What are the royalties?
- The royalties are 6% of total sales and are paid on the 15th of the following month
Do you have a Regional Advertising Account and what does it cost?
- Yes we have a regional advertising fund and currently it is 1.6% of sales based on the previous year’s sales.
What is the term of the franchise agreement?
- The initial agreement is for 5 years with two more 5 year renewable terms following.
How long will the initial training take?
- The initial training is now 4 weeks for the owner and 3 weeks for their lead builder or partner.
How much money can I make with a Hickory Dickory Deck franchise?
- Because of franchise laws in both Canada and United States, we can not give you a figure of what you can make. We have not grown to be the largest deck business in Canada with an unprofitable business model. What you make in any business is dependant on many things but here is a few points to keep in mind.
- Market conditions
- Personal abilities
- How hard you work
- How smart you work
- Territory conditions
- Competitive conditions
- Time to learn the business
- Business and personal contacts
Who builds the deck?
- As a franchise owner you will determine who builds your deck. You are required to hire an experienced carpenter or a subcontractor. Depending on how large your company grows will determine how many crews you will employ.
How large is a franchise territory?
- Each territory is determined by head office working with the franchises. Most areas are between 50,000 and 100,000 people.
What is the competition like?
- This is a question that is different with each area. During the weeks or months a prospective franchisee is looking at the Hickory Dickory Decks opportunity, he or she must get as much education about the competition as possible. Most areas will have some existing deck or fence companies as well as renovators, home improvement companies, carpenters and handy man. Hickory Dickory Decks works hard on our marketing, and website to ensure the Hickory Dickory Deck’s name gets maximum exposure across all media channels.
Does Hickory Dickory Decks sell very much low maintenance decking?
- The short answer is yes, most areas use over 90% low maintenance decking with the balance being cedar. Our competition is 97% wood with 85% of that being pressure treated.
What is low maintenance decking?
- Low maintenance decking has been around for over 10 years and is usually a combination of some type of plastic and a filler, sometimes wood or now other products like flax, rice, glass, or minerals.
What are the major advantages of low maintenance decking?
- The first advantage is unlike wood you never need to sand and stain it. This is the major labour and cost advantage over a wooden deck. A few others are no cracking, splinters, warping cupping and less slippery when wet. Some low maintenance decking is cooler than wood when walked on. The low maintenance decking is highly stain resistant, which is fantastic if you do a lot of entertaining on your deck. Grease from fallen hamburgers and spills from glasses of red wine can be wiped up easily from a composite deck.
Why don’t they call it maintenance free decking?
- We call it low maintenance decking, because it does need cleaning every now and then. A good wash a few times a year will keep all the dirt and mold from growing onto your deck and will keep your low maintenance deck looking great for years. You’ll need to sweep the deck once in a while, and once the spring thaw hits, you’ll need to clean off debris and dirt from the winter.
How do I acquire business leads?
- Hickory Dickory Decks has grown the business by doing a great job for our clients and also marketing. Referrals are the best customers for any business. Our guaranteed satisfaction leads to lots and lots of happy referrals. As far as marketing I will just list some of our proven methods
- Web leads
- Home shows
- Garden shows
- Signs on trucks
- Signs on trailers
- Yard signs
- Our deck book
- Trade referrals
- Company newsletter
- Local newspapers
- Regional magazines, radio, T.V.
- Local fairs and parades
- Business club
What is the cost of the franchise fee?
- The franchise fee at Hickory Dickory Decks is $60,000.00 for a protected territory.
Who designs the decks?
- The short answer is you. During your initial training we will teach you our system of helping the customer to design their own deck. Using our system, our photo gallery of over 10,000 decks, our web sites www.hickorydickorydecks.com and www.decks.ca and our engineered designs plus our support from our franchise managers, you will have all the tools to design beautiful custom decks.
What if the customer or the building department wants auto cad drawings?
- No problem. We have over 1,000 pre-engineered deck designs and we have a full design service if required.
What are your pre-engineered designs?
- Over the last 25 years our team has designed thousands of custom decks and we have saved these as auto cad quality designs for future reuse. This includes multiple views, construction views and complete material lists. This is an amazing time saver.
What kind of sales support does Hickory Dickory Decks have?
- During your initial training you will be taught our sales system and meet many of our sales stars. Once in your area you will be supported by day to day contact with your franchise manager and the resources of your training manuals. Your franchise manager will be able to help design, price and help sell some of your decks. You can also rely on others at head office for support. Being part of the Hickory Dickory Decks team brings a entire family of head office and other franchisees as support.
What kind of building support does Hickory Dickory Decks have?
