Thoughts from the chair

Forgive the day-late posting but I was having my hair cut yesterday. Not much of a momentous occasion, you might think, and let’s be honest you’d have a point. However, it’s …

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12th July 2007 at 7:18 pm

Forgive the day-late posting but I was having my hair cut yesterday. Not much of a momentous occasion, you might think, and let’s be honest you’d have a point. However, it’s relevant because the Rush people, who beautify the Clapperton bonce, operate on the franchise model. And the bloke who was cutting my hair has started training to open a franchise of his own.

Now, I know when my hair is being handled by a pro and this bloke was good. So I asked him, why not strike out completely on your own? His answer was instructive. The market leaders were too well-established, he said; he’d be going against Toni and Guy and Rush, and you couldn’t fight those names. I didn’t point out that those names were only a decade and a half old or so, and could be toppled one day just as McDonalds had ousted Wimpy all those years ago; I was having a hair cut, not interviewing someone and trying to be Paxman.

He also pointed to the help and business support you get from the main company. And he said there are a lot of good properties coming onto the market in prime positions as Barclays closes the Woolwich down.  He’s in no hurry and will wait for the right deal – it won’t be in Croydon where he works now, as they already have three branches (one of which is branded as Ice, before you go looking for it).

I certainly wish him luck. He’s the one doing the job, not me, clearly, but I did wonder why he wasn’t prepared to go it completely alone. He’s personable, cool, young, good-looking, God I hated him, but he could front his own hair salon quite happily. He’s clearly more confident carrying an established brand in front of him and feels he needs the support (and wants to hire a business manager so he gets to keep cutting hair, which is what he’s good at). He’ll succeed, but I’d have thought he’d have done equally well by himself.

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod. http://www.guyclapperton.co.uk

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