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How to Prepare for the Franchise Interview

How to Prepare for the Franchise Interview

When learning how to buy a franchise, make sure to prepare for the interview process. 

You may assume when starting a franchise you’ll be done with the dreaded traditional interview process you’ve endured when starting a new job in the past. However, although the evaluation process differs by franchise system, most include an interview, so don’t let those interview skills get rusty quite yet. The initial franchise interview is typically a phone call with the franchisor or a member of their development team; think of it as a two-way street. While the franchisor will be qualifying you and your ability to run a location in their network, it also gives you a chance to determine if the business is a good fit for you. As with any interview, preparation is crucial. Not only will you need to explain your background and business goals, but you will also need to listen carefully and ask a few questions of your own before making a decision on the investment. Read on for what you should know about this important step in buying a franchise. 

Be Aware of Potential Challenges 

Do your homework. Be sure to thoroughly research the industry you’re interested in and have a good understanding of challenges that could lie ahead. A potential franchisor will also want insight into how you would deal with difficult situations, whether it’s an internal staffing issue or industry shift that could affect the franchise network as a whole.

Most established franchisors have contingency plans for large shifts in business but are interested in your take on how you would pivot your own strategy if you bought a franchise. They won’t fault you for not knowing specifics, but you should exhibit the ability to adapt. Franchisors are looking for candidates with a good understanding of the business and the industry to ensure their brand will be in good hands. 

Analyze Your Financial Situation

A variety of financing options exist to help qualified candidates cover the costs of establishing and opening a new franchise location, but prospective franchisees must still meet certain minimum financial requirements. Before starting a franchise, you must analyze the required fees and other capital needed to determine if you can afford the investment. Be honest with yourself and the franchisor. Keep in mind that you’ll need more than the bare minimum to cover expenses. Unexpected costs are likely to arise, so it’s wise to have enough money to cover 3-6 months worth of expenses. Not only does starting a new business and not knowing if you’ll be able to fund it lead to tremendous stress, it could jeopardize the success of the business. 

Talk to Current Franchisees 

If you’re wondering how to buy a franchise, speak to current and former franchisees. Talking to those with first-hand experience is a great way to find out how a franchise really works. They can give you tips and tricks for getting into the business as well as the inside scoop on the facets of a franchise that you won’t be able to find out on paper. Day-to-day business, company culture, and overall satisfaction are important intangibles of any business. Former franchisees that have signed a non-disclosure agreement may not be able to give you many details, but those who are able to share their experience can give you an overall perspective of how the business runs and can be a valuable influence on your final decision. 

Questions for the Franchisor

The interview process is a great opportunity to determine if the franchise organization will enable you to reach your goals as a business owner. The first question you should ask is about earning potential. Although you should already have an overall idea of startup expenses, find out what other fees down the line you may be liable for as your business takes off. Unfortunately, the franchisor will not be able to guarantee profit. There are no guarantees in business—period—but they should be able to provide a general success rate for their current franchisees and your growth potential for the future. 

Before you start a franchise, get an idea of how much help the franchisor will provide once you open your doors. Find out if the franchisor offers setup or long-term training, any upfront or emergency financial assistance, and just how hands-on they are with their franchisees. It’s important to know what your business relationship with the franchisor will entail, what guidelines you will be required to follow and how much flexibility is allowed. 

Seek out the corporate values of the franchise to get some insight on the company culture. Ask questions to learn how disputes are settled and what kind of protection they offer if you run into any legal issues in your business. How a franchise values their franchisees and treats their customers can be very revealing and help determine if you can wholeheartedly commit to the business. 

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship 

When starting a franchise, make sure your goals and expectations match what the franchisor can offer you. If either side has to make big changes to accommodate the other, you’re starting out at a disadvantage. To ensure your greatest chance of success, use the franchise interview process to gather as much information as possible to determine if the opportunity is truly the right fit for you before committing.

2023 Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Top Rated for Veterans badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #4 in 2023 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the seventh consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

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Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.