After you’ve submitted your application and heard back from us, it’s time for you to dig into due diligence.
There are three important components of this stage in the process:
1. Reviewing our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
2. Completing Self-Assessment Questionnaire
3. Completing initial Phone Q&A with our team in Dillon, MT
4. Connecting with, visiting and interviewing as many Great Harvest owners as you can to get a good sense of whether the Bread Business might be a good match for you.
Remember that this is your time to thoroughly research the franchise opportunity before your visit to Great Harvest headquarters in Dillon, Montana, where we will make a decision on whether to award you a franchise!
1) Our Franchise Disclosure Document
If your application meets our minimum criteria we will send you a bound copy of our Franchise Disclosure Document (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. If you are curious now, you may download a pdf copy of our FDD.
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) Self-Assessment Questionnaire
The self-assessment is a 10-15 minute survey that will be sent to viable candidates. This is an additional tool for us to determine if franchising with Great Harvest is going to be a viable business partnership for both of us. Creating a strong, honest relationship with our franchisees is very important to us and this helps us learn more about you!
3) Initial Phone Q&A
The first phone Q&A is about us getting to know each other. This is an opportunity for you to have your questions answered and for both of us to discover if the fit is right. During this interview we will ask you about your reasons for wanting to start a Great Harvest bakery cafe franchise, discuss your business acument and industry compatibility, among other important topics for furtre franchisees. Everyone who will be involved in the day-to-day operations of the bakery cafe should participate. We will contact you to schedule this call upon making a determination about your application.
4) 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.
For example, if you have young children, we’ll include an owner who has experienced balancing bakery life with parenting young children. If you are taking this on as a single owner, we’ll include someone else who has shared that experience. This will help you get answers to questions that are meaningful and specific to your circumstances. Other things we might match for include store locations with similar demographic profiles, or owners who have faced similar challenges to ones you may face (such as trying to increase sales and efficiency when buying an existing franchise).
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
At this point, you should get a feel for what your life will look like and how you would make the Bread Business work for you. 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 as many Great Harvest franchises and talk to as many owners as you can.
After your visits, we'll complete another phone Q&A and discuss a potential Experience Great Harvest Day at the franchise office in Dillon, Montana!