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Old 04-12-2011, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default Looking to open a franchise, need guidance.

I think after this tour contracting in Iraq I want to open a franchise, I am looking at opening a Snapfitness, or a sports nutrition store. (GNC/Vitamin Shoppe etc) Mostly because I wouldn't mind working in these types of environments 80 hours a week. I will be the manager of my store as well to keep overhead low.

Does anyone know anything about opening one, know anyone who has experience with this? I am just trying to soak in as much knowledge before I continue further into this.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:18 PM   #2
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I suppose the first thing that you should do is order the prospectus from both companies to see if you meet the income/asset requirement guidelines and to see what they require for an up-front capital outlay.

The second thing is to not start a franchise if you are borrowing the money to do it. The statistics for successful franchises are pretty poor for those that do from what I understand. If you are coming home with $100K in your pocket to invest, that's another thing.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:51 PM   #3
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I will have around 130K in cash to invest, I also have considered just opening my own supplement/smoothie store--which may be better then a franchise the more I research.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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I have read many horror stories about franchising. I was looking at cold stone creamery, but then realized how bad the relations are between the franchise owners and the parent company.

I suspect you'd do better starting your own. Given how miserably most small businesses are run, don't you think you can do better? I sure do!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:59 PM   #5
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We'll lucky for me I think I can make it work, I am a competitive bodybuilder, and my friend who is doing this with me is at the national level. We know several pros who can push our store, and with 10 gyms in a 5 mile radius, and an over priced GNC my only competition I think I can fair well.

I will keep reading up and following up.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #6
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I have nothing to say but please come to San Angelo and open a Chipotle... I don't even know if that is a franchise, but if someone would do it they would bank hardcore.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FRT_Fun View Post
I have nothing to say but please come to San Angelo and open a Chipotle... I don't even know if that is a franchise, but if someone would do it they would bank hardcore.
Yes, it is a franchise. I do think it's owned my McDonalds. I know the one around here is always busy. If I wanted to live in Tx it would be awesome!
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jtothawhat View Post
We'll lucky for me I think I can make it work, I am a competitive bodybuilder, and my friend who is doing this with me is at the national level. We know several pros who can push our store, and with 10 gyms in a 5 mile radius, and an over priced GNC my only competition I think I can fair well.

I will keep reading up and following up.
Based on that info, I'd go it alone without the franchise.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jtothawhat View Post
Yes, it [Chipotle] is a franchise.
I wish it were so. I would leverage myself to the hilt to open one.

Chipotle went public in 2006, at which time McDonald's sold off its interest in the company. Like In-n-Out, however, all of their locations are company owned.

Here's how they've been doing since the IPO:



****, I would have loved to have been a part of that...




(Sorry for the threadjack.)
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:33 PM   #10
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Shoot me a pm if you are interested in starting a franchise. My aunt used to work with setting them up. I can see if I can get you some more info about it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:35 PM   #11
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Joe, I guess I was misinformed...I knew that had something to do with McDonalds. Damn I wish I was part of that as well
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:09 AM   #12
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I've started four businesses from the ground up. Three failed and one succeeded. I took the one that succeeded from zero to a whole bunch of revenue in under a year.

I have not run a retail business before, but I assume the essential requirements for success I am about to list apply to retail. The point of a business is to sell **** to your customers, and also, to sell enough **** to be profitable and make money. Finding and selling to your customers can be extremely difficult. Also, selling enough **** to be profitable can also be extremely difficult. The product that you're selling can sometimes matter a great deal, other times, not as much. What really matters is SALES and MARGIN. You can have a great product but no buyers and fail. You can have a **** product and buyers and succeed. You can also have plenty of buyers but have a miserable 15 year break-even point and live off of ramen for 15 years FTL.

Unfortunately, a lot more goes into a business than a personal interest or personal tie to what you are selling. Passion also won't necessarily net financial success. It can cloud your judgement and your ability to critically appraise your product, your marketing strategy, your sales strategy, your advertising strategy, and your competitive differentiators. My passion clouded my judgement to my financial detriment three times. I also greatly underestimated what was required to find customers and make SALES.

If I were serious about starting a new business, and I had not successfully operated that type of business before, I would look for external consultation to get a more objective viewpoint. External consultation can come in the form of successful retail store owners, or just other individuals in your area who have successful businesses. If you find someone good enough, you can consider giving them shareholder ownership in exchange for material or consultative participation.

I myself plan to start several more businesses because I enjoy it, and I will probably be going with what I know- from a business operation perspective as opposed to a personal interest perspective. The way I see things now, it almost doesn't matter what and how you're selling. It's the go to market plan, the operations plan, the scalability plan, break-even point, and your product's market viability that matters most.

Supplement and smoothie shops are a common business, and I'm sure that there are specific forums with franchise owners out there. Take heed though, because when you buy a franchise, you are becoming a customer, and therefore making someone else money. That means whomever you're buying the franchise from has a very very strong interest in making franchise ownership seem as attractive as possible.

My last warning- researching, planning, calculating, purchasing, and all the groundwork required to set up a business is VERY different than going to market. The former is all extremely easy. The latter may not be. That said, I hope you make a million bucks!

