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DISCOVERY DAYS HELP POTENTIAL FRANCHISEES LEARN ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES

by Simon Lord,
last updated 08/10/2009

October 2009 - Discovery Days, when groups of potential franchisees visit franchisors, are common practice overseas - but haven't taken off in New Zealand yet.

One overseas franchise practice we haven't seen adopted here in New Zealand so far is that of Discovery Days. These are special days designed to allow prospective franchisees to take a good look around a franchisor's operations and meet the people who will be training and supporting them should they choose to take up the franchise. Although this can happen on a one-to-one basis, there are several advantages in having several franchise candidates attend at the same time.

For the prospective franchisee, a Discovery Day with other candidates may make them feel more relaxed and under less pressure. Others may ask questions they wouldn't, so the overall impact can be to get a better picture of the franchise. Up to this point, candidates may only have spoken to the people responsible for appointing new franchisees - this is a chance to talk to those who spend their time in the field. Many Discovery Days actually incorporate a visit to a franchised operation or a chance to meet existing franchisees, and offer candidates the chance to see how well their attitudes ‘fit' with the company's culture

There are several advantages for franchisors, too. A formal Discovery Day causes less disruption to the business than having occasional visitors. Staff can be primed in advance about who is attending, what time they should allow and what questions they may be asked (in larger franchises, different departments may even put on small presentations). Franchisors can see how candidates relate to their team and to other people.

Of course, the idea of running a formal Discovery Day like this is only practical when there are a number of potential candidates interested in a franchise at any one time. In recent years, there has been a distinct shortage of new franchisees, but things have started to change in the post-recession era. Perhaps the time has come for smart franchisors to start developing Discovery Day programmes of their own.

Have you had any experiences of Discovery Days? Add a comment.

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