Franchise Questions and Answers.
Every so often, we get asked the question – “Is Kids Bee Happy a Franchise?” so, we thought it would be useful to write a blog post telling you why we’re not a franchise, and the differences that that makes for you, when starting your Sand Art business.
No Upfront Fees
One of the main characteristics of a franchise, is that you will be expected to pay an upfront fee. These vary with low cost franchises with fees of just a couple of thousand pounds, up to the biggies like Subway, or McDonalds, even in the childrens franchise sector franchises of £10,000 plus. These fees give you the ability to operate a business per the franchisors business model, for a fixed period of time – typically about 5 years, but some are longer, and some are shorter.
No Ongoing Fees or Revenue Percentage
The other big cost of a franchise is the ongoing fee or sales percentage, paid to the franchisor either monthly or annually – this is for the use of their brand, and as a contribution to a centralised marketing budget.
What other entitlements does a franchise normally give me?
Franchises usually give you an exclusive territory, where (as long as you run your business within the rules) no other franchisee can advertise, sell or operate. A franchise usually also includes training (sometimes mandatory training days), and support. Many franchises have a dedicated person in Head Office whose sole job is to manage, monitor, train and assist their franchisees. Infact, some of the big franchises have whole departments of people just to do this job. But the main advantage of a franchise is that it gives you:
(A) A proven business model that you are able to start, along with all the business and marketing resources that you need to hit the ground running on day 1. And
(B) An established, recognised, familiar brand name to operate your business under. Just think of the advantages of opening up your new takeaway under the brand name of Subway, as opposed to Sandra’s Sandwiches 🙂
So what do I get (and not get) if I join Kids Bee Happy direct sales?
Well firstly, as we’re not a franchise, you don’t get a bill, lol. What we mean really is that there is no upfront fee, no marketing fees, and no element of your income that you need to pay back to us. You also don’t get an exclusive territory. With Kids Bee Happy there are no territories or boundaries, which means that you are free to operate your business anywhere you wish – and all other consultants have exactly that same right too.
What protection do I have against too many consultants in the same area?
Kids Bee Happy direct sales is only a few years old, and we have no issues of saturation (too many sellers in the same area). However, we do realise that as we grow there is the potential for this issue to arise, so we have a simple policy. It does our company absolutely no good to have too many consultants in the same area so, if we do, we will restrict new joiners. And if you’re wondering how many is too many, then we already have a simple equation in place for this – basically, its the same as the number of Secondary schools in an area. On average a secondary school supports a population of around 10,000 people. It might also be interesting for you to know that the consultants with the busiest businesses tend to always have other consultants near them – it’s the philosophy that “a rising tide floats many boats”, although it can be great to be the only kidsbeehappy business for 50 miles, its also great to have 2 or 3 others in the region all busy marketing and advertising the brand and introducing happy customers.
I like the sound of the support you have with a franchise – Does Kids Bee Happy offer anything like that?
Yes, we do. Although you will not get presented with a 5000 page manual, and weekly updates, we do have a great deal of training material available to you, covering things like Selling skills as well product information, leadership skills, even resources to help you with Mindset. We also have an annual conference, and regular zoom calls covering specific topics that are relevant that month.
And although there is no department dedicated to supporting you, Kids Bee Happy does have a network of very accessible and very friendly team leaders, who have all been on the journey that you are taking – from starting their business, through growing and scaling it, working with business and corporate customers, and that invaluable knowledge about how to do it whilst juggling a family, and getting that good work-life balance.
The team leaders earn a monthly team bonus, to compensate them for the time that they put into answering questions, talking, and providing all that help and support, and Kids Bee Happy supports these leaders with extra training, a leaders conference, and regular leadership meetings.
Are there any “Rules” I need to follow?
Yes, there are some rules. And this is because (exactly the same as a franchise) you are operating your business under the brand of Kids Bee Happy so it is essential that everyone doing so does it in a manner that supports and protects one another. It is also very important that when a customer books a Kids Bee Happy party that they get a consistent product or service. So, yes, we have rules, and your team leader will guide you through these when you start. The rules are sensible though, rather than being onerous, and are only in place to protect consultants businesses as a whole. The biggies are outlined here below:
As we sell Disney licensed products, we have rules in place to ensure that Disney’s brand is sold and portrayed in a manner consistent with their values. So no discounting, no freebies or prize competitions, no selling in “downmarket” venues, etc.
Other Competitor Products
We don’t sell to anyone that sells other Sand Art or Bear products. This is because it is unrealistic to require a customer to work out which of the products they are using are Kids Bee Happy, with the quality assurance, safety tested, and EN compliant, and which are cheap imports bought of alibaba.
I already have my own business – Am I restricted to just selling Kids Bee Happy products?
There are no restrictions, other than those that we have already outlined above. We have many businesses registered with us as consultants – craft businesses, soft play centres, cafes, childcare businesses, PTA’s, churches etc. Its absolutely fine to use your own business name.
Am I tied in?
Unlike a franchise, there is no tie-in period with Kids Bee Happy. You can start your business when you want, and stop it when you want, you can pick it up and put it down again as your family life (or work life) suits. You are not committed to any fees or ongoing costs, so you can run your business in the way that suits you. In fact we have many consultants who work their business on a parttime-seasonal basis (which basically means they hibernate in the winter and re-emerge late spring each year).
OK, so why aren’t you a franchise?
Franchises can be great, and they will undoubtedly be the right choice for some people and some companies. However, with Kids Bee Happy we want to grow our “feet on the ground” quickly and all over the UK, and being honest, many people who are looking for a family friendly flexible business don’t have a cupboard full of money that they are happy to invest in a franchise fee. So we decided that what would work better for us was our own direct sales model – combining the three elements of a very low cost investment that you can set yourself, the simple business where people can purchase at a proper wholesale price and make proper profits, and the wonderful support and mentoring element that the teams bring.
I still have questions……….
Then probably the best next step is to talk to one of our Leaders who can answer all of your individual questions. If you drop us a quick email with your contact details, region and the best time to call, to firstname.lastname@example.org we will arrange for someone to call you.