Monthly Archives: November 2017

fashion clothing boutique apricot lane

Make a Fashion Clothing Boutique a Family Business

One of the primary objectives of many franchisees is having the freedom to run their business in a way that suits their lifestyle. For many, that means involving family members, whether it’s a husband-wife or parent-child team. Running a fashion clothing boutique with a loved one can make the whole process more fun and manageable, especially when it comes to working through obstacles, brainstorming displays, and schedule flexibility. It’s no surprise that having a family business partner is an attractive prospect. Well, the good news is—it’s entirely possible to run a successful family-owned fashion clothing boutique franchise, and Apricot Lane makes it easy.

Personal Touch – Make it a Family Affair

One of the key benefits of franchising is having the freedom to determine your own business style. While a franchisor may give you a road map to follow, and a set of guidelines to keep you on the right path toward profitability, the character of your business is up to you. Apricot Lane prides itself on a boutique philosophy. We want customers to feel a personal connection to each location they visit, so we encourage them to personalize their stores as much as possible.

This philosophy fits perfectly with prospective franchisees looking to start a family-style business. Since you have a voice in the appearance of displays, store layout, and prioritization of styles, there is limitless opportunity for collaboration. This freedom is also perfect for franchisee duos with hectic schedules, who crave flexibility in their next career move. 

Support Offered

Entering the franchise space can be scary, especially if you’ve never done it before. Having a family member by your side can help immensely, but that won’t always erase the question marks.

If you and your partner are interested in entering the fashion clothing boutique industry, but nervous because you’ve never owned a franchise before or have limited industry experience—don’t worry. We understand that franchisees are all cut from different cloths. That’s why we have an extensive network of support in place. Whether it’s our location scouting services, step-by-step pre-opening procedure, store design options, bookkeeping assistance, or comprehensive training (including a trip to the Los Angeles Fashion District), we make sure our franchisees are prepared.

Solid Fashion Clothing Boutique Investment

If you’re like many franchisees, you’re interested in opening a fashion clothing boutique because the industry is booming, and you’re looking to improve your family’s quality of life. However, there are always costs involved with starting a new franchise, and those costs can be off-putting if you don’t know what you’re getting in return. A good franchisor puts your investment to work immediately, so you don’t have to wait to see the benefits.

Even if you have a husband, wife, son or daughter as a business partner, without the proper support it can still be easy to feel like you’re going it alone. We give you immediate access to our location scouting services, a 24/7 support network, a list of buyers, training, and marketing dollars. When you invest in a fashion clothing boutique franchise, you and your family should always feel like that investment is well-placed, and yielding quick returns.

Is your family ready to join ours? Get in touch with us for more information.

  • November 22, 2017
  • Blog
clothing franchise opportunities apricot lane

Myth vs. Fact: Learn the Truth Behind 4 Clothing Franchise Myths

Franchising can be a lucrative and exciting opportunity, but there are many misconceptions surrounding the process. Prospective franchisees are understandably wary when undertaking an investment as sizable as a franchise, so due diligence is important. However, it’s equally important to know when your fears are unfounded, and to avoid misinformation and misunderstanding. We’ve been in the franchising business for 23 years, and like to think we can offer some valuable insight. If you’re considering pursuing a clothing franchise opportunity, here are four common myths you shouldn’t let stand in your way.

Franchisors Will Take Just Anyone

It’s a common misconception that franchisors aren’t selective about who they accept as franchisees. The truth is, franchisors have to be extremely selective for their own good. After all, a franchisor is taking a tremendous risk. They’re lending their brand name and significant resources with the expectation that they will be put to good use. Few things are more important than a brand’s reputation, and franchisors trust their franchisee partners to be good ambassadors for their brand.

For example, before opening an Apricot Lane clothing franchise, prospective franchisees go through an extensive application process. This includes introductory calls with our Franchise Development Ambassador, a financial background check, and market evaluations. Franchisees are not only our business partners, but part of our family, and we need to make sure it’s a good fit. 

