4 Keys to Business Success!

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 16:04 PM

4keys.jpgWhile running your own business can be a difficult challenge, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences that life has to offer! Not only does it take being able to understand market demands, but it also means having a viable small business plan (a process and product in place) that will support the business, as well as provide an income for the owner. While many potential business owners may have a great idea for a business, business growth and long-term success requires being able to be focused, disciplined and at times - an out-of-the-box thinker! Below are 4 keys that can help your business or franchise location build success.

Location - You might have the most amazing concept for a business or franchise, but if it's located in  the wrong area - it's just not going to work. Or, it might not work as well as it could in a more ideal area. So be sure to do your research in finding out which areas in your community are most ideally suited for your concept. For example, if it's a business that is geared more towards children, look at the demographics of how many young families are in a particular area. Likewise, if it's a concept that's more for retired people, you'll want to find an area where there are a lot of retirees who might be interested in what it is that you're offering. Additional considerations might be trying to gauge how much people might have in "disposable income" in a particular area. A community that doesn't have a lot of extra money to spend may not be interested in spending money on whatever it is that you have to sell.

Marketing - It almost goes without saying that one of the key components of any successfully run business is the strength of their marketing strategies. Marketing is what helps bring customers through your door, and can be accomplished through everything from more traditional methods (like print ads, handing out flyers at parades, using coupons, and word of mouth marketing) to more modern methods (like social media marketing, blogging, and running an effective, up-to-date website). Many business owners might also find success in working within the community through a local charity effort, as more and more customers are finding value in businesses who sincerely engage in some kind of non-partisan efforts to help better the community around them.

Attitude - The attitude, or "feeling" that your business gives a customer can largely be helped or hindered by the attitude of your employees. Good employees who are also happy are more willing to help customers, as well as be more loyal and engaged in doing a good job for their employer. On the flip side, employees who are generally unhappy or have bad attitudes about their work are more likely to pass this feeling on to customers. So it's important to make sure that your employees have good attitudes, and to try to help facilitate the positive atmosphere at your work place by giving awards for good work performance, hosting a holiday party, having a clean breakroom and restrooms for employees to use, and maybe offering employee discounts for services that your business offers. 

Management - An important consideration when running your business is the strength of your manager or management team. While you may not be able to be physically at your business at all times, it's still important to be aware of what's going on through your managers. A great manager is able to share with you what's going on, as well as help maintain a great atmosphere for employees and customers alike. For example, managers can help you know the attitudes of employees, whether they are showing up for work, and if they're taking overly long breaks. You'll also want to keep close attention on the possibility of an employee who might be "dipping into the till" through the careful monitoring of receipts, record-keeping software, or even video monitoring equipment. If any of these areas are a problem, be sure to address them quickly either through meeting with the employee in question, issuing a warning, or possibly even a professionally conducted dismissal from the business.

Shear Madness Franchising franchises Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salons. We have worked with franchise stores in providing franchisee support (in order to encourage continual growth and business success), and have sometimes seen the unexpected happen!  When it does, we help by identifying and helping with challenges that might arise for franchisees. Additionally, we work to present options that can help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantage of franchise ownership!

Would you like to sign up for our Monthly newsletter? If so, click HERE!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about our franchise opportunity, or about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, how to grow your small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, franchising, franchise growth, franchise ownership, business success, franchise success, business ownership

Why Your Franchise Business Doesn't Make Money

Posted by Jim Otto on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 @ 12:01 PM

Notmakingmoney2.jpgAs the Director of Franchising here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, one of the first questions I usually get asked is, “How much money can I make?” My response is always muted because the FTC doesn't allow us to answer that question. However, for those of you reading this who are new to franchising, you can find the answer to that question in the Disclosure Documents in Item 19 that you receive from a prospective franchise. Also, some franchises may choose to disclose those numbers but have the right not to, so that really depends on the franchise you are looking at. But at the end of the day, my typical response is to answer a question with a question, which is, “How hard are you willing to work?”

