Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why buy a Franchise? Can’t I just start my photography business from scratch?
A: That is a good question and on the surface appears to be a “no-brainer.” However, the fact is that business studies show that 80 percent of new businesses fail after two years of operation. However, franchise industry statistics show that after 10 years in business, 90 percent of franchises are still in operation. Although there are no guarantees in any business, the statistics are definitely stacked in favor of franchise owners.
The PortraitEFX franchise business model is designed to help you jump-start and GROW your business in far less time than that doing it on your own. We specialize in volume, mass-market photography promotions offering year round income potential. To reach these markets, we provide you with a proven, turn-key business SYSTEM utilizing marketing strategies and photography techniques our Management Team has developed over 75+ years of combined industry experience.
Another good reason to buy a Franchise is the effect of market “scale.” If you are happy making only a small, part-time income from your hobby in photography, then maybe a Franchise is not for you. However, if you want to go after big-money opportunities from photography where you can earn thousands of dollars from a single days’ work; you need the specialized training, innovative programs and ongoing support that a PortraitEFX Franchise provides. We can teach you how to get a lot of customers; FAST!
Q: Can’t I get started on my own with minimal investment, and just plow my profits into growing a bit at a time?
The fact is that we all get older at the same rate, but that our Family needs for income are immediate and growing. If it takes you five years to build a small business from scratch, only to find yourself maybe earning less than $20,000 take-home, per year after five years in business, has your investment in time been a good one? Probably not!
Instead, consider if you invested more initially, but in a proven system to help you jump start your business in ways you never considered. You will have the confidence and the support needed to go after the “Big Business” opportunities. Your potential return on that investment may allow you make much more money – much faster than trying to do it alone. It could be your best investment in your Family’s future in quality of life, financial security and personal fulfillment, and PortraitEFX can offer you that opportunity.
Q: Can’t I learn everything you’d teach me by studying online, going to workshops and taking college photography courses?
Absolutely not! The PortraitEFX Program is a comprehensive system for making money in photography based on real-world experience, research and development. Our Management and Mentors are photo industry “veterans” who quite-literally wrote the book on many of our proprietary programs, tactics and strategies.
With typical on-line learning and Forums you often get as much bad advice as good; often from unqualified people who haven’t got any industry credibility whatsoever. One reason they might have so much time to participate in online Forums might be that they don’t have enough business to keep them busy. Are these the Mentors you want?
From learning opportunities offered on DVDs, or in conjunction with “live” Workshops and Seminars, you are often handed only the most basic information; and certainly NOT all the real details required to do business properly. Often these instructors provide only information that just scratches the surface without providing the real substance until you buy into their books, CDs, continuing education programs, “signature” props and goods from endorsed equipment manufacturers that they get compensated for. It’s hardly an objective learning opportunity.
At PortraitEFX, we teach you everything you really need to know to make a good living in Photography. We don’t teach theory, only practical, real-life and effective ways to make money and enjoy yourself in the process.
Q: Can’t I just go out and sign-up some Accounts on my own?
A: Signing up some accounts is great! But how many accounts will you not be able to sign because you lack the industry knowledge, advanced skills and methodology to penetrate that market? What if you do sign up a large account and then can’t deliver what you promised to them because you lack the knowledge and resources to do it right? You may never have another chance to prove yourself, let alone the damage to your local reputation. That account could be gone forever and it could be worth tens of thousands of dollars in potential revenue to you over the coming years; IF you had done it right in the first place.
We show you how to do the marketing and land the accounts, then execute a picture-perfect photo event that will make you look good in the eyes of your customers. They’ll have a great picture day experience and this will translate into positive referrals for new business as well. We can also assist you with really big account shoots with specialized help and added resources as needed. With PortraitEFX, you’re not out there on your own- you’re part of our Network and Family.
Q: I’ve looked at some of your really-cool products shown online. Why can’t I do the same thing at home using Photoshop?
While you might be able to simulate a few products that might LOOK like ours, you won’t be able to create them as quickly and cost-effectively as using our systems. After all, if you spend an inordinate amount of time working one image at a time in Photoshop, then what’s your REAL income on that product when you sell it? With PortraitEFX, you don’t need Photoshop AT ALL. We do all of the Photoshop-style work internally thru our Production system at prices far less than what you could either job it out, or do it yourself.
Isn’t your time better spent out growing your business and photographing lots of customers who will pay you for your expertise? Isn’t it more valuable to have more time to spend with your Family, rather than spending more time in front of a computer screen doing production-related busy work? PortraitEFX has the system to provide both.
Q: I have an “IN” to help me get into some “big” local accounts. What do I need you for?
First of all, networking to get new accounts is just part of what you need to grow your business. There’s much more to it than that.
What’s a “BIG” opportunity to you? When we say “Big” we don’t mean thirty kids at a local karate school. Are you comfortable photographing 500 Little Leaguers’ in 5 hours? How about 400 children in an Elementary School to be done in one day? More Customers mean more money to you IF you can do it efficiently and professionally.
