POSTED IN Salons ON 30 August, 2018
30 Aug FG Sandbach, A Salon Built on Loyalty!
A salon built on Loyalty!
Mike Fenton has been the Franchisee of the Francesco Group salon in Sandbach since 2002. For Mike, his franchise is a truly commercial and creative partnership.
He joined Francesco Group with a strong commitment and vision and this has paid off. Mike is now the owner of one of Francesco Group’s most successful salons, FG Sandbach. Relying purely on traditional word-of-mouth advertising, he lets his dedication to high-end customer service and impeccable hairdressing speak for itself; with clients and staff alike demonstrating unwavering loyalty towards Mike’s charisma and passion.
This year Mike has been nominated for Franchisee of the Year at the British Hairdressing Business Awards; we’re so proud that Mike’s dedication to his team and clients is being recognised within the industry.
We sat down with Mike to discuss his career and the ideologies that led to his success.
What is your first memory of noticing really great hair?
Mike – I started my hairdressing career with Saks Hairdressing at age 16. But when I saw Vidal Sassoon craft the five-point-cut in a magazine, it was so inspirational, I loved being able to see someone create something that hadn’t been done before; it just ignited my passion for hair completely.
I loved being able to see someone create something that hadn’t been done before; it just ignited my passion for hair completely.
Why did you decide to apply for the BHBA’s this year?
Mike – I’ve been with Francesco Group for 16-years and I’m at the helm of one of their most successful salons. I don’t view this from an individual point of view, but from a team point of view; you can’t be Franchisee of the Year by yourself, you need your team behind you. I interpret the award as an appreciation for the team.
You can’t be Franchisee of the Year by yourself, you need your team behind you. I interpret the award as an appreciation for the team.
What is the one thing you wish that you had been told before embarking on a professional career running your own salon?
Mike – I don’t think there is anything I wish I’d been told beforehand; it had to be a ‘learn as you go’ experience. Everything is a learning curve. If you take too much information from people beforehand, it can be as negative as it is positive. In hairdressing you have to be passionate, you’ve got to enjoy what you do, and you’ve got to want to push yourself. If you have those three ingredients, you are destined for success.
What advice can you give to salon owners or those wanting to start up a salon business?
Mike – Initially, work in a really good environment, with a good leader and a team that have stayed; where employees have been there more than 10 years, that shows that the leader is doing something right. Be inspired by that leader and roll that into your own business. If you look after your people, they will look after you.
If you look after your people, they will look after you!
Your salon still has all of your original employees, what do you do to inspire such loyalty from your staff?
Mike – I enjoy working with them, I think nowadays you can be a manager without being a manager. Be a part of your team, be as pro-active and productive as your team. I think people look up to people who work hard; work five days a week like the rest of your team.
Who inspires you?
Mike – From a hairdressing point of view, we have access to a lot of people in Francesco Group who are extremely talented; Anya & Mia (Directors of Hairdressing) inspire me. For business, it comes from people I meet in my day-to-day life, people who run other businesses; solicitors, pub owners, restaurant owners, dentists! It may surprise you but what we do works hand in hand with high-end dentistry. Private dentists are running on client visits; you go to a particular dentist because you feel comfortable with them and you like what they do, and that translates well with the hairdressing business model.
It may surprise you but what we do works hand in hand with high-end dentistry.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Mike – Hairdressing. I’m 55 years old and I still enjoy it every day; I have no desire to come from behind the chair yet. I also love seeing other people happy, happy clients and a happy team. I’m so proud of our salon environment. My passion for hairdressing feeds my team and that is so important.
I’m so proud of our salon environment. My passion for hairdressing feeds my team and that is so important.
What makes you such a successful team?
Mike – You’ve got to be dynamic, I have a little saying ‘You turn one client to two, two clients to four and four clients to eight’. That’s the process we use here; that one client can potentially bring in eight new clients into the salon. We want clients to be so impressed and happy with their service that they can’t wait to tell their friends about us! We strongly believe in word of mouth, it is the only marketing method we employ.
We want clients to be so impressed and happy with their service that they can’t wait to tell their friends about us!
If you could cut or style anyone’s hair who would it be?
Mike – Grace Coddington, because I would love to see her again. She was Vidal Sassoon’s original 5-point-haircut girl and she is now known for having really vivid, red, curly hair and I would like to see her with a sleek haircut! From a business point of view, I’d love to have a chat with Anna Wintour, as she is a very intelligent business woman and I’d love to talk to her about all the amazing things she has done with American Vogue magazine. If I could travel back in time, I would also like to spend some time with Andy Warhol and experience some of his creative energy first-hand.
Grace Coddington & Anna Wintour
We wish Mike the best of luck at the British Hairdressing Business Awards; it is easily apparent that as far as his team and clients are concerned, he’s already a winner in their eyes!