Taking advantage of a franchise opportunity can result in a huge commitment of money and time. One of the problems that experts have noticed when it comes to buying a franchise, be it for boats or anything else, is that they jump into the situation without really seeing how far the drop may be. Often times, people find a business they like and buy it because it looks good as a consumer.

Rather than doing it this way, potential homeowners should do their due diligence and ask a series of questions before signing on the dotted line.

Here are 5 questions to ask before signing up and being the proud owner of a boat franchise.

1. How well did the franchise work? One of the best ways to obtain this information is by asking other business owners. Listen to what they have to say. If dissatisfaction is what drove the landlord away, chances are it will drive you away too. Be specific. Learn what the particular problems were and make a decision as to whether these are problems you can deal with. Also take a look at franchise associations and forums to see what owners are saying about the challenges of running the business.

2. How well does everyone get along? Several franchisors describe their industry as a family. It is? Find out if there is more drama and conflict between franchise owners than you would like to face. Make sure you are okay with the support system that exists and especially if the organization’s values ​​match yours.

3. How much money can I earn? Potential franchisees don’t usually bring this to the forefront up front, but it’s something that’s front and center regardless. You want to get an idea of ​​the average initial investment, average unit sales, major expense categories, gross and net margins for the business, and so on. Also, how long does it take for a new unit to break even and start entering profit territory?

4. Would you buy a franchise again if given the opportunity? This is a tricky question, but explore the answer no matter what it is. You want to know what the valid reasons are for saying yes or no. While pride of ownership often makes a positive response more popular, ask enough questions to delve into the real reasons why they might have left the business in the first place. It’s all about reading between the lines.

5. Has there been a high turnover rate? Actually, this type of information is pretty easy to find in a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This document tells you how many times the company has changed hands and when. If there has been a great deal of transition, this could indicate a chronic problem.

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