Understanding Your Biggest Fixed Business Expense

Posted by Jim Otto on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 @ 12:07 PM

fixedexpense.jpgIn franchising a lot of time and effort goes into researching the best opportunity. If the franchise system that you are looking at has at least some track record and history of performance, you'll discover on close examination that they'll have over performing locations, average performing locations, and under performing locations. The list of reasons that this happens is a mile long. But with "location" as usually being listed as one of the top reasons that a franchise fails, make sure that the franchise that you are buying into has a model for picking a location that has proven track record of increasing your chance for success. 
 
After you find a space, rent will almost always be one of your highest fixed expenses. So make sure that you sign a lease that is commiserate with the amount of revenue that your franchise produces. A simple rule of thumb is that the lower the margin on your good or service, the lower your lease payment should be. Lease payments on most businesses should be in the 10 to 15% range of revenue once the business has matured. Many franchises and businesses have failed because they were paying unreasonable rent, and unfortunately landlords are unsympathetic to business owners when it comes to obligations that you have assumed when signing a lease.
 
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 franchise 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? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or 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

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

Item 7 Download

Topics: franchise buyers, buying a franchise, how to begin a business, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, evaluating a franchise, franchise ownership, business success, business skills, business ownership, fixed expenses

Risky Franchise Investments? How do you know?

Posted by Jim Otto on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

failing.jpgMost people who are familiar with franchising will look at the Franchise Disclosure Document, known as the FDD, differently from people who are just starting the process.
 
Hours of time can be spent on going through the two most commonly looked at areas of the FDD: the Item 7, which is the cost to build out a particular franchise, and the Item 19, which is the Financial Performance Representation (or FPR). Some franchises will choose to give you the numbers of their stores in the Item 19, and many will not, simply stating that they choose not to disclose those numbers at the present time. 
 
Where most people stop at the Item 19 is going one or two more pages to the Item 20 - which is a great way to gauge the health of a particular franchise. In the Item 20 you will typically find a series of tables titled OUTLETS AND FRANCHISE INFORMATION. If you go through these tables carefully you will see some columns titled outlets closed and outlets transferred. This is where you find out if a franchise system is failing. A large number of franchises closing speaks for itself, and if a large number of franchisees are transferring or selling their stores, then why would they do that if the franchise is so good? 
 
Reading the FDD and understanding what it says is a big part of finding the right business. If you don't feel comfortable going through that big thick document, engaging the services of a good franchise attorney  may help you make the right decision. Good Luck in Your Search!
 
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 salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or franchise investments, 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

Item 7 Download

Topics: franchise buyers, buying a franchise, franchise opportunity, Small Business Franchise Information, how to begin a business, Business Tips, franchising, franchise research, franchise growth, franchise, franchise success, franchising, franchise ownership, business success, franchise success, business ownership

What's Wrong with this Picture? Choosing a Franchise Location!

Posted by Jim Otto on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

franchiselocation.jpgOur world headquarters is located in beautiful Johnson County, Kansas. Not far from our corporate office lies the busiest restaurant in the community, Nick and Jakes. It's located in the heart of Overland Park, Kansas on one of the busiest streets in town. With the high incomes of the local population and great visibility, this location seems like a no brainer!
 
However if you study the picture a little closer, you'll see that the restaurant next to Nick and Jakes is up for lease. In fact, for the 4th time in the last six years a restaurant has come and gone here in one of the hottest corners in Johnson County, right next to one of the busiest restaurants.  A banker recently told me that over three and a half million dollars has been spent on build-outs over the last 6 years trying to make something work, all to no avail. Now I know what you're thinking. Nick and Jake's must be so good that nothing can compete! And while that might be the case, it got to be such a topic of discussion around these parts that the owners of Nick and Jake's decided to put something in there - and it failed too! 
 
Why am I telling you all this? Because I think it's so important to illustrate how important (and difficult) it is to find the right franchise location. Choosing a franchise location or finding the right location for your business has a LOT of variables. But a great place to start is by first asking the following question: Will this franchise even work in my area?
 
Some other great questions to ask are:
 
1) What is the total population in my trade area, and how far will customers drive to come to my business? Make sure that you know who your customer is and if there is enough of them to support your business. 
 
2)  Income levels are another important factor. Most all businesses need customers with at least some discretionary income.
 
