In my previous post, I talked about the need to call a company when you’re thinking of starting a business with their assistance. This can be either a franchise, a formal business package and license agreement, or a simple start-up kit. No matter the extent of the product, it is important to speak with the owner. If you don’t have that option, at least a member of the management team should be willing to invest some time on the telephone discussing the industry and their specific product with you.
You need to know if this is the right type of assistance you need, and if it is the right industry. Without a conversation with someone who knows the business, it’s not probable that you’ll have the necessary information to make an educated decision. Their availability and willingness to give you time now is indicative of the assistance you’ll receive later. Talk to the founder, manager, regional manager, or a customer service representative. It is not important at this point who you talk to, it’s more important to get the information and to learn if they are willing to speak with you.
A few questions to ask the business owner
- What type of support will I receive?
- What does the training consist of?
- Who pays for the training?
- When does my consulting time expire?
- Are you available on the weekend if I have a question?
These are all viable questions, because you not only need to know what you are investing in to start your business, you must know what assistance you’ll have years down the road as you grow your business. These are answers you must have before spending your money. When you invest in a business – whether it’s a franchise, business package, or start-up kit, you have purchased someone else’s knowledge. Make sure you have appropriate access to that information.
Get the answers you need before you invest
How many answers, the type of answers, and the amount of time they spend with you up front helping you make the right decision will tell you a lot about the company culture, company vision, and whether you want to be associated with them. All things to consider before you begin. Funny how a simple phone call (or lack of the ability to have one) can tell you so much about a company!