Last edited by Faeflora; 04-13-2011 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:04 PM   #13
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undeniably this post makes fae appear to know something about something way more than the post where he took a sawzall to his frame.

incidentally, what were your 3+1 businesses that you started?
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
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incidentally, what were your 3+1 businesses that you started?
This x100.
I MUST know
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #15
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Yamba Juice!!!

I just saw a bus billboard for a francise convention coming here to the DC area this weekend.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:45 PM   #16
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Not to be a dick or anything though that's never stopped me before but I don't think a supplement store would be a great money maker unless you're selling dbol, deca and test out the back.

There are so many wholesalers online that people just don't shop at a retail store for supplements any more. Your average joe will pick up whatever crappy whey they sell at Walmart while your slightly more serious guy will have a Gold membership at GNC or Vitaminshoppe, or just buy crap from dpsnutrition.com or any other online store that has cheap shipping. Your serious guys spend all of their money on gear so their supplement budget consists of tuna, eggs and chicken breasts.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:01 PM   #17
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since the mob demands it


Outsourcing the IT function for small businesses (no not overseas)- a service contract oriented business
Failed because I didn't know how to find enough customers to make a decent amount of money. I had some customers but not revenue and margin to make more money than I could being a W2 employee working for someone else. I had never done sales before and not enough customers or high revenue/margin customers = not enough money.

Recording Studio (room plus mobile service)- hourly service oriented business
Failed because I entered the market during the home recording boom. People no longer needed to pay $50-$300/hr for decent recordings. I had a very nice studio and very good skills but I couldn't compete with the new market rate for recording of $10-$40/hr. Some real studios survived the boom but they already had a large number of loyal clients. Since I was new business I didn't have a large number of loyal clients, and also, I didn't know how to differentiate myself enough from the cheap competition to win new clients. Not enough revenue AND enough customers = not enough money.

Band Merchandise- I suppose this does count as retail but I did not have the overhead of a lease or the worries of stocking inventory.
I didn't do the basic math to figure out how many t shirts, caps, CDs, stickers etc I would have to sell to make X net profit. The answer was I would have to sell a shitload of merchandise and scale like mad to be able to afford more than a studio apartment in some ghetto. Not a high enough quantity of sales of cheap low margin product = not enough money

Point Solution for Enterprise Data Protection- Software licensing
Win because I saw a market need for the product. Win because I cold called a shitload of ************* and met with customers and listened to them and sold to their pain. I focused on customers and selling = winning

In order to have a successful business, you have to know how to sell or someone that works with/for you has to know how to sell. I'm including marketing and advertising in "how to sell". If you don't know how to sell, you are just a consumer, and you're not a business. Businesses are supposed to make money in the end not lose it. When you have a lot of disposable cash like jtothawhat does now, the risk of losing everything may not seem like that big a deal. The problem is that the mistakes you make early on will cost you capital. After you've experienced your mistakes, learned from them, and are ready to spend more intelligently, you may sadly have little capital left to leverage. That situation sucks.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:25 PM   #18
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Cleanup performed.

Threadjacking ends now.

You have all been warned, and you know who you are.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #19
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There is always those few people who have a great business idea, something they're sure could never fail. Do all the foot work, secure a storefront, select a name, acquire all documentation, paperwork and permits.... Everything good to go right? Wrong..

We (tax payers of the United States) bailed out all these bastard banks to keep them from tanking so they could you know, not loan someone money to start a ****** business and maybe put some people to work... So here I continue to work for someone else.

Good luck with your business, sir.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #20
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Not to be a dick or anything though that's never stopped me before but I don't think a supplement store would be a great money maker unless you're selling dbol, deca and test out the back.

There are so many wholesalers online that people just don't shop at a retail store for supplements any more. Your average joe will pick up whatever crappy whey they sell at Walmart while your slightly more serious guy will have a Gold membership at GNC or Vitaminshoppe, or just buy crap from dpsnutrition.com or any other online store that has cheap shipping. Your serious guys spend all of their money on gear so their supplement budget consists of tuna, eggs and chicken breasts.
I don't find this to be the whole truth, you can get gear offline as well but with that being said, I am lucky enough to know many athletes and bodybuilders in the area. GNC is pretty successful near my house, and would be my only direct competition--with that being said, anyone who actually knows about the supplement/lifting world doesn't shop at GNC. I plan to market to a wide array of people as well, not just serious lifters. I plan on selling product at about 20% less then GNC (much similar to online retailers). As experience has shown me thus far people rather see product in person before buying it offline, and if I can offer a product for about the same price after shipping as online stores I will do it. We have XSport Fitness, LA Fitness, Lifetime Fitness all within 10 miles of each other, all are extremely busy clubs and limited supplement stores in between. I am figuring I could buy product i.e 'ON 100% Whey' for example for $24 dollars for a 5 pound jug and sell it for around $46 dollars which would net me just under 100% mark-up. This is the same product GNC sells for $70 dollars and the same product sold by bodybuilding.com for $44 dollars. Obviously there is selling power and such, but lucky for me I am close friends with a pro who is sponsored by them and knows some people in high places with the company. Smoothies (Protein, Regular) I think would be profitable because A. people are hot after the gym, want something refreshing and healthy B. profit margin is very high not saying I would get rich off this alone but the over head is so low.

Location is prime from what I have been looking at, it's very built up area and is literally in front of a LA Fitness facing the busy 4 lane road. Rent is around 4-5,000 a month for 1000 Sq.
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