In this FDD Talk 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 2020 FDD
- Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Brain Balance franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2020 FDD
- Section IV – Number of franchised and company-owned Brain Balance outlets at the start of the year and the end of the year for 2017, 2018, and 2019, based on Item 20 of the company’s 2020 FDD
- Section V – Presentation and analysis of Brain Balance’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2020 FDD, including information on the:
- 2019 average, maximum, minimum, median, and total gross sales for all franchisee-owned Brain Balance Centers that were open for the entire 2019 calendar year
- 2019 actual annual gross sales for the Top 10 and Bottom 10 franchisee-owned Brain Balance Centers that were open for the entire 2019 calendar year
- 2019 average, maximum, minimum, median, and total gross sales for the Top Third, Middle Third, and Bottom Third of franchisee-owned Brain Balance Centers that were open for the entire 2019 calendar year
Section I – Background Information
21 Things You Need to Know About the Brain Balance Achievement Centers Franchise
Locations Are Becoming Board Certified Cognitive Centers
1. In mid-December 2019, Brain Balance Achievement Centers announced its 2020 initiative to ensure all its locations become Board Certified Cognitive Centers (BCCC), a designation granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The initiative started in 2019, with more than half of the more than 100 centers nationwide already in progress or have completed the program (at the time of the announcement).
2. The BCCC designation requires that at least 80% of student-facing staff at each location complete a professional training and certification program through IBCCES that focuses on working with individuals with a variety of needs, such as autism, anxiety, dyslexia, and ADHD.
3. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, vice president of programs and outcomes for Brain Balance Achievement Centers, said, “Professional training is incredibly important in our industry, and IBCCES has standardized training and certification that is globally recognized. We worked closely with the IBCCES team to develop instruction that meets the needs of our more than 100 centers. This new training program will give our team an even greater understanding as they work with students who face challenges with attention and focus, anxiety, learning, socialization and more.”
4. At the time of the announcement, several Brain Balance Achievement Centers had already completed the training and certification programs including centers in Anaheim Hills, Brentwood, Encino, Palmdale, and Visalia, CA; Boise-Eagle, ID; Wichita, KS; North Oakland, MI; Columbia and Lee Summit, MO; Cary, The Piedmont Triad, and Raleigh, NC; Centerville, OH; Wexford, PA; and Cedar Park, Denton, Hutto, Katy, Mansfield, and Southlake, TX; with many more to announce certification over the coming weeks. As a whole, Brain Balance Achievements Centers have over 280 individuals who have completed their certification program.
5. Myron Pincomb, chairman of the board for IBCCES, added, “IBCCES is proud to work with an organization that recognizes the need for ongoing professional training. Because Brain Balance works with children with a variety of needs and cognitive disorders, the Board Certified Cognitive Center program was a perfect fit. Our training and certification program complements their existing knowledge and methodology, allowing them to continue to positively impact the thousands of families they serve.”
6. For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. More parents are seeking out organizations that have completed evidence-based training and professional review as they search for options.
Announces Creation of Advisory Board
7. In early March 2020, Brain Balance Achievement Centers announced the creation of its advisory board. The advisory board will collaborate with the Brain Balance management team to support the advancement of program innovation and research.
8. “The creation of an advisory board is an important step as we work to broaden access to new and effective programs that can help improve the mental and physical well-being in children and teens,” said Dominick Fedele, chief executive officer of Brain Balance Achievement Centers. “We are incredibly excited to have Dr. Robyn Silverman and Dr. Joaquin A. Anguera join the Brain Balance Advisory Board with this important mission.”
9. Dr. Anguera is a distinguished Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco specializing in cognitive neuroscience. He earned a PhD in Kinesiology from University of Michigan, a Master’s in Kinesiology from California State University at Northridge, and a BS from University of California, San Diego. Dr. Anguera currently serves as the Director of Clinical Program at Neuroscape.
10. Dr. Silverman is a well-known child and teen development specialist and published author focused on child development, social-emotional learning, and parenting. Dr. Silverman received her PhD from Tufts University’s Eliot Pearson Department of Child Development in Massachusetts and her BA from Washington University in St. Louis, and spent a year abroad studying at Oxford University in England.
11. Dr. Silverman appears regularly as an expert on national TV shows including The Today Show, Nightline, and Good Morning America, and is a parenting columnist for US News and World Report and Medium. Dr. Silverman is also the host of the popular parenting podcast, “How to Talk to Kids About Anything.”
12. Dr. Silverman said, “As a child development specialist and a parent of two children who successfully went through Brain Balance, I am always looking for innovative ways to help children thrive academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally, using a comprehensive, whole-child approach. Being part of the Brain Balance Advisory Board means that I can help thousands of families in receiving the information, programming and support that they need and deserve – assistance that positively impacts my own children as well as the lives and well-being of all those who are going through the Brain Balance system.”
