Friday, November 25, 2016

How Much Does a Paint & Sip Franchise Cost vs Independent Studio?

How Much Does a Paint & Sip Franchise Cost vs Independent Studio?

Simple answer: by "Grand Opening" you will have around $15-20k invested in an independent studio like our clients do, or at least $50-130k plus if you go the franchise route.

You may have noticed the growing trend in the past few years -- many studios jumping on the paint & sip franchising "bandwagon". The franchisor's claim is that if you pay to use their brand and model, your studio will be a guaranteed success. But you're not buying McDonald's "golden arches" that everyone knows, TV advertising and all -- most of your local potential customers just want to "paint & party", they couldn't care what flag it flies under as long as you are exceeding in customer service and have a nicely branded studio space.

The franchise fees, royalties, advertising, and other expenses that most paint and wine franchises charge franchisees cuts too far into the profits for any studio owner to make a decent return on investment (ROI) and good profit margins and doesn't provide franchisees with all of the glimmery implied guarantees of fun, success, and class volume that they experienced on their "discovery day" trip to a franchised studio or during a phone call. This article explains the business and financial dynamics of investing in a "paint and sip" studio, both independent and franchised.

How Much is the Profit for a Paint & Sip Franchisee?
Profit, defined: difference between the purchase price and the costs of bringing the service to market.
Profit margin, defined: a measure of profitability. It is calculated by finding the net profit as a percentage of the revenue.

In other words, the lower your costs, the higher the profit margin can be.

Example: Jane wants to be an entrepreneur. She plays with this, and buys a pre-made candle for $5 and then sells it to a friend for $10. It was a lot fun, and she made money doing it!

Cost price = $5
Selling price (revenue) = $10
Profit = $10 − $5 = $5
Profit percentage (profit divided by cost) = $5/$5 = 100%

Now, onto "overhead". Jane has no overhead, so her profit margin is high--
Business overhead, defined: an ongoing expense of operating a business.

If Jane pays to advertise her candles and a fee to sell them from a booth at the local market, her profit margin will go down because of the newly added "overhead". However, if she makes this move / expansion, there could be increased volume and revenue that may offset her expenses... or not, it depends on the demand, which can never be guaranteed. All small business is a risk, never a guarantee. Jane can expand, but it's in her own best interest to do this slowly, at the lowest cost and risk possible -- Rome wasn't built in a day.

How Much Does a Paint & Sip Franchise Cost vs Independent Studio?

What is the Monthly Overhead (Cost) of a Paint & Sip Studio?
An independent studio, like the ones we co-create, has many costs, but a franchise has even more, and customers just want to "paint and party" -- flying the flag of the franchise at your location isn't going to guarantee customers. Here's a list of common basic expenses for any sip and paint studio--
*Studio lease / rent
*Utilities (heat / cooling, electricity use, sometimes water / sewer fees).

In addition, there are monthly "variable costs"--
Variable costs, defined: costs that change in proportion to the service that a business produces.

Common variable costs of paint and sip studios include--
*Art materials
*Art instructor pay

The more tickets you sell, the higher your variable costs of materials and payroll will be. But making sales is good, and these variable costs are a predictable percentage of each ticket price, although we want to keep them to a minimum because that cost cuts into profits.

Franchises add another expense to their studios, the "royalty"--
*Royalty fee, defined: payment made by one party, the franchisee, to another that owns a particular asset, the franchisor, for the right to ongoing use of that asset (using their brand, use of the paintings, etc).

There are no fees to pay with an independent studio -- you own it! Royalty fees for paint and sip franchisees are typically set at 5% to 8%, but they are also known to tack a 2% to 6% "advertising" royalty, or assess fees on alcohol sales, per sold painting, or other factors, it all depends on which paint and sip franchise.

So, with a franchise, not only do you pay $15-30k upwards for the use of their name, logo, and other benefits claimed in their "franchise fee", but you pay them a portion of every dollar you earn, as a "royalty fee", for the duration of your contract, normally 5-8 years. This adds to your costs and lowers your profit.

Return on Investment (ROI)
When you make an investment, you do so in order to profit from a "return". You expect to earn back the money you invested, within a reasonable amount of time, plus a profit for the act of investing in it--

ROI, defined: in purely economic terms, it's one way of considering profits in relation to capital invested.