Most franchisors will tell you that the biggest variable in any franchise system is the owner operator. Take Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids as an example. The store was opened by Paula Thurman in 1997. Since then, Paula has run the concept in many different economic environments, all kinds of weather and all kinds of major events. Through it all, the store has made money! But the bottom line is it still took hard work and perseverance. From moving the location three times to, to staffing the store properly, to delivering the kind of customer service that all small businesses need to deliver. This brings me right back to the question I get asked in regards to how much money can be made at running a franchise. I'm not trying to over simplify this in any way or tell you that any one concept or system is perfect - including ours at Shear Madness. What I am trying to tell you is that regardless of the franchise you select, it's going to take a lot of hard work, a lot of perseverance, and maybe a little luck to succeed! So the answer to the question of “how much money can I make” always begins with the owner and operator of the business. Unfortunately, franchising is not a failsafe business model, and it will still rely on the concept, location, marketing and many other variables for the business to succeed and prosper. But the most important factor is the owner operator, and that could be why your franchise is not making money!

Shear Madness Franchising franchises Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salons. We have worked with franchise stores in providing franchisee support (in order to encourage continual growth), and have sometimes seen the unexpected happen!  When it does, we help by identifying and helping with challenges that might arise for franchisees. Additionally, we work to present options that can help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantage of franchise ownership!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business that provides a positive experience in helping children and their families? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, how to grow a small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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Topics: Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, how to franchise, Business Tips, small business how-tos, business growth, franchising, franchise ownership, business success, franchise success

Four Basic Steps to Evaluating a Franchise System

Posted by Janon Otto on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 @ 14:01 PM

franchisesuccess2.jpg

New businesses are formed every day.  And businesses close their doors every day as well!  The chances of starting a blockbuster business on your own are small.  This is why the whole idea of buying a franchise business is a popular one!  Those businesses should have a track record of being successful, and should have systems in place that you can replicate. 

Running a business can be hard work, and it can encompass many challenges that most people have never encountered. But it's arguable that when you invest into a  franchise system, you have a greater chance of success. Plus, most  franchises (like Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids) do offer the advantage of a successful business history and scalability. However, as implementing a salon franchise system does take effort, you'll want to make sure all your questions are answered through doing a little research. 

How can you research a franchise system?  Because our expertise is in a salon franchise - we will address that situation directly, however most of these apply to any type of franchise system.

1.  Contact salon franchises, reach out to the franchisors, and compare business models!  Which one suits your interests?  Which one has the best opportunity for financial success, etc.

2.  Look at the Franchise Disclosure document and the Franchise Agreement.  Many people confuse these documents.  The Franchise Disclosure document lays out the facts about a franchise, how much it costs, the fees, history, current franchise locations, etc.  This document also lays out the details of the training that they offer - this is an important area to compare systems.  The more training, the better!  The Franchise Agreement is the document that you must sign to become a franchisee of the system.  Here is where the fine print details lay.  How is the Royalty collected, how can I advertise, what is my territory, etc.

3.  Talk to current franchisees.  These are the ones who have been through what you are thinking about pursuing.  They are free to tell you actually more than the franchisor can tell you!  The franchisor is bound by rules the FTC puts out about what they can and cannot say to any prospective franchisee.  But, the franchisees can tell you whatever they would like to tell you!

4.  Seek out a franchise business that currently has a long track record of success. Keep in mind that the franchise system itself may be younger than the actual concept itself.  Find out how long the franchisor has had a history with the concept itself.  Have they really figured it out before offering the franchise? For example, here at Shear Madness Franchising, we franchise Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salons the Franchise system was started in late 2010, but the first salon has been inexistance since 1997!  

We have worked with our franchisees in growing their business, and truly want to help ensure sure they are on a path to franchise success. Why? Because we understand that having someone who can offer expert advice on growth and scalability is one of the significant advantages of franchise ownership!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, business tips, how to grow a small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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Topics: franchise, salon franchise, franchise buyers, buying a franchise, Business Tips, franchising, franchise research, evaluating a franchise, franchise ownership, business success, business skills, franchise success

Four "Musts" for Creating an Exciting Email Newsletter

Posted by Matthew S on Sun, Jul 17, 2016 @ 22:07 PM

excitingnewsletterCreating an exciting email newsletter can be an affordable and easy way to communicate with your customers on a regular basis. And if done right, it's also a great way to build trust, generate excitement, and potentially encourage customers to frequently utilize the services your business provides. However, if an email newsletter isn't done properly, it might end up being an annoyance to your customer. So what do you do? Before you begin creating that Newsletter make sure you have included the following 4 "Musts" in your process!

