Jim Otto

Recent Posts

Franchising Your Retirement

Posted by Jim Otto on Thu, Oct 11, 2018 @ 13:10 PM

retirementMany of you may never have seen this before, but the Social Security Administration used to send you in the mail what your monthly Social Security benefit would be at retirement (this info can now be accessed online on their website). What always stuck out to me was a statement on the front page, " Social security should not be your only source of retirement income, you will need to have other sources of income at retirement".  
 
I was recently asked the following question  on a social media forum that I was participating in: "Is a franchise a good way to create additional retirement income?" My answer is both "yes" and "no". 
  • Yes - If you do your homework and you understand the time commitment that it's going to take to own and manage a business. 
  • No - If you are looking for a totally passive income opportunity like a rental property. Most franchises will require you to have business skills and the ability to manage people.
 
  • Yes - Because most franchise's earn between 10 and 15%, well above current rates that banks and bonds are paying.
  • No - If you have a low tolerance for risk. There is no guarantee that if you buy a franchise you will be successful.  
 
Creating retirement income comes down to diversifying your portfolio into as many income producing  assets that you can find. Because of the return and the limited options in this low yield environment, a Franchise may be the perfect  option for you.    

Make a Positive Difference Today!

francomparesmfawardShear 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? 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, franchise success, 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 system, retirement, smart investments, franchising, business success, franchise success

5 Questions to Ask before Opening a Second Location

Posted by Jim Otto on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

5guidelines.jpgThe idea of owning multiple stores when you buy into a franchise is appealing. So why do so many people fail at it? Here are some guidelines for economy of scale that we use in our children's salons:

  • Never open multiple stores at one time: Your steepest learning curve will be at your first location. If that location is successful, number two, three and four become easier.
  • Find the right people and trust them: At Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids we call these people “charismatic connectors”. They have the organizational skills, leadership skills and understand numbers - and the ability to manage multiple locations for you!
  • Make sure the numbers work: At our children's salons we have a number that tells us how many services a day you should do before you even think about opening another Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salon. You should never move forward to opening another salon until you hit those metrics.
  • Know your customer: After your first location you should have a rock solid idea of who your customer is: where they live, how much money they have and WHY they are your customer. This should give you a blue print for your second location.
  • Never stop learning: They say in business that the only constant is change. Now more than ever that holds true. Ways of marketing change daily, customers are fickle, and brand awareness is vital. If you like a challenge, you should do well!

Owning multiple locations is an exciting way to build a future income stream for yourself and your family. Just remember one thing, business is a marathon and not a sprint!

The Shear Madness Franchise Advantage!

francomparesmfaward

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 challengean help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantage of franchise ownership!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: multiunit franchise, franchising, franchise success, franchise opportunity, best kids hair salon, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, business success, hair salon business, small business success, franchise location, business ownership, business growth

Why Your Franchise Isn't Performing Like You Thought It Would

Posted by Jim Otto on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

whyI was recently on a website where franchisees can go to complain about there franchisors. The common  theme amongst the complaints was that the franchisor made a lot of promises that they didn't keep, the numbers weren't adding up like the franchisor said they would and they weren't being trained properly.
 
Of course, it's important to understand that when you buy a franchise, you'll need to wear  a lot of hats! Not only are you the head of operations, but you will need to recruit the best employees and constantly train them, give customers great service, track the numbers and watch your expenses and keep your finger on the pulse of your business. 
 
There are lots of reasons that franchises fail. Running a business is not for the faint of heart. But if you bought into a franchise, you bought into a system or process that has succeeded at some level. So my suggestion is if your franchise is not performing like you want it to, make sure that you are following the system! Franchisees often get their business up and running and then begin to change or modify existing services, advertising, products and even the quality and consistency of the customer service that they are delivering. This not only can lead to poor franchise performance, but can unfortunately be a violation of the franchise agreement as well. Yikes! So long story short, you'll definitely want to be sure to follow the franchise system you invested in, as it's a proven model for success!
 

The Shear Madness Franchise Advantage!

francomparesmfaward

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 challengean help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantage of franchise ownership!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise success, franchising, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, best kids hair salon, growing a small business, small business success, franchise agreement, franchise system, owning your own business, business ownership, business success, franchise ownership, franchise, franchise success, franchising, haircare franchise, business growth, successful franchisees

Watch This Metric To Find Franchise Success

Posted by Jim Otto on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

watchingThere are lots of moving parts to a franchise, including your franchisor's opening assistance, training and ongoing support. All of the aforementioned are important to your success as a franchisee, and the best way to measure these are to talk to current franchisees. 
 
As important as all these factors are, many people looking to buy a franchise fail to look at what is arguably the most important component of all: the customer. More specifically, how many customers are there for your concept where you want to open? Or, how many times will they come back in a given year, and how long can you hold on to them? This is called customer long term value, or CLV, and it can be the difference between your success or failure. 
 
Think about this, would you rather own a business where your customer comes back twice a year, or 8 times a year? Will they come back for the next 2 years, or the next 8? Will you be able to create a loyal customer or one that only needs your service once or twice per year?
 
