You have questions. We have answers.
Q: Are there any monthly royalties or ongoing fees?
A: No. The initial franchise fee is a one-time investment. We do not require any ongoing monthly royalties. A generous percentage of your initial investment actually goes back into supporting your new Made in the Shade start-up package. The only added monthly fee is a very nominal web/email hosting fee, as described in our FDD.
Q: What does this start-up package include?
A: Your start-up package includes a carefully selected sample collection from our name brand manufacturers, a complete set of customized business templates, comprehensive training manuals, Pricing and Reference Guides, a robust, customized local website with full integration to our national website, business cards, access to our full line of pre-designed marketing materials, five days of training at our headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, by our experts and vendor trainers, and numerous other perks.
Q: What samples are included in my franchise package?
A: We are very proud of our Made in the Shade sample package. We provide one of the most generous sample packages than any other franchise in North America. Our extensive window coverings package includes the best selling products from our leading name brand manufacturers. Although we always recommend that you update your samples as new ones are introduced, we provide you with a large enough assortment to successfully jumpstart and operate your business without any additional upfront investment.
Q: What about a protected territory?
A: This is another bonus we offer. Instead of eliminating territorial restrictions, which allows fellow MITS dealers to potentially be your direct competitors, you will be awarded an exclusive working territory. Your clearly defined, protected area will make geographical sense to you, ensuring your competitive edge in your marketplace.
Q: How much start-up capital will I need?
A: Most of your start-up business expenses have been covered by your one-time fee, as presented in our FDD. The only other start-up expenses you may incur will include things such as registration fees within your state/province, a business license, general liability insurance, basic tools, office equipment, vehicle wrap, etc.
Q: What does your training session include?
A: Our comprehensive training session is designed for those who have never sold window coverings. NO DESIGN OR SALES EXPERIENCE REQUIRED! In fact, some of our most successful dealers had no prior experience in the window covering and/or design industry. During this training, we educate you on our various product lines, how to market your business and generate leads, how to go on a sales call, how to measure, basic installation, how to price jobs, how to determine profit margins, how to place orders, close sales, etc. It is a hands-on, comprehensive session, complete with training materials and interactive presentations. The group interaction alone is a valuable resource, as ideas and techniques are frequently shared.
Q: Do you provide the documents/bookkeeping tools we will need to operate our business?
A: YES! We have designed a complete set of customized business templates for you with all the documents you will need to successfully operate your business – measuring sheet, contract/proposal, invoice, letterhead and envelope, fax cover sheet, job cost figuring sheet, profit margin statement, etc. These documents will be personalized with all your contact information, along with our trademarked logos.
Q: Do I need to rent a car for training?
A: Only if you wish to take in the sights of our beautiful city at night! Otherwise, you will only be responsible for your transportation to and from the airport. Since our training will be hosted at the hotel in which our new owners will be lodging, there is no need for additional travel arrangements. We will provide transportation for any training-related outings during the week.
Q: What about advertising materials? Are we required to purchase them through you?
A: For your convenience and marketing success, we have a complete branding and marketing package available. Printed materials may be ordered through our in-house print provider. You will have direct access to an impressive and robust assortment of pre-designed ad/marketing resources. We have negotiated the most competitive printing rates for top-quality designs and materials. Our business cards, brochures, and other marketing tools continue to receive the accolades of many!
Q: Do I have to use the Made in the Shade Blinds and More name for my business?
A: Since we are a franchise, we do require the use of our branded name and logos. We are proud of our great name and receive many consumer and industry compliments on such a trusted, household name! You will have full access to our trademarked logo and all of our branded advertising and marketing materials.
Q: How do I get paid?
A: The simplest way is for the franchisee to collect directly from his or her client and pay the manufacturers directly for materials, as well as associated labor costs. As a MITS franchisee, you control the sale, the discount you give your client and the profit you earn! We teach you in training how to price your jobs effectively to maximize profits. Our standard client policy is 50% down at the time the order is placed and the balance upon completion of the install. Often times, this 50% deposit covers the cost of your upfront wholesale purchases.
Q: Is there any ongoing training after the initial training?
A: YES! Because we value the importance of continuing education, we are committed to educate our franchisees through our highly esteemed MITS Mentor Program, extended vendor training, online training, new product introductions, market trends, exclusive webinars, email updates, and our own private interactive, online forum. We also host an annual MITS Conference, which is the perfect setting to connect with other franchise owners and share valued best practices.
Q: Do you require a retail showroom?
A: We do not require the use of a showroom. Our home-based, mobile showroom concept is a successfully proven model that eliminates the need for inventory and retail showroom expenses. Because we promote and endorse a shop-at-home, complimentary design consultation, we bring the showroom to the client. However, we have approved the option of expanding to a retail storefront for a few of our franchise owners who have chosen to pursue this direction.
Q: How will I know that I can be competitive in my marketplace?
A: This is one of our most attractive perks in being a Made in the Shade franchise owner. Our high volume of sales allows us the deepest discounts offered in the industry. We pass these savings directly on to you, so that you can be extremely competitive in your market against local competitors and the home improvement big box stores. You will begin your new business with the best discounts offered by our vendors. This competitive advantage would normally take you hundreds of thousands in volume or many years in the industry to achieve on your own.
Q: How will I locate and attract clients?
A: There are multitudes of proven marketing and sales methods to meet with qualified prospects and generate leads. This will be covered in our comprehensive training session. As your customer base grows, your best advertising is free: REFERRALS from your satisfied clients!
Q: What separates Made in the Shade from the other franchises or buying groups?
A: Along with our deep discounts, internationally branded name and strong vendor alliances, our greatest advantage is the ongoing sales and marketing support that we provide our franchisees with no added monthly fees or royalties. We pride ourselves in our customer service to our owners to ensure their ongoing success. We also offer special promotions and incentives, which are exclusive to our MITS franchisees as additional bonuses. You owe it to yourself when you research your options to ask existing franchise owners how well they are serviced after their initial sign-up and training!
Q: May I speak with existing franchisees?
A: Absolutely! Please contact us for franchise references and contact information.
If you'd like to speak to someone immediately,
please call Eddie Miller:
Eleven years ago, I looked into numerous opportunities in the window treatment business. Being very weary of making a mistake, I did much homework on what I thought was the best route to take. After my due diligence was completed, I decided on Made in the Shade as the best choice. It offered me the […]