A plumbing franchise is a packaged plumbing business. In exchange for paying license fees, the franchise operator is entitled to use the branding, equipment, and procedures controlled by a parent company. Starting a franchise can be less expensive than starting a business from scratch, and it comes with a built in reputation and customer base because consumers recognize the name of the franchise.
For a franchise operator, there are several advantages to opening a plumbing franchise, in addition to the ones discussed above. The parent company provides the franchise operator with uniforms, letterhead, logos, truck and van wraps, and all of the other accoutrements of the business. In addition, the franchise operator is listed in a database, so someone who calls the head office seeking plumbers can be referred to the local plumbing franchise. This can be a valuable source of business, as people like relocation specialists and big property management companies often prefer to use the services of a single franchise rather than taking their chances on businesses they do not know.
There are also advantages for the parent company. The parent company is given a share of the profits in addition to franchising fees, which generates more capital which the company can use. In addition, allowing people to open franchises allows the parent company to extend its market share without putting itself at risk. As a plumbing franchise expands and becomes better known, people will be increasingly interested in opening their own franchises, and this creates a snowball effect which allows a company to grow quickly.
The operator of a plumbing franchise usually hires locally, and much of the income from the business stays in the local community, which is highly beneficial especially in small communities. Employees may be sent to training programs and seminars run by the parent company with the goal of improving standards and keeping service consistent. This means that plumbers in very different plumbing franchises will have a set of standards and practices from the parent company to follow.
The initial outlay of cash to open a plumbing franchise varies, depending on the policies of the parent company. Usually less money is required to open a franchise than a brand new business, and all of the costs are outlined up front, unlike the unexpected costs which often accompany the launch of a new business. Sometimes people go into a partnership to buy a franchise, with partners later buying each other out as the business becomes more established and starts generating income.