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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Stages of a Business - Get a Head Start with a Franchise System

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 @ 10:07 AM

smallgrowth

Every business can be identified in the following stages.  Some actually move from one to the next, while others may stay at the same stage during their entire existence.  Businesses in stage one are the most difficult.  During this stage every system, product, etc. needs to be developed from the ground up.  Most don't survive this stage to move on to stage two.  That is one reason that franchising is so attractive to so many.  When one invests in a franchise system, they are getting a business model that already survived stage one and two - and the franchise owner just needs to concentrate on following the system and doing it well! 

Stage 1 - Business Existence: The business starts out with very few systems in place, with the owner usually overseeing all aspects. Primary concerns entail attracting customers and being able to produce and deliver the services/products needed. Other concerns might entail how to encourage growth, and finding enough funds to maintain the needs of the business (repairs, paying staff, creating product, etc.). There's a lot of risk associated with this stage, as the demands on time and energy may cause the owner to sell-out and pursue a different path. The business may also prove to not be able to attract customers, or sustain the financial requirements the business needs to continue.

Stage 2 - Business Survival: The business not only has attracted enough customers to be profitable, but also has the products and services in place to encourage the customers to return. However, owner concerns during this stage might pertain to the ability to sustain profitability and encourage growth, all while maintaining repairs and delivering enough services to engage customers. Sometimes, a business may stay in the "business survival" stage for a while, and go out of business when the owner retires, or decides to do something else.

Stage 3 - Business Success: With the business being successful, the owner will have the option of continuing to build on success, or keep the business stable and financially profitable. Some owners may want to use the business as a means of support while they pursue other activities, which means either a partial or full disengagement from the business. However, it should also be noted that during this stage of the business, more employees and management are usually brought on board to assist with the operation of the company.

Stage 4: Business Take-off: During this phase, the business is trying to figure out how to grow rapidly while finding ways to finance the desired growth. Business Owners will also look at delegating tasks in order to help manage the growth and complexities of the expanding business. Sometimes, a business during this step may grow too quickly and run out of money, or the owner fails to distribute responsibilities to others - which may contribute to owner burnout.

Stage 5: Maturing of Business Resources: The business has grown to the point of being adequately staffed with experienced employees and management, and should have systems in place that have been refined and are efficient. In this stage, the business also should have financial resources and experienced management ready to help continue the growth of the business. However, it's important for the business to try and maintain its entrepreneurial spirit, and continue with that same ability they had when smaller in meeting the needs of their customers. If the business opts to avoid risks and innovation, and becomes so big that customer service and internal culture dramatically changes, it may allow a competitor to gain a foothold.

Franchise opportunities are in an abundance.  Smarter business owners do careful due diligence when evaluating them.  We have written several other blogs on these topics: What to look for, what are the advantages of a franchise and so many more.  If you are looking for faster business growth in your future business plan, it might pay well to check out franchise opportunities.

For further reading, check out our other resources on Franchise Success!

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

The Top 4 Considerations

Topics: franchise opportunity, the salon business, Small Business Franchise Information, reinvent your career, Business Tips, growing a small business, business growth

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

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 @ 16:06 PM

SlowbusinessWhen business is slow it can be a great opportunity to accomplish some things that you normally don't have time for. In our stores there is always something that can be accomplished. Here are some great ideas:

1. Do Staff Training – Over time it is only natural that your staff revert back to old habits and lose some of their edge. Use this time to get them pumped back up and sharp for the rush ahead. Review your goals for customer service!

2. Send Handwritten Note Cards to Your Best Clients – You know who they are, customers like to feel appreciated and they are your best promoters. Your totally FREE marketing team!

3. Review the last quarter. – Did you make your goals? What could you have done better? What did you do right? What did you do wrong?

4. Improve your Google Reviews – This one is a real no brainer. You know who your most loyal customers are, most of them would be glad to write a review, just ask. And think of all the people who find you on the internet, your free marketing team at work again! 

5. Check in on Past Clients – Spend two hours one Sunday afternoon calling customers and asking how their experience was. You will get a lot of “Wow’s, I’ve never had the owner of a business call me before!” It’s called going the extra mile.

6. Review your Marketing Plan – You should be reviewing your marketing plan every week, but we're talking about reviewing your WHOLE plan. Are you spending your marketing dollars the most effective way possible? Any new marketing ideas that you can think of?  Will these ideas help business growth?

