Review of the Tide Dry Cleaners Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

Could your community use a quality dry cleaning business? Would you like to join one of the most recognized names in the market today when it comes to laundry? Tide Dry Cleaners offers the opportunity to join a brand that has been in existence for over 65 years in the field of fabric care. It’s a name that will instantly drive traffic your way because it is built on a foundation that has consumer trust as its cornerstone. If you have a passion in this area, then this could be an exciting investment opportunity.

How much would your initial investment need to be for a Tide Dry Cleaners franchise? What kind of ongoing support would you receive if you become a franchisee? Is this really a good opportunity to make money? Let’s take a look below.

What Is the Initial Investment Requirement?

Tide Dry Cleaners is offering an exciting opportunity for potential franchisees right now. Until June 30, 2014, any new development rights agreement that is signed will receive a $30k discount off of the initial franchise fee. That means new franchisees will have a franchise fee of just $20k to pay at the signing of the franchise agreement instead of the typical $50k franchise fee. Tide does reserve the right to extend or modify this incentive program, so it might get even better over time.

The current incentive program also includes $10k that can be used toward the marketing of the new franchise locations. In order to qualify as a franchisee, you’ll need to pass a financial background check that can prove you have a minimum net worth of $1 million. Of that net worth, there must also be a minimum of $300k that can be converted into liquid capital at any given time. If you cannot meet these requirements, you will be disqualified as a franchisee candidate. Otherwise you’ll qualify for a 10 year initial franchise offer with a 10 year renewal option.

As for the initial investment, the high-end estimate of a new franchise location to achieve a grand opening is $1.3 million and this is for a plant store, which must be your first location that you develop. Additional units can be developed as drop stores and the high-end estimate of these additional locations is $599k. Some plant store units may be developed for as little as $575k with drop store minimum investments coming in around $205k. Some of this depends on whether you already own a site, have dry cleaning equipment, or need an extensive build-out.

There’s also an ongoing royalty of 6.5% that comes from your overall sales. This royalty gives you access to the Tide branding and images that will drive traffic toward your location. It also will allow you to use the proprietary dry cleaning methods that have been developed for use in this franchising model. There’s also a 4% total marketing royalty that is taken from your sales as well, with 2% of it going to regional marketing and the other 2% going to local efforts for your own franchise.

Most plant stores will require a minimum of 2800 square feet to qualify as a franchise location. Some locations that are smaller may be approved on a case-by-case basis. You’ll need to submit a business plan for your franchise, have a training webinar about the franchise, and go through the mutual vetting process. This generally takes up to 12 weeks to fully complete.

What Kind of Support Does Tide Dry Cleaners Provide?

Once you have qualified as a franchisee and sign the agreements, you’ll be given the opportunity to have about two weeks of hands-on experience in the day-to-day operations of a training location. You’ll get a feel of what running your franchise will be like as you perfect the skills that you’ll need to provide a world-class customer service experience. After this hands-on training, you’ll also be given another set of self-directed training classes that takes about a week to complete for the average new franchisee. Tide Dry Cleaners will also give all of your management staff on-site training and a regional representative will be on site for your grand opening.

You’ll also receive guidance as to what the expecting cleaning standards are under a variety of circumstances so that you can provide your customers with a quality result. There’s also a set of best practices that are in place and you’ll receive guidance with your marketing efforts and any equipment or cleaning products you may need to purchase. All of the documentation you may need will also be available through a franchise portal that you’ll has 24/7 access.

Tide Dry Cleaners stresses the importance of regional activities so that the target population can benefit from the continuing education series that the organization runs throughout the year. This keeps you informed of any changes, allows you to meet other regional franchisees, and develop relationships with the organization’s management team.

How Good Is This Franchise Opportunity?

This franchise opportunity is perfect for the independent dry cleaner who is looking for a competitive edge. You’ll have most of the initial costs already taken care of so your initial investments will be minimal. In return, you’ll get key branding and signage that will automatically attract customers because of the brand saturation of the Tide name.

It’s also the perfect opportunity for a community that may be under-served when it comes to professional laundry services. Although target population centers for this franchise are metropolitan areas, there are regional opportunities that exist where there are no professional dry cleaning options available for dozens of miles. If that’s the case for your community, then this could be an exciting investment to make as well.

It’s the passion for this business that will set investors apart. Not everyone can get excited about providing a laundry service. If you do have a love for cleaning and taking care of fabric and can qualify as a franchisee, then you’ll want to fully explore this opportunity.

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