Thank you for your interest in Hut no. 8! As a nationwide network of proactive, positive, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, our franchisees are on the path to making their financial goals a reality, and we hope that you will join them and us to share in our mutual success.
- LOW INITIAL FRANCHISE FEE!
- NEVER a Renewal Fee
- Industry Leading Training & Support
- Great Branding
At any point during reading this information you are welcome to contact us with any questions you may have. As part of our Hut no. 8 Brand-Name Clothing Resales Store team, you will be given the knowledge that we have gained from owning and operating our own businesses, and listening to our ever growing family of franchisees of each of our brands.
In this online information, and in our FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document), which you can request by submitting the franchise inquiry form; we will give you an idea of what to expect. Those materials answer 99% of the questions that people ask us about Hut no. 8 and Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation. Obviously you may have additional questions, and we are always happy to answer those in person, by email, or by telephone.
If you do have a question that isn't addressed in this information feel free to email it to us so we can add the answer to the information here.
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
Hut no. 8
Hut no. 8 is a feeling. It's that feeling you get when you are sitting on the beach surrounded by your friends, good music, with great food and drinks. Those memories last a lifetime, even though the experience may have only lasted a moment. With Hut no. 8 we have bottled that feeling and brought it inside to make you feel like you're on vacation every minute that you spend in one of our stores.
Founded in 2008, we opened Hut no. 8 and it quickly proved itself to be a favorite with its customers, consistently building an ever growing steady base of loyal fans. Hut no. 8 underwent a complete overhaul of its branding to position it at the top of its industry; the resale of used, brand-name fashions and accessories to teens and young adults.
Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation
Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation (GPFC) was formed in 2002 and rapidly became responsible for building the fastest growing shipping store chain in the country, regularly named by Entrepreneur Magazine as being a leader in its industry. In only 4 years of franchising GPFC grew its original Goin' Postal chain to 300 locations and it continues its phenomenal growth today. GPFC is now taking the used brand-name fashion market by storm, again by treating its franchisees fairly and as part of the team.
How is the retail clothing industry made up?
There are several general types of clothing businesses, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages in their own right.
Large chain box stores
The Gap®, Old Navy®, and Hollister all have great branding, but need to be in EXTREMELY expensive locations to justify the prices they need to charge to be profitable. That becomes a vicious circle where you need high prices to cover the operating expenses, and then you need premium locations with high overhead to get those prices. These stores all look EXACTLY the same and there is no room for any flexibility. This model NEVER lets in the small guy who cannot afford the $20,000 plus per month rent just to get a small mall location.
The big downside to being a mall retailer is that these companies suffer during an economic downturn because when someone has to choose between buying a $70 t-shirt for his daughter or filling his gas tank, the t-shirt loses every time...
Franchise Consignment Fashion Stores
In our market space, the main franchise player has approximately 300 locations. The large competitor in question is a typical franchise and suffers from the same pitfalls as most large and small franchises, in huge initial investments that are around $300,000, short franchise terms, high percentage based royalties, ad funds and other corporate expenses. As with most franchises there is also a huge amount of control exerted over the franchisee which takes a lot of the fun out of running your own business.
Another big downside to every competitor we have is the look and feel. For $300,000 you get something that looks, feels, and smells (urghhhh!) like a thrift store which instantly loses you HALF of the customers you might get from any specific market.
While there are some downsides to having a franchise (the giant price tag being one of them), a big benefit of any well designed franchise is a system for investors to follow. By having a step-by-step way to establish, run and grow your business, franchisees have a much better chance of success than if they do it alone.
Independent Consignment Stores
On the opposite end of the business model are the locally owned, independent consignment stores... Unfortunately, with the very low initial cost, these are generally run by people with little to no business experience, very little money at all, and who have no experienced support system. They have no branding, and no statistically proven business model to rely on. Independent stores have no technical support, and no increased buying power. While they occasionally do make money, they never achieve close to the potential of any location they are put in. Sadly, the vast majority fail fairly quickly as the owners just don't understand the economics of running a resale or consignment store, and without a very key piece of information, they are almost always doomed.
By combining the advantages of each group in our market space, and eliminating the disadvantages, once again, just like we did with Goin' Postal, we can bring the American Dream within the reach of everyday Americans.
How Hut no. 8 is different
Hut no. 8 offers the benefits of being part of a large chain without the ridiculous great price tag, and with some flexibility as to how you will run your business. Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation has a proven track record of building successful franchisees with great branding, but at a fraction of the price of everyone else.
We have franchisees start their business the way we start businesses; by starting off right with the necessary investment, and then growing the business in a planned, common sense fashion.
Hut no. 8 offers:
Full turn-key operation
From finding the location, to delivering and doing the store buildout, and from training you here in Zephyrhills, and then helping you stock your shelves for opening day, we are here for every step of the operation.
We have a team of in-house designers, and a team of market analysts whose job it is to follow what our customers want, and design appropriately so our store is always the best looking product in the marketplace. We also have our own in-house ad department and video production department to produce any ongoing materials we might need for our franchisees to maximize their sales.
Full turn-key operation
From finding the location, to delivering and doing the store buildout, and from training you here in Zephyrhills, and then helping you stock your shelves for opening day, we are here for every step of the operation.
Combined chain-wide buying power
By combining the size of Goin' Postal, Hut no. 8, and soon-to-be Monkey Huggers, we have the ability to negotiate great rates on everything from rent to insurance, and from Credit Card Processing Fees to office supplies at Staples!
In-depth corporate training
With one of the most comprehensive training systems in the franchise industry, Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation tailors its training to the needs of its franchisees with a combination of classroom and live store experiences.
Industry leading technical support
Our corporate office has FIVE toll free lines for technical support, along with online support, cell phone support, and even in-person on-site support if you request it. No-one in the franchise industry provides more support per dollar than Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation!
The best marketing ROI of ANY franchise system, large or small
Almost all franchise systems charge you a standard percentage based advertising fee. Imagine your resale store doing one million dollars a year, and you paying close to 5% in ad funds. What could YOU do with $50,000! We give you the materials and the knowhow to build your business and let YOUR money work for YOU!
In a nutshell...
