Is it difficult to get approved?
Whether you’re an optometrist or you’re simply after a business challenge that could potentially earn you a great revenue stream, an OPSM franchise loan can help you to achieve get it up and running.
OPSM is the largest eyecare and optical dispensary business in Australia and by becoming a franchisee, you’ll be able to leverage their market presence, excellent training program and ongoing business support.
There are only a couple of lenders that will consider a loan application to buy an OPSM franchise but with help from a mortgage broker, you have a better chance of getting approved the first time and at a great interest rate.
How much can I borrow?
By building a good case and speaking with the right lender, you be eligible for the following:
- For an optometry format system: Borrow up to 70% of the set-up costs or 60% for a new store.
- For an OPSM full format system: Borrow up to 60% of the set-up costs or 50% for a new store.
- Term of the franchise loan: 5 years as per OPSM’s franchise agreement.
- Using residential property as security: You can get a standard loan term between 25-30 years.
- Interest only: 2 years or more depending on if you’re using residential property.
- Financial situation: You should currently be earning a good income with little to no debt and a clear credit file.
- Business plan: You’ll be required to have an accountant approved business plan which shows revenue and cash flow forecasts.
- Low doc options: Not available.
- Interest rate: Reduced business loan rates available depending on the strength of the application and your Loan to Value Ratio (LVR).
Buying an existing store?
You’ll generally need to provide the last 3 years financial for current owners so that bank can be confident that the store has a track record.
Call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form to speak with a mortgage broker to find out if you qualify for an OPSM franchise loan.
How do I qualify?
All OPSM franchise loans are assessed on a case by case basis but the more information you can provide about your current financial situation and your business plans, the better.
As a general rule, it’s best if you can provide us with:
- Your last 2 years personal tax returns.
- If you previously owned your own business, your last 2-3 years business financials by way of ATO tax portals and business banking statements showing revenue increasing.
- Any business-related references will work in your favour, particularly if you were the owner or in a managerial role for a similar-sized business.
- A business plan that you’ve discussed with a business account that shows cash flow and revenue forecasts.
Even though the lender can place more confidence in the fact that you’ll be buying a franchise rather than trying to fund your own start-up, the bank still wants to see that you’re of good character and have a track record in business.
Once our mortgage brokers get these details from you, we can build a strong franchise loan application that highlights your strengths as a borrower.
Full format vs optometry franchise model
OPSM is a little different to other franchise systems in that there are two ways buy into model.
- Qualified optometrists can own and operate the practice within the store.
- OPSM itself will run the retail side of the business.
- The benefit is that upfront and operating costs are much less than the full franchise system.
- 5-year term with 5-year option.
Full format OPSM franchise
- You’ll own and operate both the optometry and eyewear (retail) business.
- The benefit is that you’ll earn a larger share of the profit.
- 5-year term with 5-year option.
There is actually a third option as well. OPSM also offers a 12-month term franchise model so you can get a taste of the business. There is also 5-year renewal option.
There is no initial investment and the ongoing costs are low, however, we cannot help you finance an OPSM ‘Optometry Alliance Franchise Model’.
What will the bank assess?
Your OPSM franchise loan, like other business finance solutions, will be assessed on its merits.
The best thing you can do is provide us with your most up-to-date financial statements, depending on your current situation:
- Working full-time: Your most recent group certificate and you last two payslips.
- Business owner: Your last 2 years business activity statement (BAS).
- Experience: No matter your background, experience in a managerial or operations role for a similar-sized enterprise is crucial.
Do I need a business plan?
Even though OPSM sits on an approved franchise list with some lenders, you’ll need to provide a business plan showing cash and revenue forecasts.
This applies to both existing store and greenfield (new) sites.
What if I’m buying an existing store?
It’s quite common for OPSM to offer you an existing store but the bank will still be doing its due diligence and so should you.
You’ll need the last 3 years financials for the business and the bank may want to see a certain level of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
You’ll have a better chance of getting approved if you can also show that key staff will remain on board when ownership changes hands.
In this way, the bank can be confident in the track record of the store you want to buy.
What if I have a bad credit history?
Unfortunately, you’ll need a clear credit file to get approved for a franchise loan.
Want to buy your own optometry practice instead?
So you’ve thought about and you really have you heart set on starting your own practice?
