BodyBrite Franchise Opportunity - CEO, Tom Hardy

Date: JUN 25th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Mr. Hardy is CEO of BodyBrite. He has been involved in franchising opportunities and international business development for more than 20 years. He developed his first franchising concept in Spain in 1992, and has since been a founder or executive in more than 10 different start-ups. Before launching BodyBrite in the United States, Mr. Hardy was the founder of Bluestone Partners, which represented large American franchisors in the European and Northern African marketplaces. During this time, Bluestone successfully launched the Curves for Women brand in France, Belgium, Tunisia and Morocco, resulting in more than 200 franchises and becoming the largest fitness chain in France in just five short years. Mr. Hardy attended the University of Vermont, the University of Seville and the University of Alicante, earning a BA in English and Spanish. Mr. Hardy is also a guest lecturer at the St. Thomas School of Management for Entrepreneur studies in the Twin Cites.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the BodyBrite Franchise Opportunity and concept.

Tom Hardy: BodyBrite is the internationally acclaimed beauty and style franchise concept that specializes in advanced hair removal, skin rejuvenation and teeth whitening treatments. We are expanding with tremendous momentum because we hit squarely on beauty and wellness pain points that consumers everywhere feel, and we help our customers improve their self-confidence. With fantastic consumer appeal, franchise investors are keen on the concept.

Growth throughout Canada is a top priority, and we are excited about the business opportunity to expand across the nation with talented franchisees. Currently, there are nearly 20 BodyBrite franchise locations open in the United States and 30 in development. There are more than 200 franchise locations in Europe, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Central America.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with BodyBrite franchise business?

TH:After successfully leading the growth of Curves throughout Europe, I was looking to return to the States and became interested in BodyBrite. After a significant due diligence process, I acquired half of BodyBrite Worldwide and launched BodyBrite in North America. In 2011, we opened our first U.S. centres in New York City and Minneapolis. We began franchising in 2012 and have achieved steady growth consistently with fantastic franchisees.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining BodyBrite Franchise Opportunity?

TH:I have been involved in franchising, for more than 20 years, launching the Curves concept in Spain back in the mid-1990s. We grew Curves into the largest fitness chain in France in just five short years. I am entrepreneurially spirited and have been involved with 10 different start-up companies. On a personal note, my Canadian comrades should know that hockey runs through my veins…I played in high school and college.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a BodyBrite franchise business owner (franchisee)?

TH:Number one, you are tapping into a rapidly expanding segment of the wellness industry with a concept that is at the top of the field. With hairless preferences growing among both U.S. male and female consumers, BodyBrite is well positioned to grab market share as well as significantly grow the sector. In addition to the market forces at play, BodyBrite’s leadership team includes experienced franchise executives who have designed the business model and developed effective sales, marketing and operations systems to support franchisees.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchise business owner (franchisee)?

TH: The brand’s proven business model has been cultivated to attract individuals and ownership teams seeking to invest in a robust growth industry. From first-time entrepreneurs to seasoned business owners and corporate professionals, BodyBrite appeals to a wide investor audience. Additionally, BodyBrite franchise is a strong add-on revenue channel for medical professional offices where the business can thrive without taking doctors and nurses away from their patients.

BTB: Tell us a little about the BodyBrite Market?

TH: We estimate the combined waxing and laser industry to be more than $5 billion annually.

Canadians have had it with body hair, wrinkly skin, sun damage and stained teeth, and they’re spending big bucks on expensive, painful treatments. Yet, despite the widespread distaste, only the affluent have been able to afford laser -- the most common treatment available, which often comes with pricey financing plans for many who are willing to purchase the treatment at any cost and cannot layout the lump sums for services. But, the BodyBrite franchise is changing the game.

We are making relatively pain-free, permanent results more available to the masses, ending years of frustrations for the millions upon millions of Canadian citizens who have only considered laser treatments, or have been waxing, shaving and trying ineffective solutions.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this BodyBrite franchise opportunity?

TH: Starting a franchise system takes a tremendous amount of work, investment, time and perseverance. You must be prepared for the peaks and valleys of which your system and the franchisees will surely experience. Creating a sustainable business system does happen overnight, however if you go into it with the before mentioned perspective you’ll be better prepared to provide a franchise model that is able to withstand these challenges over the test of time.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?

TH: I do not have a mentor but am a sponge when it comes to learning from my peers in the franchising industry. There are some really smart people out there who are willing to help you do and be better. This is critical for me as I feel we can always find ways to improve the BodyBrite franchise system for our franchisees and their clients. My inspiration? Each and every one of our BodyBrite franchisees! These are people who are almost all first time business owners. I am personally honored and humbled that they choose to invest their valuable time and money in owning a BodyBrite franchise.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise opportunity in Canada?

TH: I urge anyone seriously considering investing in a franchise to do your due diligence. With the right guidance and research, you can determine with a fair amount of certainty what will happen if you become a new franchisee, allowing you to chart out a path toward success. BodyBrite Franchise measures up very well and we encourage your readers to take a close look at us.

Also, keep this in mind: When you own a franchise business, you operate a business at a much lower risk than as an independent. In today’s economy, the less risk the better.In fact, owning a franchise has a 92% success ratio over the course of five years, compared to that of a 23% success rate of an independent business (Franchising World). With a franchise business, you know what to expect in terms of costs and marketing, and your consumers know what to expect as well because of the established brand awareness.

And, within franchise systems such as ours, the knowledge sharing that occurs between each owner sets the stage for best practices to be implemented in every unit. Ongoing franchisor initiated marketing support provides franchisees with the branding and messaging to effectively communicate their product and service offerings. Franchisors put time, money and energy into research and development, which brings to market a collection of new products, services and customer/client experiences each year.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that BodyBrite would be a great franchise opportunity for someone?

TH: There isn’t another concept in our field that has created a value proposition like ours. Traditionally these services were only available to the rich, glamorous and those willing to enter into financed payment plans, but we want to help people everywhere in Canada look and feel better about themselves. Plus, the potential for a BodyBrite franchise business is limitless. There is growth potential throughout all of North America and beyond. This is an extremely scalable concept. And, most importantly, we’re changing the daily lives of our clients.