News Column

Franchising Profile: American Wholesale Thermographers, Inc.

Nov 6 2000 4:00PM
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Wholesale business providing raised-lettering printed materials to retail printers, copy centers, postal centers, printing brokers and office supply super stores. Challenging, fast paced fun business.

A dynamic proprietary automated workflow system allows 24-hour turnaround on orders. Your management and people skills are transferable. The retailer takes order from a catalog which the local American Wholesale Thermographers (AWT) supplies. AWT runs a daily route to pick up and deliver orders or accepts orders by mail, fax and electronically.

Key Advantage: Wholesale business with no retail

Investment: Suggested minimum cash required: $90,000. Total investment $357,395 to $380,895. Franchisor provides interest free loan on $25,000 of the franchise fee, no amortization, repayment based on 1% of sales up to $25,000 a month, 2% of sales over $25,000 a month. Incentives offered to forgive portions of principal due.

Royalty: 7% with royalty cap when paid on time, no advertising fees

Training: 81 hours of classroom, 48 hours on site at an existing AWT. Lodging, continental breakfast and lunch provided weekdays during initial 2-week training. Ongoing workshops and conferences.

Special Franchisee Experience Requirements: Typically coming from mid to senior level operations or production corporate management, people interaction skills, and fun, happy easy to get along-with personality.

States NOT registered in and/or available to offer in: HI, MD, ND. RI, SD, IA, UT


Pre-Opening: Market analysis, assistance with site research (visit to market to review with owner included), review of business lease with recommendations made, space planning layout, assistance evaluating contractors to do the buildout, assistance with securing financing using a loan packager and introduction to lenders that we have a relationship with, setting up the store, installation visit for equipment and computers set up. Assistance recruiting, qualifying, hiring of staff for store, assistance with printing of catalogs for customer use in taking orders.

Opening: 1-week visit to the store to help owner set up his first route, 12 mailings to 500 contacts in the local market for 12 months. Training of staff regarding procedures, workflow, working out any challenges. $155 a month reimbursement to have a CPA to prepare financial statements for six months.

Ongoing: 3-day visit after being open 6 weeks and another after being open 4 months. Workshops and seminars at our 117-acre campus are going on monthly. Toll free support line, Intranet to connect to database of resources and vendors. Review and analysis of financial statements, batch purchasing, annual conference with trade show, owner focus groups, technical support, evaluation of new equipment, computer support, monthly Action Call from our support staff and much more. Direct mail and mailing list services provided.

Location: Industrial or commercial location (non-retail), close to main north/south and east/west arteries 2,000 to 3,000 square feet.

Site Size: 2,500 to 4,000 square feet

Site finding: Combined effort, franchisor and franchisee

Lease Negotiations: By franchisee after extensive review by franchise services and legal departments with detailed points to be addressed with the premises Lessor.

Leasehold Improvement Supervision: By franchisee

Market demographics: Determined By (in part):

Number of print shops, copy shops, postal centers, and office supply companies
Number of stated potential customers in adjoining markets
Projected growth of the market
Accessibility to the market by roads and highways, north/south and east/west

Demographics: Provided by franchisor

Advertising Fees: None collected

Company Founded: 1980

Started franchising: 1981

Total units as of 08/11/00: 18

Company owned: 0

Operating: 18

Address: 12715 Telge Road, Cypress, Texas 77429

Contact: Bob Dolan, Phone: 888.280.2053, Fax: 281.256.4178



Source: Hispanic Business

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