More Is More
Entrepreneur|June 2021
Why do many franchise systems prefer working with multi-unit operators? We dig into four different companies—learning why they recruit franchisees the way they do, and what life is like for someone who owns multiple units.
STEPHANIE SCHOMER

1/ AMAZING LASH STUDIO Grows with Its Team

Why the Brand Seeks Multi-Unit Owners…

Amazing Lash Studio exists to make its customers look good. The eyelash extension franchise serves members at 260 studios across the United States. But from a business standpoint, Amazing Lash also exists to serve its network of staff and franchisees. The company expects growth to continue at a pace of 30 to 40 new locations this year, and it’s targeting markets with low lash-studio saturation and a high opportunity for growth. To do that effectively, it’s looking for prospective franchisees with big goals—which is why 70 percent of its current franchisees are multi-unit operators.

“It’s not that we shy away from folks interested in owning single units, but for brand-new markets, we’re really looking for multi-unit owners who can become the single player in the area,” says Lauren Wanamaker, senior director of development. “And right now, in this climate, we’re really starting to see some novice franchisees who have a desire to create their own future and capture and protect an investment, from a long-term strategy.”

To find the right franchisees, Wanamaker and her team aren’t limiting themselves to people with the obvious backgrounds. They don’t care if someone has franchise or salon experience. Instead, they look for passion—and a desire to grow and empower a team.

“We are not a business where you can put a manager in place and walk away; it doesn’t work that way,” Wanamaker says. “At any given time, there are 20 to 30 people in a studio. That requires a fairly large team. So we need operators who want to build a team and really help those team members build their own careers within that business.”

The way Amazing Lash sees it, multiunit operators can create more opportunity for everyone—enabling staff to work across multiple locations, acquiring a great number of loyal clients within a region, and rising through the ranks within the broader franchise organization. “The efficiencies in our business lie with the staff and the people,” Wanamaker says.

From a Multi-Unit Franchisee’s Perspective…

ELAINA WATLEY signed on as an Amazing Lash Studio franchisee in 2016. At the time, she was a new mom who’d spent her career in sports marketing, and she was looking for a secondary income and a role that would allow her to work with and support women. Today, she owns five locations across New Jersey, is exploring her sixth— and swears by the success and impact multi-unit ownership can create.

You started with one store and now have five. In hindsight, do you wish you had opened multiple locations at once?

Yes; I will give everyone that advice. Don’t make my mistakes. Purchase multiple locations, and believe in yourself.

Did managing the business become easier as you opened more locations?

Scale creates sustainability. Across my locations, we have the same culture, the same strategy. We deal with leads and prospects the same; we offer the same customer service, digital marketing, brand messaging. And it’s helped me find a balance between my goals for myself as an entrepreneur, a mother, and a leader.

How do you support your growing staff?

Though the girls are employed by me and Amazing Lash, I want them to see their work as an entrepreneurial endeavor. They’re building their client base, and so this business can be their own. I’ve hosted financial planning classes at night and taught them about marketing their brand on social media, and really promoting their own artistry and creating confidence in their work

2/ POLLO CAMPERO Plays Offense in the Chicken Wars

Why the Brand Seeks Multi-Unit Owners…

Quick-service chicken restaurants have become a booming, hyper-competitive space in recent years. Although Sam Wong spent 10 years of his career at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, he’s now happy to put all his eggs in the Pollo Campero basket.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ENTREPRENEURView All

WE KNOW LESS THAN WE THINK

And that’s a good thing! The greatest lesson from the pandemic is this: Possibilities are endless.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

READY FOR A BIG RETURN

The end of the pandemic is in sight, and many franchises are anticipating an explosion in business. Leaders at four franchises share how their brands are working overtime to prepare for the rush and win back coveted business.

9 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

DESKS THAT KILL ZOOM FATIGUE?

Another workday at home getting you down? A new line of desks will help you up— and help you maintain focus.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

ONE RESTAURANT, EIGHT BRANDS

To boost sales during the pandemic, the founders of Dog Haus flooded the delivery apps with virtual restaurants that operate out of existing franchise kitchens. They’ve been so valuable that they’re now here to stay.

6 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

MAKING BIG CHANGES IN TIMES OF BIG CHANGE (OR WHY AMAZON CREATED THE KINDLE)

Entrepreneurs are defined by how they adapt during crises. In this exclusive excerpt from their book Working Backwards, longtime Amazon execs Colin Bryar and Bill Carr reveal how the company dealt with massive disruption…and transformed itself as a result.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

The year 2021 may feel uncertain, but set your expectations high anyway. Doing so will become your guiding force.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

THE TIME FOR REINVENTION IS NOW

Our world has changed. As people—and as entrepreneurs—we should change, too. Follow these three steps to find new opportunities and capture them with success.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

HIS WORST FIVE YEARS WERE HIS LIFE'S BEST GIFT

What is it like to build a hit business and then lose all control? Oded Brenner, the founder of Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man has a lot to say about that.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

HOW TO TAKE DOWN GOLIATH

The biggest companies can still be taken down by the smallest startups. Here are four strategies disruptors use to fight their way up.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021

THE RISE OF THE SMART BOARD

Miss having in-person meetings in front of whiteboards? Now you can replicate them remotely.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
Startups Summer 2021