POSTED IN Franchising ON 09 January, 2019
09 Jan FG Northwich – Where Strong Family Values are the Key to Success
WHERE STRONG FAMILY VALUES ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Loretta Davies has been the Franchisee of Francesco Group Northwich for 10 years and during that time her salon has become one of the most successful within the Group.
Francesco Group is renowned for being a true family brand and Loretta’s salon in Northwich certainly supports that ethos; in 2009 Loretta’s Husband, Allan joined the team as Front of House Manager, shortly followed by her Daughter, Nicola as a salon Stylist.
We spoke to Loretta about her history with Francesco Group and why opening her salon with FG was the ideal choice.
Why did you choose to open your salon with Francesco Group?
I began my career with Francesco Group in the Northwich salon, originally as a Master Colour Expert, but then I got to the stage in my career where I wanted to progress and own my own business. I liked FG because of all of the training and the support I received whilst working for my franchisee and that’s what made me think that the group would be ideal for me. I felt I needed that business support from them, certainly in the early years. I just like FG! It’s a very friendly company, not pretentious; ideal for someone who is passionate about hairdressing and wants to do well. I was never made to feel like I couldn’t do it, I was completely supported by everyone.
We’ve just taken them to Magaluf on a three-night stay. We didn’t talk about work, we just got on as a team and chilled out and bonded!
How do you keep your team happy?
The main framework for the business is looking after the team; I minimize my turnover because I want my team to stay and be happy. I have a lot of senior team members who bring experience and maturity to the salon, as well as the younger members, which creates the perfect balance. It’s important to view each member of your team as an individual with individual needs. We do lots of things to support them in their home-life as well as work-life, ensuring that there’s an equilibrium. I think we’re an extended family. We’ve just taken them to Magaluf on a three-night stay and we didn’t talk about work, we just got on as a team and chilled out and bonded! It took us to another level of communication, we laughed together so much, they want to do it again next year!
I just like FG! It’s a very friendly company, not pretentious; ideal for someone who is passionate about hairdressing and wants to do well.
What makes Francesco Group a better business option over opening an independent salon?
The support at Head Office, especially in the early years. I’d say for the first 5 years of being a Franchisee you need that support and guidance. You wouldn’t get that if you were an independent, it would be quite a lonely place. As the business grows, you don’t need the Head Office team as much as you once did. You are given the space to run the business as you would like to, which is a bonus. Yes, we pay for royalties, but the Group’s buying power when it comes to manufacturers gives us added benefits. An independent salon wouldn’t get the amount of training we get, you’d pay more for a wages clerk and pay more for your accountant. So, I think it balances it out and you’ve got this great network of other franchisees too, so we get to know each other and ask for advice and information, you never feel alone with your problems.
I like mapping out the client experience and improving it.
What do you do that sets you apart from other salons?
If I asked that question to my team, I think that they would say that it’s the customer service we offer. The hairdressing side is a given, or it should be. If you’re working for a brand salon like this, you should be offering top service. It’s the difference between Tesco and Waitrose for me; when you walk into a store like Selfridges or Harvey Nicks you should be served by people who are well versed in their industry, they’ve got to have the knowledge and not be uncertain. I feel that Allan and I have set a standard across the salon and that is expected from everybody who works with us. It’s the little things that matter to a client; it’s the nice drink, it’s the clean salon, it’s being made to feel special every time you come in; it’s got to be absolutely spot on. Clients say to me “I never feel the same when I leave another salon as I do when I leave yours”, “When I leave this salon I feel like a princess”. That’s when I see the hard work paying off.
You’ve got to strive to be the best, to stay on top. It’s important to never grow stagnant and always be looking for what’s new and fresh to keep striving towards improvements for staff and clients alike. If you’re going to chat, chat to your client, make sure they are completely involved in the salon experience. I view our salon as their salon too and I think that’s what helps us to grow. I believe Francesco Group are the best salon Group in the country for standards and what we deliver.
You’ve got this great network of other franchisees too, so we get to know each other and ask for advice and information, so you never feel alone with your problems.
What is one thing you wish you had been told before embarking on a professional career running your own salon?
It’s important to know that you can never switch off; once you have your own company it’s not something you can step away from. You will always have phone-calls from staff if things go wrong, you will always be the number one contact. I felt prepared for that because I grew up with a family who ran their own businesses, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind before you take the leap! You will never really have a day off!
Client retention is also so important, we try to ensure that each client has a back-up stylist that they go to, so that if a stylist leaves, the client knows there is someone else who can do their hair just as well. We view client retention as something that the whole team is responsible for.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I’m starting to like the background business side more. I do still have a full column and work the same hours as everybody else, but I fit the business side in-between that. I would like more time to be able to do staff incentives and different things in the salon. I’ve never been as interested in the competitions side of the industry; I prefer to focus on the business and managing the team. I like mapping out the client experience and improving it.
Clients say to me “I never feel the same when I leave another salon as I do when I leave yours”, “When I leave this salon I feel like a princess”. That’s when I see the hard work paying off!
What are the core principles/values of your salon and have they changed over the years?
When I started running my own salon I knew that the most important thing was my team and my clientele. I view my team as the first row of clients, it’s about looking after them and in return they will look after the clients. If my staff are happy, they will ensure that clients have the pampering experience that they deserve. This ethos hasn’t changed at all; it remains my leading priority.
FRANCESCO GROUP NORTHWICH FRANCHISEE
It is clear that Loretta is always striving for improvement and this desire to always be better, paired with strong family values and a loyal team, ensures that her salon will always be one of the best.
Find out more about Franchising with Francesco Group here