The Flower Tent Franchise model is a story of distribution and brand development through franchising. Tom Ansilio developed the Flower Tent model after several business ventures in the restaurant industry, retail and other business ventures. It started as a t-shirt venture selling apparel and other items.
Mr. Ansilio had found that setting up tents in ideal locations with high traffic drove volume and the model had significantly lower overhead than a comparable fixed location retail space would. After some brainstorming and realization that flowers worked and the season was shorter allowing for a work-life balance, the Flower Tent brand was born in 1990.
The Flower Tent Franchise model is a very unique retail model and it took some time to educate the customer as to what the value proposition was. The convenience, fun experience and high quality of the products made this a simple transition as the business grew from several tents to almost 30 company-owned locations in a short time period.
It wasn’t long before the operational issues and employee turnover in retail businesses became a barrier to growth and a detriment to the expansion of the Flower Tent brand. In 2009, Mr. Ansilio franchised the business model in order to overcome the operational complexities inherent in company-owned growth.
Franchise Marketing Systems developed the documentation, infrastructure and marketing model for developing the Flower Tent franchise platform. Through independent business ownership, the franchisees would take on the operational responsibilities and day-to-day franchise management of the business model.
The organization began to franchise in 2009 and has over a short time opened over 120 locations in 9 different states, several franchises with multiple locations. The concept is very straightforward, simple in its operational nature and offers a seasonal franchise opportunity, all of which franchise investors have found very attractive.
By offloading the operational responsibilities to franchisees, Mr. Ansilio was able to focus on strategic initiatives and ways to build the business more effectively.
As the business has grown, so too has the management team and the organizational structure of Flower Tent. Solid legal counsel has been brought in to oversee the compliance side of the franchise, marketing and sales personnel were recruited to support franchise development work, and branding experts provided new looks, materials and websites.
Strategic relationships with marketing and media companies allowed the franchisees to leverage greater buying power and marketing scale. As the organization grew, there was a renewed focus on the retail model and the operations, franchisees’ unit performance has grown and the business has expanded into markets far away from headquarters.
Ultimately, Flower Tent has a unique position in the retail market with strong unit-level economics which has helped the organization become a successful franchise system. With solid management and a continued focus on the operational unit, Flower Tent should continue to grow as a retail franchise platform.
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