Top 10 Questions: Will My Franchise Make Money?

Posted by Jim Otto on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

makemoney.jpgI know what you're thinking. If I buy a franchise, will my franchise make money? Here are 10 tips to get through the "clutter" of franchising information and increase your odds of franchise owner business success!
 
1. What do I Enjoy: Make sure you sit down and analyze yourself. Choose a business that you can see yourself doing, enjoying and excelling at. 
 
2. Avoid Fads: Make sure the business you choose is sustainable, creates a reoccurring revenue model and is a valuable and needed service.  Will this business be around in 5 or so years?
 
3. Be Wary of Sales: Franchises that have lots of existing units for sale could be troubled. If it's such a great business to get in why are people getting out? Check websites that list franchises for sale.
 
4. Use a Scam Filter: Google the name of the franchise and the word "scam". This may lead to complaints. All franchise systems have a few unhappy franchisees, the key words here is "a few"!
 
5. Make Sure the Franchisor is Running the Concept: Yes, you heard me correctly, many franchisors are not currently running their own concept and some have never run the concept! If the franchise needs to test market a new product or service, then guess who the guinea pig is? 
 
6. Happiness Counts: Franchisors will almost always guarantee you great service and support. Call the franchisees, if they aren't happy, chances are  you probably won't be either, and vice- versa.
 
7. Is the Business Model Sustainable: I already talked about avoiding fads but that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about spotting consumer trends and if the concept will pass the test of time or can it be replaced by something like the intranet? (think video sales)
 
8. Study the FDD: Item 7, the cost to build out and Item 19, the financial performance representations are important, but so is the Item 20 which will give you a history of how many units have closed. If you are one who really hates surprises, then look at the Item 6 and what additional fees you may be paying. 
 
9. Go to Discovery Day: In my humble opinion the best money you will ever spend is before you buy a franchise. Did you meet your spouse before you married them? You are entering into a business agreement with someone who is agreeing to give you the training and support you need to succeed, so go meet these people and see if they are the kind of people you want to have a long term relationship with. 
 
10. Run the Numbers: You know, I am amazed how many people never run the numbers. You should be able to look at the item 19, or call the franchisees, and get enough numbers to run a proforma. Make sure you don't have unrealistic expectations and understand what you will make if you own a successful location.
 
I hope these tips help and you can become as successful as our franchisees at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids! Meet some of them by reading one of our recent articles (right here) that shares a little bit about who they are! Additionally, 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!

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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: buying a franchise, franchise opportunity, successful franchisees, nourishing success, franchise research, evaluating a franchise, franchise ownership, business success

Franchise Warning! Are You Getting Sold or Recruited?

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 @ 15:11 PM

warning.jpgCandidates often ask me why we pay for all their expenses when they come to Discovery Day to see our award winning children’s salons. Well, first of all that isn't quite accurate, as we do ask our best candidates to buy their own plane tickets (that way they have a little “skin in the game”). But other than that it’s pretty much on us. Now don’t get me wrong, there is some qualification that goes on and candidates that come into see us take our free no-obligation webinar, and have sent us some financial information that we check out. We don’t feel like it would be a prudent use of company funds for us to treat candidates to a  hotel on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza district if they weren’t financially qualified to join our system. But for those that meet our qualifications, we do feel like Discovery Day is an important part of the process.

Franchising, more than any business I can think of, is a relationship driven model. The Franchisee relies heavily on the experience, knowledge, training and systems of the franchisor. In turn, as the franchisor, we are looking for people who will work hard, follow our proven systems and expand our brand. When that relationship works like it's suppose to, both sides benefit. Or putting it another way, it’s a “win-win” situation!

All this takes me back to whether you are being “sold” a franchise, or being recruited to join a brand. Franchisors that are out there only to sell franchises typically are looking to collect franchise fees and will sell a franchise to anyone who will buy. They are typically focusing on “quantity” instead of quality and turn a blind eye to marginal candidates. At Shear Madness our focus is on franchise “recruitment”. We want our candidates to match our profile, culture, and generally want them to be the type of people that have the same values as we do. We want our tag-line, Where Every Child Matters to really mean something to them. Understanding our culture is the starting point to a long happy marriage of franchise and franchisor, which is truly a ‘win-win” situation.

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  small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons and 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 your small business, or how to become a 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, buying a franchise, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, how to buy into a franchise, successful franchisees, nourishing success, business relationships, franchising, franchisee support, franchise research, why buy a franchise, brand building

In Business, One is the Loneliest Number!

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 16:09 PM

lonelybusiness.jpgWhen starting a new business by yourself, sometimes it might seem like doing your own research and going at it alone is the most attractive option. But ultimately, this might not be a good idea. Not only could you possibly be doing the wrong research and making investments that might not be financially profitable over the long run, but you just might not have all the necessary information at your fingertips that can help ensure business success! You've probably heard the phrase, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. Well, once when I was out of work I went to a job fair for a major pharmaceutical company. There were perhaps around 200 people in the room, and the meeting started off something like this, “all of you who have experience in the pharmaceutical industry get on this side of the room, and everyone else stay where you are.” Needless to say, I never interviewed that day. You see, that company knew there was no substitute for experience, no substitute for having "been there, done that”, and no substitute for having to start all over training someone to learn the pharmaceutical industry.

Let me offer you a solution. Let me tell you about a way to shorten your learning curve, save yourself all that research, stop yourself from making mistakes that someone else already made, and thinking that you know how things work when you really might not. It’s called Franchising. You see, someone else has already made all those mistakes that you are about ready to make. Someone else has done all that research. Someone else had those same wrong thoughts that you think will work, but they really don’t! That same someone, or group of someones will teach you how to succeed at a much faster rate. Why? Because they have already “been there and done that”. Put another way, by going alone - how long will it take, how much money will you spend, and how many mistakes will you make before your business must close it's doors or succeed? 

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few rare people out there who can start a business from scratch, and lo and behold it succeeds. Biz Stone, the Co-Founder of twitter is one of those. He says that, “timing, perseverance and ten years of trying will make you an overnight success”. But why would you do that when you can “pay” for a system that works and gets your business up and running at a much faster rate? That's why one is the loneliest number in business! You are either going to be in business by yourself, or you're going to have the support, systems and people to guide you. At the end of the day, what side of the room do you want to be on?

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own  small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons and 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 your small business, or how to become a 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, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, what is a franchise, small business how-tos, growing a small business, nourishing success, franchising, franchisee support, franchise ownership, why buy a franchise

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

Growing Your Small Business

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, Sep 18, 2015 @ 10:09 AM

businesssuccessRunning your own small business can be a difficult, yet extremely rewarding time in your life. Not only does it take being able to understand market demands, but it also means having a 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 small 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 some of the essentials that can help your small business build success.

Branding: Because your brand is what's special and unique about your business, it's important to recognize the importance that the careful cultivation and maintenance of this brand might have for the sustainable growth of your small business. For example, if a customer doesn't feel they are getting a positive experience from the service your business provides, they'll simply go somewhere else in search of something better. Some of the ways you are able to build brand awareness is by knowing who your audience is, inspiring that target audience, and making sure to foster a positive emotional brand connection with the public. You'll also want to make sure your employees understand and are motivated by what your brand represents, as their enthusiasm (or lack thereof) may be passed onto a customer.

Great Marketing: Creative Marketing, when combined with a unique brand, can help your small business succeed! Once you've identified a particular service that your customer will respond to, you can get the word out through generating great marketing content. Newspaper ads, ads on social media, and running a blog or social media site can all be ways to help get the word out about whatever exciting product or service you have. You'll also want to be sure to create cool and creative marketing materials that reflect your brand identity, and are well designed so as to convey an image that your target audience will respond to.

Repeat Sales: Even with awesome marketing and a unique brand, your small business must be able to encourage your customers to eagerly return for whatever it is your business provides. This requires the careful design and identification of products and services that excite and motivate your customers to return to your business. For example, in the kid's hair salon business, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids encourages repeat sales through providing haircuts, birthday parties, spa services, and the operation of a kid's boutique that always features exciting new products.

Utilizing Technology: Technology is not always easy to implement and maintain in our fast-paced world, but many small business owners often find themselves benefiting greatly through the utilization of technology to help manage their business. If a small business owner identifies a need, chances are there's a technological option that can help fulfill that need. As an example, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids uses technology to stay in communication with their customers. They also use the internet to stay in contact and provide support to franchise owners who are located in many different parts of the United States.

A Mindset for Success: As stated at the introduction of this post, running and growing your small business can be an extremely difficult (or stressful) challenge. Because of this, sometimes business owners can get so busy trying to keep up with building the success of their business that they forget about their own needs, or even the needs of their family. However, if you're not maintaining your health or a happy state of mind, your business will surely suffer as a result. So be sure to invest the time to take care of you and your family through working hard when necessary, but also having plenty of time each day devoted to spending time de-stressing and enjoying life.

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, kids salons, franchise buyers, Small Business Franchise Information, how to franchise, small business how-tos, growing a small business, nourishing success, franchisee support

Effective Franchisee Support

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 @ 09:08 AM

effectivefranchiseLike any relationship, the relationship between franchisees and franchisors depends a lot on trust and goodwill. Following are some of the key areas that Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids has focused on in building trust and nourishing success for our valued franchisees!

Encouraging Communication: Anyone who feels as if they don't have someone to easily turn to when problems or quesitons arise, will often attempt to find their own solutions. Amongst franchisees, this could not only lead to less brand cohesiveness, but also division and discouragement between the franchisor and franchisee. This is why reaching out to franchisees on a continual basis is so important. Some of the ways the franchisor can do this is through newsletters, e-mail, phone and in-person visits. Handwritten notes congratulating franchisees on recent successes are also always appreciated! However, it's also important to understand that difficult situations may arise, and it's that consistent, open communication that will not only help ease potentially frustrating situations, but also save time and money too!

Encouraging Innovation: Every year, it's important to try to assess the effectiveness of your products and services. If it's discovered that a particular product or service isn't providing the desired results, the careful research and development of new products and services may help stimulate business growth in a new direction! And don't forget that innovating in communication methods can also be helpful. For example, while technology may be intimidating or costly to implement, it's also a great way to communicate through newsletters, e-mail and blogs. Website and company portals can also be helpful in allowing franchisees to quickly access important information or provide feedback.

Meetings: Monthly conference calls and yearly conferences can be a fun and helpful way to foster good relationships between franchisees and the franchisor. These meetings are also a great way to inform everyone on changes within the system, as well as helping stimulate innovation and education. Conferences can be especially effective, as it's a great way for face-to-face interaction with other franchisees, the franchisors, vendors, and more. Conferences can also help build exciting momentum with the offering of new products and innovative plans for the year to come!

Focus on the Franchisee! While growth and developing new products and services is always important, the culture of any franchising system should ultimately be franchisee-focused. Not only is respect for your franchisee critical, but positive communication with them can lead to great franchise relationships and a highly effective team. Let franchisees know that their thoughts are needed and valued by encouraging feedback on new services, products, programs, etc. Maintaining effective communication and providing support for your franchisees can be a full time job, but it helps franchisees know that someone always has their back and cares about their success!

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 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!

The Top 4 Considerations

Topics: franchise, business growth, nourishing success, business relationships, franchising, franchisee support