Friends With a Map

The Discovery Map Business Model

The core business model of a Discovery Map franchise centers on selling advertising space on the map and ensuring its widespread distribution to tourists and visitors. Discovery Map is a reputable national franchise with a long-standing tradition of satisfying travelers, advertisers, and franchisees alike. As a small business, we are committed to supporting other small, local businesses that may not have the resources for extensive marketing campaigns.

Discovery Map franchisees earn their income through advertisement revenue. While there are associated costs such as royalties, print expenses, and other fees—including a technology fee that contributes to the development of new digital products—our franchisees consistently report profit margins significantly higher than the national average for small businesses.

Operating a Discovery Map franchise involves a dual responsibility. First, to the local businesses that advertise on your map, ensuring they receive the exposure they need to thrive. Second, to the tourists and visitors in your market, providing them with a valuable resource to discover and patronize quality local businesses offering relevant products and services.

As a Discovery Map franchisee, you take on the role of a local expert, dedicated to creating a map that is a comprehensive and reliable guide for visitors. By curating and highlighting the best local establishments, you help tourists make the most of their visit, while simultaneously boosting the visibility and success of the businesses that depend on your map for advertising. This symbiotic relationship is at the heart of what makes a Discovery Map franchise a meaningful and impactful venture.

Timeline to Launch

One of the standout benefits of operating a Discovery Map franchise is the exceptional work-life balance it offers. Without the need to maintain a physical location, adhere to standard office hours, or manage product inventory, franchisees enjoy a unique sense of lightness and flexibility in their day-to-day operations.

A new franchisee should expect to spend 1-3 months in the exploration phase. This period is crucial to ensure that starting a Discovery Map franchise is the right opportunity for them and that they meet our requirements for acumen, motivation, integrity, and potential.

After the exploration phase, a new franchisee should plan to spend 3-6 months developing their map and sales cycle, completing sales training, conducting market warming, and preparing for the official launch. Following this preparation period comes the exciting part! Franchisees should anticipate spending 6-12 weeks selling intensively. This should be scheduled for a time of year when they can devote most of their week specifically to this task.

After the initial sales push, there will be 3-5 months dedicated to following up with advertisers, finalizing slow deals, arranging for the design of specific ads, and entering all information into our proprietary online Ad Wizard system for production. Once the map is finalized and printed, the franchisee will focus on the regular distribution of their map to ensure it reaches as many travelers as possible. Effective map distribution is key to triggering an ongoing virtuous cycle, where more advertisers see visitors holding the Discovery Map and want to ensure their business is featured on it.


The Annual Sales Cycle (aka How Franchisees Spend Their Time)

After the first 1-3 years (depending on the market and the franchisee), most maps settle into a comfortable annual rhythm. Most ads are sold as renewals, and strong relationships with repeat advertisers ease the process at every turn. After three years, many franchisees find that their sales cycle can be completed in just a few weeks each year. Ad production, distribution, and other administrative tasks often require only a few hours a week for the remainder of the year.

While we generally do not recommend a Discovery Map franchise as a "side hustle" for individuals with full-time careers, many of our successful franchisees choose this career for the significant time it allows for family life, volunteering, and other business ventures. This flexibility also enables franchisees to operate multiple maps, often in locations near their home or in places where they travel frequently.

The balance between professional and personal life is a key advantage of the Discovery Map franchise model. It allows you to dedicate the necessary time to grow your business while also enjoying the freedom to pursue other passions and commitments. This harmonious blend of work and life is one of the many reasons why our franchisees find their roles both rewarding and fulfilling.