BUDGET BLINDS Franchise Complaints

Budget Blinds franchise opportunity:  Are you familiar with it?

If so, please share your experience, opinions or insights with a comment below.

The Budget Blinds franchise website claims that, by becoming a Budget Blinds franchise owner “you’ll be entering the growing home improvement franchise industry, under an established brand, that provides you with the tools you need to be successful.”

Budget Blinds boasts these benefits:

  • Low investment, home-based business, with no storefront, no inventory, low overhead
  • Nearly 900 franchise territories in North America including over 80 franchisees in Canada
  • 8 million National Advertising Fund in North America. In the top 10% of all franchises’ NAF worldwide
  • Single territory average sales*: $351,633 U.S. / $474,318 CAN in 2011*
  • Average gross profit*: 53% U.S. / 54% CAN*
  • Average closing ratio on appointments*: 75-79% U.S. / 70-74% CAN*
  • Average number of sales closed per month per territory*: 23.5 U.S. / 30 CAN*

*Reflects data reported by franchisees for 2011. Refer to FDD for details.

Despite their sales claims, Budget Blinds franchise owners have a 37% SBA loan default rate.

Despite the impressive claims above, some things don’t add up about the Budget Blinds franchise opportunity.

According to Entrepreneur, Budget Blinds locations declined from 954 US franchises in 2008 to 710 in 2011.

Budget Blinds franchise

According to data released by the Small Business Administration (SBA), Budget Blinds franchise owners who qualified for SBA-backed franchise loans have a high loan failure rate of 37%.

That earns Budget Blinds a spot in UnhappyFranchisee.com’s list of WORST FRANCHISES IN AMERICA (by SBA loan defaults)

The apparent drop in Budget Blinds franchises in recent years and the high loan default rates are franchise due diligence red flags.

Budget Blinds Franchise
Budget Blinds U.S. franchises in 2008: 954
Budget Blinds U.S. franchises in 2011: 710
Growth in franchise units 2008 – 2011 (#) -244
Growth in franchise units 2008 – 2011 (%): -26%
SBA loans granted since 2001: 75
SBA loan failure rate: 37%
Sources: Entrepreneur (growth), Coleman report (SBA)

The inability to repay an SBA-backed loan (or any franchise loan, for that matter) indicates a serious situation for the franchisee.

It’s likely that Budget Blinds franchise owners who received SBA loans may have collateralized their franchise loan with their homes or other personal assets, and many were unable to repay those franchise loans… despite the serious incentive to do so.

Are you familiar with the Budget Blinds franchise opportunity?

What do you think accounts for the SBA loan failure rate of Budget Blinds franchise owners?

What steps should Budget Blinds be taking to stop further franchise failures?

Has Budget Blinds taken serious action to address the problems that led to these loan failures?

Please share a comment (anonymous is fine) or Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com.

If you are a Budget Blinds franchise representative or employee, please feel free to leave a comment or email us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE BUDGET BLINDS FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY? 

ARE YOU A CURRENT OR FORMER BUDGET BLINDS FRANCHISE OWNER? 

PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Corporate responses or rebuttals welcome:

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

Budget Blinds, Budget Blinds franchise, Budget Blinds franchise complaints, Budget Blinds complaints,  Budget Blinds franchise failures, window treatments franchise, home-based franchise, blinds franchise, mobile franchise, home services franchise, decorating franchise, franchise failure rates, SBA franchise loans, worst franchises, Home Franchise Concepts

48 thoughts on “BUDGET BLINDS Franchise Complaints

  • August 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm
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    Let’s get this straight. 75 SBA loans over 11 years of which 27 failed? That works out to be 2.5 failed franchises out of a system of 750-900? While I’m sure the good folks at Budget Blinds would like that to be 0, considering the economic conditions this country has experienced over the past few years I would say that those numbers are a tribute to their system as opposed to a disgrace.

  • August 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm
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    Anonymous:

    Thanks for posting your comment.

    In the spirit of getting things straight, here are the numbers provided by Budget Blinds in their 2012 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD):

    Number of Budget Blinds franchises open at start or 2009: 895
    Number of new Budget Blinds franchises added 2009-2011: 90
    Total # Budget Blinds franchises open 2009-2011: 985
    Total # Budget Blinds franchises terminated 2009-2011: 284 (29%)
    Total # Budget Blinds franchises ceased operation for other reasons 2009-2011: 17 (2%)
    Percentage of Budget Blinds franchises terminated/ceased operation 2009-2011: 31%
    Percentage of Budget Blinds franchises with SBA loans that defaulted: 37%

    Looking at these numbers, it seems likely that in a three year period, about a third of Budget Blinds franchisees are terminated or cease operation.
    Whether that’s high or an acceptable amount is up to prospective franchisees to decide, but that’s the data that Budget Blinds discloses in their FDD.
    Also, the 2012 FDD states that there are 687 U.S. Budget Blinds franchises, not 750-900 as you state.
    That’s down from 895 at the end of 2008.
    I agree that “2.5 failed franchises out of a system of 750-900” would deserve a tribute, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case.

    If we are missing something, please set us straight.

  • August 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm
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    As a former Budget Blinds franchise owner for 5 years I can add some insight to this discussion. One thing to be aware of is that Budget Blinds (parent company is Home Franchise Concepts) tends to play loose with the numbers. They consistently have stated that they have “900” or so franchises, when in fact it is “franchise territories” that the number actually represents. They tend to interchange these two rather liberally. There may be 900 franchise territories, with one franchise owning more than one territory, but only 6 – 700 actual franchises…something to keep in mind. Likewise, they started another franchise operation called “Closet Tailors” which is now called “Tailored Living”. It sells garage cabinets, closet makeover stuff and the like. Something to ask, do they include those numbers in the total franchise number since many “Tailored Living” units are owned by Budget Blind franchisees? The failure rate for these things is high, no getting around that. The support is non-exsistent especially if another franchisee “poaches” in your territory. You’re pretty much left to fend for yourself. The NAF (National Advertising Fee) is over the top considering the amount of leads it generates. The franchises have been litterally screaming for more regional advertising for years always falling on deaf ears. I could go on and on but those doing due dilligence should keep one thing in mind: the owners target is 1500 franchises then they want to sell out. During the heyday, 2003 thru 2008 or so the most franchises they had were around 1100 more or less. Many financed those purchases with loans against their homes, retirements, banks and so on. Two questions: there are now half or so of those franchises left, how many lost their shirts because of this (with Budget Blinds refusing to lower fees to assist some to stay in business); and two, if they couldn’t make it to 1500 during those “wild and crazy days” how will they make it now when everything has tightended up?

