Is Your Business Invisible to Customers?

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, May 11, 2018 @ 13:05 PM

invis.jpgIt's a mystery! As a business owner, you just can't figure it out. You have a great location in a high traffic area, and you have a great store with a product or service that you KNOW the people of your community need or would love. However, you just aren't getting people to come through your door. What do you do?

I was thinking about this the other night when I was out with my family. We have an extremely busy intersection near our home, along with a nice shopping area where hundreds (if not thousands) of potential customers drive by every day. As we were looking for a little time to kill, we decided spur-of-the-moment to visit one of the stores that we had passed by every day for over a year, but had never visited before. After we had spent a little time there, we were all impressed with what the store had to offer - and wondered why we had never been enticed into shopping there before. After my spouse and I talked about it for a while (as we always find marketing and why people do the things they do to be of interest), I came up with the following...

1. We didn't recognize the brand: Even though the store was one we passed by every day, we didn't recognize the sign of the store and unfortunately had nothing to pull us into the store. Take for instance "Hobby Lobby" or "Michaels". The logo is instantly recognizable, and when you see the sign - you more than likely know what's inside. True, these are national brands that have a huge amount of marketing dollars behind them in order to build brand recognition But smaller brands who may not have those expansive resources can still work on getting the brand out to the immediate community through flyers, advertising in local papers, advertising at local sporting events, parades, guerrilla marketing  efforts, etc.

2. The exterior of the store was bland: Don't get me wrong, the exterior of this particular store is very nice. But there was nothing to actually communicate to us what was inside the store. No posters or window displays to attract our attention and help us understand what was actually waiting inside. Some local stores that we didn't know anything about prior to visiting, actually were able to get us to walk through the door through a cool window display, a banner on the outside advertising what's inside, or some kind of poster in the window showing more about what to expect inside the store.

3. Awareness of Service or Product Costs: Sometimes as a customer, we've decided not to visit a store because we don't really know how much the services or products may cost. It isn't until we look up a menu (for a restaurant) or find a sale advertisement in a local newspaper that we decide to pay the store a visit. For example, I love coffee shops. However, it wasn't until my local "Dunkin Donuts" sent me a flyer in the mail advertising their drinks that I was suddenly made aware that they were even in the community. And seeing that their drinks were comparable to what I was already spending, I was enticed to give them a try. After their effective marketing and great service, I now go there frequently.

Do you have a store that needs more customers?  Take a look at the exterior from a different viewpoint - use some of the tips above to communicate!  

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! We provide poster designs (to help communicate who we are), do photo shoots so our franchisees always have content to communicate with their potential customers!  We know that most 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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Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: marketing strategies, franchise ownership, small business how-tos, Guerrilla marketing, business ownership, why buy a franchise, business success, new locations, business growth, growing a small business, Business Tips, owning your own business, small business success, business skills, advertising your business

Millennials and the Importance of Marketing Online!

Posted by Jim Otto on Thu, May 11, 2017 @ 14:05 PM

marketingmillennials.jpgWe think the best way to prepare for future marketing trends is to study the behavior of the demographics that will soon be the dominant buying power! Our goal as a franchising system is to stay ahead of this trend, and help our franchisees create creative marketing strategies to connect to our target market now, and in the future. But this is something that applies to all businesses and their owners  (who are looking for ways to be even more successful in their communities) - not just kids haircutting salons!

For example, in studying our website traffic, we've seen that most of it comes in from a mobile device or smartphone. What this tells us is that our customers are likely very internet savvy, and looking for information readily available about what we offer through social media, search engines or our web site. We also understand the importance of social media marketing and reviews - as well as word of mouth marketing, which continues to be one of the best ways customers can learn about what your business offers.

So how does this fit in with millennials? Between 18 and 35 years old, millennials are projected to outgrow baby bo0mers in population size by 2028. Wow! Furthermore, it's reported that millennials are spending an average of 25 hours a week online, and are using the internet to engage with others more than any other age group that came before. Plus, as around 25% of the US population is a millennial, experts are saying that at least 75% of the US workforce will be comprised of millennials by 2025! 

