Is it a good idea to speak to existing franchisees of a business when you’re considering whether to get your own franchise?
Yes, it’s imperative you engage with existing franchisees who represent various levels of experience and time in the business.
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I would strongly suggest you meet with the longest-standing franchisees to gain a detailed understanding of their journeys within the business and how the franchisor has assisted them to grow their business and support them [and other franchisees] in difficult times.
You should also meet with multi-unit franchisees within the system, to gauge their experience in transitioning from one to multiple stores/regions [as the case may be] and what support the franchisor provided them from a training and mentoring perspective to achieve this.
I would also meet with franchisees who have just opened their first store/region and ask them their opinion on the training and support they received from the franchisor before and throughout their opening.
The range of information and feedback you receive from a series of meetings like this will be invaluable, and will certainly go a long way to you determining the merits and bona fides of a franchise opportunity.