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There are many franchise brands in Canada today across multiple industries, so you have a pretty healthy selection when you decide to go into business for yourself. One of the first serious connections you'll have with a franchise is the initial conversation with its salesperson, also known as a franchise development representative. The salesperson's job is to determine whether you qualify for the opportunity in terms of financing and what the franchisor is looking for. Naturally, you'll be asked a lot of questions, but this isn't a one-sided interview; you can ask questions, too. Here are five that should be on your list.
How long has this franchise been in business?
You want to know two things here: how long the company has been around and how long it has been franchising. You can have a company that has been around for decades but just started franchising now. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you are essentially a test case, and you should know this before signing on so you're not surprised.
How long have you worked with this company?
Longevity is important in any franchise. If you have a salesperson who has been doing the job for years, you can rest assured that she or he is well versed in the inner workings of the franchise and knows what it takes for a franchisee to be successful.
What qualities does the franchisor look for in franchisees?
The answers here will vary by company, but they will help you determine if this is the right opportunity for you. If the salesperson tells you that strong marketing skills are a must and you don't enjoy marketing at all, for examplee, it's time to explore the next company.
How does this process work and how long will it take?
When you have a general overview of the franchisor's process and about how long it takes, you will be able to create a reasonable timeline for yourself to get things done, such as applying for a loan and writing your business plan.
If I were a family member, what would you tell me about this opportunity?
The idea here is to get the salesperson to tell you things about the opportunity that he or she doesn't usually tell candidates. There are no guarantees, but you never know what you may learn unless you ask.
Make the most of your time with a franchise salesperson by asking questions and getting useful information in return. With so many opportunities out there, you don't want to waste your time on the wrong one.