SBTM October 2015 - Page 28

SPECIAL FEATURE ness, Jim helps in more mundane areas ranging from driving the truck to contract discussions with franchisees and vendors. Jim says, “Janet and I have an agreement; the business is hers but I help with those things that are less fun for her. I especially like organizing the warehouse for her because I tend to be a tad bit obsessive-compulsive by nature.” CBI has franchisees throughout the United States and Canada as well as all of the continents except Antarctica. Janet explains, “Our top franchise, in terms of sales, is in Tokyo; I ship product to them almost weekly including the containers, candy, and cellophanes.” Dr. Jim has patients who have visited the Candy Bouquet store there in Tokyo. “They love it!” exclaims Jim. He added, “Our ganache-filled chocolates are perhaps most popular in North America but our Asian franchisees really appreciate the range of cellophanes and other products we offer. Our franchisees in the Arab world are doing very well. We’ve added region-specific candies into their Candy Bouquets such as figs, dates, and almond candies. Delicious! We are always looking for ways to help our franchisees’ businesses improve and become more profitable.” “We currently have about 45 franchisees”, stated Janet. “The Great Recession of 2007 and 2008 hurt so many of our franchisees’ profitability which of course affected our cash flow.” Jim added, “Our priority has been to serve our existing franchisees with fresh products, promptly and with minimal breakage. In addition, it is our mission to help them maintain and grow their businesses. It is more important to treat our franchisees like family and carefully nurture their business rather than us focusing on expansion.” “As a franchisor, we’re a bit unique”, noted Jim. “Unlike many other franchisors whose franchise fees could range anywhere from six to ten percent of the gross income, we ask for no franchise fees. Instead, we charge our franchisees a very modest monthly association fee that averages $125. In addition, we sell our products at very reasonable wholesale prices to our franchisees. In turn, this enables them to mark up the products adequately enough to XZ