Starting a business brings the excitement of being your own boss and pursuing your passions. It can also bring some pretty big decisions that need to be made. The biggest one being whether to start a business from scratch or join a franchise system to reap the benefits of a proven model.
Start-up vs. a franchise system
Starting a business can be risky, but joining a franchise means joining an established, successful system. The A/B testing that needs to happen with new businesses has already been done for you. With most franchises, you are given a “guide” to ownership by joining and best practices to run your franchise are already in place.
Regardless of the type of business you wish to start, capital is needed, and sometimes that means financing. Forbes columnist Rieva Lesonsky wrote in a recent article about the benefits of franchising related to funding a new business: “Getting a small business loan is typically very difficult for a startup business; however, franchises are different. Since franchisees are buying into a proven system, lenders are more likely to feel confident that their startups will survive and be able to repay the loan.”
Lesonsky, citing a recent Guidant Financial and LendingClub report, also noted that most franchise owners say they are happy with their decision to buy a franchise and 23% say they’d like to open an additional location.
The Brightway Difference
When brothers David and Michael Miller formed Brightway their goal was to provide a business opportunity that offers the highest return on investment with the lowest risk in achieving it.
“We wanted to ensure the contract was written to benefit our franchisees because that is the way we run our business. Maybe that’s not the most profitable way for us as personally as owners of the company, but that’s not how we run our business.” Michael Miller, President & CEO, says.
While owning a franchise is less risky than owning an independent operation in general, Brightway’s financial alignment with its franchisees is truly unique. Brightway only grows when its business partners grow. And, Brightway empower them to grow as fast as possible by providing comprehensive business support.
That comprehensive business support is what removes obstacles that many franchise owners face. Brightway’s corporate staff provides our franchisees with expertise in areas including Customer Service, Accounting, Marketing, Distribution, Business Analytics, Carrier Appointments, Licensing, Onboarding, Training, Hiring, and Retaining personnel.
A key component of Brightway’s business platform is after-the-sale service. In Personal Lines insurance, it’s estimated that the producer selling policies spends between 60 and 80 percent of their time servicing existing policies rather than selling new ones. Brightway takes that work away from producers, freeing them up to focus on taking the time to get to know each customer and customizing a package of policies that meets each customer’s unique needs.
Allowing producers to focus on selling is a key part of recruiting and retaining qualified staff for Brightway franchisees.
To help franchisees identify Rockstar talent that will benefit their business, Brightway invested in a new tool that helps our franchisees assess talent from outside the industry by measuring sales and cognitive ability. Called The Predictive Index and used by many Fortune 500 companies, it is revolutionizing how our franchisees recruit and the level of talent they are able to hire.
“I’ve been able to hire seasoned insurance producers because of Brightway’s model. We focus on selling, and service is taken completely of their plate. I was able to recruit a top performer from one of the largest agencies in my area. My new hire used to spend more than half of her time handling service work, and now she can look forward to selling insurance every day. Brightway’s model sealed the deal.” - Brightway Producer
It is also important to note that Brightway’s franchise fee gives you the right to open your first Brightway location and the option to open a second for free within the first five years. With most other franchise systems, you’ll need to pay a second franchise fee to open a second location, which can be a major roadblock for the nearly one-fourth of franchisees who want to open another location.
If Brightway franchise owners want to expand to three or more locations, they enter into a Multi-unit agreement in which we’ll waive any additional franchise fee so long as they keep all of their locations open for at least five years.
Brightway has seen a record number of its franchisees expanding their business with six owners opening additional locations in the past 12 months and a recent survey shows that number will likely continue to grow in the future.
Each year, Franchise Business Review surveys franchisees from across the country, including Brightway Agency Owners. The results of its 2020 survey, completed by our franchise owners, shows that two-thirds of our owners are considering adding additional Brightway locations to their enterprises, including one in four who say they definitely plan to expand with Brightway.