One of the franchise owners that I worked with in my days at AlphaGraphics had a profound customer survey that he designed. Instead of the seemingly endless list of questions inquiring about his customers’ experience with all the different parts of his business, he created a one-question survey which he affectionately titled “Hey Phil.” Paraphrasing, the question simply said, “Would you be comfortable referring your friends and family to me if they have a need for printing services?”

Referrals have always been a productive way to grow a business. At Right at Home, our franchisee’s entire business is built on referrals. And so is our family of franchisees. So far in 2009, we’ve signed 3 new franchisees that were directly referred by current Right at Home owners.

So, I guess the key point I’m making is this…as you evaluate your options as a potential franchisee, ask the franchisor how many of their newest franchisees came from referrals. People as a general rule don’t refer people they like to bad businesses.

Good luck in your search.