Thank you all for your input.
Mike Paige, your ideas will be extremely valuable. I`ve been working on documentation for just those purposes: procedures, tools, supplies, strategies. Like modes of advertising that work (and those that haven`t), prospective markets and ways to get exposure.
Mike (#2), To answer your questions, someone who wants to be a franchisee would be one who wants extra money by providing a service to customers that is enjoyable and at times very rewarding. The testimonials I`ve received speak for themselves. In addition, when the product is rolled out fully, sales income will be there also.
It will be very easy to enter the market as a franchisee, and since this business is not a recording studio, the investment in equipment is really minimal. All one needs is a computer with a good sound card and some quality stereo components. (and a Derumbleizer, of course) I did a year of research prior to starting the business, and all the articles, charts and information will come with a franchise. A retail presence is not necessary, nor is it prudent, given the small sales volume and niche markets. This business shares space in my home with the washer, dryer and catbox.
As far as competition, in the Seattle area there are a few others that do the common audio formats: reel to reel, LP and cassette, but as far as I know, no other business can do the obsolete and obscure ones like 78 records, DCC, Elcaset, wire and cylinder recordings. Here is the built in advantage for a franchise as opposed to a competitor. Since I do the more unusual formats, some of my competitors have even sent me jobs to do for them. Franchisees will get a discount on rates; competitors get charged full price.
Vincent, thank you for your interest, but I have some time until I`m ready to start franchising. Check back at the end of the year when I have documentation, procedures and sales experience with the product locally. I started this business on a shoestring (a thread, actually) and insisted that it be self-supporting immediately. It has been growing slowly but steadily because I have not gone into debt to finance anything. If I`d had financing it might have grown faster, but it wouldn`t be mine anymore. In the meantime, do some research online on your own about sound cards, 78 records, equalization, styli, cleaning fluid formulas, encoding schemes, anything you think you might run into. My website has some information from my research; it`s a place to start for ideas. Your location is good for a franchise; this business needs a major metropolitan area for success. Any franchisee will have to have a day job for the first few years, running it in the evenings and on the weekends as I do. It`s possible that it may not develop into full time at all, but I have fun doing it anyway.