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Franchise News

Salon Suite Highest Occupancy Rate: Luis Moreno & Jim Murphy

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 salon suite 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.

Luis Moreno and Jim Murphy tied for 2017 franchisee with the highest occupancy rate (98.8%) by using similar tactics.  It all starts with location, location, location.

If there’s one thing Luis Moreno and Jim Murphy agree on, it’s that filling suites and keeping them full starts with the best location possible.

“Everything depends on how well you do in real-estate selection, which means a beautiful building with many windows and a great neighborhood with a strong retail presence and lots of local salons,” says Luis. “Also you should be good at negotiating rent in the area, so you can pass savings on to the tenants.”

Photo of Luis Moreno & Cecil Miller at the SBJC Owners Conference

Jim agrees, adding, “I try to think like tenants do. They want a building that’s in tip-top shape with clean common areas and restrooms for their clients. Ample parking is key. If you have 50 tenants who are all in-house and each one has a client, you need 100 parking spots.”

Smart Recruiting Tactics

Tenant recruitment should start four to six months before you open. For both his locations, (Carmel Park and South Park in Charlotte, NC) Luis used postcards and mailers (the State Cosmetology Board is a good place to get addresses, he says), Craigslist and Facebook postings and ads. “There is no one tactic that matters most; it’s doing them all consistently,” says Luis. “Also, I hired a concierge who was an industry veteran. She had been the general manager of the largest salon in Charlotte, which closed.”

Photo of Salons by JC Carmel Park location

Jim, who owns the Midtown Atlanta, GA, location, was once an IT recruiter. He says the processes are similar: Recruit to fit a certain criteria, pitch the applicant on what you offer, sign him or her up and manage the relationship. As for tactics, he says, the ones that yielded his best prospects included running a Google pay-per-click ad, which comes up in a search, and getting referrals from tenants.

Photo of Salons by JC Midtown Atlanta location

Adds Luis, “In my second location, I offered two weeks of free rent for every referral who signed a one-year lease. The tenants were happy to tell their friends.”

The Right Fit

Finding a great tenant pays off in several ways. If they are a good fit for your operation, they’ll stick around and you won’t have to continually recruit. (Jim hasn’t had an open suite since March, 2017.) They’ll know tons of other fantastic professionals, who they’ll refer. And of course, when they succeed, you succeed.

As for ferreting out the best prospects, depend on experience and gut instinct, and subtly use tours to gather competitive intel, so you can stress how your operation excels, advise the two. Questions to ask involve longevity in the business, the proximity of the prospect’s current salon to your suites, and why the person is looking for a change. That last question will tell you a lot about both the person and your competitors.

“Starting out, you might tend to lease quickly and have some misfires, but you’ll learn how to get a sense of a person’s professionalism and attitude,” says Jim. Luis, who recommends leasing just two or three suites to the “slightly risky” advises that if things don’t work out, give the person an exit plan and move on.

Upping Retention Rates

Getting tenants is one thing; keeping them is another. If you got the right tenants in the first place, retention is easier. Now, you just have to keep them happy. Luckily, say our winners, it isn’t rocket science.

“It was a real lesson to me that when prospects said they wanted to leave another situation, it was because small things always become big things,” says Luis. “Be present, know what is happening in your business, and acknowledge and address anything that needs fixing as soon as possible. Show you are responsive. Keep everything clean for your tenants and their clients, make it easy for them, recognize them in small ways and have fun.”

To make tenants feel part of a community, both of our winning franchisees hold fun events with food and beverages. Acknowledging birthdays with a gift card is also appreciated.

“When I have a good tenant, I offer him or her an incentive to re-sign the lease,” says Jim. “I may offer two or three weeks free rent for a one-year renewal, so the tenant can take a vacation.”

When you do have openings, using current tenants as recruiters and rewarding them is the simplest and most cost-effective way to keep suites full.

In photo: Luis Moreno and several of his Salon Suite Owners 

Musts to Avoid

No discussion about suite occupancy would be complete without a look at what doesn’t work. Here’s where competitive intel comes into play.

“Lowering rent prices does not work,” notes Luis. “Tenants are looking for quality, and charging appropriate rents for your area underscores it.” (Too-low rents often signal desperation.)

Additionally, costly events and big parties with DJs are not a lure when recruiting, unless you want a bunch of party-crashers. Salon pros want a clean, orderly, attractive work environment above else.

