Some entrepreneurs go into their first business with a plan to take it national as a franchise. Others have a successful business and are convinced by demand to open it up to franchisees. But the two Matts behind Digital Doc, Matt Lucas and Matt Payne, worked as franchisees until they decided they could do a better job on their own and started their own franchise system for digital device repairs.
Digital Doc offers repair services not just for desktop computers, but for the whole gamut of digital devices, including TVs, gaming systems, phones, printers, cameras, and tablets. Consumers need these services, and Digital Doc provides complete training so franchisees can feel confident, even if they don’t have a tech background to begin with. Digital Doc shops have authorized repair services and warranties that give consumers confidence, too.
Digital Doc also sells a variety of electronic products and accessories, and also offers recycling and upgrade programs. This brings in repeat customers and produces additional revenue streams.
There are benefits to working with a franchisor who has also been a franchisee. For instance, the corporate side of the franchise system for Digital Doc doesn’t own any locations. All locations are franchised, so franchisees aren’t competing against the franchisor for business. During training, franchisees are allowed to bring as many staff members for training as they want without any extra costs paid to the franchisor— you just cover the travel costs.
Both of these decisions are a bit unusual, but they grew out of the Digital Docs founders’ experiences as franchisees. They knew the things that made a difference to them when they were franchisees, and they built those items into their franchise business. It has paid off for them. Since they franchised their system in January of last year, they’ve already seen 15 franchised locations open, and they plan to expand to another 20 within the next year.
Franchisees can expect to spend between $83,250 and $137,450 to get their stores up and running with sufficient working capital to get the shop established. This includes the $29,000 Initial Franchise Fee, $10,000 to $30,000 in working capital, $9,000 to $20,000 for inventory, all tools and equipment, and a complete store build-out. Digital Doc doesn’t want franchisees to be surprised by costs; your success is their success.
The franchise royalty fee is currently at a industry standard 6% and there aren’t any national advertising fees—though that could always change in the future. The franchisors, having gone through the selection process themselves, know what sort of information potential franchisees want to consider and make sure to include all of it up front so franchisees can make informed decisions.
There are also the benefits of working with a team that has been on the side of the table you’re on when it comes to franchising. They know what it a franchisee wants in a franchisor and that can really make a difference when it comes to the intangibles—like the working relationship between the franchisor team and franchisees.