Visa Franchise assists foreign nationals seeking an E-2, EB-5, or L-1 Visa find a franchise they can invest in to move to the US. Yesterday we hosted a live webinar with Office Pride Commercial Cleaning, a commercial cleaning franchise some of our clients invest with. Learn more on how to invest with Office Pride in the video below.
Jack: Good morning everyone. My name is Jack Findaro. I’m here at Visa Franchise. I’m one of the founders and the finance director of Visa Franchise. And today I’m very excited to announce that we will be doing this webinar with Office Pride, a commercial cleaning franchise located… They are headquartered in Florida with franchisees operating in states across the U.S.
So, I’ll give a brief introduction on the structure of the webinar today as well as talk very briefly about Visa Franchise before I pass it over to Rich Helm from Office Pride. So, for starters, and here’s a quick agenda that we will go over today. Visa Franchise, Office Pride, and then we’ll have questions at the end. So, if you have any questions, feel free to submit them through the text box and we’ll go through them at the end of the presentation.
So, who are we at Visa Franchise? What we do is we work with foreign nationals interested in moving to the U.S. or foreign nationals that are already living in the U.S. and they want to do a franchise investment that will qualify them for an investor visa, either the E-2 or E-1 or EB-5 investor visa. We principally work with the E-2 investor visa. We’re headquartered in Miami, Florida, with offices across the United States as well as Latin America and Turkey. We’ve been doing this for a few years now. We work with roughly 80 brands where we’ve analyzed over 850 franchises and independent businesses thus far. We’ve worked with clients from over 30 different countries. And internally we speak Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, in order to cater to our clients that have come from all over the world and they wanna move to the U.S. through the franchise investment that will qualify for an investor visa.
Our background before starting Visa Franchise was in the investor immigration space as well as the franchising world. In particular, I was at Restaurant Brands International headquartered in Miami, Florida where I did investor relations, global financing, global development for the BURGER KING and Tim Horton’s brands before leaving to start Visa Franchise alongside my brother and business partner, Patrick Findaro.
Here’s a very quick summary on who we are, what we do. Again, we specialize in working with foreign nationals seeking the E-2 or E-1, EB-5 investor visa. Our work is very predicated based off of the profile of our client. So, what we do is we do a very client-specific search in order to find the best opportunities for that specific client. What we do is we take into consideration a number of different factors where the client wants to live, type of industry that they’re interested in, how much they wanna invest, the type of investor visa they want to go for, etc., etc., in order to find the best franchise investment for them. And work with our clients throughout the whole process up until they make the investment decision regarding the franchise and they obtain their investor visa. Here’s a quick snapshot of our contact in case you wanna reach out after this webinar if you have any questions directly for Visa Franchise.
Now, with that, I’m very happy to turn over to Rich Helm who will be presenting on the Office Pride franchise opportunity.
Rich: Okay. Making sure everybody can hear me okay. Thank you, Jack and Patrick, for the intro and covering some of the background on you guys. What we wanted to do today… First, welcome everybody. We really appreciate you being able to take the time out with us today. And what we’ll do is share a good detailed business overview of Office Pride, our business system to support how it works with E-2, and of course as they mentioned, we’ll cover any of your questions towards the end.
My role with Office Pride is all of our brand new franchise development throughout the U.S. So, currently we only offer franchises throughout the U.S. We’ve got future plans to possibly expand into Canada and Mexico but just here for now. So, we’ve started working with E-2 candidates not only with Jack and Patrick’s group but for probably about the last year or so we’ve got five E-2 franchisees on board and look forward to more. So, with that, what I would like to do is get started and go through, kind of, the details. Give me a second here.
Okay. So, what we’ll do here is just, kind of, start with the process. We would initially begin with a discovery call and through that discovery call we’ll get on to a webinar very similar to this. And we would go through the details of the business model and, kind of, make sure you have a clear understanding of everything. As Jack and Patrick might discuss with you prior to contacting us, it is a process, so these steps are important for everybody, and as we go through them we mutually go through and agree to go to the next step. And once we get to step seven, I’ll cover here today what happens as you become a new franchisee with us.
And that step one can take as much time as you need. We go at your schedule. We don’t have a schedule to do this. We basically take the time that you need with each step, some need more, others need less, but we have plenty of flexibility there. Once we get through the understanding of how the model works, we would move to step two, which is our franchise application, basic information about yourself, some real simple financials. And then we also have you complete a spot on assessment, which helps us give better insight for both of us to see if we’re a good fit and a good match moving forward.
