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Meet the Stars of SBR

November 7, 2019

Is franchising your small business the right choice?

By: Jenna Paulus, PR Manager, Deluxe

Nooma is one of the small businesses in Searcy, Arkansas that we had the pleasure of working with this year on Season 4 of Small Business Revolution. Casey Cox and Nicole Hopkins started the business more than two years ago with one location in Searcy. Since then, they’ve opened two more locations in Arkansas: Little Rock and Rogers. However, they’re in a bit over their heads, with the Rogers location not turning a profit and relying upon the other locations for support.

The Deluxe team came in to give nooma a user-friendly website that tells their story better than ever before. We also gave them the tools to make ordering materials for all their locations easier. However, our team knew going into working with nooma that we needed to bring in an expert who could give them the tools and education they needed to learn more about franchising and if/when the choice is right for them.

Enter Stacy Anderson, Brand President at Anytime Fitness, the fastest growing fitness franchise in the world. Having been at Anytime for more than five years, Stacy has worked with many of their more than 4,000 franchise owners and knows a thing or two about what it takes to own a successful franchise operation. Currently, Casey and Nicole run the three locations they have, so they’re not quite utilizing the franchise model. When our team first met with them, they seemed like they were ready to start franchising, however, after taking a closer look, we realized they still needed some more time and education to move in that direction.

Stacy gave Casey and Nicole some great advice about how to think about their role in a future franchise. She explained that starting a franchise is less about Casey and Nicole being owners and more about them being teachers. Stacy shared the three tenants of franchising:

  • Operations: The original sites should be running smoothly before the owners attempt to franchise, so new franchisees will be comfortable opening their own locations.
  • Marketing: Casey and Nicole have to make sure marketing is in place for all locations and that they’re providing franchisees with the marketing tools to succeed.
  • Training: If they want to franchise, Casey and Nicole will have to invest in training all franchises in order to make sure they’re supporting the brand and operating the business the way Casey and Nicole have planned for nooma.

Stacy also gave them advice to get their current business to a better place in order to feel comfortable moving towards a franchise opportunity. One of those pieces of advice was figuring out a better way to price classes. They were setting their prices in Little Rock and Rogers at double what they had in Searcy, and in Searcy they consistently had waitlists, so Stacy suggested they raise their class price.

Finally, Stacy challenged them to focus on things they don’t love to do within the business, because those things are at the core, like building their foundation from an operational standpoint. Channeling their energy into the basics of the business and putting salaries in their budget for themselves will help them start to move forward and eventually be able to start playing around with the franchise model.

To see how Stacy’s advice to nooma worked out, watch the full episode.

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