Questions to Ask Before Buying a Franchise – Location, Location, Location

There’s an old adage that in real estate there are three supremely important factors: location, location, location. The same holds true for franchises. A prime location will have high visibility, easy access, lots of customer traffic and minimal nearby competition.

One question it’s easy to overlook, though, is how many franchises the business already has in your area. In the Starbucks boom, the number of new franchises became so high so quickly that in some areas the market became oversaturated, forcing a company-wide strategic shift and the closure of many franchises.

The same thing can happen on a smaller level if you’re not careful about where you open your franchise. Check with your business’s corporate offices to find how many other franchises they have in your city and where they are located. Make sure you’re in compliance with any corporate restrictions on the minimum distance between franchises or on how many franchises can operate within a given area. Research the locations of your top competitors. Find an area that is relatively underserved in your industry so that you can carve a distinct niche in your city’s market share.

Once you’ve found the top few options for where to locate your franchise, investigate the visibility, accessibility and foot traffic of each site. The best locations are the ones where customers are already coming for a non-competing reason, such as in malls, near tourist attractions or convenient to heavily populated office space. Your signage should be easy to see from a distance, and the store should have convenient parking and easy access for customers on foot.

The 10 Fastest Growing Industries In the U.S. and What That Means For Franchising

The Top 10 Fastest-Growing Industries in the United States:

1. Generic pharmaceuticals

2. Solar panel manufacturing

3. For-profit universities

4. Pilates and yoga studios

5. Self-tanning product manufacturing

6. 3-D printer manufacturing

7. Social network game development

8. Hot sauce production

9. Green and sustainable building construction

10. Online eyeglasses sales

If the above list, found on Wonkblog, is any indication, the way out of the recession is  hot sauce, green construction and whole lot of downward facing dogs. If that’s the case, then the franchise industry, which predicted a 5% growth margin for 2012, is poised for an even better end of year report.


Why Hot Sauce?

It seems as though not some, but most, like it hot. As a nation, our tastes are changing. The growing number of immigrants and morphing demographics of our melting pot country are causing a desire for spicy, ethnic foods.  For the past decade, the hot sauce manufacturing industry has grown at a rate of 9.3 percent per year.


While there aren’t any hot sauce franchises (to our knowledge) this taste for spicier food is sure to carry over in ways other than the bottle of Tobasco on your table. Mexican-inspired franchise restaurants are seeing an increase in their popularity across the country, too.

For those who like it hot, becoming a Mexican restaurant franchisee might be for you! Here are a few great options to consider.


Green, Mean Money Machines

Solar manufacturing and sustainable building construction, the two green industries on IBIS World’s list, can attribute part of their growth to various government subsidies. Though these subsidies are beginning to wind down, the growth rate for green industries is predicted to continue in 2012 with Solar Panel Manufacturing and Sustainable Green Building growing at a rate of 8.2 percent and 9.4 percent respectively.


For the environmentally conscientious interested in becoming a franchise owners there are quite a few options available:


Say Om

Pilates and yoga studios were highly resistant to the recession and have continued to grow as the U.S.’ economy strengthens. From 2002 to 2012, the industry grew an average of 12.1 percent per year. In 2012, yoga and Pilates studios are projected to experience a 5.1 percent growth rate.


A number of yoga and/or Pilates franchises are available to those interested in helping others improve their strength, flexibility and fitness levels. Though they’re not mentioned explicitly in IBIS’ report, I would imagine similar health and fitness concepts like gyms and massage franchises have experienced an uptick in their growth rates and are ripe for expansion as well.


  • IMX Pilates
  • Wundabar Pilates
  • Sunstone Yoga
  • Open Doors Yoga
  • Innergy Yoga
  • Bikram Yoga

Testimonial: Chyten Franchising, Inc.

