Trade Secrets - Director of Franchising, Doug Warren

Date: SEP 11th, 2012

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Doug Warren, Director of Franchising for Trade Secrets, Glamour Secrets, Taylor and Colt and Wax N Blow has over 20 years of franchise development experience in Canada, United States and around the Globe. Doug initially worked with Uniglobe Travel in the early nineties before joining Shred-it where he and the franchise deveopment team took Shred-it into the USA and around the world making it the largest on site mobile shredding company in the world. He has established franchises nationally across Canada, all over the USA and in places like Buenos Aires, Singapore.Hong Kong, Kuwait and Dubai, the UK and Europe, Puerto Rico and is presently working on Master franchise deals in Tunisia and India. Doug established the Aarons Sales and lease Ownership chain from Atlanta across Canada bringing it to Canada in 2006 and selling out the entire country within 3 years. Doug also opened 3 Trade Secrets stores in Kuwait making it the first beauty product /spa store ever in the Middle East.

Doug graduated from Wilfred Laurier University with a BA, has an MBA from Queens University and a CFE (Certified Franchise Executive ) from the IFA in Washington DC. Doug was the very first Canadian to receive this international franchising designation in 2001. He also holds specialized certificates from the Harvard Business School and is continually upgrading his education. Doug is very close to his large family, loves to travel, golf, fish, play hockey, ski and sail.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the Trade Secrets concept.

Doug Warren: Trade Secrets is one of Canada’s largest salon grade professional beauty product retailer with over 45 oo products for sale and the compliment of a full service salon that offers over 50 services from hair to waxing to esthetics. Trade Secrets has over 65 stores from coast to coast with 5 slated for opening in the Fall of 2012. Trade Secrets is Canada’s all in one beauty retail franchise.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Trade Secrets?

DW: I joined Trade Secrets in 2002 and was recruited to design and build the franchise program that at the time had only 10 stores. By 2006, Trade Secrets had over 75 stores in 4 countries.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Trade Secrets?

DW: I was director of Franchising with Shred-it and UPS stores.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Trade Secrets franchisee?

DW: Volume buying power, powerful brand recognition, retailing the best beauty brands in the world, two businesses in one- retail and salon, national advertising, extensive training and support, advertising by supplier brands, AAA locations within malls, power centers, financial towers and street locations.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

DW: Excellent work ethic, driven to succeed, great communicator and sales ability, good manager of people. Ambitious ( some of our franchisees have 12 stores ). Desire to follow and not later the Trade Secrets formula.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Hair Salon Market?

DW: The professional salon industry is in the billions in Canada and is one of the few recession proof businesses in the world as customers are always motivated to look their best at all times. .

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

DW: Location is the key, changing the product mix to keep up with the trends and having the right person as the franchisee.

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

DW: John Prittie who is president of Heron Homes and the late Greg Brophy who started Shred-it.

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

DW: Make sure you are going to love the business and not just looking at it for cash flow and investment. Look carefully at the strength of the marketing, support, training, brand recognition, locations and most important of all – are there multiple franchise owners.

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

DW: Quite simply we have been a leader for 25 years and have many franchisees who own multiple stores who have also been with us 25 years. The formula works, it is a fun , exciting fast moving and very positive business with great margins and not a lot of need for personnel.