BUSINESS BUILT ON BEAUTY
Written on the 13 September 2012
A BRISBANE beauty services franchise network is rapidly expanding thanks to the drive of its owner and a target-specific digital campaign.
Owner Francesca Webster (pictured) says there are two types of customers who visit her beauty salons – those who are proud to be pampered and those who see the treatments as a means-to-an-end.
In both instances, the clients still want consistent, professional, clean and timely service, she says.
Delivering on those expectations since it was established in 2004 has seen Webster’s Brazilian Beauty (BB) chain grow from one outlet to 14 stores across Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
BB employs 95 staff and turned over $8 million in the 2012 financial year, representing an 8 per cent increase on the previous fiscal period.
Webster hopes to better this result in FY13 through opening more franchises.
“I have held talks with parties and would like people who already have a wellestablished business, location, fit-out and foundation,” she says.
“I want to take on businesses that can ‘woo’ us when asked what their exit strategy is, whether their sale price, turnover and expenses will improve as a result of our rebranding.”
About 97 per cent of BB’s 10,000 monthly customer numbers are female. To cater to that client base, Webster has established a beauty community for customers through BB’s Facebook page, which has attracted more than 7600 likes.
“We want to have it as a great reference point, forum, blog, VIP club registration and loyalty discount hub for members who want an up-tempo beauty experience,” she says.
“In the early days, radio was our near 100 per cent advertising medium with a bit of print, flyers and magazines.
“However, we now spend 70 per cent of our marketing budget on digital ads. Digital marketing is remarkably measurable as we can look at the statistics to see if customers made a booking as a result of our ads.”
BB operates the Australian Skin Institute as a flagship to sell the Pure Potent-C facial products range.
The business recently experienced a jump in demand for waxing, eyelash extensions, light-emitting diode (LED) facials, superintense pulsed light (SIPL) hair removal and SIPL skin rejuvenation.
However, Webster anticipates a further increase in LED and SIPL treatments for tattoo removal and weight-loss programs during the next few years.
“In some cases each machine can cost $150,000-200,000. Our extremely good relationship with suppliers has allowed us to upgrade machines for zero cost,” she says.
“We license the machines for an ongoing term, pay zero maintenance charges and have them replaced within 24 hours when something breaks down.”
She reveals BB utilises 100 per cent of its Shortcuts salon management software.
“We achieve this by reporting daily, weekly and monthly. We also run one-on-one staff meetings and organise paid training,” she says.
BB runs six promotional sales each year on a bi-monthly basis, targeting service areas that require growth.
However, Webster does not believe that discounting is a long-term drawcard for a profitable business.
“It can be a call to action, but many of our competitors offer discounts to get people in without backing it up with good service,” she says.
“It is the level of service that keeps clients coming through our doors.”