From getting bank loans approved to picking the space for your business and planning the grand opening, building a business can pose a multitude of challenges.
However, not many business owners can say what Sarah Wallace can: she is opening up a Pigtails & Crewcuts franchise location during a global pandemic.
Beginning the Franchise Journey
For Sarah, the road to finding Pigtails & Crewcuts was an unusual one. After being a stay-at-home mom of four kids for 14 years and going through a divorce, Sarah wanted to get back into the workforce. Sarah recently received her bachelor’s degree and had been working in a lab in the biology department at Arizona State University. Although she loved the work she was doing, she wasn’t making good money. With four kids to support, she began looking into other avenues for income and looked into franchising.
“I worked with a franchise consultant who walked me through different models and franchise brands,” said Sarah. “Eventually, I wound up looking into kids’ haircut franchises. I thought it would be a good fit, and I just thought Pigtails & Crewcuts was such a cute concept and really differed from the other franchises in the industry.”
Jumping Headfirst into the World of Franchising
After deciding to join the Pigtails & Crewcuts franchise family was the right move, Sarah signed her franchise agreement in June 2019. Once she signed her agreement, she went straight to work hunting for the perfect space to lease.
“Earlier this year, I signed my lease in January with plans to open by April 29, 2020. I had contractors beginning their work on the space when the pandemic hit,” explained Sarah. “Things were going well, but with the pandemic, contractors had to lay off most of their sub-contractors. Luckily, they’re still using their own guys and getting the work done. They’ve been doing an amazing job.”
Staying Hopeful during a Time of Unknowns
Although her renovations to the space have taken longer than expected, Sarah isn’t concerned. Arizona has been under a stay-at-home order and contractor delays weren’t going to change anything in the long run.
Cultivating the Right Team and Hiring During a Pandemic
For Sarah, waiting on permits and completing inspections aren’t the biggest hurdle she’s encountered during this time. For the past week, Sarah has been placing ads for hiring stylists and is hoping to find the right talent.
Luckily, Sarah isn’t alone and has been able to rely on other franchisees facing similar issues for advice.
“According to other franchisees, hiring is extremely difficult right now,” explained Sarah. “But on the flip side, franchisees who are open for business are super busy since they’re functioning on an appointment-only basis.”
Modifying Work Tasks to Accommodate Health and Safety Regulations
While Sarah may have a while to go and a few wrinkles to smooth out before she opens her Arizona location, she still excited and ready to serve her community safely.
“I know I’m still leery of opening up a business where small children frequent and risk virus exposure, but we are going to be wearing masks, doing extra sanitation and everything possible to keep that risk down,” said Sarah. “My main concern is keeping my staff and my customers safe.”