What you need to succeedApril 10, 2018
Fantastic Sams’ franchisee support goes above and beyond what most competitors offer. See how our Western operations VP makes that happen.
For the past year or so, Catia Morgan, Vice President of Salon Operations-West, has been getting her feet wet in the salon franchise industry. Although it might be more accurate to say she dove in head first. With a region that stretches from Louisiana to California, the experienced franchise executive has been keeping busy providing hundreds of Fantastic Sams franchise owners with the tools they need to succeed. Morgan honed her skills in franchising with brands including Dunkin’ Donuts, Togo’s Sandwiches, Mrs. Fields and TCBY, and she has a deep understanding of what franchise owners need. “We’re looking to be partners with franchisees – that’s really our goal,” Morgan says.
Here’s what Morgan had to say about the emphasis on Fantastic Sams franchisee support and how she carries out that mission.
What is your background in franchising?
I’ve actually been in franchising most of my career, for about 20 years now. Most of my franchising background has been in the food industry working as a director of operations. So, this is pretty much my first venture in the salon industry, and I love it.
Tell me about the role you’re in now. What do you do for your region?
As a VP for operations, my role for the region is to make sure I’m working on systems that help the franchisee to maintain profitability in their salon, making sure they have the tools needed to succeed in the business. So, that could mean providing the franchisee with best practices such as real estate site review, with lease discussions – anything that touches the franchisee operationally would be under my area.
Is your interaction with franchisees mostly during ramp-up, or does it continue throughout the life of the franchise agreement?
I’m with them from the beginning until forever, pretty much. I feel it’s very important to be in touch with your franchisees, so I’m very big on being out in the field with my regional directors. I like to visit my salons and meet with my franchisees. I enjoy having conversations with them, seeing how they’re feeling, how the culture’s treating them. I also enjoy attending owner’s meetings with my regional directors. This way if there are any concerns or any questions that they have, I’m there in person to answer those and help guide them through the process.
Ramp-up and grand opening support is pretty standard in franchising. What happens when someone’s been a Fantastic Sams franchisee for a while? What kind of support should they expect at that stage?
The support for them is different from someone who’s just starting out. It’s more about building their infrastructure. So, as they move forward with developing more salons, or keeping the life of their salons, it’s important to make sure that we’re supporting them with higher-level best practices management training, profitability training… It becomes more of a business-coach relationship rather than hands-on or being in the salon every day to help them start the business. The support is centered around helping them succeed with their infrastructure, and making sure that they continue to have profitability moving forward.
How does support differ for owner-operators vs. multi-unit salon franchise owners?
The relationship with an established owner-operator could be more of a partnership. I like to have relationships with them where we are sharing ideas and best practices and using them to be mentors for other franchisees as well. Especially for new franchisees coming in, the more experienced owners can help them grow to their business levels. Again, it’s more of a higher level of support than for a new franchisee. So, it’s really more of a partnership to encourage them to mentor others and continue to keep them motivated to keep improving.
Are there any territories in your region that you’re targeting for growth?
We’ve had tremendous growth in the Southern California area, especially in the Los Angeles area, and even in our Utah area. Texas growth has been amazing as well. Right now, Northern California has tremendous opportunities to grow. Also, Central California, particularly Bakersfield and Fresno. Arizona is another area for potential growth.
Is there anything else you think prospective buyers should know about Fantastic Sams’ franchisee support or about the opportunity?
I think one of the biggest things that makes us a little bit different as a franchise organization is we have so much support available for franchisees. From the beginning stages all the way through, we have educators, we have franchise business consultants that are there to help them, we have regional directors that are there to support them and help them with best practices and bring them together into the community. And a lot of our competitors don’t offer all of that. We offer ongoing training for them and their team, and I think that’s very important. They always have a partner next to them to help guide them through the process.
Learn more about opportunities in the Western U.S.
If you’d like to learn more about franchising opportunities with Fantastic Sams in our Western territories, you can contact Catia Morgan at [email protected]. You can also explore our research pages, or fill out the form on this page and someone will be in contact with you.