1851 caught up with the franchise development professionals of various brands to learn more about the state of the industry and their predictions for the year ahead.
1851: What's the number one thing franchisees are looking for in the conversations that you're having with prospects?
Mo Pandoria, Founder and CEO at Idolize Brows and Beauty: People are looking for a second source of income. They want a business that’s semi-absentee that they can build a future off of. Most are currently working full-time and looking for additional income, with hopes of eventually building to multi-unit ownership so they can walk away from their full-time job. Ultimately, they’re looking for a better balance in their lifestyle and are willing to do the legwork now so they can benefit in the future.
1851: Do you have an ideal franchisee in your system, and what are their qualities?
Pandoria: We’re looking for someone who is a good manager and has strong marketing skills. We’ve seen candidates across the board who are already entrepreneurs as well as those who are first-time owners are looking to build a business. Overall, the key factor is someone looking for a change and who has a desire to succeed.
1851: What's the biggest challenge facing franchise development right now and how are you overcoming it?
Pandoria: For us, as an emerging brand, that’s a challenge. We’re overcoming it with validation from our franchisees. We’ve only been franchising for the past year. The franchisees we have right now are able to talk about their process from start to finish, and also talk about how successful they’ve been in a short period of time.
1851: What's one thing prospective franchisees should know about your brand and franchising in general before buying?
Pandoria: We are definitely causing a ruckus and disrupting the beauty industry right now. It’s either the mom-and-pop shops or businesses concentrating on one service. We’re all about beauty in a one-stop shop kind of environment. That’s where we stand out.
I was one of the first franchisees for Quiznos in England and I learned a lot from that experience. I think that one of the biggest things as a franchisee is that it’s all about capacity; what are you capable of doing? There are so many different types of businesses out there. Some require five hours per week, some 80. That’s one of the first things a franchisee should do: be honest with themselves and see how much time they have to spend on a new business.
1851: Why should franchisees invest in your industry and in your brand specifically, and why should they invest now?
Pandoria: We’re in the beauty industry and our main service is eyebrow and facial threading. We also offer ancillary beauty services like facials, waxing, lash extensions, brow and lash tinting. In the future, we’ll add others as well.
If you look at the beauty industry and how it’s evolved in the last five years and compare it to the other industry that everyone knows about right now in digital marketing and social media, they’re both following the same kind of trajectory. As beauty has become an integral part of social media, the demand for our services is rising. Year to year, the growth has been substantial. It’s a $60 billion industry with major growth.