At this past week’s ABA Forum on Franchising I attended an insightful presentation with Michael Levitz, Kenneth Milner and Robert Purvin.  Purvin is from the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers which has some helpful tips and resources on its Web site to evaluate franchise opportunities.

While the presentation covered many areas of successful franchisee representation the concept of assembling a team to evaluate the franchise was probably most important.  In addition to the franchise lawyer, the presenters said successful franchisees will also contact the following:

  1. Accountant – to examine the financials of the franchisor, costs and expenses to buy the franchise and financial projections of the business.
  2. Real Estate Agent – to help you decide which location is best for you.  It is a mistake to rely completely on the franchisor in this context.  Most franchisors will be from out of the state and probably do not have a complete handle on the real estate market or trends in the community.
  3. Marketing Professional – evaluate the marketing plan of the franchisor, develop your own marketing plan and assess whether the franchise opportunity is right for your region of the country.

I would also add that each prospective franchisee should also have a banker and an insurance agent to help them along in the process.  Assembling the right team is critical to success.