Three "Must Have" Business Skills for Franchise Owners

Posted by Jim Otto on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 @ 11:07 AM

businessskills.jpgMany people that contact me are “romantically” attracted to our concept. They love the idea of a cute, fun and brightly colored place to take kids for a great haircut. Or I hear, “I love children, so I was really attracted to this." Now I am not saying that having an interest in our franchise concept because of your interest in working with kids is a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I would highly recommend that you invest your money, time and efforts into something that you feel passionate about. But our franchise, like most, is still a business, and will require a certain set of business skills to increase the probability of success. Whether you invest in a yogurt, burger, or salon business, it’s still going to come down to possessing certain business skills to succeed.  Here is our list of the top 3 skills needed to own and run a business:

1.  Communication Skills 
Your ability to communicate with others and “get the message across” about what your business is about to both employees and customers is critical. Everything in life begins with communication, and the ability that someone has to communicate is a big plus. Because time management and organizational skills can’t be taught in an operating manual, someone's ability to effectively execute a business plan becomes crucial. If a potential franchisee is unable to do this, then they may not be able to handle all the moving parts of running a business. Also, it's important to be flexible and adaptable. Rigidity has never worked in business! Now, of course I'm not saying to up and dump a system in favor of your own ideas. You have to follow the system. What I am talking about is the ability to handle a crisis when it arises, to shift gears and go a different direction on a moment’s notice, and to know when to be tough or to know when compassion is needed. Time management and organizational skills allows you to set a goal and reach it.

2.  Understanding the Need for Marketing 

Another great business skill to work at possessing a mastery over is in the area of marketing. Unfortunately, many new businesses fail because of a lack or understanding of effective marketing. Getting your name out in the community, building a loyal customer base and differentiating yourself from the competition can take a new business on average 3 to 5 years. Therefore whatever you anticipate spending on marketing you can pretty much double that amount. The busier your location becomes, the less you can spend on marketing. But getting that initial foot traffic can be costly. If you understand that this is a need and are willing to do the "work" - you should be successful.  A franchise system should provide lots of guidance in your marketing - they have seen it done numerous times and know what you get the most bang for your buck with.

In the initial stages of your business you must market to the masses. Once you have a client base you can save money by target marketing to your existing customers - or to new customers only.  You will have gathered customer information (i.e. email addresses, etc.) that will allow your to touch your client base more economically.

3.  Desire to Learn

Lastly, a desire to learn is also a really important mindset for a franchisee. Of course, everyone would like to learn about something - but great franchisees have the desire to learn. It’s not a chore; it’s something that brings satisfaction when the learned skill produces a favorable business outcome. Great business owners are made and not born, but having some of these basic skills are going to go a long way in determining your success or failure in a franchise!

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

The Top 4 Considerations

Topics: franchise opportunity, Small Business Franchise Information, how to franchise, Business Tips, small business how-tos, communication, franchising, franchise growth

Business Tips: Five Ways to Create Captivating Email Blasts!

Posted by Matthew S on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 @ 14:06 PM

Eblast.jpgHow can you be more effective in creating great marketing content that communicates to your audience what it is that you do as a franchise or small-business owner? In addition to newsletters, creating successful sales emails (or e-blasts) can be an important part of generating brand awareness and letting your community know about a special sale or event, or even serving as a reminder to come by and check out what it is you do. Your customer only has so much time in a day, so you'll want to be sure to write a compelling, effective e-blast that captures attention and persuades to either click the link to your store or come by for a visit in person. Below are five tips for writing that effective email.

1.  Know who your Audience Is: Before starting an e-blast, be sure to know who your audience will be for this particular piece of communication. This will help you know how to write specific content for that audience. For example, if you are writing an e-blast that promote a sale on birthday parties for children, you won't want to write in a style that speaks to retirement age men who are interested in hot rods. Instead, think about how young mothers might be wanting to offer a fun party for their daughter, and use language that will speak to her. This is also useful for knowing when to send the e-blast out, as certain times of day might be better than others in reaching your target audience.

2.  Share Personal Stories: When writing great content for e-blasts, you may want to include a personal story of a real person who has been positively impacted by your service (try to share a photo too, if possible). Or, you may also want to write about how your service has impacted hundreds or thousands of people in the community. This helps customers understand the scope of what you do, and more importantly - that you are a trusted member of the community that helps solve problems for people!

