Support

Clothes Mentor comes with a proven
successful business model

Support

Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. Together, let’s reawaken your future.

At Clothes Mentor, we are here to support you every step of the way on your journey to achieve retail success, while maintaining that healthy work-life balance that is so important to you and your family. After all, it’s personal and we’re here to help you attain your goals.

For starters, we’ll arm you with a proven business model helping you through our entire process. We will collaborate with you to chart a clear path helping you avoid needless trial and error, reduce and eliminate costly mistakes, shorten your learning curve and, ultimately, help you reach your professional and personal goals as quickly as possible. But, that’s just the start. Check out these other key benefits that a Clothes Mentor franchise owner can expect:

It all starts with a plan

We will work hand-in-hand with you to develop a business plan that will provide expert guidance and can be used as the financial and operational playbook for your store during the critical start-up phase of your business.

We are with you every step of your journey

As a part of your on-boarding experience, we conduct three separate comprehensive training programs, providing both pre-opening and post-opening classes and hands-on experience. Expect to learn about a variety of topics to assist you in your business, including: business planning, personnel management, back of the house administration, inventory management, marketing and merchandising, and so much more.      

Take it to the bank

We have an on-going, productive relationship with a Small Business Administration (SBA) preferred status lender who can help you with pre-qualification before you commit to opening your store. This lender knows our brand, our business plan and how to process loans quickly and efficiently.    

 Location, location, location

You’ve heard this before − location is everything. We couldn’t agree more and we are here to help with that, too.  Clothes Mentor has adopted a standardized real estate process that has a clearly defined all-in-one strategy for site selection, lease negotiation and legal review, helping you find the perfect location for your store. 

Opening your doors

We have proven vendors in place to assist you with your store opening. For our Clothes Mentor franchisees, we have negotiated preferred pricing and service on everything needed for a store buildout. From fixtures to equipment to interior/exterior signage to point-of-sale systems and more, we’ve got your covered.

Check out our Proprietary Point-of-Sale (POS) System

The unique software that runs our proprietary POS system was specifically designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the resale business model. With touch screen capabilities and a built-in buy matrix, the system assists in the buying and selling of gently used merchandise.

Our Franchise Business Consultant (FBC) . . . your virtual assistant

Our FBCs serve as small business consultants for our franchisees. They are responsible for ensuring success in all areas of the resale operation, including financial performance, merchandising and customer service, among others.

Let’s celebrate with marketing support you can depend on

Before a store even opens, we help to create community excitement. Then, we continue to provide on-going marketing support to all stores at both local and national levels. Get more in-depth information about each of these topics throughout our site.

 

 

 

Your blueprint for success

You are excited about your new business . . . and you should be! It’s an exciting time as you create your own destiny . . .  on your own terms . . . as your own boss. And, you are accomplishing this while still carving out time for family and friends on your road to financial success thanks to the Clothes Mentor philosophy.

That said, one of the first things you must accomplish to get your business off to the right start is to develop a solid business plan, a blueprint of sorts, to serve as your comprehensive roadmap. For that, a professional and well-designed business plan is essential in helping you raise the funds necessary to finance your business, attract new customers and keep loyal ones returning to boost sales.

Don’t know where to start? We’ll work with you to develop a comprehensive plan that can be used as the financial and operational guide for your store during the critical start-up phase of your business. You need to be at your best when you present your new business to a lender and we’ll provide you the tools and expert advice to impress any audience.

Step One

Analyze your market and get a lay of the land

We’ll help you develop an introductory section that takes an in-depth look at your local market and analyzes how your business will fit into your community at large. It will also illustrate how you intend to implement your sales and marketing plans and how these decisions will position you to positively impact your business throughout the next 12 months.

Step Two

Identify your target customer and learn what makes them tick

Knowing your customer inside and out is crucial to success. This overview will examine who your prospective customers are, where they live, what they want and what motivates them to buy.

Step Three

Set Your business goals

Putting your goals to paper is a crucial first step for any business. We’ll assist you in establishing your store’s goals for the first three years of operation. Plus, we’ll discuss the elements of your business that are possible to track so you can gauge your progress every step of the way. Together, we’ll develop goals that are achievable, timely and measurable.

Step Four

Develop your marketing strategies and tactics

Look at any successful business and you will see it is supported by a robust marketing plan. This section is the heart of your plan. It details your key marketing messages, along with strategies and tactics to achieve these goals.

Step Five

Determine your budget

This section of your plan will detail the projected expenses of your store, both the expected and unexpected. Your budgeted plan will include estimated gross margins and key expenses such as marketing, rent, payroll, utilities and a host of other categories.

