So‚ you are evaluating franchise opportunities and you have questions about the steps that you should be taking "before" you sign the franchise agreement. This is a topic that comes up often‚ many times‚ the answer revolves around the "due diligence" process. That is the business and legal due diligence / investigation that you should be undertaking before you sign a franchise agreement.
There are many aspects to the due diligence process but one small aspect that I would like to discuss relates to "marketing support" and‚ in particular‚ whether or not the franchisor has in place a solid marketing plan to guide you through the first 90 days after you open up your franchise. So‚ why do I raise this point now (prior to signing the franchise agreement) because understanding and evaluating the franchisors marketing support is an important due diligence factor. Now‚ the support I am talking about is not whether or not the franchisor will run or pay for advertisements but rather whether or not the franchisor has a step-by-step plan to assist with your organic marketing efforts involving attraction of customers through the web‚ local marketing initiatives‚ local networking and getting the word out about your new franchised business.
So when investingating a franchise ask the franchisor to tell you the specific steps and marketing plan they will put in place to get you started. Also‚ ask existing franchisees about the franchisors support and what marketing efforts they undertook during their first 90 days of operation.
If you ask these questions after you sign a franchise agreement‚ it may be too late.