And it’s not easy to become a Great Clips franchisee. Goggins said that while someone doesn’t need experience running a salon, they usually do need a net worth of at least $300,000, and owners must often open up two to three franchises before they can afford to quit their day jobs.
Managing from afar
Although the practice may boost income, attempting to run a business and work a full-time job simultaneously gives rise to obvious challenges.
“Any small business is a full-time job,” said Warren Lee Lewis, chair of the franchise and licensing practice at Akerman Senterfitt. “To put that on top of a regular job, it’s going to be difficult.”
Ken Piering is a chiropractor who has his own practice and also owns an Elements Therapeutic Massage in Owings Mill, Md., and he said he’s “pretty pleased” with his setup, in which a manager runs the day-to-day of the massage studio while he checks in periodically through an Internet-based system.
But the process hasn’t been without its hiccups: The original manager was not always able to be in the shop and had to be replaced, and Piering’s wife has had to come in occasionally when a front-desk employee called in sick.
Lewis said remote, Internet-based monitoring systems like the one Piering uses can help offsite owners watch sales throughout the day or even monitor the action in the store through a video camera. Great Clips, for instance, uses a proprietary software called Styleware that can pull 140 different reports on business metrics throughout the day.
“We also encourage our people to carefully screen employees before they hire them,” Goggins said. “If there are issues, quickly move on to someone else.”
Raju declined to name his employer but says his company knows he’s planning to open a franchise. He thinks he’ll be able to handle the human-resources aspect of his new venture by meeting with the staff regularly on evenings and weekends.
“It all starts with me—how I set my expectations and how I treat the manager,” he said. “If you hold people accountable, set their expectations and take care of their needs, I think it should work.”
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