I would like to hear feedback from franchise owners of both Brightway or Goosehead on there experience as a franchise owner with each of these companies. Representatives of both companies, please correct me wrong in my understanding of the franchise opportunities below. I like the idea of where the agency franchisor provides the customer service aspect of the agency for the agency franchisee, plus back-end support. I know that is not for all agents, but as for me I would rather focus on the sales and marketing aspects of my agency. I'm looking at a few other opportunities, but they don't provide customer service support or the local marketing support that both Brightway and Goosehead provide. Both companies boast that there retention rate is 85% or better. Some information I've found points to be in the 90% retention rate. Brightway's franchise fee is 30K, if doing the office agent option or 60K, if doing the retail agency option. Brightway now offers an entry method without any upfront cost, that's a non-franchise option, which is six months, to start building an agency at no-costs or buy-in, before jumping into one of the franchise options, which Brightway will provide in-house financing for. Goosehead's franchsie fee is 25K, if paying in one-lump sum or 50K, if making a 10K down payment and making monthly payments till the franchise fee is paid off. Brightway and Goosehead, both say you'll need about another 20K to 40K in capital for your retail agency. These additional costs are for location, office furniture, and on-going expenses you'll need to get your franchise up and running. Brightway's office agent program is much less and can consist renting an office or desk space from a real estate or mortgage broker or a office retailer such as Regus. I'm unsure, if Goosehead will allow you to rent an office location over a retail store space. Brightway's franchise options are initially 5 year contracts with unlimited amount of renewals. The franchise renewals have no additional cost associated. Goosehead's franchise's are initially 10 year contracts with unlimited amount of renewals of 5 years. The franchise renewals have no additional cost associated. Both Brighway and Goosehead provide you a in-house industry award-winning service teams to take care of your customers and offer you the marketing support to grow your franchise. Both boast, that they have a higher commission structure then other agency groups, clusters, networks, etc. With new business commission being between 15% to 20% for new business and renewals. There commission split for new business differs some. Brightway's depends upon which franchise or non-franchise option you are doing. Brightway's retail agency franchise option is 85/15, office agent franchise option is 80/20, and non-franchise option is 50/50. Both companies take 50% of renewals. I'm unsure what the split on business that the service center cross-sells or re-writes for each company. I'll assume it's the same as new business. Both companies require no production requirements under each franchise option. Only Brightway requires a certain amount of production requirements for the non-franchise option. Both of these opportunities are captive independent insurance franchises. You do not own the expiration on the policies, but the economic interest only. Brighway is a privately-held company, while Goosehead is publicly traded. From what I can tell, both companies provide you an agency franchise local telephone, website, email, marketing, and branding. With both opportunities you get on-going costs, that you must pay the franchisor, such as agency management, comparative rater, and errors & omissions. Only with Brighway's six month entry method do you not have to pay the on-going costs for the agency management or the comparative rater. The six month entry method is also 50/50 commission on new business. You can renew your contract for an additional six months once under the non-franchise option. Brightway's carriers they represent consist of Alamance Farmers Mutual, AllRisks, Allied, Amelia Underwriters, American Bankers, American Integrity, American Strategic, American Traditions, Ark Royal, Bankers, Bass Underwriters, Cabrillo Coastal, Capital Preferred, Chubb, Citizens Property, Cypress Property and Casualty, Dairyland, Edison, Elements Property, Encompass, Excalibur National, Federated National, Florida Family, Florida Peninsula, Florida Specialty, Foremost, Frontline, Geovera Specialty, Gulf States, Gulfstream, Hagerty, Heritage, Homeowners Choice, Homeowners of America, Hudson, Infinity, JIBNA, Johnson & Johnson, Lexington, Lighthouse Property, Maison, Mercury, Metlife, Modern USA, National Flood Insurance Program, National Flood Services, National General, National Idemnity, National Risk Solutions, Olympus, Peoples Trust, Prepared Insurance, Progressive, Safeco, Safepoint, Safeway, Security First, Security National, Southern Fidelity, Southern Oak, St. Johns, State Auto, The Flood Insurance Agency, The Hartford, Tower