Before Buying a Health and Wellness Franchise, Get Insight From Franchisees
If you want to know what the health and wellness franchise you are considering investing in is really like, speak with those who know best — franchisees who invested in it.
Before you pick up the phone to ask franchisees to chat with you about their experience, know they probably won’t because you could be a competitor seeking information. Most potential franchise investors typically get the most out of franchisees by following these steps.
- Obtain the Franchise Disclosure Document from the health and wellness franchisor you are interested in, its Item 20 features the names, telephone numbers, emails, and addresses of franchisees in the system.
- Interview a nice-sized sampling of franchisees from the list, ideally at least six, since some will have good experiences to report, while others may have quite a few negative things to say. Speak with ones who have been in the system for a long time because they understand how it works and its potential, as well as more recent franchisees who have been through the latest training and can talk about the pre- and post-opening support they received. If possible, speak with franchisees who are in a market similar to yours. The more franchisees you talk to about the health and wellness franchise you are interested in, the more realistic an impression you will get. The franchisor may want to know who you intend to call in order to let the franchisees know that it is fine to speak with you.
- Prepare for your interviews with franchisees. They are very busy, so it’s best to keep your interviews as short as possible, while ensuring you get the information you need.
After investing in seven Fitness Together, two Elements Massage, and ten FI36 franchise locations with his business partners, Aaron Forinash knows exactly what questions to ask franchisees in order to effectively gauge a franchise system. He suggests getting answers to the following prior to moving forward with investing in any health or wellness franchise that interests you:
- How long have you been open?
- Did you purchase an existing franchise or open it yourself?
- How much net revenue do you make?
- How has your franchise done in the last three years trending?
- What is your schedule like each week?
- Do you work at a studio or remotely?
- Do you travel for work?
- Do you have a manager?
- Do you have business partners?
- What did you do before owning your franchise?
- What is your degree in?
- What kind of support does the franchisor provide?
- Do you have systems in place to accomplish LSM, digital marking, and CRM?
- Are other franchise owners nice and easy to work with?
- How are you going to sell your franchise when you want to?
You don’t need to ask franchisees every question, only ones that address topics that matter most to you including finances, support, culture, and work-life balance.
The $3.7 trillion global health and wellness industry has certainly made it possible for entrepreneurially minded individuals like Forinash to achieve their professional dreams. Although no one can predict how successful you’ll be as a health and wellness franchisee, insight into the experience most of the franchisees in the system you are interested in seem to have will help you decide if you wish to continue with investing in it or not. Beyond interviewing franchisees, it’s a good idea to shadow a franchisee ideally for a week. Doing so will enable you to experience what being a franchisee is actually like. Usually the franchisor will connect you with a franchisee to do this if you ask.
2 Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology used for managing company relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.
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