Choosing the Right Franchise for You, Ice Cream or Not

Bianco System’s Franchise was modeled after Dairy Queen (or DQ as most people call it).  We’ve pushed the idea of an easy-in easy-out fast-serve restaurant where people can get whatever kind of ice cream they want in a hurry.  It’s truly ideal for today’s fast-paced lifestyle where people are always running and always on the go.  When you need a tasty treat, this is the place to stop in.

Our ice cream franchise requires a liquid capital of $400,000.  This amount ensures you’re able to attain all the necessary financing to get the franchise up and running.  Based on past franchisees, your net worth should be around $800,000.  The total investment ranges between $340,000 – $1.85 million based on which options and add-ons you choose to implement.

To become a franchise member in the first place, you need to pay the franchise fee of $25,000 directly to our team.  This does not include location costs, supplies, or marketing.  This is simply “pay to play” as some call it.  We’ve created a system that if followed can turn the average person into a millionaire within a 10-year period, so we’ve set the bar where it is to deter people who are not invested in the process.

Obviously, any franchise you choose is something you should be passionate about because you’ll end up investing a large portion of your money and time into it with the goal of a strong return down the road.  If you don’t personally like ice cream, you may not want to represent it.  You might instead consider a niche service on the opposite end of the spectrum, like pavement contracting, where you go to the customer instead of them coming to you.

My close friend and colleague, Mason Walters, co-manages a paving franchise called Perfect Pave.  The fees are more modest, but the revenue and profit potential are equally massive.  The website is their main source of customers, attracting local clients needing driveway paving, blacktop resurfacing, new roads into newly built homes, and highways.  While a franchise like Bianco or DQ focuses on a huge volume of customers and low margins, this paving business does the opposite.  There are less customers with each job bringing in thousands of dollars, mostly cash-based. 

The initial investment is between $45,000 – $100,000 and the pay-to-play fee is $16,000.  This is a more hands-on business that requires special licensing but is certainly more affordable.  In addition, profit will come sooner because the average paving job in most areas is a couple thousand dollars.  Half of that goes to expenses and the rest to the bank, so around 200 performed jobs can pay off the initial investment.  Mason’s franchise paid off the investment and ran into the green toward the end of his first year.  The only downfall of this type of business is the seasonality.  People aren’t calling up a paving contractor in the middle of the winter.  The season starts at the end of march and finishes in November typically, depending on the local weather patterns.  You can continue working into the winter months, but it needs to be dry out for asphalt to set correctly, so it’s often not possible to do.

A third franchise business option to consider is the restaurant industry. Another close friend runs a NYC restaurant hood cleaning company which I hear it quite profitable as well.  The fee the franchisee pays was a bit higher at $20,000 and there are additional fees based on the number of territories you add to the business (the total service area).  The supplies and marketing are not terribly pricey, so that’s not a huge concern.  The main issue with going into this industry is finding qualified staff to do the work.  There are many certifications and trainings one must go through to become a hood cleaner.  And, if you plan to offer fire prevention and suppression as part of your quarterly packages, there is additional training.  The rules and regulations are extensive, like that of the ice cream example above.  Marketing all comes down to preference.  Some franchisees choose to stick with traditional methods, like mailers, radio ads, and so on.  The most successful owners go the internet route, using their websites to draw in paying customers.

There are thousands of franchise options out there if you have the start-up capital to get one going.  It’s best to consider your passions, determine your ideal pay-back timeline, and do your research ahead of time prior to even applying.