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

10 Reasons to Invest in a Hair Salon Franchise

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids,Kids in a Kids Salon,Kids Boutique

Many people who are interested in opening their own business and becoming their own boss often wonder what the advantages might be of investing in a franchise opportunity. Following are ten reasons why buying a franchise may translate into the long-term success of your investment.

Robust Industry: Many franchise systems offer services that are in high demand. The children’s segment of the recession resistant Hair Salon Industry is one such example, It's currently worth around $19 billion. To date, there are around 45 million kids in the Shear Madness age group – and this is expected to grow by about 7 million by the year 2020! 

Marketing Support: Ask anyone who runs a business, and they’ll tell you that marketing not only takes a lot of time – but can cost a lot of money too. However, an effective marketing plan is critical in letting the community know about what your business does, where it’s located, and so much more. For example, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids understands this, and offers great resources and strategies to help businesses attract new customers.  

A Record of Success: Franchisors will have a proven record of success. Through years of experience marketing to their customers, they usually understand what works - and what doesn't. Through becoming a franchisee, you automatically gain this valuable business advantage.

The Brand: A franchise brand is a powerful tool. As an example, the Shear Madness Brand is one that is instantly recognizable as being fun. Those who own a franchise with Shear Madness are automatically connected to the tens of thousands of parents and children who love who we are and what we do. This translates into many repeat customers who share with friends and family about their great Shear Madness experience! 

Buying Power:  Franchisors usually have experience in knowing what products sell well and what don’t. Additionally, they have the knowledge on how to negotiate for the best prices on everything needed for the successful operation of the business. Many times the sheer number of franchise locations allows the franchise to negotiate for better pricing.

Store Location: Where to locate is an important question any business owner should consider. Franchisors help study your community in order to help you find the best possible location for success.  They know the numbers and other criteria that allow for the possibility of a successful franchised business.

Networking: Franchising can be a little like a group of trusted friends, and should be a great environment of sharing and building each other up. Franchise owners who work with other franchisees and communicate what works and what doesn’t will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t! 

Training Support: Great franchise systems have worked hard to develop many training resources to help you achieve success. For example, with Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, we provide our franchisees with in-store training with stylists, and encourage opportunities to network with other franchise owners. Because of this, you’ll have access to a wealth of business knowledge at your fingertips.

Building your Store: One of the benefits in buying a franchise is the franchisor's expertise  in designing the layout of a prospective business, working with the right contractors, and knowing how much furniture and equipment will be needed. Again, this helps a business owner save time, money, and keeps the headaches to a minimum! 

Minimizing Risk: Ultimately, as a potential owner of a franchise, the success of your store will be up to you. But through being a part of a franchise system like Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, the risk of starting a new business is significantly reduced. Sure, there will still be challenges that come your way, but as a franchisee, you’ll have greater confidence and know-how in how to succeed. 

When an individual buys into a franchising opportunity with Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, they won’t be going at it alone. Our team excels at being a partner who wants our franchise owners to succeed! Learn more tips on how to achieve success from our team of business experts by downloading our free resource below.

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise 

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, salon franchise, franchise buyers, buying a franchise, franchise opportunity, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, what is a franchise, how to buy into a franchise, Small Business Franchise Information, reinvent your career, Business Tips, successful franchisees, marketing strategies, franchise definition

'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

Salon Franchise Owner Erin Nanke and Des Moines Marketing

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 16:12 PM

Marketing in Des Moines

Developing a children's salon franchise into a thriving business requires a lot of time, hard work, and the use of effective marketing. Sometimes overlooked, marketing a business to your community not only can be a way to exercise creativity and have fun with your staff - but also helps generate a positive and exciting image to your audience! 

Erin Nanke, the owner of a successful Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids franchise location in West Des Moines, has used successful marketing campaigns to grow her business. Everything from using the famous Shear Madness pink Cadillac for parades, to passing out flyers and coupons at events around town, Erin's efforts have helped raise awareness on who Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids is - and how much fun it can be to come by for a visit! And through the use of marketing, the word is starting to spread. As an example, The Des Moines Parent noted recently that "Shear Madness is totally kid friendly and makes the whole haircut experience fun for the kiddos."

