After 30-plus years in accounting and financial management, Dallas-Fort Worth native and Certified Public Accountant Steve Hedrick was ready to make a career change. And while he might not have expected it at first, the optimal opportunity soon came in the form of Elements Massage.
In 2012, Hedrick retired from his role as Vice President and Treasurer of Monitronics International Inc.—which, since Hedrick joined as one of the founding officers in 1994, had grown to the No. 4 security alarm monitoring company in the United States. Knowing that he wanted an established franchise model with recurring revenue streams and the close attention of a personal service business that would let him build meaningful relationships with his clients, Hedrick enlisted the help of two franchise consultants. He directed them to work independently of one another in the hopes of garnering diverse data in order to make the most-informed business decision.
Hedrick’s consultants came back with two notably different lists which included such concepts as a T-shirt printing business, a hearing aid company and a translation and interpretation services franchise. None of them excited Hedrick; that is, until he saw the one name that both consultants had included on each of their lists: Elements Massage®.
“I remember sitting in the office of one of my brokers and thinking, ‘What would all the people that worked with me for 30 years think if I told them I retired from the finance world to go into the massage business?’,” said Hedrick. “But the broker told me to go home that weekend and seriously think it over. And when I did, I realized that Elements met all my requirements.”
Hedrick emphasized that he wanted to head a service business that directly benefited his clients.
“I enjoy the thought of helping people feel better through therapeutic massage,” said Hedrick. “I realized it would be a great chance to genuinely help people live healthier lives. Therapeutic massage helps with injuries, aches and pains and overall helps you feel better and function better. I wanted to be part of such a rewarding business.”
In addition to matching with all of Hedrick’s franchise qualifications, the Elements Massage brand also aligned impressively with a growing Dallas market driven by an influx of families, professionals and a bevy of Fortune 500 businesses.
“The Elements Massage concept fits in well with the Dallas population because Dallas is really diverse and massage is great for all different age groups,” said Hedrick. “In one aspect, Baby Boomers are aging and massage fits squarely into a good health regimen. The younger population, which tends to have a wellness interest, also is a great match for therapeutic massage.”
Hedrick also emphasized that, while Texas at large is one of the top states in terms of retail massage, the Elements Massage brand’s specialization in therapeutic massage and focus on tailored-to-client services make it a competitively differentiated concept.
Having found an opportunity that expertly fits the professional and demographic bill, Hedrick decided to sign on and found the perfect location for his flagship location in Richardson, a suburb of Dallas.
Hedrick said that the Support Center worked closely with his franchise consultants to help with the site selection and construction process.
“The Elements Massage team was always very supportive and able to answer any of my questions,” Hedrick said. “And they collaborated with me through a lot of concurrent projects; in addition to site selection assistance, they worked with me to develop promotions and advertising ideas.”
Elements Therapeutic Massage, LLC even sent out a support professional who consulted on-site for several days leading up to and following the grand opening of Hedrick’s Richardson location in May 2013. After successfully getting that first studio up and running, Hedrick went on to open a second location in the Lakewood suburb of Dallas in 2014.
“I had clear franchisor support throughout the entire process,” said Hedrick.
Today, Hedrick employs a full staff at each studio, including assistant managers specific to each studio and one manager who oversees both locations.
“I decided early on to invest in a manager who would specialize in the day-to-day operations,” explained Hedrick. “That way I can handle the business from an overall standpoint.”
When asked what qualities the ideal Elements Massage franchise candidate should possess, Hedrick was emphatic.
“You absolutely have to have a strong desire to be in business for yourself,” said Hedrick. “It’s helpful to have some experience in managing people and knowing the aspects of running a business, but most of all, you have to have a burning desire to succeed and to work harder than anyone else working for you.”
With two successful studios under his belt and the opportunity to develop even more in the future, it’s safe to say that, when it comes to running his massage studio, Hedrick has the right touch.