7. Write a Blog – It’s easy, it’s effective and it’s free. Lots of good info on the internet about why and how to write a Blog. Just remember the best bloggers say, “ The best blogs are 50% title and 50% content.”

8. Identify Areas Where You Can Start Saving Money – A very wise business friend of ours says running a successful business comes down to managing the Nickels and the Dimes. Have you ever come the end of the month and wondered where the money went? Find out! Grow your business by controlling costs. Every dollar saved is an extra dollar in your pocket!

9. Have your Floor Buffed or Walls Touched Up – Call around, you can get this done for a good price and people in this business often will do their work on off hours. Your location will be sure to look great when the crowds come back!

10. Create some Standard Reply Letters – Have you read the research lately on handwritten notes? We have letters ready to go out, some titles; Thanks for the referral, Thank you for telling us there was a problem, Sorry we messed up! Thank you for writing a Google Review. Etc. Etc.

11. Find Yourself a Peer Group – Ever hear someone say, “he’s a really good networker” ? There's lots of opportunity to become a really good networker. You can often find groups to connect to, BMI, or Business Men’s International for example, you can talk about everything business and make friends along the way.

12. Clean Out the Storage Room and Refrigerator – Need we say more?

13. Write Out a Detailed Goal’s List – List 10 things that you are going to do to make your business absolutely awesome right NOW!

14. Reach Out to Old Contacts – Talk to anyone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Marketing contacts, vendors, business associates. Who knows, someone might have an idea for growing a business that’s working for them and it might work for you.

15. Expand Your Role and Add Value – What can you do that you would normally not do because you have someone else do it?  Do your Taxes, look at your operations and look for inefficiencies, Get the Idea? Do something! You have the time.

Studying how to grow a business during the slow times is important. So even though business may not be busy - you sure can be!

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

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

Marketing a Children's Hair Salon!

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, May 5, 2015 @ 12:05 PM

MarketingIn the exciting world of Children's Hair Salons, building brand awareness can be an exciting challenge and another way to run a smarter business. Not only is it important to use clever eye-catching marketing techniques in the community (such as what we discussed in our article Gorilla Marketing Strategies and Erin Nanke's Marketing in Des Moines), but it's also important to engage your customers through having an online presence by developing - and maintaining - a website and social media content.

For example, the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids website ranks near the top for childrens salons, the salon business and kids spa locations. We consistently receive between 35,000 to 60,000 visitors per month. Our Facebook site currently has over 30,000 "Likes", and has been a great way to interact with our customers through fun contests, receiving positive feedback, and listening / responding to customer concerns. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ have also been great ways to reach out to our customers by providing fun content for them to access each day. We do this through the careful understanding that although simply having an online presence has certainly been important for our business, utilizing the internet to reinforce the FUN that Shear Madness represents has been a vital ingredient for success!

Great design also configures into this equation too - especially given the short-attention span that people have in the age of the internet. While it's true you can't always judge a book by it's cover, people will quickly pass a business by if the business looks unprofessional, uninteresting, or just plain boring - especially in the children's market! Without nicely designed ads, signs, posters, web banners, meme graphics and more that clearly communicate your brand, customers will unfortunately find their interest drawn by other businesses who do. So be sure to take time to invest in great graphic design that communicates what you do, applies a consistent message (so your audience will visually recognize who you are), and provides a way for your customers to feel the FUN when they see your materials!

So while marketing and design can be a lot of fun, and generate a lot of excitement for your brand, it sometimes doesn't come cheap. Nor is it something that takes only a couple hours here and there in order to be successful. However, here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, we understand how important it is! Because of this, we work hard in providing many great resources and materials to help our franchise owners succeed in the marketing and development of their business. For example, we have numerous photographs and art assets easily available to our franchisees through dropbox for the creation of flyers, e-mails and more. We also provide graphic design and marketing services for franchisees who may need a little more in-depth assistance with newspaper ads, signs, or marketing through social media avenues. Whatever the case may be, you can bet that by being partnered with our great team - you'll not only have a friend in the business, but a true advantage as well!

