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Huntington Beach: Success in the OC

Huntington Beach, known for its beautiful beaches in Southern California, is the newest home to Salons by JC. To use one word to describe this location would be, pivot. Owner Moin Hussaini, concierge Donna, and their suite owners have all had to pivot as they have had to adjust to obstacles since the location’s opening in June.

Salons by JC Huntington Beach located at Seacliff Village Plaza

Overcoming the Unknown in Huntington Beach

“I made a drastic decision in March. At that time I faced the prospect of an indefinite shutdown. My construction was stopped and my lease was starting in July. The landlord was completely unresponsive to my inquiries about abatement,” stated Moin Hussaini.  “I realized that if I wanted to lease quickly I’d need to provide added assurance to nervous beauty professionals about rent during shutdowns.”  Hussaini changed his messaging on his advertising to focus on the benefits of being in a salon suite during this pandemic.  He also emphasized being the only salon suites to have a full-time concierge to ensure protocols were followed and proper sanitation of the location.  

salons by jc franchisee
Huntington Beach owner, Moin Hussaini during the construction phase of his location

Moving away from fewer sales language on his ads helped him in working on his presence in the area.  “Messages were more empathetic to the shutdown impact.  No beauty professionals were seriously looking at that time given the uncertainty.”  Hussaini promoted his involvement in the business and also actively participated in all tours so that the potential suite owners would get acquainted with him.  “I heavily promoted my inclusion of a rent abatement clause in case of shutdowns.  This was what the industry was already doing, but adding the language to the contracts provided much-needed reassurance to scared prospects,” stated Hussaini.

salon suite
Beautifully decorated hallways at Salons by JC Huntington Beach

Working in Favor of Salon Suites

The Huntington Beach location along with our other California locations have been some of the hardest hit during this pandemic.  The California rules and regulations have been extremely strict.  Hussaini found that even with strict rules in California, they worked in favor of salon suites.  “Clients in salons had to keep 6 feet apart and effectively impose capacity constraints. Because salon suites are private and 1-on-1, we were automatically socially distanced and the capacity constraints did not apply. Additionally, the clientele was no longer allowed to wait in the lobby. They were summoned by their service provider by cell phone or text. And everyone was required to wear a mask.”

salon suite
Open breakroom

Masking was a main focus for Salons by JC Huntington Beach in order to keep everyone safe and has proved to be a difficult task at times.  “Huntington Beach is a prominent center of resistance to masking mandates. We had to strike a balance between making everyone feel safe, but not being too rigid. The tone I struck in all my communications was one of “convincing” rather than “telling”. I used evidence and reason and empathy in my emails.”  Hussaini’s background as a medical device executive at a ventilator company came in clutch as he drew upon personal experiences with victims of this disease.  

salon suite
The front desk at Huntington Beach decorated for the holidays

Creating that Safe Space

Great communication along with an outstanding concierge, Donna Culpepper, enabled the suite owners to feel comfortable in their new environment.  “Donna, our incredible concierge, was key to reinforcing the message on masking. She behaves like an owner. She loves to work and is particularly conscientious about creating a safe environment,” stated Hussaini.  Donna’s warm and bubbly personality made it easy for the suite owners and prospects to gravitate towards her.  “When prospects would visit competitors -where a tenant would show them around- and then come to us, the difference was clear. We had a community, the other spaces were just that -spaces.”

suite owners
Concierge Donna Culpepper with two suite owners

Picking the Right Business Model

Within the past few months, Hussaini and his location have endured a whirlwind of experiences and have successfully kept moving forward.  “I am much more confident now than I was before I started. I successfully launched a business in the hard of possible climates.”  Hussaini credits his success to choosing the right business model.  “Salons by JC salons suites are uniquely positioned to win. Not only are suites the future of salons, our quality, and the concierge are huge differentiators. If I had to give myself advice when I started, I’d just say don’t be nervous. It is going to work out better than you ever thought it would.”

Salons by JC is the premier salon suite franchise in the U.S with over 120 locations in 26 states and Canada.  For more information about the Salons by JC franchise, contact us here.

