The "Exclusive Contract" StoreHoshi Pharmaceuticals based its franchise system on a simple contract between the company and an independent, individual store. After signing an exclusive contract (tokuyaku) with the company, a store became a franchise -- literally an exclusive contract store (tokuyakuten). A franchise could engage in other side businesses and sell other goods, provided that they did not compete with Hoshi-manufactured products. In exchange, the franchise had access to the company's national advertising network, marketing advice, and, of course, merchandise.
Hoshi's franchise system depended on growth and recruitment. It pursued a strategy for recruiting franchise members that attempted to build loyalty and trust, not only between customers and stores, but also between the company and the franchise workers who sold the products. Hoshi set barriers to entry deliberately low: the cost of the contract was a deposit originally set a minimum of 10 yen in 1910, but later increased 25 yen by 1912, paid up front to the company.
The company did not just use franchises to market its products, but to advertise the franchises themselves. It lured prospective merchants with the potential for exponential profits. One its earliest national recruitment campaigns invited prospective franchisees to contact the company for an application, stating "any person, in any location, can with as little as 10 to 15 yen of capital, earn more than 80 yen in a year." Another recruitment campaign boasted that "Based on a calculation of growing profit from the use of newspaper advertising, there are those who have earned more than two-hundred yen with as little as 25 yen of initial capital, while there are many cases of those who, with a two hundred yen investment, earned more than 2,000 yen." The advertisement continues by guaranteeing that if a hardworking location puts down 50 yen of capital, it would earn more than 300 yen in a year.