What is a Franchise Discovery Day?

By Steve Murphy, President of Franchising

Almost every franchisor has a Discovery Day. While they may differ in their execution, Discovery Day is really exactly what is says – a day of discovery.

Most franchisors host a Discovery Day from once a week to once a quarter, depending on the size and scope of the franchise and how many interested candidates they have. The franchisor is inviting franchise candidates to come in and learn more about the opportunity, while also learning more about the franchise candidate. However, most franchise candidates don’t realize that Discovery Day is actually a two-way street. When considering a franchise investment, realize that Discovery Day is for both parties, the franchise candidate and the franchisor.

A good franchisor will award a franchise to a candidate, not sell a franchise. Note the subtle difference – selling a franchise is a one-sided transaction, with a buyer and a seller on opposite sides of that transaction. When you are awarding a franchise, it is a mutual decision. The franchise candidate must believe it is the right decision for them, and the franchisor must feel the candidate is the best fit for them in that market. The two parties are on the same side of the fence, deciding if it will work to each other’s benefit.

So if you are considering attending a Discovery Day to pursue your interest in starting a new franchise, change your frame of mind before you walk in the door. Realize that you will wear two hats that day. The first hat will be one of the inquiring franchise candidate – have a list of questions you want answered, interview the franchisor to understand their brand, their level of support and their future plans and be sure you are comfortable with where you fit into those plans.

At the same time, you will wear the hat of the interviewee. Be prepared to discuss with the franchisor your qualifications for successfully operating the franchise in your market. Discuss why you are the best candidate, from how you plan on financing the business, to how you plan on building an operating team and everything in between. Discuss your past experiences in running and managing businesses and the qualities you possess that will make you the ideal candidate.

At the end of the day, Discovery Day is really a two-way interview for both franchisee and the franchisor. If both parties do their homework, it will be a much more rewarding franchise experience.

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