10 Pieces of Advice Before Opening a Hand & Stone

10 Pieces of Advice Before Opening a Hand & Stone Franchise, from Hand & Stone’s Director of Fran Dev Sarah Moudry

  1. Be open-minded- You are learning a new industry & business model. You aren’t supposed to know everything on day one. Listen and follow instructions as much as possible, knowing the puzzle eventually will come together. Expectations can sometimes be unrealistic. Continue asking tons of questions for clarification on the why and how of your new business.
  2. Hope is not a strategy – There will be many calls, conversations, introductions, and webinars provided by the franchisor. They can lead you to water, but you must drink it. Continue to strategize and visualize how you’re going to get to target members as soon as possible, then execute, adapt, and rinse repeat.
  3. Leave it to the experts: Let the experts do their job. We were very fortunate to work with Kraus Anderson Construction CO. Between their project manager and Hand & Stone’s Pre-Opening Project Coordinator, things went incredibly smooth. We even finished our project ahead of schedule. You do not have to be a contractor to build a Hand & Stone, follow the process, and listen to the experts. There are experts in every facet of this business to help. Lean in when you need!
  4. Get to know your community. From the start, we thought grassroots marketing is the way to go. We don’t have any Hand & Stones close to our market, so educating our consumers is a top priority. The best way to do this is by getting out into the community, shaking hands, and introducing yourself to as many people as possible. Some strategies we executed: 4th of July business expo, ribbon cutting through the chamber of commerce, business-to-business marketing, and partnering with childcare and assisted living facilities. We are also offering police and fire departments discounts.
  5. Read all your materials before you open, then read them again. There is a TON of information. The more “pre-work” you do the better. There are many platforms to learn, such as Tortal, aka a learning center, FranConnect, and ZenotiStage. I highly suggest franchisees and employees start learning as much as possible before they open.
  6. Rome wasn’t built in a day, have patience. Your books aren’t going to be full the day you open. Consistency is everything. Corporate marketing is good, but you must continue to learn and adapt your marketing efforts based on your customers' needs and wants. Every single market is different.
  7. Remember your vision/ why. What’s your big dream? Your vision? It’s easy to lose sight of it when you are in “the thick of it” and stress is high. We kept coming back to our vision, which is to build a legacy for our children. This helped us push through the intensity of spa setup, training, and opening.
  8. Attitude is everything. This isn’t easy. There will be hard days. There will be frustrating experiences. There will be employees that won’t last. How you handle it is what matters. The good news is, that you have an entire corporation to field your frustrations and answer your questions.
  9. Attract, don’t chase. Times are different, and the economy is uncertain, but what is certain, people LOVE working for people with passion and vision! People want to work in a healthy, positive environment. My sister and I had absolutely zero issues with recruiting. We had to turn multiple people away including numerous massage therapists. The culture in your spa is yours, so make it the best and the people will find you.
  10. Have Gratitude. Health & Wellness is here to stay. You’re in a trillion-dollar industry. Things will come together, and members will sign up, but it takes time. Trends are changing and people are taking more time to prevent illness. Be thankful you chose an industry that’s booming!

Become a student of Hand & Stone and eventually, you will have a thriving business. This might be the most exciting time in history to be a part of a wellness concept. We could be at the forefront of a Health & Wellness Revolution. Who knows where this will take us?