Erin has also been active in the Des Moines sports scene, and shared her initial idea and subsequent involvement in helping develop a Kid's Club for Iowa Energy (a minor league basketball team). After searching both Iowa Energy and Iowa Wild's (a minor league hockey team) websites last year, Erin discovered that neither team had a "Kid's Club". So Erin decided to contact them to put one together as a sponsor.

"I did both last year to give myself more exposure, being new to the market," Erin explains. "I pushed audio and video mentions at the game and they pushed having booths at the games. What I found last year is I couldn't staff the booths all the time and it was difficult to have interaction with parents and kids because they are there to watch games. We did free hair braiding, free color gel, I had a prize wheel they could spin to win free stuff. However, for this year, I decided I was only going to renew one of the two.  I went with Iowa Energy because they gave me most everything I asked for - which was more Kid's Club games (last year only 2, this year 4), video board mentions all games, PA announcements all games, and NO BOOTH, just signage, etc.  Also they had over 450 kids sign up last year, and Iowa Wild's was half that amount!" 

Erin also notes that her experience working for a local television station for 17 years in Des Moines before opening Shear Madness also helped develop important relationships, marketing opportunities, and negotiation skills. For instance, when Iowa Energy didn't quite meet Shear Madness expectations the prior year, Erin still chose to renew with them because she understood the errors weren't intentional, and that "they would go above and beyond to make it up to me this year. One example is the size of my logo on the t-shirts.  Last year it was the size of a half-dollar, this year it's the entire backside!" 

Meanwhile, after looking into what will deliver more of the results she's looking for, Erin has decided not to focus on having any booths at the Iowa Energy games - and just stick with audio and logo mentions. "For the four designated Kid's Club games I will have a fun interactive 'HAIR CAM' feature during one of the time outs where they put different hair graphics on the fans with my logo bugged throughout the feature.  Last year they wouldn't do it...this year they are for the same investment. And last year I passed out coupons. But this year, kids show their Kid's Club lanyard and they get $2 off a haircut through Mar '15."

"We are so proud of Erin and what she brings to our franchise system.  She is willing to share her ideas and help any store in our system come up with unique marketing strategies.  Erin runs an excellent business because she is not afraid of hard work and asks questions to make sure she is doing everything in the most successful manner." Shear Madness Franchising CEO Janon Otto said.

If you are interested in running a successful kids salon business - a Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids business might be just the match!  To find out more feel free to download our toolkit.  No obligation, just good information!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, salon franchise, franchise buyers, franchise opportunity, the salon business, Small Business Franchise Information, how to begin a business, how to franchise, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, marketing strategies

Albuquerque Shear Madness Salon Franchise voted Best of City!

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 14:12 PM

albBOC14smallAlbuquerque Salon Franchise Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids was recently voted by readers as Albuquerque The Magazine's Best of the City for 2014! The magazine, which serves as a schowcase for Albuquerque's most interesting people and places, explains that for 10 years the Best of the City award has allowed readers to vote on their favorites in order to "find the newest, the coolest, the most interesting, and most exciting things about Albuquerque."

With a fun mix of mounted cars for styling chairs, as well as TVs and Xboxes at every styling station, it's easy to see how the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids in Albuquerque franchise location is regarded by customers as a cool, interesting and exciting place to visit! Shear Madness also includes an award-winning YOUniquey Boutiquey where kids and parents can shop a fantastic selection of toys, jewelry, hair products, hair accessories and more. And to top it off, by mixing in the La De Da Spa, themed parties, and a great styling staff - customers are sure to find something to bring a smile to their face! 

Michelle Vick, owner of the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids in Albuquerque, states that some of the reasons her store may have been selected for the honor is because Shear Madness is a "unique, fun and a happy place! My staff is awesome and so great with the kids! They make each visit special."

Michelle also notes the important part that effective marketing has played. By generating positive brand awareness, the salon has seen steady growth since opening in October of 2013. "I have advertised in New Mexico Kids magazine and ABQ Magazine, participated in public events like ZOO BOO, local school functions, and done joint parties with a large pet store in the same neighborhood."

Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids in Albuquerque additionally has really perfected the art of giving a great haircut and hosting fabulous kids Birthday parties.  The spa party concept has been a real hit in Albuquerque. Girls are treated to wearing spa robes, getting mini manis, twisty updos, and glittery makeup.  They sing Karaoke and also get to make a fun bracelet and take home a headband of their choice.