Do you have the resources in place to handle this? Do you have a work flow in place to handle picture day and keep all the player / student orders and image identification straight and organized? How are you going to label, sort and package the work for delivery back to the Client? Who can you call if you need help and need experienced assistance to properly service a large account? In Photography you only have one chance to make that first impression. You are not going to be asked back next season if you screw up your initial opportunity. It’s just the way it works.
Perhaps you might have to turn down a profitable opportunity because you felt it was just too big for you to handle. PortraitEFX can come to the rescue with help to secure the Contract or win the Bid, then provide step-by-step assistance with planning and executing a “picture perfect” program. In many cases, we can also help with acquiring additional trained personnel and equipment resources to get the job done. We want you to succeed, so we’ll help you every step of the way.
Q: Right now, I can go and get business wherever I want. With your company, I’ll have a set “Territory.” Won’t that restrict me from future growth?
A: Absolutely not! We work with you to develop a PROTECTED Territory that makes sense for your market area, population, demographics, traffic flow and more. This isn’t done to restrict you. It’s done to FOCUS your attention to an area you can professionally service. As your business grows, we’ll negotiate with you to expand your Territory based on your ability to properly service it.
Having a protected territory also protects you. It keeps other franchise owners from coming in and working in an area you spent years to build up. It also keeps others from using our proprietary products in direct competition with you. We want you to have the sole upper hand in business development in your Territory.
Another advantage of a Protected Territory is the enhanced value it gives you when it’s time to help finance your Retirement. Your business will be worth more to a prospective buyer if you hold the exclusive right to market proprietary products in a region. Plus, if you build a profitable business in your territory it will be an asset that can be sold or passed onto your heirs. Finally, being part of a franchise organization may make it easier to sell your business when you’re ready to retire.
Q: Is NOW the right time to start a business? What about the Recession?
There are many reasons why you can’t afford NOT to start your business right now. The Recession isn’t really a factor at all as the types of photography we promote are fairly recession-resistant. In tougher economic times, Families may not spend discretionary dollars in a high-priced local Studio, but they WILL continue to buy the Child’s first Little League photo, or their Child’s annual school picture, or that Family photo that will appear in their own Church Directory. It’s a proven fact that good photographers in the mass-market photo segment continue to do well; even in recessionary times.
Consider too the fact that many accounts contract their photographers up to a year in advance. If you put off getting started now, you may miss the window of opportunity to get the business for not only this year, but next as well as many accounts are contracted for 2-3 years at a time. There’s NO time to lose!
Q: I’m only a rookie. I don’t know what equipment to buy to get started. Can you help?
Yes! We have a list of recommended equipment you’ll need to get started, plus other equipment you’ll need to add as you grow. We’ll also do an analysis of any current equipment you might already have to see if it will work within our system. If it does, you’re good to go without having to buy as much new equipment. Some of our new Franchises end up buying very little additional equipment to get started.
Surprisingly, we don’t recommend you go out and buy top-of-the-line cameras, lenses and lighting. We’ve tested and recommend moderately-priced equipment that will give you great serviceability and quality; providing a quicker return on your equipment investment. This is important because we want you to be able to afford adequate back-up equipment to have on hand when needed. This provides much peace-of-mind when you’re out on a BIG shoot. Of course, as you earn more, you’ll be able to upgrade your equipment as you go with PROFITS from your business, not directly from your pocket.
Q: I’m looking at other Franchises. Why should I buy yours?
One of the comments you might hear from members of other Franchises is that their “System” limits too much the kind of work they can do. Often their programs are highly seasonal in nature and do not provide “Year Round” opportunities to make money.
PortraitEFX has created an exclusive system based on a “Year-Round” marketing concept. In addition to our “Core Four” programs (serving Schools, Preschools, Sports Leagues and Churches) we have a calendar of promotions – month by month, so you’ll stay as busy as you want, 12 months a year – not just during an activity “busy” season. We don’t just specialize in “pre-school” pictures or just “Sports.” With our company you can choose to diversify or specialize in one or several categories and we’ll show you how to do that.
There are many other reasons to go with PortraitEFX as well. Here are just a few…
- a. Lower cost of Products. Our negotiated prices with vendors; particularly on photofinishing will save you money and that goes right to YOUR bottom line.
- b. Lower initial Franchise investment required. We charge less up-front than many other Franchises, and you don’t have to acquire any retail space to conduct business. That saves you TONS of money!
- c. We don’t charge our Franchises a monthly “royalty” based on sales. Some others do. With PortraitEFX, you’ll keep more of the money you earn.
- d. Support and Communication. We provide more one-to-one support than any other Franchise. In addition to Training Workshops we offer telephone and email consultations, webinars, E-blast newsletters and an annual Conference. We take a vested interest in helping you to be successful.
