You will find most franchise owners are very willing to take time from their business day to talk with you. Often I have had individuals comment on how incredibly helpful these franchise owners were to them in their search. The amount of information a franchise owner is willing to share when he or she believes that you are truly interested in owning the franchise is astounding. From walking through every aspect of their experiences to their finances to their vision, what franchise owners are willing to share may be much more than you may expect. The reason most franchise owners will do this is that they were once in your seat. They were trying to figure out the answers to the same questions you have now. They want to tell you their story, warts and all. Those questions may include the following:
Will I love doing this?
Can I do this successfully?
Will I make the kind of money I need to make?
What kinds of people are associated with this franchise system?
If you had a chance to do this again, would you?
The truth is that if you approach these business owners from a place of honesty and respect, they will help you. It is human nature to reciprocate and they will honor your respect by inviting you into their businesses, they will send you information that you may not believe someone would make available to a stranger, they will give you tips that they picked up, and they will give you a glimpse into what your life may be like as a franchisee. I have asked many franchise owners why they do this, and their answers are candid:
Someone helped me in my search.
I want to make sure that the people who are coming into my brand share the same vision that my franchisor partner and I do.
I want to grow my brand, and the best way to do it is with strong franchise partners across the entire system.
Every franchise owner goes through a transition curve when they decide to own a franchise. Take a moment to understand what stage in this curve your owner is in. It is critical to help you better see where this franchisee is coming from. This graph below explains the various aspects of this curve. Successful franchisees go from uninformed optimism where they are excited but not fully educated on the concept they have just bought to eventually becoming informed and optimistic about the path their developing company is on. I would be happy to help you understand this curve and determine what stage the Zors we are talking with are in.