In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn about The Gents Place from its founder Ben Davis.
Franchise Chatter (FC): When was The Gents Place founded? How many locations does the company currently have?
Ben Davis (BD): I founded The Gents Place in December 2008 with our first location in Frisco, Texas. The company has grown to include three locations in North Texas (Frisco, Dallas, Southlake) and one in Leawood, Kansas.
FC: What areas is The Gents Place targeting for expansion?
BD: We are seeking qualified franchisees to join the brand and currently have opportunities available nationwide in markets such as Florida, Georgia, Texas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and Virginia. At the moment, we are actively and aggressively targeting the Houston, Atlanta and Florida markets for expansion.
FC: What spurred the idea of founding The Gents Place?
BD: Like many men, I was once a busy executive with responsibilities who avoided haircuts at all costs. From meetings with clients to evenings with my family, I had endless priorities ahead of spending an hour with a smock around my neck. I knew there had to be a better way, so finally in December 2008 I took matters into my own hands and opened the first Gents Place club.
FC: Who is your target audience?
BD: We target men who take pride in their appearance. Our goal is to provide businessmen with an option complementary to their lifestyle to look and feel their most confident selves. For example, Emmitt Smith was a member of our Dallas location. Loving the concept so much, he ended up investing as a co-owner last spring and will play an integral role in the brand’s continued success.
FC: What makes The Gents Place unique to other salons in the industry?
BD: We’re not your typical salon; we are a men’s grooming and lifestyle club. We are not in the hair business like some of our competitors; we are in the business of making men look and feel their most confident best. We pride ourselves on having one of the most unique service menus in the industry. Not only can men enjoy an incredible hair service and shave, but also they can take advantage of all the luxuries and ambiance of a modern spa, created just for them.
FC: What makes the male grooming industry a valuable industry to get into?
BD: The male grooming industry is on the rise, as it has become more socially acceptable for men to take pride in their appearance. The industry has mounted into what is now a multi-billion dollar enterprise that continues to grow and develop every year. Not to mention, as long as men have hair, cuts and trims are a necessary service for most, so we look at it as a need-based industry.
FC: What tools are available to franchisees interested in starting up a Gents Place?
BD: We provide an array of tools to position our franchisees for success, including franchisee management training; a proprietary web-based management system; on-going, hands-on training for club team members to learn our unique grooming methods, management and administration of a club; and advertising, marketing and public relations support. Additionally, we provide assistance with site selection and construction.
FC: How much does it cost to open a franchise location? Is there financing available?
BD: Prospective single- and multi-unit franchisees should possess a minimum net worth of $400,000 and liquid assets of at least $175,000. Candidates should have strong business, management and/or marketing experience.
Franchisees can expect their initial investment to be between $440,995 to $705,980, including a $40,000 franchise fee. Financing is available through the Small Business Administration for qualified franchisees, which could reduce the total cash investment to as little as $100,000.
For more information about franchising opportunities, we encourage interested entrepreneurs to visit our site tgpfranchising.com.