I’m considering buying a pizza franchise. What kind of support should I expect of the franchisor?
Great question! The franchise agreement will spell out the specific obligations of the franchisor in a section titled “Franchisor Obligations” or “Franchisor Duties”. These details are helpful, as they are what the franchisor is legally obligated to do to help you, but what you really want to know is what is the culture of support like in the system? Here’s the type of help you should expect:
Initial Training – You’re buying a franchise for a reason right? You want help getting started! The initial training should be robust; look for several weeks of training in operating stores as well as some classroom time.
Regular Site Visits – Ask the franchisor how often they’ll visit you. Over time the frequency of these visits will change, just make sure at the beginning of your franchise agreement you see them regularly – probably daily for the first few weeks.
Product Innovation – Ask the franchisor when and how you can be involved in new product development. If the answer is “from day one” RUN. You’re a new franchisee, If you could do this on your own you shouldn’t be buying a franchise. You should be able to be involved in new product development after a few years of success.
Marketing Support – Ask the franchisor how you’ll interface with the marketing team. Who generates ads? Who approves them? What is the turn around time? If you want to get creative and do some “out of the box marketing” what kind of help will you get?
As-Needed Support – What if you just need to call someone to ask questions and talk about how business is? Ask the franchisor who the general support contact is and how often they’re available. Meet with this person and get to know them. Will you be able to turn to them for advice on a tough day? That tough day isn’t as far away as you think it is…