In a nutshell, you can have the best of all worlds with a Hut no. 8 store. Our branding for Hut no. 8 is second-to-none. Take a look at ANY of stores. Unlike our competitors, we don't believe there is any reason that fashion resales need look like a consignment store. Our stores look as good as any mall store you will ever see but have been produced on a tiny fraction of the budget of those stores. Using our in-house manufacturing facility we can produce branded counters, changing rooms, wall prints, etc. all at a fraction of the cost that our competitors can buy them.
Due to our size and our corporate structure we can adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace while using the growing number of stores to build awareness and name recognition for our brand. By opening a Hut no. 8 store, for a relatively small investment, you can get the help you need to get started, and you can own and operate your own store as your own business.
We pride ourselves in the support we provide to our franchisees, we offer free training (included in the price of the franchise fee), free continuing education, free telephone, online, and email support, free networking assistance, free advertising and PR assistance, and much, much more. Unlike those of our competitors who are primarily interested in selling franchises and collecting MASSIVE royalties to make their money and then leave you "on your own" for problem solving and continuing education, we at GPFC are more interested in assuring the success of our individual franchisees, and in building strong chains of very, very happy franchisees (which builds our success as a leading franchisor).
Another reason to consider Hut no. 8 over any competitor is our optional inventory supply system and startup times. With most franchisors it can take 26 weeks to build your store, and then you need to be open for 6 weeks just for buying prior to being allowed to sell anything, starting off with a completely empty store. With our system first we design your store in CAD as soon as we have dimensions and provide you with 3D renderings of what it will look like, then we build and customize your store fixtures in our manufacturing facility, and then we deliver everything on our own trucks with our own crew for installation in just a few days. Then we can supply your start-up inventory from our other stores so you are ready to go from the first minute of business. If you think just the fixed expenses for your store plus staff could be $25,000 a month, 6 weeks of construction and being open for 6 weeks with no sales could cost you an ADDITIONAL $75,000! With our one week build out and then start-up inventory you'll be selling immediately so you'll only lose a couple of weeks of rent instead of 12!
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
What is a Franchise?
In opening a Hut no. 8 store, you are an independent franchisee and own your business. You will incorporate your business under your own name, and will be doing business as Hut no. 8, in just the same way as owning a McDonalds® restaurant or a 7-Eleven® gas station. We, the parent company will help you set up your new franchised store. Once your store is open you will benefit from the growing public awareness of The Hut no. 8 Name. In addition, we will always be there for you when you have a problem. Also, as part of our chain you will be able to take advantage of our increased buying power as we negotiate better deals with vendors for everything from shipping to health insurance. In general, a franchise is a grant to use our Hut no. 8 name to operate a brand-name fashion resale store in a specific territory, and to use our GPFC tried-and-true trade secrets, methods, proprietary manuals and software, and other materials to operate that Hut no. 8 store, and to benefit from our experience, business acumen, negotiations and advancements with vendors and carriers, continued technical support, assistance, and advisement for the term of your contract with us. The benefits of owning a franchise are essentially that you get to use a trade name, have a standardized store appearance, receive standardized training, enjoy ongoing support, experience a reduced risk of failure (as opposed to figuring it out on your own and "winging it") use a pre-tested standardized methodology to run your business, and other perks.
Be careful while you're out there shopping for a business system. Some companies claim that they are not a franchise when they really are. What they are trying to avoid is the complicated (and expensive) legal process of building a real franchise chain. Others simply don't have the backend support once you are open. Anyone that says they will support you after the sale without royalties is just lying.
What is the FDD?
The FDD is the Franchise Disclosure Document. This is the legal disclosure document that tells you everything you need to know that is material to the business you are about to buy. It also includes the Franchise Agreement that franchisees sign and send in with their franchise fee in order to become a Goin' Postal franchisee. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that all franchises provide this document in an approved format at least 14 days prior to entering into any contract with a franchisee. Yes, we know it's a long, boring document, guaranteed to put you to sleep better than Ambien, but the government makes us write it so humor us and read it...
Why was GPFC the first and still one of the only companies to provide the FDD on its website?
The biggest reason is economy. To print and mail out an FDD to everyone who requests one, at our current size, Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation would have to collect an additional $400 per year from EACH of our franchisees just to cover the costs. We don't think that would be fair to our franchises, so instead of spending huge amounts of money and killing hundreds of trees printing FDD's, and paying the Post Office $8 a piece to mail them, we put it right on the website where you can access it immediately, read it online, and then print it yourself for mailing in.
Also, most companies want to get you on the phone before giving you any information so they have more chance of pressuring you into a sale. We prefer to give you all the information and to let you make a decision and be comfortable before making phone contact. We always have a lot of new franchisees joining our chains, so we don't find it necessary to pressure anyone into buying a franchise with a "hard sell" approach. Choosing a franchisor is very personal and the choice has to be right for YOU, not made by some salesman. We want franchisees that WANT to own a Hut no. 8 and will enjoy running it.
What if I don't want to print it out?
Running a small business is a lot of work, and you will invest a lot of money into it. In our experience we have found that if someone doesn't want to spend a few dollars to print out the FDD, there is no-way they will invest over a hundred thousand dollars and the effort required building a successful business so it's good first litmus test.
If you do decide to come and visit us prior to purchasing a franchise, we will email you an FDD before your visit, and will be happy to provide you with a printed copy while you are here as at that point you have already made an investment of both time and in travel expenses to come and see us so we know you're serious.
What are Hut no. 8's greatest assets?
The Best Branding in the Industry, period!
You don't need to look like a thrift store to sell clothing at discounted pricing! We carefully designed our look and feel to make our core demographic feel comfortable. We then built a factory to produce those fixtures at a lower cost than you get white slatwall counters from most companies. Go take a look at any of our competitors. You'll see wall to wall generic fixtures sold to the franchisee at a massively jacked up price. Go experience a Hut no. 8 store and you feel the difference.
Our management, drive ambition and creative ability
We are a dynamic team dedicated to the success of EVERY MEMBER of our business family. Our drive is apparent just from looking at the phenomenal growth of our chains compared to everyone else and the way we pursue new ideas with excitement that spills over to our franchisees. As long as we are all working together as team nothing can stop us!