When we speak of the paint and sip industry, your investment is what you put in "on the front end"  -- business licensing, obtaining the lease space, buildout and improvements, inventory, initial advertising, hires and training -- every dollar you spend to get into business. With a franchise, add their fees to it and you will find that most franchisees spend $60k to $130k by the time they have their "grand opening", that's their investment. Our independent studios spend $15-20k on average, total, depending on costs in their local market.

Naturally, each studio owner would like a "good return on investment", the question is, how long it takes until that investment, plus a return, the profit, comes -- all the while paying the monthly overhead, variable expenses, and royalty fees in a franchise?

We have given you the facts--
*customers just want to "paint & party", the flag you fly under is of no consideration to them as long as you offer a good brand and high level of customer service.
*a franchise will cost you at least five times as much an independent paint and sip studio, at a higher front end investment and variable monthly expenses, with no guarantee of more customers.

Simple story -- you can open faster and on a better budget with us, and get just as many customers as your "next door", high cost franchise as long as you follow our step-by-step advice. We've opened 30 studios in the US since 2010, who will be next?

Click the link for a side by side comparison of independent vs. franchise requirements, benefits, and costs.
How Much Does a Paint & Sip Franchise Cost vs Independent Studio?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Paint & Sip Business Plan & Bank Loans

One of our recent consulting clients had inquired with both Pinot's Palette and Painting With a Twist paint and sip franchises before deciding to go with us, which is very common. This person seemed obsessed with the paint and sip business plan portion, which is fine, but I had to ask them about their seeming fixation.

Paint & Sip Business Plan & Bank Loan

As told to me, one of the franchises didn't supply them with their business plan, but instead "provided some data" and told them to work with their local SBA in order to write a complete paint and sip business plan for a bank loan.

This, to me, seemed quite odd -- a paint and sip franchise charging a huge fee and not even supplying the business plan? As independent consultants we've been providing our clients with general versions for years in order for them to secure studio space leases and bank loans.

Our client, having spent a great amount of time writing their business plan, in collaboration with the SBA, didn't want all of their hard work to go to waste and asked if we could proof their version and provide feedback.

Our review -- to put it nicely, this "plan" was a disorganized "fantasy" sprawled out in wandering subjects and type, laced with repetitive adjectives like "the best", "most wonderful", "the one and only", etc. It didn't give a snapshot of the business and how it would work, instead, it seemed like a long list of pleading hopes and hypothetical promises. That isn't how I worded it to the client in my response, but that was my candid impression of this "business plan". There is no way that a landlord or banker with any common sense is going to accept or approve an unprofessional plan like that.

After professionally educating my client on the purpose and goal of a properly written business plan, I was able to coax them, in their own interest, into dropping the unrealistically and unprofessionally worded portions of it. In the end, we went back to our long-proven business plan, customized it to her name, financial situation, local demographics, and business needs and she was quite satisfied and achieved her end goal of getting a bank loan for her paint and sip business.

Since then we've decided to roll out our 
for everyone -- independent art studios, paint and sip franchise customers -- anyone looking for a business plan, bank loan, or both. We customize it to your situation and needs, and though we can never absolutely guarantee a lease space or bank loan, we have clients all over the US that have obtained either or both using these plans.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

We're celebrating 6 years of our "paint and wine blog" this month! It's also our 6-year anniversary of being in the "paint & sip" business. This month we co-created studios #28 and #29, who will be our 30th? 

Here's the latest--
*Website redesign -- we just spent a reasonable amount of time redesigning our website and it's fresher and friendlier than ever, check it out! The Paint & Wine Studio Business Consulting Website

*GOLD ULTIMATE Level -- this is our first new product since 2012 because everything worked fine. But, we devised this program to be easier and faster -- all of the benefits of full GOLD consulting, 100% access to all of our info and guidance, plus your top SEO mobile website, AND the instructor certification seminar in your studio in conjunction with your Grand Opening, training 4 staff members, AND our 100 royalty free paintings, for one flat rate that is 20% less than itemized discount rates. We will have you open in 100 days or less, done deal! This is a limited offer so please check it out now! GOLD ULTIMATE Paint & Sip Business Consulting

*NEWSLETTER -- we've posted a newsletter sign-up form. If you're even the slightest bit interested in owning your own paint and wine oriented studio, learning how to paint in the paint and sip style or improving your methods, and anything else related to the art or business of the industry, sign up now to be in the mix! You can find the sign-up at the bottom of every page of

*FREE DOWNLOAD -- "The TOP 10 Mistakes Paint & Sip Studios Should Avoid!" is our free PDF with some awesome insights on what to avoid as a "paint & sip" studio, just click the title to get there and enter your info.

*INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION SEMINAR -- our new Georgia studio has been a big hit and several groups have trained here already. It's a private studio on our property in the historic district and everything is geared around painting and teaching, there is no business instruction. We visit and lunch at three amazing local restaurants during the class. Discounts apply for those in the consulting programs, check it out from the links on every page of the website. Runs Tue-Thu for 3 days at your request.

Brunswick, Ga. Ben Affleck just shot his movie, "Live by Night" here, one block from our studio, look for it in 2017!
*YOUR CITY SEMINAR -- I was on the road for openings all over the U.S. this year We trained with some great owners and staff, the locals were awesome, and the launches went off without a hitch and the businesses are growing fast. This seminar remains the most effective way to do the Grand Opening of your business while training the entire team.

Alright, we hope your summer is going well!

Brian Bullard, Director

Thursday, January 21, 2016

When we last left off, we had returned to St. Louis, Missouri, my hometown, after nearly five years of doing "paint & sip" in my Houston, Texas art studio. It was during that time I began opening paint and wine oriented businesses throughout the US as an art business consultant.

Fast forward to "now" -- the St Louis Paint & Wine Studio was a huge success, we were nailing private parties and team building in no time. But the purpose of being there for 16 months was to save up for our next move -- to the "Golden Isles" of the Atlantic coast of Georgia, just south of Savannah. It was our life dream to live near the ocean and now it has happened -- we packed up, rolled out, and are renovating our new "National Paint & Sip Training Center" studio in an historic victorian district of the south. Classes will star in May, 2016, and it will be the ultimate sip and paint training center for seminars, painting training, and all sorts of business and art-related courses as well as tourism, because it's beautiful here and there is plenty to see and do.

Meanwhile, we just opened our 23rd co-created paint and wine oriented studio in Pennsylvania (PA), and the upcoming art studio is in New Jersey. There's also an entire story about me, my training and experiences, and how I got to be an expert business consultant in the paint & wine industry, let alone the arts, posted here, I hope you enjoy it, click here to read.

How to start a paint, wine and canvas business.
Our new city in Historic Brunswick Georgia, home of our new "National Paint & Sip Training Center"

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Paint & Wine Studio Whirlwind Month of Business!

Hey y'all (or "hi everybody" if you're up north, like we are now), it's been a wild few months. Two months ago we moved from our Houston location of 4 years to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. 800 miles with lots of pets and all in tow. Prior to that we had already scouted and contracted the new studio location, in Maplewood, MO, where we had lived from 2006-2008. It's a hip, urban community that supports small businesses and unique ventures like ours, so it was an easy choice for "The Paint & Wine Studio".
These are our new neighbors -- coffee shops, boutiques, a pizza establishment, brewery, deli,...list goes on, gotta love the midwest!

Anyway, I cut the lease deal before arrival. On the topic of leases -- lately, everyone writes or calls about my paint and wine consulting programs, informing me that " we are about to sign a lease", which is like telling a potential hired attorney "we are about to sign a settlement agreement". Are you kidding me? The studio lease for a sip and paint, let alone any other business, is the single most important piece of overhead which will dictate your profit margin and future, do you want to leave that to its own devices or put an expert on it? I can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches by proofing your contract and negotiating a fair lease agreement, email me, enough said.

Anyway, two months ago we rolled into town, new home, new space, two weeks into that I started work on the studio (6 weeks ago). I wanted it to look the same as the Houston studio because I love that place and wanted it to remind me of all the good times there (umm, that's about as nostalgic as I get, so don't expect more, lol), and I knew it worked and customers loved it, so that's what I decided on.

Three weeks in, I was getting the walls and floors done, and it was matching the Houston studio, but I had to be off to another state, to train the instructors and host the Grand Opening of our new studio there. No prob, I packed a few bags and off I went, my paint and sip business client had followed all of my advice and it was all set up, so I did my thing and all went well. Yes, I give the seminar in St. Louis now but you can fly me in to train the instructors and do your Grand Opening of your own paint and wine oriented business at your studio.