  • August 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm
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    I have been in the window covering business for over 20 years. it is not an easy business, like all businesses. It can be a good business, you wont get rich but you can make a good living .
    Do your due diligence, there are people in your area now, that have been selling all types of window coverings for years. You could simply get in touch with a few suppliers negotiate your pricing and your in business ! If you are serious they will work with you. Start small , do a few good jobs and your business will grow. No need to pay a franchise fee ! what do you really get for $75k . Suppliers reps can teach you all you need to know, if you are the right person for this, you have to have a good balance of business savvy, decorating and be a handy to install and repair.
    Be warned, mistakes , bad measurements etc.. can be costly , fussy customers, etc.. every window covering company in the world has them. Custom blinds can’t be returned they are basically worthless . All companies have piles of them. Keep this to a minimum. Good luck to all !!!

  • November 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm
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    As a current owner of 2 Budget Blinds franchises for close to 10 years I would just like to add a few comments. First, as in any inustry there are people who probably have no business running their own company regardless of what products are involved and of course, people who have taken loans to start a new venture face the same reality of economic conditions that everyone faces. Does this mean this should be an indictment on Budget Blinds…..NO. The comments above from a previous owner are no doubt representative of a person who perhaps should not have undertaken this type of business regardless of the franchise. We run a very strong business with a repeat/referral rate of 68% YTD in 2012. I feel corporate does an outstanding job of presenting the franchise owners with the support, pricing and products to enable us to be sucessful. How the owners chooses to implement/use these tools is what separates the sucessful franchise owners from the unsucessful ones. Big difference we have compared to starting your own business is brand recognition and web presence…something that would take months/years to acquire by starting on your own. When I started I actually made a profit my first month and now with annual sales of app. 750k at a 24% net margin I think we have a real good thing going making over $160k per year…after all expenses including franchise fees. Hope this might be insightful to folks.

  • April 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm
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    TO: Anonymous says:

    from November 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Can you email me? Would like to pick your brain, thanks Dawn and Tom

  • June 20, 2013 at 9:35 am
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    I called a few days ago to inquire about the Budget Blinds franchise opportunity, and after two days, I have received no phone call back! I talked with an operator for about three-minutes who directed me to another phone extension that I left a very clear message, and to date, nothing.

    I have noticed in my area (Cleveland, OH) there are many Budget Blinds franchise owners already in business, but this should not justify the corporate office not having the decency to get back (in a timely manner) with a interested prospect (RED FLAG…

  • June 20, 2013 at 11:40 am
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    as a former franchisee let me just give you this warning. when you purchase a Budget Blinds franchise you are purchasing a job and working for home franchise concepts, the parent company of budget blinds. just remember Budget Blinds is in business for itself not for the franchisee. support is very hard to get to usually just by a phone call in which they only have three or four people answering the phones and most the time they are not there. your product lines although marketed as specific to Budget Blinds, are made by the large companies that manufacture the same thing for everyone else and the only difference is the sticker on the bottom of the window covering. national advertising is very poor and really only benefit’s the east and northeast territories. Budget Blinds itself will send you fake leads just to pad the numbers. Budget Blinds won’t admit to it but I sent them back more bad leads than they sent me good, threefold. in my 12 months as a franchisee I only received 9 good leads from national advertising. that means approximately 1000 dollars per lead with an average sale at three to four hundred dollars.
    ease of entry into this type of business is extremely easy and the need for Budget Blinds is not there. do yourself a favor and save franchise fees and the advertising budget for yourself and contact the manufactures directly. set up accounts with the manufacturer’s directly and pay as you go, make sure not to build any type of credit situation because it will soon come to haunt you with this type of business. also remember your competition is everyone, big box stores, little stores specialty stores, everyone sells blinds.
    I also want to add your support will come from the manufacturer reps for the majority of your needs, making Budget Blinds itself obsolete.

  • August 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm
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    I have to agree with Mario. I am a former Closet Tailors franchisee with Home Franchise Concepts. There was very little help and practically no help with advertising. When a family tragedy hit our family, they canceled our franchise agreement after taking $65,000 from me. My advice is save your money. If you’re looking for a good franchise opportunity, contact The Cleaning Authority where advertising, training, support is the very best! I’ve been with The Cleaning Authority now for 10 years and we are a $2,000,000/year business.

  • August 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm
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    Another note, when I tried to save our Closet Tailors franchise, corporate said “this is a business decision” which I can understand but it was just when they were transitioning to Tailored Living and there was someone from Premier Garage that wanted my 2 territories so they got $65,000 from me and more from the new franchisee. That seems a little crooked!

  • August 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm
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    Ms. Baker paid $249 for blinds for her home. She paid in full and has not received her blinds. Ms. Baker is 91 years old and when she calls the number it has been disconnected.

    She has contacted us, Morning Star Publications, Inc ( the local newspaper) to try and get some help.

    Please contact Ms. Baker to resolve her problem asap. If she does not hear from Budget Blinds with 10 days, we will contact the Better Business Bureau and our local police.

  • August 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm
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    I am a former Budget Blinds franchisee. I purchased my franchise in November, 2003 and was terminated in May, 2006. I lost the $65,000 investment in my franchise and tens of thousands of additional money I invested in the business just to keep it going. In early 2005 a franchisee in the same city ran into financial problems and was not able to fulfill customer orders. However, he continued to accept deposits on new orders of up to 75% of the total sale and would use that money to fulfill orders for customers who ordered blinds several months earlier. He ended up on a COD basis from almost all his suppliers because he was not paying them on time. This situation went on for months and got worse. Finally, a large number of irate customers, probably 40 or 50, contacted the local television stations and they began running stories every week on their prime time newscasts. At that time, my phone literally stopped ringing, except for the other franchisee’s customers calling me demanding that I fulfill their orders. In the meantime the other franchisee filed for bankruptcy protection and as a result, Budget Blinds was not able to terminate his contract. I asked Budget Blinds corporate for help and all they would do is waive my royalty fees for a three month period. The value of that was a few thousand dollars, a drop in the bucket considering the financial losses I was now dealing with. The TV stations called the Budget Blinds corporate office and they would not even respond to their inquiries. They also refused to assist in fulfilling customer orders, saying that they were not responsible for the actions of franchisees. In the meantime, my business suffered huge losses and even after the bad publicity was over (about a year later), the damage was done and I was unable to recover financially. I asked the corporate office of Budget Blinds for assistance, asking for a representative to come to my city and help me rebuild, but the answer was no. I reached the point where I was several months behind in royalty payments and was given a deadline of Friday to get caught up on royalties or else I would be terminated. I made arrangements to borrow money from a relative in another state, so I sent a $10,000 check to pay the royalties by the deadline of Friday. However, I did not receive the funds in my bank account until the following Monday. Budget Blinds corporate called my bank on Friday to see if the funds were available, and of course they were not, so they terminated me. On Monday, however they deposited my check and it was paid, but they still refused to cancel the termination. While all this was going on, another new franchisee purchased the territory that the other franchisee owned after he was terminated. I had a verbal agreement to sell one of my territories to the new franchisee the same week that I was terminated and the corporate office was aware of this. I can’t prove it, but I believe that Budget Blinds corporate told the new franchisee not to buy my territory because they were about to terminate me. This way, Budget Blinds could sell the territory themselves.

