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How to Spot for A Quality Franchise Operations before You Decide to Buy a Franchise: Observe the Own Units

KFC, New Plymouth, New Zealand

KFC, New Plymouth, New Zealand

The trivial part in spotting the right franchise opportunity is looking for proofs on all of the franchisor’s claims, regarding franchise operations – the staffing, office/store management, and design/display, to name a few.

There are many ways to do so, but I personally like to visit the franchisor’s own units, to observe and take note the pluses and minuses I found. Visiting franchisees’ store or office is also a good, similar, idea – However, in order to find proofs to what was pitched in the franchise marketing materials (and the UFOC), the franchisor’s own unit is a great starting point.

You might asked, “What if the franchise doesn’t have any own units?” I don’t know what the franchising experts will suggest you, but if you ask the question to me, I’d answered, “run away from it!” If a franchise cannot show you any proofs of previous success, how can it ensure franchisee candidates regarding the potential and profitability of the franchise opportunity?

What to observe in an own unit

There are many things to observe and take note in a franchisor’s own unit, such as:

  • How is the customer flow – What are the busy hours and days? Are there a huge surge of customer counts on busy hours, compared to the rest of the business hours (are customers coming in ‘trickle’ or in ‘flood’?
  • How are the staffs – Are they friendly and helpful? Do they know what they are doing? How well do they handle inquiries and complaints? Are they procrastinating?
  • How are the store/office maintenance and upkeep – Are the equipments up and running well? Are the displays well placed? Are the floors and the other business spaces well kept? Any lacks of lighting or broken ones?
  • How are the store/office layout and design elements – Are there empty shelves (poor supply management)? Are the products displayed effectively? Is the design or layout unique?
  • How are the in-store promotions – Are the offers displayed well? Are there acceptable amount of in-store promotion displays?
  • How are the settings and aura (never underestimate this one) – Do you feel welcomed entering the premise? Do you feel you can trust the store/office? Will there be another visit from you to the store/office?

I suggest you to do this a couple of times at different working hours and days – You should be able to get the idea about the franchise opportunity you are interested in – and later decide whether you should pursue it or not.

Ivan Widjaya
Finding top franchise operations

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