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Questions to Ask When Buying a Franchise Business

Questions to Ask When Buying a Franchise Business

When buying a franchise business, there are a lot of considerations to factor into your decision. Starting a business can be a significant investment of time, money and energy, and you want to be sure you’re choosing the right franchise opportunity for your personal and professional goals.

Once you’ve decided to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and pursue franchise ownership, you’ll certainly have a lot of questions. From the financial aspects like earning potential and franchise costs to how much marketing support is available, you’ll need to spend time researching, conducting due diligence and weighing your options before opening a franchise.

Read more below to find out which questions to ask when buying a franchise business. While they do cover several aspects of becoming a franchise owner, this is not a comprehensive list.

Top 10 Questions to Help Evaluate a Franchise Opportunity

1. What is the earning potential for this franchise?

One of the main reasons people open a business is to make a better living financially. While it may be easy to envision a future without financial struggles, it will take time to reach the break-even point and start making a profit. Talk to the franchisor as well as other franchisees within the network to get an idea about the earning potential that you could expect as a franchise owner.

2. What type of research or due diligence should I conduct?

Before buying a franchise business, you’ll want to research the business comprehensively, including evaluating assets and liabilities, commercial potential, legal and operational details, potential risks and many other factors. Due diligence, in effect, means doing your homework to help determine if the business is a sound investment. In addition to doing your own research, it’s also a great idea to enlist the help of an accountant and an attorney to help you review and analyze financial and legal documents. Opening a franchise business is a major investment in your future, and a decision that should not be taken lightly.

3. What is the total investment?

When you’re evaluating a franchise opportunity, you’ll want to understand the estimated initial investment, fixed costs, variable costs and whether they are a one-time or ongoing cost for the length of your franchise agreement. Total investment in a franchise business would include the franchise fee, equipment, lease costs, training, advertising, inventory, royalties, working capital, and potentially several more costs depending on the type of business you are opening.

Make sure to thoroughly review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) before investing in a franchise, which details the associated costs plus many other factors relevant to making an informed decision.

4. What are my financing options?

After you research the cost involved with buying a franchise, you’ll need to determine a plan for financing the business. A common way for franchisees to finance their business is through a bank loan, which is typically secured by collateral like the equity in your home. Sometimes certain required equipment can be leased, which could be helpful in freeing up more cash for other portions of the business.

Franchisors may also offer financing options for investors in their brand. Guidant Financial provides a full suite of financing options for potential franchisees with The UPS Store, including 401(k) business funding, SBA loans, portfolio loans, unsecured loans and more. The UPS Store also provides special discounts for veterans and minorities.

5. What is the training like before opening the business?

When evaluating a franchise opportunity, it’s important to know what type of and how much training is included in your commitment. Does the franchisor provide a comprehensive, hands-on training program or is the training more self-service? Understanding the training phase on becoming a franchise owner should be part of your overall research.

New franchisees acquiring a The UPS Store complete over 200 hours of comprehensive training that includes web-based training, in-store experience, a university business course and print services training.

6. What marketing support do you provide?

Marketing and advertising support play an important role in the success of any brand or business. Among the many advantages of franchising, brand awareness is one of the most important. A brand is more than just a logo, it’s everything a consumer knows and perceives about a business. Marketing and advertising support help build brand awareness, so franchisees should understand what is provided by the franchise brand at the national, regional and local level, as well as what is expect from the franchisee.

The UPS Store has established a strong brand name over the last 40 years and continues to support franchisees across multiple advertising channels, allowing them to focus their strengths on their operations.

7. What brand standards must be followed?

Another important question to ask when buying a franchise business is what type of brand standards must be followed. Everything from logo and brand name usage to whether certain products are required are optional, all factor into the brand standards or guidelines. The franchisor wants to ensure that all locations provide the same brand experience no matter where the customer is. An established franchise brand will already have tried-and-true standards in place while a newer or startup franchise may still be perfecting its brand guidelines.

8. How involved is the corporate office or franchisor?

One of the benefits of opening a franchise business is accessing a proven business model instead of having to build up a brand completely from scratch. When you buy a franchise, you’re taking the existing model and implementing it for your own business, which eliminates the time and effort that would be involved with starting a non-franchised business. Asking about the level of involvement from the corporate office is certainly beneficial, as sometimes franchisees may need extra support.

In addition to the comprehensive training and ongoing support available for The UPS Store franchise owners, a dedicated team is always available to answer questions or help when needed. Franchisees are also encouraged to connect with the vast network of other retail owners to collaborate and develop lasting relationships with fellow franchisees.

9. What kind of opportunity exists for future growth or expansion?

When you invest in a franchise brand, you’ll want to consider opportunity for future growth or expansion. Opening your first location may be your sole focus initially, but after you open your doors, adjust to the daily operations and get to know your customer base, you may consider additional locations. You’ll want to know if the brand is growth-focused and/or consistently innovating to help franchisees maximize their potential.

At The UPS Store, available markets are listed on the website, along with non-traditional opportunities like the Store in Store concept, hotels and convention centers, military bases and colleges. Innovation is also a priority, as shown with the refreshed, modern store design.

10. What are the brand’s values?

In addition to making sure the operations, financials and other specifics fit your business goals, you’ll want to ensure the brand’s values are a good fit for your personal values. Consider what’s important to you and align with a brand that shares common themes—while it may not be relevant at all times, investing in a brand with clearly established values and ones that align with your own will pay off in the long run.

Core values of The UPS Store continue to drive the company’s mission, which has led to becoming the largest network of postal, shipping and business services in the U.S.


When buying a franchise, make sure to ask these questions and more before committing to the opportunity. Interested in learning more about becoming a retail owner with The UPS Store? Learn more about the franchise opportunity and contact our franchise development team to discuss the possibility of owning your own location.

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.