Hill, Travelers, US Coastal, United, USLI , Universal Insurance Co., Universal Property and Casualty, Velocity Risk Underwriters, Vertus Insurance, Weston, Wright Flood, and Zurich. Goosehead's carriers they represent consist of Adirondack, AEGIS, AIG, Allrisks, Allied Insurance, Allied Trust, American Integrity, American Reliable, ASI, ATIC, Anchor, Ark Royal, Arrowhead Exchanged, Bamboo, Bankers, California Earthquake, California Fairplan, Capitol Preferred, Chubb, CNA, CSE, Cypress, Encompass, Federated National, Markel, Foremost, Grange, Gulfstream, Hagerty, Hanover, The Hartford, Hertiage, Homeowners of America, Imperial, Infinity, JIBNA, Johnson & Johnson, Kemper Preferred, Kemper Specialty, Liberty Mutual, The Main Street American Insurance Group, Mercury, Metlife Auto & Home, Mexipass, Modern USA, National General, National Lloyds, Nationwide, Olympus, Orchid, Pacific Specialty, Palomar Specialty, People's Trust, Personal Umbrella.com, Progressive, Protective, Pure, QBE, RLI, Safeco, Sagesure, SFI, Stillwater, Tapco, Texas Mutual, Texas Windstorm Ins. Association, The Philadelphia Contributionship, Tower Group, Travelers, UPC, Universal North America, Universal Property & Casualty Company, US Assure, Wellington, and Wright Flood. It's worth to note, that not all carriers or it's products are available in all states for both Brightway and Goosehead. Brightway operates in all 50 states, but currently has franchises in 22 states (Ala., Ariz., Calif., Colo., Fl., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ks., La., Mich., Mo., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Pa., S.C., Texas, Tenn., N.J., Wash., and Wisc.). Goosehead operates in all 50 states, but currently has franchises in 21 states (Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fl., Ill., Ind., La., Md., Mich., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Texas, N.J., Va., Wash., and Wisc.). I know many agents will argue to stay away from one of these franchise opportunities and go with an agency group, cluster, network, or even use a wholesaler like Superior Access, Agent Secure, etc. When I was a captive agent my new business was 15% for many of the products and my renewals were about 10%. If I use a service like Superior Access, I would get about 9% to 12% for new business and about 7% to 9% for renewals under the superior plan. The same can be said for many of the agency groups, clusters, and networks as well, where they tell you that you 80/20 split with them, but don't really disclose to you what they get on the renewal is much less and equals to be the same as if you went with a wholesaler like Superior Access after the split. Then I am sure you can get some of these carriers directly, but you will have to worry about meeting there numbers to keep them happy and with you. Do you want to worry about keeping each carrier happy? One thing that many of these other opportunities or a direct relationships wont do for you and that is help market your agency and give you award-winning support to do so. I personally do not want to spend my time servicing or doing things that do not allow me to sale and grow my agency. I consider those a waste of my time. I have only found one opportunity, that's equal to a franchise opportunity with either Brightway or Goosehead and that is being a AAA Independent Insurance Agent in North Carolina through AAA of Carolina's Entrepreneur Independent Agent Program. The only drawback is that I still have to do service work, but there's no upfront or on going costs with no production requirements. After the AAA EIA program, I would say based on my research that Firefly Insurance is the next best deal, followed by a close tie between Oli Insurance and Agent Support Network of America. My questions for Brightway and Goosehead franchise owners are as follows: 1. How has transitioning from a captive agent like with State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, etc. to this franchise model feel after being a captive? 2. What was the rate of return on purchasing after going from a captive to an independent with either Brightway or Goosehead? 3. Was it easier to cross-sale additional products from the start? 4. How has the support and marketing from the franchisor been? Do you really get that award-winning support behind you to make you a success in your local area? 5. Even though you may only have one franchise or location are you able to transact sales in multiple states, if you have your non-resident licenses? 6. What can you tell me about your day of discovery? I'm looking forward to my day. 7. What's the compensation plan you use with bringing on producers? Salary, hourly wage, commission, combination? 8. If you had to do it over again, would you? 9. What is your 3 year goal, 5 year goal, and 10 year goal? 10. How many locations do you have? I look forward in hearing from the franchise owners. Others feel free to comment and ask additional questions, which I didn't think to ask the franchise owners.