Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue III, 2017 - Page 76

RECONNECT MANAGEMENT Business philosophy: I open and acquire businesses to operate long term, never to resell. Long-term cash flow always trumps profits from a sale. Always be prepared for tough times by keeping operations lean and keeping debt to a bare minimum. Never do a deal that you have to stretch yourself too much for, or just doesn’t feel right. Management method or style: Focusing on what I do best. Hire people better than myself for the rest. Greatest challenge: Being content with where I am in life and in business. How do others describe you? Optimistic, hard- working, and detail-oriented. One thing I’m looking to do better: I am con- tinuously looking for ways to improve support to our stores and field teams. I have added key leadership positions and they have significantly upgraded our systems and processes. this year is showing double-digit sales growth in our existing locations,” says Si- mon. Greg Thomas, his operating partner in Great Clips and Smoothie King, is a big part of that growth. “Greg and I have completely differ- ent skills and clearly defined roles,” says Simon. “His big outside-of-the-box mar- keting ideas, paired with his attention to detail and motivation of staff, is getting us great results.” Simon, a member of the Multi-Unit How I give my team room to innovate and experiment: I hire the right people with the right skills and I don’t micro-manage them. If they want to try something new, I’ll help them think it through, make sure they have the resources they need, and then I get out of the way. How close are you to operations? As I have operating partners in each of the brands, my role these days is more focused on growth strategy, op- portunities, and building our infrastructure to support that growth. I keep apprised of operational issues and review all key metrics on a daily basis. What are the two most important things you rely on from your franchisor? Marketing and employee training. What I need from vendors: Most of the ven- dors are really controlled by our brand partners and they do a great job. They screen and evaluate the contracts and negotiate pricing. Franchising Conference Advisory Board, says he always has striven for excellence and will continue to do so as he grows—with LSGF providing the foundational support to achieve his goals, whether adding new stores, boosting same store profitability, exploring new brand opportunities, or pro- viding services to multi-unit franchisees. “LSGF Management executive members Don Noble (CFO) and Anne Lalinde (HR director) have implemented structure, processes, procedures, and technologies Have you changed your marketing strat- egy in response to the economy? How? Yes, and we will continue to change based on market conditions. How is social media affecting your busi- ness? More and more of our marketing budgets have gone toward targeting social media channels. How do you hire and fire? I like to hire driven people with career ambitions. People fire themselves. How do you train and retain? All the brands provide great training tools. We weave our culture into the materials, making sure our employees are well-trained and understand the expectations. How do you deal with problem employ- ees? We have a structured corrective process that will lead either to their improvement or termination. Fastest way into my doghouse: Not doing what you told me you were going to do. that anticipate our future expansion while maintaining agility,” he says. Partnering with the right brands, the right operational partners, and having the right senior leadership team in place has taken Simon from his beginnings as a single-unit, basement office owner-oper- ator into a top-notch multi-brand opera- tor with the ability to continue growing at a double-digit pace. “We have a great team, and the future looks very bright,” he says. BOTTOM LINE Annual revenue: $50 million. 2017 goals: At least 40 new stores. Growth meter: How do you measure your growth? I don’t just look at number of units or revenue. Same store profitability growth is my most important growth meter. Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? I believe we can double the size of our business every 5 years. More brands, more regions, more growth. How is the economy in your regions af- fecting you, your employees, your cus- tomers? We have continued to grow despite the economy. Are you experiencing economic growth in your markets? Yes. How do changes in the economy affect the 74 MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE IS S UE III, 2017 way you do business? We focus on customer re- tention and change our business to retain customers. How do you forecast for your business? We forecast for existing and future growth. growth opportunities for employees and a very caring and nurturing culture in which employees feel part of a great team. What are the best sources for capital ex- pansion? For acquisitions owner financing is usually the best, if you can get it. Other sources include the brands’ preferred lenders and local banks that under- stand retail. How are you handling rising employee costs (payroll, healthcare, etc.)? We have looked at all our expenses and cut from nonessential areas. We work to optimize scheduling to control payroll costs, and we strive to find creative solutions to minimize healthcare increases. Experience with private equity, local banks, national banks, other institutions? Why/why not? For our line of credit we found Renasant Bank, a regional bank that wanted to part- ner with us. They had the best combination of service, rates, and flexibility. How do you reward/recognize top-per- forming employees? We share a lot of informa- tion with our staff through emails and newsletters. We recognize top performers and reward them with bonuses, lunches, dinners, contests, events, and trips. What are you doing to take care of your employees? We offer a full array of benefits includ- ing vacation, holiday pay, and insurance. We provid ]ЁЁɅѕ䁑ԁٔ)$ٔݡЁ$ٔ́Ѽ)Ёѡɕ͕ɔ