Is there ever a ‘right’ time to start a business? If you’ve
been considering franchise opportunities, recent world events and headlines may
be giving you pause. But we know from experience that challenging times are
often short-lived. Dips lead to much longer, prosperous expansions. Uncertain
times don’t have to be a threat, and in many cases, present opportunities. And
when starting a franchise business, there’s a bit of good news: Franchises can
be successfully launched in all types of economies. We look at some factors in
your favor and how
to choose a strong franchise that will buoy you up – no matter what the
A Growing Franchise Industry
The franchise industry remains incredibly strong and has
been growing year-over-year for a decade. According to the International
Franchise Association’s Franchise Business Economic Outlook, the number of
U.S. franchises is expected to increase by 1.5% and add 232,000 jobs in 2020.
While this projected growth rate is lower than in previous years, it’s
nonetheless growth despite an uncertain economy. The Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) of the franchise industry is also forecasted to grow by 4.6% to nearly
$495 billion, outpacing the GDP of the U.S. economy.
Review Sector Performance During Up and Down Economies
When considering your franchise business options, it’s important to look at the performance for the individual sector during up and down economies. For example, at BirthdayPak, a large percentage of our business partners are restaurants. The percentage of Americans dining out at the height of the recession in 2008 was 60%. In addition, the restaurant industry contributes 4% to the GDP. These facts show that restaurant dining has been very stable during good and challenging economic times.
Americans love eating out for convenience and social
article suggests that dining out is prioritized over other recreational
activities and travel when discretionary income is limited. Also, the National
Restaurant Association’s 2020
State of the Restaurant Industry Report details high pent-up demand for
restaurants and expects a 4% increase this year.
An Ideal Franchise Business Model: What to Look for
Consider the many benefits of owning a franchise during any
type of economy: A
proven system, brand
recognition, and training
and support. In short, franchises are in business because they set
franchise owners up for success from the beginning with very little ramp up
time. In addition, home-based and mobile franchises like BirthdayPak have very
low overhead costs, which save a lot compared to operating a traditional
brick-and-mortar franchise. They also offer scheduling
flexibility around your family life. Review
the franchise models and pros and cons of each when considering your lifestyle.
BirthdayPak: A Proven Driver for Increasing Traffic to
BirthdayPak was born from the idea of “celebrating life’s
memorable moments” and centers around women dining out for their birthday. Tasteful
gifting is a market differentiator for small businesses and creates memorable
experiences for our community. Once this challenging time is behind us and
restaurants can fully open their doors again to the public, BirthdayPak will
help new and repeat business flow in. If you want to become
an entrepreneur in 2020, get started on the path to ownership.
To find out what BirthdayPak has to offer, call 1-888-680-7554 or schedule a time to
When you think about your ideal franchise opportunity, what
do you envision? The beauty in selecting a franchise is that you can design it
around your needs, preferences and values.
If the choices seem overwhelming as you consider the many factors to narrow
down your list, a basic question to ask is, “which franchise model is right
for me and my lifestyle?” We explore the three main types of franchise models:
Brick and mortar, home-based and mobile.
Brick and Mortar Franchises
Brick and mortar franchises are part of the everyday
landscape for most. You’ll find them in malls or as free-standing buildings,
mostly in the retail, food and restaurant, hotel or business services
industries. This model is a good fit for a franchise owner who prefers having
customers come to their business as opposed to models that require significant sales
and marketing efforts.
Immediate exposure with signage and location
Option to run franchise passively with manager
as you look for other investment opportunities
Can take advantage of economies of scale
(marketing, inventory, staffing) if owning more than one location
Significant capital is often needed
Heavy ramp-up and planning period to start
Location selection key to success
More time needed to invest in running the
May be difficult to reach new customers
Many years ago, the brick and mortar model was the only option. With increased technology, this is no longer the case. In fact, the Small Business Administration reports that approximately 50% of small businesses are home-based. In the franchise arena, home-based businesses are mostly in the professional services industry and include accounting, digital and marketing, and consulting. This model is ideal for someone who can stay focused and wants to be actively involved in their business.
