Before even speaking with a franchisor, the first step in the franchise discovery process is to conduct some initial research. Of all the steps in the Franchise Discovery Process, this is the one that has changed most drastically over the last twenty years.
Historically, if you wanted to research franchising and franchise opportunities, you would typically attend a franchise exhibition or engage with a specialist franchise broker (the same way you might use an Independent Financial Advisor to help explore investment opportunities).
A franchise broker would open your world to the different possibilities while a franchise show would allow you to speak and engage with the brands that were of most interest. Times have since changed.
Thanks to the growth of the internet, a large majority of research is carried out by prospective franchisees online before they even engage with a franchisor. You can explore a franchisor’s website, learn more about the brand and model, download prospectuses and white papers, read and watch case studies and much more.
This puts you in an immense position of being able to thoroughly understand an opportunity before even engaging in a conversation with the franchise.
However, this can also work to your disadvantage. Due to the abundance of information online and its easy accessibility, franchisors now expect prospective franchisees to have carried out, at the very least, a basic research of who they are and what they are about. Failure to do so could look bad on you and make the franchisor not want to continue the conversation any further.