3.  Asking Questions, Solving Problems! A good way to draw attention to your e-blast is by asking a thoughtful question in the subject line. You may also want to start the e-mail out by asking questions relevent to your audience. For example, if your audience is primarily interested in haircuts for children, ask them a question about how tough it can be to get children to sit still for a haircut - and then provide them with the solution of getting a haircut at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids! Or, if your customers are interested in fun experiences and products for children, ask them if they're looking for a cool, unique store where the imagination of children is encouraged - and then provide them with the solution of visiting their local Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, etc. Another great idea is to offer tips to solving problems that customers may be facing, and then including as one of the tips a lead or link to your special promotion.

4.  Include Photos and Graphics. While it's of course very important to relay all the correct details about your sale or promotion, simply having compelling text on a page isn't enough to capture the attention of an audience. Be sure to include graphics (photos and illustrations) relevant to the subject of your e-blast. You may also want to include images of your staff hard at work, or a picture of yourself next to your contact information, as you'll help customers make a more pesonal connection with whatever it is you're hoping to accomplish through your e-blast! 

5.  Be Persuasive - Not Pushy! This can be a tough one, because when we write about the things we love or are passionate about, we sometimes can tend to come off a little too strong. This isn't to say that being confident or proud of what you're selling is a bad thing. However, working to persuade people to check out whatever you might be promoting through being professional, fun and even caring can really go a long way towards getting people to actually invest the time to check your e-blast out. For example, instead of telling potential customers they'd be crazy to miss the deal you're offering, let them know you understand how tough it can be to save money, and that you would like to invite them to check out your sale.

Join thousands of happy Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids subscribers by signing up for our fun monthly e-mail newsletters! Sales, information on Franchising, Crafts for Kids, helpful tips and much more! Click HERE to subscribe!

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

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

A Franchise can Multiply your Chances of Business Success!

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

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

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

Lastly, when trying to determine how successful a potential franchise system really is, it's a good idea to contact franchises and talk to the franchisors, look at the Franchise Disclosure documents and the Franchise Agreement, and compare business models. For example, Shear Madness Franchising franchises Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids salons. We have worked with franchise stores in providing franchisee support (in order to encourage continual growth), and have sometimes seen the unexpected happen!  When it does, we help by identifying and helping with challenges that might arise for franchisees. Additionally, we work to present options that can help prevent these events as well. As many franchise owners may not have opened a business before, having someone who can advise them is a significant advantages of franchise ownership!

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

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

The Importance of Customer Feedback

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, May 6, 2016 @ 13:05 PM

customerfeedbackCollecting customer feedback is an important way to gauge whether the efforts you are putting into growing your small business are really meeting the needs and expectations of your customers. Following are some different ways that customer feedback might be gained, as well as some helpful tips and useful questions you might want to ask.

Direct Communication with a Customer: One way to collect great feedback from a customer is to speak with them directly either through a phone call, or face-to-face dialogue. However, be sensitive as to when might be the best time to talk with a customer about their experience. For example, at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, we will often call parents after hosting one of our birthday party experiences in order to hear their thoughts and suggestions in regards to the event. We'll also seek to communicate with customers directly who might have a complaint, as we want to assure them that their concern is not only heard - but extremely important in helping us become better!  

EMail: Do you email your customers?  If you have a newsletter or other email campaign you will get people who unsubscribe.  Use this as an opportunity to get feedback.  Your email system may allow you to customize your unsubscribe email response - use that to ask questions, or if you have phone information on that customer give them a call.  Never mention the unsubscribe in the phone call, you don't want to make them feel singled out.  But, if you are always calling customers for feedback anyway just include these people in the list of those to reach out to.  You may find that those who unsubscribe still love your business, they are just moving, or clearing out email as they get too much!  Or you may find that something has happened that you need to deal with as an owner.

Surveys: Utilizing a survey to collect customer feedback is a great way to reach out to a much larger base of customers than you might be able to do through direct communication. Some of the ways surveys might be done is through a short questionaire that a customer can fill out at your business and drop into a box, or through an online survey sent to your customer mailing list. Some of the advantages of utilizing surveys is that some of your customers might prefer giving feedback in this manner. However, it can also be a challenge to actually convince customers that filling out a survey is worth their time. As such, offering a small incentive for their help can be a great way to encourage this customer feedback.

