Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Toying with the Idea of Buying a Sip and Paint Franchise?

If you've been thinking about teaching Wine and Paint Classes, then the idea of purchasing a franchise may have crossed your mind at one time or another.

Businesses like Painting with a Twist, the first and largest paint and sip franchise in the US, have good track records of success. Painting with a Twist has maintained  its spot as the nation’s top franchise in the industry. It ranked as the #1 Paint and Sip Studio in Entrepreneur magazine’s 38th Annual Franchise 500® edition, for the fourth year in a row. (Read the full article here.)

The support and success can be tempting, but is a franchise right for you?

A few years back, an artist friend of mine started talking about opening a franchise for kids art classes, and with all due love and respect to her, I thought it was the WORST idea possible for her and here's why:

She is one of those people who never actually stops creating and just about everything she makes is spectacular. Having to limit herself to a franchise that tells you what to paint and how to paint it, would be like caging a hummingbird. She needs to fly and she needs to be in constant creative motion. It's my belief that a franchise would be too limiting to her creative spirit. Having to teach something a certain way (that isn't her way) is not something I can see her doing for very long-pretty sure she would go rogue and start spray painting the kids.

She doesn't want a "job" and she says she is not cut out for a job. She's an artist and she works when she feels like working. To have to show up at a studio and teach kids on a schedule, could quickly begin to feel like a job. In fact, franchising has been described as "buying yourself a job." All of the things she enjoys about her current lifestyle, would be gone.

She was tempted by the "proven system" and the marketing support. She was tired of always having to work hard to drum up students for her (very unique and inspiring) classes when she did hold them. She wanted really, to be able to show up and teach and run a successful business that would support her financially. And maybe it would, but my concern was that it might just crush her free-spirited-art-loving self. I would not want to see her make a huge investment, only to feel imprisoned in a year.

I suggested that if she wanted a franchise, she should start one herself and be the franchiser, the parent company, not the franchisee. She's an original and she's someone who could figure it out and then teach others how to do it.

So, what about you? Do you like a lot of structure, guidance, rules and systems? Do you want someone to tell you exactly what colors to paint your walls and what to paint during each class? There can be comfort in that. When you buy a franchise, you pay the franchisee to help you every step of the way and you exchange a great deal of control (and money) for this support. I've never owned a franchise, but I expect it's like having a business coach who keeps you on track and guides you so you succeed.

It's perfect for some people and not so good for others, like my friend. If you're thinking of buying a franchise, do your due diligence:
  • Find out if there are openings (or territories) in your area
  • Ask for a list of other owners you can talk to. Have a list of questions ready for them and talk to at least 3. Try to get a good sense of what a day in the life of an owner is like.
  • Visit a location and take a class with one of the franchisees
  • Get the structure and the vibe before you commit and make sure it's a good match with your style
  • Know the full costs, both start-up and ongoing
  • Decide if you want a location based franchise, like Painting with a Twist or a Community Based Option like Paint Nite. Each type has their pros and cons.
Ready to dive in and do some research? Here are some of the top franchises in the industry from the 2017 Entrepreneur Magazine. Each link will take you to a summary of the franchise.

Painting with a Twist
Initial Investment $89K-$143K

Pinot's Palette
Initial Investment $77K-$197K

Bottle and Bottega
Initial Investment $97K-158K

Wine and Design

If you're more like me, you would rather earn extra income on the side teaching wine and paint classes in your community or your own studio than run a full-out franchise business. You want to do it your way and you might do other things as well. These classes can be easy to get going on your own, you don't have to commit your life savings to buy a job you might not enjoy.

Trying it on your own first, might be a good way to test the waters to see if you even need the support of a franchise. Maybe what you are able to book and fill with happy students on your own, is all you actually need.

If you want to quickly get started with the do-it-yourself version contact me right here for a free, 20 minute, laser focused coaching call (no worries, I'm not selling anything and I could potentially save you 100K.) We'll review where you are right now, answer any questions you have and brainstorm ideas to get your class out of your head and onto the calendar. Getting that date booked will get you into action mode faster than anything else can.
If email is more your style, grab the free worksheet and start working toward "Getting Your First Class Booked in the Next 30 Days" and start making it happen!

Happy Painting!

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