Now that you’ve decided a window coverings franchise is the right business for you, it’s time for you to officially begin your journey. Here, we’ve compiled some of the steps to getting your location up and running, so you can continue feeling excited about the next phase of your professional life instead of stressing about how you’ll make your dreams happen.
Identifying the Right Territory
When it comes to opening your window coverings franchise, it’s essential that the territory you’re about to enter is primed for your success. Once you’ve found the territory you want to enter, our leadership team immediately begins a territory evaluation – methodically researching to ensure the territory you’ve requested has a potential for future growth and analyzing for any competitors in the area.
As a Bloomin’ Blinds franchisee, you will be providing your territory with quality customer service, products and installation – so we want to make sure you’re the first number a customer wants to call.
Put Together Your Business Plan
Once you’ve found the territory that’s right for you, it’s time to begin preparing your business plan. A business plan is a key element to your successful journey to business ownership and lets any potential investors know you’ve done your research and are a safe investment.
Writing a business plan is straightforward, but you need to put time and effort into your research – no detail is too small. Your business plan should cover everything listed below:
- Executive Summary – This section’s sole purpose is to provide a concise, optimistic overview of your business that will grab the attention of a potential lender or investor. While this will be the beginning of your business plan, save it until the very end to ensure it accurately reflects the rest of the information included in the document.
- Company Description – Now is the time for you to pitch your blinds franchise. Make sure it provides information on how your business will fit into the window treatment industry, local market and target demographics. This is where you get to showcase how unique Bloomin’ Blinds is within the window treatment market.
- Market Analysis – Your market analysis is how you’ll demonstrate that you’ve thoroughly analyzed the target market and that there’s enough demand for your business. Include an assessment of any potential competition, as well as your plan to stand out in your chosen market.
- Organizational Structure – This section is dedicated to showcasing how you plan to operate your blinds franchise. Thanks to the financial strength of our owner-operator structure, you have the ability to be the sole operator or hire a team of like-minded staff to help you bring your business to the entirety of your territory with ease.
- Marketing and Sales Strategies – Any potential lender wants to know that their investment is going to turn a profit. Discuss how you plan to engage with your customers and entice them to patronize your business. When you go through training at our headquarters in Dallas, Texas, we’ll make sure you learn the ins and outs of properly marketing and advertising your business.
- Description of Products and Services – Here is the perfect opportunity to showcase the quality of both our incredible products, along with our fine-tuned, proven service system. Not only will you receive the training you in at our HQ, but you also have access to software that will keep track of client appointments and bring your customer service up even higher.
- Funding Request – The funding request is dedicated to outlining the amount that you’re planning on investing in your business. It is essential within this section for you to be specific about the amount of funding you need from your investors – luckily, your Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) will provide you the projected numbers you need to appropriately inform potential investors.
- Financial Information – Last, but not least is the section covering financial information. Make sure to include your personal financial statements, any outstanding debt, five years of projected income and expenses, cash flow for forecasting, budgeting for capital expenditures and a break-even analysis.
Securing Your Capital
There are a variety of ways to receive funding for your business that ensure you can still open and operate your business without the stress of severe financial burdens. It’s up to you to pick the funding option that fits your lifestyle, budget, goals and franchise costs. Here are the four main ways of securing capital:
- Self-Funding – This option is self-explanatory – you are in charge of supplying funds from personal cash savings and/or a 401(k) or IRA investment plan. If this is the option right for you, make sure to read the rules and guidelines surrounding withdrawing the amount you need from these saving plans.
- Debt Funding – Debt funding offers multiple options, including credit cards and bank and home equity loans. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are guaranteed up to 90 percent by the SBA and are a straight-forward process.
- Asset-Backed Funding – This option includes different choices, like equipment leasing and security-backed financing. Another option can be through assets, stocks, bonds and mutual funds to secure a loan – make sure none of these assets are attached to a qualified plan, like an IRA profit-sharing plan.
Opening your first window coverings franchise is an incredibly exciting step, and our leadership team is standing by to make sure you get the right education and can open your doors prepared for success.