Discovery days are an integral part of every brand’s development process. They are a way to set appropriate expectations and expose candidates to what it’s like to be a part of your franchise brand. But perhaps more importantly, it’s a final chance for franchisors to make sure the candidate is the right fit – before you award them a franchise.

Here are five ideas to make your discovery day more effective and make sure the candidates you choose will turn out to be successful franchisees.

    1. Make an emotional connection. Smoothie King is the arena sponsor for the New Orleans Pelicans NBA team. They conclude each discovery day at a basketball game and entertain candidates in an arena suite. Chief Development Officer Kevin King says, “It’s a really great way to show the power of being part of a large brand and what it can do.”
    2. Give candidates homework. Justin Waltz of College Hunks Hauling Junk shares that they expect candidates to research the regulations and licensure process before coming to discovery day. “We want to know that they’ve done their homework, they understand what it’s going to take to get the licensing squared away in their market.” In a regulated industry – like moving – this can help you understand which candidates are willing to do the right things to make their business successful.
    3. Visit a location with the candidate. The Mathnasium team takes every candidate to one of its company operated learning centers. Mike Steed, VP of Franchise Development and Operations says, “We always take them out to a live center that’s open for business so they can see how the center works at one of our company locations so they can see what a premium offering looks like and ask questions of our folks who run that business.”
    4. Build in checks and balances. To ensure that realistic and consistent expectations have been communicated throughout the development process, Eric Little, SVP of Franchise Development for Right at Home, says the sales team steps back when it comes to discovery day, and the marketing, training, and support teams take a more active role. “I want the support team to get a real up close and personal look at these candidates, and so if for some reason there were to be a discrepancy in the support and training of franchise owners, that will be caught at discovery day.”
    5. Treat the spouses. Dustin Hansen, CEO Americas at InXpress, says they highly encourage candidates’ spouses to come to discovery day – so much so that they pay for their travel expenses to attend. Hansen says, “The most successful people have someone next to them that can support them all the way – and if they don’t it becomes an issue. We want to address as many performance concerns up front and one of them is to get the spouse on board.

Share your discovery day tips with us! Email us at [email protected]. Get more great insights from franchise executives with our Ops and Development Webinar Series – available in our online Resource Center.