Our fully integrated supply chain
No-one can approach what we provide and the way we provide it. Most franchisors use third parties for just about everything as that way when there's nothing to do they have no expenses. We on the other hand have EVERYTHING in-house. We have our own designers to optimize store layouts, we have our own factory where we design and build fixtures for our stores, we have our own trucks that deliver your store, and we have our own crew that builds your store. Our programmers are in-house and work tirelessly on our software. Our ad designers never stop designing new ways to promote your business. Our video production team constantly makes new training aids to keep you on top of the industry. Our team is never not busy. If they aren't working on something new, they are improving the old so we get better every day.
Our approach to customer care
We actually care about our customers. We strive to approach each customer as a cherished friend and we provide all of our customers with friendly service and the best prices on the products they are buying.
We will give you a lot of flexibility in how you run your store. Being in business is meant to be fun, and it's no fun to have a massive faceless corporation breathing down your neck every moment of every day. GPFC isn't like that, and never will be, no matter how large we become. We are here when you need help and to guide you, not to ride you.
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
A multitude of other products
Hut no. 8 stores offer everything from clothes to footwear, and from accessories to sportswear, a lot of new brand name merchandise, and some Hut no. 8 branded items such as makeup. Most franchises offer only one or two of the products our stores have in their models as it is easier to teach only a small part of the business model that GPFC teaches. Most franchises all come with a hefty price tag for one or two product lines, but Hut no. 8 includes all every related product in one model, making for much more profitable franchisees. With that said, we have a finely tuned look and feel that appeals to our target demographic. Recently we have seen our competitors go as far as selling used perfume and make-up in their stores (yuck).
We actually test our products and services!
We pride ourselves on our main company stores where we test products and services before they are released to our franchisees. We don't believe in letting our franchisees be guinea pigs for our ideas so we maintain corporate locations and models for each of our franchisees where we test every idea before they our franchisees ever see them.
Why is GPFC so successful as a franchisor?
We have a business model that is more successful than our competitors, yet we help our franchisees establish their stores for a small fraction of the cost. If you take the investment required to open one of the other franchises and compare it with ours, there is no competition (and that is what is scaring our competitors...). While there is no way to take one of our competitors to a small town because of the higher investment and massive overhead, our stores can open in much smaller markets and still be highly profitable due to their low overhead. With our business model we are able to open successful stores in ten times as many markets as our competitors, and still leave our franchisees with more profit in their pocket at the end of the year.
We also strive to make our franchisees happy and productive members of our chains. While other large chains have major morale problems, we try to turn around any issues very quickly to maintain a positive direction for the company. A testament to our success is how our franchisees get their families and friends involved in opening stores so they can share their success. It is very important to us that our franchisees are satisfied and so we work hard to avoid the problems the other chains experience.
Also, unlike other chains, we don't have an endless line of committees for you to go through to get something done. Every franchisee has our direct contact info and the cell phone of at least one of our management to have a direct line to a solution.
The bottom line
Our franchisees make money, and that's what we're all in business for in the end...
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
How much will I make?
Just like every other franchisor, we can't project what your store will do as every store is going to be different based on the location, the initial investment, the economic conditions of the surrounding area, the overhead, your management style, parking availability, square footage and layout of your shop, your customer service skills, and a wealth of other variables.
Can I get a business plan?
Yes. We will help you write a customized business plan for your specific situation as soon as you become a franchisee.
What kind of salary should I pay myself?
In the beginning it is more realistic to focus on making your business successful than on taking money away from your brand new business to pay yourself. This is why we like to see 6 to 12 months worth of expenses in the bank before you start. If you are on a shoestring budget and you need an $8,000 a month income to survive from day one, maybe a start-up business isn't for you.
Can you tell me how much money I'll make on each item of clothing sold in my store?
No. No-one can tell you that simply because each and every piece of clothing will be different but we have developed scientific formulas to determine what you should pay for each item and what you should charge for it. As a general rule, we are looking to pay between 25% and 30% of the retail price for each piece of used clothing so for example, you would pay $5 for pair of jeans that you would sell for $20 in your store.
How much work is involved?
Running your own business is the most rewarding career anyone can ever have, but the 9-5 of a regular employee's life will be a thing of your past. In the beginning you will eat, sleep and dream your business. You will work harder and for longer hours than you could ever imagine, but you also enjoy the great pride that comes with owning a successful business that you have cultivated. The more employees you have, the less you will have to do but then it becomes a challenge of managing people as opposed to just the business.
What about setting up my store?
GPFC has designed a very appealing look and feel for your store that can be installed very quickly using the pre-fabricated parts and fixtures we will manufacture for you in our factory. Our crew of store build out technicians will set your store from laying the floor to painting the walls to wiring up the counters and changing rooms so you should be ready to open in about a week.
What does it take to run a business?
It takes more commitment, energy, and passion to run your own business than it does to work for someone else. There is no taking a day off because you have a headache, or because you want to go to the beach. It also takes a more adventurous personality and a quick-thinking brand of intellect, as no matter how much you plan, you never really know what is going to happen tomorrow with your business.
Starting a business takes a lot of sacrifice that most people aren't willing to make. If running a business were easy, everyone would have one. Everyone will say, "I'd love to start my own business," but in reality, only 20% of people ever take the plunge and do it. Out of that 20%, only half will be really successful. The numbers alone demonstrate that only 10% of people really have what it takes and that's why 10% of the population own all the businesses and have all the money.
With dedication, drive and realistic expectations, anybody can be part of that exclusive 10%, but if you go into business with the notion that you'll be driving big fancy cars in 6 months, moving into a palatial estate home soon, and relaxing on an island while your staff does all the work, you'll be sadly disappointed. It takes years of hard work to make it, and you have to be willing to work to make your life better. If you can't take the stress of juggling bills every now and then, you won't make it. If you think, "I'll never have to juggle bills because I already have lots of money," you may not have the hunger to succeed, or realistic plans, and you still might not make it. If you don't can't take responsibility for things when they go wrong then you definitely won't make it. Running a business, and every problem that needs to be dealt with in that business is ultimately the responsibility of the owner. It might not be your fault, but it IS your responsibility to deal with it. If you want an easy life with no headaches, the only answer is to work for someone else.