Once we’re complete with those two. In step two, we would [inaudible 00:06:43] Franchise Disclosure Document which is an FDD. Jack and Patrick would probably have briefed you on how this works and why that’s required here in the U.S. We have the Federal Trade Commission that requires all franchises, whether it’s us or any other brand to provide this disclosure document and it tells you pretty much everything about us, how long we’ve been in business, our executive team. It’s got the investment in a breakdown, all the fees, all of our franchisees past and present are listed in there, and a lot of other information. So, it’s a long document, but it will give you the details that you need at that step.
And once that’s complete, we would set up a call, review questions, kind of go through anything that might come up in your FDD review. And then we would go to step four, which is validation. So, we’re gonna have you reach out and speak to some of our franchisees direct, and hopefully what they can do is confirm all the things we’ve been covering up until that time. The validation calls are a very important step in the process. It, kind of, gives you a chance to put yourself in the shoes of an owner and talk to them about their business, how long it took them to ramp up, how much money they’re making, what their average account is worth, what kind of support they’re getting, all those kinds of things. So, there are certain things that we can talk about, but we are restricted here by certain FTC regulations where the franchisees can share everything about the business and their experience.
And at the same time, we do step five, which is called the candidate approval or a mutual validation. So, as you’re checking out us, we wanna check out you. We would do an international background check. In your case, if you had references in the U.S., we’d request contact information and reach out to them. And then we have, kind of, an internal pre-approval before you would come in for discovery day, which is step six. So, at this point, we’ve been back and forth whether it be video conference, conference calls, certainly email, text, whatever, but then we’ll invite you to come in and meet us face to face. After all, we’ll be partnering for the next 10 years, and we wanna be able to meet with you. You’ll have a chance to meet our entire executive team, all the support staff, and you’ll meet the actual people that will be working with you as you get started in our business. So, again, a pretty important step.
Once the discovery day is done, we have an internal candidate approval process. And as we go through that process with you, here steps one through seven, we’ll, kind of, cover what they are. And then once approved as a candidate, we would then execute the franchise agreement. Typically, there is when the franchise fee is paid, and then we would start onboarding. Now, in the E-2 visa case, once the franchise agreement is signed, what we do here, it’s a limited onboarding to get you started to help you fulfill the requirements for immigration and we’ll work closely with you, with Visa Franchise as well with your immigration attorney to make sure that you can fulfill all those requirements. We can assist with a lot of those. So, we’re familiar with the process and we’re familiar with what you’ll need.
So, that, kind of, brings us to step seven. After step seven is really time to move forward to getting your E-2 approval and your interview. And then once you have a date that you would actually relocate here to the U.S., then we could get your schedule for training and I’ll cover the training here today. Okay?
So, just who are we? Who is Office Pride? We’re nationwide. We’re faith-based, we’re a franchise here that exists really to equip people to build a profitable business that honors God. So, it’s not a small opportunity. We have a model in place that can help you scale and grow with no limits. So, it’s not limited. It is B2B, which is business to business. So, we don’t work at the retail or consumer level. Our franchisees provide top quality commercial cleaning, and that’s at a frequency of one to seven times a week. And then we also do total floor care that’s a little bit more intermittent. You might have a small team that would rotate amongst your customer base. And we deliver this in a very professional and consistent way. It’s done through our commitment to honesty, integrity, and hard work. So, you’ll hear those words often. It’s part of our core values, which I’ll speak about coming up here. But this is important on how we work with you as a partner with us and how you work with your customers, your vendors, and your employees.
We are recognized here in the U.S. as one of the most advanced and admired in the commercial cleaning service industry. We were founded in 1992 and we began franchising in 1996. So, it took us four years to come up with the concept and make sure it was something that was franchisable, and you as a new franchise owner with us, you get to plug into those 25 years of experience.
So, our mission statement and core beliefs is here. I will read through our mission statement. But I do want to go through the core beliefs. These are important eight of them. Again, it’s all about how we treat you as a partner with us and how you treat your vendors, customers at your end as a business owner. So, first, we honor God. Second, we always do what’s right. Third, we increase the brand value at every level. You do that as an individual franchise owner. And we do that regionally with other owners, and of course nationally with the system. We demonstrate honesty, integrity, and hard work ethic. You hear those words again. Go the extra mile, total customer satisfaction, and persevere with a servant’s attitude, and accountability to commitments.
So, that accountability goes both ways. It’s our accountability to you, right? We’re gonna make an obligation with you as partners and then you’ll have accountability with us to make sure that you’re growing, and bringing on new business, and being able to operate the franchise system efficiently.