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

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

7 Tips for Successful Blogging

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 14:03 PM

Business Tips: Successful BloggingWriting and maintaining a blog may take a little extra time out of your day, but it’s also a low cost means to advertise, educate and facilitate trust with existing and potential customers! Each and every post that is written gets published as its own indexed page on your web site. The more pages you have, the more opportunities you have to get found online! But, it’s also important to understand that even if you take the time to create a blog – it may not create the response you’re hoping for. What you are offering through a blog must be compelling, look professional and be well written, or people will quickly move on to greener pastures.

If you’re interested in learning how to use blogs as an important marketing resource, check out some of the following helpful tips we’ve learned while maintaining our own blog.

Understand your audience: Who is your ideal customer? If you discuss problems and present solutions for your ideal customer, it’s likely they will be interested in coming back to read and learn more. Think about how you might use blog content to facilitate positive relationships and generate trust with your customers! 

Keep a blog post to one topic: Just like when people jump from topic to topic in daily conversation, it can also be frustrating for a reader if written content meanders about and doesn’t stick to the point. Consider how newspaper or magazine articles are written, and look at how other popular writers in your industry are generating effective content. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): For each blog post, you’ll want to look at using keywords in the title. Keywords are words or phrases that are commonly searched for on search engines such as Google. But remember! Only use keywords that are relevant to your blog post! Customers will become frustrated if they find your post through a search keyword, and discover that it’s not about the subject they are looking for! You’ll also want to look at creating a meta description for your blog post. A meta description is a short summary that search engines will use when displaying search results. Many blog sites should have capabilities to input meta descriptions and keywords.

Write Compelling Blog Titles: When writing an effective title for your blog, use words that convey an action, such as “How to…” or “Explore”. Be mindful of effective keywords (SEO), being clear and concise (try to keep titles short and to the point), intriguing (such as: “Learn more about…”), and definitive (such as: “The Ultimate Guide to…” or “10 reasons why…”)

Attractive Blog Posts: Not everyone is a designer, but attempt to make your blog post pleasing to look at. Use easy to read fonts, a consistent font and font sizing from post to post, and refrain from using font colors that are hard to read (black is best, but occasionally dark colors for standout text may be useful). Use quality images, subheads, and bulleted lists for additional viewing impact.

Proof Read! When you’re finished writing your blog post, be sure to read through it at least once to look for any spelling errors, bad grammar and poor sentence structure. You may also want someone else to read it too. Nothing will kill a message like bad grammar, misspelled words, or hard to understand sentences. 

Utilize a Call to Action: It’s a good idea to end each blog post with a Call to Action – something that prompts the reader to click on a link to download a free resource, fill out a form for more information, or follow a link to another relevant topic or product. If customers like what they read, and are convinced of the value your post is trying to convey, they may want an opportunity to learn or do more. An effective Call to Action that is relevant to the post helps them do just that!

Here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising, we work hard to share our many great resources and business experiences so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: the salon business, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, successful franchisees, small business how-tos, marketing strategies, SEO, blogging, kids hair blog

Easter Eggs, FREE Haircuts, DIY Nails & More!

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 @ 12:03 PM

March Fun and Special Sales! 

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FREE DIY Nail Stations! If you're looking for a memorable activity to do with your kids, why not come out to your local Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids and check out our DIY Nail Stations set up in celebration of St. Patrick's Day? This awesome event will take place March 16th and 17th (Monday and Tuesday), so be sure to get it on your calendar. It's sure to be a lot of FUN!

easter2Easter Eggs and maybe a FREE HAIRCUT! It's hard to imagine with the colder temperatures right now, but Easter will be here April 5th!  Starting in March, and running until Easter Sunday, each child can "hunt" for a MadTastic Easter egg in our store! Each will contain a fantastic coupon for discounts or a Free Haircut or candy - its a surprise!  Come and Hunt for yours now!

shamrock

March Specials! Maybe it's the longer days, or the feeling that winter is almost over. Either way, here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids we're warming things up with awesome specials on manicures, pedicures and more! You'll definately want to check in with your local store to see what's going on. And don't forget our always exciting selection of toys, jewelry, bows, hair care products and more! 

 National Girl Scouts Week

locksoflovelogoGirl Scouts: Did you know that the 2nd week of March is National Girl Scout Week? According to the Girl Scouts website"In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong." Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids recognizes the valuable contributions of the Girl Scouts!

