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

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!

Item 7 Download

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

Seven Things Every Franchisor Should be Doing

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

7things.jpgMany business owners will often take a look at their business and ask, "how can I grow?". Friends will look at them and say "Hey!  You ought to franchise!".  Sounds good - franchise your business!  Easy, right?!  Just find some people who want to do what you do, teach them to do it, and then sit back and collect all that royalty! Wow - So Easy!

WRONG!  Running a franchise is work!  It is running a business that is totally different than the business that you are franchising. If you're someone who is thinking of starting a franchise, or buying into one, you'll want to remember the list of the seven important things that the franchisor had better be offering their franchisees. If they aren't, then the system is not worth doing or investing in!

1.  Putting franchisee profits first!  

2.  Staying current with all marketing methods, evaluating them as they relate to the franchise business, and teaching franchisees about them.

3.  Continuing to develop the concept so that it stays up to date with the times and trends.

4.  Developing standards to help all franchisees evaluate their success or areas that need improvement. As an example from a salon business standpoint, this would be such relevant information as how many haircuts should a stylist perform in a given time period, how to figure out what to pay your stylists, what products to offer in your store, etc.?

5.   Developing benchmarks  for success.  How is each franchise doing compared to others in the system?  Are all franchisees given access to the best information?

6.   Continually developing new content that potential customers see as fresh.  Website, social media platforms, in store materials, etc.

7.   Constantly improving franchisee support - both access, systems, & communication.

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!

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: salon franchise, franchise buyers, buying a franchise, how to buy into a franchise, Small Business Franchise Information, how to franchise, small business how-tos, growing a small business, franchising, franchisee support, franchise research, franchise growth, franchise ownership, why buy a franchise, franchise success

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!

Item 7 Download

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

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

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!

Item 7 Download

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

A Franchise can Multiply your Chances of Business Success!

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 @ 14:06 PM

multiplying.jpgWhen you are looking for a franchise to buy, there's a lot of due diligence that needs to be done. One of the things that I would recommend that you look for is current franchisees who are opening up additional locations. When a franchisee is opening up additional units it tells you a couple of things, number one is that there's a very high likelihood that they are either making money with their first location or they feel comfortable with the support and training that they are getting and the trajectory that they are on to continue to expand. Scalability is one of the most important elements of franchise success and opening additional units is a great sign of scalability. Multi-unit owners are really important in franchise systems that don’t have a 10 or 20 year track record. Everyone knows that McDonalds, Taco Bell and Subway have expandable and scalable systems, but if you are buying into a newer franchise system the importance of multi-unit owners is magnified. A lot of this relates back to the issues that I have mentioned previously, namely a proven track record and the support and training that you receive from your franchisor. With everyone looking for a new and exciting franchise opportunity, looking for franchise systems where franchisees are opening up additional units is a great place to begin your search! 

Another good question to think about in regards to scalability and the growth of your business is the following: What do people consider a necessity rather than a luxury? Or put another way, if the economy slows down or even goes into a recession, will my franchise business survive? One example of this is how haircuts are something that most people consider a necessity and not an option, and no matter what the economy is doing hair is always growing - and it always needs to be cut! Child care is another one. People will always have a strong desire to have a family. If people spend money on anything in good times or bad, they will ALWAYS spend money on their kids. We can probably all think of companies whose products have either gone out of style or are no longer relevant. The most recent example is Blockbuster entertainment. The video rental store has been replaced by Netflix and other on demand movie services. Another example is Borders. Borders book stores unfortunately didn't keep up with Amazon's online book stores, and recently closed most of its locations as well.  Again, it's hard to imagine a time when hair care is no longer a need - no matter what happens with technology.

Lastly, when trying to determine how successful a potential franchise system really is, it's a good idea to contact franchises and talk to the franchisors, look at the Franchise Disclosure documents and the Franchise Agreement, and compare business models. For example, 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 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, 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!

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Topics: franchise buyers, buying a franchise, Small Business Franchise Information, small business how-tos, business growth, franchising, franchise research, franchise growth, scalability

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