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Monthly Archives: March 2017

retail franchise opportunities

Love Retail But Want Something More? Look for a Retail Franchise Opportunities for the Perfect Fit

A career in retail is fun, upbeat, and certainly never boring. But for many of us, simply being a sales associate is not fulfilling on its own. Enter retail franchise opportunities, in which you get to enjoy the same benefits of working in retail with the independence of owning your own business.

We’ve taken some of the reasons that you may love working in retail and explained why these same perks apply to franchising as well!

Work with People in Retail Franchise Opportunities

If you are a real people person and you love the constantly changing experience of working closely in customer service, you already know that retail is a great choice for you. Helping customers find the right outfit or gift, taking care of their needs and concerns, and seeing their smiling faces at the end of a transaction are some of the special benefits that you get working in retail.

Owning a retail franchise gives you all these opportunities to work closely with your customers and create an amazing shopping experience. Even better, as the owner, you have the power to make decisions that improve your customers’ shopping experience even more than a friendly smile. As the owner, you are directly impacted by your customers’ happiness, so creating a good experience for them is doubly rewarding.

Be on the Move

In retail, especially clothing boutiques, you are constantly on the move—literally! It is estimated that retail workers walk three miles every day as they put out products, help customers, and work the cash registers. Retail workers’ minds are also always on the move, as each day brings a new experience, a new challenge, and a new set of customers to help.

Not spending your days sitting at a desk is probably what appeals to you most about working in retail. As a franchise owner, your responsibilities include more than just customer service. You will learn new skills that help you operate your business.

Enjoy a Flexible Schedule

As a retail employee, the hours can be extremely flexible because retail stores tend to open in the morning and close in the late evening, including staying open on weekends. Career retailers love this because they know that they can work a full week without ever missing the important things in life.

As a franchise owner, you get to enjoy this same kind of flexibility. Do you need to have afternoons off for school pickup? Are you a night owl who prefers starting work at noon instead of early in the morning? Once you get your franchise up and running, you have the freedom to work the hours that suit you!

This kind of flexibility is one of the biggest perks of franchising. The ability to make the kinds of decisions that impact your life is incredibly rewarding, and there are few careers that make this possible. Taking advantage of the Apricot Lane Boutique retail franchise opportunity gives you the chance to build the career that you want without sacrificing your personal life.

Sources:

http://www.shoesforcrews.com/blog/life-work/much-walk-work-infographic/

  • March 31, 2017
  • Blog
fashion clothing stores myths

4 Myths about Franchising in Fashion Clothing Stores

4 Myths about Franchising in Fashion Clothing Stores

As you learn more about investing in a franchise, you will probably come across several myths that are prevalent in the industry. These myths can be discouraging, keeping you from following your dreams to be a business owner. We are here to dispel some of the common myths about franchising in fashion clothing stores, and set the record straight on owning a business in this exciting industry.

Myth # 1: Corporate Chooses All the Clothing Styles

We get it. Most of our franchisees are stylish, confident women with an eye for merchandise that other stylish women will want to buy, and they worry that working with a franchise will stifle their personal style. In some fashion clothing store franchises, it is true that corporate chooses all the merchandise that is for sale, so each franchise sells the same clothing styles and accessories.

Other franchise opportunities, however, allow their franchise owners to call the shots and choose the styles for sale (for example, Apricot Lane Boutique), to get a unique feeling in each and every store. When you own a fashion-clothing store, you can take pride in hand selecting fine merchandise from the designers with whom the company has relationships. You know your market and your community better than anyone at a corporate office, so it makes sense that you choose the apparel and accessories that you sell.

Don’t want to choose all the styles for sale? Fashion boutique franchises typically have resources at your disposal to help you choose the merchandise that will fit together and work well in your store, including style experts and other franchise owners. Apricot Lane works with buyers out of Los Angeles and some of the biggest fashion trade shows in the nation to find styles that are fresh off the runway, so you will never have trouble choosing what to sell in your store.

Myth #2: Fashion Clothing Stores Franchises Do Not See a Big ROI

It is common for people to think that fashion clothing stores require a big upfront investment and do not see a high return. How this myth continues is a mystery, because the clothing, apparel, and accessories industries ring-up billions in gross sales each year across the world.

