Ready to Work?

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 17:02 PM

readytowork.jpgI was recently talking to a friend of mine about a recent food franchise that had failed after being open only six months. He said, “well the food wasn’t very good and the customer service was bad.” Well there’s a surprise! Of all the components that are most important to your long term success, having a well-trained and motivated staff is numero uno. Even more so than your process, and more than your product, having the right people in place is a must.

Signs of an undertrained staff that is ready to work are low productivity, being less efficient, less knowledgable, an inability to offer customer support, and in some cases they may even be unsafe! Does that sound good for business? Yet many franchisees buy a franchise and hire people who they think are going to love and care about the business. Unfortunately, many end up the like the food franchise that I started off talking about...closed for business. But here’s the thing, this is a nationally known chain with good food and a fun atmosphere - so therefore we can only assume that this inattentive owner failed at every level. From the cooks in the kitchen who were preparing the food, to the waiters and to the check-in staff.

Don’t waste your money buying a franchise if you can’t spend time getting to know and train the people who are going to work for you. They are the “face” of your business. That’s why at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids we train our staff to answer the phone the same way every time, as that voice on the phone is the first impression of our business. We want all of our customers to know that we are “having a great day at Shear Madness!” Well trained employees know how to communicate, know how to listen, become self-motivated, know how to sell themselves and your business and know how to deal with stressful situations. And that makes for a business that you can be proud of!

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!

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: franchise buyers, Small Business Franchise Information, small business how-tos, growing a small business, employee, employee retention, keeping good employees, franchising, why buy a franchise

7 Tips to Cultivate Happy Customers

Posted by Matthew S on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 @ 16:04 PM

happycustomersMost businesses will spend a lot of time and energy working to acquire new customers and build up various products and services, while at the same time possibly causing their current customers to feel a little left out. In our fast paced world, it can be an easy thing to do. But it can also be a costly thing to do as well! Following are seven tips on how you can be sure you're cultivating happy customers, saving time and money - and growing new customers too!

Happy Employees: It's important to hire employees who genuinely care about the customers you are providing a service for. As an example, consider a salon franchise that works primarily with children. Employees should either have a successful background working with kids - or have a manner that children and parents will be comfortable with. You may also want to see how a potential employee responds by immersing them in the culture of your business for a short period of time before hiring.

Employee Education: Business owners may wish to develop team goals or principals that your employees are mindful of while working and interacting with customers and each other. These principles also may help guide employees to be more comfortable making decisions on their own. For example, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids has their own "Top 10 Madtastic Goals" that are vibrantly displayed in all of our salons. 

Employee Confidence: Help employees understand that one of the most important factors in the operation of the business is customer service. Employees SERVE the customer, and are working hard to help customers have a great experience that they'll want to be sure to return for in the future.

Listening to your Customer: Your business will want to make sure that it's listening and responding to your customers through traditional customer interaction (phone calls and conversations inside your store), as well as the internet (customer reviews and internet sites that mention your business) and social media (facebook, google+, twitter, blog posts and more). In all interactions, be sure to be friendly, patient and show genuine attentiveness to what they might be needing.

Ask Questions: Ask the appropriate questions in response to a customer need so that you can understand exactly how to help (and avoid frustration). Consider asking the "Five Ws" - or those questions that help in basic information gathering. Who is it about? What happened? When did it take place? Where did it take place? Why did it happen? Also pay attention to body language (verbal and nonverbal communication)!

Customer Education: Create content that helps educate your customers in a creative and fun way. Remember that educational content doesn't have to be bland and boring. It can be fun and exciting, such as contests on social media, comic books describing a process, crazy how-to videos, and more. The more your customers love your content, the more you're helping educate and market your brand to your customer - and helping draw new customers in!

Following Up with your Customer: Make sure you've done all that you can in order to help a customer leave your business happy. If you promise to do something for a customer, don't take too long to fulfill your committment, or worse - forget! And although it may seem obvious, make sure you're thinking of your customer as a real person just like you, and not just a number. 

So at the end of the day, by making sure that current customers are happy, you'll not only foster trust and loyalty towards your business, but also bring in new customers through your current customers sharing the great experience your business has provided! 

Through years of working in the children's salon industry, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising, LLC has learned a lot about how to deliver great experiences for our customers. We work hard to share our many great resources and business experiences 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, please click below!

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Topics: kids salon franchise, salon franchise, Small Business Franchise Information, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, growing a small business, marketing strategies, employee

4 Simple Employee Retention Strategies

Posted by Paula Thurman on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

4simpleaEmployee loyalty is very important to a small business owner. Good hiring is only the start of it. Finding and keeping great employees hinges on the efforts put forth by the owner.

Great Employees are the heartbeat of a business!  Focussing on them will affect your bottom line.  Happy Employees = Happy Businesses. The way customers feel in your store is directly correlated to the way your employees feel about their jobs in your store.

As an owner, the way you treat employees creates an energy that flows through to the customers in your store.  When you hire, train and interact with your employees care should be shown. Following are Four Important areas to focus on for great employee loyalty.                         

