Why I Opened My First Franchise at Age 70
At age 70, Dwight Teske was ready to dive into a new industry. After retiring from a career in construction, he wanted to supplement his retirement income – and utilize his spare time. 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons seemed like the perfect fit. Here's what he has learned launching a new career after retirement.
Name: Dwight Teske
Franchise owned (location): 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons in Westlake Village, Calif.
How long have you owned a franchise?
We opened our first salon in November
I was looking to open a business to supplement the retirement income and utilize some of my spare time. Franchising provides more of a secure path to owning a successful business, grounded in proven systems and processes.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
My first career was in automobile repair. From there, I went into construction and eventually became a B licensed contractor and structural steel fabricator. I finished my construction career with 21 years at the City of Los Angeles. At age 70, I am excited to dive into a new industry.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I was immediately drawn to the 18|8 concept, specifically because it targets a previously ignored segment of society: the upscale, metro man. We offer handcrafted work that previously was only available in a women’s salon environment. The founders of the brand, Ron Love and Scott Griffiths, realized that 30 to 35 percent of the customers in the average women’s salon were men and knew developing the 18|8 concept would fill this unmet niche. Additionally, since the company has only been franchising for about three years, they offer franchisees personalized support throughout the process.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
$100,000 for franchise fees for the first three stores. I also spent another $200,000 to get the doors open.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I did most of my research online, first looking into value brands in the hair care industry. I realized that 18|8 was targeting the opposite end of the spectrum and spent several months investigating the company. It did not take long to realize it was the right opportunity. 18|8 was extremely helpful with weekly calls and emails to keep everything on track. They helped make sure that the equipment and supplies were ordered on time and provided training as well as marketing support.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The final four or five weeks of the construction we ran into some unexpected trouble. All the years I spent in construction, I had never had a job where so many things went upside down at the same time.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Choose a franchise that fits you and has a proven track record. Plan on delays and things going wrong with getting the business open. If you do, you won’t be so stressed. Spend whatever time necessary to figure out how to adequately reach your target customer and plan on spending adequate advertising dollars to start reaching them as soon as you open.
What’s next for you and your business?
As soon as this store is up and running smoothly, I will be starting on the second, and then the third.
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