3) Population density. This is NOT the same thing as total population. Every business has a distance that people will drive for that good or service. For example, a sub sandwich shop may only need a certain amount of people within  a mile of its location to be successful, whereas a specialty hair salon may need to draw people from a six mile radius. Make sure your franchisor can tell you what the density requirements are for your business. 
 
4) Demographic makeup. Whatever your business, it will appeal to a certain group of people. The broader that appeal is the better, but many businesses are successful by catering to an underserved niche. just make sure that you have investigated who those customers are and if there are enough in your area.  
 
5) Competition and saturation does happen. Look at all the competitors you have and see how you stack up. If you aren't able to differentiate yourself and create a better customer experience then what's already there, you may have a tough time getting customers to switch to YOUR business.
 
Which brings me back to that space for lease in the picture. Some spaces - for whatever reason - just don't have that "it" factor.  While those are the spaces that a lot of landlords will encourage you to take, it's those spaces that you need to avoid! Good Luck on Finding a GREAT location for your 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 franchise 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 salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or 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: how to begin a business, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, franchising, franchisee support, business success, business skills, franchise success, business ownership, franchise location, choosing the right location

If You Fail at This, You Will Probably Fail at Franchising!

Posted by Jim Otto on Thu, May 11, 2017 @ 17:05 PM

dontfailatthis.jpgAh yes! When it comes to buying a franchise, everything is set up for you to succeed. Support systems are in place, along with great training - all you have to do is follow the franchisor's proven systems! Right? 
 
Unfortunately there is a missing link to all of this. Your ability to manage, communicate and motivate your staff and employees is crucial to your success. If you have this ability, you will be able to create a great work environment at your business. This helps create customer satisfaction, which in turn can create strong retention and word of mouth for your business,  which will then help create higher revenue. On the other hand, if your staff is constantly turning over it can lead to things like low moral and infighting inside your business. Unsurprisingly, customers can feel that when they come in, and they won't come back.  Also, the cost of retraining staff and employees due to a high turnover can cost your business. According to a recent CAP study, the cost of replacing a $10 an hour retail employee is $3,328. 
 
Additionally you will need to communicate with a few unhappy customers from time to time, as they may not have had the experience that they had expected at your franchise. You and your staff's ability to convey your company culture to your customers is another part of the communication skills that you need. No wonder candidates that have had previous  experience owning and managing a business are so valuable to franchise systems. Good Luck with your search, it's an exciting time to own a 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 franchise 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 salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or 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: franchise buyers, buying a franchise, franchise opportunity, how to buy into a franchise, how to begin a business, Business Tips, business growth, business relationships, franchising, franchise research, evaluating a franchise, franchise, franchise success, franchising, franchise ownership, business skills, franchise success, business ownership

Scalability & Franchising: Like Peanut Butter & Jelly!

Posted by Jim Otto on Mon, May 9, 2016 @ 14:05 PM

PBJ.jpgYou hear people talk all the time about scalability, but what exactly does that mean? I would recommend that you find out exactly what that means as it relates to the Franchise you are thinking about buying! If you are not buying into a “scalable” system, then what you might be saying is that you're content with NOT growing your business. For example, have you ever watched the TV series Shark Tank? In this show, one of the first question they ask is, "What are your revenues?" Another good question that they ask is, "What were your revenues last year?" They ask this, because what they really want to find out is if the model growing, if it's creating more revenue than it did last year, and if it's scalable. Scalability, the ability to grow revenues and expand on an ever increasing workload, is one of the main characteristics of a franchise system. This is where the link can be found between the systems that the franchise has in place, and how those systems function under the ever increasing revenue that is produced. There are lots of ways to measure scalability for lots of different business models, but here are some of the most important when it comes to franchising;
  • Is there a market for the service? Without demand for the product, how will you grow?
  • Can you teach someone else to do it? Scalability relies on the fact that whatever you are doing can be taught to some else who can then teach it to others.
  • Standardization: Can it be repeated successfully over and over, the same way, and continue to produce more and more revenue as it grows?
  • Recurring revenue: I would venture to say that very few franchise models can survive without services or products that meet a need and require customers to come back again and again to get them.