Most franchises will NEVER tell you that you could fail using their system, it's just buried somewhere in their FDD to remove liability, but they ALL want you to think that their system is the only guaranteed way to make money. The fact is, there is no guaranteed system. It doesn't matter whose logo is on the front of your store, or whether you paid $25k or $2.5 million to build your business, the business ultimately succeeds or fails because of you. You have to stick to the system and as your experieence grows, help the franchisor imrpove the system. You have to put in the hours. You have to do the work. Franchisors hide their failures and problems from potential franchisees in a myriad of ways. We don't. It's a fact that running a business involves risk. Again, if it didn't, everyone would have one…
Before you start a business, what you have to ask yourself is: "Am I willing to give my business 100% of my effort for as long as it takes in order to make it a success?" If you are, you should be very happy with the results.
We understand what it takes and we know firsthand about the sacrifices you will make, as we already made them ourselves years ago. Our chain is different than some of the others since the founders of the chain (now the CEO and President of GPFC) aren't typical executive-types. They both worked behind the counter in our first store, and built the chain from scratch. When we started the first store, we traded our nice car for a delivery van, cooked meals at home instead of eating out all the time, and had internet access at work only instead of at both our office and at home. We worked nights and weekends, and we managed both time and money very, very carefully because that is what it was going to take to become successful in our endeavors. Your business HAS to take precedence over fun (expensive) activities until it is successful. We worked very hard to make our first store a profitable, self-sufficient enterprise, and we still oversee its operation to this day. Everything we teach franchisees to do for their stores, we do for our company stores and that is why they continue to grow. That's another reason why you should consider GPFC over other franchisors. We have company-owned stores for all of our brands that we run every day, just as if they were franchises. We test products, services, and marketing programs to make sure they work BEFORE we recommend them to our franchisees for use in their stores. A lot of other chains don't have company stores, so you have to wonder how, in good conscience, they can recommend that their franchisees use products, services and marketing plans that haven't been tested in a company store. We test everything first in the company store. If it doesn't work, our franchisees never hear about it. If it's a money-maker, we roll it out to the chain. Never trust a CEO that won't put on a Santa hat at Christmas and go and stand in his store to talk to his customers and see what they want!
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
Your personality vs. your business
One of the most important personality traits is to be friendly. Running a small business is all about making your customers feel special and making your staff feel appreciated. Customer service is why a customer will visit your store, and will be happy about it. If you pamper your customers and give them a good product at a good price, they will come back, period.
Do I need to know how to type or be good with computers?
Your business will be run on computers, so understanding what "right click", "tab", "minimize", and other computer terms mean are pretty much a must (or you should at least be willing to learn!), as is typing ability. Other than that, we'll teach you what you need to know and be there to help whenever you get stuck.
Do I need good credit?
No, but it obviously helps. Borrowing money is obviously easier if you have good credit. As part of our commitment to your success, we will help in any way we can. If you are looking to finance your business through a loan, you will definitely need OK credit but we have a loan broker that can help even in difficult cases.
Can I get funding?
It can be arranged if necessary. We have several lenders willing to loan money to our new franchisees. One of the more beneficial lenders will loan you the required startup capital as a five year lease arrangement which makes your repayments completely tax deductible!
Getting an SBA loan.
Most people assume an SBA loan is the way you start a business. Firstly, the SBA is part of the government, so you need to do six inches of paperwork to buy a can of Pepsi. Second, which people don't realize is that the bank will try and sell you on the SBA loan as its good for them.
However, the SBA does make it possible for you to start a business if you are well qualified. The general misconception is that it is the SBA that is loaning you the money which it is not. You go to your regukar bank and request an SBA loan. That bank of actually loaning you the money but the SBA is guaranteeing part of the loan to reduce the bank's risk.
omething to keep in mind for an SBA loan is collaeralization.You can borrow any amount through the SBA program but the SBA is going to expect collateral, such as equity in ahome of something else to back that loan.
Accessing my IRA or 401k? How does that work?
One of our affiliates will set up your new corporation, and a new retirement account within the new corporation, and then roll over your old retirement account into the new account. Then your retirement account purchases stock in the new company as an investment, just as it would purchase stock in GE or Wal-Mart as an investment. The money paid to purchase the stock from the new company is then available to the new company for everything from your franchise fee to buying equipment and paying rent. We aren't in the business of helping people to access their 401Ks or IRAs, but if you have specific questions about the necessary steps and the process, we can direct you to financial professionals who can answer those questions for you.
Credit Cards, etc.
Most people have several credit cards available to them which can also be used for just about everything involved in opening your store. GPFC is the only franchisor that has arranged to be able to accept your franchise fee via credit card, and we can also charge your Point of Sale System to your credit card. The only thing we don't recommend using your credit card for is cash advances, as these carry a much higher interest rate. This is how we actually financed opening the first Goin' Postal store with $3,000 in cash and a handful of credit cards!
How much money should I have set aside?
We recommend setting aside approximately 6 - 12 months' worth of BOTH living expenses (this will vary according to your particular lifestyle, family, region, etc. so we cannot offer a ballpark figure) AND 6 months' worth of operating expenses (again, this will vary due to your particular area and your specific needs) combined. If you set aside 6 - 12 month's worth of total expenses, then you can relax a bit and can enjoy owning your own business rather than worrying about those expenses.
How long does it take to open my store?
About eight to twelve weeks depending on the season. From day one of obtaining permits and licenses, to you being in business with your doors open, the entire process should take less than three months. Your initial groundwork will be to find a location (with our help, guidance, and experience). As it takes approximately 10 weeks to open your store, training will be booked on a first come, first served basis as the deposits and contracts are received at our headquarters. As soon as we receive your franchise fee and other payments we start building your initial inventory package so the brand name fashions that you receive will be as fresh as possible.
Where should my store be?
We will help with this based on your initial scouting of your chosen business area. The benefit of a high traffic and high visibility location must be traded off against high rent payments, unless you have a large amount of back-up cash available at the time of opening to carry you through until the business becomes established.
Obviously, a fantastic location is a marvelous way to start off, but the strain of $10,000 or more per month in rent could finish your business off before it has a chance to become self-supporting unless you have a lot of back up capital. We want every Hut no. 8 franchisee that we help to be a success and we want your business to cause you as few sleepless nights as possible!
