Salons by JC reached a new milestone this year. For the first time, the company became a Top 500® best franchise opportunity, according to Entrepreneur magazine’s highly respected annual franchise ranking. What propelled the company to new heights? Instead of hasty overexpansion, Salons by JC focused on strong, long-term sustainable growth.
“We spent the better part of 2013 tightening our systems and bringing in the best and brightest to ensure we could support our influx of new franchisees,” says co-founder Steve Griffey. “In 2014, we had a robust sales year that resulted in rapid store-opening growth, which could only be supported by the systems we spent 18 years perfecting.”
In 2015, Salons by JC moved to the forefront of digital offerings and SEO optimization. The company also became renowned for driving leads and providing creative options that keep its many franchisees and beauty/wellness specialists connected and engaged. For example, Salons by JC is the only salon-suite franchise that offers a Concierge to guide potential operators though the brand’s advantages, leasing fundamentals and customer services.
“I love the Concierge program, which lifts the professionalism of the business and provides safety, as well as a sense of camaraderie, among operators,” says Angie Kyle, who owns a Sparks, NV, location and is opening another in Las Vegas soon.
Before becoming a Salons by JC owner, Kyle worked for 25 years in Forbes 100 financial services companies. When she looked for franchise opportunities that involved multiple markets, she paid special attention to 2008 financials, she says, because it was a downturn period for many.
“Salons by JC was just as strong in 2008 as it was in other years,” says Kyle. “I also loved the extensive support. Salons by JC was involved in every aspect, from financing options and site selection to salon architects and marketing assistance. Salons by JC is head and shoulders above anyone else doing this.”
Franchisee Garret Bedrin also appreciated Salons by JC’s highly developed business model, which includes a dynamic three-day “Salon Fundamentals” training program. Bedrin, whose family has owned and operated shopping centers for three generations, says that because Salons by JC is also family operated, the company spoke his language.
“What we really connected with was how they methodically grew and fine-tuned operations through the years,” says Bedrin. “Within 30 days of opening our Greensboro, NC, Salons by JC, 95% of the suites were leased, and they have been 100% occupied throughout the year. We’ve already seen an ROI and will be opening a second location soon in Winston-Salem. We expect it will be full within 30 days of opening.”
Bedrin added that he knows he can build future business with Salons by JC, in part because of its unique support programs, like the Build Your Business Program, which his location tested after he and the company shared similar ideas.
“It allows us to give aggressive superstars the opportunity to start out with a highly discounted rent and then build a clientele over six months,” explains Bedrin. “The renters get strong support via Google rankings, Facebook ads and much more. The goal is to help them build as they move up to the real rental rate, and once they do, they remain loyal to us because we gave them a shot. We’ve already had two grads sign longer leases. You can’t share and execute ideas like this with most franchisors.”
Bedrin says he believes the salon model is recession resistant, and that a “well-planned and proven” suite-rental model like Salons by JC’s is the way of the future. One major study supports this: salon industry leader Modern Salon Media conducted a 2015 “Rental Realities” research project, which reveled that chair and suite rental is now the industry’s largest revenue segment, at an estimated $36 billion.
With 360-degree support that benefits franchisees, operators and guests, Salons by JC maintains a strong commitment to its proven model. Says Griffey, “We are continuing to develop our brand with new prototype designs and more marketing tools to support our franchisees in recruiting and retaining operators. We’re also developing an app that will offer operators and franchisees everything they need to run their businesses.”
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, Salons by JC opened its doors in 1998 in Dallas, TX, 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 53 locations in over 20 states and Canada. In 2016, Salons by JC plans to add 25 more locations throughout the U.S. and Canada and is committed to developing over 200 stores in all major markets over the next several years.
About Entrepreneur’s Top 500: Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 500 is considered the most comprehensive and respected franchise ranking in the world. Rankings are determined by a verifiable Full Financial Disclosure Document (or a Canadian Disclosure Document), and objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system, as well as the number of years a company has been in business, the length of time it’s been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether or not the company provides financing. Financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA.