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As he moves forward, Page said he plans to offer discounts during the months of January and February to help drive sales during seasonal downturns. Plus, he is following the Menchie’s model by establishing relationships with community organizations such as booster clubs that are invited to hold fundraising nights at his store and receive a portion of the evening’s sales.
“We want to be a place where people can come and use our party room for a PTA meeting or Little League gathering,” he said.
Page said the initial investment for his five-unit deal with Menchie’s was between $500,000 and $600,000. The benefit to inking the multi-unit agreement included a discount on the franchise fee for each unit. Plus, he was able to “lock in” his territory, securing an area on the south side of Houston for his future stores. He is already in lease negotiations for a second location in the downtown area.
Page approached three different lenders for financing and without revealing the source of his funding, he said he found it difficult to secure a loan from the Small Business Administration without six months of operational records. With some experience under his belt from operating his first and second stores, he expects to be able to secure an SBA loan to open his third, fourth, and fifth units.
“Advice I could give is have a professional or someone very experienced in business plans write your business plan, because that is the main document the lenders will go off of,” he said.
Finding the right employees is one of the keys to running a successful store, Page continued. He employs 13 people, scheduling two of them per shift. He handles the daily store opening and closing himself, devoting full time to the business while his wife continues to work for NASA in Houston. As he grows the business and opens additional units, he plans to hire an area leader to oversee all five stores and individual leaders to manage each unit.