Wild Birds Unlimited has recipe for success.
The key to franchising success begins with finding your niche, locating the right franchisees to build your system and seizing market share to hopefully be one of the top three most well-known brands in your space. Check, check and check for retail brand Wild Birds Unlimited. With a commanding hold on all things nature, birders and nature enthusiasts alike are enthusiastic about the brand and its bird seed, feeders and other products.
But perhaps more importantly, potential franchisees with a passion for the outdoors have their binoculars focused on happiness. Ranked number one in franchisee satisfaction for 2015 in the retail category by Franchise Business Review, Wild Birds Unlimited has been able to make a perfect marriage between the system and the franchisees.
Paul Pickett, vice president of franchise development for Wild Birds Unlimited, lays out how the brand has been able to be so successful with their franchisees:
1851: How many franchisees do you have in your system?
Paul Pickett: We have 291 open and operational stores in our system with five of them that have opened this year. There are an additional 10 locations in development. We have also awarded nine new franchised units in 2015 and expect to sign an additional seven new FAs. Of those seven, we expect four to five should open in 2015.
1851: Is there a certain type of background you look for when qualifying franchisees?
PP: No specific background from a professional standpoint. We do look for people who have a passion for birds and nature, a passion for people and a passion for self-employment.
1851: What are your plans for 2016?
PP: We are very optimistic about 2016. Since it looks very good that we will meet our goal of awarding 16 new franchisees in 2015 which is up 60 percent, we will be using a goal of 18 in 2016.
1851: What else can you tell our readers about Wild Birds Unlimited?
PP: We have unbelievable franchisee satisfaction, great unit economics, no litigation and an excellent reputation in the industries of retail and franchising.