1.  Understanding Your Newsletter: Before you spend a lot of time creating an email newsletter, it's a good idea to develop a strategy on what you'd like to accomplish with a newsletter. For example: Is it to grow sales? Are you wanting to let people know about upcoming events? Would you like to build brand awareness through the marketing content you'd like to use? You'll also want to figure out how often you'd like to send out a newsletter. Once every two weeks? Once a month? Four times a year? For example, at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, we've developed our newsletter to communicate the fun energy surrounding our brand, as well as share about upcoming events being held at their local Shear Madness. We also have chosen to send out our newsletter once a month, so that we don't inundate our customers with too much marketing.

2.  Utilizing Creative Email Subject Lines: Try to give your customers an incentive to immediately open the e-mail, and see what they might be missing out on. If you need a little help, try to look at what influences you to open emails. Sometimes asking a question in an email subject line might prompt curiosity, such as, "What's Our Big Secret? See our Newsletter!". Other times, using exciting language might be a good option. Something like, "Wow! Our Newsletter is RED-HOT!"   Make sure that your subject line isn't too long that it all can't be seen when scanning through email subjects.

3.  Delivering Educational Content: It's important when writing a newsletter to utilize a little creative marketing when coming up with fun and educational content. This will give your subscribers a reason to come back to your newsletter each time you send it out. While you'll certainly want to share about what your business is doing in regards to upcoming sales and special events, don't overwhelm with too much sales-related information. As for the fun or educational content that you'll want to include in your newsletter, some ideas might include a funny joke, an inspiring personal testimony from a customer, a silly photograph of something going on in your store, a link to a children's color page, or a fun craft and nice recipe. Be creative!

4.  Utilize Great Design: If you're really wanting to develop a newsletter that engages your customers, you'll also want to be sure to utilize some great graphic design. Develop a nice looking newsletter header that possibly includes your logo, the name of the newsletter featured prominently, and an attractive header background that could change with holidays or different seasons. Within the newsletter itself, use graphics and photos (sized for web usage) to draw attention to the various sections within a newsletter. And lastly, be sure to stick with standard fonts in your newsletter - don't use anything too crazy. And if you must use different colored fonts, go with a theme for each newsletter and stick with around two easy to see colors that are used for standout text. 

Would you like to sign up for our Monthly newsletter? If so, click HERE!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, how to grow a small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: newsletter, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, business growth, business relationships

Three "Must Have" Business Skills for Franchise Owners

Posted by Jim Otto on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 @ 11:07 AM

businessskills.jpgMany people that contact me are “romantically” attracted to our concept. They love the idea of a cute, fun and brightly colored place to take kids for a great haircut. Or I hear, “I love children, so I was really attracted to this." Now I am not saying that having an interest in our franchise concept because of your interest in working with kids is a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I would highly recommend that you invest your money, time and efforts into something that you feel passionate about. But our franchise, like most, is still a business, and will require a certain set of business skills to increase the probability of success. Whether you invest in a yogurt, burger, or salon business, it’s still going to come down to possessing certain business skills to succeed.  Here is our list of the top 3 skills needed to own and run a business:

1.  Communication Skills 
Your ability to communicate with others and “get the message across” about what your business is about to both employees and customers is critical. Everything in life begins with communication, and the ability that someone has to communicate is a big plus. Because time management and organizational skills can’t be taught in an operating manual, someone's ability to effectively execute a business plan becomes crucial. If a potential franchisee is unable to do this, then they may not be able to handle all the moving parts of running a business. Also, it's important to be flexible and adaptable. Rigidity has never worked in business! Now, of course I'm not saying to up and dump a system in favor of your own ideas. You have to follow the system. What I am talking about is the ability to handle a crisis when it arises, to shift gears and go a different direction on a moment’s notice, and to know when to be tough or to know when compassion is needed. Time management and organizational skills allows you to set a goal and reach it.

2.  Understanding the Need for Marketing 

Another great business skill to work at possessing a mastery over is in the area of marketing. Unfortunately, many new businesses fail because of a lack or understanding of effective marketing. Getting your name out in the community, building a loyal customer base and differentiating yourself from the competition can take a new business on average 3 to 5 years. Therefore whatever you anticipate spending on marketing you can pretty much double that amount. The busier your location becomes, the less you can spend on marketing. But getting that initial foot traffic can be costly. If you understand that this is a need and are willing to do the "work" - you should be successful.  A franchise system should provide lots of guidance in your marketing - they have seen it done numerous times and know what you get the most bang for your buck with.