Step Six

Consider your resources

Another key to your success is putting the right people in the right places. Determine who on your team will handle various aspects of your store operations, including running the store day-to-day, marketing the business and handling the accounting. Keep in mind that your plan is flexible, so if your business changes or if other strengths of your associates emerge, we can help you make adjustments to capitalize on them.

In this video, our VP of Franchising shares his insights about staying the course of our proven, profitable business model when launching:

 

Store location

After you have secured financing for your business and developed a solid business plan, the next major step is to go through the real estate process. Securing the right site and negotiating a competitive lease may significantly impact the sales and profitability of your store. While it may seem daunting, we are here to help you thanks to our relationship with Colliers International, a leading global real estate services company that possesses extensive knowledge in this arena.

In concert with Colliers International, we have adopted a standardized real estate process that features a clearly defined, all-in-one strategy for site selection, lease negotiation and legal review. By outsourcing the real estate services, our franchisees receive many benefits such as money and time savings, as well as a faster store-opening process.

About Colliers International

Colliers International is a leading global commercial real estate services organization defined by their spirit of enterprise. With more than 16,300 professionals in 500-plus offices worldwide, they are dedicated to creating strategic partnerships with Clothes Mentor and our franchisees, providing customized services that transform real estate into a competitive advantage.

Phase One

Franchise Location Evaluation and broker assistance

We help you understand various aspects of site selection and identify the perfect location for your store.

For Clothes Mentor, we recommend the following location considerations:

  • Situated within a suburban shopping center
  • 2,000 to 3,000 square feet in size
  • Located near regional or fashion malls where women 25 years of age and older shop for high-quality, name-brand clothing, shoes and accessories.

Phase Two

Site Selection and Letter of Intent (LOI)

We work with you to negotiate and submit proposals and assistance with preparing an LOI.

Phase Three

Lease agreement (LA) and space preparation

Together, we review your lease agreement to make sure it matches your LOI and understanding of when the landlord will turn the space over to you.

Location, location, location! Watch this video to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect site for your Clothes Mentor store.

Store buildout

Clothes Mentor Franchise has teamed up with proven vendors, F.C. Dadson and Specialty Store Services, offering the best pricing and service available for your store buildout through a streamlined process enabling you to get your store opened as quickly as possible.

Ensuring a uniform image throughout the brand, we will assist you in following our quality standards for fixtures and key supplies for your store. And, we’ll discuss your plans before you begin construction to prevent any unnecessary revisions. You will also be provided with easy-to-follow prototypical drawings, along with a list of specifications such as interior and exterior materials, décor, fixtures, supplies, equipment and signs. It’s important to note that all of the construction materials, fixtures, equipment, furniture, décor and signs for your store are high in quality and easily accessible.

As you develop your store, we make it easy for you to meet our specifications, as well as adhere to the Americans With Disabilities Act and other applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances, building code and permit requirements. We will also help you meet lease requirements and restrictions.

What Makes F.C. Dadson and Specialty Store Services Different?

One-Stop Store Supply Shopping

A streamlined process for ordering fixtures, equipment, supplies, graphics and other décor pieces.

Store In-a-Box-Coordinated Delivery

Fixtures and store supplies ship on one trailer, saving you time and multiple shipping charges, enabling you to open your store faster.

Retail Construction

Experienced in construction management, they help bridge the gap between franchisor, franchisee, landlord and your general contractor, ensuring that your store gets built out to our specifications while keeping costs in line.

Dedicated Project Managers

Their project managers take on many of the day-to-day details, freeing you up to focus on promoting and building your business.

Retail Expertise

Combined, they boast more than 70 years of experience developing, manufacturing and shipping fixtures and supplies to thousands of retailers across the country.

Franchisor/Franchisee Relationship

Well-versed in every aspect of our business and our Franchise Disclosure Document to serve your best interest throughout the entire buildout process. 

New Owner Training

Once you’re a member of the Clothes Mentor family, we invite you to join us for three separate, comprehensive training programs. These programs are designed to provide new owners with both pre-opening and post-opening classes in a broad array of subjects beneficial to running your store. Topics include: business planning, financial management and real-estate selection to store operations, merchandising, inventory management and POS system training, as well as a full week of hands-on, in-store training.

Check out the specifics of each in-person training session below.

Business Training (Pre-Opening)

In this comprehensive 2 ½ day training program, taking place in Minneapolis at our corporate headquarters, we’ll start with the basics and arm you with all of the tools available providing the assistance you’ll need to successfully open your store, including:

Real Estate/Site Selection

We’ll cover the important aspects surrounding your lease and what criteria you should consider to obtain the best site possible.

Business Planning

Learn about preparing your comprehensive business plan and review financing options.