Janon Otto, CEO of Shear Madness Franchising said, "Michelle has done an awesome job making her store a great place for kids to come to.  She has been careful to follow the Shear Madness systems and has hired an incredible staff - they are all so excited, friendly, and love their jobs!  Michelle is great to work for and someone that everyone loves to do business with! With the Albuquerque store having just opened in late October of 2013, for this store to be honored with this award within such a short period of time is a real accomplishment."

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, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, the salon business, Small Business Franchise Information, successful franchisees, small business how-tos, growing a small business, marketing strategies

7 Things Successful Franchisees Appreciate

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 @ 13:10 PM

small2textFranchisees should feel like they are being served by the franchisor.  Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids understands that the road to becoming a successful business involves many unique challenges. Our franchisees have taught us that being a great franchisor is important to the success of the individual franchisees.  Here are a few things that we have discovered that our franchisees really appreciate.

1. Great Customer Service: Quickly deliver your quality product with a smile! Time is a valuable resource to your customer. Delight them with efficient services and promptly returned emails and phone calls. And don’t forget to smile, say “Thank You”, and let your customers and employees know how much you appreciate the work they do!  As a franchisor we realize that a franchisees time is just as important!  And just as our salon customers' deserve prompt answers our franchisees deserve prompt answers from us - the franchisor!

2. Optimism: It’s important for business owners to always be optimistic about the future. Attitude will quickly infect your employees and ultimately impact what the customer receives from your business. If a customer believes they aren’t getting a great product or experience from your business, they may look elsewhere.  It takes a while to really build a succesful business of any kind - we understand this!  There are always going to be ups and downs in any business.  We are constantly on the look out for successful marketing techniques to pass along to our business owners.  Optimism and success by others is contagious!  We share store results with all owners so they are able to encourage one another.  Every store has the ability to be a success!  We know this and help provide that optimism in both intangible and tangible ways!

3. Think Different: Think "Outside the Box". This may require a business owner to get out of their comfort zone, but your customers will be drawn to products and advertising that looks different from what everyone else may be doing.  Franchisees buy a franchise because they want to know "how to do it" and they expect that the Franchise IS doing it differently than everyone else!  A succesful franchisee will always ask the franchisor when they are thinking of doing something outside the box!  The franchisor most times has experience with that idea and can guide a franchisee to either do it better - or maybe help them avoid a costly mistake!  Franchisors that reward those franchisees who have thought of something "outside the box" and have a system in place to share this information is much appreciated by all franchisees within the system!

4. Team Building: Good franchisors don’t just hire another employee to do a job – they find people who are excited to be part of your team. These employees will help build your business through delivering great products and services, and caring about your customers as well as you as a franchisee! Franchises typically do not have many employees in their home offices - so those that they hire need to be carefully chosen.  

5. Focus: A good Franchisor will not allow you to fall victim to being a jack-of-all trades, and a master of none. The risk here is that by spreading yourself to thin, you’ll limit how effective and productive you can be - which may result in poor products or services. Zero in on achieving perfection! A good franchisor will help you with this - if you are thinking too far "outside the box"  the franchisor should alert you to this!  Every idea may have merit, but doing them all well is usually not possible.  

6. Do What You Love: A Franchisor chose you as a franchisee because they see something in you that brings strength to the business.  Building a business around what you enjoy and a good at gives you a greater chance for success. The franchisor may pull you back in and remind you of why you were chosen for the task!  They will also help you get better at those skills that may need improving.  AND they may improve the entire system based on what knowledge your strengths have brought to the system!

7. Don’t be a loner: Successful Franchisees and Franchisors realize the value in sharing!  You are NOT in it alone as a franchisee.  Franchisees appreciate built in systems, meetings, conference calls or other systems that the franchisor has put into place to allow them to communicate and learn from other franchisees, employees, and the franchisor. There isn’t anyone out there who can knows everything. Being able to seek out those individuals who enjoy being expert advisors and mentors within the system is valuable.  As each store becomes more successful it helps everyone within the system.

One thing to remember is that when an individual buys into a franchising opportunity with Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, they won’t be going at it alone. Our team excels at being a partner who wants our franchise owners to succeed! If you’d like to learn more tips on how to achieve success from our team of business experts, click the below banner...

The Franchise Buyer's Toolkit

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Topics: kids salon franchise, franchise buyers, franchise opportunity, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, how to franchise, Free Resources for Businesses, successful franchisees, marketing strategies