Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sip & Paint Branding

There's a big difference between employing a general concept and copying another business. I learned business and branding in Europe, where one first sets out to be proficient in the basic and advanced skills of whatever interests them, what they have a passion for. For me, that was art and painting, so I worked for several companies, with some of the best artists, traveling, all the while learning the business of the art world -- what it takes to be unique and sell.

Corporate team-building event.
I quickly learned that "art" is somewhat, if not completely, secondary to the business of selling any kind of painting. Of course, if you're selling something, whether a product or service, it needs to be of high quality and have a value. A "value" is not to be confused with something discounted or "cheap". The value is the amount of worth, as appraised by the potential customer.

Creating a unique business is not the matter of copying the exact model of a competing business and "painting" it a different color. If this concept is employed, the only thing setting you off from the competition is the price, and inevitably, novices believe if they copy a successful business and offer a lower price they will be successful -- which couldn't be further from the truth.

Being unique involves risks, making your own decisions as to what will be attractive and sell to the potential clientele. The higher the risk, the higher the potential reward --  or possible loss, and that's why there needs to be a rational level and approach to assuming business risks.

When you own a unique brand there's a special pride to it -- it's custom-made, not a copy.

If you're interested in owning a uniquely designed paint and wine oriented studio, please click here for more information.

Creating Your Own Paint & Wine Oriented Studio - Not a Franchise.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paint and Wine Locations and Branding

Customers at "The Paint & Wine Studio"
often drive nearly an hour to attend, passing
up several "sip & paint" businesses along
the way. It's all because of our unique brand.
One of the things I hear most often from callers is "there aren't any sip and paint businesses or franchises in our town yet", or, "there's only one and they do a lot of business". That's a fine observation, and it's important to be aware of your environment in the business marketplace, but existing presence should not be the deciding factor in whether to open a "sip and paint" oriented business-- or any other type of business, for that matter.

I like to use the analogy of an Italian restaurant, and you probably have a few of these in your own town. Maybe the simplest level is a "Fazoli's" franchise, drive-thru and all. It's Italian, fast-food style. There might be a sort of small "family-operated" eatery within minutes, not fancy but the food can't be beat, especially for the price. And then you have the "high-end" establishment, which is usually a restaurant named "Tony's", it is in St. Louis, Missouri, my hometown, where there's no lack of Italian dining establishments.

Put yourself in the customer's position-- in this scenario you have never eaten Italian food, and driving by a "Fazoli's" franchise you hit the drive-thru and enjoy spaghetti for the first time. It was quick, convenient, in a nearby location and served its purpose. Your friend mentions a Fazoli's near her house, 20 minutes across town. Will you drive there to try it? No, because the successful model of a franchised business is that you know what you're getting no matter where that restaurant or store is -- it should all be the same. You're not driving 20 minutes only to get the same food and service when it's right next door!

But, having a literal hunger to discover what else is offered in the world of Italian food, you ask your friend if they know of any other eateries -- you've already been to the franchise, you know how that tastes. Your friend mentions a "hole in the wall with the best sauce I've ever had", and you make a beeline for it. You're amazed that such a small, family-operated business can churn out such unique and delicious Italian food. Unbeknownst to Fazoli's, they just turned you on to the best marinara sauce in town by existing in the first place, and have probably lost you as a customer.

With a family event impending, and not wanting to take them to the very casual "hole in the wall", you seek out fine dining, Italian style, and phone your friend. "Go to Tony's and you'll think you're in Italy -- they have beautiful canvas paintings on the wall, the finest china and service, the food is presented as art itself, and you can even sit in an actual gondola, imported from Italy, while drinking wine -- it's heaven, a 45 minute drive for you, but the experience of a lifetime!" You could do that or take the family to the Fazoli's franchise, so the choice is obvious.

You may only get to go to "Tony's" twice a year because of the higher price and longer drive, but everyone in the radius is willing to drive the distance and pay more for the experience, so they do good volume. Tony's doesn't care where Fazoli's opens another franchise, in fact, they're happy when another Italian business opens because it leads customers on a trail -- straight to Tony's.

The moral of the story is that business branding, not franchising, is the key to success in any business. To be a success in the "paint and wine" business you need to be different from the rest, not a mere copycat of a franchise, because if you are, your potential customers might as well go to the franchised business -- they know what they get there.

Branding and developing unique paint and wine as well as other "art and entertainment" businesses is just one of our specialties offered through "The Paint & Wine Studio". Please visit this link for more information.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paint and Wine Franchise "Name Fees"

We developed and copyrighted this custom-designed
logo for one of our consulting clients.
The franchisee is paying to use the franchisor's name and logo and this is commonly referred to as a "name fee". Our sources tell us they are informed by competing "sip and paint" franchises that the name fee is $20-25,000 dollars on average.

