Like many a Wild Birds Unlimited franchisee, Brian Bidwell is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure his customers have everything they need to connect with nature.
This is why he’s so glad Wild Birds Unlimited officially rolled out its new FeederScaping services in early March. Wild Birds Unlimited first introduced FeederScaping at the brand’s annual conference in June 2018.
When the pilot program began to roll out at select stores in August 2018, Bidwell’s Jacksonville Beach, Florida Wild Birds Unlimited location was one of the stores involved. The pilot program involved monthly reporting as well as video conferences to discuss what was working and not working, Bidwell said.
Bidwell has helped about a handful of customers every year in their backyards. He and many other Wild Birds Unlimited franchisees have had times when they’ve happily and willingly gone out to customers’ homes, and helped them set up their bird feeders. This is how seriously Wild Birds Unlimited franchisees take what they do.
FeederScaping allows franchisees to help their valued customers in the comfort of their homes. After franchisees identified a common customer need, they worked with the brand to create a vetted procedure that can be replicated across the system. Customers now can have Wild Birds Unlimited install beautiful custom feeding stations in the proper location to ensure they attract the most birds to their yard, getting more joy from their hobby.
“When Wild Birds Unlimited rolled out its FeederScaping services, the brand wanted to give everyone the opportunity to have our expertise in their homes,” Bidwell said. “This is better than just going out to a customer’s home and putting in feeder systems without a vetted procedure behind you. The brand has done a really good job of making sure we provide the customer with a high-quality experience that is still personal and enhances their in-store visits.”
The program is already proving to be a major revenue booster.
“I’ve had customers spend $250 during a FeederScaping visit, and within a month or two they are visiting our store more frequently to build upon their feeding station, exploring the great variety of feeders and food,” Bidwell said. “As far as FeederScaping numbers are concerned, our average ticket is three to five times what it would be for an in-store visit.”
By helping customers start their bird feeding ventures properly and providing friendly and professional customer service, franchisees have a major chance to not only increase their store’s revenue, but to also build strong relationships with their customer base. Bidwell noted the importance of setting up bird feeding equipment within view of a customer’s favorite chair so they can easily observe the birds that come to their feeders.
“It’s amazing how many times after I've gone out to somebody’s home that they come into the store week after week after week,” he said. “They come in with big smiles on their faces and they’re able to learn from us about all of the different and new products we carry.”
Bidwell is thrilled with FeederScaping and with Wild Birds Unlimited. In August 2018, he and his wife purchased a second store in St. Johns, Florida, and are already looking at opening a third store.
“The franchise gives us a lot of assistance and keeps us on track, which is really good because when it comes to a lot of the things a typical owner might have to worry about, Wild Birds Unlimited does a good job of providing guidance and coaching along the way,” Bidwell said.
The startup costs for a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise range from $150,837 to $260,991, which includes the franchise fee. The franchise fee is $30,000 per location. To learn more about franchising with Wild Birds Unlimited, visit https://franchise.wbu.com/.