There are three important components of this stage in the process:
1. REVIEWING OUR FRANCHISE DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT (FDD)
If your application meets our minimum criteria we will provide you with a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Our FDD is available in paper format or by email. You will need an active email account and a computer equipped with e-mail software, Adobe Acrobat software (downloaded for free at www.adobe.com), and a printer in order to view and print the FDD. The FDD provides more in-depth information on the Great Harvest bakery franchise opportunity. We are proud to say that the section on our historical financial performance is one of the most detailed of any franchisor, so this will hopefully help answer many of your financial questions.
Please note that we, the franchisor, cannot provide any additional financial information outside of what is presented in the FDD due to regulatory requirements. Read more about the FDD in our blog posts here and here.
2. CONNECTING WITH GREAT HARVEST OWNERS
No one can give you a better understanding of our franchise than the Great Harvest owners who live and breathe the business every day. As we get further into the application process, we'll provide you with a customized list of store locations, including some close to you and some who share similar profiles.
Remember that this is your time to thoroughly research the franchise opportunity before your visit to Great Harvest headquarters in Dillon, Montana.
Here are some blog posts that we think would be helpful to you now:
Finding a Great Franchise for You Takes Diligence (includes a printable checklist of questions)
The Ultimate Guide to Franchise Due Diligence, Great Harvest Edition
Considering Opening a Bakery? Do Your Due Diligence First
Want to Find the Franchise that’s Right for You? Ask the Franchisees
Great Harvest franchise owners tend to be very welcoming to prospective owners, and very thorough and transparent with the information they provide. They know what it’s like to be in your shoes. They are also invested in growing the franchise, and they care about whether candidates understand the brand, and our Mission. You can expect honest insights about the pros and cons of small business ownership with Great Harvest.
We encourage you to visit with as many Great Harvest franchises and talk to as many owners as it takes to get comfortable with the Great Harvest franchise system.
3. PARTICIPATING IN AN EXPERIENCE GREAT HARVEST DAY AT OUR HEADQUARTERS IN DILLON, MT
The process of getting to know each other and deciding whether it makes sense for both of us to pursue a franchise agreement together continues with your visit to Great Harvest’s headquarters in Dillon, Montana.
We can't make this important decision about both our futures without meeting you in person. When you come to Dillon for your Experience Great Harvest Day, you will spend time with a person from each department and learn about the services and resources we provide to franchisees.
We always try to spend enough time talking with you before you sign anything so that you have the full picture of what is involved. We've found that by doing this, by the time any commitments are made, candidates know for themselves whether or not they're qualified and whether they are a fit for the Great Harvest franchise family.