International Franchising — Does the Glove Fit?

Buying an educational franchise is a lot like getting married. There is a great deal you need to know before you say, ‘I do.’ After all, you’re making a long-term commitment which requires a large investment. Just as you spend time and energy learning about your life partner, so too should you invest in learning everything you can about your potential franchise partner before you sign on the dotted line.

While due diligence can help you uncover a great deal about the franchise you’re planning to buy into, and the company’s reputation and track record can go a long way to assuaging any doubts you might have, there’s simply no replacement for a discovery visit at head office.

It’s here that you get an intimate look into who you’re going into business with. It provides a deep understanding of how the organization runs from top to bottom. It allows you to understand the company’s vision and values first hand. Talk to the people developing the programmes and gain a deeper understanding of the methodology. Meet the people who will be responsible for training, marketing, and logistics and assisting you to grow your business. Ask questions. And carefully evaluate the answers.

The discovery process works both ways. It allows both parties to get the full measure of the other. While most of your day-to-day operations will be carried out independently, you will be dependent on head office to deliver what they’ve promised. The franchise organization, on the other hand, will be assessing whether you, as the potential franchisor, have what it takes to succeed in a rewarding yet competitive market and meet the targets that you’ve set together.

Remember, you’re not just buying a product. You’re buying into an established business and becoming part of a wider global community. Make sure that you’re hitching your wagon to a star — a strong international brand that offers a sound launching pad for your fledgling enterprise. A discovery visit is an important part of figuring out whether buying into an educational franchise is a good fit for you.