bannerFranchisor Stories

Wild Birds Unlimited’s Second Quarter Sales Possibilities Make Autumn a Great Time to Start the Discovery Process

The brand offers an omni-channel program and successful FeederScaping program to help franchisees in the age of e-commerce.

It’s never a bad time of the year to begin your discovery process to franchise with Wild Birds Unlimited, but prospective franchisees who act quickly and start the discovery process this fall will catch the proverbial worm. 

When a Wild Birds Unlimited franchisee starts the vetting process in the fall, they can feasibly be up and running in time to take advantage of second-quarter sales. By the time the fourth quarter of 2020 rolls around, a franchisee will already be very familiar with the franchise system and be able to maximize holiday sales potential. 

The second and fourth quarters are the busiest and most productive times for the Wild Birds Unlimited brand, as they coincide with high levels of bird activity and consumer shopping traffic.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in the northern or southern United States, bird activity is always strongest in the fourth quarter across the continent and breeding typically happens through the second quarter,” Wild Birds Unlimited Chief Development Officer Paul Pickett said. “We obviously encourage people to feed birds all year long, but activity peaks at those times. Mother Nature and Hallmark have clearly coordinated.” 

There’s another major reason to start the discovery process this autumn season. Wild Birds Unlimited is currently seeing “a significant level of interest” from existing franchisees who have decided they want to open multiple units, Pickett said. The result? Available territories are quickly becoming scarce. 

Prospective franchisees who want to join the Wild Birds Unlimited brand can expect a thorough vetting process—one that takes, on average, 90 days from the first conversation to signing the franchise agreement. 

“Our franchise development process is an intense, two-way street,” Pickett said. “We want to make sure our candidates have all of the information they can possibly have to make a good business decision. It doesn’t just happen overnight.”

To this end, Wild Birds Unlimited employs a discovery process characterized by a significant level of validation from existing franchisees, including phone calls, store visits and a full review of their most recent Franchise Business Review survey, as well as time set aside for prospective franchisees to go through the franchise disclosure document (FDD) and ensure they have legal counsel. The process also involves credit and background checks, plus an interview with WBU's operations team.  

Once a decision is made, Wild Birds Unlimited leverages a thorough real estate process to help franchisees find the right location for their store. 

“We operate from brick-and-mortar locations, so one of our primary focuses is finding the right site, which takes some time,” Pickett said. 

A franchise opportunity that requires a brick-and-mortar location may give prospective franchisees pause, but Pickett noted that Wild Birds Unlimited has processes and products in place to make sure the brand is not overshadowed or pushed aside by e-commerce giants—who, despite speedy delivery capabilities, don’t employ birding and nature specialists to speak to the quality of their product line nor provide community education. 

For one, Wild Birds Unlimited provides franchisees with an omni-channel program that allows customers to order items online. Franchisees choose which items they want to list for sale through their stores online from a list of approved products. This omni-channel program has helped franchisees stay competitive in the age of e-commerce. 

The brand also launched its FeederScaping program in which customers can request Wild Birds Unlimited store staff to come to their homes and do yard assessments and help them set up their bird feeding products for optimal bird viewing. Franchisees who sign with the brand in the fall and open their franchises in a timely manner can use the FeederScaping program right out of the gate—and even in time for peak bird spring activity. 

Pickett noted that Wild Birds Unlimited has the happiest franchisees in franchising, and maintaining that satisfaction is a top priority for the brand. 

“Our franchisees love what they do, and that’s not by accident,” Pickett said. “We put a lot of pieces in place to really help our franchisees succeed. We want franchisees to go in with their eyes wide open so that expectations are reasonable and you can’t do that in a hurry. It has to be a thoughtful process.” 

With peak bird activity seasons coming up, autumn is clearly a time to fall in love with the Wild Birds Unlimited brand. 

The startup costs for a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise range from $150,837 to $260,991. The franchise fee is $30,000. To learn more about franchising with Wild Birds Unlimited, visit https://franchise.wbu.com/

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

MORE STORIES LIKE THIS