During the process of investigating a franchise opportunity a prospective buyer (prospect) will interview current franchise owners (franchisees). This step is often referred to as "validation." During the validation process, the prospect will call on as many franchisees as possible and conduct extensive interviews to gather information about the franchise opportunity. Interviewing franchisees is a valuable source of information for the prospect since it is a way to get unfiltered opinions about the franchise system.
A complete list of current franchisees will be listed in a franchise's Franchise Disclosure Document . In addition, some franchisors will provide a list of current franchise owners to contact. Contacting franchisees can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience for the prospect, and for that reason many drop out of the investigation process at this stage. Franchisees are typically busy people; once contacted, many will openly and honestly share the lessons they've learned.
While happy franchisees are generally a strong sign of a healthy franchise system, a prospect should expect some negative feedback. In fact, a prospect should seek out unhappy franchisees as diligently as happy ones, since their perspectives can help prospects identify potential pitfalls and set appropriate expectations.There are firms that independently survey franchsiees and offer this validation service. Be certain to review the methodology used by the research company before... Read More