Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I open a HobbyTown franchise instead of opening an independent hobby shop?

HobbyTown is the most trusted, recognized retailer in the hobby industry. We have exclusive programs with distributors and manufacturers and our national buying power provides you with discounted dealer pricing, terms and freight allowances. Our proprietary products provide market differentiation and delivers significantly higher than industry standard profit margins to put more money to your bottom line. Our exclusive SMART POS (point-of-sale) system is rated as one of the greatest values of owning a franchise. As an inventory management and purchasing tool, the SMART suite provides efficient and effective processes to manage an otherwise complicated task. With remote capabilities, inventory and ordering management can be done from the comfort of your home or easily accessible when traveling. We maintain a comprehensive database of product SKUs that are updated regularly to provide you with timely information regarding pricing, availability and rating based on our national sales. Our experienced corporate support staff is available to assist in all aspects of daily store operations such as I/T and computer network support, inventory analysis, product support, cash management, staff scheduling, third party resources, etc. Our franchise services support also includes monthly income statement preparation and an optional accounts payable service.

What do lenders require to get financing?

Most lenders will require a minimum net worth of $250,000 and a cash investment by the franchise Owner of approximately 1/3 of the total initial investment.

Do you offer financing assistance?

We have partnered with Benetrends to jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey!
Funding is one of the most important components in buying a franchise/business. Benetrends has been funding America’s entrepreneurs for over 35 years, offering a comprehensive suite of funding options covering nearly every type of business situation. The most popular programs are the Rainmaker Plan® (IRA/Rollover) and SBA small business loan programs. Benetrends also offers Securities Backed Line of Credit and Equipment Leasing.

Pre-Qualify for funding to determine how much and what sources of options are available to you. Fill out the form to see how much funding you may be eligible for.

Do I need hobby experience to open a HobbyTown franchise?

Hobby experience is not a requirement to be a successful HobbyTown Franchise Owner. The most important assets of a successful Franchise Owner include the ability to manage people, organizational skills and the drive to do whatever it takes to succeed.

What types of training do you offer franchisees?

HobbyTownUniversity is a comprehensive 5-week training program that consists of:

  • One week of mentored training in an existing franchise store to observe and participate in actual store operations under the guidance of a qualified Franchise Owner.
  • One week of training at the service and support center in Lincoln, NE to participate in a comprehensive curriculum covering franchise ownership and store operations.
  • Three weeks of onsite training conducted by a qualified FBA (Franchise Business Advisor). The FBA is onsite at your new store location to oversee store set-up and staff training. The FBA will remain through your Grand Opening weekend and leave you prepared to continue operations independently while we provide ongoing support from the home office.

Does HobbyTown offer Marketing and Advertising Support?

We offer comprehensive marketing services including media buying, graphic design, individual marketing plans, social media and budget guidance. Our marketing department produces professional print, web and broadcast materials that will effectively market your store.

Is my market large enough for a HobbyTown franchise?

There are several variables that contribute to a viable market for a HobbyTown franchise including population, viable competition and regional draw. A population base or draw of 100,000 people is a desirable minimum to ensure a viable market. If you are unsure of your population base, please contact us and we will assist you with your demographics.

How do I know what inventory to carry in my store?

The advantage of our scale and diversity is the business intelligence we collect from our network of retail stores across the entire United States. We collect and analyze real-time product sales data to maintain fresh inventory files that are used to select the opening inventory and provide an ongoing resource to maintain your inventory with the best-selling and most profitable product based on our national sales data.

What is the best time to open a HobbyTown?

We can accommodate any opening timeline that suits your preference or meets the financing and site readiness variables in the store opening process. We prefer to avoid opening after Thanksgiving in a calendar year due to the convergence of the store operations learning curve for you and your staff along with the high volume Christmas selling season.

Is it possible to have my manager run my HobbyTown franchise?

While it is possible for a qualified manager to run your hobby store, there is no substitute for an onsite Franchise Owner participating in the daily operations of the store to maximize sales and profitability. We encourage your full participation during the initial development process of the store (2-3 years). Management candidates can be trained during the initial development process to enable the franchise owner to consider strategic expansion or meet personal time in the business objectives.

What is the royalty fee?

Our royalty fee rate is 3% of gross sales.

Can I own multiple units?

Yes, we will grant additional franchise territories to qualified franchisees at a discounted franchise fee.

Does HobbyTown offer location assistance?

Finding the right location is critical to your success. That’s why we offer guidance based on our experience along with 3rd party site selection and lease negotiation services.

How long will it take to open my HobbyTown franchise?

The store opening process is approximately 8 weeks after financing is in place and a lease has been executed. Condition of the site will be a factor in the timeline as build-out to our specifications is a variable in the process.

How much is the franchise fee?

The one time franchise fee is $20,000. We are pleased to honor our active and honorably discharged military veterans and recognize their service to our country by offering a $10,000 reduction to the franchise fee on a new store. The initial term of the franchise agreement is 10 years. However if you purchase an existing store, the franchise fee is only $10,000.

What is the cost to open a HobbyTown franchise?

The overall cost to open a HobbyTown store ranges from $161,000-$330,000. The variables of inventory, fixtures, POS computer systems and build-out requirements will affect the initial opening investment. The appropriate size of store to open will be dependent upon income objectives and market characteristics.

What product lines does HobbyTown carry?

Our core product categories include model railroading, games, radio control, models, building supplies and accessories, specialty toys and seasonal merchandise. Our Franchise Owners are afforded significant latitude to explore and stock new or diverse products that suit their personal interests and are appropriate for our family-friendly audience.