MinorityFran Changing the Game for Minorities in Franchising
The International Franchise Association has been making strides in boosting the success rate and number of minorities involved in franchise opportunities by focusing on two flagship programs. With these programs, the IFA has been expanding the number of franchisees, suppliers, employees, and franchisors of African American, Hispanic American, Asian American and/or Native American descent.
The first of the two minority-friendly opportunities is the Educational Foundation's Diversity Institute. The Diversity Institute consists of four day-long seminars to address the informational, capital, and relational challenges faced by minorities who are trying to get involved in franchising. The second tool offered by the IFA to assist minorities is its MinorityFran program. Since 2006, MinorityFran has offered resources to explore franchise offerings of companies actively looking to recruit minority franchisees. MinorityFran, which is modeled after the successful Veterans Franchise Transition Initiative, or VetFran, is open for participation to all International Franchise Association members. There are currently over 100 participating companies in the program.
In the last U.S. Census report, minorities accounted for 20% of franchise owners, as opposed to 13% of non-franchised business opportunities. This is a tribute to the IFA's focus on making franchising more accessible to everyone. And it's no wonder these firms are looking to bolster their image among minority communities: Minorities account for a rapidly increasing portion of America's consumer population.
As far as the incentives go, there are three main categories that franchisors tend to work with when they're looking to increase access to their systems for minorities. The most popular method used, by far, is to offer discounts on initial franchise fees. The second most popular incentive offered to minorities by franchisors is financing assistance and other discounts to help pay off the sizable franchising fees that new franchisees incur. Finally, in rare instances, franchisors offer minority franchisees administrative and development support above and beyond what they provide to the non-minority franchisees in the system. Here is a list of franchises that have gone the extra mile to reach out to minorities looking to get involved in franchising.
Related content: [Searching for the Best Franchises for Minorities]
Companies Offering Top Discounts on Initial Franchise Fees to Minorities
- FastSigns franchise: 45% ($12,375) off initial franchise fees.
- Lawn Doctor franchise: 50% ($6,000) off license fee of $12,000.
- AlphaGraphics franchise: 15% ($5,250) off initial franchise fees.
- Salsarita's Fresh Cantina franchise: $5,000 off initial franchise fees.
- ServiceMaster Clean franchise: 15% (~$2,500-9,000) off initial franchise fees. Also offers financing.
- Sparkle Wash franchise: 25% ($5,000) off initial franchise fees.
- Fantastic Sams Hair Salons franchise: 25% off initial license fee plus $5,000 credit for first purchase of Fantastic Sams private label products at salon opening in participating markets.
Companies Offering Financing Assistance and Other Discounts
- Kinderdance franchise: In-house financing of franchise fee to qualified applicants.
- ServiceMaster Clean franchise: Prime 2%, no down payment, 6 months and no payment the next 12 months financing. Interest only, and 100% financing of total investment.
- Precision Tune Auto Care franchise: In addition to reducing their initial fees, royalty fees are reduced from 8% to 3.75%, minimum $150 a week for first 52 weeks after center open in certain geographical areas.
Companies Offering Development and Administrative Support
- ExxonMobil: Enhanced support through development seminars and funding.
- HomeTask, Inc.: Free support to overcome any language, education or other barriers.
Of course, to get an apples-to-apples comparison of the incentives offered by the franchisors participating in the MinorityFran program, prospective franchisees will need to do their research. And no incentive should replace the critical due diligence required prior to investing in a franchise (e.g., reading the franchise disclosure document). Still, this list is a great starting point for any minority looking to get involved in franchising. Even if you do not see a franchise that fits your interest on the MinorityFran list, do not be shy about asking the franchises that DO fit your interest whether they offer any incentives to promote diversity in their franchise system!
Drew Wolin is an analyst at FranchiseHelp. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Multi-Unit Movement Benefits Franchisors and Franchisees
Right now, more than one out of ten franchisees operate more than one unit. Many of them operate more than one concept. There is growing evidence of a trend toward multi-unit and multi-brand ownership. The advantages to both franchisors and franchisees are clearly compelling, and dramatic growth in multi-unit and multi-concept franchising is expected over the coming years.
Don't Forget About the Lease!
Purchasing a franchise that requires a commercial location adds another layer of complexity to the mix. That’s certainly not to say that it can’t be overcome, but just that it needs to be acknowledged and addressed proactively going into the franchise opportunity.
The first point I made ties into this, but you need to make sure you’ve done your research before you go ahead and sign a franchising agreement. And that doesn’t just mean from a financial perspective. There are so many other aspects in running a franchise that you need to understand before you get started. Most of this information can be found in the Franchise Disclosure Documents. Some of the most important things you should take a look at would be any legal issues the franchisor might have and the churn rate of franchises. Both of those could potentially be pretty significant red flags that might make you want to reconsider whether or not you want to open that franchise.