It's a fact that running a business can be hard work and encompasses many challenges that most people have never encountered. But it's arguable that when you invest into a salon franchise system, you have a greater chance of success. Plus, most salon 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. Contact salon franchises, reach out to the franchisors, and compare business models!  You'll also want to take a look at the Franchise Disclosure document, the Franchise Agreement, and talk to current franchisees. 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?

Shear Madness Franchising franchises Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salons, and we have worked with our franchisees in growing their business and making sure they are on a path to success. Why? Because having someone who can offer expert advice on growth and scalability is one of the significant advantages of franchise ownership! And simply put, scalability as it relates to franchising allows you to consistently grow your revenue in the future, just like the Sharks on Shark Tank like it to!

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: salon franchise, buying a franchise, how to buy into a franchise, how to begin a business, how to franchise, franchising, franchise research, franchise growth, evaluating a franchise, scalability

Franchise Fee - What does this pay for?

Posted by Janon Otto on Wed, Mar 9, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

franchisefee.jpg

"What is the Franchise Fee?" This is perhaps one of the most common questions asked by a potential franchise buyer. And while this is certainly one of the considerations when researching a franchise system, it's definitely not the most important figure to look at. Why is this?

As the franchise fee is the initial fee charged by the franchisor, it allows a franchisee the rights to use the logo and systems, and start a business with those items. But, what you get for that fee with each franchisor does differ. The most important thing that you are paying for is the learning curve that the franchisor paid for with years of previous experience. This is what you need to find out about. For example, there are franchised companies out there with huge differences in the amount of experience they have in operating the concept that you are buying. There are also companies out there seeking out new businesses to franchise. These are usually companies that market franchises. They charge the franchisor the fees to do the legal and set up work to make them franchisable, and then also charge them to do the marketing. If the franchisor does not have many years of operating history, then they will still be learning as they are also franchising - this is can be a dangerous combination!

The learning curve is the MOST valuable asset that you aquire when investing in a small business franchise! At Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, the operating history was 13 years before franchising. Most successful "new" franchises have suprisingly long operating histories. Five Guys Burgers and Fries may seem newer, however they have been in business since 1986, and began franchising in 2001! Starbucks began opening coffee shops in 1985, and Papa Murphy's Pizza opened in 1981 and started franchising in 1995!

As companies grow, they have successes and failures. This is normal. When you invest in a franchise most of the franchise fee is for the avoidance of those failures! Those failures may have cost the franchisor hundreds of thousands of dollars. This alone can make the franchise fee a real bargain!

Besides the operating history of the original concept, 0ther questions to ask about the franchise fee are:
  • How much training is included with this fee? Every system has different training, some may be at the franchisor's office, some may be online, and some may be at your place. A detailed outline of the training you should receive is included in the Franchise Disclosure Document in Item 11.
  • What items are provided? Do you get manuals? Most often you should get a Pre-Opening Manual and then also an Operations Manual. There may be other items that are neccesary to your business - which of those are provided and what must you pay for going forward?
  • What kind of access will there be to other franchisees or management?
  • What kind of ongoing support is offered with the system?
  • Will the system be improved as it grows?
  • What is the vision of the Franchisor?

Investing in a small business franchise system can be a great opportunity! 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!

Item 7 Download

Topics: what is a franchise, Small Business Franchise Information, how to begin a business, how to franchise, what is a franchise fee

The Easy Way to write a Small Business Plan for a Bank Loan

Posted by Janon Otto on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 10:02 AM

Writing a business plan for a small business can be a daunting task - just the sound of it makes it sound BIG! So here are some down-to-earth tips to make the process easy!

small business business plan

It's important to understand that when developing a plan, there are plans for internal use, those for investors, those for bankers, etc. Be sure you know who your plan is going to be for. In this article we are going to focus on the one written to obtain financing. 

If you are applying for a loan for a small franchise business, this process will be a bit easier as much of the information for three of your four sections the franchisor can help you with.  The bank will also know that you are applying for financing for a business that others have been successful in, and that you'll receive guidance and training for your business.  However, they will still want to know about you and why you personally would be a good fit for this business.

But remember, do NOT go for Length! Even though a plan that is pages and pages long may look impressive on the outside, to a banker with limited time it is NOT impressive!  They want to know "just the facts".  So keep your plan to around 10 pages.