Lower overhead costs with no location to
Shorter ramp-up time to start
Convenience and comfort of working from home
Offers scalable business model – as clients
increase, employees can be hired, and you can assume a more consultative role
May be hard to separate professional and
Defined territory may be limiting
Requires a special skill set and may not involve
much human interaction
A mobile franchise offers many of the same advantages as
home-based franchises. Mobile franchises also have lower start-up costs, are
easy to start and offer scheduling flexibility. By definition, a mobile
business is one that operates out of a vehicle or provides a service at various
customer locations in the community. They are ideal for franchise owners who enjoy
working in the field and are technologically and digital marketing savvy to
help acquire customers. Examples of mobile franchises include home repair and
maintenance services, pet grooming and child or senior care at home.
Not location dependent
Easier to deliver services to customers since
you are delivering to them
Technology can be used efficiently with
scheduling apps, point-of-sale systems and communication tools
Do not benefit from walk-in traffic so a
proactive marketing approach is needed
Other potential costs may arise such as buying
gas, fixing vehicles, loss of time when traveling, etc.
BirthdayPak is thrilled to announce that the Southwest
Florida market is now owned and operated by the newest BirthdayPak franchise owners,
Todd and Licet Mulholland. Todd and
Licet have lived in the Naples area for more than 25 years and have been involved
in numerous volunteer opportunities including the CCA FL STAR Fishing
Tournament which gives away up to $100,000 in youth scholarships.
“We had been looking for a business and were
seriously considering a franchise, mostly due the support and proven operating
systems that they offered over just starting a business from scratch. We had looked at various other franchises
before BirthdayPak, but none of them seemed to be a good fit for us,” says
Todd. Prior to becoming a BirthdayPak
franchise owner, Todd was investing in real estate and rehabbing properties
with a partner, but he was looking for an opportunity that would allow him to
interact with more people.
“We had put our search on hold and had kind of given up on a franchise, but then we heard about the BirthdayPak opportunity,” says Licet. Licet has 15 years of experience as a project accountant in the construction industry. “We are excited about the opportunity that BirthdayPak offers us to partner with local businesses and assist them in increasing their revenue while having fun doing it. We really like that we aren’t tied to a desk and have the ability to get out into our community, meet new people and form a true partnership with them that will be a win for both of us. The flexibility BirthdayPak offers us will allow us to attend our girls’ sporting and school events and continue our community involvement.”
BirthdayPak has grown significantly from a single market in southeastern
PA to having multiple markets across the United States. Since its inception in 2009, BirthdayPak has
delivered more than 4.5 million “happy birthday” greetings in the mail. This translates to nearly $360,000,000 in
gift cards that have been sent to BirthdayPak recipients over the past 10
years! That’s a significant amount of
The BirthdayPak marketing platform drives birthday
celebrations to participating upscale businesses, such as restaurants, day spas
and boutiques, from their best potential customers. The beautifully printed and mailed “birthday
gift” features gift cards from this exclusive group of businesses in the
community. The women who receive BirthdayPak
have discretionary income and are about to celebrate their birthday, a proven
trigger for consumer spending.
More than just birthdays, BirthdayPak has sent millions of
emails to recipients with high deliverability and open rates, keeping consumers
engaged during the year and encouraging repeat visits to the participating
businesses. The BirthdayPak business
model has a history of positive performance and extremely high client retention
rates. The above average response rates,
and additional branding opportunities through a digital experience, provide a
BirthdayPak continues to expand nationwide through franchising and has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as the #1 franchise in Advertising Services category. If you, or someone you know, has an interest in learning more about this exciting business opportunity, please visit www.BirthdayPakFranchise.com.
BirthdayPak recently announced that Vito Taverna has become owner of the BirthdayPak of Upstate New York franchise. Vito is a seasoned business owner with more than 40 years of experience in marketing.
“When I heard about
the BirthdayPak franchise opportunity, I immediately loved the concept”, says
“This turnkey product is simple and fun. I look forward to helping the
local businesses succeed while sending birthday gifts to the women in Buffalo.” Vito
has owned a video production business for many years and his plethora of connections
have proven to be helpful. Vito expects
to launch his first BirthdayPak mailing early next year.
In the past 10 years, BirthdayPak has grown significantly
from a single market in southeastern PA to having multiple markets across the
United States. Since its inception,
BirthdayPak has delivered more than 4.5 million “happy birthday” greetings in
the mail. This translates to nearly $360,000,000
in gift cards that have been sent to BirthdayPak recipients over the past 10
years! That’s a significant amount of
The BirthdayPak marketing platform drives birthday celebrations
to participating upscale businesses, such as restaurants, day spas and
boutiques, from their best potential customers.