Essentially, millennials will be the bulk of your customer base over the next 10 years, with a huge amount of descretionary buying power resting in their hands. Furthermore, around 89% of millennials say that they trust recommendations from friends and family, versus claims made by a company. Remember what we said about word of mouth marketing and social media reviews? This is where that comes into play. About 44% of millennials are willing to promote, or voice concerns over products and services online through social media - with many of them saying that user generated content on a company website influences what they will or won't buy. 86% of millennials would rather read a blog written by someone to learn about a company, rather than reading an ad in newspaper or print. Pretty cool stuff.

So in conclusion, Millennials are hyper connected online, but seek out offline activities with companies that create a positive experience and add value to their lives. Plus, despite ad blocking, millennials are actually more open to receiving branded messages than older generations of consumers have typically been, provided that content is targeted to their needs and interests. When millennials have a great experience with a company, they get online and share that experience on social media (via pictures or videos) with hundreds of their friends. This is awesome for a business, as they can become your number one, absolutely free marketing department out there practically promoting your busines 24 hours, 7 days a week!

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!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: Millennials, marketing strategies, small business how-tos, growing a small business, franchising, franchise growth, Business Tips, business ownership, Small Business Franchise Information, franchise ownership, franchise success, franchisee support

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!

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

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

Fun Ideas on Marketing to Kids!

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

FunideasmarketingEach year, kids are reported to influence around $1 trillion in family spending! And with everything from toys, clothing, jewelry, personal care products (toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics, etc), to eating establishments, personal care franchises (haircuts, nail salons, and more), it's easy to see why! Kids have an interest in what's new, having fun, and looking and feeling great! So if you're looking for a few ideas on marketing to kids and how to let people know about the kinds of products and services your business offers, consider checking out the following cool and creative marketing ideas!

School is Cool: Find way to let kids know about your business through running an ad in the school yearbook or newsletter. Sponsor a kids club at school by donating supplies for it, or consider helping out with a school fundraiser. And don't forget the Homeschool market! There are many homeschool conventions where businesses advertise kid friendly products and services.

Parades and Town Festivals: There are always lots of kids at parades, town festivals and local fairs! Decorate a cool car and drive it in a parade, or have a booth at a local festival or fair. Consider having a game or two that kids can interact with and win free prizes. Whatever you do, be sure to have fun and decorate in such a manner that it catches kids eyes and gets them excited about what you do!

Contests: Hosting a contest can be a fun way to draw positive attention to your brand. This could involve something simple like a coloring contest (with a specially designed coloring page for your business) to a contest that encourages kids to be creative in making something fun that features your product. Other ideas could include a model contest where parents take pictures of their kids having fun with your product or service. Prizes could include coupons, certificates, free stuff from your store, appearing on your social media sites, and much more! 

Free Stuff: Kids love to have fun and get something for free (that their mom and dad won't say "No" to!). These can be inexpensive trinkets like crazy pencil toppers, silly sunglasses, fake mustaches, foam airplanes, trading cards or even helium ballons branded with your product. 

Sports and More: Kids love sports, outdoor activities and special interest clubs (like lego building clubs and summer reading clubs at the local library). Consider advertising at the local baseball or soccer field, or sponsoring a summer reading program. Possibly look at donating sports related items to a kids team, or outdoor supplies for a scouting organization. 

Geek Culture: Kids (and their parents) today really enjoy a lot of popular sci-fi shows, graphic novels, comics and board games, collectible card games and video games. Consider hosting an event at a local comic book shop, game store, comic book or sci-fi convention. Encourage those from your business who attend to dress up as fun characters, and offer cool sci-fi related gifts branded with your product. 

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 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, Small Business Franchise Information, small business how-tos, growing a small business, marketing strategies, kids, franchising

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

Creating Awesome Marketing Content!

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 15:05 PM

CreatingIn our earlier posts on Marketing a Children's Hair Salon and Increasing Job Satisfaction, we explored some of the ways that you can use creative marketing to help your business thrive. Now, we'd like to share some of our tips on cultivating happy customers by designing awesome marketing content for your business.

Chances are, if you've been in business for very long, or have worked for an employer for any length of time, you're probably pretty familiar with what marketing content is. But for those who might be a little new to the subject, it's really pretty simple. It's everything you would find useful in the promotion of your business - from e-blasts, e-newsletters (and traditional paper newsletters) to brochures, flyers, stickers, t-shirt designs, business cards and more.