In the initial stages of your business you must market to the masses. Once you have a client base you can save money by target marketing to your existing customers - or to new customers only.  You will have gathered customer information (i.e. email addresses, etc.) that will allow your to touch your client base more economically.

3.  Desire to Learn

Lastly, a desire to learn is also a really important mindset for a franchisee. Of course, everyone would like to learn about something - but great franchisees have the desire to learn. It’s not a chore; it’s something that brings satisfaction when the learned skill produces a favorable business outcome. Great business owners are made and not born, but having some of these basic skills are going to go a long way in determining your success or failure in a franchise!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, how to grow your small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

The Top 4 Considerations

Topics: franchise opportunity, Small Business Franchise Information, how to franchise, Business Tips, small business how-tos, communication, franchising, franchise growth

Business Tips: Five Ways to Create Captivating Email Blasts!

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 @ 14:06 PM

Eblast.jpgHow can you be more effective in creating great marketing content that communicates to your audience what it is that you do as a franchise or small-business owner? In addition to newsletters, creating successful sales emails (or e-blasts) can be an important part of generating brand awareness and letting your community know about a special sale or event, or even serving as a reminder to come by and check out what it is you do. Your customer only has so much time in a day, so you'll want to be sure to write a compelling, effective e-blast that captures attention and persuades to either click the link to your store or come by for a visit in person. Below are five tips for writing that effective email.

1.  Know who your Audience Is: Before starting an e-blast, be sure to know who your audience will be for this particular piece of communication. This will help you know how to write specific content for that audience. For example, if you are writing an e-blast that promote a sale on birthday parties for children, you won't want to write in a style that speaks to retirement age men who are interested in hot rods. Instead, think about how young mothers might be wanting to offer a fun party for their daughter, and use language that will speak to her. This is also useful for knowing when to send the e-blast out, as certain times of day might be better than others in reaching your target audience.

2.  Share Personal Stories: When writing great content for e-blasts, you may want to include a personal story of a real person who has been positively impacted by your service (try to share a photo too, if possible). Or, you may also want to write about how your service has impacted hundreds or thousands of people in the community. This helps customers understand the scope of what you do, and more importantly - that you are a trusted member of the community that helps solve problems for people!

3.  Asking Questions, Solving Problems! A good way to draw attention to your e-blast is by asking a thoughtful question in the subject line. You may also want to start the e-mail out by asking questions relevent to your audience. For example, if your audience is primarily interested in haircuts for children, ask them a question about how tough it can be to get children to sit still for a haircut - and then provide them with the solution of getting a haircut at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids! Or, if your customers are interested in fun experiences and products for children, ask them if they're looking for a cool, unique store where the imagination of children is encouraged - and then provide them with the solution of visiting their local Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, etc. Another great idea is to offer tips to solving problems that customers may be facing, and then including as one of the tips a lead or link to your special promotion.

4.  Include Photos and Graphics. While it's of course very important to relay all the correct details about your sale or promotion, simply having compelling text on a page isn't enough to capture the attention of an audience. Be sure to include graphics (photos and illustrations) relevant to the subject of your e-blast. You may also want to include images of your staff hard at work, or a picture of yourself next to your contact information, as you'll help customers make a more pesonal connection with whatever it is you're hoping to accomplish through your e-blast! 

5.  Be Persuasive - Not Pushy! This can be a tough one, because when we write about the things we love or are passionate about, we sometimes can tend to come off a little too strong. This isn't to say that being confident or proud of what you're selling is a bad thing. However, working to persuade people to check out whatever you might be promoting through being professional, fun and even caring can really go a long way towards getting people to actually invest the time to check your e-blast out. For example, instead of telling potential customers they'd be crazy to miss the deal you're offering, let them know you understand how tough it can be to save money, and that you would like to invite them to check out your sale.