  1. – Follow Your Heart 
  2. – Make A Human Connection
  3. – Appreciate Each Employee for their individuality
  4. – Accept That We Exist In A State Of Gray                                        

FOLLOW YOUR HEART 

I know what you’re thinking. And, no, we aren’t telling you to throw caution to the wind or make every executive decision in a whimsical fashion. But if you read that headline as if your number one priority when running your business should be to look within, then you are on the right track.

If everything is only equal to the sum of all of its parts, then why do we look so long and hard away from the anatomy of those sums at work: the people, and their human existence? Owning and growing a small business cannot all be decided based on some predetermined equation that is easily applied to every situation and ends in the best possible outcome each time.

If you are willing to make the effort to step back from being "The Owner", get out of control mode and actually exist in the energy around you, you will be more in tune with what is or isn’t working within this lively beast you have created (your business). You will be able to feel the ebb and flow of its heartbeat. Are there bottlenecks in the stream of certain processes? Find out from your employees, the internal organs of your business, if these are common occurrences.

Your natural instincts will take over to allow you to make the necessary corrections where they’re needed. Thus, by following your heartand listening to your staff – you will establish the most successful workspace for everyone in your company, and your employees will thank you by sticking around to enjoy it.

MAKE A HUMAN CONNECTION 

Like any other successful human relationship, in order to cultivate the best working environment for your company, you must focus on respectful communication, active listening, open-mindedness to new ideas, and the capacity to accept criticism where it’s properly due.

Taking time out of your schedule to make a connection with your employees, and to let them tell you how their jobs make them feel, will give you an intangible advantage as you continue to grow your business. As soon as those who are working around you are no longer just bots who are working for you, your mission and your company’s energy will move in a better, stronger direction.

Your employees are the glue that can hold even the most fragile of start-ups together. Allowing them to be up-front and honest with you about their thoughts and ideas, both within and without your company, will allow you to see them in a more wholly stature. It will allow both parties to establish a bond with the other, one that will likely last a lifetime.

 APPRECIATE EACH EMPLOYEE 

In the beginning, this will feel like a no-brainer. Of course you’re going to appreciate each employee, right? These people are making your dreams come true right now. You are so thankful for them showing up for that interview or being at that job fair or for taking a chance at your Craigslist ad… But that wears off, eventually. Inevitably, any person in charge of other employees begins to see patterns in the disappointment that accompanies the joy—and they begin to doubt new hires right from the start.

One of the trickiest obstacles faced by small business owners after that first year in the business, is being able to get excited about new employees as the company grows. You need a new receptionist or you’ve decided to add an extra driver to a route, perhaps your cleaning crew is terrible or your IT guy was stealing from you. Whatever the case, you must leave those disappointments with the perpetrators who perpetuated them.

Appreciate every employee who shows up for work, who smiles when you talk to them, who makes the customers feel at ease, who produces consistently every shift, who works for you. A simple “thank you” or “you’re doing a great job” can be all that person needed to feel excited about their job again. When your staff feels appreciated, they will stay. 

ACCEPT THAT NOT EVERYTHING IS BLACK OR WHITE 

In life, we often find ourselves in new situations with only our past experiences and instincts to draw on when figuring out how to handle them. Being a business owner, especially starting out, brings situations that no manual has ever been written for. In fact, a lot of the things you may experience as owner will be foreign territory.

There will be employees who will come to you asking for a change in their hours or their pay. It can feel like your role has somehow turned into “Miracle Worker” and your job is simply to grant all wishes to those who ask. Refrain from this mentality. Remember instead that there is not always a perfect solution. It is okay to make decisions based on who’s asking and what they’re asking for.

There is no black & white way to manage your living, vital lifeline between your customers your employees, and yourself. Without feeling guilty that you aren’t following a perfect protocol, avail yourself the opportunity to act in the grey areas. Choose pay advances based on whether or not you think the employee will be around to repay them. Tweak schedules as needed to allow for outside responsibilities, or to get your top producers the hours they want.

When you make the right decision for each employee, based on your own personal history with them, you are making the right decision for your business. Regardless how you would have handled the same situation with someone else, choosing to personalize your approach to each person who works for you – and with you – is a huge step toward gaining that person’s employment long term.

The world is not black and white. Your employees shouldn’t be limited by only yes or no answers either. If you allow yourself to accept that every situation really lies in a state of grey, you will gain the trust, admiration, and loyalty of your employees and find yourself 15 years down the road working with the same people you started your business with.

Keep up the good work!

I am a small business owner and have been so for 17 years - and yes I have employees who have been with me for most of this time.  As Franchise Operations Director for Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchises I talk to franchisees often about employment issues that they face.  As franchise owners, they are free to make their own decisions about their employees.  However, I am available to bounce ideas off of and to draw from my past experiences for possible similar situations for what worked and what didn't.  This is one of the many advantages of franchise ownership support.  If you are interested in learning more about the advantage of franchise ownership - you might like this -

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: Business Tips, growing a small business, employee, salon, employee loyalty, employee retention, keeping good employees, retain good employees