Customers are fickle! Make sure that you have lots of them in your trade area, and that the franchise you are looking at can hold on to them for a long time.
 

The Shear Madness Franchise Advantage!

francomparesmfaward

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 challengean help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantage of franchise ownership!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise ownership, franchising, franchise success, owning your own business, smart investments, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, kids hair salon, best kids hair salon, business ownership, small business success, business success, business skills, franchise, franchise success, franchising, franchise research, business growth

Why You Picked the Wrong Franchise

Posted by Jim Otto on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

wrongfranchiseI was floored recently when I talked to a friend of mine about the franchise she bought. You see this wasn't what  I would call your "typical" franchisee. Jane (as I will call her for the sake of this blog) has been in the franchise consulting business for 25 years. She has trained and taught both franchisees and franchisors about what to look for in a franchise, how to run a successful franchise business and what makes franchisees successful. 

After years of consulting and teaching, Jane had decided about a year ago to buy into a franchise. Unfortunately, it failed after less than a year. With all of her expertise, all of her knowledge and all of her coaching, she forgot to ask herself one of the most important questions, "Can I see myself in this business?" People tend to look at franchises by how much money they can make and the cost of the franchise without ever stopping to look at what their day-to-day lives will look like. 
 
Most of us are creatures of habit. We pretty much follow the same daily routines like planning vacations in advance, or trying to schedule our lives the best we can.  As humans we get into our "comfort zones". The problem is that when you become a franchise owner, your comfort zone becomes disrupted. That's what happened to Jane. She told me she was surprised at how hard it was to manage the people and how much time she spent working on her business. 
 
When Jane went from consulting to ownership, she experienced "where the rubber meets the road" if you will. Her comfort zone was disrupted, and the very things she had taught for 25 years  she could't apply to herself. Now, try to picture what your day will look like in the franchise that you are considering. Call existing franchisees, as they are your best source and can give you an accurate assessment. And don't forget to ask yourself, "can I see myself in this business?" 
 

The Shear Madness Franchise Advantage!

francomparesmfaward

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 challengean help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantage of franchise ownership!

Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise system, franchise ownership, franchise success, franchise research, franchise opportunity, small business success, business success, franchise, franchise success, franchising, evaluating a franchise, franchise growth, successful franchisees, owning your own business, business skills, business growth, small business how-tos

Finding Franchise Success in the Next Recession

Posted by Jim Otto on Fri, May 11, 2018 @ 13:05 PM

SuccessI recently attended a webinar with one of the largest franchising financing lenders in the United States. I would like to explain all the graphs that they showed us but the bottom line was this: all the signs point to the next recession hitting sometime in the next 24 months. 
  • Credit Card debt and margin buying of stocks are back to record levels.
  • The small business optimism indicator  is at record levels (this is a contrarian indicator). 
  • Retail rents are at extreme levels causing over building, even though demand is decreasing  for retail space! 
 
But what I was most interested in was a chart of the top 15 franchises according to the SBA. I can't tell you those names, but what I can tell you is some commonalities they had. 
  • Four of the top 15 were child related.
  • Most all were recession resistant. 

At Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids we feel like we combine both of these traits. As most parents look at a haircut as a necessity and not an option, and a haircut will never be replaced on the internet! Parents will always spend money on their children. They will cut out a lot of luxuries and services for themselves, but never a service that makes their children look better and feel better about themselves!
 
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? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this hair salon business opportunity or small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise success, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, best kids hair salon, growing a small business, kids hair salon, kids haircuts, franchise opportunity, owning your own business, hair salon business, small business success, haircuts for kids, business success, franchise ownership, franchise, franchise success, franchising, evaluating a franchise, franchise research, business growth, small business how-tos, Business Tips

In Business or Franchising - Three is the Magic Number!

Posted by Jim Otto on Fri, May 11, 2018 @ 13:05 PM

magicnumberI often get contacted by people who want to buy a franchise or business to be their own boss, take control of their destiny and live the American dream! Well, that's all well and good. But I'd like to take a moment and add a small bit of wisdom from one who has been there and has interacted with lots of people who who have also been there. 
 
It takes time. Three years to be precise. 
 
While some can do it a little faster and some might do it a little slower - on average it's going to take you about three years. If you were to pin me down, or get upset with me, or even tell me I'm crazy, I wouldn't mind. As a matter of fact, I really can't explain it other than to to tell you that after countless observations, research, and doing it myself, three years is about what it takes to create a business that gains enough traction for the owner to rightfully claim their business is on it's way to being successful. 
 
So the bad news here is this: If you're going to quit your job, make sure that you have lots - and need I say it again - LOTS of working capital. Because you may have a long runway. The other option is to keep your job and run your business on the side. This option will test your business skill, your ability to manage and find the right people, and trust them.
 
The good news here is: owning your own franchise or business can allow you to be your own boss, allow you to control your own destiny and allow you to live the American dream.
 
But like I said, it's going to take you about three years to get there. 

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? 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, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchising, franchise success, small business success, hair salon business, owning your own business, business ownership, business success, growing a small business, business, business growth, small business how-tos, Business Tips, how to begin a business, franchise ownership

There has never been a better time, ever!