Join thousands of happy Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids subscribers by signing up for our fun monthly e-mail newsletters! Sales, information on Franchising, Crafts for Kids, helpful tips and much more! Click HERE to subscribe!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, business tips, how to grow a small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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Topics: Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, marketing strategies, franchising

The Importance of Customer Feedback

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, May 6, 2016 @ 13:05 PM

customerfeedbackCollecting customer feedback is an important way to gauge whether the efforts you are putting into growing your small business are really meeting the needs and expectations of your customers. Following are some different ways that customer feedback might be gained, as well as some helpful tips and useful questions you might want to ask.

Direct Communication with a Customer: One way to collect great feedback from a customer is to speak with them directly either through a phone call, or face-to-face dialogue. However, be sensitive as to when might be the best time to talk with a customer about their experience. For example, at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, we will often call parents after hosting one of our birthday party experiences in order to hear their thoughts and suggestions in regards to the event. We'll also seek to communicate with customers directly who might have a complaint, as we want to assure them that their concern is not only heard - but extremely important in helping us become better!  

EMail: Do you email your customers?  If you have a newsletter or other email campaign you will get people who unsubscribe.  Use this as an opportunity to get feedback.  Your email system may allow you to customize your unsubscribe email response - use that to ask questions, or if you have phone information on that customer give them a call.  Never mention the unsubscribe in the phone call, you don't want to make them feel singled out.  But, if you are always calling customers for feedback anyway just include these people in the list of those to reach out to.  You may find that those who unsubscribe still love your business, they are just moving, or clearing out email as they get too much!  Or you may find that something has happened that you need to deal with as an owner.

Surveys: Utilizing a survey to collect customer feedback is a great way to reach out to a much larger base of customers than you might be able to do through direct communication. Some of the ways surveys might be done is through a short questionaire that a customer can fill out at your business and drop into a box, or through an online survey sent to your customer mailing list. Some of the advantages of utilizing surveys is that some of your customers might prefer giving feedback in this manner. However, it can also be a challenge to actually convince customers that filling out a survey is worth their time. As such, offering a small incentive for their help can be a great way to encourage this customer feedback.

Survey Questions: Following are some sample questions that a business owner might want to ask their customers. As with any customer interaction, make sure that you do everything you can to help them feel great about their experience with your business. Thank them for their time in talking with you or filling out the survey, and possibly offer them a coupon for their helpful assistance.

  • What was your primary goal in visiting my business today?
  • Did my business meet your objectives?
  • What could my business have done differently in regards to your experience?
  • Compared to similar services you may have received elsewhere, how does my business compare?

Responding to Feedback: Of course we all love when we receive positive feedback. But what about when we get negative feedback? As a business owner, it's inevitable that you'll receive negative feedback and criticisms leveraged against your business. And while it might be easy to become offended and disheartened by such feedback, consider looking at criticisms as a way to help make your business even better. Most customers just want to be heard!  So when you reach out to someone with negative feedback make sure and really LISTEN to what they have to say!  Thank them for sharing with you!  If they didn't share, you wouldn't know - many times your system may need some tweaking and this can be jump started by this negative feedback.  There will be some negative feedback that may be totally unjustified, but if you evaluate the entire situation there WILL be something there that you can learn from to make improvements in your system.  Whatever the case, be sure to treat customers who provide negative feedback with as much care as you would a positive customer. Assure those customers who are critical that their thoughts matter and that you want to do what you can (within your power) to help make it right. 

The Best Feedback is a Referral:  If you can track your referrals this is a very nice thing to do!  Kindly reward those who refer you.  Most refer you with no expectation of any kind of reward.  But if they get one - a thank you note, a phone call, or an email - they will love you even more!

Are you looking for a franchising opportunity with someone who has your back and works hard to encourage your success? If so, why not check out Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising? Not only do we love to have FUN, but we also love sharing our many great business tips, free business tools and resources for small businesses so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below!

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Topics: how to franchise, Business Tips, successful franchisees, small business how-tos, growing a small business, business growth, nourishing success, business relationships, franchising, customer feedback

Small Business Technology Tips

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

small business technology tipsWe live in a world where technology is all around us, and your customers are increasingly online. That's why the effective use of technology in a small business can help you attract customers and effectively compete in the marketplace. Following are some of our suggestions on how a small business can utilize technology to help promote growth and success!

