Franchise Business Review’s survey comparison from November 2016 to November 2017 shines a light on the reasons that franchisees are satisfied with Wild Birds Unlimited.
When it comes to creating a successful franchise brand, franchisee satisfaction and validation are two factors that can’t be overlooked. Without positive reviews from existing owners, brands aren’t able to establish the strong reputation that’s needed to experience growth. To ensure that it stays on the right path and maintains high levels of franchisee satisfaction, Wild Birds Unlimited enlists the help of Franchise Business Review (FBR) to survey existing owners and track their feedback on different aspects of the franchise system. FBR surveys 1000’s of franchisees from several hundred different brands every year. And as the November 2017 survey comparison shows, Wild Birds Unlimited has some of the happiest franchisees in the industry.
The brand dedicated to bringing people and nature together has created a system that entrepreneurs are eager to be a part of. Here are 5 of the top reasons that franchisees love Wild Birds Unlimited:
1. Open to Suggestions and Communicative
Part of what draws people to franchising over going it alone is the fact that they get to be a part of a network. However, if they aren’t able to contribute to that network, they can become frustrated. That’s why Wild Birds Unlimited makes it a point to create a system that prioritizes communication and collaboration. It’s clear that franchisees are seeing the impacts of those efforts— in both 2016 and 2017, Wild Birds Unlimited received scores that were over 25% higher than the franchise community benchmarks (as reported by FBR). And, Wild Birds Unlimited has continued to improve communication scores year over year, jumping nearly 3 points in November of 2017 compared to their 2016 scores.
“I think it’s the number one reason that franchisees want to be a part of our system,” said Paul Pickett, WBU Chief Development Officer. “They want to be a part of a community that’s aligned with its communications, and they want to be a part of the brand in which they have a voice and can suggest ideas, concerns and suggestions. Wild Birds Unlimited has that culture of open communication.”
2. Franchisees Are Passionate
Wild Birds Unlimited is also unique in that it’s a franchise system founded and focused on a passion for the hobby of backyard bird feeding and watching. Franchisees who sign on to open up their own stores are united in the fact that they share this same passion and find joy in bringing the hobby to their customers. It’s no surprise that over 90 percent of Wild Birds Unlimited franchisees who responded to Franchise Business Review’s November survey say that they enjoy being part of the WBU organization.
“Being able to mix business with pleasure through Wild Birds Unlimited is everything. There’s only a small number of people who are given the opportunity to make a living doing what they love, and I’m fortunate enough to be one of them,” said Wild Birds Unlimited franchisee Barbara Haralson. “Of course, running a business takes a lot of hard work. But it doesn’t always feel that way. When you’re happy doing what you do, you’re so much more excited to see your business succeed. That’s what Wild Birds Unlimited has given me as a franchisee—it has exceeded every one of my expectations.”
3. A Focus on Core Values
There are four core values at the center of everything that Wild Birds Unlimited does: trust, respect, honesty/integrity, and caring about franchisee success. And the brand’s franchisees agree that Wild Birds Unlimited is able to keep these values top of mind—the most recent FBR survey shows that responses in all four value categories continue to improve.
“Our core values are really important to our culture. These values are what attract our franchisees to us—they know that we have a reputation for being good at listening, doing the right thing, giving back when it’s important and prioritizing the success of our franchisees,” said Pickett.
4. Supportive Franchise System
Strong support and training are essential for franchise brands looking to expand. It’s not enough to get a franchise agreement signed—local owners need to know that they’re going to have a team to fall back on when they need help or advice. With a score that is 27% higher than FBR’s benchmarks in the training and support category, WBU proves it’s a brand that goes above and beyond to help position its franchisees for success.
Franchisee Warren French commented, “One thing I love about this franchise is the quality of everything, and the support! We are the local experts at what we do but that is because we have this franchise behind us. It’s not like some other brands where everything you do is set in stone. For example, we have a little more latitude as far as carrying different products. We worked with our WBU coaches to initially help set up our store. This was a new type of business for me, and so was the retail end of it. There was a learning curve, but I know business and we just followed the WBU system. Our loyalty club membership, called the Wild Birds Unlimited Daily Savings Club, tripled expectations in our first year, and our sales were six figures over our first year goal. We bring all kinds of high energy to the customer experience.”
5. Committed to Making Improvements
Franchisees are drawn to Wild Birds Unlimited because the brand is constantly working to make improvements to its system that benefit both local owners and customers. Even after receiving a report as positive as Franchise Business Review’s November 2017 survey comparison, the brand is actively looking for ways to make its system even better.
“The results were pretty amazing this year. We exceeded our 2016 marks in every single category, and our results compared to the overall franchising industry are so positive. While the benchmark for franchisee satisfaction in the industry is 70.4, our satisfaction rating hit the 82.4 mark this past year,” said Pickett. “As our franchise system continues to grow, we’re eager to continue that trend of outperforming ourselves. Franchisee feedback and satisfaction are critical to the success of our business, and we’ll continue to use the FBR survey tool to help us expand and grow while putting our franchisees first.”
Wild Birds Unlimited has the honor of being inducted into the Franchise Business Review Hall of Fame, which denotes 10 years of award-winning results in franchisee satisfaction.