Looking for Your Pot Of Gold?

franchising

Right now, we're looking for qualified franchisees who might like to open a Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Cedar Rapids, Lincoln Nebraska and more! Interested? Check out some of our new resources available through our franchise website. From a great blog discussing the many aspects of franchising, to free downloads and more, we invite you to check out our franchise website by clicking: Franchise Opportunities 

Social Media and Coupons!

socialmediaMarch Shear Madness Fun all month long! You just might feel a little lucky when you discover our free Haircut Fridays, funny jokes, awesome customer feedback and more - and it's all happening right now at our rockin' Facebook page! And if you want more Shear Madness, why not check out our constantly updated Franchise Blog, InstagramGoogle+  and Twitter? And of course, don't miss out on some of our favorite Shear Madness pins this month on Pinterest! 

coupons

Great Coupons! Are you looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? If so, then you're sure to appreciate some of the "golden" offers available on our coupon page! Whether it's shopping for a St. Patrick's Day celebration, an upcoming birthday, or other special occasion - you're sure to find that Madtastic deal you’ve been waiting for at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids!

St. Patty's Day Crafts for Kids

march craftSt. Patty's Day Crafts for Kids: Put a little luck o' the Irish in your March by celebrating St. Patrick's Day with some fun crafts! Check out our cool Crafts for Kids section on Pinterest, and learn how to make Shamrock hats out of paper plates, cute paper shamrock ornaments, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow party favor - and much more! Have fun, and have a great March!

We're having a great day at Shear Madness, you have one too!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, franchise opportunity, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, children, newsletter, kids boutique, the salon business, kids, makeovers

Salon Franchise - Which type is right for you?

Posted by Janon Otto on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 @ 14:02 PM

Child getting haircut
In the franchise world there are many options, and choosing between categories alone can be a challenge.  However, one category that is worth evaluating is the salon franchise industry.  Why?  Well, everyone needs a haircut now and then.  Not to mention that most sectors of the salon industry are recession resistant, and it doesn't appear that the internet is going to be able to replace haircuts anytime soon!

Salon Franchise Options

The choices for a Salon Franchise might be a little bigger than you think - but don't worry! It's not too difficult to sort out.

1.  Original Salons: The ones everyone thinks of are some of the original hair salon franchises - think Great Clips, Fantastic Sams, Snip n' Clip, etc.  These are low-end, walk-in type salons.  Clientele doesn't make an appointment, and they tend to exist on every major street corner in most metropolitan cities.  These typically have the stylists acting as management as well and the owner is an absentee owner.

2.  Mens salons: This niche is relatively new to the franchise sector.  Probably the most well know mens salon franchise system is Sport Clips.  However, many others have opened in recent years.  Everything from very high-end Men's Country Club type salons that offer a full array of services i.e. The Boardroom - down to lower-end salons that do high volume, yet still offer men a good haircut without all the frills.  There are also those that appeal to pool players, and those that just cater to "players".  Most wives don't really appreciate the "player" salon environment, and taking your kids to one might be considered as "inappropriate"!

3.  Kids salons: Again we have a type of salon that is relatively new to the scene.  There is no real dominant player in this arena.  Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids has been in operation since 1997 and that's one of the earlier children's salons!  None of the salon systems predate the 90's.  Each franchise has its own personality and philosophy on running a succesful salon.  Extras added to some are kids retail and birthday parties.  Some are run by a manager and others have the stylist/manager configuration. A close evaluation of what makes up the revenue portion of the salon is important to look at. For example, How easy is that portion to run?  Does it take an onsite owner or can it be run absentee?

4.  Hair Removal Salons: These are also very new to the franchise arena.  Tropical Laser Hair Removal opened in 2007! They still fit under salons as the technicians need to have licenses just as hair stylists need to have licenses.  These can be combined with the above types of salons or can be a stand alone type. Many times these are partnered with businesses offering massages.

5.  Nail Salons: There really isn't a dominant player here at all.  It seems that most nail salons are individually owned, yet we're waiting for a franchise to pull it all together!

6.  Massage Salons: An example of a Massage Salon would be Massage Envy.  These typically sell memberships instead of collecting revenue when the service is actually performed.  This type of franchise with membership fees is very popular, especially in the health club arena.  Many buy memberships and then don't use them like they should - which of course helps the franchise system be more profitable.