The use of a website: Having a well designed, easy-to-navigate website can help a customer learn more about your business. Be sure to use a website to share with customers what your business does, where it's located (with map), hours of operation, pricing (optional), and contact information (e-mail and phone). You may also want to use a website to run a blog related to what your business does, or share photos of what your store looks like. A website can also be useful in gathering information on customers, as forms - with a free coupon provided as incentive - can be utilized to collect customer data and help grow your business.  There are many options for a website.  Our advice is to get one that you will own!  If you use a service that keeps the rights to your site, changing could become difficult in the future and may require a complete rebuild of your site.

Selling Online: Interested in boosting profit margins for your business? If so, then why not consider developing a strategy for selling your products and services on the internet? In this day and age, not only can an online store be great for business - but many internet savy customers expect their favorite business to offer a convenient way for them to purchase items via website. And with sites like amazon and pinterest offering a relatively easy way to have an online store that can be linked to your website, there's really not much of a reason not to be selling online!

Social Media: When combined with a website, social media is a powerful tool that helps you stay connected with customers. For example, through the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Facebook page, we interact with customers who want to learn more about our services, or let us know how we're doing. We also will run a fun weekly contest, and let customers know about upcoming specials. Of course, we'll also share our website so that customers can find out more details if they're interested!

Go Mobile! Smart phones and tablets allow you to take your business on the road, and not miss out on a valuable opportunity to meet a customer need. Additionally, a smart phone or tablet allows you to stay connected to employees who are managing your store while you are away.

Security: Sometimes in order to save money, small business owners might want to use personal phones and computers to run their business. However, for organizational and security purposes, it might be a better option to have devices specifically dedicated for business usage. And don't forget to create passwords that are a combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Teleconferencing: Rather than spending a lot of time and money to travel to a meeting, sometimes teleconferencing can be a more affordable way to meet with clients. There's a variety of services available online, with some being free and others having a variety of low-cost payment options (such as control over moderation and recording). Take a look at what you'll need for an upcoming conference call, and research the options for what can deliver what you need for the best price.

Tech Support: As your business grows, sometimes you might need the help of a tech professional in updating software, developing a more complex website or figuring out how to host important files needed for the successful operation of your business. When looking for technical support, be sure that this person or company will not only be easily available - but patient and helpful whenever you have a need come up. Sometimes, a local tech provider, as opposed to a provider in another country, might be the best option.  If you are a small company you may want to look at using a domain provider that offers lots of support.  Sometimes a call to them can save you from having to hire a professional.

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, how to grow a small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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Topics: how to franchise, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, technology

How to Grow a Business During Slow Periods: Another 15 Great Ideas!

Posted by Jim Otto on Thu, Dec 3, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

Slowbusiness2Are you wondering what to do when business gets a little slow? If so, here's another 15 great ideas on how you can grow your business when things might not be as busy as you'd like! (See our prior post: How to Grow a Business During Slow Periods: 15 Great Ideas! for even more awesome tips!)

1. Flip your retail – Ok, we heard that “Ugh!” But you can do this in less than eight hours. Your store will look new and different, and research proves that it increases sales! Ever go into your local Macy’s or JC Penney’s? Moving retail is a constant.

2. Look for patterns – When business slows down make a note of it. Consumer trends and buying moods are a big part of business and the more you can track them the better you can prepare.

3. Keep a positive attitude – It’s a heck of a lot more fun when the cash register is ringing and your store is busy. Just remember slow times are temporary. Have you ever walked into a business during slow times and you couldn’t find anybody to help you, and when you did they acted like they had just woke up from a nap? Keep your store upbeat and the positive energy flowing!

4. Read a book on business – There's lots of great books out there on building a business. Reading good books can give you the inspiration that you need just when you need it!

5. Plan for the Future – Start brainstorming now. What are you going to do when your business picks back up, and how are you going to make them all loyal customers? Where could you market that you currently aren’t marketing to?

6. Teach your staff to upsell – When was the last time you went over the fine art of upselling products to your staff? We have lots of tips and techniques on when to, and when not to upsell to your customers!

7. Build more personal business relationships – Do you know those individuals in your community that have been where you are, succeeded in a big way, and now have the time to share their recipe for success? We are constantly meeting with people like this and our Board of Directors is full of them. They are just waiting to play it forward, make the call.

