1. Understand it’s a big commitment
“I wanted to launch a salon focused solely on skincare after seeing several businesses successfully specialising in just one service, such as waxing or nails, but I didn’t want to go it alone. I knew opening a franchise would be a long-term commitment – the agreement with Guinot is minimum 10 years – so I had to think about it long and hard. However, I had worked with the brand in some capacity since 2006 and knew the products and treatments delivered results, so I joined the Guinot franchise scheme and opened my salon in Earlsfield in November 2015.”
2. Be prepared to invest
“To become a franchisee with a leading brand you have to pay to join the franchise network – the initial fee with Guinot was £7,500. However, although there’s an upfront cost, the brand is instrumental in helping you get your salon off the ground, working with you on the business plan, planning permission and legal aspects around required licensing. Plus, banks tend to see franchises as a safer business option because there’s more of a chance of succeeding, so you’ve got a better chance of securing a loan.
“Once up and running, there’s also a monthly cost involved; with Guinot you pay it 2.5% of your monthly treatment turnover, but it’s not for nothing. You have access to a dedicated marketing team who write your marketing calendar for the year, and every six weeks the materials delivered are delivered to your door, ranging from posters and wording for emails or social media posts, to step-by-step advice on how your therapists should sell the new offers or treatments to clients. It’s like someone is holding your hand every step of the way.”
3. Read the finer details
“If you want to be a franchise salon it’s advised that you become a limited company and are VAT registered, so set this up as soon as you can. The location of your salon is entirely up to you but make sure you’re not positioned too close to another franchisee and check out the local clientele to see if it matches your offering.
“However, there are rules regarding what the premises needs. For example, to become a Guinot franchise, your property must be at ground level on a busy high street, have a shop front with a window and include at least two treatment rooms. You can’t shop around for furniture either as it has to be official franchise pieces you buy from the company, from the sink units and trolleys, to reception desk and retail display shelves.”
4.You become part of a family
“The thing I like most about being a franchisee is that the support doesn’t stop once your business is open, which is one of the reasons I chose this option. The brand is putting its name on your business so it wants you to succeed, which is why the company checks to see if you’re reaching your goals, and if not, it will look at what can be done to help you get people in, such as creating exclusive offers. Also, the network is full of other franchisees who are in the same boat as you, which is great for knowledge sharing. We’re a close-knit group that talks constantly via WhatsApp. We’re a little family.”