Worldwide, women’s wear surpassed $614 billion in annual revenue in 2014, and the American market is key to those sales. Americans spend more than consumers in any other country, spending an average of $2,000 per household each year on clothing, accessories, and shoes.

Sales in fashion clothing stores have real potential to make an investment in a franchise well worth it. Choosing a franchise that has a good online presence is also important, as consumers are shopping online now more than ever. If your customers can order from your store online as well as in person, you have a much higher chance of earning their repeat business.

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Myth #3: Franchise Owners Must Have Previous Business Owner Experience

We won’t sugar coat it for you: owning a fashion-clothing store is quite a bit of work. Many people think that they will not be eligible to own a fashion franchise if they have never owned a business before, but this is simply not true.

The great thing about investing in a franchise is that they train you on all aspects of the business, so you will be fully prepared to operate your business on your own by the time it opens. Franchises have all the resources that new owners need to get started, saving you the work of coming up with the nuts and bolts of starting a business. A franchise already has operations, training, products, policies, and more in place, so you can spend the time to learn the system without starting from scratch.

Myth #4: Corporate Rules Take Away Creativity

This myth is related to Myth #1, but it applies to more than just the merchandise. There is a lot of creativity involved in owning a business, whether you are trying a new marketing technique or promotion.

It is true that franchises have ironed out a lot of the wrinkles of owning a business, and they have processes and programs in place because they have been proven to work; however, there is still room for creativity within your store and your market, where you make the decisions. Don’t forget to check with the home office before you go off book.

Apricot Lane offers a fashion clothing store franchise opportunity to hard-working, business-minded people all over the country. If you want to learn more about our franchise opportunity, contact us! We will walk you through what it takes to get started.

  • March 24, 2017
  • Blog
opening a franchise investment

5 Costs to Take into Account When Opening a Franchise

A smart investor looks at all the pros and cons of each investment, carefully weighing options before handing anyone their hard earned money. Investing in a franchise is no different, especially because it is a large-scale investment with potential for a great return.

As you prepare to make an investment in an exciting opportunity, take a look at 5 costs to take into account when you are opening a franchise.

#1 Location

Type of Expense: Ongoing

We all know the saying: the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location. This is never truer than when you are opening a franchise. The location you choose can literally make or break your business, so choosing the right location is essential.

The reason that your location is an ongoing expense is because you will be paying rent or a mortgage on the space, and prime real estate can be pricey. For most franchise concepts, like the Apricot Lane Boutique franchise, a desirable location is worth every penny, as the right traffic—both on foot and by car—brings impressions by as many as thousands of people every day.

Most franchisors have teams in place to help you choose the optimal location for your franchise, because this is the most important decision you will make when you invest. Thorough market research, investigation of the neighborhood, and lease negotiation are essential to making the most of this expense.

#2 Store Build Out

Type of Expense: One Time

Once you have chosen the right location, you will need to take the time and spend the money to turn it into the beautiful store of your dreams. Because you are investing in a franchise, there will be certain guidelines you must adhere to as far as the appearance of the store.

The franchisor determines things like signage, paint color, fixtures, and even square footage, as they are building a large and cohesive brand that feels familiar in any location. Building out your store can take time, but once it is done you will have a beautiful store.

#3 Merchandise

Type of Expense: Ongoing

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many franchisees forget to think about the expense of merchandise. Opening a franchise in clothing and apparel means that merchandise will be a consistent cost for which you need to take account.

Owning a franchise that relies on merchandise for your income requires an upfront investment to get your store going. This investment is the foundation on which you will build your franchise’s income, and then as time goes on, you can balance the cost of buying your new merchandise with the money you are bringing in from sales.

#4 Grand Opening

Type of Expense: One Time

After you have put in all the work researching your franchise, finding a perfect location, and building the perfect store, it is time to have a grand opening! This is an exciting moment for any franchisee, whether they work in a hands-on or hands-off capacity. All the hard work of the last few months comes together when your employees are trained and customers are happily shopping!

