As you can imagine, I receive a steady stream of emails from prospective franchisees seeking advice on specific franchise opportunities. While I’m always happy to hear from my readers and I try to give my honest opinion in all cases, I’m very careful not to steer my readers in a particular direction. Investing in a franchise requires such a huge investment of one’s time and resources that I don’t want my casual opinion to carry a disproportionate weight in one’s decision-making.
But I’ve noticed that a number of my readers have “fallen in love” with their chosen franchise, that they’ve become blind to the obvious red flags that are apparent to an informed but disinterested observer. After some brainstorming with people I respect, I’ve come up with a way to help guide prospective franchisees through the due diligence process, without unduly influencing their ultimate decision of whether or not to invest.
Today, I’m happy to announce Franchise Chatter’s new advisory service for prospective franchisees. How does this work? After getting to know your particular circumstances and the reasons why you are attracted to a given franchise, I will prepare for you a detailed list of questions that can serve as your comprehensive checklist of things to ask the franchisor and current franchisees.
My written deliverable will consist of a mix of standard questions, as well as questions particular to the category, the franchise opportunity, and your unique situation. I will base my questions on our initial conversation (via email), as well as the company’s website, FDD, press releases, and news articles.
I do have access to some FDDs, but not all. If I can’t get my hand on the FDD needed, you’d have to forward to me the FDD that the franchisor provides, assuming you’ve already reached that stage in the process. I can also recommend a few websites that sell downloadable copies of the latest FDDs.
Although some of you may prefer to receive an actual recommendation for or against a particular franchise, that’s not what my advisory service is about. My questions will provide some clues on how I feel about the franchise, but nothing will be explicit. This is the best compromise I can think of to help prospective franchisees evaluate all aspects of an opportunity, while still leaving the final decision up to the investor, which is really how it should be.
To make the process more efficient and manageable and to keep my rates low, I can only commit to written communications via email. For my comprehensive list of questions prepared specifically for you, I charge a flat rate of $250, payable in advance via PayPal.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.