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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography
Thread started 20 Jun 2013 (Thursday) 13:08
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Photography Franchise

 
abuha
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http://www.barrettandc​oefranchise.co.uk ...y-business-franchise.htmlexternal link

Hi all,

I have been thinking of signing a contract with the barrett and coe photography franchise. However, before i commit myself to anything I thought it would be nice to have some feedback POTN community.

Has any members had any experience with these guys or know anyone who have experience with the this franchise?

here is a bite of detail about the franchise in question...

[] They provide full training in portrait and wedding photography ''courses are quite expensive'' after which one can buy a franchise depending on the grade achieved after the training and examinations.

[] they provide business leads from the central office the day you set up shop ''this is what has me considering the franchise in the first place''

Please have a look at the link and let me know what you think.

Jun 20, 2013 13:08



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rivas8409
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I'm not familiar with this company (I'm in the U.S.) but am I understanding this right...$19,316.29 (£12,500) and you're still NOT guaranteed to get a franchise? You still have to be accepted? PLUS you still have to provide additional funding for equipment, their Business Information System, and your own marketing? YIKES!!

Jun 20, 2013 13:22

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DunnoWhen
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Walk away.

You would be far better off spending a fraction of that money learning at your own pace, even it came to paying a wedding photographer with whom you could second.

Once you have done a few weddings you would then know whether you have the temperament, desire and skill to do wedding photography.

In the meantime learn business and marketting skills so that you can promote your business should the time comes when you wish to start your own.

Perhaps post a link to current work so that others who actually do wedding photography can give advice on your current level of proficiency.

Finally, before you even think about signing on the dotted line, go and speak to an accountant.

Jun 20, 2013 13:46 as a reply to rivas8409's post 24 minutes earlier.

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...

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gonzogolf
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Thats a lot of money just to add a name. You become dependent on them for marketing decisions and pricing Etc. If you can do the work, you can do without them. If you cant do the work, they cant save you.

Jun 20, 2013 13:54



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Thomas ­ Campbell
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High volume photography studios are dying by the drove. Run, don't walk, far away.

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Jun 20, 2013 14:36

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L.J.G.
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It is the same over here, studios are suffering financially and can’t get customers in, so they are looking for other ways to branch out to get much needed revenue. Training is one way they many are having a bash at. Now they seem to be earning more money teaching amateurs to be professionals rather than being professionals. All this then does is flood the marketplace with more people who are struggling to earn a living.

Jun 20, 2013 14:44

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gonzogolf
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Plus the training you get a for a "studio on a box" may not teach you how to make photos in the real world. Often the studio training consists of learning a pre programmed setup for a given group size. But if you have to go outside their setups you have to start making decisions on the fly.

Jun 20, 2013 14:47



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abbypanda
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I am not going to comment on that at all but I will say this: I was in martial arts for 24 years and there are franchises to help you with business and then you can do it yourself.

It's good to do it yourself if you know what you are doing. I had mentorship since I was a kid so I learned the pitfalls. But even so I still spent a lot of money on business consulting and advice. it was a lot of work that a franchise could have avoided for me, had I joined. But I still havent joined one....

The up side to a franchise is its a done for you package. No brain work. They've tested the marketing, schemes, colors, and you dont have to think, you just have to follow their plan. You can be a robot. Your business will likely make $, so you can rest assured at some success. You get brand recognition, you are part of something larger and that also increases consumer confidence. You get a network of professionals to work with. (doing business on your own you can be stuck without a mentor or anyone to guide you)

The down side to a franchise is they own you. You have to pay part of what you make, and they dictate what you do. In industries like martial arts (note the word "art) and photography, there are many creative individuals who like to put a creative flair and express themselves. In a franchise you cant do that. You dont get to pick your logo, your colors, and you can't "be yourself". You are the chain. There are a lot of rules about what you can and can not do and you can not break them.

It's really up to you to decide what you want.

Jun 20, 2013 15:08



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abuha
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Thanks for the replys guys, I already agree with what most of you have said. The thing that is holding me back is the possible lack of creativity although I have seen some good work from some of their current franchisees. I am sure how much freedom the franchisees have either.

