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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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