Common Questions

Though you will spend much of the startup time of your franchise signing up members in person, over the phone or electronically, you will want a non-home-based office space within 9 months of startup to conduct business and meet with prospective clients and active members. This office will need:

  • Phone and internet service
  • Fax/copy machine
  • Scanner
  • Microsoft Windows-based PC

It's simple: franchise owners receive 70% of all transaction and monthly fees collected by IMS, paid in like kind. For fees collected from the member in cash you will receive cash, while fees collected in IMS trade dollars will generate trade dollars for your franchise. In addition, you may charge new members a joining fee, of which you keep 90%.

The FTC and various state franchise sales regulations restrict the ability to share specifics on profit projections. However, you will have the opportunity to speak with other established IMS offices and learn what they have achieved.

While the only cost charged by IMS to open an IMS Franchise is the $20,000 franchise fee, a potential owner should have a minimum of $75,000 in working capital to cover not only the franchise fee but also your initial expenses, such as equipment, rent, utilities, and any applicable license or filing fees owed to your municipal or state agencies.

While we don't provide financing for your general franchise expenses (rent, utilities, etc), you will have the opportunity to finance a portion of the franchise fee with IMS. Additionally, IMS provides $20,000 of influx capital in IMS Trade dollars for advertising and marketing purposes.

Franchise opportunities are available throughout North America. We will work with you to help identify and choose a location in the area in which you are interested. Franchisees are given a protected geographic territory within which no other franchise will be placed. Additionally, IMS has international partnerships and will consider branching beyond North America. IMS reserves the right of first refusal for areas occupied by a company-owned office.

In most markets, the main hurdle you will encounter will be the lack of comprehension of the power of barter. In addition, there are markets with established trade exchanges. While this may provide some difficulty in the form of competition, it will also provide a spring board to signing up member businesses, as there will be a foundation of knowledge of barter in that particular market.

Yes, franchisees may purchase and operate multiple IMS Franchise territories. However, we advise you to achieve a critical mass and attain a profit center in one area before expanding your operation.

Initially, most IMS Franchise owners will operate with no additional local employees. To better enable your Franchise to succeed, your newly signed members will be brokered by an existing IMS office while you focus on growing your local membership. Once you achieve a membership base of approximately 100 businesses, you will want to hire a local broker and brokering will be handed off from the IMS office at this time. A second broker is advised once you achieve 350 members, with additional brokers added as you achieve greater local membership.

Traditionally, straight commission only sales representatives do not produce enough revenue to cover the expenses of a reasonable lifestyle. The best model to use for any sales reps is composed of a base salary plus commissions. Over time, straight commission can be implemented, dependent on the amount and quality of new members being brought in along with the membership fee being charged.

IMS has been in operation since 1985. Over that time, we have built our company into one of the largest publicly traded barter exchanges in the world with 19 offices, 52 markets and 23,000 cardholders throughout the U.S. and Canada, with approximately $210 million in trade transactions per year.

First and foremost, new client enrollment will be the biggest factor in launching a successful franchise. For this reason, IMS will broker your new members from an established office while you focus 80-90% of your time on new-client enrollment. Once you achieve a local membership of 100 clients, we will turn brokering over to you and the broker(s) assisting you in your franchise. Quality brokering to facilitate successful transactions between buyers and sellers, helping your clients locate what they need within the IMS system, and following the operations manuals laid out by IMS will all be key to your franchise's success. By providing positive benefits and experiences to your new members, you can achieve exponential growth through word of mouth referrals.

The preferred initial term of IMS Franchise ownership is a period of ten years. While we hope that any franchisee will be with us for the long term, we realize that you may want an exit strategy, especially if you wish to use your IMS Franchise as a bridge from where you are now to your retirement. You are free to sell your IMS Franchise at any time. While IMS will not perform the sale for you, we will provide assistance in locating a new owner for your franchise. IMS reserves the right to approve or deny the potential buyer.

Disclaimer: Timelines and figures are meant as estimates and are do not indicate a guarantee. Please see the Franchise Disclosure Document or contact the IMS Franchise Team for full details.