What To Do After The Franchise Expo
So you visited the franchise expo, and you were amazed (andpossibly somewhat confused) by the scene. You could picture yourself owning andoperating some of the franchise brands you visited, and you carried home a bagfull of information. Your brain was bursting with ideas, possibly stimulated byone or more seminars, and surely by many conversations with franchisors,franchisees, and franchise advisors.
But wow! It’s a lot of information.It’s a lot to consider. So many life-changing possibilities. So what do you donow?
You read this, that’s what you donow, and we’ll help you capitalize on your visit to the franchise expo.
- Firstrule post-expo: Stay calm. Re-assure yourself that you can make sense ofyour future in franchising. Look, tens of thousands of people in the USA havealready done it successfully. You can, too! It’s just a matter of followinglogical steps to success.
- Downloadyour ideas. Whether you sit quietly and think about your visit to the expo,or you sit at your computer and describe your experiences using a keyboard ordictation app, it’s important to remember the expo highlights. Which franchisesgot you excited? Which franchises would you prefer to own? Make a list.
- Make yourplan. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Timing doesn’t matter,either. You attended the expo because you’re looking to change your life byowning and building a franchise business. In a perfect world, what do you wantto happen now? Tomorrow? Next month? Sketch out your plan.
- List yourquestions. Based on what you already know, what do you still need to know?If you sat down with a franchise sales representative, or the CEO of afranchise brand, with the idea of becoming a franchisee, what questions do youstill need to ask? Make a list. To help you think of questions, here’s a free bookthat lists key questions to ask before you buy a franchise. Download itinstantly.
- Attend aDiscovery Day. Almost every franchise brand invites prospective franchiseesto visit the home office to learn more about acquiring rights to a franchise.Plan to go! In fact, plan to attend several. Contact the franchise brand, speakto the sales representative you met at the expo, and ask for information aboutupcoming Discovery Day events. You’ll be welcomed! This is the perfectopportunity to get your questions answered.
- Get theFranchise Disclosure Document (FDD). If you’re a U.S. citizen buying afranchise in the USA, the franchisor is required to give you the FDD at leasttwo weeks prior to you signing an agreement or paying a fee. Read this document– it’s written in plain English. It’s not a legal document. It’s free! Ask forit, read it, re-read it, and then share it with your franchise advisors who canhelp you decide if the franchise makes sense for you. Not a U.S. citizen? Notto worry. Ask for it anyway!
- Callfranchisees. You’ll find a list of the franchisor’s franchisees in the backof the FDD. The list includes names, addresses and phone numbers. This is animportant due diligence document. Use it! Call some of the franchisees and askthem for their opinions about the franchise opportunity. Refer to the free book forspecific questions.
- Contactyour advisors. At the expo, you probably visited the Professional BusinessCenter, or you attended seminars, or you stopped at the International FranchiseAssociation booth. You had the opportunity to meet with franchise lawyers,accountants, and moneylenders. These experts can help you now. Dig out thebusiness cards and make a list of important contacts. These are people who willbe happy to hear from you.
- If youneed money, consider your options. Nowadays, banks, leasing companies, andeven franchisors provide money to new franchisees. It’s important to know howmuch you’ll need, and then sit down with a financial advisor. Local banks thatprovide SBA loans are a good start. If you’re a U.S. veteran, check out VetFran!
- Breathe!Keep in mind that no one buys a franchise overnight. That doesn’t make goodsense. On average, it will take 60 to 90 days to make a buying decision, orlonger if you can’t devote time to the process. The timing doesn’t matter.Changing your life for the better through franchise ownership is what matters.Whether you do that in 90 days or more should never be the issue. Get answersto your questions, feel good about your decision, and then become a franchisee.Meanwhile, breathe!
There’s your post-expo plan of action. Now just in case youmissed the expo and you’re looking to attend one, visit FranchiseExpo.com for upcoming events.
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