We have several location services available. You are free to find and choose your own location, you can have us visit the location, or we can find the location for you.
What size and type of building should I be looking for?
While you can open your store in 2,500 square feet if that's all that is available, we have determined that approximately 3,000 to 4,000 square feet is optimal. Obviously a larger store costs more to establish but should produce higher sales and profits once it''s established.
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
Will you negotiate my lease for me?
If you are leasing a location found by our broker he can negotiate your lease and if you have found your location we can advise you on what to ask for in your lease but as we are not attorneys we cannot advise you on the actual contents and verbiage of your lease so if you have any questions you should consult an attorney. Real estate law can be tricky and lease agreements can vary greatly from a single page written between you and the landlord, to 150 page legal documents, thus it is always a good idea to consult a qualified legal professional who is familiar with the standards and practices in regard to such matters in your particular region.
How much should I anticipate spending to open my store?
Our current franchise fee is $15,000 and the cost of the store-in-a-box is $99,000. Your additional investment will be around *$40,000 (for rent, inventory etc.), making your entire investment around $154,000. (*Amounts for rent and other expenses will vary from region to region and may be higher or lower in YOUR particular area of the country.)
The majority of your investment can be financed either through loans or credit cards, as most of it will go toward construction and equipment. Bear in mind, however, when deciding whether to invest cash or to put expenses on a credit card, that $50,000 on your credit cards will give you a hefty bill to pay at the end of each month.
Can my royalty structure change once I'm a Hut no. 8 franchisee?
No, when you become a franchisee, you are signing for your royalties for the term that you own your store and the royalties that are current in the Franchise Agreement you sign are what you will pay.
Do you tell me where to put my store?
Somewhat… With your help on the area, we help you find the right spot, but in the end, we let you decide, as it's your business. You know your town better than we do, but we are happy to help you choose between several locations if you are in a quandary. Important details are: location, square footage, rent, number of parking spaces, traffic access to store and parking (from both sides of the street versus one side of a divided highway, etc.), nearby businesses, building condition, etc. When looking at traffic patterns don't just evaluate how many cars go through a particular intersection. Sit in the parking lot with a good book for several hours at different times of the day on different days of the week and WATCH where the customers are going.
We can assist you in finding a location remotely if you like, just like the other chains do, but we will do it the same way they will. Our brokers will call a local broker and see what they have and pick one of their locations. GPFC can visit your chosen location even if you are establishing the store yourself for an additional fee.
How is the investment to have my Hut no. 8 store broken down?
$15,000 is the amount that you pay to GPFC for training, support and the license to use the Hut no. 8 name and corporate identity. In addition to that amount, you would also have to pay for our representative's flights to and from your location (the rep. assigned to you will always try to fly on days and at times that will save you money, and will always fly coach class for the same reason) and lodging during the week when the rep. trains you and helps you to prepare your store for serving the public.
The Minimum Required Purchases package is $99,000, and includes most of the items you will need for your business such as thermal printers for labels, counters, changing rooms, decorations, lighting, furniture, and branding items, flooring, painting, and our distinctive ceiling.
The remainder of your investment is not paid in part to GPFC but other vendors and will vary depending upon your needs. That is what we estimate that you can spend on rent/lease/purchase of a location and additional inventory.
When you look at our initial investment compared to our competitors, an entire Hut no. 8 can be started for the cash liquidity requirement of our competitors (meaning the down payment you need just to get the financing!).
How do your investments compare to other stores?
Source: Entrepreneur.com (figures provided by each franchisor directly to Entrepreneur Media). We will try to keep these numbers up to date but their prices may change without notice. If you see a figure that has changed please let us know and we will get it updated. Our own figures are updated regularly to reflect changing costs.
|Total Initial Investment|
|Once Upon a Child®||$221,300||$312,600|
|Kid to Kid®||$196,028||$272,718|
|Hut no. 8®||$130,300*||$276,500|
|These totals are based on a 3,000 sq. ft. store.|
The Plato's Closet® and Once Upon a Child® trademarks are the property of Winmark Corporation and other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
|Once Upon a Child®||$25,000**|
|Kid to Kid®||$25,000**|
|Hut no. 8®||$15,000**|
**Subsequent store franchise fees may be discounted by each individual company. Check their FDD for details. The amounts shown in the total Initial investment table above include the initial franchise fee.
|Once Upon a Child®||5%|
|Kid to Kid®||5%|
|Hut no. 8®||
Why do you charge less royalties than your competitors?
We acheive most things with techinolgy instead of manpower. Royalty collection is no different. Our system creates a royalty obligation once a week and that money is automatically deducted from your account on Monday and you are sent a report. If you dissagree with the amount and need to challenge it we have a system for that but other than that its completely automated.
It also produces contented franchisees. A franchisee needs less and less support the longer they have been in business and so we can get away with charging less for royalties wihc leaves everyone happier in the long run. Our system is much fairer for everyone. We get paid well for what we do, and the franchisees make more money for working hard.
Contented franchisees produce fewer lawsuits. It's unfortunate but it's the way you have to look at business nowadays. Most franchisors have pages and pages of lawsuits. We have none. Even if a franchisor is doing everything they should be doing, some franchisees will file frivolous lawsuits just to get out of paying those massive royalties. With our smaller, more fair, royalty, our franchisees always feel they are getting their money's worth.
Just run the numbers. If a franchisees store does $1,000,000, and has a $200,000 resulting net profit before royalties, and then that franchisee ends up forking over $100,000 in royalties and ad funds so that franchisee only ends up with $100,000 in the end, it means an established Hut no. 8 franchisee will ultimate end up making TWICE as much money as one of our competitors based on the same sales!
Why should I pay royalties at all?
The money to pay for support has to come from somewhere. While the other large franchisors take thousands of dollars out of your pocket every month, you get very little for it. The royalty that a Hut no. 8 franchisee pays each month more than pays for itself when you look at the discounts our franchisees receive from vendors, constant stream of new profit centers we produce, the ongoing training, and the exceptional support we provide. Each month, our average franchisee saves hundreds of dollars just by asking for our advice (and taking it!) on different issues.
With no support system in place things get expensive fast! Just imagine having to call a repair technician every time your POS has a problem (and it will no matter where it came from or whose software it is running). Have to call a third party tech support once a month and you can easily spend $500 a month!
What about ad funds?
A nice little franchise industry secret is that national and local ad funds are great for franchisors to help sell franchises. With all that media saturation in a market franchise sales ALWAYS increase, so franchisors have a habit of targeting the money where its going to make the most unit sales for them, not necessarily for the franchisee.
Most franchisors take ad fund contributions and the actual franchisees never see much local benefit from them. If, like our competitors, we collected $50,000 from each franchisee this year and ran campaigns in every media market that we have a store with the money, most of our franchisees in rural areas would receive FAR less benefit from those funds, and that's just not fair.
The reason for this is the difference in both station availability and differing costs among markets. To run a TV ad on a large station in Los Angeles for instance, would cost far more than running the same ad in Oneonta, Alabama and the ad in Los Angeles will produce far more business for that franchisee, so why should the Oneonta franchisee pay the same as the Los Angeles franchisee? We say he shouldn't. Again, we look at it from what we would be happy with if it was us. Our own store is in Zephyrhills, a sleepy town 45 minutes away from the Tampa Metro area which is where our media comes from. If were to pay a percentage of our sales most of it would be wasted as the media market is huge but Zephyrhills is small, whereas our other stores in the area would actually benefit from our ad dollars which is great for them but again isn't fair to the smaller market.
Our goal is to leave the money in your pocket, teach you, inform you, advise you, and let you decide what to do with it. If you can promote yourself through community events and promotions that cost very little, social media, and other new methods, why spend tens of thousands of dollars on an already saturated advertising medium such as a newspaper? If you do want to do traditional advertising we produce the ad templates, customized ads, and radio and TV spots for you at our expense and you decide where to run them at your expense.
Another little secret the franchisor community doesn't want you to know is ad funds are very good for cash flow. If our competitors each collect $5,000,000 a year in ad funds, those ad funds find their way into general revenue available for the franchisor to use for whatever they like until they decide to spend it on advertising. Some competitors also use ad funds to sell franchises which we think is completely wrong. Franchisors are in the business of selling franchises and shouldn't be paying for their business off the back of their franchisees.
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
Why buy a franchise at all? I can probably do this on my own!
First of all, you get a much better chance of succeeding, which is priceless. Approximately 80 - 90% of small businesses fail in the first couple of years for a variety of reasons. Only about 20% of franchised small businesses suffer the same fate. The success rate is much better due to the training, support and the constant flow of new money-making and money-saving ideas shared by the parent franchisor and the franchisee.
We can save you from the years of fumbling and growing pains, and can teach you time-saving and sanity-saving techniques, give you forms to use and procedures to follow that we have developed by owning and operating our own retail stores. We know what it takes to run a successful business from first-hand experience. We hold your hand until you are comfortable with being a bit more independent (and then we're just on the other end of the telephone or email, should you need us!), and then you still benefit from the growing public name recognition of the Hut no. 8 chain. For the $15,000 franchise fee you get the knowledge to start business with the experience to make it a success. You also get the license to our great name and corporate identity which is rapidly gaining public recognition.
There is a lot to know but we make it easy. We'll teach you how to run the various types of software, how to calculate inventory purchase costs and resale value, common problems that may occur with customers and how best to deal with them, how to get competitors to be your best source of customers, bookkeeping, setting up accounts for your customers, advertising tips, ways to cultivate business that will feed your store, and much, much more. During your week in Florida, you will spend around 40 hours between taking various classes in the classroom, taking competency exams, and doing hands-on training (under our supervision and constant direction) to test your knowledge and to hone your skills in preparation for serving your customers. As part of a chain like Hut no. 8 you also benefit from the constant flow of great ideas we receive from our franchisees.
Why is Hut no. 8 so much LESS expensive than other franchises?
The primary reason for our low cost is that we spent years on end working hard for other people. We knew that we were smart and hard-working, and we knew we could find a better way to make a decent living and to enjoy our lives on our terms. We created Goin' Postal, and when we saw how well we were doing with our first store, we decided that we needed to start franchising so that we could teach "regular people" like us how to be financially independent. Everyone deserves a shot at the "American Dream" if they are willing to work for it so we knew we had to keep the initial investment low. Now we are recreating the success of Goin' Postal with Hut no. 8.
We have also studied the market and any retail consignment store, whether it's a major chain store or an independent mom-and-pop store, has about the same resale price which is based on sales, not the name. Why would you spend $300,000 or more on business when that same thing can be achieved and look far nicer for less than half that price? Our opinion is that our way is better. At GPFC, we show you how to set up and operate your store for the smallest investment possible and how to keep your overhead as low as possible so you have the best chance of becoming profitable quickly.
By keeping our initial investment low for each of our brands, we have ABSOLUTELY no competition and are expanding rapidly. We are continually signing up new franchisees that were already in negotiations with the other chains when they discovered GPFC. We are planning to open hundreds of stores over the next few years, and we hope that you will be part of our family.
As a way to ultimately reduce your franchisor imposed overhead (royalties) as a franchisee, we keep our own corporate overhead down to a minimum. If we don't spend it, we don't have to collect it from our franchisees. A perfect example of this is the work ethic of our staff. Instead of purchasing a large, flashy office building that was move-in ready, we purchased an older, run-down office building, and the entire staff worked late nights after regular work (for nothing but pizza and beer) to get it cleaned, painted and renovated. By saving close to a quarter of a million dollars on our headquarters we could do more for our franchisees while still lowering their initial investments.
We own our complete supply chain. Unlike any other franchisor we have invested in our back-end. We have our own designers, programmers, we own a 27,000 sq. ft. factory dedicated to producing fixtures and other items for our stores, we have our own trucks that deliver the store, and we have our own crew that builds the store. ALL other franchisors sub contract out these tasks to save themselves money which drives the price up for YOU, the end purchaser.
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
It sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?
We hear that all the time... and there is no catch! Really! It's a simple equation: your hard work = money in your pocket. Make no mistake... Hut no. 8 is not a get-rich quick scheme, it's a business. You will definitely have to expend some serious elbow grease, study the materials that we provide for you, participate in training, read our continuing education notices and utilize our refresher exams and the Operations Manual, follow our system and rules, get involved in your community, advertise, sparkle as you serve your customers, and yes, you will surely work harder than you ever have before... but the income that you will earn for yourself and your family will be all the more meaningful because it will be generated by your hard work in YOUR business. Seeing is believing, so we encourage you to come visit us at our headquarters in Zephyrhills, Florida or to visit any of our franchisees' stores nationwide.
How am I expected to pay the $15,000 Initial Franchise Fee and the $99,000 for the Store in a Box?
You are welcome to pay by credit card, cash or check, whichever is most convenient for you.
Can I get a refund?
Nope. Just like every other franchise chain, once we receive your initial franchise fee you are supplied with a large amount of proprietary information that we have spent years developing. For this reason once you have signed your franchise documents you are bound to the non-competition agreements until the end of the term. Should you decide that you would like to sell your franchise, we are always happy to help in finding a suitable buyer. This is also necessary due to the fact that we provide you with a protected territory as soon as we receive your franchise agreement, and as a result, we turn away any other parties who are interested in your location.
Plus, buying a franchise shouldn't be a spur of the moment decision. Think about it carefully, consult with people you trust, and follow your instincts. Starting a business is the best decision you'll ever make, but its decision that needs to be made after careful thought.
How long does my initial licensing fee last?
Unlike most franchise license terms which typically expire after 10 years, our term is valid for 15 years. Should this policy change in the future, all current stores will remain under the policy in effect when they opened. There is never a charge to renew your franchise for an additional 15 years. Your business is your business and we don't think it's fair to ask you to pay for it again.
Why don't you charge a renewal fee?
Initial Franchise Fees help pay for all the upfront support you receive and therefore have a huge amount of value. Renewal fees however, are just a nice big free paycheck for the franchisor a certain number of years into your contract that you have to budget for, which provides no real value to you as after 5 - 15 years, you don't need retraining or anything else that could justify a fee that runs into the tens of thousands of dollars. We believe that charging a renewal fee is essentially extortion as after you have spent years and years building your business for a franchisor to say "Give us $XX,XXXX or walk away" and we'll take over your location is something the mob would do.
What is included in the Hut no. 8 set-up package?
With our initial set up package we will hold your hand through every step of setting up your business, including:
- License to use the Hut no. 8 name and corporate identity: You will be licensed to use the Hut no. 8 trademarks and the corporate identity.
- Location assistance: We ask that you send photos and descriptions of several locations that you are interested in pursuing as potential sites for your store. Be sure to include information about square footage, parking, traffic patterns, and nearby businesses. We will help you to choose the best one, but the final decision will be up to you. If you want us to we will take care of the entire process from finding the location to negotiating the lease. You just let us know what you need us to do.
- Licenses & Permitting assistance: We know what you need in general, plus we'll help you find out what you need to best serve the customers in your neighborhood.
- Financing help: We have lenders willing to loan money to start a new franchise. These lenders are not part of GPFC but our franchisees have had luck dealing with them.
- Equipment purchasing and training: We know what you need, and we'll teach you how to use it!
- Store Layout, design and construction consultation: We know what works and what doesn't and your store will be designed by our experts in CAD.
- Store buildout: Your store will be designed and built in our factory. Then loaded on our trucks and delivered to your location by our crews. Once there they will build your entire store in about a week!
- Training, training, and more training: Part of the set-up package is our intensive training program at our Retail University. You will visit our headquarters and main store in Florida, and will train in both a classroom environment, and then by serving customers alongside us. We will teach you EVERYTHING in one week from purchasing to accounting and from customer service to marketing, and more. When you are ready to open your Hut no. 8 store you will also have one of our representatives on-site to do refresher training, to assist you in serving your customers, and to help with your store set-up.
- Store management training: Anyone can open a store, but staying in business is another thing. We'll be here for you! We have one of the industry's most experienced Retail Analysts on staff and he is available to you at all times. He can even come to your store to make sure its operating at peak efficiency and profitability and all that costs you is a plane ticket!
- Phone support for your business: We will never leave you out on your own. We are here to help.
- The Store Set-Up Manual and New Franchisee Primer is our very own useful step-by-step guidebook that will help you to navigate the waters of setting up your store and learning the ropes
- Our Operations Manual is an invaluable collection of guidelines and training information that covers the operation of your entire business. We will keep your manual up-to-date as we improve upon it by making it available on the owners' section of the website.
Got questions? Call 1-800-504-6040 or Download our FDD
What type of training will I get?
Our training will cover both the business and practical sides of owning and operating your store. You will also get a priority toll free number to call when you have any questions. You will do a week of mandatory training at our headquarters in Zephyrhills. You will pay for your own lodging, transportation, and meals during that time. We then send a representative to your store to help you put the finishing touches on your shop, to do a little refresher training if you feel that you might like some, and to open your doors with you for the first few days.
The training you will get will include:
- QuickBooks Pro
- Store Setup
- Computer Setup, configuration, & initial
- Problem diagnosis
- Customer Service
- Point Of Sale Training
- Purchasing Inventory
- Pricing Inventory for Resale
- Business Expansion & Idea Building
- Advertising and Marketing
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
What about continuing education?
We provide a wealth of continuing education materials on the Owners' Section of the website. These continuing education materials include written material, videos, quizzes and tests and exams, answer keys, fun crosswords and word searches and other items, and we are always updating the existing materials AND adding new materials. We also revise the Hut no. 8 manuals often, and the updates are available to all franchisees, 24 hours a day via the restricted Owners' Section. Franchisees are encouraged to utilize these materials themselves, and to use them to train their employees. GPFC also provides a standing offer for any franchisee to return to training in Florida, at no cost (the franchisee pays his/her own travel expenses, lodging, meals, etc.) for the duration of the contract term. GPFC also updates its comprehensive Operations Manual weekly, sends out all-franchisee email newsletters that contain valuable updates, notices and tidbits of information, and encourages the franchisees to stay informed by visiting the carriers' websites on a regular basis in order to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.
Can I sell other products and services in my store?
Yes. While we expect all stores to offer the minimum set of products and services, we encourage enterprising ideas and will happily add services that you invent, or find to be positive, to the corporate line-up. All products and services must be cleared with GPFC Corporate Headquarters prior to being offered. This is to ensure that all products and services provided by shops bearing the Hut no. 8 name offer only the highest quality services and products from reputable vendors.