My question to any potential business owner is if the franchisor's brand is well-known enough to justify the cost. If it's a "McDonalds" franchise, one of the best-known business franchises in the world, you're going to want those "golden arches" flying over the building, and it's worth the cost -- you're buying into a well-established international business franchise that everyone identifies with. 

With "sip and paint" franchises, what you're really paying in a name fee is a supposed track record of that name and logo having local appeal, not a nationally recognized brand by the common consumer, because the majority of customers are not even familiar with the concept of "sip and paint", let alone worried about a brand name. The question is if the franchised name and logo will have appeal in your own local market-- or if you can't come up with your own name and logo that is regionally desirable and brand your paint and wine business, all the while saving you $20,000 plus.

In our consulting program, we help our clients develop their business name, logo, and brand based on many factors, all proven by successful experience. The end result is a paint and wine business, name, and logo that our clients own, 100%, and at a fraction of the price of a franchise. It's like owning a "Burger King" next to a "McDonald's", before anyone knew who either company was, so it's even ground (no pun intended). From there, the client can develop several locations or franchise out their own name as desired.

To learn more about our program, please click this link

Open Your Own Paint & Wine Art Business - Not a Franchise!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Paint & Wine Business Seminar

Damon, an Army Officer, attended our"Total Immersion" seminar. He served twice as an infantry commander in Iraq, and several months in Haiti, commanding in both the 101st and 82nd Airborne. He attended in order to help his wife develop her sip and paint business and described our program as "a fantastic training experience".
In March of 2011 we began offering the "Total Immersion Paint & Wine Business Seminar". Having over a decade of experience teaching seminars in the arts and small business, it only made sense to begin hosting entrepreneurs with an interest in the "sip and paint" industry.

The course was an immediate hit for several reasons -- it's the first and only seminar of its kind, covering every operational aspect of the paint and wine oriented studio. Prior to this, you either opened and "winged it", or entered an expensive franchise with a long-term agreement. Either way, you just kind of hoped you would enjoy being in the industry after a heavy investment. In our seminar you get to "test drive" all aspects of the business, from painting technique, inventory, class layout and setup, customer payment processing, receiving and hosting, down to the clean-up.

Since its inception, we've taught several mother and daughter operations and a mixed bag of individuals from all over the United States. Many came with just "wanting to check it out", and left being deadset on starting a business. Others came with the intention of doing business and left doing so as well, but said they were grateful for the experience because there was more to it than they realized, and this would help them immensely.

We will continue to offer the seminar throughout the end of 2013, here's a link to the program.

Total Immersion Paint & Wine Business Seminar

Sip & Paint Business - Franchise vs Independent

Potential "paint and wine" studio business owners call daily, asking me to compare the differences between signing up with a franchise versus my independent "sip and paint" business consulting services. To understand the two different business relationships, one has to understand how a franchise works.

In a nutshell, when you become a "franchisee", you buy the rights to use the name, logo, business model, and any other proprietary business information and / or products or services that the "franchisor" offers in their contract. 

With my independent business consulting program, I help you develop your own unique business name and logo, and apply my successful business models to your unique "paint and wine" studio and local area to make your business a success.

What's the difference? About 50 to 100,000 dollars of your own investment money, and freedom, because once I co-create the business with you, you're not obligated to pay anything afterwards -- no royalties, no contracts or long-term agreements, no requirements for you to spend on advertising, it is unrestricted concerning the services and products you offer, your work hours-- you have free reign over your entire business with my program.

This is a side by side comparison I created to answer the common question of "What is the difference between an independent paint and wine business and a sip and paint franchise?".

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome to the "Sip & Paint" Blog!

Hi, and welcome, however you found us -- if looking to buy into a sip and paint franchise, if you attended a painting class where you brought your own wine, and painted, and are now considering holding classes yourself -- we're glad you're here.

Art schools and classes are nothing new, but the idea that customers can bring their own wine during classes, is. It's more complicated than it looks and involves a lot of liability -- something that many overlook.

Why would we care?

For starters, it's in everyone's best interest to ensure that alchohol is used responsibly in this society, and not endangering others, so we will cover liability and company policies you can set concerning such.

Secondly, consumers and potential business owners need to be aware of their rights concerning franchises. You may be happy when you "qualify" to franchise, and be honored that you can buy into their system, but what are the downsides of buying a sip and paint franchise? Nobody seems to want to talk about that, as franchisees would have a conflict of interest and possibly void the franchise agreement by speaking out.

We're unbiased here, and as art business experts, we're going to tell you the truth about "sip and paint" franchising so you can be informed in your decisions!

Please sign up for our feed, and happy reading!