8. Recruit employees – Speaking of our board, one of our board members is a Director of Franchise Development for a large national sub sandwich chain. They have a motto, “We are Always Hiring”. Make sure that you are always looking for people who you would want to join your team!

9. Create partnerships that you can cross market with –Remember when you started your business and you had all those businesses that you were going to cross market with? As time goes by we become more lax in this. When you're slow, it's always a good time to review and look for new businesses/partnerships in your area.

10. Review your procedures – Take a little time to review your current procedures and see if there's any areas that might need improvement. Come up with new ideas and procedures that might help to meet the needs of your customers in an even more effective way!

11. Teach a class – Speaking of playing it forward, do you know that YOU are the entrepreneurs in your community? Call your local community college and volunteer to teach a class. You took the plunge, others are thinking of doing the same. The more people that know you and your business, the better.

12. Host a contest – I was recently in our local Office Max and a group of teens ran in and asked the person behind the front desk, “Do you have an extra nametag with an Office Max name on it? If so, can we have it? We're on a scavenger hunt for a free sandwich at Chik-Fil-A!” Not sure how much extra business they were getting out of it, but they were sure having fun! And isn’t that the idea?

13. Build rapport with your team – People, Process, Product. Marcus Malonis , the man in the middle of the popular hit series “The Profit” says all successful businesses run in this order. If you don’t have the right people in place your business is doomed. Do a team building activity, have a cook out, get to know your employees on a personal level. They are the life blood of your business!

14. Get some exercise – Business is consuming, if you are not careful it can consume every bit of your thoughts, your time and zap your energy. Take a walk, join a Yoga class, go dancing. It will clear your mind and make you feel better and most importantly take your mind off your business.

15. Spend more time with your family – In Michael Seid’s book, “Franchising for Dummies” he lists the Ten Keys to Franchise Success. Number three is: don’t neglect your loved ones. He stresses the importance of spending time with your family. Life is short, so be sure to use your slow times to spend time with the ones that you love.

So even though business may not be busy - you sure can be!

Interested in learning more about one of the best kids salon franchise systems out there? As one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today, we're working hard to share our many great resources, marketing strategies and business tips so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own childrens salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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Topics: kids salon franchise, salon franchise, franchise opportunity, the salon business, Business Tips, marketing strategies, business growth

Affordable Customer Appreciation Ideas

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Nov 5, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

affordablecustomerideasAre you a small business owner who is interested in cultivating happy customers, encouraging customer loyalty, and stimulating great customer growth? If so, the following are some creative small business marketing ideas you can use to show a little customer appreciation! And best of all, it doesn't cost a lot either!

Gifts from your Community: Gifts from your community are a little more personal and unique than a mass-produced trinket ordered from a catalog. Plus, it really helps out the other local small businesses in your neighborhood. Ideas might include tea, coffee, barbeque sauces, chips and salsa, jams and more!

Sending Cookies: Sending a box of cookies branded with your logo, along with a thank you note, can be a great way to show appreciation. And if you'd really like to put your best foot forward, be sure to pick gluten free cookies, or another healthy snack. Items like cookies have worked so well in the past because people will pass these out to co-workers, or take them home to family and friends. It's a nice way to get the word out about who you are!

Write a Thank You Note: People today are often overwhelmed with text messages and e-mails. This is why the hand-written thank you note is such a great way to reach out to your valued customers. The note can be written on branded stationary or a card with your logo, and include a special coupon. 

Educational Gifts: While educational gifts may at first glance sound a bit bland, many people will regardless appreciate a useful gift that helps them learn something in a fun way. The key here is to select educational books, DVD's, audiobooks and more that are interesting and timely.

Humorous Products: Everyone enjoys receiving something in the mail that brings a smile. Not only that, but it also helps convey a fun atmosphere around your business, which is especially helpful if you offer products and services to children and young people. Some ideas might include crazy sunglasses, giant foam fingers, or pencil toppers featuring funny characters. But remember: whatever you decide, make sure it's tasteful and appropriate for all ages!

Customer Spotlight: Don't miss out on opportunities to shine the spotlight on those customers who go out of their way to show their appreciation for your brand. For example, consider hosting a fun social media event where customers take photos of themselves interacting in a positive way with your product. Feature these photos on social media over the following weeks and months. 

Interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise opportunity, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, creativity, franchising, customer appreciation