Comments Jim, “Don’t be aggressive or pushy. Determine what a person is looking for and promote the advantages of Salons by JC in a subtle way. I don’t ‘sell’—I focus on being consultative to find a good match.”

With the right tenants and a great facility, you’re well on your way to achieving continually high occupancy rates—and your potential next step. Jim says he is now looking for a second location: He’s been searching for his ideal for over year now, which shows just how much location contributes to success.

 

About Salons by JC: In 1997, Jack Griffey and Cecil Miller began their journey to transform the beauty industry one salon suite at a time. Like most young entrepreneurs, they started out with a big idea but had to learn how to start and run a business from scratch. After much perseverance and hard work, one year later, they opened Salons by JC in Dallas, TX in 1998, welcoming beauty and wellness specialists who were ready to break free from the traditional salon model. The company has since moved its headquarters from Dallas to San Antonio, where it continues to grow through franchising. Today, Salons by JC has over 87 locations in 24 states and Canada.  For more information, visit salonsbyjc.com or salonsbyjc.com/franchise

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Franchise News

Concierge of The Year: Jo-Lynn Greenman

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.

Salons by JC’s first ever Concierge of the Year thinks like a boss and solves problems like a team player.

Jo-Lynn Greenman likes learning new things and helping salon suite owners achieve their dreams. Mastering the diverse duties of a concierge came naturally to her, she says, because she looks at the big picture and the details, loves to be busy and enjoys a career where no two days are alike.

“I mix and interact with people, but I also get to use my brain to think things through,” says Jo-Lynne of what makes her job at Salons by JC in Mt. Juliette, Tennessee, fun.

Just how did she succeed so wildly that she is now both concierge of one location and marketing manager of all of all three of her franchisees’ Nashville-area operations and soon-to-be-open location in Sarasota, FL.

Where Success Starts

“Being a concierge takes personality and flexibility, a positive attitude and a willingness to serve,” says Jo-Lynn. “The marketing manager role requires creativity; it involves a lot of troubleshooting.”

Jo-Lynn’s first big success came early on, when as the concierge of Salons by JC Cool Springs, in Franklin, Tennessee, she was given a goal to fill 25 suites in five months. “It was holiday time, which isn’t ideal, and no one in the Nashville area had ever heard of us,” she recalls. “For me, it was a crash course in the franchising business, but I jumped right in.”

While running twice-weekly Craigslist posts helped, what mattered most, says Jo-Lynn, was consistent follow-through, which meant staying connected with leads in an non-annoying way. “If someone isn’t interested, say ‘cool,’ but leave the door open,” she explains.

When she met her goal, the franchise owners awarded her with a bonus for her dedication and hard work. From there, she simply focused on the franchisees’ vision for five-year growth and created systems to make it happen.

“I knew we needed to implement systems in every location to make the back-end run smoothly,” says Jo-Lynn. “It had to be something concierges at other locations could use. I created a start-up packet that laid out everything potential suite owners needed, such as where to order products, what licenses they need and even where to get those licenses. Now, it’s been adapted by corporate—I created that!”

Roadmap to Excellence

Given her success, what advice does Jo-Lynn have for her fellow concierges?

Believe what you share is important. “Franchisees need to hear from us because we are on the ground level. Realize that your role is important and take ownership of it.”

Be organized, but give yourself grace. “Make a daily list and prioritize everything, then understand that it’s okay if can’t get it all done in one day. Just keep track of what remains for the next day.”

Handle problems professionally, without judgment. “The biggest challenge I had was when we realized that a tenant was living in her suite. We reminded her that it wasn’t acceptable and ended up terminating her lease early.”

Learn from your mistakes. Jo-Lynn’s franchisees had helped the woman who was living in her suite pay for some equipment, and she took it with her. Now, they no longer offer that assistance. “When testing any sort of marketing or promotion, you have to be willing to learn what works and what doesn’t, and shift accordingly,” notes Jo-Lynn.

Take a Time Out. “We all have days that are overwhelming, and if you need to drive around for 10 minutes and cry it out, do it, or others will see how you are feeling and be affected by it. If a concierge in one of the other locations needs to vent over a rough day, I’ll even drive over and give her a hug. We’re all human, and we’re all just trying to make it.”

Jo-Lynn had been a salon manager for 15 years and was considering a career change when she discovered Salons by JC. While her salon background has been so valuable that now, she oversees blueprints and makes suggestions for changes in suite set-ups, she believes that if you know your own strengths and weaknesses and realize you are part of a team, you can take your position to the next level regardless of your background.

