If You Want to Franchise, First You Must Observe 

The power of observation is an incredible tool, if you’re willing to put time, effort and patience into doing so. We assume everyone who reads this blog is at least tangentially interested in a future as a franchise owner. Which shouldn’t be a stretch. Because of this belief, we have some intriguing advice to offer in this edition of FranNet’s blog. If you want to own a franchise in the future, you need to get out and observe a few on your own first.

We know that franchises come in all shapes, sizes and level of recognition. For instance, a majority of people understand that Subway sandwich shops are franchised. The same goes for 7-Eleven, Jimmie Johns, UPS Stores and a multitude of quick service restaurants, or QSRs. Finding a suitable franchise to investigate in your own area shouldn’t be that hard at all. Want proof? According to the internet research group, Statista, the number of franchises in the United States totals approximately 759,000 locales. The takeaway? There’s one near you, regardless of where you live.

Now for the fun part. Let’s assume you’re going to visit a popular QSR location in your hometown. Because, after all, you’re hungry and you need to eat.

You don’t have to limit your observation time to just one franchise. We’d encourage you to visit several. What you’re after is the full experience. Perhaps the best way to achieve this is to visit as a paying customer. After all, someday, you’ll want your customers to return the favor! Before you enter the establishment, put your observation cap on. Let your imagination take you on a journey in which you’re the owner. It may help to bring along a small notebook to jot down your thoughts. Now, for the mission at hand. What do you notice about your operation, beginning with the most minor details?

As you walk up to the door, is the parking lot and outer façade of the location clean? What does the signage look like? Take a keen interest in the employees of the franchise. Are they dressed properly? Are they friendly? How would you describe their attitude towards customers? Is it clear who, exactly, is in charge of the operation?

As you sit down to enjoy your meal, what do you think of the presentation of the products? Was everything neat and orderly? Perhaps more importantly, how did everything taste? Was the quality obvious? Once you finish your meal, take the requisite time to relax and look around. This is where observation truly kicks in. You’ve had your experience, but what do you notice about the establishment. What is the walk-in traffic like? How are the other interactions going? What is your sense of the overall environment of the franchise? Did anyone check on you and make sure your experience met your expectations? Put your thoughts down in your notebook.

As you exit, observe the ingress and egress to the franchise location. Is it easy to find? What other stores and establishments anchor the area? Head home and review your thoughts.

Regardless of your experience, the visit to the franchise should leave an impression on you. That’s why we encourage several observation visits among many types of franchised businesses. They may offer different products and services, but they’re all built to operate the same way—by following a strict, procedural approach designed to replicate the success at all of their franchised locations.

If you happen to make some keen observations during your visits, we’d like to hear about them. A qualified FranNet representative can offer additional insight and context to your experiences. Ultimately, we’ll ask if you could see yourself owning a franchise of your own.

Not to give away spoilers here, but the answer is usually affirmative.


Let’s chat! There’s a local FranNet consultant right in your market who knows that market inside and out – knows the personality of the market – knows the competitive landscape. FranNet has a great track record of assisting individuals on their path to entrepreneurship, and one of our franchise experts would love to provide you with guidance free of charge. Sound like something you might be interested in? Get started here and find your local consultant right now!

May 24, 2018