The training period consists of attending real weddings with a wedding photographer to learn the ins and outs of wedding photography.

The only good thing I see is the job leads offered to the franchisees by the head office.

still £1200+ is a lot of money, though I am going to speak to some of the current franchisees ''ones that are not listed on the website'' that being said though i think I would still be better off attaching myself to a wedding photographer for far less money.

Jun 20, 2013 16:56



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KirkS518
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abbypanda wrote in post #16049203external link
The down side to a franchise is they own you. You have to pay part of what you make, and they dictate what you do. In industries like martial arts (note the word "art) and photography, there are many creative individuals who like to put a creative flair and express themselves. In a franchise you cant do that. You dont get to pick your logo, your colors, and you can't "be yourself". You are the chain. There are a lot of rules about what you can and can not do and you can not break them.

It's really up to you to decide what you want.

The other thing about a franchise, is you would most likely have to sign a non-compete agreement. I'm guessing you have them in the UK as well. What that does, is if you decide that the franchise model isn't your cup of tea, that's fine. Just don't even think about making any money with a camera for the next X years. You will not be allowed to use their marketing model, or basically anything you learned while having been a franchisee. So if you're young, and think one day you may want to get creative in the future, a franchise probably wouldn't be the best path. This type of franchise (IMO), would be great for a retired hobbyist who would like to earn some cash in the realm of photography.

Jun 20, 2013 17:23

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Fester
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abuha wrote in post #16049427external link

SCAM! stay away! Sure the home office can offer leads, so can this forum, but they won't have to be good leads and you'll waste your time chasing them.

What % do you have to give up off the top line? Many franchises tkae 8% of the gross and another 8% for so called advertising, which you have no control over.

You can make the same $$ doing less with less headaches on your own. You just have to put int the time and pay your dues before you make it big.

Jun 20, 2013 20:54



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Fester wrote in post #16050018external link
SCAM! stay away! ...

Can't agree more.

Jun 20, 2013 21:40

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Dan ­ Marchant
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All the stuff above (especially the stuff about quality of leads) +
When considering any kind of franchise it is vital to understand the viability of your local market area and even more important to have documented guarantees that there wont be other franchisees in your area.

Having said that I simply don't think that franchising is a viable way to be successful in a creative industry like photography. The key to real success is to establish your own identity as a creative photographer.

Jun 20, 2013 22:51

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Gary_Evans
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Barratt and Coe are a very well established company based in Norwich, Norfolk.

The people behind the company are Brian Barrett and Andrew Coe who are both very well known and very successful photographers in their own right. The one thing they are not is conmen and the one thing their franchise isnt is a scam.

What you need to do is decide if you think this is the right opportunity for you. The leads they offer cover (I think) weddings, family portraits and newborns through the well established UK company Emmas Diary. B&C also offer training to a very high standard which would help you reach a high professional standard very quickly.

If you think that the franchise offers value for money and that you can build a successful business on the back of being a franchisee then go for it.

Have you spoken to any B&C franchises? Are they doing well? Would they renew? etc etc

In the interests of balance, I should point out that the studio in my town (Kings Lynn, also in Norfolk) recently closed down. I dont know at this point in time why.

Finally, with any franchise agreements make sure you get professional advice from both solicitors and accountants.

Hope that helps a little

Jun 21, 2013 12:08 as a reply to Dan Marchant's post 13 hours earlier.

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Foodguy
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Gary_Evans wrote in post #16051985external link
Barratt and Coe are a very well established company based in Norwich, Norfolk....

Thanks for giving the other side Gary. I have plenty of franchise experience in the restaurant world. In fact, many if not most of the national chains I work with are franchises at the local level. Very few are company owned stores. Like any other business model, there are positives and negatives in the franchise world, but at the very least it is a viable approach to developing a business.

Could the same model be applied to the photography world, specifically weddings and portraits? Probably. Due diligence on the part of the OP will reveal that.

Jun 21, 2013 13:50

My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

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