Q & A with Suit the City
Sallie Belton of Suit the City gives you the answers to your most burning questions on running their franchise
Q:As a prospective franchise owner, do I need to have experience in the tailoring sector?
A: You do not need to have tailoring experience as all our suits are manufactured in Europe by expert tailors. Our training covers everything you need to know to measure your clients and we will accompany you on your first fitting appointments to make sure that you are 100 per cent confident.
Q: Why did you dispense with traditional retail premises?
A: The business model of renting retail premises is just not cost effective. Rents are high and high streets are empty. Our clients love the fact that we go to them at a time convenient to them and they never have to go shopping.
Q: Is my primary role a sales person?
A:You will be responsible for making sales, but we don’t find it to be a ‘hard sell’. You must be prepared to sell, but people just love the service and ask lots of questions whenever we are out and about. We even find that they end up giving out cards when we are on holiday.
Q: How many franchise owners are you looking for within the UK? Do you have any specific areas that are a particular requirement?
A: We are looking for 50 over the next five years; this will give us full national coverage. Specifically we want about 20 in London and another 30 around the country.
Q: What sort of support do you provide to a franchise owner?
A: We offer full training and during the first three months, you will attend one-on-one training at our head office – this will cover measuring, our systems, bookkeeping, sales and marketing – everything you need to know to run your franchise.
Q: Do I have any territory rights?
A: Yes, if you are outside London, you will be given postcodes that you can service. These will be within a sensible distance from your home and have plenty of opportunity for sales. If you are in London, you will be free to go anywhere in London and nominate accounts, as long as they do not already belong to another franchise owner.
Q: To what degree do I need to be aware of the competition in my area?
A: Every franchise owner should be aware of competition and take action to ensure that they are competitive. We find that there are plenty of customers that come to us because of our service and quality, often they have previously tried competitors and found them lacking.
Q: Who undertakes the research of the territory, in terms of the demographics in the catchment area?
A: As a franchise owner we expect you to have knowledge of your local area, which will usually be greater than ours. The territories are large and offer a wide range of customers so that targets can be easily met.
Q: Is there a bespoke IT software system?
A: We have a CRM system that is designed for our franchise network – each franchise owner will have access to the system and will be expected to input client details on a regular basis. We also have an order processing system that is based in the factory that the franchise owner will access to order garments.
Written by Gary Rigby, FDS Southern Franchise Consultant