Guest blog: do you have what it takes to become a franchisee?
Kirsty Jewson, member of Saks Beauty Squad, owner of Saks Beauty Northallerton and former head of beauty at Saks UK for 12 years, explains what it takes to become a salon franchisee, how to make it a success and the challenges you can face.
Before you start thinking about opening your own business, check that you have a real passion for the industry as you’ll be living and breathing it 24/7.
Owning a beauty salon comes with massive perks but hopefully your salon will be too busy for them to be had and, like me, you’ll be polishing your own nails before your holiday.
Being part of a franchise salon group (like Saks) gives you all the tools you need for salon success – I’ve been the Saks Beauty Northallerton franchisee since 2014. It’s the savvy option for opening your own salon because you’re privy to a tried and tested model and all the business and marketing support you’ll need.
You’ll benefit from the experience and community aspects of being part of something much bigger, but it’s still your salon. Policies and operations procedures are cornerstones on which you build your business but you’re the boss and you make your decisions – with sound help all the way.
If you want to be a franchisee, you need to be prepared to not stand still, but that’s exciting, right?
5 ways to make it as a successful franchisee:
1. Business model and special community
Being a good salon owner requires guts and determination. You’ll take calculated risks, learn from mistakes and, like any business, keep going in tougher times. If opening a business was easy everyone would be doing it.
Being part of a franchise group with a network of like-minded people means that there’s not only help from the company, in my case Saks HQ.
In my experience, I get support from the Saks Fam (aka the family of Saks salon owners) and it’s immense. We constantly brainstorm new ideas, approaches and ways to improve what I do and they do. We do some great get-togethers as well.
2. Mix up your marketing
One thing I would say is that it’s important to remember traditional marketing methods. Social media is an amazing way to reach out and engage with your target audience but you’d be unwise to rely on it solely.
Don’t hide behind those salon doors! Get out and forge great relationships with other local business owners and shout about what you do. You can’t beat personal contact to reinforce messages and showcase your knowledge and passion.
3. About staffing
One of the biggest challenges we all face in the industry today is staffing – recruiting team members who have that spark, and then nurturing and empowering them so they stay.
My recipe for success? Build a reputation as a business that invests in the development of staff continuously. Work-life balance is super important for millennials, so put together great employment packages.
Holidays and flexible working hours are equally important as rates of pay and commission structures. Strive to be known as the best in your area.
Enter awards and shout about it from the rooftops when you “get through” and win, as these messages all inspire people to want to work for you.
Easier said than done but when staff members leave try not to take it personally. Keep a bank of potential applicants to contact in such circumstances.
4. Investment decisions
I love this industry because it’s fast-paced with new innovations and advancements coming through all the time. This can be challenging as it means there can be a pressure to invest into your business.
Identifying when something is a fad or whether it’s a wise investment can also be challenging. Being part of a franchise group certainly helps massively here.
Knowing that potential brands and products have been vigorously researched gives peace of mind when choosing which new treatments to integrate into your own beauty menu.
5. National charity partnership
As a Saks franchise, I’m part of a network where strong friendships are forged and we’ve united even more through our common cause raising funds for The Eve Appeal.
Raising £100,000 is making everyone at Saks incredibly proud. The salon group that works together – with amazing support from customers – is hard to beat. So much fun along the way!
Visit the Saks website for more info or call the Saks Franchising team on 0845 678 0290
Kirsty Jewson is a member of Saks Beauty Squad, owner of Saks Beauty Northallerton and former head of beauty at Saks UK for 12 years.