Franchisee of the Year: Garret and Mike Bedrin

Salons by JC held their inaugural owners conference October 22nd thru October 24th in San Antonio, Texas.  The conference was attended by over 75 of the Salons by JC franchise owners and preferred vendors.  Attendees learned about brand strategy and marketing for the upcoming 2018 year.  During the conference, honors were given out for Franchisee of the Year, Concierge of the Year, and Highest Occupancy Rate for 2017. 
Salonsby JC has 86 locations in 25 states and Canada. Jack Griffey and Cecil Miller founded Salons by JC in 1998 in Dallas, Texas creating a salon suite concept specifically for hair and beauty professionals who were ready to move away from the traditional salon model.  The company has since moved its headquarters to San Antonio, Texas, where it continues to grow through franchising.

Succeeding as a Salons by JC franchisee comes down to two fundamentals, say the Bedrin cousins: Treat tenants like partners and do whatever it takes to make them successful.

As part of the family’s Bedrin Organization, which owns and manages shopping centers, Garret and Mike Bedrin admit they have an advantage when it comes to build-outs and lease negotiations—they’re accustomed to managing those things every day. But the biggest secret to success as a salon suite franchisee, they say, lies in knowing how to help salon pros succeed.

“The most important thing I learned is how busy these professionals are, doing a million things every day,” says Garret Bedrin. “They are mothers, entrepreneurs, sales people and community activists. We avoid burdensome paperwork and policies, and focus on making it easy for them to do business. We view them as partners because their success is our success.”

Ways to Say I Care

Garret notes that tactics for getting and keeping tenants are similar to ones salon pros use to attract and retain their own clients: Meet their needs, show you care and go the extra mile. For the cousins, who are multi-unit franchisees with locations in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and soon-to- open High Point, NC, efforts include:

  • Recognizing birthdays and special life events
  • Hosting monthly get-togethers. They might be social, educational or even salon-client focused.
  • Holding contests. For instance, every time the Greensboro tenants paid their rent, they got to play a mini golf game. A hole-in- one netted a $5 gift card; at the end of the summer,
    whoever got the most hole-in- ones won one week of free rent.
  • Thinking progressively. The Bedrins’ tenants get four weeks of rent-free maternity leave. For those who request an additional four weeks, the franchise may pick-up half the
    weekly rent.
  • Offering continuing education. Salon pros must stay up-to- the-minute on trends and techniques. The Bedrins continually bring in manufacturer’s guest artists to offer training
    in hair color, Keratin services and more. Says Garret, “Salon pros want to stay at the top of their game and offer more services, especially the high-ticket ones.”
  • Sharing tenant’s Instagram posts and promoting their work at least once a week.
  • Getting out of their way. Avoid time-wasting nonsense and fix issues with lighting and plumbing quickly.

Doing all that takes some high-powered help, and the duo says their next best way to ensure success is to hire a great concierge, who is your eyes and ears on the ground. Then, empower that person to solve problems on-the- spot.

Past Lessons for Fruitful Futures

Like all successful franchisees, the Bedrins overcame challenges along the way. With their first location, they were local pioneers of the suite rental concept and had to educate the market, which took time and money. On top of it, four days before they opened, the concierge decided she didn’t want the gig, so they had to replace her fast.

When opening the Winston-Salem location, a power-company delay forced them to use a generator for two weeks. It cost $10,000 but they had promised 25 tenants that they would open on time, and they did. They also built-out 13 more suites while tenants were working, which meant minimizing noise and business disruptions.

Now, the Bedrins are preparing to open their High Point location in November. It will be the second Salons By JC operation with the upscale “New Look,” which features a waterfall-feel logo wall behind a granite-top desk for the concierge. (The first “New Look” location was in Austin, Texas.)

“We’re super-excited about the fact it will look like a luxury hotel,” says Mike Bedrin. “The suites’ glass doors slide to the side instead of swinging open, and this creates more space.”

Focusing on flexibility, High Point will include 26 suites with two that are nail specific, another two that meet the particular needs of skin care and massage specialists, and some that allow suite-shares. The range of suite sizes and diversity in rental prices accommodate what pros want most: Choices.

“Our suite owners’ clients have choices in who does their hair, and beauty pros have choices in where they rent,” says Garret. “We are helping them by offering a high-end option that’s the Ritz of salon suites.”

For more ideas that support success, Garret suggests that Salons by JC franchisees check out one of his favorite things: The company’s private Facebook group page, where owners can share best practices and ideas.

“We’re thankful to be a part of such a great family as Salons by JC, and are happy to share ideas with those who have helped us,” says Garret. “After all, as my Uncle Paul always says, a rising tide lifts boats.”