Before you sign on the dotted line, you must visit few existing franchisees to learn from their experiences and to find out their opinions on the support provided by the franchisor. Good franchisors will always allow candidates access to any franchisees in their network and in most cases existing franchisees will be happy to talk things over with you.
Some of the questions to ask:
Is your franchise business profitable now?
Is the franchisor innovative and keep pace with changing marketplace and quick to adapt?
If you are not able to perform, does the franchisor come forward to offer to help?
What kind of on-going support/training do you get?
How good are training, systems and manuals?
Is the franchisor keeping their end of the bargain?
What is the ROI and how long did it take to recover your investment in business? Were the financials provided match these performances?
Is your relation with franchisor interactive and do they welcome suggestions from you?
Some of the brands made it mandatory for a candidate to visit certain number of franchisee at different time of business to ensure candidate understand the dynamics of that business and had feed back from multiple franchisee before making final decision.