What Does A Franchise’s Opening Day Look Like? We Sent A Photographer to Capture It — Nerves and All

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What’s a grand opening? To prospects, it is the primary day to take a look at a brand new enterprise. However for a brand new franchisee, a grand opening is the primary day of their new lives — the second when all their planning pays off, and a brand new section of onerous work begins.

We needed to know what that appears and seems like — so we determined to spend a day documenting it.

This previous October, new StretchLab franchisees Michael and Rebecca Son have been opening their first StretchLab franchise in Bothell, Washington, and have been pleased to welcome us in. Their franchisee journey started in 2022, when Rebecca needed to reenter the workforce after a number of years of specializing in her children, and Michael craved a brand new problem after 20 years within the company world. After six months of looking out, they discovered their excellent alternative — to open a StretchLab. The model has over 400 studios throughout the nation, the place members can get stretched out by educated “flexologists.” By beginning an assisted stretching studio, the Sons felt that they might dip their toes into the entrepreneurial world whereas additionally serving to individuals to alleviate ache and stress and enhance their efficiency and mobility.

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Beneath, you will see photographs from the Sons’ official first day open, and their recollections of the day’s pleasure.

7:30 a.m. Making ready for the Large Day

For 3 months earlier than Opening Day, the Sons ran a pop-up studio to present free 15-minute demos outdoors their retailer. Right this moment was the primary time individuals might come inside for the complete expertise…

Michael says: “Even a few weeks prior, I assumed, Is that this actually going to occur?”

Rebecca says: “On the morning of Opening Day, I bear in mind feeling that every thing had lastly come collectively. The art work was in place. The benches have been now not in plastic wrap. The workers acquired there early. We got here collectively and mentioned, ‘Let’s simply get pleasure from. We’ll determine this out. The purpose is to maintain doing what we’re doing.'”

Michael: “I might lastly breathe.”

8 a.m. First Members Arrive

Michael: “We tried to present of us who had signed up earliest these first periods.”

Rebecca: “I noticed flexologists greeting members, saying, ‘Hey, Brad! How are the youngsters? How’s your golf recreation going?’ That introduced me numerous pleasure as a result of it advised me that our flexologists and our members have been already constructing rapport. We have now an open-concept studio, so guests have been seeing members comfortably getting stretched.”

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Michael: “Nobody was groaning in ache.”

Rebecca: “You might hear dialog, music, laughter. It was vibrant.”

8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Instructing, Studying, Connecting

Michael: “Assisted stretching remains to be a brand new modality. Nearly each certainly one of our members goes via that means of being not sure and asking, ‘Is that this actually one thing?’ It is our job to assist them via it.”

Rebecca: “I talked to numerous members that day. They have been telling me about individuals they knew in want of one thing like this.”

Michael: “As an illustration, I talked with a mom and her son, who’s an athlete. I acquired to know that dynamic of a mom who cares about giving her son each attainable profit. He was tremendous into it. It was virtually like he felt this was one thing that nobody else knew about.”

12 p.m. Celebration Time!

Opening Day is about serving new prospects — but it surely’s additionally about celebrating the franchise’s new group. The social gathering begins early.

Rebecca: “I simply bear in mind feeling tremendous proud and desirous to get the crew collectively to thank them for getting us thus far.”

Michael: “We had so lots of the individuals who had been with us from the beginning, together with a mixture of companions, pals, different individuals’s household, and different native retailer house owners. It felt like a second at hand it off just a little and simply get pleasure from. To some extent, you have to let issues go to actually see your small business thrive. We’re nonetheless working via that means of empowering our crew. However should you discover the best individuals, success will come.”

Picture Credit score: All Photographs by Peyton Fulford

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