Common Questions About Our Franchise Opportunity
The following questions are commonly asked by those seeking franchise information.
The Franchise Fee is the investment required to obtain access to the Schooley Mitchell system, and to receive all of the inclusions of our entire system. The Franchise Fee certainly covers training costs, access to all of the Schooley Mitchell tools and resources, and also ensures that each prospective Franchisee is serious about our Franchise business opportunity. Schooley Mitchell commits to provide you with a license to operate a Franchise and you commit to make your best efforts to operate it successfully by following the Schooley Mitchell programs and proven best practices.
We provide you with ten days of initial training (seven days in person at our Head Office and three days via video when you’re back at home). At training, you receive copies of all training and system manuals, full access to our multi-million dollar intranet system with all of its inclusions, as well as all of our specialized software tools.
The training is all inclusive and is designed to teach and reinforce the proven methods of how to build your business and operate it successfully. Of course, the software tools, the manuals, the intranet, and the systems are continually updated and improved upon. So the Franchise Fee really boils down to the fee required for access to everything that Schooley Mitchell Franchisees use to operate their successful businesses.
The simple answer to this question is no. We have found that good business people of all types are very successful in our Franchises. We require people to have executive, management, sales, marketing, or consulting backgrounds, and we can teach the rest. Many of our most successful Franchisees had no telecom or merchant services background at all before joining Schooley Mitchell.
It goes without saying that Consultants with a background in telecommunications or merchant services will be higher up the technical learning curve than Consultants without that background. However our most important function is to help our clients to increase their profits by reducing their expenses and that process does not require a technical background at all.
The more important point, however, is that all new Consultants go through a training program which, among other things, gives each Consultant the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver advice and recommendations to business clients. Furthermore, the most effective and profitable Consultants are those with a combination of relationship management experience and communication skills. Our training program is designed to equip new Consultants in each required area to be successful, and to help their clients.
Finally, it is important to note that a major benefit of the Schooley Mitchell system is the strength of the Consultant network. In some circumstances, your client may have specific, more complex needs than our normal cost reduction services. In this instance, our Consultants can draw on the vast experiences of our technical specialists in the Schooley Mitchell network, if necessary.
Our basic service, referred to as Existing Systems Review, is really quite simple. We review all the services that our clients use to communicate. That includes wireless devices, local services, long distance, toll-free services, equipment, Internet services, merchant services, data services, conferencing, and more.
We prepare a report summarizing the services received and costs incurred by our clients. Then we advise them, using our specialized tools and processes, about how they can improve their system and reduce their costs.
If we find ways to save them money, which is almost always, our only fee is a portion of those savings. Our clients love this no-risk approach to saving them money.
The royalty is like the oil that makes the engine go. The engine that provides all the ongoing value to Franchisees includes the continually evolving and improving Schooley Mitchell system and tools, including all of support provided to Franchisees.
Our royalty fee is 8%, which is a little higher than the royalty you would pay in a retail or food-based Franchise. That’s because we don’t sell you hamburger meat, donut mix, or muffler parts with a mark-up. We are a professional, knowledge-based Franchise. We provide you with ongoing training, updated software tools, support for client solutions, support for the use of the tools and manuals, and support for the operation of your business, including sales and marketing. These are the things that are paid for by the royalties collected from Franchisees. Continuous training, continuous tools improvement, research and support, as well as our profit are the main inclusions in the royalty stream.
Of course, we make no apologies for making a profit. That’s what we’re all in business for, and in fact, we would rather have you not join us if you don’t have the same idea. You see, we only collect royalties after you collect money from your clients. Our success is based entirely on your success. Your success is based entirely upon your clients’ success.
That is certainly your choice. The majority of our Franchisees start as home-based businesses to keep the overhead expenses low. Others have decided to rent a small office as soon as they begin the Franchise. This is a professional business where your client interaction takes place at the client’s place of business. Consequently, Schooley Mitchell Franchise Consultants can operate very efficiently from their homes.
If you operate from home you will require office space for your client files, computer, printer, phone, etc. The vast majority of our Franchisees operate from home even after several years of successful operation. However, we have some Consultants that choose to rent a small office just based on personal preference.
The marketing fee is 2% of collections. This fund is used to develop marketing collateral and activities on behalf of Franchisees. To this point in time, it has been used for the costs of development of our logo, web page, mailing materials, pamphlets, brochures, other marketing materials, advertising templates, web presence etc. The use of the fund is to provide benefit to all Franchisees that contribute to that fund. We have added a creative artist and a media manager to our staff with the fund.
The purpose is to grow our marketing capabilities, including customizing marketing materials for Franchisees, building web presence and search engine optimization value, development of print and electronic content for our Franchisees to use in their local markets, as well as many other marketing vehicles.
The basic review of a client’s system, including the components listed above, is usually charged on a contingency basis. That means that the client doesn’t pay you a fee unless you find them ways to save money. Many clients are attracted to this concept because they don’t have to risk a big consulting fee to have their system reviewed and improved. They only pay you out of found money – found by you. Many Franchisees find this offering to be a very effective method of building up a significant base of clientele quite quickly.
Once you build trust and rapport with your clients, you will find that they will require other consulting help related to their communications or merchant services. We charge fees that range anywhere from approximately $100 to $500 per hour depending on what we are consulting about.
