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FDD Talk 2015: The Brain Balance Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on August 19, 2015

in Child-Related Franchises, Education Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Children's Franchises, Franchise Earnings



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Brain Balance logo

In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Brain Balance franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Brain Balance franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Brain Balance’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2013 and 2014 average, high, low, median, and total gross sales for all Brain Balance Centers that reported revenue in 2013 and 2014, respectively, regardless of how many months the Center was open
  • 2013 and 2014 actual annual gross sales for the Top 10 Brain Balance Centers that reported revenue in 2013 and 2014, respectively, regardless of how many months the Center was open
  • 2013 and 2014 average, high, low, median, and total gross sales for the Top Third, Middle Third, and Bottom Third of Brain Balance Centers that reported revenue in 2013 and 2014, respectively, regardless of how many months the Center was open

Section I – Background Information

It was the early 1990s when Dr. Robert Melillo started to notice a disturbing trend – more and more children showing up to his practice with various behavioral and learning issues, along with parents desperate to figure out how to help their struggling children.

As he studied Dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and other challenges, he came across what appeared to be a common thread throughout all of them – Functional Disconnection Syndrome (FDS). When this occurs, communications between the two hemispheres of the brain don’t go smoothly because one of the hemispheres is experiencing some kind of deficit, which also affects communication within the affected hemisphere as well.

Where the deficit is located (in which hemisphere and where in that hemisphere) is what determines the symptoms, which then get classified as a host of different problems. Besides the ones already mentioned, other disorders that fall under the FDS umbrella include Tourette’s syndrome, OCD, sensory processing disorder and Asperger’s. Nearly all learning disorders are included as well.

Dr. Melillo’s novel approach was to figure out a program that would stimulate the development of the weaker hemisphere with new and stronger neural connections. His Brain Balance Program integrates three key aspects of brain development, which are sensory motor stimulation, cognitive stimulation, and nutrition, all without relying on medications.

After spending 12 years refining the program, he partnered with Wall Street veteran William Fowler to launch Brain Balance Achievement Centers (BBAC). Here’s how this growing chain tries to keep things fired up in the franchise world:

Growing or Not?

There are 83 locations listed on the website, which means that since it began franchising in November 2008, an average of just under 12 new locations have opened per year. That’s not exactly taking the nation by storm. Granted, it can take a while for an idea to catch on before it spreads like wildfire.

There were 11 new locations that opened in 2014.

A Paucity of Press

Have you heard how some people in the medical community say that the health of a person’s mouth is an indicator of their overall health? I feel the same way about a company’s press room. It’s always a red flag for me when a company that’s supposed to be up-and-coming has little in the way of recent press placement or press release.

The state of the press area on BBAC’s website is not good. The first press release listed on the website is from December 2014, but it’s not even a BBAC release; it’s a local news story about a new center opening up.

The next one was about hiring the new CEO, Chip Miller, which isn’t even dated, and the next one is from February 2014. And then it jumps all the way to August 2013.

Am I just being nit-picky? I don’t think so. A growing franchise should have a top-notch PR machine generating releases and coverage, and BBAC doesn’t have much of either.

But It WORKS

However, the somewhat negative things I’ve listed above don’t take away from the fact that the Brain Balance Program seems to really work. The testimonials of families whose lives have been profoundly impacted in positive ways by the BBAC are compelling. The company just needs to find better ways to leverage that success.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Brain Balance franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD (updated).

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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