The Ducerus concept was originally developed by Mr. Ron Caruthers in 1990 who recognized the gap in college funding options for families working to send their children to college and were having difficulty paying for increasing costs of college tuition. The concept was to create a consulting group which focused on families and parents who needed support, guidance and consultation on understanding what options they had to pay for school and how to facilitate the stressful decisions surrounding college funding. Mr. Caruthers would coach and mentor the families and help them not only with significant financial decisions, but also just emotional support, the model offered enormous value to the client. The business was immediately successful and Mr. Caruthers became a nationally recognized leader in the college funding space in a relatively short time period. His system worked and families reciprocated with strong referrals and support for the program.
In 2009, the business had grown to a point where it needed additional resources, but capital and people to expand beyond it’s current size and scope. The business had been grown using an affiliate coaching model where people paid the company a fee to learn the business and then went out on their own to operate a similar business model in their respective markets. Although the concept allowed for quick expansion and the network was widely happy with the concept, it did not allow for the development of a strong brand in widespread markets as each of the affiliates more or less operated the business under their own brand after learning the system. In 2010, Ducerus approached Franchise Marketing Systems and Chris Conner to build a franchise platform that would allow the system to be duplicated under a common brand name and using a defined system that could be enforced throughout the network.
Mr. Conner and his team of franchise consultants developed a franchise model and worked with Ducerus to create the franchise business plans, Franchise Operations Manuals, Franchise marketing platform and other strategic elements needed to first go to the affiliate network and work on converting these individuals to Ducerus franchisees. A franchise attorney supported the franchise state registration process and development of the Franchise Disclosure Document and then Franchise Marketing Systems supported a nationwide role out of the college planning franchise. With the current affiliate network, the initial roll out was generally well received as the majority of the Affiliates were eager to tighten the relationship and become part of what was seen as a positive movement towards unification of the brands and the ability to promote and scale as a group as opposed to as individuals. In the first year, 14 franchise locations were opened and the Ducerus College Planning franchise was set in motion with essentially a national network of college planners.
After the initial conversion of affiliates, the college planning franchise was brought to market to promote and sell the brand to general third party franchise buyers and in the following years, 2011 and 2012, an additional 12 franchises were sold throughout the United States. Ducerus was quickly established as the leader in the college planning franchise market segment. This growth and consolidation of operating businesses across the U.S. allowed Ducerus corporate to leverage group marketing spend and economies of scale on both the advertising and the buying side of the business with insurance, planning products, printing and other supplies that each business purchased on a regular basis. As the network expanded, the bottom line of each operating franchise also improved.
Today, the Ducerus brand is the leader in the college planning franchise market and continues to set the trend on innovative, client-focused college planning solutions and the franchise network is well-positioned to continue expanding further. The business model is very logical, it is a low initial investment, requires a small amount of capital, has high operating margin and offers enormous value to the client who is dealing with what for most is extremely stressful and difficult to understand when dealing with college planning decisions.
For more information on how to franchise your financial planning business, Contact us for more information: 800-610-0292 – Chris.Conner@FMSFranchise.com