    The bottom line after all of this is Budget Blinds will not support their franchisees when they run into difficulty even when it is not the franchisee’s fault. Their support is nonexistent and they are only interested in selling franchises, not supporting them to ensure their success. Everything that has been written on this post previously is true. Budget Blinds’ failure rate according to the SBA is 37%, but if you consider the failed franchises that did not borrow on a SBA loan (like me) the failure rate is much higher.

    If you are considering buying a Budget Blinds franchise, my advice is to run away as fast as you can.

  • September 9, 2013 at 1:21 am
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    I have owned a Budget Blinds franchise for over seven years and think this attack of the franchise system is ridiculous. Have you lived in the same country I lived in for the past five years? How many businesses of any type are no longer here? How many people had their homes foreclosed? How many people have been unemployed? Is that all Budget Blinds fault too? How many 3 Day Blinds stores have closed in comparison? We took a hit when the economy tanked of about 10% in sales. The next year we bounced right back. When we went down 10% many of my competitors closed their doors. Corporate has always supported me and my business has grown steadily each year ever since. Owning a business is hard work and all I can say is you harvest what you sow. Maybe a better statistical study would be how Budget Blinds compares to similar companies or industries? In my past experience many of the franchises I’ve seen come and go also were not taking care of their customers and calling them back. I’ve had customers beg me to take care of them because the franchise that services their area won’t call them back. It’s kind of hard to stay in business if you don’t answer your phone and deal with people. I imagine that is corporates fault too? There are also plenty of examples out there of these “dog” territories that get no support as you claim getting new owners and thriving. Maybe that statistic should be investigated as well?

  • December 15, 2013 at 8:25 am
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    We are former franchise owners and terminated our franchise
    After we got no support from corporate. We had another franchise owner
    Selling in our territory once we confronted corporate they took no corrective
    Action. Absolutely worst business decision we made.

  • December 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm
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    As a former franchise owner I can’t stress this enough: go directly to the vendors. The reps will be more than happy to get you trained and established. You won’t be paying royalties, advertising fees, etc. If you contact the Budget Blinds franchisor ask if it is only there to sell franchises. ‘November 11, 2012’ is the anecdotal story, not the rule. He/she also makes numerous assumptions as all territories are not the same demographic or makeup. This franchise was to be part of our overall business portfolio which included two other businesses with combined revenues of about $2.5 million. Unfortunately, I allowed someone else to do the “due dilligence” (my fault). Once I saw what the monthly payout in fees was compared to the actual sales potential, given that there were already 11 other franchises overlapping each other in the same area (and we were smack dab in the middle of someone elses) alarm bells starting going off like crazy. I gave it some time but what a disaster. People selling in the territory and the franchisor lawyer more interested in covering his rearend. I was told on the phone that I needed to see it from the franchisor owners point of view…not mine who was the person being stolen from. I immediately had my lawyer warming up in the bullpen while I scoured the contract sentence by sentence. After 6 months of back and forth with one of the franchise owners (who wanted $98 grand to buy out the contract) I found the achiles heal and bought it out for around $5 grand. My attorney crossed out half of the wording the franchisor tried to submit with the buyout contract. Of course, we never heard from then again once they cashed the check. Word to the wise be very very careful and the anecdotal stories are nice but far from the norm. Oh, and of the 11 franchises in my area…there are 2 left today.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:57 am
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    I owned 2 Budget Blinds franchises. Purchased them in 2004. I sold them in 2006. The reason I sold was that the business had grown to a point where I needed to hire and having come from a retail background of employing 30 or so I knew employees were not all that much fun.
    The business today is doing over 1 million in sales and the franchisee is happy.
    I think the world of the founders of Budget Blinds. They provided training and support. They warned against the low hanging fruit of New Construction and that it would end some day. They knew me better than I knew my self and had an existing long time franchisee from California call me to share his one man operation and how it was profitable. I wish I had listened to him.
    I went independent in a different market for about six months after I sold my franchise. Yes you get some support from reps but not like you get as a BB franchisee. I soon realized just what an advantage the franchisee had over an independent. I also learned that if you pay money for “the system” you are a real fool not to follow the system to the letter.
    Crossing territory lines is a tough one. It should be a matter of integrity if you get a lead, unless it is a referral, from another territory you should transfer it to them and vise versa. If neighboring operators worked together the marketing possibilities are endless.
    I am not doubting that there are some cases out there where the franchisor could have been more supportive but I also know people and our propensity to blame others for our short comings and failures.

  • May 31, 2014 at 8:59 pm
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    Totally amazed at all the negative comments and misleading statics and the credibilty “stretches” of 37% of 75 SBA loans failed. OK, so? Anyone who needed an SBA loan probably didn’t know enought to be successful in the first place. That’s what those stats say to me.

    Either my expertise is exceptional or I’m just one lucky dude but we are, and continue to do really well in the Budget Blinds’ System which is what we paid for and know we purchased back ten years ago in 2003. We figured out that following the System we bought was the smart thing to do. If you do so, this is less work than having a license from the government to print your own money!

