One of the many benefits of investing in a franchise is that it’s much more affordable than starting a business from the ground up. However, you’re still going to have to make a significant investment in the franchise startup costs, which means that you’ll want to thoroughly research the franchise before you make the leap.

We always encourage potential owners to speak with some of our franchise owners to get a better idea of their experience with our Signarama franchise and what you can expect from your investment. The following are a few questions that all potential investors should ask current franchisees before they make a decision to invest in the franchise startup costs—no matter what franchise they’re considering.

1. How long have you been operating this franchise store?

The longer they’ve been there, the better. It means that they’re less likely to fail, which reflects well on the franchise. Being able to last a long time also reflects well.

2. Were you given the proper training to run this franchise?

Ask them about the type of training they received and whether it was effective. Did they feel out of their depth when they opened the store? Did they have previous experience?

3. What made you decide to invest in this particular franchise?

There are plenty of franchise opportunities out there. Ask why they decided to invest in this particular franchise and whether the decision to do so was a good one in hindsight.

4. How much support do you receive?

You’ll want to work with a franchise that provides not only initial support for opening the store, but also ongoing support, from educational opportunities to tech support and more.

5. Have your earnings met your expectations?

A simple yes or no reply can have a big impact on your decision to invest. Just be sure to ask what their expectations were.

6. Do you have any specific problems with the franchise?

Ask about any specific problems that they’ve had over the years, whether they’re issues with support, communication, territory and the cannibalization of sales, or how the store should be run. If the owner has had a lot of problems, it could be because of a troublesome owner—but it could also be because of a poor franchisor. If you talk to multiple owners who have the same issues, then you know there’s a problem with the franchisor.

7. How much do you work?

If you’ve never run a business or a franchise before, then you’ll want to gauge how much you can expect to work on a daily basis. For some people, the hours they work are an important factor in what they do. Keep in mind that most franchise owners put in more work in the first year of operation than in subsequent years.

8. Are you happy as an owner of this franchise?

This is one of the most important questions to ask. Be sure to ask why they do or don’t feel happy with their decision to become a franchise owner.

These are eight questions that we recommend you ask current franchise owners when researching a franchise. We always encourage potential investors to speak with our other Signarama franchise owners. In fact, we’ll be happy to put you in touch with the nearest owner to you! For more information about our franchise startup costs or our franchise opportunities in general, contact us at Signarama today.