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Cruise Planners-American Express Travel began back in 1994 when Michelle Fee, Marvin Davis,and Lynn Korn started their partnership. Five short years later they began selling franchise opportunities. They are currently headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida and their product is the sales of cruise vacations. As of 2009, they had over 800 US based franchises and they are currently seeking expansion in the United States.
Cruise Planners charges a franchise fee of $9,995 and an ongoing royalty fee of 3% of the gross sales. They do require that new franchisees have a minimum net worth of $15,000-25,000 and a cash liquidity requirement of at least $9,000. A new owner may finance the franchise fee, but in-house financing is not offered. A Cruise Planners/American Express franchise can be run from home and can be operated on a full or part-time bases.
The parent company offers a variety of tools to help the new franchisee to market their business. These tools include professional postcards, flyers, brochures, banners, and print ads which can be personalized for each franchisee. The also offer a web-based marketing program that offers services from web site design to email marketing and weekly e-newsletters. Cruise Planners/American Express offers a 6-day orientation training as well as continual training and education through a program they call “Cruise Planners University” which is offered at the corporate headquarters in Florida.
Although the marketing tools and training programs look to be excellent, a new franchisee should keep in mind that they will need to take full responsibility for their marketing efforts and all expenses incurred by it. Success with a Cruise Planners franchise depends on your ability to market yourself and close sales. Before entering into this type of endeavor, the new franchisee may want to invest some time and effort into learning effective sales and marketing techniques, if they are not already proficient in this.