    Geez, I dunno about all those bad experiences — just amazed to hear people say those things. I say, interview at random the same number of all other franchisees and see if they say the same bad things — I’ll bet a significant sum of money (made by selling Budget Blinds-generared leads for me) that many, many more would be significantly more positive about the decision to join this franchise family. Maybe those of us who are doing so well are too busy to spend time complaining, and just get the damn job done! We’re very happy with the support and loyalty to all our colleagues and fellow franchisees given by the Five Founders for the entire decade we’ve know them. I say, don’t walk to the bank to get your money to buy a franchise, RUN!!

  • June 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm
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    Vini:

    Please clarify which “misleading statistics” you are referring to. The 37% failure rate is from the Coleman Report which is compiled from data provided by the SBA. If Budget Blinds thinks that the Coleman Report or SBA data is in error (it’s possible) please let us know the correct numbers and we will be happy to post them.

    According to the Budget Blinds 2014 Franchise Disclosure Document, there were a total of 939 Budget Blinds franchises in existence between 2010 – 2014.

    A total of 163 (17%) were terminated, weren’t renewed, were reacquired by the franchisor, or ceased operation.

    There were a total of 105 transfers of franchises to different owners during that period. (939 + 105 = 1044 total franchise agreements in that time).

    So it appears that about 268 franchisees (26%) exited the system in those 4 years either by being terminated, ceasing operations or transferring to new owners. According to Budget Blinds statistics.

    “Anyone who needed an SBA loan probably didn’t know enought to be successful in the first place.”

    I don’t understand why an SBA loan would indicate less experience. It actually adds another level of financial qualification.

    If you think that Budget Blinds is selling to unqualified, inexperienced franchise prospects, that’s definitely an issue worth raising with them. It’s important for franchisors to qualify franchisees and only accept those with a high likelihood of success.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • November 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm
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    My husband is iin his second year of owning 2 budget blind franchises. We are barely making ends meet! The first year wasn’t bad because we were not charged the franchise fees. Once the franchise fees hit they hit us hard. The first couple months the fee was 1500 per territory, Now It is more like 2000 per territory. On a good month my husband profits 7,000 ( after paying the vendors their fees) which is great if we did not have to pay 4,000 in fanchise fees. I am not sure what these fees cover because we still have to advertise on our own… which is another 1500 a month. Basically each month we are either under or just broke even. Not to mention other business fees like the phone bill, van, gas, storage unit. With these added expenses we have now racked up 18,000 in credit card debt, which we NEVER had credit card debt before. My husband contacted Budget blinds and they pretty much told him that he has to sell more blinds. They will not budge on the fees even if you are not making any money. The summer months are VERY slow and my husband only made 4500 ( after paying the vendor) then he had to pay 4000 for fees plus his other expenses so we were definitely in the red and it is hard to recover.
    I am looking for insight. How can we get out of this business? Do we have to file bankruptcy or is there another way since we signed a contract.

    Please Help!!!

  • November 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm
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    To Melissa L:

    Take a look at my comment of December 30, 2013. Get a lawyer and start going thur your contract. The last thing you want to do is run up more credit card debt. In the short run, see if you can give back at least one of the territories. Better to take the hit now than later and you may avoid bankruptcy that way. Don’t look to the franchisor for help as it is just there to sell franchises, nothing more. You’ll get the anectdotal stories like Vini’s but believe me, those are the exceptions not the rule. It will always be “your fault”, etc. etc. etc.

  • November 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm
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    We bought our Budget Blinds franchise in 2002. It was a rough beginning because no one was familiar with the name. We worked our fannies off, canvased, joined networking groups, mailed postcards, etc. We started with one territory and later added a second. Working two areas is overwhelming if you do not chose to expand and add employees. So we let our second franchise territory go. Corporate Budget Blinds has always worked well with us and supported our business wherever they could. We make a very comfortable living…not going to get rich…but are very happy with our choice to run this business. I agree, not everyone should own a small business. It takes dedication, long hours, and a desire to work with the public.

  • December 12, 2014 at 3:01 pm
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    I’m looking into buying a franchise to be my own boss and Budget Blinds is one of the business I’m currently looking is in Southeast US. It is clear to me that we get what we put in and that running a business is about a lot work but it is unclear how much of the closings are failure due to bad management or bad area selecion from the start.

  • February 6, 2015 at 9:06 pm
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    The time period of decrease corresponds to a major down swing in real estate. Could it be that builders were not building as many houses so blind sales dropped?

  • July 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm
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    I ordered blinds from your dover office. Some blinds have been installed–i am waiting for your dover office to complete my order–i have called the office numerous times the voice machine comes. I can’t leave a message because the answering machine comes on stating that the voicemail is full. This has been going on for about a month. I need the rest of my blinds installed.

  • July 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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    i also once own a budget blind in victorville, apple valley, barstow area and given territories that was already owned by someone else. I made great enemies from the other budget blind franchisees They tried to be my friend but sabotage my business by poaching. It not their fault . I blame Budget Blind. I have been trying to start a class action suit against them but, unsuccessful. All three of us that own a franchise went out of business. Too many of us in the territory and fighting for customers. I had to file for bankruptcy, lost my house of 8 yrs, because it was a lien against my house that I took money to start this business. I would just like my money back which was $70,000. I lost everything.I almost killed myself just to help pay for the loss. But thank God a friend of mine help me start over and found me a job. I was under so much stress that I came very depress. I am still in debt but I manage to get back on my feet.

  • August 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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    I purchased a resale territory in 2012 after extensive research regarding this business. What I was not able to discover before the purchase was the lack of support from the corporate office (of course the seller of this franchise said it was “great”). There is a steep learning curve when you start even after the 2-week training session and the business reps at the corporate office are not very helpful. Unless you are very “handy” the installations can be much more challenging than the company portrays in training and you may need to hire an installer which then dings your profit margin.
    The royalty and advertising fees are very steep and in 2014 the company increased the advertising fee $250 for “radio advertising” however neither myself or friends and family ever heard an advertisement in our area. Kinda sleazy IMO.
    Some owners do well in their areas but I would be very careful before I purchased a franchise from this company. Depending on your area the customers can really grind you on price and be incredibly picky on product and installation. Also there are low barriers to entry in this business and before you know it the competition can increase dramatically (this happened to me).
    After 2 1/2 years of struggling I was able to sell my territory(at a loss) to a neighboring franchisee that had just started out and wanted to expand. I consider myself lucky.