 

About Salons by JC: In 1997, Jack Griffey and Cecil Miller began their journey to transform the beauty industry one salon suite at a time. Like most young entrepreneurs, they started out with a big idea but had to learn how to start and run a business from scratch. After much perseverance and hard work, one year later, they opened Salons by JC in Dallas, TX in 1998, welcoming beauty and wellness specialists who were ready to break free from the traditional salon model. The company has since moved its headquarters from Dallas to San Antonio, where it continues to grow through franchising. Today, Salons by JC has over 87 locations in 24 states and Canada.  For more information, visit salonsbyjc.com or salonsbyjc.com/franchise

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Franchise News

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.”

 

About Salons by JC: In 1997, Jack Griffey and Cecil Miller began their journey to transform the beauty industry one salon suite at a time. Like most young entrepreneurs, they started out with a big idea but had to learn how to start and run a business from scratch. After much perseverance and hard work, one year later, they opened Salons by JC in Dallas, TX in 1998, welcoming beauty and wellness specialists who were ready to break free from the traditional salon model. The company has since moved its headquarters from Dallas to San Antonio, where it continues to grow through franchising. Today, Salons by JC has over 87 locations in 24 states and Canada.  For more information, visit salonsbyjc.com or salonsbyjc.com/franchise

 

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Specialist Spotlight

Cindy Christen – Salons by JC Superstar

When Cindy Christen closed her salon to rent a suite, she brought her staff along and made sure they were ready to go Indie.

Salon owners who are relocating or closing due to huge rent increases have two main concerns: How to keep their clients and how to take care of their staff. In salons, relationships with both lean more toward “friends and family” than strictly business. That’s why when Cindy Christen’s lease-renewal loomed ahead, she began planning how she and her friend of 14 years and employee for nine, Andi Loehrer, could stay together. She also wanted her part-time employee, Lilly McManigle, to continue to be part of her life, so she started with honesty.

“I always knew there would come a time when I would want to de-stress and not be in charge of everything,” says Cindy. “After nine years in business, the rent had been rising exponentially, and the nature of the office building in which my salon was located had changed—people kept interrupting us to ask where other businesses were. Also, the neighborhood was becoming less safe. So, I was upfront with both of them and let them know that I was going to rent somewhere once the lease expired.”

While Cindy, who has a BS in Biology and went to cosmetology school at the age of 38, had been sharing business information for some time, she made the bold move of suggesting that Andi rent a chair four months before the anticipated rent increase. This way, she could be fully prepared to fly solo. “I wanted her to have her LLC and bookkeeping ready to go, and understand how to buy and price products,” says Cindy. “I didn’t want her to look at me like a deer in the headlights and wonder what I got her into—she’s like family.”

 

Homes of Their Own

Next, Cindy got to work researching options. “None of us really wanted the drama of traditional chair rental, we’re so close-knit,” says Cindy. “Then, I saw an ad for Salons by JC in Waite Park, MN, on my Instagram account, watched the video and sent them a text.”

Cindy and Andi toured the suites together, loved the business model and signed leases for side-by-side suites. When Lilly, who had moved out of state temporarily returned, she happily discovered that a suite right next to Cindy’s and Andi’s was available.

“Salons by JC is clean and safe, plus we can have our suites next to one another and still do wedding parties together,” says Cindy. “I loved having a salon for nine years and building an incredible business but now, I work about the same number of hours and keep significantly more money. The utilities and Wi-Fi are included in the rent, and I had the opportunity to get liability insurance for far less I’d get with an independent insurance agent. Sharon, the concierge, even does my laundry! When I owned a salon, there were times when after I paid the rent, utilities and other bills, I went unpaid, even though I had a large clientele.”

Men, Women and Prom-Goers

Cindy Christen at Salons by JC is known as an upscale but informal place that welcomes everyone. Cindy, who specializes in cuts, color and curly hair, sees as many men as she does women, partly because as the mother of three boys she can talk sports, but also because she stays on top of barbering trends and techniques.

“I’m always researching and looking for the newest thing,” she says. “I follow other artists who are on the cutting edge, whose work appeals to the everyday person. Because of my science background, I look for healthy products, such as hair color with no PPDs (CHI by Farouk). I also use AG Haircosmetics hair care because it contains no salt, parabens, DEA, gluten or sulfates.”