So, a quick background on us, a timeline. Again, we started in ’92, founded by Todd Hopkins, franchising in ’96. In 2008, I’ll talk in the next slide about an organization here called the FBR. That is the Franchise Business Review. What they do is come into the franchises throughout the U.S., all different systems, interview the owners, and then they make those results public as a survey through the Franchise Business Review. That’s, kind of, like a third-party validation for us. We have great participation amongst our franchise base, so the results are pretty encouraging for us.
So, we started to be ranked with them in 2008. We’ve been in their top 50 since. In 2010, we hit a milestone of 100 franchise units throughout the U.S. And in 2014, we became one of their top 100 for veterans and franchising for transitioning vets here in the U.S. And then last year, we became part of their Hall of Fame, and current this year, 2018, we’re on track. Again, we have about 137 franchises throughout the U.S.
Just a quick slide of some of our accolades. Every franchise has them. We’re obviously no exception there. Again, the FBR Gator, which is a large franchise portal. And then we were also ranked again this year in the Entrepreneur top 500. The FBR that I mentioned, this is just a snapshot of how our review looks. So, us as an organization, we’re focused on really the happiness, the success, efficiency, profitability of our franchisees. So, this represents the feedback, and we’re laser focused on that, and again, our relationship with you and your growth.
So, we’re ranked here again by our franchisees in leadership, core values, our community, the financial opportunity, general satisfaction, and just an overall score. So, our numbers are on the top in color. The benchmark which is on the bottom is the average throughout the franchise industry. So, this is, kind of, a ranking on how we fit in franchising. And we’ve tracked above in every category here in our most recent surveys. We’re, kind of, proud of that. We’re number one among commercial cleaning franchises, number three in the cleaning and maintenance category, and then number six for what we consider large franchise systems, 130 to 300 units. And then again back in 2008, we became part of their top 50. And we were number 29 this year.
So, a little bit about the industry. It’s huge. There’s no small market for us that’s too small. That number is probably conservative. It’s probably a lot higher than that, but it’s a $78 billion industry here. It’s a service that businesses can’t give up. It’s recession resistant, and I’ll show you how we prove that when we did have a recession back in 2008/2009 in our system-wide performance numbers. So, our business owners have got to keep their business clean no matter what. And it’s a very established industry. So, as you look at franchising in general, there’s pizza, fitness, home health care. Jack and Patrick are familiar with all of them. You might even explore some of those. There’s tons. This space is very established. It’s not going anywhere. You’ll need staff in order to grow and that can never be replaced. So, we can’t be outsourced. You can’t send it out of the country. So, that industry is here to stay. So, there’s some stability to that. Is it competitive? Yes, we have tons of competitors. As we go through the process, we’ll talk about our unique differentiators and we will actually address your local market concerns as you consider a franchise with us.
Here’s just a quick pictorial of, kind of, what we do clean, some things not in there might be a stadium or an arena, a regional hospital, manufacturing. But that’ll, kind of, give the idea, pretty much anything but a residence.
A couple interesting stats here in the U.S. There’s the BSCAI which is our governing body for the service industry here. Their stats show one in three businesses will change their commercial cleaning every year just for the dissatisfaction and the quality of service. So, what we’re supposed to be doing in the first place, the industry bar is pretty low and we know a third of that market is gonna be a bit available every year. So, we target against that as well as other factors when we look at your market areas. Also, on the retention side, it’s about 6 and 10. So, for every 10 customers you bring on new, the industry average is about keeping 6 of them long term. We’re always shooting for about a 90% retention rate. As our franchises get bigger, that retention rate goes higher. So, just some interesting telling statistics about the industry.
So, a couple advantages that set us apart. Our model is in place to help you succeed. We can sustain again in any size market, but we’re gonna train you in every aspect of the business. So, that’s gonna include your planning, budgeting, the customer development, lead generation, all the sales as well as operations, right, which will include all your hiring, training, attracting the right employees, keeping them. And then, again, servicing your accounts, equipment, supplies, the whole upside. So, it’s pretty much everything that you’d be responsible for in the industry. There’s some franchises that offer maybe a portion and maybe just the cleaning. They’ll get the accounts for you. That’s where we differentiate.
So, if we look at number two there, the target market. Again, with such a large industry, we target the small to medium-sized buildings, more profitable, they add to our retentions. It doesn’t mean you couldn’t get something larger, but there’s so much business out there that, again, we focus on what we know works. So, that’s our sweet spot. Again, we do train you in the entire sales process. This way, you own the customers, they’re not ours. So, if you bring on a customer day-one, that customer is part of your franchise, you own them. It’s part of your equity and your growth. So, we build that foundation and go from there. So, what we’re really good at is helping you scale that business and grow. And again, you can scale our model with no limits.
