A franchise discovery day is usually an event in which a franchisor and prospective franchisees meet to learn more about each other to see if their businesses make the right fit. Usually, this event is one of the last steps a franchisor or franchisee takes before striking a deal. The franchisor is looking for serious candidates who meet their financial requirements to make an ideal franchisee. Usually, during the franchise discovery day event, there is a detailed agenda which often includes one-on-one meetings and group presentations about the franchise opportunity. You can also meet with important personnel such as those involved in training and support and marketing. Visiting franchise locations may also be part of the tour and event.
As with any meeting, it is crucial to be well-prepared, especially since this could lead to a great team and franchise agreement.
Can Anyone Attend a Franchise Discovery Day?
Unfortunately, not everyone can attend franchise discovery day. As briefly mentioned above, attending discovery day is usually reserved for only the most serious and prospective franchisees the franchisor thinks could be suitable fits for their business model. So, in short, it is a big deal if you are invited to the franchisor’s headquarters for this event. It is also important to remember that many franchises and franchisees can easily research franchise prospects in the age of Google, so this event also serves as a face-to-face before signing a franchise agreement. Potential franchisees can then ask clarifying questions and bring home their mission more detailedly that is not necessarily clear from a quick Google search.
How to Prepare for Discovery Day
Since this event is monumental in a franchise company’s business, it is critical to put your best foot forward be the most prepared to make a lasting impression. Franchise owners should be ready to ask and answer questions about their business and showcase how they make a good match. First and foremost, be sure that you show the franchisee or franchisor that you are interested and dressed appropriately to communicate professionalism and dedication.
If you are a potential franchisee, do your due diligence and make connections at the event. Find team members at the headquarters such as operations, training, technical support, and marketing if possible and chat to them as well. How do they conduct their work? Can you see yourself working with them long-term? Do you share common goals and ideas in your business plans?
Make sure that the company inspires you and has some sort of connection with its franchise system. Do extensive research before the event to learn the ins and outs of the company and have a list of reasons for why your franchise, in particular, would make the best choice for their company.
Most importantly, be ready to learn and be open to their ideas and scope out the company on whether their values and visions are reflected in their communications and presentations. This validation is needed to create a lasting and successful team.
What Questions Should I Ask?
Questions are one of the most critical features of the discovery day process, where franchise candidates genuinely get the chance to learn more about the company to recognize how the franchisor or franchisee operates honestly. Some example questions are shown below to ask either yourself or the company.
What are the long-term goals/plans of the company?
This is a crucial question and should always be at the forefront of either party’s mind. Knowing that each party has the same end goal helps ascertain genuinely whether you are a good match to work with at the end of the day. If the goals match, it is a promising sign that the companies have the same values.
How will you make money?
Figuring out the finance specifics in this investment is also an extremely important question in regards to the actual goals of the company. Making sure that the other company is planning for the long-term regarding franchise sales points you in a good direction in how the partnership will work and how you can work together to achieve the same goal while also turning a profit.
What are others saying about this brand/company?
One of the best indicators of whether a brand is right for you is word of mouth from someone who had the experience of working with them as well. Potential franchisors will often include these testimonials during discovery day as extra validation and evidence of their success in previous franchise agreements. Ensuring that their testimony at the event matches with others can give comfort that you are in the right hands to shed light on their operations and how past franchise ownerships became successful under their agreement.
What Happens After Discovery Day?
In most franchise agreements, the goal of discovery day is not to make an immediate decision and sign contracts by the end of the event. In the following days, the prospective franchisor will most likely want to discuss the meeting and hash out their feedback with team members to truly get a feel for the overall consensus about the potential franchisee. As such, the company can garner an accurate impression of the company without the pressure of needing to make a decision immediately and then later possibly regretting it.
It is additionally important to discuss the franchise agreement with an attorney and especially if the deal is approved, to figure out the next steps in the franchise ownership and agreement to ensure a smooth transition.
Discovery day, in brief, is an event where potential franchisors/franchisees meet to learn more about each other’s companies to get a feel for whether they are the right match for an agreement. It is usually an event that takes place after extensive research has already been done, so most of the time, it is the last step before deciding on the choice. Because of the high stakes associated with discovery day, it is important to be as prepared as possible. This includes asking many relevant questions that may have come up in your research that reflect your interest and expertise in the company’s goals and values. It is crucial to make sure that the company also shares these values and end goals to ensure a smooth operation.
Coming prepared with information about your own business is also principal to showcase how the agreement can benefit the other side and advertise your company’s relevance and successes to increase the chances of a franchise agreement with mutual benefits.