They will evaluate you based on several criteria and those are what they want to know about.  As financing has become more and more difficult to obtain, selling yourself and your plan is required.

Section 1: This section is all about discussing the business that you want to start or get financing for. You may find it helpful to do a small SWAT analysis on your business (S-strengths, W-weaknesses, O-opportunities, T-threats of your business idea) - this will help you complete this section. You'll also want to be sure to properly answer the following questions:
  • What is the purpose of this business?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • What industry will it belong to and how much business does that industry capture?
  • Why are you different from what is out there?
  • What is your competition?
  • What research have you done that makes you believe that your business will succeed? (demographics, etc.)

Section 2: This section is all about you or your staff. In it, you'll discuss who the key people are that will be involved in your business. Be sure to sell yourself first (if you are going to be the main employee), then list the others involved and their relevant information.
  • Who are you and your people?
  • What relevant experience and education do they have that would make them competant and able to help you run this business?
  • What is their job responsibility in your business?

Section 3: Here is where you ask for the amount of money that you would like to receive. Make sure and ask for what you will need - including working capital.
  • What are your plans for the money?
  • Detail out what it will be spent for and how you determined what those amounts are.

Section 4: In this section describe how you intend to pay off the loan you are asking for.
  • Estimate your revenues and be sure to let them know how you came up with your figures.  With a Kids Salon Franchise you would estimate the number of haircuts per month, the price of those and the revenue from other services (with reasonable expecations to start slower and grow over time).  
  • Estimate your expenses as best as you can.  Here you should also let them know where you got your figures.  Make sure and group expenditures into easily understandible categories.  For example, talk about your Fixed and Variable Expenses. Fixed are those costs that will not change no matter how much business you do (rent, some salaries, equipment payments, phone, etc.). Variable expenses will change as your business changes (inventory costs, labor, possibly utilities).

If you have pictures or other items that would make this presentation more interesting, by all means add them - but do NOT overdo it!  Only add photos if they help educate the banker on what they will be loaning money for.  Do not just add pictures for fluff.

If you are beginning a small business franchise, then the franchisor can help you with items 2, 3 & 4. The information in the franchisors item 7 will assist you with section 3.  The information in the franchisors FDD item 19 can assist greatly with section 4.  If you are starting a business from scratch, a great resource to walk you through the business plan process is SCORE.

Maybe a franchise could help you in jump starting a new small business!  Download our free whitepaper to learn the four considerations when buying a franchise.

The Top 4 Considerations

 

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, salon franchise, kids salons, franchise opportunity, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, the salon business, Small Business Franchise Information, how to begin a business, Free Resources for Businesses, small business how-tos

Career Change Advice: Buy a Business or Franchise?

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 13:01 PM

careerchangeBuying any business or franchise can be an exciting and rewarding adventure, but success won’t come overnight! You’ll likely spend a great deal of time, energy and financial resources in order to help ensure the success of your business. And in a way, because you’re making such an important investment, you’ll find yourself putting a little bit of “you” into your business too. Therefore, it’s good to take a step back before starting the whole process and ask yourself the following: Does the franchise you are considering really fit with who you are as a person?

Following are several tips to keep in mind when investigating a franchise.

Personality – Does the franchise you are considering fit with your personality? Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Do you enjoy leading, or would you rather be behind the scenes? Are you outgoing, funny, regimented, or reserved? Because there are so many different kinds of franchises that provide a large variety of services, you’ll want to look at areas that suit your personality.  For example, many people who choose Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids are generally a more outgoing personality type who enjoys the fun atmosphere our stores have. They also enjoy working with kids, and like the thought of being able to provide a service that seeks to bring a little more happiness into the world!

Lifestyle – Many people consider investing into a franchise system because of the unique challenges and opportunities that running your own business represents. But it’s important to remember that the kind of lifestyle you have (or appreciate) is an important factor in considering a franchise opportunity. Forcing yourself into a system that isn’t really “you”, can quickly lead to feeling burned out and unhappy.  For example, if you enjoy getting up early and going to bed early, certain types of franchise systems that are open late hours (or 24 hours) may not be ideal for you. Or maybe you don’t really like the thought of having to wear a suit everyday, or prefer more low-key environments over fast-paced high energy work spaces. All of these are important lifestyle preferences to take into consideration.

