A franchise discovery day can be daunting to someone just diving into the industry. So what is it all about? What should you expect? What does the process look like leading into discovery day? If you’re trying to prepare and don’t know where to turn, I answer some of your burning questions in this episode of Franchise Secrets.
Jori Hayes turns the tables and asks me some of the need-to-know questions when prepping for discovery day. Jori is a multi-unit franchisee and co-owner of STUSS consulting. She has extensive experience in helping launch franchises and improving sales and operations, and I’m excited to have her as co-host of this episode.
I believe you should attend discovery day when you are deep into the process of learning about a particular franchise. You should have already conducted extensive research and done your due diligence. Two things need to have taken place before traveling to a discovery day:
Plus, you should have done 4-6 weeks of in-depth research and communication with the franchise and franchisees. By your 3rd call or webinar with the franchisor, it’s time to find out when the next discovery day is and make plans to go.
Jori and I both recommend keeping your plans close to your vest. If you are too forthright with current franchisees about your interest, they could scoop up a territory out from under you.
You should know the answers to 90% of the questions you could ask by the time you go to discovery day. Instead of seeking out the CEO, CFO or other top players to pick their brain, focus on forming relationships with your potential peers. Do you fit in with the culture? Are they friendly and approachable?
Buying into a franchise means you’re becoming a member of an existing family.
It’s imperative that you’re a good fit for each other. You might go into discovery day and learn no more than what you already know. But you have taken the opportunity to validate what you’ve learned and that is invaluable. Jori and I cover some details you could inquire about, so keep listening!
Franchisors are looking at you as much as you’re looking at them. Your behavior, attitude, experience and more are taken into account during the process. They’ll watch you to see how you fit in with their current franchisees. If they like what they see, they’ll approve you to become a franchisee within days of discovery day.
At this point, you need to be able to quickly and precisely say yes, or no.
You’ll know in your gut if you want to say yes and move forward. You’ll also know if you have to pass up the opportunity. Franchisors are looking for decisiveness. If you waffle with the decision, they can just as easily retract their offer. So it is important to be prepared to answer before you even go into discovery day—and it let it push in one direction or the other.
Before you start down the road of validation and discovery day, you need to have clarity on what you’re looking for and why you’re taking this route. What energizes you? What part of the process would you excel at? Do you have people in play who can compensate for your weaknesses?
It’s not going to be easy.
When you learn something new you will make mistakes—it’s just part of life. There will be pain points and challenges to overcome. Both Jori and I recommend working with a consultant or at least speaking with a mentor. They can help guide you towards something that will be a great fit for your talents. So when it comes down to making the final decision, you know in your gut that you’re ready for the challenge.