- During your initial training you will be shown how to design and build a Hickory Dickory Deck. Over the three weeks of building training you will meet many of our head office carpenters and will make long term contacts with them. Once in your area you will have day to day support with both your franchise manager and head office carpenters to help answer any building questions. Our building manuals are a resource you will also use. If you ever need support in your market, head office maybe able to send a crew for this as well.
Can I work from my home to start?
- Yes. We strongly suggest too start out as a home based business. You will need a place to park your truck and trailer and store a small amount of inventory, such as in your garage. With our franchise, as you build up your business, there’s no point for an office initially as you’ll always be away on a job site, or meeting with clients and contractors. Running your business at home also offers you several tax relief benefits. As your business grows you may consider more room for equipment, inventory and office help.
How will I find employees?
- This is part of every business, and we will train you how we get good team members. In our initial training and our manuals we go over all aspects of team building. Our franchise managers are also involved during your hiring requirements and we will help you build a winning team. Remember, you are in charge of your own employees. If you are getting complaints from team members, or clients about an employee, be sure to investigate and deal with the issue immediately. Proper management early on in your deck franchise career leads to quicker success.
How large of a business can I build?
- The advantage of working for yourself is that you choose how large a business you want to build. We have some franchises that have chosen to stay smaller and we have franchises that want million dollar businesses. We currently have one franchise doing over $3,000,000 in sales and now working toward $4,000.000.
How does the typical sales call go?
- Most of our sales calls start with a phone call answered by our call center. The message is sent to the franchisees’ cell phone and he or she then calls the client and books a first call. The first call is an information gathering, seeing the site, and getting to know the client. Before the first call most clients view our web site so many initial questions are answered before we ever meet. At the end of the first call, a second call is usually booked in approximately one week. At this meeting a design or two will be presented with exact pricing. Sometimes adjustments need to be made and a third visit is required by this time the client has been shown the Hickory Dickory Decks advantage and value and hopefully becomes a customer.
Do I need to be a high pressure salesman?
- Definitely not, we do a great job of marketing to the right people so our clients want to buy a quality deck from a reputable company. We believe we offer the best value for the investment. Most of your business will come from referrals, and generally people like to work with companies that provide a stress free environment.
Size of Market?
- Over 3 million decks are replaced in North America every year. This is a constant supply of business and is steady even during recessions. Most people want a home and as soon as they get one, and they want to improve it. Consumer reports in 2008 listed decks as the best home improvement investment getting 87% return.
Future of Business?
- Our goal at Hickory Dickory Decks is to grow the business one happy customer at a time. We believe there is a need for quality deck builders in every community in the world, and we are striving to fulfill this need. As a franchise owner, we expect the same level of service from you. We also expect that if a customer isn’t happy, that you make it right. Often you might have to deal with a difficult customer, and our head office is always available to assist you for advice. We recommend that you contact us before any issues escalate. Usually there is a solution to keep everyone happy, and we’ve learned from the past that sometimes your biggest critics, if treated well, can end up being your biggest supporters.
- Our design service at our head office can support all franchisees with complicated designs. We have an Auto CAD expert available and many professional designers on staff for assistance.
Can I own more than one location?
- Yes, We usually do not allow more than one location to start, but we have many franchisers that own more than one location. Several Area Development Franchises already exist within our company.
Can I expand using managers?
- Yes, we have designed a management trainee position and developed this for over 10 years. We usually hire a University or College graduate and spend one year training them on every area of the deck business. Our goal for you to is to promote these trainees into a general manager position, running a franchise area, in year two.
Does just building decks get boring?
- We don’t think so. If you review some of our past work you will see that all our decks are custom and are built UNIQUELY for each customer. You have the advantage of building a small project the one day and then moving onto a very large complicated custom deck that make take many weeks to complete, and challenge your design, contracting and building skills. There is more to deck building that just building and designing decks. A big part of the job is working and meeting new people. You will meet dozens of new people on a weekly basis and you will often be invited into their homes and properties. We have met some of our most dearest friends from building a deck for them.
Why would an existing deck builder buy a Hickory Dickory Deck Franchise?
- This answer would be different for each person, but I will name the top three for most deck builders. Our website is “world class” and is worth millions of dollars. It cannot be duplicated without years of work and thousands upon thousands of quality deck pictures of happy customers. This alone is worth the franchise fee and the royalty payments. Number two would be our systems. After years of learning the hard way and millions of dollars of education we have SYSTEMATIZED the decking industry in all areas. We can improve operations, marketing, sales, building or some other areas to help grow our business to a new level. Number three would be our team. Since 1987 we have built a “deck team” second to none in this industry. In all areas of the business we have experts to teach, coach and consult to grow together.