Norbert Gelowitz - VP Operations of Tommy Guns

Date: FEB 20th, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

BeTheBoss.ca: Why is Tommy Gun’s concept offering so exciting for entrepreneurs?

Norbert Gelowitz: It’s so exciting because it caters to a huge market that essentially has been ignored in Canada for many years. Tommy Gun’s is now filling that market niche. Tommy Gun’s offers individuals with little or no related industry experience the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the ever growing beauty industry. Tommy Gun’s is simply, a fun, exciting way to be your own boss and make a great living.

BTB: Can you describe the ideal Tommy Gun’s franchisee?

NG: There really is no one ideal franchisee. However, great franchisees all possess very similar characteristics. They will have strong business instincts; they will be a leader and great motivator of people and will be instrumental in creating a great work atmosphere. These are the types of individuals that will be successful as Tommy Gun’s franchisees.

BTB: How do you fit into the Tommy Gun’s franchise equation? What’s your role?

NG: My background is over 20 years in managing enclosed shopping centres. I understand retail real estate and what it takes for retail stores to be successful. My role is to help identify key markets where Tommy Gun’s will be a huge success. I am also pleased to be part of a highly skilled team established to help select and train individuals to become franchise owners and realize their life long dreams.

BTB: Do you have general advice for anyone considering becoming a franchisee? Whether in the salon industry or any other for that matter?

NG: Definitely. My advice would be to love the industry you choose to invest in and be 100% committed. Surround yourself with good people who are also knowledgeable, learn from them and let them shine for you. Lastly, get involved in the day to day operation of your business. Don’t leave the success of your business in the hands of others.

BTB: So Tommy Gun’s was unveiled in 2009. It’s approximately 4 years old and now you’re actively expanding. Can you touch on it’s growth strategy?

NG: Yes our growth has been very strategic. We took the necessary time to learn and perfect the Tommy Gun’s operating platform before considering taking the offering national. We stayed the course to build a solid foundation and understand our challenges and our sales patterns. We have now started the process of marketing the Tommy Gun’s brand nationally. In a very short time we have generated an extremely high level of interest and have many Western Canadian markets sold. We look forward to working with interested franchisees to open many more markets in the forthcoming months.

BTB: Is there any one particular factor that makes Tommy Gun’s so hot? Or is it a combination of factors?

NG: You’re right the Tommy Gun’s concept is hot right now for a couple of reasons. The men’s grooming industry was ignored for such a long time. Men have been going to female orientated salons for many years and many of them were uncomfortable doing so. Tommy Gun’s provides a cool, fun, male centric atmosphere where grandfathers and grandsons and all ages in between are very comfortable. Men are also becoming more in tune with how they look and feel. They’re giving themselves permission to enjoy grooming services typically reserved for only females. They are increasingly more conscious of their image. These changes in the male psyche have resulted in strong demand. Tommy Gun’s is extremely well positioned to capitalize on this growing demand.

BTB: So the concept has really caused a stir from the consumer and business point of view. What are franchisees saying about it?

NG: Franchisees are surprised at how easy the business is to run and how much fun they are having owning their own business. Customers are thrilled to finally have a place where going for a haircut is an enjoyable, fun experience. A fun, friendly atmosphere that has translated into better than expected returns.

BTB: How easy is it to become a franchisee and to manage a Tommy Gun’s?

NG: With a very supportive Head Office team behind you, becoming an owner is an easy transition. Tommy Gun’s has experienced professionals who will find and lease you that perfect location, who will build your store, help recruit your staff and work with you to market your location. Industry experience is not necessary but a passion for building a team and providing excellent service is.