Other franchises are “cutting salons.” They have a few extra services, but those services are pretty minor in terms of what they provide. The guest service and training and development model that we have allows franchisees to come in and step into a full-service hair salon environment and be well-supported and stronger than what I’ve seen from competitors. As we have more services, we also need to offer more training and education for those services.
— Michael Kuryllo, Southern California
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— John Prichard, Minneapolis
Fantastic Sams has been great for me. I wouldn’t go back and change it for the world. I wish I had done it five years earlier. I tell my salon managers that one of the reasons we’ve been so successful is that we have a balance. My stylists come at the business from a technical side, and I come at it from a customer’s side and from having a background in accounting. I feel like I know the level of customer service people want in salons because I’ve been a customer. Between us we’ve got it all covered.
— LaRonda Hunter, Fort Worth, TX
I never thought I’d own a hair salon. It was the furthest thing from my mind. But it made total sense, especially from an affordability standpoint. As it turned out, I didn’t really need to have experience in the hair and beauty field. It probably would have helped me if I had, but it wasn’t necessary.
— Earl Wise, Brighton, MI
I think sometimes previous salon experience can be a hindrance. Starting fresh helps you not have a paradigm in your head that holds you back. Fantastic Sams gives you everything you need to be successful. You are the background support system for the business — you’re not the one doing the haircuts.
— Rick Tonet, Pittsburgh, PA
I think it’s recession-resistant. Everybody needs haircuts. We offer family hair care at a mid-range price point. We are not going after the high-income folks, but I have stylists I’d put up against anybody — stylists who are very skilled and talented, as well as some who are young and whom we are developing. We offer a great value at a reasonable price.
— Jerry Dalzell, Scottsdale, AZ
Here in California we have a good brand. Fantastic Sams is known to be a full-service company that provides high-quality service at an affordable price. In terms of the experience, it’s like the difference between shopping at Walmart or Target and shopping at Macy’s. The difference in quality and style is clear, and the value proposition is totally different. We are more expensive than pure hair-cutting franchises, but we offer a much better cut — one that is comparable to a much more expensive salon.
— Marilyn Tokatly, California
Good operations make a big difference. I took over one salon that was struggling under a previous owner. I closed it for remodeling, re-opened it and I was quickly at break-even. One of the important things is to follow the model. Entrepreneurs tend to want to do it their own way — when I started, even though I said I wanted to follow a system, I often did my own thing. It slowed me down. My advice: Do what corporate tells you to do!