Franchise vs. Freelance

Male photographer in black sweater with black framed glasses shooting a camera up close

Be part of the team in sports photography

With so many resources available to photographers today, why would someone looking to grow or start their own volume-photography business choose to be part of a franchise?

TSS Photography has had a banner year with growth and technological advancement along with many accolades including being again named as a top franchise by Franchise Business Review and Entrepreneur Magazine.  So, we asked franchisees for their thoughts on “Why TSS and the franchise model?”  versus going into the volume photography business alone.

Q: Those who are already photographers would like to know, why TSS?

Tested Systems Already In Use

A: “The franchise offered me a one-stop-shop for all of the tools and resources I was looking for to grow my business! I would have to deal with 4-6 labs to get the full range of products that TSS offers. And I find it very valuable that you have a team of operations and technical staff who are constantly trying new things and improving our approaches to the same types of events, helping us to be more profitable and to win business”  Victoria S., franchisee in Ohio.

A: “After doing wedding photography for over 15 years, we started growing into schools and sports and I needed to find systems to support me and sustain the growth. After meeting the {TSS} team and seeing all of the systems in place …I was sold!”  James W., franchisee in Louisiana.

A: “I knew a lot about photography, but nothing about how to market my business. TSS helped me develop and implement a solid marketing program to grow my business.”  Anonymous franchisee

People Recognize Your Company Name

One franchisee shared that her favorite part of owning a franchise versus a completely independent business is the brand recognition that comes with being part of TSS Photography.

A: “Living in an area the size of Atlanta, the schools are very large, which means there’s more competition. I can’t walk into schools this size and say ‘Hi, I’m Jenny and I want to take your photos. I get to walk in with our company history as my backing and let them see what we can bring to the table. We are locally owned, but nationally supported.” Jennifer L., franchisee in Georgia

Q: What is something that TSS provides, that you as a franchisee find invaluable? 

Innovation and Technology

A: “The franchise does a lot of research before it implements new tools and techniques. After TSS has tested an idea and has proven results, we can implement this into our business to grow. A great example of this is their mobile ordering tool.” Tod C., franchisee in Virginia

A: “The innovation they have is pretty awesome…..I think TSS is helping to keep me competitive ….. they are helping to give me an edge.”  Guillermo P., franchisee in California

A: “All of the innovations they have brought to the table are great tools in our toolbox: Virtual Groups, Green Screen solutions and background options, PhotoMatch, etc.” George P, franchisee in Kentucky

A Solid Support System

A: “They encourage and facilitate (through multiple annual meetings and a franchise community site) franchisees keeping in contact with each other. We share resources on large jobs and we have conversations about how to implement new technology.” Lindsay V., franchisee in Illinois

A:  “TSS Photography has a great training program and a continuing photography education system that keeps the TSS franchisees on top of our market as the leaders in Sports and School pictures.” Gerald J., TSS franchisee in Florida

Q: What is part of the role TSS has as a franchisor?

A: “You can’t do the same thing year-after-year and expect to maintain a business….much less grow a business. We do the R&D legwork for our franchisees in terms of product and systems innovations. Once something is vetted and proven, we give franchisees the marketing and sales tools they need to use those innovations.  We want our franchise owners to have cool products and tools that help them compete on anything but price. We also focus on tools to cut out office work so our owners can have FUN running their business. Work-life balance is important to us and our owners. We create business tools to get them more time with friends & family and less time editing & uploading.”  Alison Counts, Marketing Director at TSS Photography

“Additionally, being part of a franchise with defined territories means that everyone in our system feels like they can share and be open about results. There is no fear among our owners that someone will come in to steal their business with some new program they just tested. It’s a very safe environment which fosters the sharing and development of new ideas quickly,”  Jack Counts Jr., CEO at TSS Photography.

TSS Photography has been franchising for over 30 years and is now owned by Candid Color Systems.