Congratulations! You’ve made it far enough to land an interview with a franchisor. This is your chance to learn more about the company and let them learn more about you. You might be wondering: “How do I prepare for a franchise interview?” Sometimes it’s more about asking the right questions than providing the right answers. Here are some tips on how to ace your interview, along with some questions to ask a franchisor.
Research the Company
Learn all you can about the company before the interview. Most franchising organizations have put a great deal of content out there about their company’s history and current performance. It won’t be hard to find.
In other cases, you may learn greater detail about a company by reading trade publications or noting their recent stock performance if the company is publicly traded.
Do you have access to the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)? All franchises are required to provide you with this document along with the franchise agreement. If you’re able to access the FDD before the interview, it can provide a lot of information about the company.
Item 19, particularly, will help you learn about the company’s recent financial performance, which might also be a good predictor of your future success.
Research the Industry
Researching the company is a good start, but it also helps to know the challenges that face any company within the industry. These might be historic, timeless challenges, such as reaching a particular customer base, or recent challenges raised by increased competition, new technology, etc.
Again, reading industry publications can help you get a better feel for a particular market sector. This might also help you think of a few questions to ask a franchisor regarding the ways the company is adapting to these challenges.
Understand Your Finances
Owning a franchise is a business opportunity as well as an investment. Franchisors will want to ensure that you’re prepared to invest. This means that you should be prepared to answer direct questions regarding your finances. The interviewer might ask:
- How you plan on covering the franchising fee and other startup costs
- How you will adapt to unexpected costs during normal operations
- Whether you understand the fee structures outlined in the franchise agreement
It’s important to think through these questions well in advance. The startup costs of a franchise are never hidden, so there’s no real secret about how much funding you’ll need. Before the interview, you can start looking into financing options based on your available funds, the money you need, and your personal credit history.
Are you wondering, “How do I prepare for a franchise interview when it comes to funding?” You don’t need to have funding secured to ace your interview (in fact, that would be premature). But having some concrete plans will show that you’re committed to the process and that funding is within reach.
Talk to Other Franchisees
One of the best ways to prepare for your franchise interview is to talk to other franchisees. New franchisees may have recently gone through the same interview process you’re about to experience. They can give you insider tips on what to expect and help you think of questions to ask a franchisor.
You might just ask flat out: “How do I prepare for a franchise interview?” There may be some unique questions that apply to the franchising company, and these franchisees can steer you in the right direction. They might be able to highlight key areas and experiences that can help you ace the interview.
Finally, it’s important to be honest throughout your interview. For example, your interviewers might have specific questions about your occupational background, such as:
- Do you have any experience in this industry?
- Have you ever written a business plan?
- How many other franchises have you contacted?
Answering these questions directly and honestly can go a long way. In many cases, the franchisor can provide you with training if this is your first time working in the industry, so don’t be afraid of admitting that you don’t have experience in a particular sector.
How Do I Find a Franchise That Fits Me?
Before you land an interview, you need to find the right franchise. Franchise.com lets you search for franchises in your area, and you can even search by investment level. Start your search today, and before you know it, you’ll be preparing for that interview.