For your customers, there’s no contracts, no long-term commitments in the industry. Sometimes it’s the 12 or 24-month commitment. What we do is we give them a price guarantee for 12 months and then they can cancel within 30 days’ notice anytime. So, what that does, it helps keep us honest as an owner. It adds to our retentions because we’re really paying attention to the business. And really, that’s how we earn that business every month. So, it’s two way. Also what that does is it brings the barrier of entry for new customers lower, so it makes it easier for them to come on board. So, it’s not a huge commitment. You can walk into a potential customer, maybe developing the relationship with them. They really have nothing to lose. It’s only 30 days. And again, with our retention is once we bring them on, we’re gonna keep them long term.
So, a couple other…these are just some other highlights. We’ve touched on some. So, we’re actually at about 137. We do validate very well no matter what franchises you call in our system. We have an impressive item 19. Jack and Patrick might have covered… We covered that with you in the beginning, but we do offer 9 to 19, we’ll cover that here today, which is our financial performance. Zero debt, which means we don’t owe anybody as an organization. It adds to the stability of the franchise, as well as we have zero lawsuits in the U.S. It’s unheard of not only in our industry, but it’s rare in franchising.
We have a very authentic and reliable support team that you’ll meet on discovery day. We have robust and comprehensive technology for you to operate the business. And then unlimited resources that are being updated every day. Again, it’s B2B, easy to learn, operate, and grow. Initially, it can be home-based. Now with the E-2, you would be required to have an office space, it’d have to be a business space. We can assist with that. We would discuss that early on. There’s lots of simple small options that would fulfill that. Your immigration attorney with us, Jack and Patrick at Visa Franchise, we help you with that.
So, it’s a quick start. We have a very fast ramp up. It’s a relatively low investment and low operating overhead. Very predictable recurring revenue, scalable, and sustainable any market. Again, 25 years. We do the billing and collections for you essentially. I’ll talk about that in detail coming up. You’ll be able to leverage our vendor group for purchasing equipment and supplies. You plug right into them, you deal direct, you buy direct, and you benefit from the price savings that we’ve got with the contracts with these vendors. And then complete marketing support including a website, all the collateral material, there’s SEO, public relations, and more.
So, what I like to cover here next is our business system. So, we’ve got a, kind of, like a large soccer ball. What I’m gonna do here today is cover each one briefly, just to give you a feel for the two halves of the business, how we get you set up to plan and get into the business on the right foot. And then when you come in for discovery day, we actually go into these each one in a lot more detail and give you a better sense for how everything works.
So, we start out with our franchise vision plan. What this is, is a detailed map for you to start out. In any business, some of you might be business owners currently or have owned the business in the past. You have to plan things out in order to get started otherwise you’re not gonna be sure what to do step one, day one as you ramp up. So, this plan is very detailed. It forces you to look at every detail of the business and every aspect, and it’ll basically put together, kind of, like a step-by-step for you to get going. And then on the accountability side, we hold you to that. So, we’ll work together with you with our business coaching, but that vision plan is important. If you don’t like details and you don’t like putting plans like this together, it might be a little bit more challenging, but again, it’s necessary, it forces you to look at every aspect of the business.
So, the first part is what we call FasTRACK to Profit. What we’re gonna do is start to set up milestones in the business and it starts to put together the basics for the plan. Those milestones will include your financial goals for revenue on a monthly basis. So, we’ll start out and we’ll put a milestone in there for, let’s say, USD 5,000 a month, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000, and even up to 100,000 a month. So, you’re gonna know exactly when you’re gonna hit those numbers as part of the plan and then we’ll start to backfill and fill that plan in with the other areas. The other thing that can be included in this plan might be expanding into a new office and making that investment. It might be investing into a vehicle, a small transit van. It might be bringing on a salaried employee for operations or sales. But based on our experience, we know where your revenue needs to be and we’ll assist with that. It will be part of the plan, and you’ll know exactly when that’s gonna happen.
The second would be lead generation or LGAP or Lead Generation Action Plan. This is gonna define all the activities to really start to fill the pipeline of where your customers are gonna come from. A lot of those activities they’re gonna include things like networking, SEO or Search Engine Optimization, telemarketing, and more. And this will allow you to effectively reach out to local markets and start to… We want you to dominate something that’s very local first so you can expand out into a larger area later. And then, now you’ve got a pipeline filled with customers. It’s nothing tricky. We have the tools and the processes, the systems in place to help you do this, but it’s up to you as the business owner to execute. So, again, every aspect of the business you’ll be in execution mode.
