We’ve all heard of franchises, but many people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes of building a booming business that spans dozens or even hundreds of territories. Strategic franchise development is essential for building and growing a profitable franchise, and there are many moving parts to ensure its success.
Let’s cover the basics of franchise development and how its processes can often make or break your business.
What is franchise development?
It combines sales, marketing, legal and real estate. It is the strategic process from the beginning stages (concept) through the expansion phase and beyond.
So, what’s involved in the development process, and who’s responsible for ensuring a franchise hits the ground running and remains sustainable?
First and foremost, you must create a franchise business plan. This blueprint will include a profile of the target buyer, franchise fee, royalty fee, advertising fund model, and more. Another critical step to building a successful franchise is mapping out a profitable financial model for both franchisor and franchisee.
The development process also involves the management of legal documentation and the state registration process. A Franchise Disclosure Document must be provided to and updated annually with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in order to sell franchises in the U.S.
A franchise system must have a fully defined and documented operations system in the operations manual and legal documentation. This manual will be a critical sales and training tool for the franchisee.
What does a franchise developer do?
The role of franchise developers is to streamline different areas of building up the franchise, including working with digital marketing companies, branding agencies, business consultants, and franchise and trademark attorneys. Because the FTC closely regulates the process, a franchise developer is the point person to ensure all regulations and requirements are met on both the federal and state levels.
Like a general contractor builds houses, franchise developers manage the entire development process and work closely with business owners who envision taking their franchise nationwide. Some of the essential tasks developers tackle are:
- Defining the franchise relationship and structure
- Researching similar franchise businesses in the marketplace
- Coordinating documentation and working with a legal team to ensure everything is aligned.
More specifically, a Franchise Area Developer is responsible for the growth and expansion of the franchise to multiple locations and is typically called a multi-unit developer.
What is the franchise development process?
As the franchise developer spearheads the “concept to creation” process for a new business, it’s essential to understand their detailed approach. The process works in phases, including:
- Establishing a profitable business model
- Ensuring legal documentation is completed
- Securing real estate & meeting site requirements
- Construction & opening of the unit
- Hiring management staff to run the franchises
- Selling your franchise to expand
- Providing support to your franchisees
This can seem like a pretty hefty task list for one person to handle, which is why many franchisors hire a team of developers to ensure the process runs smoothly. Typically, once a franchise developer or team starts working with an owner, they remain on board as active members of the franchise.
Mark Murphy, our Director of Franchise Sales/Development, handles all things dealing with the development of our franchise at Launch Entertainment.
Are franchise developers in-house or outsourced?
While Launch is lucky enough to have someone on our leadership team, smaller companies typically don’t have the budget to hire an in-house higher level professional to operate the business.
Tasks like bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, and other back-end support can be outsourced to one company that provides cohesive services. Outsourcing technology is also standard in franchising until budgets allow for in-house help. Of course, outsourcing gives new business owners access to a larger talent pool and the ability to free up more time for themselves by delegating a lot of the operational responsibility.
At least in the beginning stages of developing a franchise, real estate development and marketing are two areas where outsourcing makes sense. Eventually, if the franchise is doing well, these can turn into in-house positions.
Launch, which opened in 2012, started franchising in 2013. We now have over 25 locations with an ambitious growth plan to continue expanding across the U.S. Murphy is in a key role to oversee that expansion.
What are signs of a strong franchise?
When researching a franchise, there are many things to consider before investing and committing to a team. Here are a few key factors to help determine whether a franchise developer is strong enough to succeed.
Financial success. You can look at previous FDDs to determine whether a business has shown consistent growth. Explore the franchise’s past financials by exploring Item 19 in the FDD.
High-demand market. Look to see if your potential franchise is popular and in demand. Is this service something the market needs and is currently looking for? Launch is a service-based business that specializes in providing indoor fun for children and adults alike.
Brand recognition. Being able to recognize a brand means there’s consumer loyalty, therefore increasing the demand for more locations. Simply put, more consumer loyalty can increase the franchise’s value and put you on top as an owner. Launch has been building our reputation for 10 years, and in fact can boast some of the lowest insurance rates in the business thanks to our safety record.
Sustainability. Since the onset of the pandemic, more people are looking for ways to protect the environment and invest in their future. Sustainable businesses are not only a part of a growing trend but aim to minimize their carbon footprint and negative environmental impact.
Replicable business. Ask yourself, does this franchise offer multi-unit options? If so, your chances of exponential growth are much higher than a single unit franchise. Look at how many units a franchisee typically owns and runs efficiently. This may be a good sign that the business is able to be replicated and profitable.
