Planning an Engaging and Informative Franchise Discovery Day
As your franchise grows, so will your network. You’ll need people to run your administrative offices and franchisees to open and operate locations. However you find your leads – by attending expos, advertising online, soliciting references, or something of the like – most discerning entrepreneurs won’t sign a franchise agreement the day you’re introduced. They’re going to want more information and to get to know you and your company better. One of the best ways to do that is to hold a discovery day.
A franchise discovery day is an event where franchisors host franchise candidates who are considering joining the system. As a franchisor, you invite these candidates to your company headquarters for a franchise discovery day presentation, where you showcase your brand, business model, corporate culture, and products and/or services. You’ll also answer questions from candidates, as well as ask a few of your own. Since you’re courting potential business partners, this event will be more than just a tour of your office and/or facilities., However, such a tour is a great addition to the itinerary as it gives potential franchisees an up close look at how things really work.
The primary focus of the discovery day event is the presentation. It should provide an overview of your company including goals and business philosophies, an explanation of your location models, and a detailed list of your franchisee support systems. Many entrepreneurs contact existing franchisees before or following a discovery day. Make sure to alert your franchisees when you have an event scheduled and let them know they might receive some calls asking about their experience as a franchisee.
Entrepreneurs attending the event are there to learn about your company, so be clear about what your company does and what you’re looking for in franchisees. Consider providing a franchise agreement example for those at the event to examine. If you haven’t provided one already, a copy of your latest franchise disclosure document (FDD) will also be appreciated.
Be a Good Host
A franchise discovery day is a bit like holding a house party. It’s important to be a good host for those who are coming. If your company can afford it, offer to pay part, or all, of your visitor’s traveling expenses. Be prepared to host not only the entrepreneurs themselves, but also their families, since buying a business is often a family decision. Make sure that your corporate culture is on full display, and that you give the attending entrepreneurs a good feel for what it’s like to be a member of your team.
Entrepreneurs looking for a franchise are going to have questions, and your franchise discovery day is a good opportunity to provide answers. Some questions to expect include:
What support do you provide your franchisees?
Do you have financing options for opening locations?
On average, how long does it take franchisees to break even?
What is your relationship with your franchisees?
How are you working towards growing your franchise?
How do you handle franchisee departures/location sales?
What are your company values?
Have you ever terminated a franchise agreement and if so, why?
The exchange between you and the candidates isn’t a one way street, however. It’s a good idea to ask questions of your own to know if a given person will be a good fit for your company. Below are a few good questions to ask:
What is your business experience?
Have you been in a supervisor position before?
What are your long-term plans?
How do you plan to manage your business?
How many units do you want to operate, both now and in the near future?
Virtual Discovery Day
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies had to shift a lot of their business activity to online platforms, including their discovery day events. Many of the restrictions have been lifted, but some people have grown accustomed to doing things remotely rather than in person. If your business is primarily conducted online, or you have multiple leads who prefer remote communication, you might want to consider hosting an online event. This will provide flexibility in how people can attend the event, and can open your business up to a larger franchisee pool.
Find Franchise Leads with MFV
To host a discovery day, you need leads to attend it, and we at MFV are eager to help you find them. We’re a franchising network with over 30 years of experience bringing the franchise world together. Through our newsletter, website, informational blogs, and franchising expos, we’re able to bring together entrepreneurs looking for a franchise to join and franchisors looking for new investors. Register as an exhibitor for the next MFV expo near you and learn how we can help your franchise grow.