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Mar, 02 2016

Of the women, by the women, for the women

Are you new in franchise arena and have several questions regarding initial risks and challenges of this unique business model? Well, here we bring the answers to all our readers' franchising queries via this regular column of expert's advice.

I own a women only salon brand in Bangalore and would like to expand within south India only. Could you please suggest, whether conversion franchising will be feasible for my brand at this initial stage or should I for fresh start?

Preethi Karthik, Bangalore

As a franchisor, it is ideal to be open to all types of franchising. However, from our experience we find that re-franchising or conversion franchising usually forms only a small percentage of our numbers. The disadvantage with conversion franchising is that it involves many changes to be made not only in terms of interiors, but also in terms of processes, training and service procedures. Also, we feel that it is the franchise partner who is ultimately the more important one and hence you should focus on choosing franchise partners who are like minded and have similar ideals and passion to make their mark in the salon industry

Does it matter whether women or men runs a salon franchise outlet? Or do you think women are better managers?

Rohit Handa, Mumbai

As a brand with almost 85% of our franchise partners being women entrepreneurs, there is only one answer we can give! No- we feel it does not matter whether the franchise partner is a man or a woman, and yes, we definitely feel women are great at multi tasking and so they are equipped with all skills that make them better managers. Running a house is something that comes effortlessly to women, and if one thinks about it, the multi tasking that goes on in the administration of a house is tremendous.

What all challenges do women entrepreneurs face? How should a franchisor help them in tackling the challenges?

Jaskaran Chauhan, Chandigarh

A major challenge often faced in the setting up stage of a store is the procurement of funds. It will help if the franchisor has tie ups with financial institutions to facilitate this entire process. The franchisor should also be able to help the franchisee with interiors, recruitment of staff, training, putting marketing campaigns into place, etc. There should be an Operations team who will visit the store frequently to ensure business is moving well, and assess what requirements there are, if any. In addition to this, a women entrepreneur has many demands on her time, and if the franchisor can further help her in recruiting a store manager who will handle the day to day affairs of the store, it would be an added bonus.

As a franchise partner, why am I not given the freedom to run my own business campaigns? After all I will have a clear idea what will move in my locality after my experience in running the business.

Shikta Deo, Thane

There are two main aspects to marketing in any brand. One is ATL, handled by the brand itself, which largely focuses on print and media advertising, with a national or regional reach, depending on the campaign in question. In such cases, the decisions are taken by the brand, from a holistic point of view. BTL campaigns for each store are usually decided in coordination with the franchise partner, who as you rightly say, will have a very clear idea of what moves best in his or her locality, but the input of the regional team is equally necessary based on their experience of handling similar campaigns in the past.

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