Community Involvement is VERY important to us.
In keeping with our strong commitment to family oriented service and superior customer care, Hut no. 8 strongly encourages community involvement. Whether it's joining the chamber of commerce, the local Kiwanis, organizing a community clean-up, speaking to the local Girl Scouts, volunteering to read to the blind, sponsoring a Little League or Police Athletic League team, walking dogs at a local shelter, having Santa in your store at Christmas, or doing whatever you like, please be sure to give some of your time and positive energy to your community. We personally spend A LOT of time involving our staff and ourselves in community events. It's fun, good for your community, and good for your business! Spending a few hours a week helping out will make you more successful than spending $5,000 per month on advertising.
If you do things for your community, not only will it be a nicer place to live, but you will also get noticed for your participation... and the folks in your area will want to see you succeed. This is true in both small towns and in big cities.
Positive energy breeds success. The restricted Owners' Section of the website features detailed materials for planning, advertising and conducting well over 100 effective, unique and unusual events and promotions on a budget.
What about advertising?
Instead of charging everyone a 3 - 5% co-op advertising fund like the majority of franchises and spending the money on massive national, regional and local campaigns that may not help the individual store owner directly. We cover the cost of producing ads which will be available to all store owners free of charge to run in their own markets at their own discretion. Generally when you take a look at most franchises and their ad funds, they do very little to promote an individual store so we prefer to leave the money in your pocket and let you spend it the way you feel is right for your situation.
As part of our business history, we operated a full-service advertising agency which catered to a multitude of international clients. We have carried over this experience to be able to control our own advertising look and feel for our own chains and have done so with a very small budget.
All advertising materials will be available to you free of charge via the website where you can download print ad templates, business card templates, postcard layouts, flyer layouts, etc. (which you can then pay your local newspapers to run or you can make copies of to use as flyers).
Starting a business is all about legwork to promote your business, not throwing money at advertising companies. While TV, print, and radio advertising is a great way to promote your business, a more cost-effective method is distributing flyers at events and parking lots (with permission, of course!), and even better than that is making certain that you are an active member of your community, and doing creative and inexpensive celebrations and promotions at your store. We also teach our franchisees that the very best advertisement in the world is free... a happy customer. Treat all of your customers like gold, and you will be amazed at how many referrals you will receive. We are thrilled and proud to say that THIS is what built our business to the level it is at today.
Can I move my store?
Yes. Your franchise rights belong to you in combination with the initial store for which they were granted. Should you decide to move your store, the rights move with it. However, you may not move your store into the protected territory of another Hut no. 8 store unless it is your own territory. This is to protect you and other Hut no. 8 store owners so that you can make the most profit possible. We want you to succeed, and this is one way to help ensure your financial success. We do not want the situation that can be seen with most large franchises where their franchisees invest their time and money in a location only to have that hard work destroyed by the parent company when it sells a franchise to someone else 500 yards down the road and allows the two stores to cannibalize each other. GPFC assigns territories to its franchisees to protect them and in an attempt to help each and every franchisee to make the best of the available business. Keep in mind though that choosing a location is important so let's do it right the first time!
Can I sell my Hut no. 8 store?
Yes. The franchise rights to operate a Hut no. 8 store go with the individual store, which you may sell at any time, either to the parent company or to an individual investor. However, the GPFC Corporate Office must be notified PRIOR to your store changing hands, and we will contact the new owner of your store to advise him/her of the rules and regulations that must be abided by in order to remain a Hut no. 8 store. They will have to attend training just like you did, and will be the new franchisee and will receive our total support from then on.
Can I open more than one Hut no. 8 store?
Yes, and this is what we recommend and are working toward. However, we recommend opening one store and becoming proficient at the business (thus building a good, solid reputation for yourself), and then opening additional stores. To open additional stores, a franchisee fee must be paid for each new location. We also offer discounts for multiple licenses purchased at the same time.
Can I buy a whole state?
Yes, we do have a Master License available which will allow you to open as many stores as you like in a particular state for a set fee. Call us at 1-800-504-6040 for details.
What about territory?
Once you open a Hut no. 8 store, we will not allow anyone else to open a Hut no. 8 store in your protected area. Should you wish to open additional Hut no. 8 stores in your protected area, we will expand your territory as long as it does not interfere with another Hut no. 8 store owner's protected territory. We will also not open any stores owned by the GPFC parent corporation in your territory, further protecting you and your Hut no. 8 investment from unfair competition. You must, however, supply us with an exact location/physical address for your store so that we can create a territory map for you, with your store as the epicenter of your protected territory. Important Note: A protected territory doesn't exist unless and until you send in a fully executed contract, exact physical address (so that we can make a map with your store as the epicenter), and accompanying payments are received by GPFC AND approved in writing by GPFC.
How big is a protected territory?
The size of Hut no. 8's protected territories varies due to the demographics of the various communities across our nation. For example, we wouldn't assign a territory of 25 square miles if a franchisee wants to have his Hut no. 8 in Midtown Manhattan (New York City), but that might be a reasonable request from a franchisee who wants to have a Hut no. 8 store in a small town in rural Texas. You can help us to assign you the best territory for your area by supplying us with facts about your community, such as the population, zip codes in your area, the number of retail venues and types of commercial industry in your area, traffic patterns, population, etc. This information will also help you to select your location for your store. If your desired areas are outside of a current franchisee's protected area, we can assign a territory to you, should you wish to become a Hut no. 8 franchisee. We protect all of our franchisees by giving them a territory.
How should I incorporate? As a C Corp., S Corp., LLC, or what?
That is a question that should be posed to both your accountant and your attorney. They will help you to make the best decision for your needs and situation. When you do decide to incorporate, please know that Hut no. 8 MAY NOT appear anywhere in your incorporated name, as that name is owned by Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation.
How do I start?
After you have read the website carefully and have taken the time to download and read our FDD, please give us a call at 800-504-6040 and we'll cheerfully answer any questions that you may still have and get you on the road to your financial freedom!
In owning your very own Hut no. 8 store, you are investing in yourself and in the future success of our entire Goin' Postal Franchise Corporation team. We look forward to working with you to build a successful future together.
Call 1-800-504-6040 or download our FDD
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