THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN AN APRICOT LANE BOUTIQUE!
We are the leading women’s fashion boutique franchise for good reason! Below is an overview of our approval process steps which will provide you with everything you need to make an informed decision at the end of your journey with us. Our comprehensive process is described below – so there are no surprises!
STEP ONE: Schedule an Introductory Call
This 30-45 minute call with our Franchise Development Ambassador will review the initial investment, general store operations and support resources, unit economics as described in Item 19 of our Franchise Disclosure Document, an opportunity to answer your questions and to learn more about each other.
STEP THREE: Discovery & Diligence
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and take a deep peek into what makes an Apricot Lane Boutique work in malls, lifestyle centers, downtown and tourist centers. You will be given access into our password protected portal of resources and support. This portal includes videos, recorded webinars, visuals and details about our programs, support, services and resources. You will be able to journey through the material at your pace depending on your schedule. We will present each session in order and the next session won’t begin until you have completed the previous session. Here is a sneak peek of what you will learn in more detail:
• Training – Pre & Post Opening 120 Day Program
• Location, Location, Location…It Really is that Important!
• Countdown Process – No Sleepless Nights!
• Plans, Construction & Build Out
• Store Options, Fixture Package & Plan-O-Gram
• Bookkeeping – Ceterus
• Using Technology – POS, Boutique Window, MOBS, Computer Support, Store Web Pages
• Buying, Brands, Merchandise Plan, Vendor Discounts
• Hiring Stylists, Staffing, Orientation & Automated Staff Development Program
• Visual Merchandising Standards & Support
• Cambeo – Private Intranet Resource Center & Free Consultation on all Business Aspects
• Ongoing Field Support, Mystery Shopping, FaceTime Walk Through
• Continuing Education – Annual Conference, Ongoing Webinars, Monthly Networking Calls
• E-Commerce at Store Level – Shoptiques & Branded Apricot Lane Sites
• In-House Advertising Agency – Primary & Secondary Promotions, Email, Direct Mail & Social Media Strategies
• Right Now Media – a one-of-a-kind resource that are making positive impacts.
STEP FOUR: Schedule a Call with our Founder & CEO, Ken Petersen
Ken will share with you some history over his past 25 years in franchising, his vision for the future and his philosophy about franchising. He will answer any questions generated from your discovery process and be available through your diligence as new questions come up.
STEP FIVE: Complete a DISC Profile
You will be sent a link to complete a DISC profile on-line at no cost to you. These profiles help us to know you better and we have had every franchisee and store manager complete one. You will get the same report that we get and it’s always fun to discuss how close they are to describing you from your perspective!
STEP SIX: Validation from Franchisees
You now know much about us and our systems, resources and support. You have talked with our CEO and the final step before we come to visit you is to validate all that you have learned from our franchisees.
STEP SEVEN: Schedule a Visit to Your Marketplace
We do things a bit differently at Apricot Lane Boutique. Because the right “fit” between you and us is critically important in addition to the right LOCATION – we actually come out to meet you in your market on our dime! We will send our real estate ambassador, Jann Sheehy who has been with us for over 15 years. Jann is also the one who will negotiate the terms of your lease and complete your lease review. If Jann is not available, we may send our CEO or COO. We pay Jann to prepare for a productive trip by researching location opportunities, obtaining center sales and scheduling appointments with leasing representatives that we will tour together. You will learn MUCH about locations during this important day together.
STEP EIGHT: Franchise Award
After our visit, we meet internally with our team to review everything we have learned about you and the market and award you the franchise if we believe the fit is right. Once awarded, if you feel the fit is right for you, then you accept the franchise and pay the Open License fee of $5,000. We then go back to the landlords we met with and share that you are a franchisee and no longer are we window shopping. We let them know that we will begin our market and site analytics to determine market potential and the specific site sales.
STEP NINE: Complete the RIDS & Site Specific Studies
We take all the information learned from our site visit and begin thorough site analytics with our outsourced site selection studies which can predict estimated annual sales.
STEP TEN: Turnover to Our Team
Once the letter of intent is finalized and a lease has been requested, the balance of your franchise becomes due. A comprehensive turnover is sent to our support team which is the official launch into your opening process. You will be assigned a project coordinator who will prepare a comprehensive countdown chart that will include every detail needed to get your store open on time (Setting up your corporation, filing for resale license, conference calls with each department, corporate training date, opening date, ordering computers, hiring staff….just to name a few). The countdown chart will establish who is responsible for each task and when they should be completed. You will meet on the phone with your project coordinator weekly to check on progress and to update your countdown chart – no surprises!