Blog is written by:

Marlene Romo Flores – Salons by JC Franchise Marketing Manager

 

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Business & Marketing Franchise News

Salon Suite Franchise Expands in Florida

The Florida market increased in salon suite franchises by 3 locations in the last few months.  Salons by JC opened up Kendall Palm, Brandon, and Orlando in the sunshine state.  Franchise veteran Denise Cooke and new franchisee Urjeet Patel were the latest to open their locations.  Remaining optimistic during a very stressful time aided both of them with successful location openings.

New Kid on the Block

Urjeet Patel recalls thinking what had he gotten himself into when all salons closed in his area.  “When I was still in the permitting phase, Florida went into shut down.” recalls Patel.  “I had secured real estate and signed a lease at the time so there were a hundred thoughts running through my head over an uncertain future.”   Those thoughts quickly vanished when Patel started his marketing campaigns for his Baldwin Park location in Orlando.  The interest from beauty professionals in the area gave him insight into exactly how many beauty professionals were looking for salon suites. 

Salons by JC Baldwin Park Owner, Urjeet Patel

Patel kept his intended marketing budget but made changes to his messaging.  Communicating that Salons by JC was a safe place to house their business during an uncertain time played a key role.  “Our messaging reassured beauty professionals that we would be a one on one experience as opposed to an open salon where many stylists and clients are at close proximity.  I believe this was crucial in securing suite owners during our construction phase and during our 1st month of opening,” stated Patel.   

Baldwin Park lobby decorated for the holiday season

Retention and Opening The Second Salon

Salon suite franchise owner Denise Cooke of Salons by JC Valrico opened her second location in Brandon, FL with a revamped strategy.  “We knew we needed to adapt quickly, communicate confidently and employ a solid safety plan based on the best available date so our suite owners could thrive,” stated Cooke.  She used the same strategy for both of her locations to ease the minds of her current salon suite owners and prospects.  “I increased organic social media posts and focused the messaging on social distancing, private suites, and how the suite life offers more control along with the ‘Salons by JC Cares’ campaign.”

Salons by JC Valrico and Brandon Owner, Denise Cooke

For the Brandon location, Cooke used storefront window wraps during pre-leasing that focused on safety and leasing in a controlled environment.  “Staying current on the ever-changing landscape of COVID was critical to communicating confidence to our prospects.   Attitude was key.”   The safety protocols employed in Valrico and Brandon were to create the safest environment for the suite owners and their guests.  “We implemented daily cleaning of high touch points by the concierge 3 times a day using a hospital-grade disinfectant with a 60 second kill time.  We shared the data of this disinfectant with our suite owners and made it available for purchase at our cost to them.”  Cooke also installed an air purification system on each HVAC, hand sanitizer stations, and implemented traffic control within the building.  These added touches brought peace of mind to her suite owners and their guests.

Salons by JC Brandon location

Effective Virtual Tours

Both Cooke and Patel utilized virtual meeting apps to be able to give tours for their interested leads.  “Not being able to take the potential suite owners to see the physical location was tough and we had to be innovative,” stated Patel.  “Zoom presentations helped my potential suite owners get a good feel about the salon and give them an idea of what Salons by JC are all about.”  Patel also created a power point presentation that he would review when speaking to his interested leads.  This allowed them to see the layout of the salon and also the limitless possibilities to help their business bloom.

Salons by JC Baldwin Park in Orlando

Cooke used GoToMeeting for every tour.  “I didn’t meet anyone until move-in day, it was unique but it worked.  In a lot of ways, this forced us to actually communicate more.  It gave us an opportunity to establish relationships before we opened.”  

Both franchisees expressed how the key to their success was making their suite owners feel confident about Salons by JC.  “I made sure that they were aware of our full-time concierge that not only keeps a watchful eye over who walks in and out of the building but also is responsible for the sanitation of the salon,” stated Patel.  At the Brandon location, tours were longer and conversations were lengthier than usual.  “This was an opportunity to demonstrate confidence, communicate our strategy and show how we can adapt and thrive,” stated Cooke.

