Instant Imprints Canada has something going for it that a lot of franchises don't – in-house franchise financing.
I interviewed Christian Collucci, Chief Operating Officer, for more details on the Instant Imprints franchise and the financing help this Canadian franchise offers its franchisees.
The Instant Imprints Franchise
Instant Imprints Canada, a.k.a. "Your image people", is a promotional products franchise.
In their own words:
"Every business, school, organization or group needs to promote in order to grow. You are empowered to help them by imprinting on anything from business attire, event banners, trade show displays, custom t-shirts, pens, mugs, and business cards, to cars and buildings."
"The Instant Imprints business model consists of five separate product offerings - Promotional Products, Embroidery, Screen Printing, Banners & Signs, and Transfers. Each one can be a profitable, stand-alone business, but together they make up a comprehensive and powerful solution that no other industry business or franchise can approach."
As of time of writing, there are 18 Instant Imprints franchises in Canada and 27 in the U.S.
Interview with Christian Collucci, Chief Operating Officer
How much money do franchisees need to buy an Instant Imprints Canada franchise and what, if any, additional costs might they incur?
Typically a franchisee needs to bring to the business $75,000 to $100,000 in cash ($60,000 in investment capital and $40,000 in working capital). His or her net worth should be about $250,000.
The working capital funds the business until franchisees build up their revenues. He or she needs to be able to sustain their personal lives and the business for the first few months, paying for rent and salaries primarily.
Are your franchise territories exclusive? (i.e. will a franchisee run the risk of having another of your franchises open "close" to theirs?)
Yes, franchisees are given an exclusive territory. We want to have locations that are close enough to build brand awareness and keep competitors out, but far enough apart so that there are enough businesses, organizations and individuals to support the centres.
Describe the ideal franchisee for an Instant Imprints Canada franchise.
For Instant Imprints the ideal franchisee has an enterprising mindset... someone who wants to build something. They are community minded, and above all have the right attitude.
We can teach people skills, but we can’t teach attitude. Instant Imprints is a retail centre franchise that requires franchisees to be engaging, personable and charismatic. They should be able to network, and communicate well within their own business community. Businesses everywhere already buy our products and services, so we are more about creating a great customer service experience.
Our franchisees don't open an Instant Imprints because they can't do enough embroidery... they (open one because they) want to be part of building a great brand, and those are the kind of people we’re interested in having join the Instant Imprints family. At the end of the day, people get into business because they want to create a better life for themselves and their families. They want to be able to control their own destiny.
Franchisees will always build the business to the level they want it. Some franchisees are seeking a lifestyle –they want to enjoy the benefits of the business, but don't want to work too hard. At the same time we have people that want to build empires and want multiple units. Our system is flexible enough that we can accommodate both personality types.
About Instant Imprints Canada Franchise Financing
Instant Imprints is taking two approaches to make their Canadian franchise more attractive to potential franchisees; reducing the franchise fee and providing in-house financing such as interest free loans. Christian Collucci explains the details:
Here is the breakdown of the special financing programs set up to help individuals launch, grow and sustain their businesses:
1) For new owners looking to open more than one centre, and for existing Instant Imprints franchisees who own more than one franchise – We have significantly reduced the franchise fee for Multiple Centre owners by $10000.
2) For Canadian Forces Veterans – We have reduced the franchise fee by $10,000, from $30,000 to $20,000. Veterans pay just $10,000 up front and the remaining $10,000 is paid as a deferred interest free loan over four years, which comes out to $210/month over the four years.
3) For owners of business similar to one or more of our five revenue channels seeking to convert to an Instant Imprints - The franchise fee is cut in half from $30,000 to $15,000, along with a reduced equipment package.
4) For Area Franchisees (individuals interested in marketing the franchise opportunity in a defined territory, and supporting franchisee operations in the region) – We will finance up to 40 percent of the Area Franchise fee. Instant Imprints offers in-house financing at favorable terms and rates – usually interest only loans for up to five years.
If you have bad credit or have a bankruptcy in your past, you may still be able to get in on Instant Imprints Canada financing program.
If we know what the situation is, we can probably make some arrangements. Individuals' situations vary, but if we determine it to be a fit we'll try and make it work.
Business bankruptcies are a different story. There are some positive professional growth opportunities that can happen through business bankruptcies. It comes down to upfront disclosure so we can assess the situation. Candidates must be upfront with us, because we’ll discover any significant financial mishaps in our background checks.
What is the process for getting franchise financing?
Instant Imprints has Great Life Architects in place who help guide franchisees through the process. We provide support through development of a business plan and sales forecasts. We"ll also clearly outline for them all of the programs we have internally to finance the franchise fee. We'll work with him or her to design the right financial programs that best suit the franchisee.
Additionally, for franchisees seeking bank loans, we provide letters of comfort to the bank. And, when needed, we'll intervene to make sure things get back on track with banks, working with both the franchisee and the bank.
How long typically does the process to become a franchise take and how much additional time would be added by having to put these financial arrangements in place?
It usually takes 60 to 90 days. Getting into business is a fun and exciting time, so we want to help them get the business open as soon as possible. Financing usually takes a few weeks. The bulk of the time getting open is spent in training and the construction of the centre. The optimum size of our centres is 1,000 to 1,200 square feet. We work hard to keep overhead low. Staffing and inventory is minimal to keep operating costs down too.
If you are interested in becoming an Instant Imprints Canada franchisee, visit the Franchise Opportunities section of their website.
Another Canadian franchise that offers franchise financing: Murphy Business Canada