Sweet & Sassy has a unique business model in an ever-growing industry. Read more about the industry here.
Can you tell us more about the industry that Sweet and Sassy is involved in?
We are a retail store, salon, and party place for girls and tweens. It's a great business because girls are always having birthdays, getting their haircut, and wanting to have fun with their friends.
How has your industry changed in the last 10-20 years?
It has changed significantly in the last 10 years. 10 years ago there was no special place for girls to be girls and get their hair cut and be pampered in a child-friendly way. They went to chains with their brothers. Ear-piercing was at a department store and not an experience. Most parties were at home 20 years ago. Riding to your party in a hot pink limousine for a nominal additional fee wasn't even an option!
What trends do you see in your industry over the next 5 years? Next 10 years? More growth and specialization. It's a niche industry and expanding as tweens want somewhere special for themselves.
What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate?
It is not something you can do as a hobby like some other franchises. You are running a retail store, salon, and party place all under one roof. It requires commitment and hard work to run well.
Why do you think Sweet & Sassy stands out in the industry?
We are the best. We have the best architects and store designers. Landlords want our concept, so we have the best locations. We find the best retail tween products and negotiate vendor discounts for the best retail. We update our parties to keep them current. Our marketing staff is exceptional and we have top-notch marketing and storefront material. It all comes together strategically to be very Sweet & Sassy and the ultimate place to shop, get pampered, or have a party.
What makes the Sweet & Sassy opportunity more attractive than your competitor's?
We have three businesses under one roof that all cross-sell each other for a higher average ticket price. Our architects, real estate consultant, store builder, retail vendors, marketing staff, and operational staff are exceptional and provide a high-end store that is strategic, professional, and where tweens want to be.
Describe the ideal candidate.
We learned the hard way what makes a great candidate. When we started, we sold to those who financially qualified and had good territories. As some owners floundered and others excelled, we learned that location was a factor, but also a strong work ethic from the owner, prior business experience, and a commitment to customer service excellence were also big factors needed for a successful store.
What's the strongest skill you require in a candidate?
Business experience and a strong work ethic.
Describe the working environment of your franchisees.
Our franchisees work in their stores. They motivate staff, greet customers, plan and order retail merchandise, and execute marketing plans. It is very much an on-your-feet people position.
Why has you're your company been successful?
Strong brand, strong store design, great parties, great retail products, commitment to serving our customers.
What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in your industry?
It's a more difficult industry than average. You are working with stylists, high school party coordinators, front staff, retail customers, marketers, etc. It is three businesses under one roof and the ability to multi-task and get the job done is critical. It is a commitment and not a side business or hobby.
How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?
Our successful owners do not have any salon experience (a common question), but do have 10+ years of business experience. Business experience and commitment to customer service excellence is a must.