20 questions newsagents need answered before signing to join or renew with a newsagency marketing or franchise group

Not all newsagency franchise / marketing groups are the same. The devil, as they say, can be in the detail – detail often embedded in a long contract you may not read. Here are 20 questions we think you need to ask at the very least BEFORE you sign a contract or sign to renew a contract.

  1. Will I be forced to take any product? If so, what product and when? What does your contract say?
  2. Is product sent that I do not directly order? If so, please list product sent in the last year.
  3. Can I sell my business when I choose to anyone I want without giving you first right of refusal or having to tell you in advance? What does your contract say?
  4. Can I buy products from any supplier or MUST I purchase through suppliers you approve? What specifically does your contract say?
  5. In terms of your preferred suppliers, do they mark-up product before they give members of your group a discount or is the discount off the wholesale price other newsagents pay?
  6. Please list for me all newsagencies trading under your name that have closed or gone broke in the last two years.
  7. Do you offer an in-store business advisory service? If so, how often and how long are the visits and what is the experience of the person making the visit?
  8. Do you support the newsagency owned GNS for stationery supply? If not, which organisation do you support for stationery and why?
  9. Do you offer a lease negotiation service? If so, is there any extra cost for this? Also, is the lease in my business name without reference to your business at all?
  10. Am I forced to use a particular newsagency software program? If so, what guarantee is there that I get this at preferential pricing, better than if I bought it by myself?
  11. Who owns your group?
  12. Can I contact the owners of your group at any time with any issue at all?
  13. What guarantee do you have that you will not allow another newsagency to join near my business? Is this in writing?
  14. Can I join another group when the contract ends or do I need to wait for some time?
  15. Must I use a central billing service to get supplier discounts or rebates or can I control my own cash-flow?
  16. What happens if my business closes – am I liable for franchise fees?
  17. Do I have to supply you with my sales figures and if so what do you do with this?
  18. Do I have to attend your conference and if so what is the cost?
  19. What is the total cost of joining the group?
  20. What is the full monthly cost of being part of the group?

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I am a Director of newsXpress, a marketing group for newsagents keen for a bright future. You can reach me on +61 418 321 338 or mark[at]towersystems.com.au

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