Beauty on the move: how one start-up grew by staying mobile
Sunday 24 July 2005
Cathy Stewart, 45, and Ros Lewis, 40, launched their first beauty treatment studio in Witney, Oxfordshire with three members of staff. The perceived wisdom was that a high-street "flagship" studio was essential but the founders also believed many customers were based in smaller villages. "We searched for a city flagship studio," explains Cathy, "but that's when the problems started. Landlords weren't prepared to rent city-centre outlets to an unknown business although this turned out to be a blessing in disguise."
"Lots of enquiries had started to come in about providing a mobile service," says Ros, "and so we looked at what would be involved." After a lot of research the founders decided to develop a franchise model for their business and so enlisted the help of the British Franchise Association (01491 578 050). The BFA assesses and accredits franchising companies against a criteria that includes business structure, terms of contract between franchisor and franchisee, and its success as a franchise. Plus, all members of the BFA are vetted against a strict code of business practice which was, as Cathy points out: "A very worthwhile exercise because the BFA examined every aspect of our business."
The duo launched a pilot programme for their mobile franchise operation with just three women. It was so successful they now have 31 mobile franchisees in addition to their two studios. And, they've been able to attract top suppliers as well. Jeremy Bacon, sales and marketing director of Australian Bodycare, says: "We linked with Cuticles in November 2004, impressed by their innovative concept of 'beauty on the move', and have watched them grow from strength to strength, offering a unique and professional service."
The concept of a franchised business is very appealing to those that seek the flexibility of their own business but want a ready-made format with back-up when they need it. Carole Loftus, the first Cuticles franchisee, says: "Whenever I doubt myself or feel lonely, all I have to do is pick up the phone and the company is there to support and encourage me." So, what's next - rolling out the model nationwide? "Certainly," says Ros, "but we're also looking at opening our own school of beauty to offer training for our franchisees."
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...