  • October 15, 2015 at 8:44 am
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    I am writing in regards to my dispute with budget Blinds of Fredericksburg, Virginia which is owned by Ms. Beth Sharpe. I am appalled and disappointed in the services rendered from this establishment, the lack of consistency and customer service under this new owner. Beth Sharpe chooses to use selective memory in the statements made to customers and in so refuses to acknowledge short comings but rather takes on a harsh and negative attitude and accuses me of making false statements.

    When I ordered blinds, Beth did not measure the windows correctly, resulting in the blinds for the entire upper portion of my house, 10 windows, having to be replaced due to the incorrect measurements that she herself did. I felt that I was a good sport as mistakes do happen, especially since she recently purchased the business from its previous owner, who was absolutely fantastic. The blinds were removed and a new order placed with the correct measurements.

    During the installation of the new blinds, Beth told me if there were any issues with the blinds and if I need them taken down when I am having the windows replaced, since I did share that I would be replacing the windows in the house, that it can be done and just contact her with the details. At no time did Beth mention any additional charges/fees for said services. She further stated that in appreciation of my patience for having been inconvenienced that I would be compensated with some kind of gift, the gift was never received.

    During the week of October 13th I contacted Beth Sharp to inform her that her services would be needed to remove all blinds and the need to schedule a date. I called on the 13th of October and spoke with Beth to make my request. Not only was I greeted with a harsh and hostile attitude when I made this request, but she then denied ever making such a statement to me of offering the aforementioned services, accusing me of fabricating the matter. Beth with an attitude said,” Well I have to charge you because to come out and take blinds down and turn around and put them up, it costs gas, time and I am running a business and have to make money.”

    I did not appreciate her attitude and rude response. It was totally unnecessary for her to be rude or to get voicerous during our phone conversation. Had she previously mentioned an additional cost or fee to remove/re-install the blinds it would not have been a problem. Instead she out rightly accused me of lying about what she originally promised me.

    I will never recommend Budget Blinds of Fredericksburg, Virginia to anyone, not even to replace blinds in a tree house.

  • October 21, 2015 at 9:09 am
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    Horrible experience with this company. DO NOT RECOMMEND.

  • November 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm
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    We are the Association of North American Real Estate Professionals: a non profit that provides guidance and benefits to professionals who work in and around the real estate industry. That includes agents, inspectors, contractors, and service providers to home owners.

    To those of you who are complaining, you need a check up from the neck up. 90% of all businesses fail in the first year. And probably 50% of franchises. You are just another staticstic. Obviously not everyone is cut out or capable to run their own business. The road to success is paved with failure. We learn our best lessons from failure. The truly gifted get back up after falling and start over again with the experience they needed to begin with. The complainers usually get no where and just need to go get a J-O-B. Problem is their egos are so swollen they cannot see the truth about themselves.

    Business requires one thing. Persistance. The concept that the customer is always right is most often misunderstood or just not considered. Learn your business, the money will follow. What you don’t learn in the first year you simply cannot learn. Freedom is not free.

    A wonderful book to read is “The World’s Greatest Salesman” by Og Mandino. Give it a try. Available at Barnes and Noble.

  • November 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm
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    Jim Russell:

    No offense but it doesn’t look like you are in any position to be lecturing Budget Blinds franchisees on their their own franchise system.

    Do you want to encourage more SBA loans for Budget Blinds franchisees so the American taxpayers can pay back the banks for those that fail? You do understand that’s how it works, right?

    As for credibility, it doesn’t even look like your “Association of North American Real Estate Professionals” is even real.

    The website doesn’t work (click on any link and its an error).

    The Facebook page has 2 (yes two) likes and hasn’t been updated in years.

    The association address tracks to a UPS store.

    When you write “We are the Association of North American Real Estate Professionals..” who exactly is the “we” You and…?

    Nice trolling though…

  • December 3, 2015 at 11:15 am
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    I was a former Budget Blinds franchisee and MY decision to invest in it led to my bankruptcy. I went to Discovery Day and bought in hook, line and sinker. They really put on a great sales presentation and kudos to the five founders on it.

    If you have a burning desire to sell window coverings then I’d recommend working for a local company. Once you learn the ropes you will be able to set up accounts with the various vendors and they will train you in their blinds/shades and give you competitive pricing. The products are all similar. eg. Budget Blinds Signature Series line of horizontal blinds is simply Bali products that are relabeled. The factory shown on Undercover Boss was not really a Budget Blinds factory. It is Springs Window Fashions’ factory in Wisconsin where some Bali products used to be manufactured.

    Vincent M. above is a very successful franchisee and his points are valid. However, he is an exceptionally driven owner and has a great business sense. I made friends with a small number of franchisees that made six figures almost every year they have been in business. They are also similar to Vini and would be successful in any venture they chose. They’re charismatic, friendly and natural type A leaders. I found out in spite of my initial optimism I was not.

    In our regional two city area we had nine franchisees. There are now only three left and three of us had to file bankruptcy. No one is getting wealthy in our area. I know two of three that are left and they are paying their bills just fine but wish they had pursued other lines of business. Almost all of our original zees were buyers back in the mid 2000s.

    As a side note, it used to be somewhat easy to move your territory from one state to another in the event you had to move. You may want to contact existing franchisees and see if they would be interested in selling their territory. They sometimes go for pennies on the dollar.

    With any B2C service oriented business be aware that a number of customers want/need their appointments in the late afternoon and evenings. My absence did not help our marriage at all and with the financial stress (monthly obligations to BB Corporate) it is a minor miracle I am still married. I consider myself extremely blessed to have our family still intact, and since my exit, thriving.

    Best wishes to anyone that purchases a Budget Blinds. Do your due diligence and contact a number of current and prior franchisees to discuss their working hours and take home pay. It ended up costing us probably $200K in the long run, w/the loss of a retirement account included in that amount.

  • December 7, 2015 at 10:41 am
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    I am considering a BB franchise using their Troops in Transition which will pay the franchise fee over a period of time. They also have 15K for veterans who have discharged onger that 2 years. Are there any veterans who have accepted this program of payment? The brand name recognition is better than other made up names. I have not gone to discovery day but would assume it is made up of only positives and why you should invest.