Survey Questions: Following are some sample questions that a business owner might want to ask their customers. As with any customer interaction, make sure that you do everything you can to help them feel great about their experience with your business. Thank them for their time in talking with you or filling out the survey, and possibly offer them a coupon for their helpful assistance.

  • What was your primary goal in visiting my business today?
  • Did my business meet your objectives?
  • What could my business have done differently in regards to your experience?
  • Compared to similar services you may have received elsewhere, how does my business compare?

Responding to Feedback: Of course we all love when we receive positive feedback. But what about when we get negative feedback? As a business owner, it's inevitable that you'll receive negative feedback and criticisms leveraged against your business. And while it might be easy to become offended and disheartened by such feedback, consider looking at criticisms as a way to help make your business even better. Most customers just want to be heard!  So when you reach out to someone with negative feedback make sure and really LISTEN to what they have to say!  Thank them for sharing with you!  If they didn't share, you wouldn't know - many times your system may need some tweaking and this can be jump started by this negative feedback.  There will be some negative feedback that may be totally unjustified, but if you evaluate the entire situation there WILL be something there that you can learn from to make improvements in your system.  Whatever the case, be sure to treat customers who provide negative feedback with as much care as you would a positive customer. Assure those customers who are critical that their thoughts matter and that you want to do what you can (within your power) to help make it right. 

The Best Feedback is a Referral:  If you can track your referrals this is a very nice thing to do!  Kindly reward those who refer you.  Most refer you with no expectation of any kind of reward.  But if they get one - a thank you note, a phone call, or an email - they will love you even more!

Are you looking for a franchising opportunity with someone who has your back and works hard to encourage your success? If so, why not check out Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising? Not only do we love to have FUN, but we also love sharing our many great business tips, free business tools and resources for small businesses so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below!

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Topics: how to franchise, Business Tips, successful franchisees, small business how-tos, growing a small business, business growth, nourishing success, business relationships, franchising, customer feedback

Small Business Technology Tips

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

small business technology tipsWe live in a world where technology is all around us, and your customers are increasingly online. That's why the effective use of technology in a small business can help you attract customers and effectively compete in the marketplace. Following are some of our suggestions on how a small business can utilize technology to help promote growth and success!

The use of a website: Having a well designed, easy-to-navigate website can help a customer learn more about your business. Be sure to use a website to share with customers what your business does, where it's located (with map), hours of operation, pricing (optional), and contact information (e-mail and phone). You may also want to use a website to run a blog related to what your business does, or share photos of what your store looks like. A website can also be useful in gathering information on customers, as forms - with a free coupon provided as incentive - can be utilized to collect customer data and help grow your business.  There are many options for a website.  Our advice is to get one that you will own!  If you use a service that keeps the rights to your site, changing could become difficult in the future and may require a complete rebuild of your site.

Selling Online: Interested in boosting profit margins for your business? If so, then why not consider developing a strategy for selling your products and services on the internet? In this day and age, not only can an online store be great for business - but many internet savy customers expect their favorite business to offer a convenient way for them to purchase items via website. And with sites like amazon and pinterest offering a relatively easy way to have an online store that can be linked to your website, there's really not much of a reason not to be selling online!

Social Media: When combined with a website, social media is a powerful tool that helps you stay connected with customers. For example, through the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Facebook page, we interact with customers who want to learn more about our services, or let us know how we're doing. We also will run a fun weekly contest, and let customers know about upcoming specials. Of course, we'll also share our website so that customers can find out more details if they're interested!

Go Mobile! Smart phones and tablets allow you to take your business on the road, and not miss out on a valuable opportunity to meet a customer need. Additionally, a smart phone or tablet allows you to stay connected to employees who are managing your store while you are away.