Once you’ve got leads, now what we wanna do is we want to convert the highest number possible into profitable long-term customers. We’ve got a very simple system for sales, very low key. They love our culture here. It’s not a high-pressure sale. But we go through this with you in training when you come in for training, and we actually work with you side by side, and we send out a certified trainer. I’ll cover that later on onboarding. But sales process is pretty simple. It’s all about customer development and relationships, networking. And then the other part would be your SEO, telemarketing, and other proactive activities.
So, as you’re growing and bringing on new customers, now we have to service them. So, the operations sides can sometimes be a little bit daunting. Again, we have an operations management system in place to help you overcome a lot of those challenges. So, we wanna keep you focused on growth and we’ve got systems in place to help you focus on that and make it more efficient to operate the business and grow. We accomplish this through our in-depth classroom training when you come into Tampa. That’s a week.
You’ll have access to certified trainers. We have our Office Pride University. You’ll be part of vision groups where you’ll meet once a month and discuss challenges, talk about growth and progress. And it’ll be a group of your peers starting around the same time. You can jump on to online forums. We have business coaching, which is part of our support staff here. And this, kind of, all makes up that OMS system, and again, it uncomplicates the operation side. Also included there would be the Human Resources part, where to find employees, how to attract and hire them, and then how to train them to work at that front level for cleaning.
Just a quick organizational charts, kind of, what it looks like. We want you to be in the gray box. And you might start someplace over here first, but our system is set up so you can scale and grow. Remember, that’s what we’re good at. We’re helping you grow the business, and then eventually you would start to add personnel up at the full time, part or full-time level. And then again, we wanna help keep you focused on growth. But just an example of that organizational chart.
The last part is the tech advantage or the Vine. This is the platform you’ll have access to, to operate and run the business, and really access the majority of the information for your business. It’s pretty robust. When you come in for discovery day, we give you a behind-the-scenes look at that and we, kind of, cover that detail and show you how that works. It’s pretty cool. I could never do it justice on a webinar, but it’s called the Vine. Again, you’ll have your… We call it a sales amplifier. It’s your customer management system to be able to communicate with everybody, all your marketing tools, training videos, materials or online stores there, online support, forums, all of that. And again, it can be accessed from any device 24/7, or web-based.
Another interesting component which we find real attractive for E-2 candidates is the ThinkHR. So, as you relocate to the United States, what we do is we prefer to have you come and work within what we call an area developers area. We’ll talk about that later. And as you inquire to discuss the business with us, we’ll cover what those markets are. But the ThinkHR will give you access to your local employment laws that are pertinent for your state. So, let’s say if you were to relocate to Florida, the employment laws are different. If you relocated to California, those laws are different. So, the ThinkHR gives access to all those laws state by state. We can never track and keep track of them all in one spot. So, it’s an additional layer of support for you. And then also, through that, you can, again, get updates on compliance news, you can build a job description, maybe if you’re looking for a sales manager or operations manager, you can find out what they’re paying locally and also determine what that description might look like so you can benchmark their salary as well. Build employee handbooks. There’s 200 training videos and just really a plethora of information. It’s a great access and that’s really through a third-party and you can access that through the Vine.
So, when earlier on we talked about the seven steps, once the agreement’s signed, this is kinda where we pick up. So, this is an important slide. It covers really how the business starts, and what do we do with you in the beginning because right now you’re probably thinking, “Where do my customers come from? What do I do first? How do I get customers? How fast can I get them? How fast can I build and grow?” So, as we go through the process, we’ll get all those questions answered, but here’s where we really address those things.
So, once you sign the agreement, again, with the E-2 process there’s limited onboarding. But we will get to all of that onboarding as you relocate to the U.S. to get started in your city. And it’s a total of about three weeks. Yours will take a little bit longer. It’s where we get things set up. We get your business cards ordered, our PR firm will come out, they’ll start to do a profile on you and your business, will then give a checklist that kicks in. And the second item there is you’ll be assigned a dedicated business coach, which is really gonna be what we call an area developer. So, they are local. They’ll be able to work with you side by side in addition to the support that we offer through our Tampa Support Center. So, two real important things there. So, that, we’ll walk through you…walk that checkbox list with you and make sure we get prepped the right way.
