Validation is an important step in your due diligence in a franchise investigation.
Here are my TOP 6 validation questions to ask franchise owners.
What is Franchise Validation? Validation, or talking to other franchise owners, is one of the most important steps in your due diligence process in a franchise investigation. What I don’t want is for one franchise owner to clip your sales or to limit your beliefs about what is possible. In this video, I want to share my top six validation questions.
One of the most common mistakes that candidates make with validation is taking what one person says to them as the whole truth. This is that franchise owner’s truth, but it’s not always the truth. When you’re validating a concept, it’s important that you talk to as many people as you can. You’re looking for the commonality among everything that you’re hearing.
In a strong franchise system, there will be consistency among the validation, especially if you’re talking to the top-performing franchise owners. The top-performing people have mastered the model. The top performers are clear about what drives top performance in their business. Therefore, they will equally know why people in their business won’t be successful, but they’ll know it factually, not emotionally.
Before you start asking franchisees about their numbers—an important part of validation but not the most important part—and before we can ask questions about their financial results, wouldn’t it be important to have context about who you’re talking to, why they chose that business, and what their background and skills were coming into the business? Here’s what to ask them to dive deeper.
Question #1: What did you do before selecting this business?
By knowing what they did in their previous life, you’re going to understand their potential attraction to this business. You’re also going to understand their potential learning curve.
Question #2: Why did you select this business?
If the franchisee that you’re talking to you went out and validated all of the competition and ended up with this business, that could be amazing validation for you.
Question #3: Knowing what you know now, would you do this again? Why or why not?
If a franchisee feels well supported and, knowing what they know now, they would do it again, that’s amazing validation for you. If the franchisee says, knowing what they know now, they’re not sure they would do it again, it doesn’t mean it’s not the business for you. Find out why they wouldn’t want to do it again–but avoid making generalizations that everyone feels this way.
Question #4: What has been your biggest aha moment?
What they say does not have to be your truth. It is their truth based on what they brought into this business from their previous life and the expectations that they started with.
Question #5: Do you feel well trained and supported?
In most cases, what they see here will be very applicable to you. But let’s say that they feel they haven’t been well trained or supported. You could then ask follow-up questions with regard to how much the training has improved in the years that they’ve been involved in the franchise. Because remember, every franchise business has to grow and adapt. We can’t fault a franchisor that was a start-up franchise five years ago and didn’t necessarily know how to properly train their franchisees.
Question #6: If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Their answer offers amazing advice for you. And in fact, it’s the question that every franchisor would want you to ask because the goal of every strong franchisor is to graduate the next class with a little bit more information, get those franchisees out of the gate faster, ramp up faster, get to profitability faster. That is going to be the evolution of the brand, that momentum that’s created with each graduating class.
If you follow the four questions that I spell out in The Daly Plan, then you’re going to understand where the gas pedal is in that business and how to drive maximum revenue, which ultimately is what you should be trying to validate.
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