I Need Extensive Clothing Franchise Industry Experience

While it’s always helpful to have industry experience before opening a business in that industry, that is by no means necessary for success. Many who pursue clothing franchise opportunities have diverse professional histories, whether it’s a business background in a different space, a career in finance, or any prior retail experience. More important than a long career in fashion is having a willingness to learn. A curiosity about discovering the ins and outs of a new industry, and a keen eye for new, trendy style are the most important prerequisites for opening a new clothing franchise.

No Freedom

One of the main reasons people become franchisees in the first place is because they’re tired of working for someone else. They want to become their own boss, and have the freedom to make important business decisions. However, there’s still a misconception that franchisees operate in a restrictive system, with a lot of corporate interference.

While we can’t speak for all franchisors, Apricot Lane values the independence of its franchisees. We empower our franchisees to determine the look of displays, and prioritize styles according to what speaks to their own vision. We want each clothing franchise to have a uniquely personal feel, and encourage franchisees to inject their own style and eye for fashion into their business.

Franchising is Too Expensive

Franchising can be expensive. The decision to invest in a franchise should not be made lightly, and there is no minimizing the costs involved. However, it’s important not to let the investment overwhelm you. The reason for franchise and royalty fees is because the franchisor is giving you everything you need to run the business effectively, eliminating the headaches that come with starting a business from scratch. You’ll have access to location scouting services, 24/7 support, a list of buyers, training, and marketing dollars. A good franchisor puts your investment to work immediately, so you don’t have to wait to see the benefits.

We can also help you finance the investment, by putting you in touch with one of our preferred lenders. Remember that investing in a clothing franchise doesn’t just get you a brand name and logo; it gives you a turnkey business, and a road map to success.

Think a clothing franchise opportunity might be right for you? Check out our guide to see if we’d be a good fit.

  • November 15, 2017
  • Blog
how to open a clothing franchise apricot lane

How to Open a Clothing Franchise: Apricot Lane Boutique Makes it Easy

Even after you’ve done all the research, asked questions, and decided on the perfect franchise fit, the prospect of starting your own franchise from scratch can still seem daunting. The good news is—it’s not really from scratch! In addition to the support and training Apricot Lane provides franchisees after the initial opening, we make our application and setup process as smooth as possible. In an easy step by step process, we’ll guide you through the early stages of how to open a clothing franchise.

How to Open a Clothing Franchise

Step 1: Introductory Call 

Before you dive into franchising, we want you to have all the information. We’ll set up an introductory call with our Franchise Development Ambassador, who will review the initial investment, general store operations and support resources, unit economics, and answer any questions you may have. This step is designed to give you a broad, solid foundation regarding our process.

Step 2: “Believe” emails

Following the introductory call, we’ll send you a series of informational emails that cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Training- pre- and post-opening
  • Location selection
  • Countdown process
  • Plans, construction, and build out
  • Store options, fixture package and Plan-O-Gram
  • Bookkeeping
  • Using technology
  • Hiring stylists, staffing, orientation, and automated staff development program
  • Visual merchandising standards and support
  • Cambeo—private intranet resource center and free business consultation
  • Ongoing field support
  • Continuing education—annual conference, ongoing webinars, etc
  • E-Commerce at store level
  • In-house advertising agency
  • Right Now Media

Step 3- Complete & Submit a Financial Application 

Simply return the Request for Consideration financial application that you will find at the bottom of each of the Believe emails.

Step 4- Schedule a Call with our Founder & CEO 

Before signing on with us, we want you to have the opportunity to speak personally with Ken Petersen, our CEO. He will share with you some of his experience at Apricot Lane for the last 25 years, his vision for the future, and philosophy about franchising. He will be able to answer any questions you may have, and will be continually available during throughout the process as new questions arise.

Step 5- Complete a DISC Profile

DISC profiles help us get to know you better, and every store manager and franchisee must complete one. You will be sent a link to complete a profile online, at no cost to you.

Step 6- Validation from Franchisees 

You’ve heard from our Franchise Development Ambassador and CEO, but now it’s time to hear directly from our franchisees. We’ll put you in touch with franchisees who have been through the same process, and will speak candidly about their experience.

