Support and Training
Barbers of the Lowcountry is a family owned and operated barbershop located in the heart of Bluffton, SC. The business was formed after a simple realization, men don’t belong in a beauty salon, they belong in a barbershop! Lowcountry prides itself in being the area’s premier professional barbershop, providing a professional atmosphere with convenient appointments as well as accepting walk-ins. Lowcountry main goal is to provide a first class, full-grooming service including straight razor shaves with pre-shaving oils, rejuvenating hot towels, followed by hot lather and finishing off with a relaxing after-shave soothing lotion. Brent Nelsen and his father, Lou, started their shop in December of 1997. Because of their passion in men’s hair care and grooming they have worked hard in developing a state of the art premier barbershop. Through the years they both have honed their skills in hair care, razor shaves, the finest of grooming products, and overall grooming look and experience. In 2003 they even added a men’s hair replacement division where they still service men and their hair replacement needs. Lowcountry’s professional staff is ready to serve each customer from the moment they walk-in the old-fashion yet modern environment. Customers can rest assured that Lowcountry will do what is needed to give them the perfect look. The prestigious Lowcountry barbers respectfully understand the specific needs what each client desires and work efficiently to accomplish those needs, leaving the customers looking great and feeling satisfied with the overall experience. The shop’s success is largely due to Brent Nelsen, a business-minded entrepreneur who saw a gap in the hair care market segment very early. One major differentiator introduced by Brent is the mobile barber operation. It started out of necessity but the team quickly recognized the demand for mobile service. It is also an amazing way for us to differentiate Lowcountry in the franchise marketplace. There has been an enormous amount of interest, potential franchise growth, and overall acceptance of Lowcountry as a business and brand. With the appropriate structure, planning, and defined business models, Lowcountry has the potential to help redefine the barbershop industry segment. The market seems primed for a well-branded, high-quality provider to deliver these services in a brick and mortar or mobile operation, at a price point that an individual with average income can afford.
Lowcountry is a concept based out of a previous gap in the men’s hair care and barbershop market segment. The franchise will offer a variety of grooming services to keep customers looking and feeling great. Although the primary services at Lowcountry are the haircut and a shave, Lowcountry has developed its business based on the overall customer experience.
Barbers of the Lowcountry is a modern shop returning old-fashioned grooming to prominence. It provides cuts to men who know that looking good is important.
Guests can watch movies, listen to great music, enjoy a hot or cold beverage (including craft beer and wine), and try some freshly baked treats!
Lowcountry offers any style for all men’s cuts, luxury shaves, shave lessons, grooming products, shave accessories, and much more.
A typical franchisee should have an average of six to eight chairs, depending on the size of the location. The current financials of the store are strong and the concept has proven effective via its consistent and impressive numbers. The Lowcountry concept will feature mobile operations, as well as brick and mortar locations that follow a similar layout and décor as the prototype in Bluffton, South Carolina. In both models, it is consistency and professionalism that will keep the Lowcountry brand ahead of any of the competition. The location, layout, signage, and décor all attract and patrons and but the service keeps them coming back.
Both business models are reasonably simple, which allows for quick and efficient duplication of the business system. A typical brick and mortar location should range between 800 and 2,500 square feet, depending on the location and market demographics. The business model will typically fit into a strip center or downtown location; the foot traffic and “anchors” that are close to the location will have an impact on the success of the operation. It is critical to the success of the Lowcountry franchise that new franchise partners abide by the strict processes and policies in place for finding and approving locations. Brent Nelsen will oversee new franchisee location acquisition and in managing the negotiations of leases and business terms for the real estate. The recommended process will be as follows:
The mobile operation will be an option for a franchisee who is looking for a non-traditional barber operation. They will purchase a fully outfitted vehicle and may need to purchase a tow vehicle (unless they already own something suitable). This mobile operation will operate much like a food truck, traveling to weekend events, festivals, concerts, hospitals, and more. It will be offered as a part of the brick and mortar franchise, or as a stand-alone franchise at a discounted franchise fee (as documented in the Franchise Fee section of this Plan).
The business is heavily dependent on strong and focused promotion in the markets where shops and mobile vehicle operations are being opened. For this reason, there are cooperative marketing groups, a national marketing program, and a localized marketing program in place. These groups of marketing initiatives are each equally important and will be managed closely the Lowcountry management team.
A member of Lowcountry field support staff will visit each franchisee according to the following schedule:
First Year – Monthly
Second Year – Quarterly
Third Year and Beyond – Biannually
Lowcountry may also provide various online training and/or webinars throughout the year and will be available for phone and email support on an as-needed basis.
It is estimated that Lowcountry will need to hire one field supervisor for every 20 franchises in the field (on average). The Franchisor has incorporated a formalized mechanism for ensuring quality control among franchisees that will be implemented by these field supervisors. Designated staff members will perform supervision of field support duties.
Barbers of the Lowcountry Franchising, LLC will also work with franchisees to handle lease negotiations and make sure that franchise partners go into business with the best possible lease structure for their operation.
The Franchisor will provide ongoing training and support in many areas critical to the success of the franchisee's business, including new business development and new customer generation. There will also be a significant amount of support through product development and industry expertise.
Lowcountry will coordinate development of advertising materials and strategies for the benefit of all members of the franchise network. It will also supply franchisees with consumer marketing plans and materials for use at the local or regional level, and retains the right to approve all local advertising materials that the franchisee chooses to develop.
The Franchisor or its affiliate will negotiate quantity discounts on behalf of all of its members, passing some or all of these savings on to the franchisees. This may be done through a primary relationship with a single vendor of the hair products and product lines or a mix of approved vendors who supply the products in addition to equipment and other items needed to start and operate the Lowcountry business model.
Reporting directly to administration, this department is responsible for the financial and legal oversight of franchisees.
Ongoing Research and Development
Barbers of the Lowcountry Franchising, LLC and leadership will continue to research methods and techniques for franchise operations (including purchasing and promotional schemes) that enhance unit-level profitability.
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