Thinking of buying a franchise? Avoid this common mistake.

Most franchise buyers carry out due diligence before deciding to invest in a franchise. But while it 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. Surprisingly, many choose not do so. But it’s a risk you shouldn’t take.

When deciding on a franchise, there’s is a great deal you need to know before you sign on the dotted line. Start by thoroughly researching the company. Talk to other franchisors. You should invest in a great deal of time and energy learning everything you can about your potential franchise partner .

But before you whip out your pen and make that commitment, make sure you pay a discovery visit to head office. You’ll find that it pays dividends. A discovery visit gives you an intimate look into who you’re going into business with. You will see, up close, how the organization runs from top to bottom. Not only does it allow you to understand the company’s vision and values first hand, it gives you a unique opportunity to talk to all the people who make the franchise possible.

Make a point of talking to the people developing the programmes and get an in-depth understanding of the methodology. Sit down with the people who will be responsible for training, marketing, and logistics and assisting you to grow your business. You may want to visit the warehouse and see the operation. Do you see eye to eye? Have you asked all the questions you need answers to? Do the answers satisfy you?

Obviously, the discovery process is not a one-way street. It works both ways, allowing both parties to get the full measure of the other. And while it’s true that most of your day-to-day operations will be carried out independently, you will still be dependent on head office to deliver what they’ve promised and respond to your needs as you grow.

Just as you will be assessing whether the franchise organization is partner material, they will be assessing whether you, as the potential franchisor, have what it takes. Can you succeed in this highly rewarding yet competitive market and meet the targets that you’ve set together?

Buying into an international educational franchise goes far beyond buying a product. You’re buying into an established business. You’re becoming part of a wider global community. That’s why you must make sure that you’re hitching your wagon to a star — a proven international brand that offers the best possible launching pad for your new business. A discovery visit is a key factor in understanding whether educational franchising is a good fit for you.