We’ve done it again folks! We couldn’t be more pleased that one of our clients is this kind of happy:

“Wow.  In a matter of a couple of weeks, we have quadrupled our lead flow (versus other .com franchise portals) with the addition of the and franchise lead portals.  I’ve been in the franchise industry for 22 years now with major brands, and when I state that this site(s) produces, I know from years of experience.  We are a small franchise company with 40 units open to date;  I didn’t think we would draw the candidate interest of the major brands I’ve worked for….this was key to us, and it “clicked” immediately.  Our leads have been ‘qualified’ too.  Not the usual tire kickers.  In addition, my representative from this company (Guy Norcott) far exceeds my service expectations, which is important to me.  He proactively keeps me well informed at all times how to increase exposure.  Enough said…I highly recommend FranchiseClique/FranchiseBuy”.

Randy Blue, Director of Franchise Development

Chyten Franchising, Inc.


Mathnasium Franchise Spotlight

Let’s face it – math is tough. So tough, that many kids need help reinforcing the basic principles and learning the more advanced mathematics so that they don’t fall behind in their school work. There’s so much to math that students often fall behind in their studies before they even know it, which can be detrimental in the long run. Even worse is when the challenge of math has children disliking it – then they’re definitely unmotivated to learn. That’s where Mathnasium: The Math Learning Center comes in. Mathnasium is a children’s educational franchise that engages kids through interactive, hands-on activities. And being that quality math tutoring and instruction is a sticking point for parents today, Mathnasium is one of the fastest growing available children’s franchises, offering a high ceiling for money-making potential.
As a Mathnasium franchise owner, you’ll manage a team of math experts who will help you provide a fun and educational circiculum to the children you will serve. And like all franchises, if you need assistance, you won’t be left hung out to dry. By owning a Mathnasium franchise, you’ll become a part of a professional network that will provide you with the support and tools necessary to succeed. Remember, as a franchise owner, your success dictates their success.
The estimated investment rate for a Mathnasium opportunity begins at about $93,000. Financing options are also available to would-be franchise owners. While this price point may seem somewhat steep, remember that most kids need help with math and that the ones that don’t need help with math often want additional instruction so that they can get ahead and stay ahead of their peers. It’s why Mathnasium is one of the fastest growing franchise opportunities in the country. And it’s why your initial investment could pay off big time in the long run.

“**Due to the date this article was published, store count and financials may be inaccurate. Please refer to Mathnasium Learning Centers page for the most current information.”

Children’s Education Franchise Spotlight

Mad Science Franchise

When you think of franchise opportunities, chances are that things like children and child education may not immediately come to mind. But there’s arguably just as much opportunity involved in owning a children’s educational franchise as there is in being the owner for another type of franchise. There’s also arguably more money-making potential, as there will always be children who need help with learning and engaging with others, and parents who strive to give their child the best opportunity for succeeding in life. This is because children’s franchises aren’t solely for entertaining the younger clientele, but also educating and developing them.

There is a vast amount of choice in terms of selecting from a children’s educational franchise. For example, Club-Z is an in-home tutoring service, where franchise owners will manage a staff of tutors that help out kids with specified school subjects. The tutoring is done at the child’s home, so you don’t need a specialty building to hold such sessions, which keeps franchise investment costs down. Plus, tutoring is becoming a much more popular business. Tutoring is one thing, hands-on learning activities are another opportunity.

That brings us to Mad Science, a franchise that entertains and engages children through hands-on science-related activities. Studies show that children who are engaged and actively participating in activities are more likely to learn and retain information better than those who aren’t.

Another example of a children’s franchise is Mathnasium. Although Mathnasium requires a higher investment amount than many of the other children’s franchise options, it also offers a potentially higher payoff by specializing in one area of school that many students struggle with – math. Mathnasium engages children and teaches them math, while reinforcing basic arithmetic, through games and activities, so as not to make it seem like a boring chore.

“**Due to the date this article was published, store count and financials may be inaccurate. Please refer to Mathnasium Learning Centers page for the most current information.”

Captain Tony’s Pizza: Your Neighborhood Pizzeria

Captain Tony’s Pizza is proof that Mexican-inspired Chipotle isn’t the only food franchise that’s dedicated to its customers, to its franchisees, or to its community.