  • January 20, 2016 at 7:28 pm
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    HORRIBLE Installation! I definitely do NOT recommend Budget Blinds located in MILTON, DE for plantation shutters. In March, 2015, we had just relocated from Houston, TX to new construction in lower Delaware. Having had experience with custom plantation shutters in Houston, I had two presentations from different companies at the end of March. The young lady from Budget Blinds stressed how well they would fit because they were custom. She laboriously measured to the 16th of an inch. She explained they were made in China and would take about 10 weeks to come. After calling repeatedly to check the status, I was finally informed they were in the warehouse. I called to set up an installation appointment and was told I couldn’t because they had to be in hand first. Finally, I was told they had arrived but there were no installation appointments available. FINALLY, they were installed. I was appalled. Some of the panel were not flush with the windows. Some were not ‘level’. On one side more of the inside of the window was showing and on the other side, none of the inside was visible. I called and told, Tony, one of the co-owners I was extremely unhappy and they did not meet my expectations. Tony arrived and informed me no one had ever complained before and what was wrong? I told him one was at least 1/4 of an inch off. (By my ‘eye’ not a ruler.) He was adamant I was wrong. When he measured it (with some manipulation of the tape he agreed maybe 3/16″. When I repositioned the tape, it exceeded 1/4″.

    He promised to ‘fix them’. I asked him to just take them out, and I would find another provider. He worked one half a day and they were better, but still showed light at the bottom of the shutters. The ones I had in Houston, TX fit like a glove. They were so tight, they provided excellent insulation. (In Houston, at that time, windows did NOT have to be insulated. We had 10 windows replaced with quality insulated windows. We paid over $13,000) We had NOT had the front windows replaced but had plantation shutters installed. They fit so well no draft could penetrate the room.

    Tony kept reiterating that my windows were not square. They were all off. He constantly kept telling me Budget Blinds were all ‘custom’. I replied that if they were custom, even if my window was not perfectly square, then a custom adjustment would have been made to alter the size of the frame, and keep the louviers parallel. Finally, he conceded that the ‘custom’ part meant that my name was placed on that order. He then admitted that he could only order set sizes and no adjustments could be made to those sizes.

    When Tony left on July 10, he knew I was still unhappy. He did not have the remote I had ordered for a vaulted ceiling. The window is near the top of the wall. Finally, on January 18, (more than 6 months later), he wanted to come and install the remote and told me I owed almost $1000 more. I told him he needed to adjust the price that I was not paying that amount. I told him my neighbor (exact same home model, same window sizes, had ordered her shutters from a large home improvement store. They were installed about three weeks after placing the order and fit perfectly.

    Tony became angry, verbally abusive, used profanity, told me I was ‘off my head’. When I told him to keep the remote and that I was going to go on-line and express my dissatisfaction, he said, “i have nothing to say to you’ and hung up.

    Customer service?????? Hostility????? Nothing in 6 months???? Continue to be very disappointed and they don’t meet my expectations.

  • February 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm
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    WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH A CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENATIVE. PLEASE CALL ME AT [redacted]. THANK YOU.

  • February 5, 2016 at 10:25 pm
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    STILL WAITING TO SPEAK TO A REPRESENTATIVE, VERY IMPORTANT SO PLEASE EMAIL ME OR CALL ME, THANKS

  • March 2, 2016 at 6:17 pm
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    My office and house was done with your blinds and we always use you guys. But NOT anymore. Back in June 17, 2015 I took my blinds to have them restrung. July 17, 2015 I went and picked them up as they were suppose to be completed that was a Friday, When I hung them the side with where the cord broke wouldn’t hold the blinds. So Monday I took them back. I got them back after another month went by. I hung them up and again they did the exact same thing. I called them and they were suppose to send someone out to my house. Three weeks went by before they could come out and so I took off work and then no one showed up and didn’t call me I called them to see what happened. The next time someone was suppose to be out they called me late and I had to take off work and was already home. The next time someone showed up and said they needed to restring which was suppose to have been done 3 times by then. They hung them up and it did the same thing again. So they didn’t have the right string to do the job so they rescheduled and the next time they said it was a broken part and had to order it (which It wasn’t) and finally they were suppose to come back and try something else and wouldn’t answer my calls or call me back after 3 messages left. I FINALLY GAVE UP on them and called Mr Miniblind and they came out Jan 2016 and restrung it again and guess WHAT!!! It WORKS PERFECTLY!!!!!! Plus they didn’t charge me as much as you guys had. I wouldn’t have complained about that part if the blind worked like it was suppose to. What a waste of $65.00 paid with Ck #11372. I will NOT recommend your company to anyone. After wasting money and 7 months with no blinds on my window. Your last guy said just don’t use this one leave it down and it goes over a slider door that goes to my back porch BBQ. I am requesting my money back but will not hold my breathe if you guys do blinds like this now. This was also done in the Medford Oregon store.

  • July 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm
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    I was a franchise owner for eight years. My business averaged 50 to 60k per month. These numbers are quite hard to rationalize because at the end of the month I was lucky to end up with 5 percent profit margin after expenses. Anyone claiming 25 percent is not being truthful. This concept is very simple you have a geographic demography that dictates what you are going to make, add that to a huge mix of competition you eventually lower your profit to barely subsist. I lost everything in this business and would run away from this total scam. After royalties and you’re own expensesite including advertising you really don’t get anything different from your own business.

  • July 16, 2016 at 10:25 pm
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    I was a franchise owner for eight years. My business averaged 50 to 60k per month. These numbers are quite hard to rationalize because at the end of the month I was lucky to end up with 5 percent profit margin after expenses. Anyone claiming 25 percent is not being truthful. This concept is very simple you have a geographic demography that dictates what you are going to make, add that to a huge mix of competition you eventually lower your profit to barely subsist. I lost everything in this business and would run away from this total scam. After royalties and you’re own expenses including advertising you really don’t get anything different from your own business.

  • August 4, 2016 at 2:08 pm
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    As a franchise coach I work very hard to make sure I am only working with good companies. I have read the FDD’s of hundred’s of companies. Many of the numbers quoted in this article are VERY old. After reading this information, I thought it might be time for a quick update. In 2013, a grand total of 2 Budget Blind Franchisees secured SBA Loans. (This is from the 2013 Coleman report) The point is, SBA is not a big part of what Budget Blinds does. More importantly, at the end of 2015, Budget Blinds has a total of 931 franchisee according to their 2016 FDD. In 2015 they lost 13 franchisees (term + non-renew + ceased). According the the FDD, one of these good folks simply died. In 2014 they lost 13. In 2013 they lost 21. This is an average of about 2% per year. Nothing to be ashamed of. In regard to franchisees who sold their business to third parties (not a franchisor buy back), Budget blinds has averaged about 35 per year for the past three years. That is 3% per year. Keep in mind, selling your business is a GOOD thing. You want to see a system where franchisees run successful businesses and then sell the business. I cannot speak to the historical information dating back to 2001; however, if you look at the current FDD, it is pretty darn impressive. I would encourage this website to update their information at the top of this page because the information is half a decade old and misleading.

