What should I expect from a franchisor “discovery day”?

If you have been invited to a franchisor’s discovery day, it means that you have shown interest in the franchise and the franchisor, based on any information he has about you, believes that you might be a suitable franchise candidate.  Bear in mind that the fussier a franchisor is in recruiting franchisees, the better. The well worn saying of “if a prospect has a pulse and a cheque book then they should be recruited” is only true of the very worst franchisor.

The purpose of a discovery day is two fold.  First, to give you as much information as possible concerning the franchise opportunity.  Bear in mind that, of course, the franchisor is trying to sell the franchise and so you do need to treat what you are being told with suspicion and to check it out. The best way of doing that is to obtain a list of the franchisor’s franchisees (and not just the ones that the franchisor wants you to talk to) and ask them how good is the support from the franchisor, how much money do they make, will they renew, etc.  The second purpose of a discovery day is for the franchisor to find out more about you and to establish whether you would be a suitable franchisee. That does not mean that you should be on best behaviour but it does mean that if you are offered a glass of wine or a beer at lunchtime that you don’t have too many and start behaving badly!

You should remember the golden rule in picking a franchise which is never to hold back in asking whatever questions are troubling you!