- e. Management Experience. Our Management and Mentors have over 75 years of real-world photography expertise to share. For example, the President of PortraitEFX, Mr. Chris Wunder, Cr. Photog. ASP is widely recognized as one of the top industry experts in the field of Promotional Photography. He’s been a featured speaker for Conventions and Workshops sponsored by virtually every photographic organization including the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the Photo Marketing Association (PMA), the School and Sports Photographers Conference (SPAC), Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), Senior Photographers International (SPI), Professional School Photographers Association (PSPA), Christian Photographers International, and many, many more. We know what we are doing.
Q: Do you offer Financing?
A. Yes, we have some financing options available. We’ll be happy to address those options when you have pre-qualified as a Candidate. For example, we have a program in place to help you get a line of credit up to $50,000 depending on your credit rating. We can also help you with SBA loans applications to get a favorable outcome in many cases.
If you are a currently engaged full-time in Professional Photography, with relevant experience and skills, and have a sizable book of business to bring with you, we have a special program available that you may qualify for. This program may reduce your required investment. We’ll be happy to discuss these options with you.
Q: Funding is not a problem. Am I guaranteed the opportunity to purchase a PortraitEFX Franchise?
A: Sorry, no. Not everyone who applies will be offered a Franchise. There is a selection process in place to better insure that our system represents a good fit for you, and vice-versa. We won’t take your money and sell you a Franchise if we don’t think you have what it takes to operate a successful Photography business. While part of the negotiation process is you checking us out, we are checking you out the same way. As most of our potential revenues from working together come from your future business, we don’t want you to underperform and fail. That’s not good, long term to either of us.
Q: I already have existing Clients in non-related types of photography. Do I have to give up these Clients?
A: No, you can continue to do other types of business not part of the PortraitEFX system. For example, if you do any other type of “specialty” photography, like Commercial Work, Aerial Photography, Stock Photography, Medical Photos, etc. this work can be done outside the PortraitEFX System.
Another example is Studio work done in your home-based studio, or a retail studio, or on location. You can keep separate your Portrait and Wedding work as long as it’s not done on a “volume” basis. (That’s 25 or more clients per day).
We do request that, to the extent possible you process those types of photos thru a PortraitEFX-approved photo lab. We want to insure that your local business reputation isn’t tarnished by using a non-professional photo lab.
Frankly, after you begin doing the mass-market promotions we support and begin making more money, you’ll probably want to give up the other types of work you do, or at least cut way back!
Q: Can I visit your Facility and sit down, face-to-face and discuss this opportunity?
A: Absolutely! We’d love to have you visit us for a “Discovery Day” at our Facility in Dallas, Texas. We’ll give you the grand tour, including a tour of one of our Photo Lab Partners and sit down and answer any questions you have. We’ll show you why a decision to go with PortraitEFX might be the best decision you’ve ever made! The entire process will take only about 4-5 hours, and many of those who have previously attended a “Discovery Day” fly in and out the same day! We are located close to both Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport serving most major airlines, and Dallas-Love Field, served by Southwest Airlines.
We do ask that you complete our pre-qualification process before scheduling your Discovery Day. Ask for details.
Q: Does buying a Franchise GUARANTEE my success?
A: The fact is the no one can guarantee that you’ll be successful in the photography business. It takes good preparation, Systems, and Mentor support and a lot of drive and hard work! There’s no short-cut for that, but when you have the support and make it happen the benefits can be great. These self-employment benefits include job and financial security, the ability to make your own schedule providing more quality time with your family and to help prepare for a secure future.
Please note that under Federal Regulations governing the Franchise Industry that Franchisors are prohibited from making specific income claims in order to sell you their offer. PortraitEFX is no exception. However, for your information here are some general Franchise Industry Statistics; NOT specific to PortraitEFX or the Photography Business in particular:
It is estimated that up to 6,000 franchises operate in the U.S. These franchises account for 750,000 franchised businesses and nearly 50% of all retail sales in the United States. In fact, 1 in every 12 businesses is a franchise. Over 300 franchises are sold every week, which works out to about one every 8 minutes.
Excluding real estate, the initial investment for approximately 8 out of 10 franchises is less than $250,000.
The median gross annual income of franchisees was in the $75,000 to $124,000 range before taxes in 2000. Over 30% of the franchisees earned over $150,000 per year.
The selection of franchises is quite extensive as 75 different industries use franchising to distribute goods and services to consumers.
A study conducted by the United States Chamber of Commerce found that 86% of franchises opened within the last five years were still under the same ownership and 97% of them were still open for business.
A U.S. Department of Commerce study found less than 5% of franchise businesses close each year.
Bottom Line: Franchises offer the advantage of learning from those who have undertaken the endeavor before you. The owners of PortraitEFX are leaders in the Photography business. We are innovators in this business model. We have proven programs in place that are unique and cutting edge. We know what it takes to succeed! We also have experienced first-hand the different pitfalls that are unique to this type of business and can steer you away from them, saving you a lot of time and money. Another advantage of franchise ownership is the network through which ideas are shared and challenges can be addressed with support from other members of our Team. We are constantly upgrading our marketing strategies and coming up with new money making ideas for our franchise owners because our success is 100% dependent on your success. Come join the PortraitEFX Team!