  • August 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm
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    Rick –

    Don’t say the data is out of date. It is not. And not 10 years old.

    That data was current 4 years ago when it was published in 2012.

    You want to do a full update using the same format have at it.

  • August 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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    We appreciate Rick Bisio’s input regarding the Budget Blinds franchise opportunity, and his willingness to join our discussion. He makes a good point that the 2016 FDD looks very different than the Budget Blinds FDDs of “half a decade ago” (ie 5 years). However, the prospective franchisees he is “coaching” are contemplating binding 10-year agreements. We respectfully submit that a franchise “coach” may want to encourage franchisees to take a look at the franchise chain’s performance for the prior term (10 years) or more – not a single year.

    In terms of active franchises, Budget Blinds appears to have peaked in 2008 at 1013, then suffered a 32% decline to 687 franchises by 2012. Since 2012, Budget Blinds claims to have regained some ground and rebounded to 931 franchises by the end of 2015. However, out of the 1464 franchises in operation 2008-2015, 37% (539) Budget Blinds franchises ended in termination or ceased operations. It seems likely that many others exited the system by selling their franchises at a loss (transfer).

    Prospective Budget Blinds franchisees (and their advisors) would be wise to find out what caused the chain to decline by 1/3 in just a few years, and then resell new franchises (we suspect) in the same markets where franchisees previously failed. Was it a change in the economy that could occur again? Was it the result of corporate strategy or management decisions… and if so, have those changed?

    On a separate note, Rick Bisio may be a conscientious and upright franchise advisor, but (in our opinion) his comments reveal the bias and sales spin common with franchise brokers:

    Rick Bisio writes: “As a franchise coach I work very hard to make sure I am only working with good companies.”
    Mr. Bisio, your LinkedIn profile indicates that you are a commissioned franchise broker with FranChoice. In the spirit of full disclosure, can we assume you get paid by Budget Blinds for “coaching” prospective franchisees to buy the Budget Blinds franchise?

    Franchoice brokers (and others like them) use the terms “franchise consultants” and “coaches” to create the impression that they are unbiased advocates with only the franchise prospect’s best interest in mind, but they are paid by the franchisors (like, I assume, Budget Blinds) who have deals in place with FranChoice. A real “consultant” would recommend the best choice for a client; a broker “consultant” might recommend the best choice (or easiest to close) among those with commission agreements in place.

    Rick Bisio writes: “In 2013, a grand total of 2 Budget Blind Franchisees secured SBA Loans… SBA is not a big part of what Budget Blinds does.”
    With a prior SBA default rate of 37%, Budget Blinds was lucky they 2 got SBA approvals. I’d wager it would be a big part of what they do if they could get approvals.

    RE Rick Bisio’s comments:

    Rick Bisio writes: “Many of the numbers quoted in this article are VERY old.” and “the information is half a decade old and misleading.”
    Again, the term of the Budget Blinds franchise agreement is 10 years, or two “half decades” as you would put it. Would it not seem reasonable for someone considering a 10 year commitment to look back to see how franchisees fared in the prior 10-year time period? It seems disingenuous for a coach to people to investing their life savings to restrict their research to less than 1/3 of the time frame they’re committing to.

    Rick Bisio writes: “Keep in mind, selling your business is a GOOD thing.”
    Sorry, Rick, got to call BS on you here. The statement is just false and really a red flag as to the reliability of your “coaching.” Selling a franchise at a loss is not a good thing. Can you or your friends at Budget Blinds provide us with the actual resale prices of the 171 franchise transfers since 2010? Can you confirm that 100% of those sale prices exceed the initial investment?

    From 2008 to 2011, Budget Blinds dropped from 1013 franchises to 687 franchises, a 32% decline. Are you contending that owners were selling their franchises at a profit while 1/3 of the chain’s franchises were being shuttered?

    As you well know, the transfer section of the FDD can be used to hide the true failure rate of a chain by counting a franchise sold at a deep loss as a “transfer” rather than a closure. A franchisee who invested $200,000 and later sold it for $1 to get out of the FA lost $199,000, but will show up as a “transfer,” not a failure. Brokers can then claim the franchisee got out the system and are sipping pina coladas in the Caribbean right now.

    Rick Bisio writes: “I cannot speak to the historical information dating back to 2001”
    We can (well at least to 2008).

    Budget Blinds franchises 2008-2015: 1464
    Budget Blinds franchises that ended with termination or ceased operations 2008-2015: 539
    % of Budget Blinds that ended with termination or ceased operations 2008-2015: 37%

    Rick, we will be happy to provide the Budget Blinds FDDs from this period so that you can provide a more thorough analysis to your “coachees.” Relying only on the 2016 FDD seems a bit, well, misleading.

  • August 7, 2016 at 8:42 am
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    Mr. Admin, thanks for the comments and acknowledgement that Budget Blinds “2016 FDD looks very different than the Budget Blinds FDD of half a decade ago” That was my point and I am glad to see that we are in agreement.

    I will end with the following advice. If you are a prospective franchisee and you are reading this blog, I would suggest you discount the information on this site. Unhappyfranchisee.com is, by definition, a place where unhappy people go to rant. At the same time, I would suggest you discount any ‘sales pitch’ you might hear from an overly optimistic franchise coach. As Mr. Admin correctly points out, franchisee coaches get paid by the franchisor.

    Fact is, both this site and franchise coaches are biased. I would strongly suggest you conduct your own, comprehensive due diligence. You should read the FDD and review the information. If you don’t understand the FDD have a franchise attorney read it and explain it to you. I would also suggest you interview franchisees. Not just successful franchisees but also franchisee that are struggling and even ones that have recently sold. Find out why one franchisee succeeds while another struggles. (The franchisee contact information for all franchisees -including the franchisees that have recently left the system – can be found in the most recent FDD).

    Speak with lots of franchisees. Keep speaking with franchisees until you have a good understanding of the reality of the system. By interviewing lots of franchisees, no one franchisee can unduly influence you. You also need to understand the numbers. What will your costs be and how much business will you need to do each month to cover your cost and achieve your financial goals.

