Five Questions for Your First Contact With a Franchisor

We found this helpful article from and wanted to be sure to share it with you all because these tips are so spot on! Check out the 5 helpful tips below to help you prepare for the next step after you’ve found your perfect franchise fit.

What is your mission statement?

The franchisor’s mission statement will help you decide if your values actually align with the brand’s. This also gives the franchise the chance to ensure you understand what the brand is really about and how their principles are brought into each franchise location. Does the brand focus on creating experiences for its customers, or is it one that aims to help clients plan for their futures? Regardless, you want to ensure the franchisor’s values don’t clash with your own as that can make it more difficult for you to be happy or even successful.

What are the financial requirements?

You may have already seen estimates online, but you want to hear this directly from the brand as well. Find out what the franchise fee is and the initial investment range–this is the total amount needed for things like training, build-out (if there is a location), licenses and so on. Ask the franchise what liquid capital and net worth is required for franchisees to qualify; this will allow you to determine whether you would qualify for this franchise.

What type of franchisee are you looking for?

A franchise search is about finding the fit that’s right on both sides, so ensure the brand is right for you and you are right for the brand. Does the franchisor want franchisees with specific experience or skills or just general business sense? To see how well you line up with the brand’s typical franchisee, ask for an ideal franchisee profile and see where you land.

How would the franchise describe the franchisor-franchisee relationship?

Whether you want a brand that is hands-off to a degree or one that provides a lot of support, this question can give you insight into how closely the brand works with its franchisees. Is there ongoing training? Who is the contact person for franchisees at corporate? How often does the brand hear from franchisees? With some insight into this relationship, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect should you decide to go with the brand.

What else should I know?

A handy catch-all question, a good franchise representative should answer this by providing you with some new information or taking a deeper dive into something you previously asked. Not only will you receive additional information, but you may even learn the answers to questions posed by previous franchise candidates.

Batteries Plus Franchisee Interview

Listening to Bates Kennedy’s smooth southern accent you begin to understand why he’s experienced success as a Batteries Plus franchisee. Since 2001, Kennedy has opened eight of the battery and light bulb retail stores in his home state of South Carolina as well as one in Savannah, Ga.


It’s not uncommon for franchisees to leave one industry and enter into another when becoming franchise owners. Kennedy couldn’t have told you a thing about batteries or light bulbs 11 years ago. In 2001 Kennedy was driving down the interstate listening to the radio when PBS aired a story on Batteries Plus.


“I remembered they mentioned it was 50 percent commercial and 50 percent retail sales. I knew I could handle the commercial,” said Kennedy, recently unemployed at the time. Before Batteries Plus he was a textile manufacturing sales representative. As the climate of the textile industry changed so did Bates’ employment opportunities. He liked what the radio had to say about Batteries Plus and later in the year, on September 11, 2001, he purchased his first location in North Charleston.


Today, almost 11 years later, Kennedy is a franchise veteran. As he speaks about his experience with Batteries Plus, he remarks on both the best and the worst parts about being a franchisee:


“These days dealing with banks is the worst part,” says Kennedy, referring to the anxiety shared by small business owners and entrepreneurs alike over finding capital and securing bank loans in today’s economy. Opening any business “takes a lot of capital. You’re going to live without and it’s going to be a time commitment.” Bates adds that being a Batteries Plus franchisee was more than he expected, in a good way. His decade-long partnership with Batteries Plus has been filled with “evolving support” and he feels the franchise has a “good model.”


“In the beginning there were a lot of moving pieces,” he continued. “It takes a few months to get the retail location ready. When you’re finally open for business you’re looking at all your brand new inventory and you’re excited. Then you wonder, where are all the customers? Once I had someone walk in, look around, turn to me and say, ‘Batteries. Good luck!’ and walk out the door.”


It’s in these beginning moments franchisees begin to realize the financial implications of their franchise agreement. “They’re going to take their cut,” says Kennedy of franchisors, “Whether you write a check or they draft your account.” Bates isn’t bothered by what he pays to Batteries Plus. It pays for all the things he couldn’t or doesn’t have time to handle himself but needs in order to be successful, like marketing. He’s thankful for it.


Bates admits franchising “is not for everyone” and he understands why the relationship between franchisee and franchisor can become strained, especially in the beginning and especially when it comes to money. That being said, he’s very happy to be a Batteries Plus franchisee.


In the end, “A lot depends on you,” he concludes.