The Appeal of Owning One or Multi-Units of Multiple Brands Under a Single Parent Company
Multi-unit franchising is big these days. There are many franchisors whose strategy is to lock a franchisee into a deal requiring them to open several stores over a set period of time. It’s a great way for the company to make money, but the onus of success for the franchisee may become quite heavy and rushed. This can be intimidating for a first-time business owner who wants to start small.
Signing on with a multi-brand parent company, such as Winmark®, provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to start with a single unit in one brand and grow to become a multi-unit owner in that one brand or in multiple brands. The appeal to this route is simplicity and familiarity.
Starting Small Leads to Big Opportunities
Winmark wants to make sure the franchisee is successful. The most effective way to do that is to award them one unit in one of the company’s five brands – Once Upon A Child®, Plato’s Closet®, Style Encore®, Music Go Round® and Play It Again Sports®.
“We are not going to over-sell you with development agreements,” said Steve Murphy, president of franchising at Winmark Corporation. “We are going to make sure each unit you do with us is successful and profitable as you grow.”
Familiarity Breeds Confidence
Once entrepreneurs have the success of one unit in one brand under their belt, they have four other brands to choose from if they want to add another to their portfolio. Now they have confidence fostered through a common franchisor and familiarity with the management team, the centralized departments and the processes.
“Having had success with one,” Steve said, “allows you to bring confidence to one or more units of another brand.”
Developing Customers for a Lifetime
Because Winmark’s brands target every age demographic, from infant to senior, the franchisee has the opportunity to develop lifelong customers by owning units in each brand.
“We’re all family-oriented brands,” Steve said. “So, not only do you have the opportunity to have a consumer from youth to their golden years, but you have the opportunity to serve their entire family as well.”
Bucking the Instant Multi-Unit Trend
Today, Winmark is an 800-franchisee, 1,200-store parent company that has been operating this way for three decades. Each brand stands on its own in terms of success.
“A lot of multi-brand companies out there cannot look at their entire portfolio and say, ‘Every one of these brands has been successful.’ We can,” Steve said. “Every one of our brands’ average unit volumes is tremendous. We have best-in-class brands in each of their verticals inside the International Franchise Association. So whether it’s sporting goods, music or apparel, we’re No. 1 in each of our categories.”
That’s success Winmark Corporation wants to keep going. They’ve achieved it by focusing on one franchisee with one unit in one brand at a time. Franchisees in the company’s multi-brand system have also done well by being allowed to grow at their own pace.
“Our approach to supporting franchisees is very different,” Steve said. “We have people who own as many as 20 stores, and we have people who own just one store. We have people who own four brands and some who own just one brand. So, it’s really whatever you want to make of it as a franchisee. This can be as big as you want, or it can be as small as you want.”
For more information about Winmark’s franchise brands, click here!