Your next stop on the evaluation trail is to meet as many franchise owners as you possibly can. Drive to their businesses and observe for a while. Find a quiet time of the day and interview each owner. He or she will tell you the inside story on the franchisor, so ask tough questions. Ask about the training, the value of the program, the style of the franchisor, the mood among franchise owners. Don't shy away from asking questions about the business's revenue. What were gross sales last year? Did they meet the owner's expectations?
Ask about the franchisee's first few years in business. Did the owner have enough start-up capital? Ask if the estimates of first-year capital requirements in the UFOC are accurate.