New Store Development

We’ll share an all-encompassing “how-to” on your store buildout including important details like fixture, signage, flooring options and so much more, making certain your store reflects the Clothes Mentor brand.

Marketing

We’ll present an introduction to the vast array of the marketing options for your store, from advertising to public relations to social media to special events — we’ve got you covered.

Personnel Management

Get tips on how to recruit, hire, train and develop the best employees for your business.

QuickBooks

We’ll help you implement the QuickBooks accounting software into your personal computer, enabling you to manage your daily business expenses easily and efficiently.

Operations Training (Pre-Opening/Opening)

This five-day program takes a deep dive into everything you need to know about the day-to-day operation of your store. Sessions include:

Marketing

Our marketing team will share information, ideas and recommendations on grand opening advertising and events, local store marketing, print and multimedia advertising. You also get tips for enhancing your store website and engaging customers through an on-going social media program, and more.

Customer Service

We’ll discuss what it takes to provide stellar customer service and ways to encourage your staff to embrace these key elements when dealing with each and every customer who walks through your door. You’ll also learn to recognize customer cues and more.

Merchandising & Store Standards

Learn the Clothes Mentor store standards and how to merchandise to maximize profits.

Loss Prevention

In-store theft can negatively impact your bottom-line. Learn how to detect both internal and external theft — we share important tools and strategies for doing so.

Inventory management

We’ll provide an in-depth look at seasonal buying and selling, as well as review clearance procedures to maximize profitability.

Product knowledge

We’ll provide insight on how to buy and sell your products. In addition to general hands-on training on this topic, you’ll also receive the following helpful materials:

  • Trend report – a guide highlighting the hottest styles for each upcoming season.
  • Buyers guide – a training tool to ensure that your buyers know specifics of assessing each piece of merchandise.
  • Exams – review tests for your staff to make sure they know information from the guides.
  • On-site inventory evaluations – a written feedback report that is provided to you each visit by Clothes Mentor field support staff.
  • Mall visit program – a maintenance course provided to you so your staff can keep up with trends in your local market.
  • Advanced training workshops – an annual national conference hosted for you and your management staff focused on educating you on current business trends and opportunities to help grow your business.
  • On-demand video training – additional help available on Clothes Mentor’s convenient extranet enabling you to learn at a time and place that is convenient for you.

Store Training

This six-day program at our corporate store is where you’ll see all of the information you learned during the previous two programs in action. Our comprehensive, proprietary Store Training program includes:

Day One

Introduction

Store tour and introduction to the POS system, merchandising, customer service and product classification.

Day Two

Admin

Store opening/closing procedures, back-of-office administration, sales planning, personnel management and POS administration.

Day Three

Inventory

Sorting/buying, merchandising, inventory management, POS troubleshooting and loss prevention.

Day Four

Marketing

Local store marketing including social media and strategies for effectively handling customer complaints.

Day Five

Overview

An all-encompassing overview of the previous four days and putting what you’ve learned into action.

Day Six

Q & A

Questions and answers session with the Clothes Mentor team and final training certification.

Training Prerequisites

For Business Training: We suggest you and your partner(s) to attend Business Training in the first available class after you have signed your Franchise Agreement.

For Operations Training: It is ideal for you to receive training on the operational aspects of the business as close to your “Open to Buy” period as possible. As soon as you’ve completed Business Training, submitted your signed lease and ordered your store fixture package, you are ready to attend Operations Training.

For Store Training: We recommend that you attend Store Training immediately following Operations Training. However, you can separate these two training sessions, if needed, to accommodate your schedule.

Point-of-Sale System

The unique software that runs our Clothes Mentor point-of-sale (POS) system was specifically designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the resale business. With touch screen capabilities and a built-in buy matrix, the system will assist in the buying and selling of your inventory. It will also enable you to track numerous aspects of your store including: daily sales summaries, inventory buys, and detailed customer transactions. This proprietary software is the property of our third-party supplier and you will purchase your software license and hardware directly from them.