So, once that coach is assigned and we got that onboarding going, we’re gonna schedule you for training. And that’s again, gonna be after your visa is approved and you’ve scheduled to relocate, we would get you scheduled into the next training class. We got one coming up in August. The next one after that would be October. Right now we do four a year, so it’s once every quarter. And again, we get to schedule the next one. It’s one week. It’s in Palm Harbor, 8:30 till about 4:35 every day. We cover all the details both the sales and the operations side. So, we go through everything.
And then we send you back home, we give you a week. And then we’re gonna send out either the area developer or a certified trainer is gonna come work with you side-by-side and start to work on the sales process. And part of that, we’re gonna telemarket and set up some appointments for some local potential customers that are interested in new services, and then our certified coach or area developer will work with you, will go in and visit with these potential customers. Our objective obviously is to get your first account that week. We don’t guarantee that will happen, but more important, it gets you comfortable with our sales process and in working with the customer development side.
So, we do that for a week with you. It’s actually about four days. And then once you’ve got customers, we’ll schedule another certified trainer, where the area developer will work with you in your market area on operational support. So, that’s gonna be now you got customers, now we wanna service them. It might be on interviewing, hiring, training, actually servicing the account and working with the supplies, equipment, things like that. So, again, we would work with you side-by-side. The third in-market visit, again, with your certified trainer or the area developer would be for additional financial management planning. We might start to address challenges, tweak some things, make some changes. But again, we wait a little while for that appointment and that visit with you. We wanna, kind of, get you up and running on both the sales and the operations side.
I mentioned earlier, you’ll be part of a vision group. They meet once a week. It’s a video conference similar to the way I am here. It gives you a great chance to interact with all the other franchisees that are at your kind of same level. So, if you are a startup, you’ll be with others that are maybe in business a year or maybe no more than two years. Then we re-evaluate those groups and you would move up as you would grow.
We offer regional and annual conferences. The regional growth conferences are one or two times a year. And our annual retreat is once a year. It’s coming up in September. It’ll be in San Antonio, Texas. It’s a great event. Don’t miss it. It’s where all the franchisees come into one location, more training, we have breakout sessions. We bring in guest speakers. It’s an awesome opportunity to network with not only us and your support team, other franchisees and vendors are all there.
Your business coach will each month set up a business plan review. We’re gonna actually work very close with you in the beginning pretty much on a daily basis, but as we move forward, that business coach or your area developer will work with you on that business plan. So, we go back to that vision plan we set up, and then we make sure we’re on track. So, we’re gonna look at the numbers, what do we have to do to change or modify what we’re doing to get to those numbers? So, again, it all comes back to that accountability that we covered early on. Okay?
The picture here is us. We’re on the second floor. We’re quickly expanding and we’ll probably grow out of that facility over the next year, maybe two years. So, everything’s in one roof. If you’re coming to the discovery day, everything’s there. Support Center training is done there, everything.
So, I mentioned before about billing and collections. We do this for you centrally. So, if you were to come on board today and let’s say you got your first customer, you’d enter their information one time on the Vine, right, the platform. And then once you submit that along with the amount for the monthly invoice, that goes up to our billing and collections team which is in Indianapolis, Indiana. We have four full-time people there. That’s all they do. We process over 13,000 invoices a month. They do a phenomenal job. In the beginning, if you’ve got a customer, half a dozen customers, it’s not that big of a task. But that’s really there for the growth. And that, again, frees you up so you can, again, focus on moving your franchise forward on growth and expanding.
So, what we do there, you will have access to all the information on the Vine in your franchise section. So, you can look at who’s been invoiced, who’s paid, who’s coming up. You can watch cash flow. It’s really cool. And we’ll track that 30, 60, and 90 days. And then on your behalf, we make all the collection efforts to make sure that the bills get paid. And then we reconcile once a week. Then the following week on Fridays we direct-deposit your business account any invoices that were paid the week before. Okay?
Service is one additional fee. It’s $35 a week whether you’ve got 1 or 1,000 invoices. And again, on the billing and collections, you work direct. So, you’ll work with the representatives direct. We realize that you’ve got the relationship with the customers, so if somebody gets stretched out a little bit we’ll communicate with you and you might have to intervene there a little bit. Okay.
So, I mentioned before, what I like to do is just cover the numbers. This is pretty telling, the numbers speak for themselves, but we’re proud of these. This has been our growth over the last 25 years. So, back in ’92 when we started, we’ve had very steady year over year growth. I mentioned about recession resistance, which we can prove that right here in the U.S. where we experienced a pretty tough recession. I know Jack and Patrick remember and anybody else that’s maybe been here in that time. So, we leveled off a little bit and then we came back with some vengeance growth after that really. So, over the last 5 years, we’ve grown more than 20% system-wide every year and we’re on track to do that again this year. So, last year, system-wide, we were just over 43 million in gross sales.