There you have it!  As you can see, there's a lot to choose from. If you are thinking you might like to know more about franchising in general, we'd invite you to download our FREE toolkit. This great e-document is a fantastic resource in helping you learn more information about investing in a franchise.

The Franchise Buyer's Toolkit

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, salon franchise, kids salons, franchise opportunity, the salon business, Small Business Franchise Information

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

'Gorilla' Marketing Strategies - Tips for Wild Success!

Posted by Janon Otto on Mon, Jan 5, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

gorilla

We all know that marketing and advertising has changed greatly over the past decade, and keeping up with these changes while growing a business (like a kids salon franchise) can be a challenging feat. Reaching your target audience is key when developing strategies on how and where to spend your advertising dollars. 

Recently, at Shear Madness headquarters, our brainstorming sessions have led to discussions of alternative, creative and more economical solutions for marketing our business's growth. We decided to open the discussion on LinkedIn to get your feedback, and WOW! We just had to write a blog about it.

Below are some of our very best 'Gorilla' Marketing Tips for WILD success!

  • Surprise is everything! Understand what is expected, then do the opposite. For example, you may want to consider hosting an event in an unusual and high traffic location. Remember: Unexpected Placement + Unexpected Timing + Unexpected Message = Unparalled Results! This kind of marketing strategy is so broad it can vary greatly for businesses depending on their goals. To make heads turn and take interest in what you are doing takes guts!
  • Host an event at a special location to help drive traffic and awareness (we have gone to baseball games and sponsored children's teams - then surprised them with gifts or face-painting. We also hosted the premier for the movie Tangled, and performed makeovers for the little girls present.)
  • A Flash Mob! The wilder the better. Think: What does my Brand do? Then take that to the streets!
  • Build strong relationships with organizations and businesses in the community (every year we head Halloween Parades at each location).

Here are some more thoughts you shared with us...

Jay Bandy, President of Goliath Consulting Group, shares that for a business focused around kids - schools and churches are the best places to get involved within the communities around each location. Even though you're selling haircuts, you can offer to have muffins and coffee for before or after a church service to get the word out. There are many opportunities with local schools to get involved depending on the school system.

Irene Ross says that, Wow, can you ever have fun with this!  Do you know someone who's good at writing poetry and songs?  I'd have them create an ORIGINAL song about how terrific Shear Madness is and have kids (who are Shear Madness clients) sing it and maybe dance (sort of a flash mob) in a park or the center of town--at a time of day when it's packed with business people out for lunch.  And the kids can wear t-shirts with Shear Madness written on them. 

Sally Davisson says to adopt a non-profit group that has good visibility with your best target customers.  And then go all out for them.  Have them pass out cards to use that donates "x dollar" to their charity for every person who uses one.  If they serve a financially challenged community, offer free hair cuts.  Have an in-house contest to raise the most money for them, and have your staff participate in all of their events/fund-raisers.  Have representatives volunteer for their committees and help them get the work done.  I think that works better than trying to do a little bit for numerous non-profits.  You can have the employees vote for their favorite, then maybe rotate every year or so.  And in general it might be great PR to offer a free hair style to anyone who is out of work and wanting to look good for interviews?      

Stephen Nichols states that he thinks a Shear Madness franchise would benefit from a facebook page that offers special deals and discounts.  It could be 10 percent off your next haircut or something like 30 percent off for new customers, along those lines.  Then use the page to post the discount offers to other pages dedicated to subjects your target audience is interested in. For example, there's a Kansas City facebook page and whenever I want to promote an event for the Rotary Club I use its facebook page to post invitations to the Kansas City page. It's simple, free, doesn't take much time, and if it doesn't work for your business you've lost nothing and learned something.  

Share Ross points out that they have always found videos to be incredibly effective. Especially if you can make them funny and entertaining! This gets people talking and they feel like they are in your tribe. It's all about establishing an emotional connection - especially when viewers can actually see you and feel like they know WHY you're doing what you're doing... then they are on your side!

Melanie Parkers says that one traditional guerrilla marketing technique that has worked well for myself and my clients is to hang out where your target market hangs out - and come bearing gifts.  For example, if you own a children's haircut franchise, go to popular parks or outdoor events and hand out branded t-shirts or stress balls along with coupons for your business attached.  Just be sure that you target parents!