    Finally, I would suggest you research more than one franchise system. Compare one franchise against another. This way you will know the one you are choosing is comparatively the best. By doing all these things you will be fully educated and able to make the best decision for you and your family. I wish you the very best.

  • August 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm
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    Mr. Bisio:

    A cynic might interprete your comments as those of a commissioned franchise broker pretending to be a completely unbiased advisor to prospective franchisees, one who provides, say, 80% decent, common sense advice but subtley (The cynic might say deceptively) spins the other 20% for his own self-serving sales purposes.

    You suggest prospective franchisees speak to successful franchisees, to those who are struggling and to those who have recently sold. Curiously, you do not recommend they speak to failed or terminated franchisees or those who otherwise left the system. In fact, you say to “discount the information on this site” because it contains the complaints of unhappy franchisees.

    An unbiased “coach” would encourage franchisees to look at the worst case scenarios as well as the best. An unbiased “coach” would encourage prospects to see what the ramifications of failure might be… and be sure they could survive it. And, in the case of Budget Blinds, speaking to the many “terminated” franchisees might reveal why the franchisor has terminated so many, and what caused the loss of 1/3 of the chain in just a few years.

    A salesperson, however, might not want his commission endangered by the dose of reality that might be shared by the former owners of the 539 (37%) franchises that were terminated by the franchisor or ceased operations before the end of their franchise agreements.

    You say that prospective franchisees should disregard the information on this site because it’s biased, but that they “should read the FDD and review the information.” The information we supplied was compiled from the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016 Budget Blinds Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs). In most cases, we post the actual FDDs. Our numbers aren’t biased – they are supplied by the franchisor.

    An unbiased franchise “coach” would encourage prospective franchisees to review how the franchise has performed over time; a commissioned salesperson might encourage them to only look at the latest, most favorable FDD… and disregard information that might endanger his or her commission.

    You state: “If you don’t understand the FDD have a franchise attorney read it and explain it to you.”

    An experienced, unbiased franchise coach would surely suggest that EVERY prospective franchisee have the FDD reviewed by a franchise attorney – not just those who think they understand it. Why would you advise making such a huge investment without having an attorney scrutinize it? How many of your “coachees” understand the ramifications of a merger/integration clause, or what the liquidated damages might be for early termination?

    Mr. Bisio, a cynic might interpret your “unbiased” coaching advice to be:

    1) Speak to franchisees, but only happy franchisees, those who might be looking to pawn off their money-losing franchise on someone else, or those who already have.

    2) Don’t speak to unhappy franchisees or the hundreds who were terminated by the same franchisor who’s paying my commissions – You might kill the success fairy if you think negative thoughts.

    3) Any time a franchisee sells his/her franchise (a “transfer” in the FDD) it means they ran out of places to stash all the money they were making, so they probably bought an island in the tax-free part of the caribbean where all franchisees eventually live in post-transfer luxury.

    4) Disregard warning signs and red flags of Bisio-endorsed franchises. Even though you’re signing a decade-long agreement, how the franchise performed over the last decade isn’t relevant.

    5) No need to pay a franchise attorney to review the 400 pages of legal mumbo-jumbo that you are committing to. After watching 10 or so episodes of Law and Order, you know as much as they do. It’s not like the good franchisors – who only succeed if you succeed – would put anything in the agreement that wasn’t in your best interest, right?

    No offense intended, but a cynic might suggest that your The Educated Franchisee concept might more accurately be named The Manipulated Franchisee.

    Respectfully,

    ADMIN

  • August 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm
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    Rick,

    Your services are not free and you work for the franchisors. If a person buying a franchise skipped you entirely they could negotiate the upfront franchise fee down in their favor.

    H.

  • September 30, 2016 at 9:54 pm
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    I Ran a Budget Blinds franchise for four years in Northern Canada and for the first few years it was a decent living. That was before the franchise decided to raise its national advertising fee and royalty from 2200 a month up to 4800 all at once. so my franchise did close to 30000 a month which was more than graciously getting me by.

    To put the NAF and royalty into perspective at a 30% profit margin you only had to do 7300 in sales to cover the cost. When you raise it to 4800 it jacks that cost to 16000 a month in sales just to cover their payment. After all company costs it truly eliminated any real money to be made as my town was only about 10000 homes so there was only so much to expand.

    When talking to them they offered no help or care so I chose to have my contract terminated. Luckily I did so before it got carried away. Also due to my father backing the company and it being in his name I moved to a larger city and started a blind company myself since my father signed the non compete not me.

    I learned a great deal from budget blinds at start but truly do believe they drop the ball on helping in any way and maintaining any assistance in the long run. If your thinking of buying their franchise I suggest just getting support from manufacturer territory representatives and going out on your own. I do double the monthly sales I ever did with them and don’t have to worry about them selling more territories and cutting where I can work.

    Hope it helps for the people who really need it!

  • December 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    Yes, businesses fail.
    However, I believe BB has a higher rate of probability of failure due to the franchise fee structure, and long term contract.
    I had several BB territories for a decade. We sold a lot of blinds. Had more bad years, than good. The recession killed us. But the franchise fees are really the killer; not allowing financial flexibility for the franchisee.

    You become a slave to the fees.

    Having to pay high fees to corporate every month, when the biz tanks is impossible. The franchise fees are way too high for the value received from Budget Blinds Corporate.

    I gave back a couple of my territories with no compensation, and sold the balance at a loss. BB Corporate, of course got every penny they were due. They have no risk.

    I was a financially successful person before Budget Blinds. I am now paying off debts, which will last into my retirement years.

    I only blame myself for being so stupid and buying these franchises.

    It is correct that there is not much value in being a franchisee. For much less than what the franchise fees cost, you could have the number one spot on Google, and do plenty of local advertising on your own. There are plenty of manufacturers wanting to sell blinds. You don’t need the BB private label.

    If you want to buy a job, and work your butt off, it works. But you are better off doing it on your own.

  • June 12, 2017 at 4:49 pm
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    Agree to all the comments above. Not just this kind of business but in every business you should do something unique and different marketing strategies in order to survive and compete with your competitors. It’s hard, challenging but it’s about taking risk and never quit trying. Give the quality service that you have to your customers and show them how can you be trusted.

  • August 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm
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    Hi – Ryan Lewis

    I also live in Canada, I am researching about starting a blind business in my city. I currently own my own business and need advice and guidance in the blind business.

    Johnson

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