Skills – Think of looking for the right franchise as looking for the right job. If you have 10 years of experience working as a chef, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to look for a job as an architect. You simply wouldn’t have the right skills to effectively do the job. Or, if you’re someone who really doesn’t have a lot of experience in managing people, a job that requires management of entry-level staff may not be a good fit. Similarly, when making a decision on a franchise, don’t be afraid to perform an honest look at what your skills are. You can do this through looking at your resume and seeing what you’ve demonstrated an excellence for over the course of your work history. Or you may additionally want to consider what you may enjoy doing in your free time as well. Either way, in order to help ensure success as a future franchise owner, be sure to focus on what your talents and abilities are!

Tools for Assessment - If you would like a little help in figuring out who you are and what really motivates you to get through each day, you might want to the following online resources. The Keirsey Personality Sorter is an online personality assessment that can be done for free at http://www.keirsey.com/ (more detailed reports are available for a fee). iPersonic Career Test also has an online personality test available at http://www.ipersonic.com/career/ that may help you more clearly define your work values.

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, franchise buyers, buying a franchise, franchise opportunity, career change, how to begin a business, how to franchise, reinvent your career, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, successful franchisees

Salon Franchise Owner Erin Nanke and Des Moines Marketing

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 16:12 PM

Marketing in Des Moines

Developing a children's salon franchise into a thriving business requires a lot of time, hard work, and the use of effective marketing. Sometimes overlooked, marketing a business to your community not only can be a way to exercise creativity and have fun with your staff - but also helps generate a positive and exciting image to your audience! 

Erin Nanke, the owner of a successful Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids franchise location in West Des Moines, has used successful marketing campaigns to grow her business. Everything from using the famous Shear Madness pink Cadillac for parades, to passing out flyers and coupons at events around town, Erin's efforts have helped raise awareness on who Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids is - and how much fun it can be to come by for a visit! And through the use of marketing, the word is starting to spread. As an example, The Des Moines Parent noted recently that "Shear Madness is totally kid friendly and makes the whole haircut experience fun for the kiddos."

Erin has also been active in the Des Moines sports scene, and shared her initial idea and subsequent involvement in helping develop a Kid's Club for Iowa Energy (a minor league basketball team). After searching both Iowa Energy and Iowa Wild's (a minor league hockey team) websites last year, Erin discovered that neither team had a "Kid's Club". So Erin decided to contact them to put one together as a sponsor.

"I did both last year to give myself more exposure, being new to the market," Erin explains. "I pushed audio and video mentions at the game and they pushed having booths at the games. What I found last year is I couldn't staff the booths all the time and it was difficult to have interaction with parents and kids because they are there to watch games. We did free hair braiding, free color gel, I had a prize wheel they could spin to win free stuff. However, for this year, I decided I was only going to renew one of the two.  I went with Iowa Energy because they gave me most everything I asked for - which was more Kid's Club games (last year only 2, this year 4), video board mentions all games, PA announcements all games, and NO BOOTH, just signage, etc.  Also they had over 450 kids sign up last year, and Iowa Wild's was half that amount!" 

Erin also notes that her experience working for a local television station for 17 years in Des Moines before opening Shear Madness also helped develop important relationships, marketing opportunities, and negotiation skills. For instance, when Iowa Energy didn't quite meet Shear Madness expectations the prior year, Erin still chose to renew with them because she understood the errors weren't intentional, and that "they would go above and beyond to make it up to me this year. One example is the size of my logo on the t-shirts.  Last year it was the size of a half-dollar, this year it's the entire backside!" 

Meanwhile, after looking into what will deliver more of the results she's looking for, Erin has decided not to focus on having any booths at the Iowa Energy games - and just stick with audio and logo mentions. "For the four designated Kid's Club games I will have a fun interactive 'HAIR CAM' feature during one of the time outs where they put different hair graphics on the fans with my logo bugged throughout the feature.  Last year they wouldn't do it...this year they are for the same investment. And last year I passed out coupons. But this year, kids show their Kid's Club lanyard and they get $2 off a haircut through Mar '15."

"We are so proud of Erin and what she brings to our franchise system.  She is willing to share her ideas and help any store in our system come up with unique marketing strategies.  Erin runs an excellent business because she is not afraid of hard work and asks questions to make sure she is doing everything in the most successful manner." Shear Madness Franchising CEO Janon Otto said.