Security: Sometimes in order to save money, small business owners might want to use personal phones and computers to run their business. However, for organizational and security purposes, it might be a better option to have devices specifically dedicated for business usage. And don't forget to create passwords that are a combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Teleconferencing: Rather than spending a lot of time and money to travel to a meeting, sometimes teleconferencing can be a more affordable way to meet with clients. There's a variety of services available online, with some being free and others having a variety of low-cost payment options (such as control over moderation and recording). Take a look at what you'll need for an upcoming conference call, and research the options for what can deliver what you need for the best price.

Tech Support: As your business grows, sometimes you might need the help of a tech professional in updating software, developing a more complex website or figuring out how to host important files needed for the successful operation of your business. When looking for technical support, be sure that this person or company will not only be easily available - but patient and helpful whenever you have a need come up. Sometimes, a local tech provider, as opposed to a provider in another country, might be the best option.  If you are a small company you may want to look at using a domain provider that offers lots of support.  Sometimes a call to them can save you from having to hire a professional.

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

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Topics: how to franchise, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, technology

Affordable Customer Appreciation Ideas

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Nov 5, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

affordablecustomerideasAre you a small business owner who is interested in cultivating happy customers, encouraging customer loyalty, and stimulating great customer growth? If so, the following are some creative small business marketing ideas you can use to show a little customer appreciation! And best of all, it doesn't cost a lot either!

Gifts from your Community: Gifts from your community are a little more personal and unique than a mass-produced trinket ordered from a catalog. Plus, it really helps out the other local small businesses in your neighborhood. Ideas might include tea, coffee, barbeque sauces, chips and salsa, jams and more!

Sending Cookies: Sending a box of cookies branded with your logo, along with a thank you note, can be a great way to show appreciation. And if you'd really like to put your best foot forward, be sure to pick gluten free cookies, or another healthy snack. Items like cookies have worked so well in the past because people will pass these out to co-workers, or take them home to family and friends. It's a nice way to get the word out about who you are!

Write a Thank You Note: People today are often overwhelmed with text messages and e-mails. This is why the hand-written thank you note is such a great way to reach out to your valued customers. The note can be written on branded stationary or a card with your logo, and include a special coupon. 

Educational Gifts: While educational gifts may at first glance sound a bit bland, many people will regardless appreciate a useful gift that helps them learn something in a fun way. The key here is to select educational books, DVD's, audiobooks and more that are interesting and timely.

Humorous Products: Everyone enjoys receiving something in the mail that brings a smile. Not only that, but it also helps convey a fun atmosphere around your business, which is especially helpful if you offer products and services to children and young people. Some ideas might include crazy sunglasses, giant foam fingers, or pencil toppers featuring funny characters. But remember: whatever you decide, make sure it's tasteful and appropriate for all ages!

Customer Spotlight: Don't miss out on opportunities to shine the spotlight on those customers who go out of their way to show their appreciation for your brand. For example, consider hosting a fun social media event where customers take photos of themselves interacting in a positive way with your product. Feature these photos on social media over the following weeks and months. 

Interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about 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: franchise opportunity, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, creativity, franchising, customer appreciation

Growing Your Small Business

Posted by Matthew S on Fri, Sep 18, 2015 @ 10:09 AM

businesssuccessRunning your own small business can be a difficult, yet extremely rewarding time in your life. Not only does it take being able to understand market demands, but it also means having a small business plan (a process and product in place) that will support the business, as well as provide an income for the owner. While many potential small business owners may have a great idea for a business, business growth and long-term success requires being able to be focused, disciplined and at times - an out-of-the-box thinker! Below are some of the essentials that can help your small business build success.

Branding: Because your brand is what's special and unique about your business, it's important to recognize the importance that the careful cultivation and maintenance of this brand might have for the sustainable growth of your small business. For example, if a customer doesn't feel they are getting a positive experience from the service your business provides, they'll simply go somewhere else in search of something better. Some of the ways you are able to build brand awareness is by knowing who your audience is, inspiring that target audience, and making sure to foster a positive emotional brand connection with the public. You'll also want to make sure your employees understand and are motivated by what your brand represents, as their enthusiasm (or lack thereof) may be passed onto a customer.

Great Marketing: Creative Marketing, when combined with a unique brand, can help your small business succeed! Once you've identified a particular service that your customer will respond to, you can get the word out through generating great marketing content. Newspaper ads, ads on social media, and running a blog or social media site can all be ways to help get the word out about whatever exciting product or service you have. You'll also want to be sure to create cool and creative marketing materials that reflect your brand identity, and are well designed so as to convey an image that your target audience will respond to.