Research Highlights Highly Effective, Non-Drug Options to Improve Emotional, Developmental Well-Being in Children and Teens
13. In mid-April 2020, new research published in the Journal of Mental Health and Clinical Psychology suggests that an integrative, multi-modal training program known as the Brain Balance Program is an effective, non-drug option for reducing and improving emotional and developmental challenges related to anxiety, ADHD, or autism. The study focused on children who were at or below developmental milestones and evaluated the changes in their behavior before and after undergoing 5-6 months of the Brain Balance program.
14. Parents were asked questions at the beginning and end of the program about anxiety, worrying, depression-like symptoms, mood, obsessive thoughts or behaviors, social withdrawal, pessimism, emotional regulation, emotional self-awareness, and emotional expressiveness. The findings revealed that nearly all the children who participated in the program showed improvements in mental well-being, with most categories reaching an average of 40-50% improvement.
15. The Brain Balance Program, created by Brain Balance Achievement Centers, is designed to improve brain connectivity and alleviate developmental and learning challenges. The program takes an integrative approach to strengthening brain connectivity through sensory engagement, physical development, academics, and nutrition. The non-drug nature of the Brain Balance program may make it a more appealing option than the use of medication, which at optimum dosing has been shown to have a clinician-rated reduction of 30% in ADHD symptoms.
16. Rebecca Jackson, vice president of programs and outcomes for Brain Balance and co-author of the study, said, “It is exciting to see parents document symptomatic change in many areas. Many families are looking for non-drug options for their children. Programs like this, which are comprehensive in nature, can be a great alternative or supplement for them to consider.”
17. Brain Balance Achievement Centers was founded in 2007 by Dr. Robert Melillo and his business partner William Fowler. Dr Melillo was a New York-based chiropractor who later added what he calls “functional neurology” to his practice. Dr. Melillo noticed that there was a marked increase in children with learning and behavioral issues visiting his practice. He wanted to find a way to help these children that didn’t involve medication or more traditional coping mechanisms.
18. After years of research, Dr. Melillo developed the Brain Balance Program. The program features brain training, simple physical exercises, skills training, and dietary advice that Dr. Melillo says helps children with developmental and learning disabilities
19. In 1994, Dr. Melillo began using the Brain Balance Program to help children with learning and developmental disorders in his own practice. Dr. Melillo refined the program over the next few decades and around late 2006, he decided he was ready to start franchising the concept. The following year, the first Brain Balance Achievement Center was opened. Over the next decade, Brain Balance Achievement Centers grew around the United States and by 2018 there were 110 locations open.
20. Despite the company’s success, Brain Balance has been heavily criticized by the scientific and medical communities for the lack of scientific evidence for its marketing, as well as its claims about neuroplasticity and other aspects of brain development. Following investigations into Brain Balance’s claims, the brand no longer advertises certain aspects of its program. Instead Brain Balance says that its goal is to enrich the lives of children by helping them reach their full potential.
Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500
21. Brain Balance Achievement Centers did not rank on Entrepreneur’s 2020 Franchise 500 list.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of Brain Balance franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2020 FDD.
Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees
- Please click here for detailed information on Brain Balance’s initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2020 FDD.
Section IV – Number of Franchised and Company-Owned Outlets
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 94
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 107
- Net Change: +13
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 107
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 108
- Net Change: +1
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 108
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 100
- Net Change: -8
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 5
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 3
- Net Change: -2
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 3
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 3
- Net Change: 0
- Outlets at the Start of the Year: 3
- Outlets at the End of the Year: 1
- Net Change: -2
Section V – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2020 FDD) and Analysis
- Brain Balance is providing historical revenue information (without including expense items) for all franchisee-owned Centers that were open for the entire year for the year stated below. Brain Balance has excluded Centers which opened or closed permanently in 2019.
- The first chart shows the highest performing Center, the lowest performing Center, the average performance of the full group, and the median Gross Revenue number for the group for the year. The total number of Centers that were open for the entire year is shown as “Number of Centers.”
- The second chart shows the top and bottom ten performing Centers by Gross Revenue for the year.
- The third chart shows each group for the year, divided into performance categories.
- The numbers provided in this Item 19 were compiled from the voluntary reporting information that the franchisees provided to Brain Balance pursuant to the Franchise Agreement, data Brain Balance pulled from its required Customer Relations Management System, or, in a few instances, from the results of an audit Brain Balance conducted of a particular Center’s financials. In general, these revenue numbers have not been verified by Brain Balance or independently audited.
- A new franchisee’s individual financial results may differ from the results provided below.
- Some Centers have earned these amounts. Your individual results may differ. There is no assurance that you’ll earn as much.
- The earnings claims figures do not reflect the costs of sales, operating expenses, or other costs or expenses that must be deducted from the Gross Revenues or gross sales figures to obtain your net income or profit.
Part 1 – Gross Sales (Whole Group)