‘Full bore’ growth for Floyd’s owner, in Multi-Unit Mindset
You might be one of the earliest risers I’ve met. What are you doing at 3 a.m.?
The first thing I do is make my coffee, sit down and start logging sales from the day before. I will look at everybody’s retail sales from the day before; I basically look for the rock stars and I will write them down and highlight them in the morning. And I’ll write about culture and our people to thank them for working so hard because I couldn’t do it without them. It’s nice because my managers always know what’s going on, the staff knows what’s going on.
You were pretty aggressive about initial growth in the midst of the recession, how did you pull that off?
We had an SBA loan, but right after the collapse everything got really stingy and the loan fell apart. We had already started construction and the way it worked is you had to put in 10 to 15 percent down—and all the sudden the loan just shut down. So we were in a pretty precarious spot. We were lucky enough to find some private lenders and some individuals with high net and liquidity and make it work.
Now that you’re a little stronger operation, how do you like to finance growth?
Small banks. They’re not the big box banks that literally have a checklist to see if you qualify. And they can do that because they’re big. The small banks are so easy to work with, we could go in on a Monday with our budget and a lease and maybe by Friday we’d be funded. I’ve also found the smaller banks, they have the option to sell your note, but they generally don’t. They’re nice to work with.
You have a leadership structure in place but still handle every complaint yourself. Why is that?
I think the instant appreciation of the owner calling helps the whole process. I don’t have a generic response; the complaints are all different. The thing I do is thank them for taking the time to help me improve my business; that really helps. They really appreciate that. I also tell my staff, everyone in the organization to just apologize when something goes wrong. You don’t have to say the guy in the back did it. If you just say, ‘We are very sorry,’ it goes a long way.
Staff writer Nicholas Upton asks what makes multi-unit operators tick—and presents their slightly edited answers in this column in each issue. To suggest a subject, email email@example.com.
What was the worst period in your Floyd’s career?
I think when we bought the Austin, Texas, market and built those stores, I would say managing all of that was very difficult.
Traveling a lot it didn’t bode well for my marriage; it was just difficult. We wound up selling the Austin market, which was a nice relief.
And what was the most positive turning point for your business?
It had to have been in late 2017 or early 2018. I had always been an entrepreneur and had tried many things on my own, either a social website or a children’s product line that was organic and natural. Then I also tried an app that was sort of like Venmo but for the hair industry. It was pretty cool, but none of it panned out. So I finally decided to give up on all these and focus on Floyd’s and do everything for the Floyd’s business and do everything the franchise is offering. So I went full bore 100 percent and it’s been amazing.
Once I started putting in the time and really focusing, we started seeing better results—we’ve had four new stores in two years. It’s just been great. Now we have to build on these four stores since they’re young, but keeping that focus on them is so important to build that business.