If I’m known for anything among my fellow Franchise Consultants, I am known for my blind date analogy. I equate the entire process of exploring a franchise as a courtship leading to a marriage, where it’s the franchisor’s opportunity to award to you before it’s your business to buy. So, it’s your job to get the franchisor to fall in love with you during your due diligence process such that they’re asking for your hand.
In this marriage, every good courtship begins with a first date. If you’re working with me, we begin with a blind date. In my blind date round, candidates can’t say “no,” they just have to go! There’s a couple of reasons for this: The first reason is because people might eliminate a brand based on the widget: they don’t know anything about it, they don’t think they like it.
My goal in being a good Franchise Consultant is to help the candidate remove the thinking about the widget and get focused on the people, the culture, the vision, the growth, the momentum of the brand to go from consumer thinking what the widget is; does my market need one? To investor thinking, how do we compete and how many customers do I need in this business to make the kind of money that I want to make? So, the blind date round is a high-level overview of the industry, the company: how they’re growing, their mission, their culture. It’s just enough to give the candidate a peek into the organization and for them to say, “Am I interested in going to another date?” Some of my candidates have a blast with this analogy, and they’ll even come back and say, “Let’s have a rose ceremony,” and they’ll tell me which franchisors are getting arroyos and which ones are going home! And I love it because it just brings more fun to the process because this can be a fairly emotional process. It can be stressful for people. Well, we want their dream of owning a business.
For most people, it’s still the first time they’ve ever owned a business. And because of that, there’s a lot of insecurities. Courtship is where I become your dating coach. But, ultimately, I’m coaching my candidates to use that Discovery Day as their closing tool because I want my candidates to feel in control of their process. I want them to feel like it’s THEIR decision.
Sometimes, during this dating process, where we are comparing and contrasting, all of a sudden, a franchisor that you didn’t think you were going to be attracted to becomes the stand-out, becomes the one that, all of a sudden, you want to potentially invest in. And this is really the genius of the process that I use. I have placed many people into franchise businesses that they never saw coming.
After you’ve done all of your due diligence with the franchisor, then we’re going to go out, and we’re going to meet the crazy family, and we call this validation. It’s REALLY important to know what other kind of crazy people have said yes to this investment. Do you sound like them? Are you different than them? Are they happy knowing what they know now? Would they do it again? Meeting the family of franchisees is one of the greatest advantages of exploring a franchise investment compared to going out and buying a private business for sale. You definitely don’t want to skip that part.
A good franchise exploratory process takes about one to two months to get you competent in the due diligence that you’ve done so that you can be confident in your final answer. And all during those steps, if you’re following the advice of The Daly Coach, those franchisors are going to fall madly in love with you, and they are ALL going to want you in their system. And that’s the position I want you to be in. I want YOU to have the opportunity to say yes or no to them, not the other way around. Once you’ve completed your Discovery Day event, and they’ve offered you the opportunity to move forward, they’ve dropped to their knee and offered you that final rose, then you have to say yes, just like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, right there on the spot, at the final rose ceremony, has to say yes or no to that wedding proposal.
This dating analogy, of course, is simple and fun, but it really does explain the process in terms that you can understand, because many times people who are exploring a franchise, this is the first time they’ve done it, and you don’t know the steps.