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Dec, 02 2015

Supporting franchisees in thick and thin

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 am a college pass out and willing to open a salon franchise. Are there any loans and subsidies?

Preeti Bhatnagar, Dehradun

We know how difficult it is when you have this desire to start your own business and you have built up a picture in your mind as to how exactly you will run it, and then finances bring you to a full stop. Naturals has tie ups in place with banks like Bharat Mahila Bank and Indian Overseas Bank to provide collateral free loans to women entrepreneurs to ensure their dreams are brought to fruition.

Are the spaces for beauty retail increasing in malls or high streets? Kindly suggest as I want to open a cosmetics outlet.

Akashdeep Rautela, Lucknow

Just walk into any mall and the answer to your question is evident! Beauty retail products constitute a good proportion of the products in any store. Today, with the market opening up in our country, you can find all the best international and Indian brands jostling for your attention. A word of advice: do the necessary research into the brands you wish to tie up with and the market trends and requirements in the location you are planning to open your outlet before you invest in your outlet.

I am residing in a hill station which is also a tourist destination. My question is, is it feasible for me to open a franchise salon of a big beauty and wellness brand here? Will there be any extra support from the franchisor?

Meher Pirzad, Ludhiana

We do have Naturals salons in Ooty and Coonoor, which are hill stations as well as tourist destinations. Running a business here is like running any other business in locations where access is challenging. Matters like product ordering, staff recruitment and maintenance work will have to be well planned in advanced, if the said resources are not available in the area where you plan to open your salon. But this can be the case anywhere with any business. The franchisor is bound to support you in all ways the other franchisees in various regions are being supported.

How simple are the procedures to open a franchise? Is it very tedious?

Zohra Naqvi, Navi Mumbai

Opening a franchise involves investing your hard earned money so our take on this matter will be that no matter how tedious and time consuming you find the procedures, give them your full attention and time required. We have always cautioned investors to do their homework thoroughly before venturing into any investment. Brands do try to simplify the opening procedures as much as possible. For example, at Naturals once you have signed on we have an entire team which will take over all the details of setting up the salon, from interiors, to recruitment, to ordering of products, to training, to software, etc.

With staff recruitment being a challenge how will I get staff when I need them?

Kapil Mathai, Thrissur

Manpower, specially trained manpower, is the biggest challenge the beauty and wellness industry faces today. Many franchisors supply the initial manpower and training is often done on the job. Look for a brand who will assure you trained staff from the beginning, as on the job training does require some previous experience. At Naturals, we go the extra mile and ensure we provide you with a trained team at the start and also replacement of staff throughout your franchise period with us.

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