Scott Britton loves the non-profit piggyback marketing. What a great way to give back at the same time as you grow your business! Whatever you do, stick with it! It takes most people a while to connect to your new brand. They need to see it for awhile before they will respond. Also you might try discounts for mall employees and their famlies, and other types of "base building activites". People love to feel that they are getting special treatment. Remember You're essentially relationship building.  You're  theme oriented and your place does so much to appeal to children as it is. Why not network with roller rinks and other places,  like Chuckie Cheese to cross promote? Get two pairs of new comfortable shoes and hit the pavement with cardstock coupons to set on counters. (they have to be colorful and eyecatching,  with fun photography that matches your theme - with of course a compelling offer to call your target (Mom's and Dad's) to action!

Here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising, we work hard to share our many great resources and business experiences so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, salon franchise, franchise opportunity, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, the salon business, marketing strategies, haircuts

Which Salon Franchise is Best?

Posted by Janon Otto on Fri, Jan 2, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

SalonBest

In the franchise world there are many options, and choosing between categories alone can be an interesting challenge.  However, one category that is worth careful evaluation is salon franchises.  Why?  Well, everyone needs a haircut now and then.  Most sectors of the salon industry are recession resistant, and it doesn't appear that the internet is going to be able to replace haircuts anytime soon!

The choices for a Salon Franchise are larger than you think!

1.  The ones everyone thinks of are some of the original hair salon franchises - think Great Clips, Fantastic Sams, Snip n' Clip, etc.  These are low end walk in type salons.  Clientele does not make an appointment and they tend to exist on every major street corner in most metropolitan cities.  These typically have the stylists act as management, and the owner is an absentee owner.

2.  Mens' salons - this niche is relatively new to the franchise sector.  Probably the most well known mens salon franchise system is Sport Clips.  However, many others have opened in recent years.  Everything from very high end Men's Country Club type salons that offer a full array of services i.e. The Boardroom, down to lower end salons that do high volume yet still offer men a good haircut without all the frills.  There are those that appeal to pool players and those that just cater to "players".  Most wives don't really appreciate those, and taking your kids to one is deemed "inappropriate"!

3.  Kids salons - again we have a type of salon that is relatively new to the scene.  There is no real dominant player in this arena.  Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids has been in operation since 1997 - and that's one of the earlier children's salons!  None of the salon systems predate the 90's!  Each franchise has its own personality and philosophy on running a succesful salon.  Extras added to some are kids retail and birthday parties.  Some are run by a manager and others have the stylist/manager configuration. A close evaluation of what makes up the revenue portion of the salon is important to look at.  How easy is that portion to run?  Does it take an onsite owner or can it be run absentee?

4.  Hair Removal Salons - these are also very new to the franchise arena.  Tropical Laser Hair Removal opened in 2007! They still fit under salons as the technicians need to have licenses, just as hair stylists need to have licenses.  These can be combined with the above types of salons or can be a stand alone type. Many times these are partnered with businesses offering massages.

5.  Nail Salons - there really is not a dominant player here at all.  It seems that most nail salons are individually owned, yet we're waiting for a franchise to pull it all together!

6.  Lastly would be Massage Salons - think Massage Envy.  These typically sell memberships as opposed to collecting revenue when the service is actually performed.  This type of franchise with membership fees is very popular, especially in the health club arena.  Many buy memberships, and then don't use them like they should - which in turn makes the franchise system more profitable.

There you have it! Lots to choose from!  Which one is best will depend a lot on your specific situation. 

  • Are you located in an area that already has enough of any one of these types of salons?
  • Do you want to work in your salon or run it absentee?
  • How much income are you hoping to generate on your salon?
  • How many salons can you afford to open?
  • How much support does the franchisor offer vs. how much you need?
  • How does your talent set match with that of the franchisor?  Or, will the franchisor be willing to help provide what you might lack?

If you are thinking that you might like to learn more about franchising, we invite you to download our free whitepaper (available at the link below). Once you know a bit more about investing in a franchise, you'll be more prepared to contact individual franchisors and ask great questions!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: kids salon franchise, salon franchise, kids salons, franchise buyers, franchise opportunity, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, the salon business, how to buy into a franchise, Small Business Franchise Information