"Selfie" with 21 Texan painting friends.

I made it back Sunday, completed the work in 5 weeks for my own studio, not bragging but that is the fastest new studio opening ever. For those of you hellbent on opening in 30 days, I can do it in 60 days, but there's going to be a premium for that!

Friday, September 19th, two months after arriving in STL, we had our Grand (re)Opening, all looked great and went as planned, and we're very happy with our new home, the public is also very excited, we booked 3 private parties, all anonymous through our website because I had geared the SEO (search engine optimization) for St. Louis prior to leaving Houston.

We made the rent in 7 days of sign-ups and hardly trying because I was too busy with decorating, lol. The next 21 days are profit.
Like I said, a whirlwind month, or more. I would love to help you with your paint and wine oriented business so you can save money going into it and succeed. Helping others with their business is our passion, since year 2000, send an email to if you want the best that the industry offers at a fair price and I will hook you up!'

Check out this link to learn about our programs!

Best regards,
Brian Bullard
The Paint & Wine Studio

Sunday, June 29, 2014

We've gotten a lot of customers from St. Charles, Missouri, near St. Louis lately!

St. Louis & St. Charles Wine & Painting Classes
St. Louis & St. Charles Wine & Painting Classes
If you're looking for wine and painting classes in the St. Louis and St. Charles, MO, area, check out our website at

If you are interested in creating your own paint and wip studio or buying your own sip and paint website, or need a new one, please inquire with us by writing

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Paint & Wine Business Consulting - Cheaters

Hi, Brian Bullard here, the industry "paint & wine" business expert. I've seen it all in 28 years of owning and developing all types of art businesses, not much surprises me anymore, I just know what to look for. Professionals know how to get to the root of things quickly. You, like most people that visit this site, are probably an expert at something -- your occupation, career, lifestyle, etc. There are some things you know better than others, that is part of being a professional.

Today, in my duties as a professional in the business, in between building a sip and paint website for one client and coaching another in social media techniques, I decided to do a little Google search on my own paint and wine business. It's necessary to check your own rankings now and then, but also to check on others, that's when I found this--

paint and wine business consulting not a franchise
Do you see something wrong here? I do, it's my own name being used in the "meta description" tag of a competing site. Let's ponder why someone would use my name on their "paint and wine industry" consulting website.... okay, didn't take long, did it? Because I'm the best. You can try to copy my programs or techniques, but you can't be me, you normally can't buy my name either. My info is reserved for my clients and they gladly pay me for it so I can help them develop their own paint and wine oriented business.

The page was indexed and cached by "googlebot" on Jun 11, 2014. It is now June 15, 2014, four days later, and they removed my name. This is an old SEO "black hat" cheating technique I know from 1996 -- cheat, then after index, remove to avoid problems. But now they have a problem!

So, what will I do? Will I trademark my personal name? Hire a lawyer? Waste thousands of dollars in litigation?

No. I'm smarter than that! I'm a pro, I know how to do all of that, and more. I play fair, but I don't put up with abuse. I'm not impressed by this person's website, paintings, or techniques in having to use my name to promote her business. She offers a manual for $1000, a ludicrous price, but maybe it will teach you how to steal the names of professional artists who know what they're talking about.

What brought you here? My number one ranking blog and website for the wine and paint business industry which was created on my vast knowledge of how the web works -- my name, the one I was born with, I own that and all behind it, just like you have yours, it's not for sale.

What these types don't understand is that I went through all of this 20 years ago while I was developing my own seminars in the faux finishing and mural industry. I know all of these tricks, nothing new, sip and paint is in diapers compared to that. 18 years ago, in 1996, I was finding my own name being secretly "spamdexed" to up my competitor's search rankings, thank you.

Thanks for visiting, if you're interested in getting into the business, check out my sip and paint consulting offerings and seminars.

If what you're reading, industry drama, turns you off, I fully understand. Get me on your side now and I'll fight all of your battles, you can host paint and wine class and do the fun stuff.

As usual, thanks for checking in. I love the paint and wine industry, only job I ever had that keeps me smiling all day and night, I love working with all the people who want to have fun with paint!

Best Regards,
Brian Bullard, Owner,
The Paint & Wine Studio