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 @ 12:01 PM

Growing.jpgThere has possibly never been a better time to start a franchise business, ever. Not only is the franchising model proven, but with a pro-business administration in Washington, the regulatory, and tax environment, along with consumer spending power has never been better! Please don't take my comments as a political endorsement of any politician or political party. I simply think that the facts stand on their own.

For example:

  • 4.1% unemployment rate is at historic lows 
  • Consumer sentiment on the economy is high and improving
  • The stock market is at record highs
 
This begs the question, will the good times continue? And if so, what franchises should I be looking at? A  good place to start is by asking yourself what type of business you see yourself operating. You'll also need to give an honest personal assessment in regards to the type of hours you'd like to operate, what you enjoy doing and what you're truly passionate about. Then you will want to look at franchises with strong brand recognition, a good track record of performance and a good reputation between past and present franchisees.  
 
Do your homework, make sure your significant other is on board, and get your financing in place. Then go for it! Because the way I see it, there's never been a better time to start a franchise, ever! 
 
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? 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, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD

Would you like to sign up for our Monthly newsletter? If so, click HERE! Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise success, franchising, business success, smart investments, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, kids hair salon, sales, business ownership, franchise ownership, evaluating a franchise, franchise growth, franchise research, growing a small business, Business Tips, reinvent your career, Small Business Franchise Information, buying a franchise, franchise opportunity, franchise buyers

Try Top-Down Franchise Selection!

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 @ 12:01 PM

greatfranchiseteams.jpgWhen I was a Stock Broker, we would always start one place when we were looking for companies to invest in - and that was at the top! Of course we had certain qualifications that we looked for in management teams, but we always, without fail, looked at their level of education.
 
Now this isn't meant to make anybody feel bad. We all know or have heard stories of men and women without so much as a high school education making millions through hard work and perseverance. But here's the thing: I challenge you to find any Fortune 500 company in America where the CEO doesn't have a Master's Degree in Business Administration (or MBA). Why is that? Because in order to get an MBA in this Country, you have to prove that you have the ability, discipline and desire to learn at a higher level.  People with MBAs in this country earn about 25 to 30% more then undergrads, because of all the reasons mentioned above.  
 
So the point is this: we as Stock Brokers always wanted to invest our money with intelligent people who had shown they not only had the credentials - but the drive to succeed. Shouldn't the same apply to franchising? Wouldn't you prefer to make a wise investment into a franchise run by really smart people? 
 
Some other traits of great franchise management teams are:
  • The are focused and plan strategically.
  • They have  solid knowledge of not only their concept, but the industry that they're in.
  • They are goal and result oriented.
  • They are bound by a mission statement.
  • They are competitive and excellent communicators.
 
So that's why I can confidently recommend that when choosing a franchise, you might really benefit from doing what I used to do when I was an stock broker...and that's simply starting at the top! 
 
Shear Madness Franchising franchises Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salons. We have worked with franchise stores in providing franchisee support (in order to encourage continual growth and franchise success), and have sometimes seen the unexpected happen!  When it does, our staff (which has years of business experience and a robust resume that includes an MBA) can 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 currently looking for franchise prospects throughout the United States - and especially Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Lincoln, Denver and St.Louis! We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about this franchise opportunity or franchise investments, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, the franchise selection process, 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: evaluating a franchise, franchising, buying a franchise, franchise research, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, franchise management team, smart investments, sales, business ownership, business success, business growth, small business how-tos, successful franchisees, reinvent your career, Business Tips, how to begin a business, franchise buyers

Franchisees Thrive Because They Understand This One Thing

Posted by Jim Otto on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 @ 13:12 PM

franchiseethrive.jpgI was recently looking through a research report about what types of people make the best franchisees. The answer may surprise you, although intelligence, business skill, and former experience as a business owner are highly valuable characteristics. However, the fact that you have an  MBA did not get you to the top. Neither did the fact that you may have been a CEO of  a fortune 500 company. Instead, the report listed Sales Executives as the top candidates to become successful franchisees. 
 
As I began to examine their reasoning, I saw that Sales Executives have the following traits:
  • In a way Sales Executives are already small business owners. They believe in their product and have to go out everyday and sell it. In addition they understand that they are paid to produce, unlike people who have been on a salary their whole life. 
  • Sales Executives don't cower when times get tough. To anyone who has lived on commission you know the sales cycle can be brutal. However, you conquer these cycles by working harder when needed - always believing that things will get better. 
  • Most of all, Sales Executives relish the thought of unlimited earnings potential. It's what motivates them to get out of bed everyday. 
 
What the article failed to mention was one other thing that is consistent with all great franchise owners. Great franchisees understand that they are not in the product or service business, they are in the Relationship  business. Building a relationship with your customers where they understand the purpose of your business, and building relationships with your employees so that they can deliver that good or service to those customers, is the key to great franchisee success!
 
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? 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, franchise success, how to grow your small business or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchising, franchise success, sales executives, sales, successful franchisees, relationships, building relationships, Business Tips, business ownership, business skills, business success, business relationships, franchise buyers, franchise, franchise success, franchising