Salons by JC Brandon

Suite Words of Wisdom 

We asked Cooke and Patel what words of advice they would give franchisees who are getting ready to open their first location or their next location during this time.  As Cooke put it, “Serve the food hot. Be genuine. The number one priority for the first year is building relationships, it is the foundation for success.”   With the hot topic of location health safety, Patel added, “stress the point that Salons by JC is the safer working environment over a traditional salon space.  Focusing your efforts on addressing all questions and concerns related to COVID in your marketing messaging will help get those leases signed.”  A firm understanding of the local competition’s culture and management is also a key strategic piece.  As Cooke stated, “it is not just lease pricing and current promotions, it’s knowing your competition in your market.”  A vital component to all Salons by JC locations is the concierge. Acquiring the right fit for your location is extremely important.  “The concierge is an invaluable resource to our salon suite franchise,” stated Patel.     Afterall, Salons by JC is the place to be.

 

Salons by JC is the premier salon suite franchise in the U.S with over 120 locations in 26 states and Canada.  For more information about the Salons by JC franchise, contact us here.

Blog is written by:

Marlene Romo Flores – Salons by JC Franchise Marketing Manager

 

 

 

Categories
Franchise News

Kendall Palm: Salon Suite Success During COVID-19

For Peter and Cyndi Scher opening their Salons by JC Kendall Palms location was going to be like clockwork for these seasoned salon suite veterans.  The 2019 Franchisees of the Year did not think that they would be going head to head with a new competitor to their market, COVID-19.

Pivotal Marketing Moves 

The Scher’s quickly went to work to make changes to an already successful marketing campaign.  “We changed our marketing from no weeks free to 4 weeks free, then 8 weeks free”, stated Cyndi Scher.  “Everyone who started with us on our opening day received 8 weeks free”.  They didn’t stop there.  Cyndi and Peter increased their marketing spend on Google and also began advertising in Spanish to reach their target market.  Their Kendale Lakes and Kendall Palm locations are located in the Miami-Dade area which is predominantly Latino markets. 

Salons by JC Kendall Palm

Suite Assurance

They made sure suite owners and their guests would feel comfortable and safe while coming to the location.  “The suite concept is a blessing during this time of social distancing. The suite owners can be in their suite one on one with their clients, wearing their masks, while having complete control of who they see.”  The Scher’s also put up signs in English and Spanish letting everyone know that masks were required at their location.  They also removed all seating to prevent anyone from lingering in the hallways.  “We also have a thorough cleaning service come to our location several times a week,” stated Peter Scher. 

The Concierge

Maribel, the Kendall Palm Concierge, has been a tremendous asset to the leasing success of this location during this pandemic.  “Our suite owners immediately feel at ease knowing Maribel is just as concerned about COVID-19 safety as they are,” stated Cyndi.  “She was available to help with furniture and product deliveries and leading each and every guest to their suite for services.” Maribel has been working with the Scher’s for over two years.  “Her overall knowledge of how the suites are managed, how she genuinely cares for each suite owner’s success, and her professionalism are felt by all of our potential suite owners when they inquire about leasing.”

Concierge, Maribel, and suite owner

Making Successful Adjustments

Peter and Cyndi rolled with the punches of this pandemic and have come out on top.  Cyndi has always practiced using FaceTime or WhatsApp Video to connect with her suite owners so it was not a far stretch for her to begin touring via these video apps.  “We toured using FaceTime and WhatsApp and also took all the necessary precautions and wear masks to make any potential suite owner feel comfortable when they arrived to tour in person,” stated Cyndi.  “We also always sent our tours to our Instagram page to view the suites we had featured.”  The Scher’s also stated that they were very patient and took the time to answer all questions presented to them.  

One of the many creative suites at the Kendall Palm location

 

Some Words of Advice

Cyndi and Peter cannot stress enough the important role their concierge played in communicating and being responsive during the early stage of the pandemic.  “Your concierge will make or break you.  If you have a fabulous concierge, then it will be that much easier to have prospects join your suites, retain suite owners, and referrals.  Pay them well, look for property management experience, and show your appreciation for them often!.”  Cyndi also added, “be ready to offer more free weeks than you have planned- you never know.”

Peter and Cyndi Scher

Salons by JC is the premier salon suite franchise in the U.S with over 120 locations in 26 states and Canada.  For more information about the Salons by JC franchise, contact us here.

Blog is written by:

Marlene Romo Flores – Salons by JC Franchise Marketing Manager