Consider franchising with Launch
A deeper understanding of the franchise development process and the developer’s role can help you differentiate a good investment from a poor one. At Launch, we’re proud of Murphy and our entire franchise support team.
We are a standout franchise in the family entertainment business, having evolved from our start as a trampoline park into a wildly popular entertainment center. Launch offers trampoline courts as well as a battle pit, laser tag, dodgeball and other thrilling activities. In addition, franchise owners can diversify their income streams by hosting birthday parties and other social events, selling merchandise, operating our in-house Krave pizza restaurant and offering locker rentals. By offering memorable experiences, you can gain repeat business.
Contact us to learn more about jumping into a Launch franchise opportunity of your own.
A Family Entertainment Center (FEC) is similar to an indoor amusement park. With games and attractions, it’s a safe, clean, and fun space for children, teens, and adults alike.
FECs are a great investment in a profitable and rewarding industry, no matter your experience level. From the aspiring entrepreneur to the experienced and savvy businessperson, FECs are something that everyone can relate to and they are predicted to continue trending upward in popularity.
In this article, we’ll lay out all the ins and outs of an FEC with complete transparency so you can make the best decision for your future.
What is considered a family entertainment center?
An FEC can come in a variety of forms. It’s often entirely indoors with theme park qualities. Indoor centers can range from 15,000-20,000 square feet, but some facilities have much larger spaces For example, Launch Entertainment boasts upwards of 50,000 square feet.
Bowling alleys integrated with arcades, restaurants, and music are popular. Laser tag, skating rinks, playgrounds, and zip lines are all under the umbrella of entertainment centers. FECs also host private celebrations like birthday parties and corporate events. With smartphones and computers solidifying their presence in everyday life, the need for in-person quality time is more prevalent than ever. FECs are a fun way to profit, while giving families in your community a path to create long-lasting memories.
What can I learn about this industry? (Activities, games, customer base, history, etc.)
The entertainment industry is growing every year. The facilities gained popularity in the early 1970s as arcades and mini-golf centers spread across the nation. It’s good to know that the global FEC market is projected to expand by a CAGR of 10.2% from now through 2026 and reach around $50 billion by the end of that year, doubling the $24.35 billion size of the market in 2021, according to Market Data Forecast and Emergent Research.
Breaking it down further, the admission fees and ticket sales dominate the overall family/indoor entertainment centers market and that’s expected to continue. Whether it’s a church or family outing, a date night, or a corporate event where employees can let out their inner kid, family entertainment centers have activities for all ages to enjoy.
Why is the industry attractive for business-minded people?
For someone with a business mind, family entertainment centers are prime real estate. They’re attainable and appeal to all demographics, making growth and potential success more realistic. This industry serves communities of all ages in small and large cities, meaning many locations are viable options for an establishment like this.
By targeting highly populated areas like malls, FECs are thriving, and projected to only grow. According to a report from World Today News, the market is forecast to increase at a considerable rate through 2025 and beyond.
What is most desirable about this industry is its constant evolution. This is reflected in what’s added to the entertainment centers, and how it continues to impress people of all ages with hours of entertainment offered at their fingertips.
Is it better to franchise or start my own FEC?
Starting an FEC business on your own can be intimidating. You won’t have access to the group buying power, the proven business model, or the support and guidance you can expect with a family entertainment franchise.
Joining a franchise is a better move than forging your own path, especially for a family entertainment center. When you invest in a franchise, you’re buying the right to use the company’s name and likeness, and you have support with lease negotiations, purchasing equipment, and marketing. You also are buying into a brand that has the public’s support and trust. An FEC is typically very active with activities like go-karts, zip lines, and trampolines – all of which could be dangerous if not done correctly. When you invest in a franchise like Launch, customers already know they will have a safe and fun experience.
What equipment is needed?
For every FEC, it’s important to have quality equipment so you can ensure safety in your facility. To do so, you need to invest in a company that makes it a priority to explain its equipment protocols and adheres to all the safety requirements.
For example, at Launch, one of your needs for equipment would be trampolines. To make sure the Launch experience is safe for everyone, we insist on quality equipment. To ensure that quality, we use in-house manufacturing to provide cost-efficient, sturdy equipment for people to enjoy. Many investors will stand behind outsourcing, claiming it’s the cheaper option. However, outsourcing may not be cheaper in the long term if the equipment has to be replaced or repaired more often. With our in-house manufacturing, we’re able to keep track of every step of the manufacturing process so we have a complete picture of where we’re allocating funds.
What’s the difference between an FEC and a single-activity center like a bowling alley?
The differences between a single-activity center like a bowling alley and an FEC franchise like Launch are huge, but the biggest one is things to do. When people go bowling, they might bowl a few games before going to a movie or heading out to eat. At Launch, the fun is an all-day affair. Customers can start on the trampolines and then take a laser-tag break before dominating in virtual reality. After all that fun, hungry players can visit Krave to fuel up while they bowl some frames. Launch has activities for all ages, and it’s built for all-day fun.
What games and activities does Launch Entertainment provide?
Many communities have a plethora of family entertainment centers. Bowling alleys, skating rinks, mini-golf, and pool parks all serve the ultimate purpose, which is to have fun! One of the best FEC franchises is Launch Entertainment. With wall-to-wall trampolines, a rock wall, battle pit, and so much more, Launch is the place for all-day fun with friends, family, a group, or even coworkers! Family entertainment centers have activities from toddlers to adults – all ages can enjoy.
Trampoline Courts: Our massive trampoline surfaces let customers launch themselves to new heights. They can slam dunk on the basketball court or flip into the Launch Pad.
Dodgeball: We take dodgeball to the next level with our trampoline dodgeball court.
Cliffhanger: Our cliffhanger Mountain rock climbing wall lets customers challenge themselves in a safe environment.
Battle Pit: Our multi-attraction battle pit is a place where friends can challenge each other to a jousting battle or BOSU balls to see who will be the last one standing.
In addition, when you need to refuel, customers can enjoy our full-service Krave restaurant. Whether it’s handmade pizza or fresh salad, all of our food is made-to-order with fresh ingredients.
Consider franchising with Launch Entertainment
Striving to give more each day to the people in the communities we serve, Launch offers an exciting experience for any occasion. It has all the ingredients for a successful business with ongoing support and guidance to help steer you on the path toward success.
If you’re ready to take the next step in owning your own family entertainment center, fill out this form and one of our franchise development representatives will be in touch.
Owning a franchise is wildly popular in the United States. A 2021 statistic stated that in 2020, it’s estimated there are over 750,000 franchise establishments, outputting more than $600 billion and employing more than 7 million people.
When it comes to owning a franchise, it’s imperative to understand the franchise advantages as well as the disadvantages to ensure you’re making the best decision for your situation. Below, we’ve listed many of the advantages and disadvantages of franchising.
Are franchises still a promising investment today?
Franchising is a solid investment plan in today’s business climate. The support the franchise can provide to their local community is attractive to investors who hope to improve their communities as well as earn a high ROI.
Franchises are often considered less risky than independent businesses. Among the benefits of franchising, franchisees can piggyback off the company’s name recognition and rely on support from the leadership, as well as avoiding the company’s past failures.
Why would failure be a measure of a business’s success? Only companies that have failed, learned, and continue to grow are the ones able to lead within the market.
Advantages & disadvantages for franchise owners
|Business Assistance||Restricting Regulations|
|Brand Recognition||Initial Cost|
|Lower Failure Rate||Potential for Conflict|
|Buying Power||Lack of Financial Privacy|
|Built-in Customer Base|
|Proven Business Model|
Why Launch Entertainment is a great choice for a beginner
Launch Entertainment is a leader in the family entertainment industry. More than a trampoline park, Launch is built around a team driven to provide world-class action parks. The global indoor entertainment center market size was valued at $18 billion in 2017. It’s projected to reach $40 billion by 2025. It’s one of the fastest growing family entertainment trends.
Launch Entertainment is a prime example of franchise advantages coming to life. By becoming an investor with Launch, you will receive four weeks of comprehensive training including:
- Sales & Marketing Strategies
- Hands On Operational Training
- Classroom Training
- Human Resources Best Practices Guidance
The goal is for the franchisee to be able to run their own location by the end of training with minimal assistance. Post opening, Launch holds quarterly reviews with all owners to discuss areas of success and opportunities for improvement.
It’s the perfect choice for a beginner looking to become an entrepreneur. Launch provides all the tools, manuals and procedural guidance that allows the business owner to focus on successfully operating their local park.
When investing in a franchise, you’re required to stick to the franchisor’s regulations and honor the contracts they have with their suppliers. Launch manufactures their own equipment and attractions, avoiding that particular disadvantage of franchising. This allows flexibility with the park layout, and it keeps equipment cost low for franchisees.
Franchise Advantages & Disadvantages in 2022
Now that you’ve read through some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a franchise, you have the tools to consider whether investing is the right step for you. By joining the Launch team, you’ll have instant brand awareness along with the backing of an experienced franchising team to help lead you toward success. You’ll be given the necessary support and resources for your business to thrive, making it a solid choice for an entrepreneur looking to enter the franchise world.
Franchising with Launch
To learn more about the benefits of owning a Launch Entertainment trampoline park franchise, please fill out this contact form and one of our franchise development representatives will be in touch.