By choosing the right lender, you may be able to:
- Borrow up to 100% of the property value for business premises.
- Borrow up to 100% of the business value including fit-out and equipment.
Call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form to find out how we can help you.
What are the costs of the franchise?
Again, it depends on what type of franchise model that you want to buy.
- Capital investment: $50,000 to $75,000.
- Royalty fee: 4% of gross monthly sales.
- Rent: Any rental paid depends on the space you use in the store. For example, if you use 15% of the space, then you pay 15% of the rental costs.
- Capital investment: Depends on whether it’s an existing store or a greenfield site.
- Franchise fee: $35,000.
- Royalty fee: 7.5% of gross monthly sales.
- Marketing contribution: 6% of gross monthly sales.
Read the UFOC!
The uniform franchise offering circular (UFOC) or franchise kit must be provided to you when you ask for it.
This is a requirement under the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Franchising Code of Conduct regulations.
Why is it required reading?
The franchise kit will clearly detail the full costs of the OPSM franchise as well as:
- Your rights as a franchisee,
- OPSM’s rights as a franchisor,
- The training that will provided to you,
- Complete disclosure of any bankruptcy history of the franchisor or any of its executives,
- Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information,
- There is usually a no compete clause too.
As part of full disclosure, OPSM is also required to provide the contact details of current or past franchisees.
Call some in your local area before you get on board!
Ask them what their experience has been, particularly those that have sold their businesses. This is all part of good due diligence.
What’s the application process?
- Make an enquiry on the OPSM website.
- Once your franchise application has been assessed, you’ll have a face to face meeting with an OPSM representative. They’ll run you through the operation so ask as many questions as possible regarding your commitment and the fees that apply.
- Ask for a UFOC to get more detail on the franchise system.
- OPSM will offer existing stores for you to choose from or you can suggest your own location.
- At this stage, it’s important to get legal and financial advice regarding the investment and commitment you’ll be making.
- Enlist the help of an account who can run through the last 3 years business financials of the current franchisees (if you’re buying an existing store).
- You may want to speak to a business broker who can give you some insight on the store location that OPSM have offered you. Basic due diligence doesn’t stop just because you’re buying a franchise.
- OPSM will send you out disclosure documents and the franchise agreement for you to read and sign. Get pre-approval for an OPSM franchise loan first!
- Your store will be set-up ready for you start doing business.
Will I be provided with training and support?
The OPSM education model is actually one of the better offerings in the franchise sector.
You’ll receive initial training followed by ongoing training supported by online video tutorials (a learning management system).
You’ll also have the opportunity for continued professional development so you can keep growing your store.
OPSM has a national television, radio and online presence but they also help you with your in-store (direct) marketing strategy.
Pre-approved and pre-designed marketing material is available through OPSM.
A dedicated regional sales manager will visit your store on a regular basis to answer your questions and build your business.
You also have the opportunity to attend quarterly franchise business meetings and training events.
In addition to this, human resources are allocated at the company level meaning that there is staff if available if you or your own staff are unable to work.
What is Luxottica?
OPSM is owned by Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company.
That means you’ll be able to leverage their significant marketing resources, buying power and sales experience. They’ve been around for nearly 60 years!
Under Luxottica, OPSM:
- Has invested more than $50 million in eye care technology since 2008.
- Has more than 1,500 third-party contracts, providing you with a steady source of sales.
- Shares online sales revenue with stores.
- Gets negotiated prices on equipment and stock thanks to Luxottica’s purchasing power.
Optometry industry insights
Despite regulatory changes and more competition, revenue for the optometry and optical dispensary sector is on a path to reach $2.9 billion by the end of 2017 at an annualised growth rate of 0.5% (IBISWorld).
The biggest hit for the industry has been the 5% cut to the Optometry Medicare Benefits Schedule (OMBS) rebate, which was introduced on 1 January 2015. However, OPSM appears robust enough to handle shock to the market.
For the optometry and optical dispensary business as a whole, there are generally high labour costs due to staff and optometrist wages. However, the capital costs are low compared to other retail models.
Although shop fit-outs and ophthalmic equipment and tools can be significant upfront capital costs, additional significant outlays aren’t typically required for years.
Do you qualify?
Discover if you qualify for an OPSM franchise loan by calling us on 1300 889 743 or by filling in our online enquiry form today.