WHAT VENTURE LOOKS FOR AND WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO BECOME A FRANCHISEE
Our current network of franchisees is from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, and whilst you don’t need specific photographic or studio experience, it’s important that you have the ability, passion and determination needed to lead your business and your team from the front. Regardless of background, our application and approval process will make sure that anyone who becomes one of our franchisees possesses the qualities and skills that will give them every opportunity to succeed.
WHAT WE LOOK FOR IN A POTENTIAL FRANCHISEE:
- A customer focused individual
- A hands-on approach to marketing
- A leader
- A basic grasp of financials
- Someone with discipline
WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED:
- Starting a Venture franchise in a new territory will cost between £70K and £100K
- You’ll need approximately 50% of start-up costs as liquid cash, the rest can be financed through a bank loan
- You’ll need to pay a one off initial franchise fee of £10K
- You’ll sign a franchise agreement for a minimum of 3 years
- Training for a new franchisee will take approximately 8 weeks on a full-time basis
WHAT DO OUR FRANCHISEES THINK?
ETON CASE STUDY
Venture’s Eton studio was bought by Jonny Foster in 2012 from the existing franchisee. Prior to purchasing the studio Jonny had worked in Venture as a photographer, but he had always wanted to own and run his own studio.
“I’ve built Venture Eton up since I purchased the business, the studio team have worked incredibly hard over the last 5 years and am very proud to have been awarded the Studio of the Year three times since I bought it. With turnover averaging £650K a year we have always been one of the highest performing sales studios in the country.”
With a view to expanding his business portfolio, Jonny looked at alternative franchise models predominantly in the well-known fast food market over the last 6 months.
“I had no intention of leaving Venture, but I had learnt from my time in Venture that I enjoy working in a franchise environment, and I wanted to look at the potential returns from other franchise models. I went through the full assessment process with one of the biggest fast food franchises in the world, at which point they shared full financial information relating to set up costs and potential return. Based on this it was apparent that I would have to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to open at least two restaurants, in order to get the same return that I do from running a Venture franchise.”
Jonny Foster, Venture Eton
MIDLAND’S CASE STUDY
Venture Leamington Spa, Birmingham and Leicester
Chris Barber who is the franchisee in Leamington Spa, opened a second studio on the outskirts of Birmingham city centre in June 2017, and added a third to his portfolio opening in Leicester in February 2019
Having traded in Leamington for nearly 10 years, Chris saw the opportunity of opening a second studio adjacent to his Leamington Spa territory.
“2016 and 2015 had been good years in Venture Leamington Spa and I wanted to expand the business, and it seemed the right time to look at a second studio and Birmingham made sense both from a location perspective and the size of the potential market. With the experience that I had gained from running a Venture studio, working hard and following the model I knew the financial returns from Leamington could be replicated in a second studio. The franchise fee that I pay to Venture is more than covered by the number of customer appointments that I receive through their central marketing function and the resultant sales, so I have always taken the view that the rest of the services and support that I receive from the franchise basically costs me nothing.
Obviously opening a second studio whilst running a current business was hard work, but one of the reasons that I took this decision was that my team in Leamington Spa are extremely experienced. We did a lot of work with Venture’s support on the initial marketing of the Birmingham studio, and have run a number of successful digital customer acquisition strategies with the Venture marketing team”
In its first full year in 2018, the Birmingham studio exceeded its business plan target achieving sales of £500K.
With both Leamington Spa and Birmingham producing strong financial results, Chris took the decision to open a third studio in Leicester.
“ I wanted to use the experience of opening Birmingham, and open another studio in the Midlands that would benefit from the marketing that we were already doing in the area. Again, like Birmingham the Leicester territory was a fairly obvious choice”.
Venture Leicester opened in February 2019.
SOUTHAMPTON CASE STUDY
Martin and Michelle Hillman joined the Venture brand in 2011, opening their studio on London Road, Southampton in January 2012.
“We had looked at several franchise opportunities in the market, as we had considered working for ourselves for some time, we were open minded about what type of business we wanted to get involved in, but the more that we looked at the Venture Model it became more appealing over others that we had looked at given that Venture provide a unique experience, which creates a product full of emotional value to the customer.”
The opening of the Venture Southampton studio followed a well-defined end to end process, which is fully supported by the Venture team. This begins with locating a suitable property, helping on presenting business plans to the bank to raise funding, through to full training for the franchisees and recruitment and training of the studio team.
“We worked with Venture extremely closely for a full 6 months prior to opening the studio, a key part of the opening process was obviously both me and Michelle being trained on how to operate the venture model, and we spent time in other studios to observe the model in operation. As you can imagine it was an incredibly busy time in the run up to opening the studio! Key to a successful opening was making sure that we had an effective marketing plan in place in the 8 weeks prior to launch, which subsequently would ensure that we opened on day 1 with a diary full of customer appointments. It obviously worked as we turned over £100K in our first two full months of being open!”
The Southampton studio continues to be one of the most successful studios in the Venture network and has turned over an average of £600K over the last three years.
“Being completely honest the first two years were a very steep learning curve, and it’s been hard work, however that hard work has paid off and the financial returns of the business have exceeded our expectations. Coupled with this it has been really satisfying to be involved in such a unique and powerful brand, every day we see how thrilled customers are when they see the amazing photographs that we take of their families”
Martin and Michelle Hillman, Venture Southampton