As you prepare for your grand opening, you will need to invest in quality marketing to attract people to your store. Create a buzz around your store with local ads on TV, radio, social media, print, and any other relevant medium. You can make your grand opening more exciting for employees and customers with things like catered food, live music, and attention-getting things like balloons and banners.

The costs you incur advertising and drawing attention to your grand opening are well worth it when you have a store full of customers and a happily ringing cash register!

#5 Initial Franchise Fee When Opening a Franchise

Type of Expense: One Time

The one-time initial franchise fee is an important part of your investment in a franchise. As far as expenses go, the initial franchise fee gives you a lot of bang for your buck because you get so much from this one-time fee. The franchise fee is what grants you access to a number of franchise resources, including:

  • Brand name
  • Logos and trademarks
  • Operating systems
  • Site selection assistance
  • Market research
  • Preferred vendors for equipment, furnishings, signs, and merchandise
  • Operating manual
  • Training before opening and on location
  • Assistance with grand opening
  • Computer programs

The initial franchise fee is well worth the expense because it saves you the time and struggle of creating a thorough business plan on your own. Even better, the systems, processes, and best practices have all been proven over time, saving you from the headache of going through trial and error on your own.

If you are ready to invest in a franchise opportunity that is a cut above the rest, contact Apricot Lane! We are the clothing franchise with a special focus on on-trend women’s clothing, apparel, and accessories, and we are looking for smart, driven people to be our newest franchise owners.

  • March 17, 2017
  • Blog
boutique franchise ownership

Enjoy the Independence of Working for Yourself but Not by Yourself with an Apricot Lane Boutique Franchise

What does it mean to work for yourself? Independence? Check. Flexibility? Check. Pride? Check. Self-empowerment? Check! Working for yourself requires hard work and dedication, but it can be some of the most rewarding work there is.

Working for yourself doesn’t have to mean working by yourself. When you think of being your own boss, you probably think about people who start their own companies based on unique ideas and an understanding of business management. The fact is that most people don’t have an amazing business idea or the knowledge of how to get it started and turn it into a success, which discourages them from following the dream to be their own boss.

What you may not realize is that investing in a franchise allows you to be your own boss without missing out on the support of an experienced network. Owning a franchise gives you many of the same perks as entrepreneurship, with the added benefits of a proven business model!

These are just some of the ways that owning a franchise allows you to work for yourself but not by yourself.

Boutique Franchise Mentorship

By all accounts, the small business community is an inclusive one. Building relationships with other small entrepreneurs in your community is a smart way to improve your skills and learn about business ownership. You should always be networking within your community to find mentors, partners, customers, and employees.

When you work with a franchise brand, you have a built-in network before you even start. Many companies have franchise owners across the nation, or even across the world, with whom you can form relationships. The great thing about your fellow franchisees is that each of them has been in your exact position before, so they can give advice and ideas to help you as you get started. Then, as you become more advanced as a franchisee, you can act as a mentor to the new members of the company when they join.

The mentorship culture in franchising is key part of most companies. Franchise companies expect you to get to know some of the other owners so that you can bounce around ideas and get to know the company that much faster.

Financial Independence

Earning more money is probably one of the biggest reasons that you started considering owning your own business. As a business owner, your income is virtually limitless—if you work harder and smarter, you earn more money, which is not true of a corporate job with a salary.

Generally, this financial independence comes at the cost of an initial investment and months (or even years) of hard work. But when you know that your hard work is directly benefiting your pocketbook, it is incredibly rewarding.

So, how does franchising help you with financial independence when you have to pay royalties? First, the royalties that you pay go in part toward benefitting your business through company-wide marketing efforts, product updates, branding, and more. Second, many franchise companies help you finance your initial investment either through in-house financing or through preferred third-party lenders.

Empowerment

As a business owner, you are empowered to make the decisions that matter to your business and to you. You can hire the employees who fit your vision, sell the products and services that you care about, donate to charities that are important to you, and generally build something that you can be proud of. Working in a corporate setting does not empower you in all the ways that owning a business does.

When you work in a proven franchise concept, you are empowered to do all of those things, but with an added layer of support from a corporate network that is as invested in you as you are in it. Choose a franchisor that works with its franchise owners to help them build businesses that matter to them. Choose a franchisor that supports its franchisees and shows them how to get started and continue growing. Choose a franchisor that empowers you to be the business owner you want to be.