The beautifully printed and mailed “birthday gift” features gift cards
from this exclusive group of businesses in the community. The women who receive BirthdayPak have
discretionary income and are about to celebrate their birthday, a proven
trigger for consumer spending.
More than just birthdays, BirthdayPak has sent millions of emails to recipients with high deliverability and open rates, keeping consumers engaged during the year and encouraging repeat visits to the participating businesses. The BirthdayPak business model has a history of positive performance and extremely high client retention rates. The above average response rates, and additional branding opportunities through a digital experience, provide a winning combination. BirthdayPak is expanding nationwide through franchising and has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as the #1 franchise in Advertising Services category for 2019. If you, or someone you know, has an interest in learning more about this exciting business opportunity, please visit www.BirthdayPakFranchise.com.
For good reasons, entrepreneurs realize that there are many advantages to a proven franchise system, to be “in business for yourself and not by yourself.” With hundreds of options to choose from, the process can be overwhelming and daunting. That’s where a franchise consultant can help. Working with a franchise consultant can be beneficial to prospective franchise owners by guiding them through the process, from discovery to selection, saving significant time and effort. Together with Bonnie Beinhorn, MBA, Certified Franchise Consultant at Franchise Finder Solutions, we discuss how consultants can provide value to their clients.
What Is the Role of a Franchise Consultant?
A franchise consultant, sometimes known as a franchise
broker, helps streamline the process by being a “match-maker.” Consultants should
not charge any fees to clients for their services. They are compensated by the franchisor once a
placement is made. Franchise consultants
do not “sell” franchises, rather they provide relevant information and guidance,
and identify specific franchises that are aligned with their client’s goals,
preferences and investment level, so the client can decide if there is enough
interest to take the next step in exploring the opportunity.
The goals of the franchise consultant should be “to make the discovery and selection process efficient and enjoyable by taking away the confusion,” says Bonnie. A franchise consultant is most helpful by “presenting concepts and options that someone would not have likely found on their own and showing how they are a good fit.” According to Bonnie, “A consultant should be client-centered and not allow their own preferences and biases to affect their search.”
Franchise consultants can be helpful at every step of the process, as the client desires, usually until their agreement is signed with the franchisor. According to Bonnie, franchise consultants can “guide clients through Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) review, validation calls with existing franchisees, and provide tools for assessment and referrals to funding sources and franchise attorneys.”
Qualities and Skills of an Effective Franchise Consultant
According to Bonnie, the most important quality of an
effective franchise consultant is strong interpersonal and communication skills.
This includes listening well and conveying information in a simplified way.
Bonnie says that also having business experience, knowledge of franchising and
federal/state/industry regulations adds value to the client discovery process.
To make an informed decision, having a diverse franchise
portfolio is needed. This includes a breadth of business types and categories
at every investment level. In addition to knowing the right questions to ask, a
consultant should be able to search quickly for franchise opportunities that
most align with your goals.
Questions to Ask Your Potential Franchise Consultant
When you decide to work with a franchise consultant, you’re looking
for someone who has the expertise and skills to guide you through the major decision
of buying a franchise. To determine if the franchise consultant is a good fit
for you, some suggested questions to ask include:
What is your background and why did you choose
to become a franchise consultant?
How long have you been a consultant?
Do you have any franchising experience?
Are you affiliated with any franchise consultant
How do you stay current with industry changes
What is your process to identify and present
After the introduction is made, how involved are
you until the agreement is signed?
How available are you? Can you take calls in the
evenings and on weekends?
If I prefer (texting/emailing/talking on the
phone), can you accommodate?
What expectations do you have of your clients?
How many franchisors do you represent?
Next Steps in the Franchise Buying Process
“The more the consultant knows, the better the consultant can help determine opportunities to present that are a good fit” says Bonnie. The first step in the franchise search process is to have a clear understanding of your goals, preferences and any ‘must-haves’ before reviewing specific franchises. By asking the right questions, a consultant will learn about the type of business model you prefer, your skills and interests, desired territory and timeline.
Bonnie concludes, “Remember that as the client, you have the option to choose who you want to work with. We are professionals who can bring knowledge and expertise to what is otherwise a very time consuming and overwhelming experience. Find someone who you connect with and let them get to work for you!”