Rizwan and Sandrine Syed are now considered beauty industry and small business experts – after creating their multi-million-dollar eyebrow shaping business with no bank loan, just $5000, and a great deal of hard work and persistence.
But they attribute much of their success to a team of loyal, open-minded staff who believed in their business model.
“The mindset is as important as the skill,” said Mrs Syed. “We found our successful franchisees all possessed the capacity to grow.”
“They are open minded – like us. We all need to realise we don’t know everything, be able to accept criticism, challenge our thought processes, and learn from our mistakes.”
The Syeds own 30 Zubias Threading stores across Perth with plans to expand nationally and into the Pacific Region – and have 10 franchise outlets, all run by long-serving employees.
“Our business is the cup that holds self-development,” said Mr Syed. “Find a team of loyal staff and they’ll remain loyal to the franchise model. Your people are the franchise – and they need to have a passion for what they do.”
“All of my franchisees believe in our business model and wanted to upgrade their lifestyle. They have so much faith in the way it’s operated and the company itself – the purpose – that they wanted to sign up for it and wanted to live their lives doing this forever.”
Mr Syed likes to use an analogy comparing closed and open pistachios, to highlight the importance of mindset when recruiting. “If you have an open mindset – the open pistachio – you can overcome any dysfunction within the team, and challenge the closed pistachios.”
The Syed’s say small business owners should look for the below qualities in potential franchisees.
An open mind set: have the capacity to grow and a desire to learn, a can-do and positive attitude, learn from mistakes and accept criticism, and be grateful for challenges.
Loyalty: believe in and be passionate about the business model, focus on employees and be willing to help other staff build successful lives – then customers will benefit.
Resilience and perseverance: be willing to try something different and work hard and consistently in both good and bad times.
Confidence in the brand: passion for the industry, ability to follow a clear and genuine business purpose that adds value to customers, focus on the mission and not the money, and won’t be afraid of expansion.
Open lines of communication: take responsibility for actions and results, and ability to convey plans to move ahead.
Proven time management skills: ability to adjust lifestyle to meet business commitments, yet aware of the importance of work-life balance.
Supportive partners and family: essential in times of pressure when back-up is required most, better still they share a passion for the business and are hands-on.
And, small business owners should be picky in the selection process: have a personal profile model mapped out for a “typical” franchisee, as operating a franchise is a long-term commitment.
“We like people to avoid debate or arguments, because nobody wins,” said Mr Syed.
“There’s a new way of doing business, it’s less about the competition, separation and survival, and more about collaboration and community,” he said.
“We need to be ourselves and opportunities with business will arise, it’s not about destroying the competition. The more together we are, the more likely we will stay together.”
To sustain that longevity in business, the couple said it’s essential to be picky when recruiting.
“Look for a person in the right industry with the right meaning,” said Mr Syed.
“For example, a chef who is passionate about food, we choose beauty professionals who have a passion for beauty – they love what they do. If you love what you do, you’re not going to burn out, and you can do it forever,” he said.
“If someone has reached the top of the ladder in our business, it’s time for them to have their own franchise, and we can help them with that,” said Mr Syed.
“I’m all about people, we cannot do it without our team. I swear by them and I put my heart and soul into them, so they return the same,” he said.