In the 1970s, Anthony Martella opened the first Captain Tony’s as a mom-and-pop pizza parlor. In 1972, Anthony’s son, Michael, took his father’s pizza (and his grandmother’s pizza dough recipe) and turned it into a successful multi-location franchise operation. Somehow, all Captain Tony’s locations still manage to feel like your neighborhood pizzeria. For Michael Martella that’s not only important to him personally, it’s an integral part of his business model.


While Michael Martella might be the founder’s son and Captain Tony’s current CEO, he’s also a franchisee himself– he owns the Rochester, NY location of Captain Tony’s.


As a franchisee, Michael Martella knows how important it is, especially for a pizzeria like Captain Tony’s, to be a visible part of your business, for your customers to get to know you, and to be seen as a part of the local community. In fact, that’s a big part of Captain Tony’s success. The personal attention that you get at a Captain Tony’s you just don’t find anywhere else. When was the last time you walked into a pizza franchise and they remembered your name and your order? Martella sees the same customers today he saw 20 years ago as kids– albeit they’ve grown up a little bit.


It’s more than just remembering your name. Unlike most other pizza franchises, Captain Tony’s makes most everything in-house. The dough is made every day from a recipe Martella’s grandmother brought over from Italy. Bread is baked from scratch every day. When it comes to produce and other menu items, Martella encourages his franchisees to buy from local businesses, farmers, and purveyors. Again, community involvement is a big part of being a Captain Tony’s franchisee.


As the current CEO, Martella is responsible for finding, training, and supporting all of Captain Tony’s franchisees. When it comes to finding someone new, there are a few things that make his list. First of all, he’s not looking for someone who “wants to reinvent the wheel.” He’s looking for someone with business sense and sales experience who can learn the business model he’s perfected. Captain Tony’s is a brand where you “gotta work hard,” he says. Not surprisingly, the brand is doing well. “We turn more people down than we accept,” Martella says.


For those who become Captain Tony’s franchisees, there’s more than a great concept waiting– there’s great support. When you’re first starting out, Captain Tony’s helps you shop for equipment deals. (A brand new convection oven can cost upwards of $48,000.)  Martella provides counseling and aid when it comes to finding an appropriate location and permits franchisees to do their own construction work if they’re qualified or they happen to know someone in the local community who can get the job done. Again, for Captain Tony’s, it’s all about the community.


Financially speaking, Captain Tony’s only requires a franchise fee of 4.5% (lower than most) that’s capped at $500 per week. So, if you’re doing particularly well in sales, that profit stays with you. Franchisees are given a complete and total marketing guide and leeway to try out their own advertising strategies, which are encouraged, they just need permission first.


At the end of the day, being a Captain Tony’s franchisee is about hard work, being involved in your community, and providing your customers with a personalized experience and a great end product. With all the experience, tools, and support that Michael Martella provides and brings to the table, Captain Tony’s is a franchise that brings together profit and perfect pizzas.

Franchising and Social Media

The goal of social media shouldn’t be just to increase profits. The goal of social media should be to further create brand awareness and draw attention to your product. In terms of a franchise, it should be used to further craft a particular brand, thereby creating further awareness to a particular brand while conveying a positive image. And with that we have one of the more recent trends in social media: franchising.

Specifically, franchise social media is using things like Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare within the means of a franchise’s goals. What does this mean? Well, unlike your personal Facebook or Twitter account, which you use to sound off on your rants, thoughts, feelings – whatever – franchising with social media requires a bit more structure. Determine what your company’s goal is, what message you want to convey in your social media posts and then craft a strategy where you execute these goals.

Just think, if you’re a potential franchise owner, do you want to wait for paperwork in the mail to come about the benefits of joining the franchise? Or would you rather just log online and see other franchise owners just like you, not to mention franchising and social media allows companies to be much more transparent. Interacting on social media allows potential franchise owners the chance to see how a certain company promotes itself, which is much more than a brochure or piece of pamphlet could do. And do you really think you wouldn’t be able to tell over a Facebook or Twitter account is someone was unhappy with the service or quality of a product that you’re interested in investing in?

Social media has allowed companies to become much more transparent, which could be the biggest selling tool above anything else.