HOW TO MARKET AND ADVERTISE A NEW SPORTS-THEMED FRANCHISE LOCATION
GAME ON: Long Island scores its first Sport Clips, marked by the Selden location’s grand opening celebration
The lure of franchising for many business owners is that they can start their own business without having to create everything from scratch. Franchisors have already done much of the leg work -- not to mention reduced or eliminated many of the risks that come with entrepreneurship -- by establishing the business model, building strong brand name recognition, and handling most of the marketing and advertising.
But this does not mean opening and running a franchise location is a shoe-in. The uptake in some markets can be faster and easier than in others. A major factor influencing this is the franchise's level of presence in the area prior to a new location opening.
A strong presence seeds the market with greater name recognition that franchisees can immediately use to build their business. A weak presence, or total lack of presence, typically leaves franchisees with a blank slate upon which they must create and build.
If you're considering franchising, it's worth looking at both scenarios to understand the challenges and opportunities each can present. Today, however, we wanted to tackle the road with more unknowns: What happens when a franchisee opens a location in a brand-new market?
DUDE DO’S: Sport Clips stylists provide just-for-guys haircuts
We turned to Manny Galanis to find out. Manny, along with family members Nick Galanis and Evan Galanis, and friend Tommy Regoukos, opened a Sport Clips location in Kimco's Independence Plaza shopping center in Selden, N.Y., earlier this year, and held their grand opening celebration in March. For the uninitiated, Sport Clips is a sports-themed hair salon franchise primarily for men and boys. With more than 875 locations in 39 states, Sport Clips is among the fastest growing franchises in America.
Selden is a hamlet in the town of Brookhaven on Long Island, N.Y. It's a strong sports town, host to a Little League team and many school athletic teams. This was one of the major reasons Sport Clips identified Selden as an ideal town for one of its franchise locations.
But there were no other Sport Clips on Long Island until Manny and team opened their location. Their biggest challenge was having to introduce the concept to the market, gain exposure, and begin to develop a customer base.
What happened next is the topic of our recent interview with Manny. Play our podcast to find out why the business partners decided to open the first Sport Clips franchise location on Long Island, what business challenges they've met, and how they're overcoming them through a focused franchise marketing and advertising plan. You might hear some ideas you'll want to borrow.
Or, use the time code index to click ahead to certain parts.
- 0:44 About Sport Clips
- 1:07 About the Selden Sport Clips location
- 1:44 What differentiates Sport Clips from other male-targeted hair salons in the Selden area
- 2:20 About the MVP Sport Clips experience
- 2:58 Size of the Selden Sport Clips location
- 3:14 Why the owners wanted to open a Sport Clips franchise location
- 4:47 Why the owners thought there was a need for Sport Clips in Selden
- 5:18 How the Selden Sport Clips grand opening celebration went
- 6:04 The most important way the owners plan to convert Long Islanders to Sport Clips
- 6:50 Marketing and advertising challenges faced when opening the new franchise location
- 7:27 The owners' marketing and advertising plans to build the Sport Clips brand on Long Island
- 8:28 How the owners are using Little League sponsorships and school athletic team promotions to raise awareness for Sport Clips
- 9:01 How the owners will implement new franchise marketing plans for every sports season
A WINNING COMBINATION: The Sport Clips MVP Experience includes a haircut, scalp massage, steamed towel treatment, and neck and shoulder massage
You can also listen to the podcast on your computer or save it to your mp3 player and listen to it on the go. Right-click our Sport Clips podcast link, and click "save link as" to save the podcast to your computer. You can also read our Sport Clips transcript here.
To follow more of the owners' marketing plans and promotions, visit the Selden Sport Clips website. You can also see some of Sport Clips' overall franchise marketing in action on the Sport Clips Twitter and Facebook pages.
Lastly, while we're on the topic of franchising, you can also find more help for starting your own franchise location through Kimco's new FastTrack Franchise program. Our FastTrack Franchise blog post and FastTrack Franchise webpage have more details.