Franchise discovery day tips: making the most of your visit

If you’ve found a franchise you’re interested in potentially buying, franchise discovery day tips are good to consider. Discovery day is an important step in your research process. It comes after you’ve done your preliminary research and are focusing in on one or a small number of franchises.

What is a franchise discovery day?

During a typical discovery day, you travel to visit the franchise and its staff. You’ll gather information to help you assess whether the franchise offers what you’re looking for and whether you’re a good fit. Typically, you get a chance to meet corporate staff, tour the headquarters and a franchise unit, check out the products and services, and in some cases, meet franchisees.

You can ask any remaining questions, get a feel for the corporate culture, meet the founder, and speak with key staff in marketing, operations, and training.

Franchise discovery day tips

Remember that as you evaluate the franchisor, the franchisor is evaluating you as a potential franchisee. Here are some things to think about as you prepare:

  • Arrive properly dressed, armed with questions, and ready to listen and learn. If possible, find out in advance what type of attire is appropriate. First impressions are important. Avoid looking at your phone during presentations and discussions.
  • Be prepared to explain how your skills, experience, and personality will help you succeed as a franchisee. Any self-assessment you did earlier in the process should give you some good material to work with.
  • Meet with people in operations, training, technical support, and marketing. Can you see yourself working with these people long-term? Pay attention to the way people in the organization interact. How much respect do they show each other? Are senior executives open to suggestions from lower-level employees?
  • When meeting the founder and/or president, pay attention to how they describe the vision of the company and where it’s going. You can also assess their leadership style, passion for the company, and whether they inspire you.
  • Soak up the culture and corporate personality. Is it formal? Informal? Would you fit in? Do your values align? Do you trust what they are saying? This is a long-term relationship, so these issues will affect your future. Trust your gut.
  • Make comparisons with information you’ve uncovered earlier in your research. Does what the franchisor is telling you jibe with what you heard from franchisees during your validation calls?
  • Resolve your most important remaining questions. Keep them specific, and limited to about a dozen or so.

Being invited to a discovery day is a big deal indeed. It means you’ve done enough legwork and homework to be close to a franchise decision. So treat the day as the important event that it is, by putting your best foot forward and paying close attention to what you seeing and learning. That was you can maximize your chance of future success.