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Cutting Edge Her child's bad experience inspires one woman's booming business.

By Erica Hannickel

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Saundra Shapiro started Calgary, Alberta, Beaners Fun Cuts For Kids in 1987 after her daughter Erica had a bad experience getting a haircut at an adult salon. Today, with a half dozen franchises in Western Canada and the corporate store pulling in more than $250,000 last year, Beaners Fun Cuts For Kids has solidified its niche in the Canadian market.

At 40, president Shapiro has big plans for her children's specialty haircutting concept. Hoping to sell a master franchisee license next year, she exclaims, "we'd like to expand across Canada . . . and we'd love to go to the States!"

Beaners looks for franchisees who express passion for their work and are committed to the company's principles of care for children and families. A haircutting background is a bonus, but not mandatory. Shapiro believes it's more important for the franchisee to be an ambassador of goodwill for the store, doing the little things that keep the concept fresh. Start-up costs range from $60,000 to $80,000, according to Shapiro. Beaners was "created around moms' needs to deliver the best life experience for their kids," says Shapiro. In this industry, a concept based on the experiences of a particular 2-year-old certainly has a headstart.

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