Key Point-of-Sale Software Features

POS Basics
  • Typical sales transactions
  • Discount and various coupon capabilities, as well as payment options screens
  • Detailed administrative functions
Product Buy Matrix
  • Easy-to-learn and use touch screen system automation to effectively buy the right inventory at the right price
  • Department, category, brand-specific matrix with suggested costs and retails
  • Enhanced buy process with interactive links to eBay and other buying links
Employee Accountability
  • Track individual employees’ activities including sales, buys and returns and review inventory sell rate performance
  • Objectively measure and manage employee productivity
  • Leads to improved buyer training of best- and worst-selling items
Integrated, Secure Credit Card Processing
  • Chip and pin capabilities
  • Streamline customer transactions
  • Easy daily credit card transaction reconciliations
Online Reporting Capability
  • Monitors stores performance remotely
  • Provides various executive summary reports on store performance with comparison to other stores
  • Drills down via special report helping analyze business metrics
Quickbooks Integration
  • Easy and time-saving integration of daily sales activities into QuickBooks
  • More accurate and detailed daily reporting of key point-of-sale transactions
  • Improves month-end reporting analysis of your financials
Tech Support
  • Automatic data backups
  • Software updates are timely and readily available
  • Remote access software to communicate and train
Systems
  • Full Windows compatibility
  • Built on a strong and capable database system
  • Full features including barcode readers and scanners

 

Hear more about the benefits of Clothes Mentor’s unique POS system from our VP of Franchising:

Franchise Business Consultant (FBC)

The unique software that runs our Clothes Mentor point-of-sale (POS) system was specifically designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the resale business. With touch screen capabilities and a built-in buy matrix, the system will assist in the buying and selling of your inventory along with tracking numerous aspects of your store including daily sales summaries, inventory buys, and detailed customer transactions. The proprietary software is the property of our third-party supplier and you will buy your software license and hardware from them.

Role of the Franchise Business Consultant

We’re successful when you’re successful. That’s why your Franchise Business Consultant (FBC) is here to provide personal assistance and be your “go-to” contact throughout your Clothes Mentor journey. They serve as your small business consultant and are responsible for ensuring your success in all areas of your resale operation, including financial performance, merchandising and customer service. To accomplish this, your FBC is in contact with you during numerous phases of your business, including:

Pre-opening visit
  • Timing: Two weeks after opening your store to begin buying inventory
  • Duration: 1-2 days
  • Focus: Helps ensure proper buying of product, making sure fixtures are installed properly and that the POS system is functioning correctly.
Store opening visit
  • Timing: The day before and the day of the opening of your store to begin selling merchandise
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Focus: Final tweaks to merchandising and staff training. Your FBC will be there as a resource for answering questions and providing support at your store opening.
Follow-up visit
  • Timing: Approximately 90 days after store opening
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Focus: Operations, full analysis of customer service, POS training and troubleshooting any unexpected issues. We also assist with small business practices such as hiring, bookkeeping, business planning/forecasting, attaining a clear picture of cash flow and any other operational needs.
Ongoing visits
  • Timing: Every 9-12 months
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Focus: Your FBC is there as a small business analyst and counselor.
Monthly operations calls
  • Timing:  Monthly
  • Focus: Inventory planning, advertising and marketing, POS reporting, budgeting and other items related to your business.
Conferences
  • Timing: Annually
  • Duration: 2 ½ days
  • Focus:  Networking and training opportunities for all of our franchise owners, managers and staff in one location. But it’s not all business, we take time for a little fun, as well. An event you’re sure to look forward to year after year.

Watch this quick video to learn more from our VP of Franchising about how Franchise Business Consultant work with franchisees to build their businesses:

In this video, several franchisees explain how working with a Franchise Business Consultant has helped them:

Marketing

Marketing is a very important piece in making a store a success, and we are here to help you in many different ways. We offer comprehensive marketing training as well as ongoing marketing support to all franchisees.

Marketing is made up of many areas including electronic media, print media, social media, digital media and local store marketing. During your training, we will cover all of these areas in-depth as well as marketing budgets and how to best allocate them. The following is a brief breakdown of the different areas of marketing:

Electronic Media

This includes TV, cable, radio, Pandora, Hulu and others. We have a recommended media buyer that will help to get you up and running as well as plan long-term goals. Check out one of our latest Clothes Mentor commercials below.

Print Media

We know the ins and outs of different forms of print media and how to best utilize them in our stores. We also create many items in-house for stores and work with proven vendors that make getting your print materials easy.

Social Media

We know the ins and outs of different forms of print media and how to best utilize them in our stores. We also create many items in-house for stores and work with proven vendors that make getting your print materials easy.

Digital Media

This includes clothesmentor.com, a comprehensive, mobile-responsive website that presents customers with easily accessible information about the brand as well as individual stores. It’s a place to learn about Clothes Mentor’s unique resale concept, be inspired by our trend guide and fashion blog and, ultimately, draw customers to your store. NTY Franchise Company works with a top search engine optimization (SEO)/digital company that helps to support the main brand website as well as provides a great option for you to promote your local store website with SEO.

Local Store Marketing

Local area marketing is a key part in promoting a local business. We have great ideas that have worked for other stores and tips for getting a strong start in your market. Our goal is to provide you with the best training and tools you will need to be a success in your market!

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