last updated 24/03/2021
Out Of The Box
last updated 24/03/2021
Loving the brand helped couple into their own business with Caci
When your heart’s set on opening a Caci skin and appearance medicine business, just do it – even if there’s a global pandemic raging all around you.
That’s how it was for Emma Hague and husband Steve O’Connor. Covid-19 had suddenly thrown the country into turmoil, but the couple were determined to make things happen, and the Caci support team were right behind them.
‘We signed up during the March 2020 lockdown, and when we opened our clinic in Howick on 22nd September, Auckland had just gone down to Alert Level 2,’ recalls Steve.
It might have seemed like a brave move, but the couple had extensive business experience and were an ideal match for the well-established franchise. Steve had sales, management and people skills, having owned a local bar and restaurant, while Emma had gained accounting and sales expertise in the family business before working at an Auckland Caci clinic herself.
‘I kept coming home and saying to Steve how much I loved working there,’ says Emma. ‘I had always been interested in the beauty sector right from my school days, and over the Christmas holidays we took stock of our lives and Steve said, “If you love Caci so much, why don’t you get your own?” And when we found a franchise was planned for Howick – our own backyard – there was never any doubt that Caci was the way forward.’
‘Everyone’s heard of the brand, and although we looked at other opportunities, Emma already had her heart set on Caci,’ says Steve. ‘The franchise is like a beautifully polished box, with everything inside that you could possibly need to run your own business.’
Right people, right place, right results Emma and Steve were encouraged by Caci to conduct proper due diligence before making the decision to proceed. The accountant they chose was already familiar with Caci, ‘Which was so helpful,’ says Steve. ‘He was able to tell us what we needed to do to succeed, and understood the need for having the right staff in place.’
Six months after opening, Caci Howick has three full-time employees – two therapists and a cosmetics nurse – as well as a part-time receptionist. Emma takes care of the day-to-day management of the clinic as well as sales, with new customers also coming from the franchise’s extensive social media activity. ‘Having that level of professional marketing from the franchise team has certainly been a load off my shoulders, and enabled me to focus on the business,’ says Emma.
And their accountant will be pleased to know the business is on track to meet growth predictions. ‘With travel restrictions increasing people’s disposable income, and the huge increase in Zoom video calls where people get to stare at their own faces, Caci franchisees all over the country have seen increased demand,’ explains Steve.
Excellent training and support
Emma and Steve say that the level of training and support from Caci has been ‘phenomenal’ and has far exceeded their expectations.
‘The whole process has been great, right from the day we first signalled our interest, to signing the agreement and organising our clinic’s fit-out,’ says Steve. ‘We had Caci head office staff pitching in to help us open on time after Auckland’s second lockdown – they just looked after us so well.’
Emma agrees. ‘The support was amazing the first week I was open, and that just made everything run so smoothly. It was all so easy and straightforward, thanks to their help, and at no time did either of us feel overwhelmed.’
‘It feels like Caci always set the bar high, then make sure all their franchisees are above that bar,’ adds Steve. ‘That’s in everybody’s best interest, of course, but they really do care, and if you have a particular issue they are quick to provide the specialist help you need.’
A happy place
Emma admits to experiencing enormous satisfaction from helping customers overcome their skin-related issues. ‘I especially love watching the progress of customers who can be a little self-conscious and lacking in confidence about their skin when they first come in. But when their skin health treatment is finished, wow, they are totally transformed!’
The couple look upon their clinic as a ‘happy place’ – not just for them and their staff, but also for their customers. They’re also happy with how the business is performing financially and admit that they will consider investing in another clinic down the track.
Penny Chapman, Caci’s Operations Manager, says, ‘If you have a passion for the beauty industry – in particular, skin and appearance medicine – plus a desire to help others, then Caci is the brand to build a successful business on. Investment levels start from $150,000-250,000+gst, and there are a number of opportunities available throughout New Zealand in both metropolitan areas and regional territories.
‘You don’t need to be a beauty therapist yourself – just have plenty of people skills and a good head for business. With our training and support, as Emma and Steve are finding, you can go places. Call me to find out about opportunities in your chosen area.’
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