At the beginning of every year, major industry publications and outlets release their annual rankings for the top franchising opportunities. The franchise systems included on these coveted lists all demonstrate strong growth potential and boast business models that have been proven to be successful. Being included in these rankings isn't an easy feat, especially as the industry continues to become more crowded and competitive. That’s why making an appearance on multiple rankings is celebrated. And now that 2018’s top lists and rankings have been released, there’s one brand that has a strong presence across the board: Wild Birds Unlimited.
“We look forward to finding out where Wild Birds Unlimited stacks up against other brands in the franchising industry every year. We’re constantly working to enhance our system and create a one of a kind experience for our franchisees, so it’s incredibly rewarding to see those efforts and hard work come to fruition when we’re recognized,” said Paul Pickett, Wild Birds Unlimited’s chief development officer. “Last year was especially important for us because we made a lot of changes and improvements to our system. Now that the top franchise lists for 2018 are released, we’re honored and excited to be named a leading brand to beat.”
One of the most well-recognized rankings that recognized Wild Birds Unlimited this year is Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500. The brand earned the 218th spot on the list overall after receiving high scores surrounding its brand size and growth, costs and fees, support, brand strength and financial strength and stability. Wild Birds Unlimited also made the Top 10 of Franchise Gator’s Top 100 Franchises of 2018 list, which is designed to highlight unique franchise opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.
However, the biggest milestone ranking that Wild Birds Unlimited received this year comes from Franchise Business Review (FBR). After surveying thousands of franchise owners from a large variety of brands across North America, FBR ranks concepts based on their level of franchisee satisfaction. Because this provides validation to brands who make the list, Wild Birds Unlimited heavily weighs this review when making plans for the months and years ahead. This year, Wild Birds Unlimited rose through the ranks to be named the number two franchise opportunity overall.
“Being ranked second overall by Franchise Business Review shows that we use our survey results intensely. We really dive down deep to determine what our franchisees are feeling and thinking—we even have FBR categorize results by business coach so that we can determine and optimize best practices for our coaching team. While key metrics like same-store sales. same-store profits and number of units are also worked into our team’s key performance metrics, we always set goals when it comes to our FBR survey results, and over the course of the past year, we made a conscious effort to improve our communications. We made major changes at the Franchise Support Center to make sure that we had the right people in the right jobs and that we were really pushing ourselves forward significantly from average unit volume, profitability and franchisee satisfaction standpoints. Now, looking at our results, those efforts clearly paid off” said Pickett.
In addition to being FBR’s number two franchise opportunity overall, the brand was ranked first in the retail franchise category and second in the large-sized systems category. Those high rankings show that franchisees across Wild Birds Unlimited’s 300-unit plus system are incredibly happy with the brand and their decisions to invest in it. This heightened brand recognition also highlights the fact that the Wild Birds Unlimited team is committed to making enhancements to its system in order to create the best possible environment and culture for its franchisees.
According to Pickett, that’s why Wild Birds Unlimited is moving full steam ahead with its plans to improve even more in 2019.
He said, “We took a second to congratulate ourselves and our team on their successful efforts over the last year. But now, it’s back to figuring out how we can get even better and how we can get to that number one spot. More importantly, we’re determining how we can improve individual scores. That’s what it really comes down to at the end of the day. We aren’t gunning for number one because we want the recognition—we want to earn that honor because we have the most satisfied group of franchisees in the entire industry.”