Let me just get to the next. So, when we look at average franchise performance, this is our historical gross sales average. The government requires us to put the median in, which is the red number. So, that’s the middle number. Then the blue represents the average total franchise revenue divided by the total number of franchisees. And on average, our franchisees’ gross revenue a year is a little over USD 400,000. So, if you look down below here, there’s a range. We still honor agreements from the early ’90s. We’ve got some part-timers in the system. That’s where some of the lower numbers come in. Our largest franchise is in Huntsville, Alabama and they’re at just over 3.6 million, one franchise unit. When you engage with us in the beginning we’ll be able to get to this information so you can, kind of, review that in detail as well.
What we look at here are the quarters and…the quartiles, rather. Again, the red is our bottom quartile, I would love to just give you the good news, but there are four quartiles in our performance. So, again, a lot of that some of our part-timers maybe some that have been in business maybe a few years, slower starts, but our average franchise which is in blue, and that represents our top 25% are averaging just over a million dollars a year in revenue.
Next on the numbers and probably more important, right, you can have revenue but you have to be able to have a margin or profit. And what we average throughout our system is a 36.36 gross profit margin. So, our COGS or Cost of Goods, most of that number is gonna be your staff. The balance is made up of the others, and we’ll talk about that on the next sheet. But again, when we look back at these numbers here, those are all again at a gross profit average of 37.36.
And then as part of the validation when you start to talk with some of our franchisees, we’re gonna get you this financial worksheet. It’s blank. We’d love to give it to you filled out, but the FTC restricts us. The gray boxes is what you can start filling in numbers based on our item 19 and the feedback you get from other franchisees, and then you can start to look at financial scenarios for your market area. And as you move through on this sheet, it lists all of the fixed expenses for the business and all of the variable expenses that you can expect. Now, these might not all apply to you in the beginning, but eventually, most of them will. And again, we’ll get you that worksheet during validation.
So, the last part of the numbers is our investment and recurring fees. When you work with Patrick and Jack, and if you engage with us, every franchise here in the U.S. has got what’s called an initial franchise fee, and then there’s a total investment number. So, our investment ranges from little under $60,000 U.S., up to $107,000 plus, included in that number is our $35,000 franchise fee. Okay. Now, we like to see franchisees come in with a number closer to $85,000 and about $50,000 of that is working capital. Now, you might not need all that working capital. What that does is that makes sure that we have a good cushion, your back is not up against the wall. We put you in a situation that might become tight at some point.
So, in addition to that $85,000, depending on the markets, sometimes we require with E-2 candidates an additional investment on the lead generation side. And we’ll talk about that if you engage with us and we would work that out as part of that investment. And then, in addition, we wanna make sure that you’re covered with you and your family. So, we wanna make sure that you’ve got six to nine months of personal living expenses. So, as you relocate here, whether it’s rent, if you purchase a house, a mortgage, anything like that, utilities, food, all those things that are incorporated into your personal expenses, we wanna make sure that you’re covered for that as well. So, we wanna be good stewards of your money as well as the investment that you make with us.
So, on the recurring fees, in franchising, they can range from 3% up as high as 15%. Ours is at 9% of your gross volume in revenue. And then we have rebates in place as an incentive for you to grow. So, with that 9%, what we do is once you hit a revenue threshold of $50,000 a month revenue, we rebate 1% at the end of the month, and then once you hit $100,000 in revenue, we rebate 2%. So, that 9% could go to 7%. It’s not static. And franchising, in general, that’s unheard of. Very few franchises will rebate any of the royalty. We actually have that in place as an incentive for you.
On top of that, would be a 1% ad fund. And I’ll cover here in the next last section of marketing what exactly is covered in that 1%. And then I mentioned before about the $35 a week for billing and processing. And then we have $125 a month tech fee, that covers the Vine or your email and print campaign management lead management, online learning library that’s constantly being updated. So, that’s all the technology. And then we have a one-time a year $250 annual retreat fee. Again, that’s our retreat coming up in San Antonio, Texas. If you attend, we send it back to you. So, it’s just an incentive to attend, and then we send that back once you attend.
So, we’ll cover the last section here. Again, I appreciate your patience and your time with us here. So, we’re coming in on a homestretch. So, marketing is the important beginning and ongoing part of any business. So, I mentioned before about a 1% ad fund. And what’s included there would be your collateral material. So, you’re going in to work with customers and we wanna be able to give them something about our business. That collateral material is all designed, printed by us. It’s available through the company store, which is part of the Vine. And as you order that, I believe they are in packs of 100, and as you order there’s no fee for that. It’s included in the 1%. All you’d have to do is pick up the shipping. And again, you can order that right online. We’re actually in the middle of a brand refresh, so these are gonna look a little bit different if you were to come on board with us and get started.
