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Six simple steps that will grant your franchise a successful sale - Step 5

STEP 5: BUSINESS DISCOVERY DAY

Mission objective: Your prospective candidates should attend Discovery Day where they will meet your executive boards at your headquarter for franchise approval

 

Well done! You and your franchise as well have now reached one of the most critical stages in granting your franchise a successful sale: Discovery Day! It is a special time when you will propel your franchise sale to a level you never expected before, no matter how many franchisees you have at the time. It is a ‘Confirmation Day’ of your franchise business when all serious buyers, franchisors, and franchisees gather together and confirm their commitment in requesting your permission to join your franchise system. That is the reason this scene has become every franchisor’s dream for a long time. It is the payment time for both your candidates and you as the franchisors when both of you will see the value of all tests and preparations before you can reach this stage. The journey has finally ended at this stage.


Everyone expects a great Discovery Day. So, if you are planning to have a successful Discovery Day, you should make sure that all efforts you gave will exceed everyone’s expectation, including and especially the customers. If your effort does not give positive impact to the Discovery Day, you should start thinking about how to clean it quickly and efficiently, before any one realizes it at the time it takes place. It requires all necessary investments. You should not worry about the importance or urgency of your plan. As long as you believe it will give credit to the success of the big event, it is worth to try. In accordance with the development, there are various preparation options you can choose. First, you can choose whether to accomplish the task by yourself, with your colleague, or leave it to professional engineers. You need to set a highly professional office presentation to attract everyone’s interest, especially your buyer and franchise candidates. 
Some companies may recommend you to put all your focus to the recruitment process, then setting the appropriate schedule of the Discovery Day. At the other side, you may find some of your colleagues recommending you to consider the Discovery Day as an optional trip you offer for some potential owners who have the the interest in learning about the franchise unit.


Even though we have learnt the importance of Discovery Day for franchise businesses, there are few franchisors who choose to eliminate this day from their priority list. Some of them think, “Discovery Day only creates a barrier that blocks our sales process because we should invest much money on it, from the travel training, event scheduling, and other things. We think that it will bear better result than this conventional way if we pay more concern to our business than a home office visit.” While some companies use their franchise sales as a reason for not keeping the Discovery Day, some franchisors believe that the event will only give bad effects to their business, as the following statement from a food franchise executive. He said, “We can no longer hold this event because our internal studies discovered that this event only drains our resources, especially our executive staff. Yes, we do realize that asking our executives to manually select people to join our system will give us more capable resources than we can find through typical recruitment system. However, at the same time when this issue takes place, we also know that by putting them in the recruitment process, we ask them to leave their responsibilities and tasks for temporary moments. It means that while, at one side, we are trying to get the best resources, we also lose the best resources we already had. That is the reason we cannot hold it anymore.”


Can you see their point? They are addressing the immateriality of Discovery Days because it does not give them any benefit. Well, if you read the following statement from a successful founder and franchisor of a sport center in southeastern U.S, you will never regret your decision in holding the Discovery Day. This author, who is a woman, always thinks about how he can upgrade his franchise quality including the franchisees and franchisors. What is your reaction, as a franchisor, when you hear that the first thirty people who work as her franchisees had never come to her place or even to simply meet her staff? You think as reasonable as other franchisors if you understand this situation as impossible. However, that situation is a real fact in the field. She began to ask, “Would you ever willingly make a decision in hiring person or business colleague without having any chance to meet them personally? Do you want to grant them ten years of business contract without even recognizing their face?” She then realized that everything she did in the past were totally wrong. Now, for couple years, she has been following her own taste of Discovery Days.


If you compare the previous three reasons and experiences about Discovery Day, you should now be able to locate the real value of this significant event. You need Discovery Day as you need success. They may cost your resources, time, and effort, but benefits it offers far exceeds the capital you will spend on it. Furthermore, Discovery Day is also important to recruit the best franchise candidates. All high performance and successful franchise organizations understand the importance and critical role of this day in determining the future of the franchise. At your franchisees’ side, Discovery Day is also an important even when they can get both invaluable experience and information about the franchise. It is a precious moment for your Discovery Day attendants when they can learn everything from everyone, including the franchise staff, learning the company culture, and other things. 


Due to its importance, some franchise businesses choose to schedule and keep their Discovery Days in their own taste. Some companies may choose to keep the even once in a month while other companies may prefer to hold it once a week. However, there is one common link among these franchise companies. Once you have grown your own franchise system, it is important to hold the event frequently, but it should not too often or you will only drain your home office resources. 


You bid almost everything at your Discovery Day. It is also a show time for your franchise business. So, the better preparation you have; the better result you will get. The same thing applies to your candidates. Please note that it is impossible to score a successful Discovery Day if your candidates are not ready to enter your system even after you give them your approval. Once you have confirmed their readiness, make sure that your executive committee will see their presence as a valuable asset to the franchise by once again coaching them. So, they will appear as professional franchisees. 
The following statement will become a great aid to your candidates:
“Our Discovery Day is not only your big day, but also big day for everyone inside the company! It is essential for both of us to know each other, especially if you want us to accept you to work in our system. Let this executive board knows about who you are and why this franchise executive board should give you a place in our successful business. Use everything you have to express yourself. Let us know how deep your interest in joining our ultimate system, but do not get too happy with this big day. You should also remember to have at least two questions in your mind. Ask them when you meet our executive committee.”
From your prospective candidate side, do not forget to remind them to complete their personality profile at least seven days before they go to the Discovery Day. In addition, they should also forward the document along with RFC document and other related information to your franchise company through the executive review committee. These documents are necessary because the board will use them as their reference in considering their approval before giving it at the big day. 