Repeat Sales: Even with awesome marketing and a unique brand, your small business must be able to encourage your customers to eagerly return for whatever it is your business provides. This requires the careful design and identification of products and services that excite and motivate your customers to return to your business. For example, in the kid's hair salon business, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids encourages repeat sales through providing haircuts, birthday parties, spa services, and the operation of a kid's boutique that always features exciting new products.

Utilizing Technology: Technology is not always easy to implement and maintain in our fast-paced world, but many small business owners often find themselves benefiting greatly through the utilization of technology to help manage their business. If a small business owner identifies a need, chances are there's a technological option that can help fulfill that need. As an example, Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids uses technology to stay in communication with their customers. They also use the internet to stay in contact and provide support to franchise owners who are located in many different parts of the United States.

A Mindset for Success: As stated at the introduction of this post, running and growing your small business can be an extremely difficult (or stressful) challenge. Because of this, sometimes business owners can get so busy trying to keep up with building the success of their business that they forget about their own needs, or even the needs of their family. However, if you're not maintaining your health or a happy state of mind, your business will surely suffer as a result. So be sure to invest the time to take care of you and your family through working hard when necessary, but also having plenty of time each day devoted to spending time de-stressing and enjoying life.

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

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: salon franchise, kids salons, franchise buyers, Small Business Franchise Information, how to franchise, small business how-tos, growing a small business, nourishing success, franchisee support

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

Creating an Atmosphere of FUN in your retail store!

Posted by Matthew S on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 12:06 PM

funatmosphereCreating an atmosphere of fun in your business can go a long way in helping foster customer loyalty. And customer loyalty translates into increased sales - not only through repeat patrongage, but by your customers telling friends and family what a great experience they have at your business!

Developing a small business plan that encourages and stimulates growth in your business should be a top priority for every business owner. But in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, sometimes the little things can get overlooked. And it's the little things that can add up to either great or poor customer retention.

Following are some of our ideas on practical and creative ways a business owner / successful franchisee can maintain and stimulate customer growth and a fun atmosphere in their store! 

Pay attention to the little things: Don't bring down the atmosphere of your store through having a dirty restroom, dusty products, messy displays or cluttered counterspaces. Make sure that the store is in good repair with doors that don't annoyingly squeak, ceilings free from water spots and cob-webs, and floors that are clean and easily navigated. Also, you'll want to make sure that items and/or services have easy-to-find prices available, as it can be frustrating for a customer who may want to purchase an item but not know how much it costs. Keep an eye out for damaged products or products with beat-up packaging, as you wouldn't want your customer to have the impression that you're trying to sell them something inferior!

Decorations: In our mass-produced world, sometimes customers will appreciate visiting a business that encourages creativity and keeps things lively and interesting through the placement of seasonal decorations, artwork and other subtle personal touches. Be sure you know who your target audience is, and utilize up-to-date decorations that showcase why your business is special!

Music: Music can add a fun atsmosphere to your store, but make sure it isn't so loud that customers may feel as if they have to plug their ears. Also make sure that whatever music you have playing in the background is appropriate for your audience, and doesn't contain anything that might offend.

Happy Employees: We've all been to stores where employees behave as if inconvenienced that you've bothered to ask them a question or go through their check-out line. Make sure to help employees understand the importance of greeting their customer when they enter the store, smiling and being courteous whenever working with a customer, and wishing them a good day when they leave. And while it's important for employees to be available for any help a customer might require, being too intrusive may be a turn-off for customers (example: hovering when a customer is shopping, or asking multiple times if they need help).

Appreciate your Customers: Everyone likes to be recognized and appreciated. For those customers who repeatedly do business at your store, you may want to send them a thank you note with coupon. Hosting a "Customer Appreciation Day" once a year might also be a great idea, with the providing of live music, a raffle, pet costume contest, art contest, games for kids, and more! Be creative, and have fun!

Here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising, we love to have FUN! We also love sharing our many great business tips and resources for small businesses so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below!

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Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, franchise opportunity, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, successful franchisees, small business how-tos, growing a small business, creativity, business growth, atmosphere

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