Tag Archives: franchises

What to Look For in a Franchise

In the long run, there are many criteria to consider when evaluating a franchise opportunity. But initially there are just three main questions I ask in order to determine whether a given opportunity warrants further investigation. In attending a Discovery Day, I want to know:

Is this the right market to get into?

It doesn’t matter if a franchise has the greatest products or services in the world if consumers aren’t ready, willing and able to buy. Are industry sales growing? If so, do credible sources predict that growth will continue? This was one of my main concerns about the Hand & Stone Massage concept: Isn’t massage one of those luxury items that gets cut in recessionary times?

Is this the right concept to meet the market need?

If you determine that there is a market need, then ask: Is this concept designed to meet the needs of both the consumer and you – the operator? The best franchise concepts are streamlined for both operational efficiency and profitability. They are designed to provide value and a superior experience for your customer, and growth through multiple revenue streams for you.

Is this the right management and support team to guide my growth… now and in the future?

This is a critical consideration for several reasons. When you purchase a franchise you are agreeing to follow the systems and policies set forth by the franchisor for the duration of your franchise contract. For that reason, it’s critically important that you are confident that the leadership team has both the experience and judgement to make the right strategic decisions, and that they are truly committed to franchisee success. Additionally, you should consider the franchise fees and royalties you will pay as fees for services rendered and evaluate them on that basis. Does this management team have the experience and expertise to provide value to your business not only in the start-up phase, but on an ongoing basis? Can they provide benefit in excess of the monetary contributions you will make?

NEXT: Part 2: The Booming Market for Massage & Facials
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Franchise Discovery Day at Hand & Stone Massage

What is a “Discovery Day”?

Previous: Part 4: The Powerhouse Team Behind Hand & Stone Massage

“Discovery Day” is a franchise industry term used to describe the presentation most franchisors conduct for groups of prospective franchise owners. Discovery Day presentations vary by franchisor. Some are very slick sales events with scripted presentations made to large groups. Others are less formal and more personal, consisting of smaller groups with lots of interaction, dialogue and time for questions.

I was pleased to find that Hand & Stone Massage Discovery Day falls into the latter category, a experiencing presentations that were informative (rather than salesy) and personal, with a friendly and relaxed tone.

In total, there were 3-4 groups in attendance, and Hand & Stone VP of Franchise Development Bob McQuillan laid out the agenda: an “icebreaker” & attendee self-introductions over coffee and bagels, short presentations and Q&A’s by the training, operations & marketing department heads, a working lunch with senior executives, and an on-site tour of a nearby Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa. After a brief wrap-up and final Q&A, attendees would have the opportunity to experience a hot stone massage firsthand.

What I discovered at Hand & Stone Spa Discovery Day


I came away from the Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa impressed on a number of levels.

I was impressed with the Discovery Day experience itself. The people were friendly, open and helpful. It was not a dog and pony show or sales pitch, but an exchange of information from both sides to help determine whether the franchise was a good fit for the attendee’s business goals and skill sets. If you are seriously exploring business start-up options of this type, you will find the investment of time and travel expenses well worth it.

I was impressed by the industry growth statistics, which I verified independently after the presentation.

I was impressed by the simplicity and the operational efficiency of the concept itself, as well as the customer experience and reactions I witnessed.

I was impressed by the care that was exhibited in not making any earnings claims or representations outside of the Financial Performance disclosure provided in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

Most of all, I was impressed by the knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated team in place to support and guide franchisees from day one.

Listening to the presentations of this highly experienced management team, I had to keep reminding myself that this is a young franchise chain with less than 50 units.

Most of these professionals have experience supporting many times the number of franchise locations they currently serve, and I was impressed by the fact that John Marco and Todd Leff are willing to invest in establishing a solid foundation and infrastructure prior to embarking on the energetic growth that is almost a certainty in the next few years.

Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa is poised and ready for growth.

Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa appears to be poised and ready for growth.

Does that mean that the Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa is the right franchise opportunity for your personal and business goals? Is it the perfect match for your particular market?

Those are decisions that only you can make. All I can say is that the Hand & Stone franchise is definitely worth consideration… whether it’s the right opportunity is for you to discover.

Read all: Hand & Stone Massage Franchise: Discover the Potential