From the July 1998 issue of Startups

Who says an artisan must carry the burden of management, advertising and customer service while still concentrating on quality work? Certa ProPainters is whitewashing this do-it-all-yourself mentality with a painting franchise that puts business in the hands of the businessperson and leaves the skill to the craftsperson.

Franchisees pay $20,000 for an exclusive territory and computer software, and about $15,000 for a van and painting equipment. Annual royalty fees are $9,250 the first year and $12,000 thereafter, and there's a 3-percent advertising fee with a $6,000 cap. Franchisees are taught the ins and outs of paint technology; how to give precise, consistent estimates; and how to hire painters.

After two weeks of training, franchisees receive ongoing support and assistance in a "flying start" program, in which they start out painting home exteriors and move up to more difficult commercial interior jobs.

Certa emphasizes customer serv-ice, say president Charlie Chase and vice president Tom Wood, in an industry that hasn't traditionally put customers first.

For more information, call (800) 452-3782.

Coup's On

Super Coups is growing at a fast clip by offering franchisees the opportunity to start direct-mail coupon services in their areas. "Franchisees do the selling, visit clients, promote the product, and help clients design the coupon and submit the artwork," says Don McKenzie, president of the Avon, Massachusetts, company. "[We create] the artwork and graphics in-house, print everything, insert the postage and mail the coupons."

The $30,000 franchise fee includes a 50,000-person territory, a notebook computer with software, a week of training, ongoing support and publicity on the company's Web site, where visitors can print out online coupons. There's a $14.80 royalty fee per thousand mailings and an advertising fee of no more than $500 per year.

For more information, call (800) 626-2620 or visit http://www.supercoups.com

On Their Toes

By Shara Lessley

Whether children dream of dancing like mechanical soldiers or butterflies, Kinderdance International Inc. can show them how. Using a one-hour program incorporating the basics of ballet, tap, gymnastics and creative movement, Kinderdance franchisees deliver the joy of dance to youngsters in day-care centers across North America.

Few child-care facilities offer dance activities, so Kinderdance teachers are in high demand. "There are so many children in child-care centers whose parents want [them] to take dance or gymnastics," says Kinderdance executive vice president Bernard Friedman.

But Kinderdance doesn't teach movement alone. In addition to the ABCs of dance and gymnastics, students learn shapes, colors, numbers and words.

The Bronze franchising level, designed mainly for those seeking a part-time business, has a $6,500 fee, as well as a 15-percent monthly royalty fee and a 3-percent advertising fee. Because Kinderdance is a homebased franchise and provides franchisees with materials such as music and lesson plans, there are few additional start-up costs.

Kinderdance franchisees receive on-site training, a quarterly newsletter, access to the organization's toll-free hotline and an opportunity to attend the company's annual conference.

For more information, call (800) 554-2334.

Contact Sources

Certa ProPainters, http://www.certapropainters.com

Kinderdance International Inc., kinder@iu.net