What Is a Franchise Discovery Day? What You Need to Know to Prepare
Becoming a franchise owner is an exciting time, and there are many important steps involved in the process. This often includes getting an invite to a franchise discovery day, especially if you’re seriously considering investing.
But what is a franchise discovery day, and what should you expect at this event? Here’s everything you need to know.
- A franchise discovery day is an event where you visit a franchise’s headquarters to learn more about the business and its operations.
- You can only attend if you are a qualified candidate who has met the experience and financial requirements of the franchise.
- Most franchisors won’t invite you to franchise discovery days until you have successfully completed some steps, such as filling out an application and undergoing a background check.
- At the event, you can expect in-depth presentations, team meetings, tours, and Q&A sessions.
What Is a Franchise Discovery Day?
A franchise discovery day is when you visit a franchisor’s headquarters to look at the business and its operations. This day is usually a planned event for qualified candidates where you can meet with the executive team and learn more about each other before forming a partnership.
These qualified candidates are people who have met the experience and financial requirements of the franchise company and possess qualities that make them promising candidates. Note that franchise discovery days are invite only — no party crashers allowed.
Such days usually have an organized agenda, including meetings, tours, and group presentations. As a prospective franchisee, you get to meet with the top executives, so you should work on making a good and lasting impression.
How to Get Invited to a Discovery Day
Most franchise owners won’t invite you until you have successfully completed some steps.
These are some of the steps you’d be required to take before getting an invite and claiming franchise ownership:
- Complete an application: Franchise companies usually ask prospective franchisees to complete an application. While applying, you might be asked to provide some confidential information, such as your finances, to determine whether you can afford a franchise.
- Undergo a background check: Based on your application, franchisors will run a background check on you and your credit history.
- Review the FDD: Before you’re invited, the company will send you the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which contains items regarding franchise ownership, like executive backgrounds, financial obligations, etc.
- Review the franchise agreement: Alongside the FDD, franchisors need to attach a sample of the franchise agreement. This will allow prospective franchisees to review and confirm that the terms and conditions are suitable.
- Do your research: Before the franchise discovery day, you should do your research and ask questions about the company you’re visiting and its standards. Then, you can start creating a business plan based on your findings.
You can also speak to the franchise development representative to learn more about the franchise system. But note that these representatives must be assured that you clearly understand a franchise business model and its intricacies.
All these steps are necessary for the franchisor to determine if you’re right for the franchise opportunity and whether you know the roles you need to play.
What to Expect at a Discovery Day
On the day of the event, you will get to see the franchise in action.
While each franchisor will have a unique agenda, here’s a general overview of what you can expect when you attend franchise discovery days:
- Tours: On this day, you’ll be taken on a tour of the franchise offices and its warehouses, if they have any. You may also be allowed to visit operations in nearby areas.
- Group presentations: You’ll listen to formal presentations by the company to help you learn more about the business and your responsibilities. This is where you get the opportunity to ask and answer questions.
- Franchisee meetings: Some franchise companies will bring in other franchisees to give you a firsthand look at what it’s like to own a franchise.
- Meeting with the team: This is the chance for you to meet with the management team and other teams in different departments, like marketing, sales, finance, operations, and training teams. You can also meet with the CEO of the company.
- Dinner or reception: After the day’s work, the company might treat you to dinner or even host a reception if it’s a larger event.
What Happens After a Franchise Discovery Day?
A franchise discovery day is usually the beginning of a marketing strategy by the company. You might start to feel a little more sales pressure than in your previous interactions.
This is because you’re currently a prospective franchisee, and seizing the franchise opportunity is like making a sale, which could earn the rep a commission.
That being said, before a contract can be signed, two major things must happen:
- The company’s executives must agree that you fully understand the franchise concept and that you’d make a good franchisee. Once they do, the franchise rep will call you a few days after the discovery day to seal the deal.
- You decide to proceed with the venture by becoming a franchisee, or you decline.
Don’t feel pressured to make a decision, though. After your visit, take time to think things through and see if the franchise business ownership is worth it. You should also get a franchise lawyer to look through the contract before proceeding.
Discovering the Right Franchise for You
If you’re invited to a franchise discovery day, you’ll only want to attend if you’re seriously considering investing.
Since you’ll be getting in-depth presentations and behind-the-scenes views of day-to-day operations, this isn’t a good use of anyone’s time if you’re still unsure about investing in general.
Some franchise owners look at multiple franchise opportunities before finding the right fit, while others only ever consider one.
Either way, come prepared with a list of questions and take notes to get the most out of the discovery day.