To design interesting content we have found the following to be very helpful:

Beware of clip-art! Nothing screams unprofessional like a standard piece of clip-art. If you really want your flyer or brochure to shine, try downloading a professional illustration or photo from a stock photography site. You might have to pay a little for it, but it'll look much better than a piece of clip-art.

Beware of using multiple colors, or large blocks of color! Sometimes in the hopes of making something look eye-catching, the use of multiple clashing colors will be used excessively - or a marketing piece will have a solid color background with a more vibrant color used for the text. This can not only make your piece difficult to read, but can quickly drain the ink in your printer! Instead, try to use white backgrounds with black text. Keep colorful elements to a minimum, unless it's a photo or nice piece of artwork that pertains to your message. 

Beware of using specialty fonts! Sometimes in an attempt to make a flyer look "fun", the use of crazy fonts will be used in excess. Perhaps you've even seen some flyers out there that have large blocks of text in hard-to-read swirling fonts. Fun fonts should only be used rarely, with important information placed in easy-to-read fonts like "Times", "Optima" or "Helvetica".  Also be sure to keep in mind that if your content is for the internet or email, fonts should be compressed into your design by using a jpeg (if possible). Otherwise, the font might be automatically changed to a basic font, and your entire design is ruined.

Don't use too much artwork! Sometimes a marketing piece can have so much artwork on it that any text information gets lost. Try to keep art elements small or use white space around text to draw attention to it.

Working with Photos: Photos are a powerful tool to help a customer connect with whatever service you might be offering. For example, if it's a toy store, photos of kids shopping with parents for cool toys can be a way to show your customer that this is an experience they might have if they shop at your store. However, be sure to use up-to-date photos that clearly target the customers you are wanting to reach. If your business caters to teenagers, and you use photos of retired people, you might not get the results you're looking for! 

Working with Designers: Sometimes you may want to hire a professional graphic designer to create a piece for you. If this is the case, be sure you have a good idea about what you want. Send the designer pictures of similar pieces that you like so they have an idea what you might be thinking. The more information you provide a graphic designer, the more likely your piece will turn out the way you want. Also, don't be afraid to let the graphic designer suggest a more effective way to present the information. They have not only been trained on how to communicate through visuals, but usually are very experienced on what works and what doesn't. Use their expertise and talent to help you create something great!

In all fairness, even with the above tips - it can still be pretty tough to develop materials that look appealing and cause your customers to be excited about your brand. Not everyone has this particular skill-set. You also might not have the right equipment or computer software to develop your materials. This is why at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids (a hair salon franchise for kids), we employ a graphic artist and social media manager. We develop great looking marketing materials for our corporate office, as well as each of our franchises. This not only helps our brand look professional, but it also helps our franchisees effectively market their business and encourage customer growth!

As Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids is one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today, we're always working hard to share our many great resources on marketing strategies, business growth, small business marketing and other great business tips so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you are interested in our other free resources for businesses, or would like to learn more about how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: kids salons, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, small business how-tos, marketing strategies, creativity, 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

Increase Employee Job Satisfaction (and performance too!)

Posted by Matthew S on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 10:04 AM

CreativeIn the world of business, it can sometimes be an innocent oversight for a manager or business owner to become so focused on finding ways to connect and meet the needs of their customers, that they forget to find ways to connect and meet the needs of their team.

Having creative ways to keep in touch with your staff not only helps make everyone feel needed and satisfied in their work (which in turn helps promote better job performance), but it also helps stimulate efficient and effective communication amongst your employees!  When employees feel needed and communication is great, job satisfaction, performance and employee loyalty (retaining employees) also improve!

Here's some helpful tips on finding ways to communicate creatively with your staff.

Frequent Meetings (but not too frequent!): Having a short meeting once a week can be a great way for a manager or business owner to connect with their staff. Be sure the meeting is relatively short in order to maintain good attention. Topics to cover in a weekly meeting may include goals for the week, recognition of goals met from a prior week, and inspiring tips or short videos to help motivate employees. Bringing in a healthy snack once a month may also help motivate and increase loyalty. Use these meetings to motivate the whole team - but be wary of singling anyone out in front of their peers as it may foster resentment and / or jealousy.