If you are interested in running a successful kids salon business - a Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids business might be just the match!  To find out more feel free to download our toolkit.  No obligation, just good information!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, salon franchise, franchise buyers, franchise opportunity, the salon business, Small Business Franchise Information, how to begin a business, how to franchise, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, marketing strategies

New! 20 FREE Resources for Businesses

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, Dec 2, 2014 @ 13:12 PM

20freeStarting your own business can be a serious and daunting task. With so many things to consider (and pay for) it's always a significant bonus to be able to find free resources that aren't just smoke and mirrors - but are truly helpful. Following is our list of 20 free resources for business that you might find beneficial as you work to grow your business. We hope they help you like they have us! (note: This post is an update to our popular "20 Free resources" post that we shared in January of 2012)

  • 1) Shortstack.com: shortstack.com helps design great Facebook pages that include contests, sweepstakes, videos and custom forms.

  • 2) Hootsuite.com: Used by the White House, Time, and Fox, hootsuite.com is a leading social media dashboard.  Use hootsuite to manage multiple social profiles, schedule messages and track brand mentions, etc.

  • 3) anymeeting.com: This site can help keep your business moving forward with little money spent.  You can hold meetings, sell tickets to your webinars, share your screen, record those important meetings, collect information and follow up.  All for free (which includes free support).

  • 4) IBOToolbox.com: For independent business owners, this is the fastest growing business network.  This site has a collection of amazing tools that are designed to get your business exposed.  “IBOToolbox is a ‘safe haven’ to build your business”  --Paul Williams, IBOToolbox Creator

  • 5) SMEtoolkit.com: SME Toolkit helps you learn the basics of starting your own business with some thoughtful questions to ask yourself. For example: What do you want to do and how are you going to go about doing it?

  • 6) Freeconferencecall.com: Free conference calls are simple and easy to use.  All you need is an email address and a name to receive an instant account.

  • 7) mozy.com: With your new business venture; you will want to protect your critical business data, financial records, photos and even music.  Mozy ensures your digital life will be there when you need it.

  • 8) Zoho.com: You can focus on your business while Zoho takes care of the rest.  These apps will help you get more sales, get paid, support your customers and make your business more productive.

  • 9) google.com/calendar: Keep track of meetings and appointments in your personal or business life.
  • 10) Expensify: Expensify imports expenses and receipts straight from your credit card, submitting PDF expense reports by email and reimbursing up to $10K online! Completely digital expense tracking and reporting.  Free iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry and WebOS apps. Seamless QuickBooks integration.

  • 11) googlealert.com: Generates leads, monitors competitors and safeguards your reputation.  The web’s leading solution for monitoring your professional interests online.  Track the entire web for your topics and receive new results by daily email. GigaAlert was formerly known as Google Alert.

  • 12) Vyew.com: Vyew allows you to meet and share content in real time anytime.  Upload images, files, documents and videos into a room.  Users can access and contribute at any time.  Sign up is Free.

  • 13) Wrike: Free Project Management will rock your team’s productivity with a combo of task list, spreadsheets, Gantt charts and Activity Stream in 1 app.  Wrike brings all data in one place making project management fast, easy and enjoyable.

  • 14) Fresh Books Cloud Accounting: Fresh Books is the fastest way to track time, organize expenses and invoice your clients.

  • 15) CloudHQ: CloudHQ will replicate, sync and backup all Google Apps, files and emails with other cloud services such as Box, Dropbox for Business, Evernote for Business, SkyDrive, Basecamp, and more.

  • 16) Dropbox: Securely share, sync and collaborate with Dropbox. Dropbox is the secure file sharing and storage solution that employees love and IT admins trust. 

  • 17)  www.vitaminCM.com: This website lets you choose from 50 Free Apps to run your small business like a professional.

  • 18) Hubspot: Hubspot's all-in-one marketing software helps you optimize your website to get found by more prospects and convert more of them into leads and paying customers (free trial).

  • 19) Wordpress: Create a free website for your business.

  • 20) Gmail: With 15GB of free storage, you won't need to delete emails to save space!

The Top 4 Considerations  

Topics: Small Business Franchise Information, how to begin a business, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, small business how-tos, growing a small business