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- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
- Initial investment
$36K - $46K
- Units as of 2022
120 10% over 3 years
Discovery Map is a free illustrated map franchise with more than 100 maps in publication across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Established in 1974 and franchising since 1993, the company has dedicated its work to highlighting the best places for tourists—and residents—to eat, take selfies, partake in cultural experiences, and do business.
An ideal Discovery Map franchisee is outgoing, ambitious, detail-oriented, and knows their local territory. Franchisees make their money by selling advertisements that are printed alongside the Discovery Map. Franchisees need to create good community relationships with local businesses to sell ads and distribute the final product.
Why Should You Open a Discovery Map Franchise?
Discovery Map is honest about its previous business practices. The brand knows it has made mistakes along the way and understands the pitfalls of its business. To counteract this, executives came up with solutions to improve its business model and persevere.
In recent years,, Discovery Map has been ranked in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.
Discovery Map gives franchisees the power to operate a fun and creative business while providing the tools and resources to operate. Franchisees will go through classroom training to learn the brand's business model. At these trainings, franchisees may learn marketing and sales strategies, business planning, management, and an overview of the publication process.
What Might Make a Discovery Map Franchise a Good Choice?
Together with Discovery Map, franchisees will look at the desired area's population, tourism economy, competition, and visitor demographics to determine if an area is a possible location for a Discovery Map site. Since Discovery Map is a tourism franchise, franchisees need to be in an excellent location to take advantage of the specific demographic.
The company is aware of the move to go digital. Customers can tour an area guided by one of Discovery Map's audio journeys or download the Discovery Map WebMap. By going digital, people can enjoy the map from their phones. These innovations help to keep the business modern, relevant, and cost-effective.
Startup costs are necessary, along with a franchise fee. If franchisees sign a contract with Discovery Map, a franchise agreement is good for ten years, with options to renew every five years. There is also a royalty fee and an advertising fee. These fees may be on top of regular business operating costs.
How Do You Start a Discovery Map Franchise?
To start the process of becoming a franchisee, it is a good idea to talk to your financial planner and lawyer to be as prepared as possible. Franchisees may need to take a sales aptitude test to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses regarding Discovery Map's franchise standards.
If franchisees pass the aptitude test, the company may invite them to attend a discovery day at Discovery Map headquarters in Waitsfield, Vermont. Becoming a Discovery Map franchisee may allow you the freedom to see new places and spend more time with your family and friends, as it offers absentee, part-time, and home-based ownership options.
About Discovery Map
- Business Services
- Related Categories
- Advertising Services
- Parent Company
- Discovery Map Int'l.
- Peter Hans, President
- Corporate Address
P.O. Box 726
Waitsfield, VT 05673
- Franchising Since
- 1993 (30 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
- # of Units
- 120 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Discovery Map franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $35,950 - $45,950
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Veteran Incentives
- 20% off franchise fee
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
- to 1%
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 10 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- Discovery Map has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- On-The-Job Training
- 8-16 hours
- Classroom Training
- 20-28 hours
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsOnline SupportProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Ad TemplatesSocial MediaSEOWebsite Development
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Discovery Map? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Discovery Map landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Discovery Map ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Discovery Map.
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