Don’t forget to use any and all professional advisors to help you during this process. Franchise Consultants, Accountants, financial planners, SBA and SCORE advisors, are all good resources. If all has gone well so far, you are finishing up your franchisee research. Plan a trip to visit the franchisor’s headquarters. Many franchisors will require this but if they don’t you should insist. Don’t go if you aren’t pretty sure that this is the right business for you, so that you don’t waste a lot of time and money on long distance travel. If the franchisor is near you, visit them as early in the process as you can.
Some people have a tendency to try to cut corners here and not make the trip. It is a very bad idea to skimp on your research. Both this step, and then the last step of taking any contracts to a franchise attorney are critical. Remember, joining a franchise system is a lot like getting married. Would you get married without meeting the bride? I hope not!
The last step is to go to an attorney. Make sure it is a franchise attorney, so that you have an expert in franchise law. Many franchise consultants can give you lists of local attorneys. They have a legal line with franchise attorneys from all over the country. After this last step you are ready to make a decision.
The process may seem arduous and long but it is really not that bad. The key is not to settle on a business that you don’t fit well with or not of the quality that you need. Researching each business carefully and comparing several to each other, should be the key to doing a good job on making a good decision for yourself.