There can be no doubt that owning a franchise is different than starting a business from scratch, and in our (completely unbiased and objective) opinion, franchising is the better way to work for yourself.

Investing in an Apricot Lane Boutique franchise gives you the tools and support that you need to start a clothing boutique business in your community. Learn more about our franchise opportunity to see if this is the right franchise for you!

  • March 10, 2017
  • Blog
businesswoman in franchising career

Convert Your Sales and Management Experience into a Franchising Career

After years or even decades of working in a corporate environment, the decision to branch out and work for yourself can be daunting. If you have never owned a business before, how do you know if your skills make you a good candidate for owning a franchise and building a strong business?

Rest assured that most franchise opportunities do not require you to have previous business owning experience. In fact, many franchise brands place higher value on skills like sales and management than they do on business ownership, so you can easily turn a sales or management background into a thriving franchise.

Franchise Opportunities Abound in Sales

If you have sales experience, you are a hot commodity. Sales experience and skill is one of the most sought-after traits for franchisees in a variety of industries. For example, starting a clothing franchise will benefit from sales experience, as you will already have the know-how to sell clothing to your customers.

Clothing franchises are one of many industries in which your sales experience will be a benefit. Sales experience is invaluable, and this skill translates into so many aspects of owning your own business.

Here are just some of the reasons why franchisors look for people with sales experience to invest in their franchises:

  1. Sales is a difficult skill to teach to someone, especially in the relatively short time frame that it takes to open a franchise. Computer systems, bookkeeping software, and other operational skills that make up the nuts and bolts of a franchise are easy to teach, in comparison.
  2. Sales is involved in many aspects of most franchise opportunities. For example, owning a clothing franchise will require you to sell clothes to your customers, but you also need to be able to market your company to prospective employees, network with other businesses, and bring in a customer base. All of these skills relate back to sales in some way or another, so your experience helps you.
  3. Sales is not everyone’s biggest strength, but those who are good at selling also tend to have some other things in common, namely: a positive attitude, high energy, and enthusiasm for what they do. These are all great attributes for new franchisees, who face a lot of work in building their businesses. In addition, people with these traits are generally good at training and motivating their employees (which plays into your management experience).
  4. Sales is a skill that you learn through hard work and practice, setting goals, and staying persistent. Taking the time to learn how to sell effectively usually demonstrates that you are willing to work hard, stick to your goals, and persist when things get tough. We don’t want to sugar coat it, opening a franchise is a lot of hard work, so your willingness to focus on the big picture and put in the time to see results goes a long way.

Good Management Is Invaluable in a Franchising Career

Many of the qualities of a good sales person also apply to good managers. A willingness to work hard, a positive attitude, and an ability to see things through go a long way in both sales and management, and these traits convert well to franchise ownership.

As a business owner, you will be wearing many hats all at once. Some of your roles will probably include:

  • Trainer
  • Bookkeeper
  • Manager
  • Salesperson
  • Marketer
  • Merchandiser
  • Customer relationship builder
  • Human resources manager

Why Do Franchisors Want Management Experience?

  1. The most obvious reason why franchisors look for candidates with management experience is that they are going to be managing a team of employees. Having experience managing a team makes the transition into franchise ownership easier, because you won’t have to take the time to develop a management style in addition to everything else you are learning about owning your business.
  2. Good management skills also extend to managing your time and your resources, not just employees. Your experience is usually an indicator that you are organized and thorough, which help you as you balance the many roles of a business owner.

Investing in a Clothing Franchise Fits Sales and Marketing to a Tee (pun intended!)

It is a no-brainer that a clothing franchise is a good fit for someone with sales and management experience. Selling clothes, marketing to new customers, managing employees, and balancing budgets are all key elements of the clothing franchise industry.

Your experience in sales and marketing makes you an asset to virtually any franchise concept. A positive attitude, readiness to work hard and accomplish goals, and an organized mind work together to make the ideal candidate for an Apricot Lane franchise. We are looking for people like you to help us expand our brand in a variety of markets. Check out our franchise opportunity and get started right away!

  • March 3, 2017
  • Blog

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