These types of issues may not be familiar to you when you first begin your business, so that’s when you use the support system or other Franchisees with particular areas of expertise to deliver those solutions to your client. In this case, everybody wins including your client who gets the right solution delivered by the Schooley Mitchell team. You also win because you share in the fees in delivering that solution to your client. As time goes by and you gain more and more knowledge, you will be able to provide more and more of this type of advice to your clients, and of course, earn more revenue. However, the vast majority of fees earned by our Franchisees are contingency fees by helping their clients to improve their profits.
With all of the changes that take place in the world of telecommunications and merchant services on almost a daily basis, this is pretty rare. However, it does happen once in a while. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good client. Although you may not earn fees on the initial assignment, our process is structured so that you will review that client’s systems again in a few months, which very often results in the identification of savings and therefore fees for you.
The client gains in this case because you have continued to optimize their position even though you didn’t earn fees on the first stage of the assignment, and of course you gain because you ultimately earn fees. This is a tremendous trust-building exercise because of your continued services to all clients, which of course helps to build your business. As stated above, it is rare to have a situation where there are no savings at all.
In the rare case where there are no savings you will still deliver your report to your client to show them that they have everything in order. This is good value to the client and often results in referrals to other clients for you.
You will not be a glorified sales agent for a centralized processing office. Each of our Franchisees is a Professional Consultant and as such, delivers professional solutions to their clients. You will do the same with your Franchise office. Consequently, you will be required to develop your own business like other professionals in the community such as Accountants, Attorneys, Engineers, and Architects.
We provide the training, the tools, and the support for you to deliver the solutions to your clients. Similarly, we provide training, tools, and support for the procurement of your clients. We have developed numerous systems and tools for the marketing of the Schooley Mitchell concept as well as client sales. During the initial training course we introduce you to those tools and methods as well as best practices executed by other Franchisees that have built very successful businesses.
You ultimately develop a sales and marketing plan at the culmination of the training session with our help, using whichever elements of the program that fit you best. We have mailing materials, marketing materials, advertising templates, drop off packages, sample scripts, Internet strategies, follow up programs, community-based networking methods, partnering with other Franchisees methods, procurement of outsource telemarketing methods, co-hosting seminars with other professionals methods, sales-hiring methods, and a host of other tools and methods. It ultimately comes down to your own efforts, except with our help and with our proven programs of success.
In addition, we constantly share ideas among all of our Franchisees. We have an inventory of client Testimonial letters from all Franchisees that each individual Franchisee can use for their own prospects. We have an inventory of “reference stories”, which detail the ways and means that a Franchise may have helped a particular client. These stories or experiences of the group as a whole become a valuable tool for all Franchisees in identifying new opportunities and methods of marketing. As we hope you can tell, the whole is much more valuable than the sum of the individual parts.
In addition to the above items, we also provide ongoing marketing and sales support through our toll free support line.
Considered an extension of the initial training course, the Quick Start Program, or Business Development Program, is designed to get you up and running – and making money, as quickly as possible. Head office personnel will help you complete your first 10 client assignments, and work along with you to ensure you have learned the system as quickly and as profitably as possible.
The Quick Start Program also includes our staff calling you every month for the first year of your new business to review all of our programs to ensure that you are continually trained and up-to-date with all of the Schooley Mitchell methods, systems, and procedures. The calls are designed to review all areas of the business including Schooley Mitchell sales and marketing programs, tactics, and strategies, as well as the analysis and tools portion of the business. The program is also designed to provide constant training on the best practices of all Schooley Mitchell Franchisees.
This is really the strength of our Franchise system. Our experts at Head Office are always available to help you with questions about running your Franchise. We help you with the use of the tools, client solutions, marketing and sales, technology, and almost any other issue that will help you turn this Franchise opportunity into a profitable business.
The support staff is also responsible for the research function, which ensures that you are kept up to date about changes in the world of telecom and merchant services. This is a continual and ever-changing challenge as these worlds change almost on a daily basis.
These constant changes are what make you so valuable to your clients. These changes are also the thing that makes our Franchise system so valuable to any one of our Franchise offices. It would be an impossible task to keep up with the changes for any individual. However, our great support team and our vast network of Franchised Consultants deliver a great value to each individual who has pursued a Schooley Mitchell Franchise opportunity.
This is a frequently asked question and yet it is one of the simplest to answer. If there are businesses in your area, if they use telecommunications and merchant services, and if there are alternative suppliers of telecommunications and merchant services in your area, then the Schooley Mitchell Franchise system is a feasible business opportunity for your area.
We are not aware of any area in the United States or Canada, except perhaps the remotest of areas, where these factors do not exist today. We have Franchise locations from coast to coast and have never identified an area where opening a Schooley Mitchell Franchise does not translate into a lucrative business opportunity.
In addition, we continue to research new opportunities and new value we can deliver to our clients. So does each individual Franchisee. As long as businesses need help in making decisions about communications and merchant services, we will have a marketplace to deliver our program.
Let’s review some other questions related to this main question. Is this a great service that almost all businesses need? Yes. Is the Schooley Mitchell system a great system that has been developed over the years by professional people with business and technology experience? Yes. Is the market huge? Yes. Is competition very limited? Yes. Is there a great system to use and follow? Yes. Is this business easy? No. It requires that dirty four-letter word – work.
Follow our system and work hard and yes, it does seem to be too good to be true. Contribute to the value of the whole by working hard, following the system, sharing experiences, and recognizing each new opportunity as it arises, and it becomes even better. That’s why, as we add each new Franchise, and each new client, to the Schooley Mitchell system, the value of the whole, as well as the value of each individual Franchised business, increases even more.