The other thing that’s included in that 1% is the All Points Public Relations firm. So, as you come on board, and part of that onboarding, All Points is gonna do a profile on you and your business, and they’re gonna start to put together press releases. And they’re gonna reach out to all your local media outlets to, kind of, get the word out that your business is coming. So, it’ll help with your lead generation, it’ll help bring visitors that are possible customers to visit your website, make inquiries to call and contact you.
Again, we cover that. It’s covered in this ad fee and you have access to that PR firm for the life of your franchise. So, you might do other things that need public relations in the future, they’ll be there to assist with that. They’re a great resource, you’ll be able to work directly with them, and they’ll develop material specific for you, your market, and for your franchise. So, again, in the beginning as you’re onboarding, they do that. You’re focused on something else, and on growth, and moving the business forward.
So, I mentioned the company store, that’s through the Vine. Additional things can be purchased there. We have everything branded there with Office Pride branding and colors that you can imagine. So, they can also be purchased online as well. We offer telemarketing services. Telemarketing is included with the certified trainer visit or working with your AD. But we also offer that as an additional service. We would cover that if you engage with us kind of on how that works.
The other thing that’s included in your 1% is your website. So, all new franchisees get their own, we call it a microsite. And in order to get people to go there, so a few things that we’re gonna do. So, onboarding, we’re gonna get you a copy of our guidelines for social media, website branding, all those things. And in the social media side, we do have guidelines for that. That includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I think I covered them…plus LinkedIn, which is an important one. We will actually help you get set up with some of those. We can provide the graphics, the branding, all that. Our marketing department will assist with that. So, that’s again, a lot of that’s done and set up in onboarding, but we can do that at some point as you move forward.
So, I wanted to cover the microsite and SEO as the last portion of this. And this leads to SEO which is an additional fee, the microsite, again, all this is included. So, right now if you were to visit officepride.com and if you lived in the U.S., and entered your ZIP code up at the top, what will happen is it will populate a small map locally of your metro area and your location would show up as a green flag. And then over on the left-hand column, they’ll be able to click and visit your site. They’ll be able to come right to your microsite here, which will be branded and flavored really with your local market area.
They can also get your contact information, visit your social media, all those things from here. Once they get to your microsite or your website, they’ll be able to apply for a job, inquire about your services, read about your services, and find out what you offer. Actually, request a bid or a quote. It’s a pretty comprehensive website that we provide for you. And we’re actually in the process of redoing this portion and we’re adding an employment website which is new to engage with us. We’ll talk about those initiatives that we have in place for this year and how that works, and when we’re expected to have them rolled out.
So, you’ll be assigned a URL, which is, kind of, that little thing up in the corner when you search somebody and get to your microsite. So, we obviously own officepride.com. Your microsite would be… I’m gonna take Tampa for an example. You might become officepride.com/northtampa, and that would show up in your microsite, your URL, and then that would be used for SEO, Search Engine Optimization as we start to market for your local market area.
And then on SEO, again, that’s Search Engine Optimization. Today, many of you have probably found things online. We don’t want to miss out there. You’ll have a great website and we wanna be able to drive traffic to that so people can inquire, you can start filling up the lead pipeline, and you can actually start to get employees to start filling out applications online. So, 80% to 85% of the people here will search online first. That SEO is an additional fee. It’s right now, I believe it’s $469 a month. It’s one less thing that you’ve got to worry about, our objective with the SEO company which is a third-party called Curious Chain [SP]. And they’ll come into training, they’ll actually present to you how the SEO program works, the costs that are involved, and moving forward how that will affect your business. So, that way in the beginning, again, you can focus on growth and moving the business forward. Curious Chain will assist with the SEO so we can get you up onto that first page as soon as possible, right? That might take a little bit of time. It varies, but that URL being very local is gonna help you to get there faster.
Okay. Just a quick slide. We participate in the VetFran program for transitioning veterans here. We’re proud of that. We’ve got a few in our system. And it’s pretty cool to be able to give them an opportunity when they come back and come out of the military transitioning.
Okay. We covered a lot. It just went on the hour. So, again, I really appreciate your time and the patience and attention. What I’ll do is maybe come back to Stephanie, or Patrick, or Jack, and check to see if there’s any questions.