Utilize a Bulletin Board: A Bulletin Board may be a nice way for employees to post fun photos or area events that they may think their co-workers would enjoy. It can also be a good place for management to share upcoming events on a calendar, as well as important reminders. Other ideas might include postivie customer feedback, industry news, upcoming birthdays, work anniversaries, etc.

Create a Newsletter: Creating a monthly newsletter either through e-mail or website can be a great way to share fun tips and upcoming events that employees may want to know about. It's important to have some fun here as well, or else staff may not pay attention to it. Ideas include a "classifieds" section, an employee profile (with their favorite movies, books, etc), funny events that have happened in the office, recipes, birthdays, work anniversaries, photos of employees having fun, etc.

Be Approachable: Be mindful of how you interact and respond to employees. The tone of your voice and the posture or body language you use in interactions may communicate that of being unapproachable. Sometimes all it can take is one unpleasant encounter for an employee to not want to bring questions or concerns to a manager. Also, find ways to engage with your staff through taking the time to get to know them, and appreciate them through finding ways to thank them periodically for their work (a hand-written note, a verbal thank-you, or taking the team out for lunch for a special occassion).

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

Shear Madness Brochure

Topics: franchise, salon franchise, franchise opportunity, how to franchise, small business how-tos, marketing strategies, communication

7 Tips to Cultivate Happy Customers

Posted by Matthew S on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 @ 16:04 PM

happycustomersMost businesses will spend a lot of time and energy working to acquire new customers and build up various products and services, while at the same time possibly causing their current customers to feel a little left out. In our fast paced world, it can be an easy thing to do. But it can also be a costly thing to do as well! Following are seven tips on how you can be sure you're cultivating happy customers, saving time and money - and growing new customers too!

Happy Employees: It's important to hire employees who genuinely care about the customers you are providing a service for. As an example, consider a salon franchise that works primarily with children. Employees should either have a successful background working with kids - or have a manner that children and parents will be comfortable with. You may also want to see how a potential employee responds by immersing them in the culture of your business for a short period of time before hiring.

Employee Education: Business owners may wish to develop team goals or principals that your employees are mindful of while working and interacting with customers and each other. These principles also may help guide employees to be more comfortable making decisions on their own. For example, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids has their own "Top 10 Madtastic Goals" that are vibrantly displayed in all of our salons. 

Employee Confidence: Help employees understand that one of the most important factors in the operation of the business is customer service. Employees SERVE the customer, and are working hard to help customers have a great experience that they'll want to be sure to return for in the future.

Listening to your Customer: Your business will want to make sure that it's listening and responding to your customers through traditional customer interaction (phone calls and conversations inside your store), as well as the internet (customer reviews and internet sites that mention your business) and social media (facebook, google+, twitter, blog posts and more). In all interactions, be sure to be friendly, patient and show genuine attentiveness to what they might be needing.

Ask Questions: Ask the appropriate questions in response to a customer need so that you can understand exactly how to help (and avoid frustration). Consider asking the "Five Ws" - or those questions that help in basic information gathering. Who is it about? What happened? When did it take place? Where did it take place? Why did it happen? Also pay attention to body language (verbal and nonverbal communication)!

Customer Education: Create content that helps educate your customers in a creative and fun way. Remember that educational content doesn't have to be bland and boring. It can be fun and exciting, such as contests on social media, comic books describing a process, crazy how-to videos, and more. The more your customers love your content, the more you're helping educate and market your brand to your customer - and helping draw new customers in!

Following Up with your Customer: Make sure you've done all that you can in order to help a customer leave your business happy. If you promise to do something for a customer, don't take too long to fulfill your committment, or worse - forget! And although it may seem obvious, make sure you're thinking of your customer as a real person just like you, and not just a number. 

So at the end of the day, by making sure that current customers are happy, you'll not only foster trust and loyalty towards your business, but also bring in new customers through your current customers sharing the great experience your business has provided! 

Through years of working in the children's salon industry, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising, LLC has learned a lot about how to deliver great experiences for our customers. 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, please click below!

The Top 4 Considerations

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