 

Your Checklist for the Big Day
Everyone in your ‘guest list’ expects for a perfect Discovery Day. So, unless you want to throw away their expectation, there are some important things you should prepare before the big day comes:
•    Every franchisor should complete and bring their personality profile at the Discovery Day
•    Establish preliminary ordinal territories for each franchise unit you have. Classify all units by area, zip code, the city line, or other applicable variable. 
•    Make sure that all necessary documents has reached local government office before deadline. 
•    Send franchise disclosure document to each franchise unit you have before deadline
•    Make sure you have support for your franchise preliminary funding
•    Make sure that all sides are satisfied with any issue they have. For this cause, a discussion is critical
•    Make sure that everyone you invite for the Discovery Day has received all program and related information they should know.

Now, after completing all aspects for the Discovery Day, you are now ready to attend the big event as well as everyone in your guest list. However, even though you have completed all necessary stages to reach your franchise Discovery Day, it does not mean that there is nothing remains which are worth for your franchisor’s concern:


1. Event agenda
Before the Discovery Day begins, complete order of the event plan is necessary. A well-prepared list should contain all necessary data your board of managers, candidates, and all clients need, including name, executives’ biography, attendees personal information, travel information, emergency contacts, and other relevant information. This information will help everyone in measuring the urgency of any event they want to attend including if there is anything they should make before the event takes place. Please do remember that the distribution of this information is as important as collecting all the information. There are three distribution methods you have for this purpose: either you choose to create brochures, send e-mail or letters, or tell the information directly to your attendees. You can choose, for the good of your franchise, whether to use only one distribution method or combine different methods at once. Of course, you should carefully research about the effectiveness of the option you want to take. Be careful on this subject, because no matter how stupid you may consider it, it is never as simple as most people think. 


2. Housekeeping schedule
Each attendee you invite to your franchise Discovery Day may have their own description of a perfect Discovery Day, but you should remember that history records no one who believes that perfectness does not come from comfort. Once a person feel that your event provides them useful experiences as well as a place to visit and stay, they will keep the memory in their mind forever. You only need to provide a healthy environment for everyone in your list. So, anything they touch, hear, and see at the event will bring them to a perfect memory of a perfect Discovery Day. 


3. A warm welcome greeting
A warm welcome greeting to all your Discovery Day attendants will enhance personal experience of everyone who comes to visit your big day. Simple boards that include their name on your display stand will give them enough ‘pleasure’ and proof that you respect them, not only as one person, but also as a precious part of your business. 


4. Department information
When people come to your franchise Discovery Day, they want to see one absolute thing from your business: professionalism, management, and good organizing skills. Even though they may look complicated, you can simply bring them to reality by giving different tags to each department door. 


5. Franchisee Wall of Fame
When you ask advice from professional franchisors about how to hold an excellent Discovery Day, each person you ask may come both with their own definition of a perfect Discovery Day and what it takes to become perfect. Reviewing each suggestion you get may cost your time that is essential at this stage. There is an alternative method, however; which will grant you the same output of a perfect Discovery Day: franchisee wall of fame. It has a similar appearance with the familiar, similar product our entertainment world has. The only difference lies in photos of both the franchise owners and top franchisees, following by franchisee advisory council you have. It is a simple wall of fame, but you will never forget how it affects the mental of everyone in the business. It brings a powerful relationship among everyone that will improve their performance and bring them to the success.


6. Unique notebook for franchisees
Never stop respecting your franchisees even through tiny details some franchisors choose to ignore. A unique journal for your franchisees, for example, will give them a strong reason about your interest to their development both as a person and as your franchisees. Provide them with a unique notebook that contains event schedule, reports, presentation tips and outlines, and all necessary material they should know in order to become a successful franchisee. 


7. Corporate dress code
Discovery Day is the final stage your prospective candidates should pass before they can join your franchise business. However, the big day is not the only test they should pass. In order to become part of your team, your prospective candidates should also learn about the team’s character. While there are various aspects which are worth for their concern, applying the same corporate dress code is the simplest way to adopt the team name. There are different dress codes you can choose for this significant event, but make sure that no matter any dress code decision you make will show professionalism to everyone in the Discovery Day event.


8. Schedule presentations from each department
A perfect Discovery Day only happens when you have everyone and all assets working to achieve the same goal. It is not only about you, but also it speaks about all areas and franchise sectors you have. It means that you should optimize all departments you have in your franchise to take active participation in the big day. Make a clear program for each department to give a performance at the Discovery Day. It is important to hold the presentation from each department you have because you will provide accurate information to everyone about their soon-to-be business partner. Furthermore, you can also use this strategy to ‘naturally eliminate’ your prospective candidate. It may look simple, but you should never ignore its huge impact.


9. A tour around your facilities is fascinating
You may have made your own list about what you are going to do at your franchise Discovery Day, but you should never forget that the most important thing about Discovery Day is as a moment when everyone meets and knows further about your franchise. You cannot ‘force’ everyone to know about your franchise just from texts, presentations, videos, images, and other contents. Conducting a tour around your facilities will give more benefit than just sitting, watching, and hearing your presentation. Your prospective candidates will be able to see and experience what they cannot see from the performance.