and who drives sales. Go beyond the first impression. If it’s possible, talk to existing franchisees. More often than not, they’d be open to talk to you about their experience, good and bad.
Dig deep into a company’s corporate culture and brand personality to know whether its values mirror yours. Although they’re a crucial part of any business plan, a company’s vision and mission statements are often not taken to heart. Worse, it is sometimes dismissed an unrealistic statement of what a company wants to achieve. More often than not, the company culture—the collective internal conduct guiding its relationships with customers, suppliers, and shareholders—is the key to unlocking what a company really stands for.
Company culture “determines how members act, how energetically they contribute to teamwork, problem solving, innovation, customer service, productivity, and quality,” according to CompanyCulture.com, a companion website to a book authored by Dr. Barry Phegan, the co-founder of management consulting company The Meridian Group.
“It is a company’s culture that makes it safe (or not safe) for a person, division or the whole company to raise issues and solve problems, to act on new opportunities, or to move in new, creative directions. A company’s culture is often at the root of difficult people-related problems such as motivation, morale, absenteeism, communications, teamwork, retention, injuries, and insurance claims,” the website continues.
In a highly competitive business environment, company culture as lived by its employees could spell all the difference for the business, says Samie Lim, founder and chairman emeritus of the Philippine Franchise Association. If you are able to effectively communicate to your employees your vision for the company and the importance of the product or service you are trying sell, they will in turn communicate the message to your customers, he adds.