Discovery Days are very important for a beginner franchisee or a seasoned franchisee. The depth of information shared and things learned can be very valuable, especially for a prospective franchisee. However, if you’re new to the franchising industry, these quick tips will help you sail through your first Discovery Day.
1. Prepare yourself
Come prepared for the event beforehand. Find out information about the brand, conduct research and see what people are saying about the brand. Check the website, social media sites and know what you’re up against. If you know whom you will be meeting, read up about them.
Also, check up on the existing franchises. Ask to speak to the owners and ask them questions about the brand. Go and see how the factory unit works, and ask for a tour of the place if possible.
2. Get your significant other along
Discovery Days are best when both you and your partner attend it together. After all, everyone involved in the business should know what they’re getting into. There is a lot of work in starting a franchise, and you’ll need all the help you can get. Introducing your partner right from the start is a good way to integrate them into the business. Their input will be very valuable when things go haywire, or if you’re in the middle of a crisis.
3. Prepare a list of questions beforehand
You will have many questions as you do your research and get to meet people. However, not all your questions can be answered immediately. Make a list of these questions and ask them on the Discovery Day. The face-to-face meetings with the franchisors will benefit you much once you know the right questions to ask.
4. Ask for a tour
When you go for a Discovery Day, you can ask for a tour of the franchise office or an operating unit. The franchisor will be happy to help you see for yourself how these are operated. When visiting the office or the factory you can see the level of enthusiasm in the staff and know whether the employees are happy to be working there.
While on the tour, you will learn how the day-to-day activities happen, and you might have more questions to ask. Don’t be shy to ask questions.
5. Take notes
Always take notes at a Discovery Day or during the tour. You can go back to it and it will help you make a decision whether or not you are interested in a particular franchise. The organizers may say that they will send you notes from their session, but it might not always be complete. Taking down notes also shows that you are serious and will know what to ask.
Now that we know what to do, here’s a list of what not to do at a Franchise Discovery Day.
1. Don’t wear slippers to the event
If you want to make an impression then you’re best bet is wearing business casual. Dressing sloppy or wearing a casual attire may send wrong signals to the franchisors, who are mostly dressed in formals. Show them that you mean business and get them to have a good first impression.
2. Don’t be busy on your cell phone
The cell phone is a great source of distraction other than taking important calls and messages. If you will be seen as distractive, rude, uncaring and not interested in what’s happening around you. It would be good if you left your phone at home or just simply switched it off for a while, while attending the Discovery Day.
3. Don’t leave the event early
If you think the Discovery Day is not going the way you intended, just hang on anyway. Since the organizers have put in a lot of time and energy into the event, you should know what is it that they’re trying to convey. The only reason to leave the event is if you’re not interested in what they have to offer. Even then, be dignified about it.
4. Don’t be reserved
At Discovery Days you might meet a lot of people who ask a lot of questions about the franchise. Apart from taking notes, be sure to ask a few as well. Don’t be reserved or hold off from any conversations at the event. Since you’re there, you might as well make the most of it.
5. Don’t make immediate decisions
Chances are you will be impressed with a lot that goes on at a Discovery Day. But the key is to remain composed and not make any immediate decisions. Always take time to go through your notes, talk to your spouse and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.