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How to get a franchise concept up and running

Woman working at the Get Threaded Brow Bar franchise

Get Threaded founder Liz See has been working to release her unique ‘brow bar’ franchise concept across Australia and New Zealand since 2009, launching with just $5000 in the bank. See’s hard work has paid off though, with Australia’s first Get Threaded Brow & Beauty Bar opening its doors in Top Ryde this month, owned and operated by NSW Master Franchisee Evangelia Gkondra.

How did she do it? See reveals how she got her franchise system off the ground.

How do you build a franchise system with just $5000?

Over the last few years, I’ve worked seven days a week and up to 16 hours a day building the brand, the model and the systems. Although I had hard days, to me it was never ‘work’ as I could clearly see the long term goal. I started first with the training, was then able to licence our brand and I’m now franchising the business.

When asked about franchising, I always say if you can’t dedicate yourself to your business for a minimum of two to five years, you’re not ready for it.

Where should a business start if considering franchising?

The best place to start is to seek advice from professionals and educate yourself as much as possible. I had no in-depth knowledge of franchising, so the first thing I did was read the Franchising Code Of Conduct Compliance Manual. Yes, I did read all 130 pages of it!

To me, education is key. Even though I seek advice from professionals, I like to have at least a basic knowledge of things as at the end of the day the responsibility of the entire business falls to me if there ever was a problem.

What professionals should you have and how did you choose them?

A lawyer experienced in franchising is a must, as well as a good accountant – both of these professionals should have knowledge of intellectual property.

When choosing my team I did a lot of research and asked them a lot of questions until I felt comfortable they believed in my vision for the business. There are many law firms that say they look after franchising, but you need to do your research and obtain fixed quotes for documents if you can. Stephen Haarsma from Haarsma Lawyers looks after Get Threaded’s interests and when he gave me his mobile number along with the office numbers for contact when needed, I knew I had found the right match for me.

Any advice for other businesses to know if their business is worthy of franchising?

I would ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Can you see your business being replicated around Australia and possibly the world?
  2. Is there a specific point of difference that could make your business stand out from others?
  3. Do you have a model and systems that could be replicated by franchisees and would people be willing to pay for that system?
  4. Do you have strong branding?

Why did you make the choice to franchise and what is your point of difference?

Originally when I started Get Threaded, I was unsure what would unfold but I trusted in the feeling that I knew this was something that was going to be huge. I came across threading in the USA and on a return trip saw a franchise model that was seeing rapid expansion. It was a light bulb moment where I thought, we could actually do that!

On my return to Australia it was important to consider what our points of difference would be. As there was no accredited or formal training in Australia, we set about obtaining copyright for the government accredited course so we would become the only registered training organisation in Australia who could train the technique. There was no point having salons or franchise systems if we couldn’t train the franchisees and staff, and I’m a big believer of nationally accredited training. This point of difference enables Get Threaded to become the authority of the technique and builds instant trust with students, franchisees, staff and our clients.

Our second point of difference was branding our services as ‘as natural as possible’. Threading is a 100 percent natural form of hair removal, so it only made sense that we would align our other services in this manner and we’re the only threading company in the world to have this point of difference. Many people search out threading for the natural, non-invasive manner of the technique so it made perfect sense not to offer other services that went against this.

Our third point of difference is our level of service. We have eight core values, a strong mission and vision and everything surrounding our business revolves around these. From interviewing staff or selecting franchisees, all things come back to our values. The values enable us to deliver a new level of customer service to the beauty industry which from research was a particular factor that many clients found uncomfortable. With Get Threaded, we want every client to feel beautiful and celebrate their unique beauty.

Any final words?

Believe in your brand and your vision. If you don’t believe, no one else will.

Many people told me I could not sell a franchise concept without establishing stores myself. I’m happy to say I have proved them wrong!