Step 7- Schedule a Visit to Your Marketplace 

Because location is so important, we’ll send our real taste ambassador, our CEO, or COO out to meet you in your market. We will research location opportunities, obtain center sales and schedule appointments with leasing representatives.

Step 8- Franchise Award 

After our visit, we’ll meet internally and discuss all the information we have gathered about you and the proposed market, and determine if it’s a good fit for Apricot Lane. If so—congratulations! Once you pay the Open License fee of $5,000, we connect with landlords and begin our market and site analytics to determine specific site sales.

Step 9- Complete the RIDS & Site-Specific Studies 

We take all the information we have learned from site visits and initiate a comprehensive site selection study, which projects estimated annual sales.

Step 10- Turn Over to Our Team 

Once you sign the official letter of intent, you will be assigned a project coordinator who will prepare a comprehensive countdown chart including everything you need to know to open your store on time. You will meet weekly (via phone) with your project coordinator, to ensure you are progressing on schedule.

Pretty simple, right? To begin the exciting franchise process, get in touch with us and schedule an introductory call.

  • November 8, 2017
  • Blog
retail clothing franchise apricot lane

3 Reasons Why You Should Add a Retail Clothing Franchise to Your Business Portfolio

For prospective franchisees looking to diversify their business portfolio, investing in a retail clothing franchise like Apricot Lane is the perfect career move. The retail clothing industry is stronger than ever, and projected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Investing in an established, successful brand with a proven track record of success is an even savvier move, as the franchisee can avoid the pitfalls that commonly plague new, independent business owners. The other great thing about a retail clothing franchise is that prior industry experience isn’t required. While candidates with a background in fashion may have an advantage, if you’re a business-minded, motivated professional who values independence and low overhead, you’re already prepared to get started in our industry.

Industry Strength

One of the first questions a prospective franchisee should be asking is: Am I entering a thriving industry, with plenty of room for growth and profitability? Luckily, the clothing industry is among the strongest and most consistent. In 2013 women’s apparel sales were $116.4 billion, and the industry as a whole is expected to grow by as much as 17.2% by 2020.

Apricot Lane is uniquely placed in the quickly expanding niche of fast fashion. While the fashion industry as a whole has seen significant growth, the fast fashion industry, in particular, has grown 21% over the past three years, and is expected to grow an additional 5.91% per year for the next three. One of the tenants of fast fashion, on which we pride ourselves, is maintaining an ever-rotating and current selection of unique apparel.

Boutique fast fashion retailers like Apricot Lane fill a lucrative gap in the market. We understand that consumers don’t want to wait for seasonal collections; they want the hottest clothes as soon as they appear on the runway. So it’s no surprise that our space is growing at an incredible clip, especially compared to the luxury market. Prospective franchisees should always look to enter an industry at its peak, when opportunities are plentiful, which makes this the perfect time to invest in a fast fashion retail clothing franchise.

An Established Retail Clothing Franchise Brand

If you’re looking to expand your investment portfolio, you don’t have time to build a business from scratch or deal with all the obstacles that come with crafting a new brand. With Apricot Lane, we’ve taken care of that for you. Our turnkey retail clothing franchises are designed to make the franchise process as seamless as possible. We have been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Top 500 Franchises every year from 2009 to 2017, and have enjoyed worldwide brand exposure with successful locations in two major international airports.

We have enjoyed 23 years of success in the fast fashion industry, which we attribute to close partnership with our franchisees. When you franchise with us, you’re not going it alone. We provide a smooth, informative educational and training process, including support from our franchise team, use of our brand name, and access to buyers and our in-house marketing team. Giving you all the tools to succeed is one of the cornerstones of our franchise model.

A Next Step in Your Career

Already own your own business or franchise and are looking to expand your portfolio? We always welcome those with experience. If you’ve had a career in corporate retail, or have ever worked at a large fashion company, you know your freedom can be limited. Owning your own retail clothing franchise will allow you more control over your own inventory, and give you the freedom to create unique displays and prioritize items that speak to you.

See what some of our current franchisees are saying, and get in touch with us to hear all about what it takes to be an Apricot Lane franchisee.

  • November 1, 2017
  • Blog

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