Cindy says her main goals are protect her health and the health of her clients, and make them feel good about themselves, whether they want a classic bob or purple hair color. “I always share ways to update looks like the bob, so that my clients can feel comfortable but stay current,” she adds. “I have curly hair myself and I know it’s difficult to find someone to cut it correctly—I fix a lot of other salon’s curly hair cuts.”

Additionally, because Cindy had a strong, supportive client base that followed her to her suite, she does tons of prom styling for girls whose mothers had brought them to her salon as grade schoolers. Now, as high schoolers, they not only trust her, they refer her to younger girls in their schools.

Thanks to the convenient Salons by JC location, Cindy not only maintained all her clients, she continually gets new ones. How? Through community involvement, such as styling wigs for plays and musicals (Steel Magnolias, Carmen) at the local theatre company, and by doing hair for a member of the Minnesota Dance Ensemble. Also, she always takes part in community fundraisers for causes her clients care about.

“It’s my way of being seen and keeping my name out there,” she says.

Now, Cindy is loving her new suite business and is staying stress-free by asking clients to pre-book their holiday services in October. “I want to see just how much I have to extend my hours for November and December,” she says. Once her books are nearly full, she can take off any days she wants, which is just another thing she loves about renting a suite at Salons by JC.

You can follow Cindy on Instagram: Cindy Christen
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Uncategorized

How this Triad shopping center owner is making sure his properties don’t become obsolete

Article by: John Brasier, published in the Triad Business Journal, November 2, 2017

Garret Bedrin believes reports on the demise of brick-and-mortar retail have been greatly exaggerated.

OK, so Bedrin didn’t steal that famous quip from Mark Twain.  But that’s the gist of his reply to nay-sayers who believe most shopping centers soon will be vacant or torn down and replaced with coffee shops and brewpubs catering to Amazon drone managers.

Bedrin, who oversees acquisitions and leasing for the New Jersey-based Bedrin Organization, is taking steps to prevent his family’s 14 shopping centers — seven of them are in the Triad —- from becoming obsolete.

Salons by JC franchises are at the forefront. The Bedrin Organization owns JC’s Triad territory.

Later this month, the company’s third franchise will open at Oak Hollow Village in High Point off Eastchester Drive. There are 53 Salons by JC locations in 20 states and Canada.

Bedrin already has JC locations open at Caldwell Court on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro and at St. George Square off Hanes Mall Boulevard in Winston-Salem.

Bedrin owns all three shopping centers.

“Who is getting their hair done online?” Bedrin posed. “This is the next phase of retail. I think beauty, boutique fitness and food will be the future concentration of retail centers.”

Garret Bedrin stands next to the floor plan near the entrance of the soon-to-open Salons by JC location at Oak Hollow Village.

The JC concept is a shared model. Bedrin will lease 26 suites averaging 112 square feet in its 4,756 square foot High Point location. Each stylist —some suites can accommodate two stylists — will be an independent
contractor. Bedrin will provide furnishings and equipment.

Bedrin said about half of the suites have been leased.

Amenities include a centralized vacuum system, temperature settings in each room and a concierge to greet and advise customers.

“They cost a lot,” Bedrin said. “But little things count.”

The approximate $600,000 upfit by New World Construction included an 800-square-foot, back addition that leads to a small outdoor break area.

Bedrin said the Triad territory was projected to be able to support a fourth franchise. But he has no firm plans for another site.

Though finding dozens of tenants — JC in Winston-Salem has 46 suites — can be tough, Bedrin pointed out that multiple tenants pay more in rent.

Bedrin said the concept fits in with his family’s history.

His grandfather, Murray, founded an office supply company. Murray’s two sons grew the company to include five stores before selling in 1998 to focus on real estate acquisitions.

Bedrin and cousin, Michael, who manages construction and development, now run the family business.

The Bedrins’ biggest Triad investment came in 2008 when they bought three Greensboro shopping centers —Battleground Plaza, Caldwell Court and Garden Square — for nearly $20 million from CBL & Associates Properties.

“This is a business we knew — we’re entrepreneurs,” Bedrin said. “We like working with entrepreneurs.”

He said the Triad’s lower property costs make it more attractive than Charlotte or the Triangle for his company’s business purposes.

The Bedrins also own Golden Gate Shopping Center, which it purchased over the summer, and Northwest Centre in Greensboro. They also own retail properties in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia.