Starting a business is only part of the uphill battle to entrepreneurship, but staying in business requires business knowledge, persistence and resilience. iTAN Franchisee Matt Stracner recently opened his ninth iTAN salon in Lake Forest, Calif. Here’s what he had to say about what it takes to run a successful franchise.

1. What sparked your interest in iTAN Franchising, Inc.? How did you become an iTAN franchisee?

I was looking to be part of a successful franchise, and I found that iTAN is the leader in the sun, spray and spa industry. After doing further research, iTAN had the best business model out of any tanning franchise I have seen, so it was an easy decision. It’s important to look at a franchise’s track record to determine its potential for success.

2. How do you maintain the success of each of your iTAN salons?

I think hiring the best people and investing in them is the best way to maintain success for any business. On our most recent salon opening in Lake Forest, Calif., we were able to train existing employees the “iTAN way,” and they are excited to be part of a mature franchise like iTAN.

3. What kind of business experience do you need to become an iTAN franchisee?

Business experience is always a plus, but not a requirement. As long as you are willing to work hard and follow the plan that iTAN lays out, then you have a good chance at success.

4. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as an iTAN franchisee? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced as an iTAN franchisee is maintaining a good, well-trained staff. You really have to invest time and creativity into your team to keep them engaged and happy in their positions. The good thing is a lot of people really like to work here, as it’s a very fun job!

5. What does a day as an iTAN franchisee look like? Describe your day-to-day operations.

Everyday, I like to look at the daily sales numbers and trends. I also keep in touch with my district manager on a daily basis to stay informed about current happenings. Every week, it’s important to sit down with upper management and see what you can do to coach them to success in their positions.  

6. What’s your favorite thing about being an iTAN franchisee & what are some of the benefits that have come with it?

Being an iTAN franchisee is profitable, and it’s also very fun!  It’s nice to own a company where your team comes to work everyday excited to be present. Our customers also love coming in, as it’s fun for them to get away from the daily stresses of life and enjoy a mini vacay by jumping in a sun, spray or spa service at iTAN.

7. What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start and run an iTAN franchise?

The best piece of advice I would give to someone looking to start and run an iTAN franchise is to make sure they secure a great location; without a great location, it just makes it harder to succeed. If you do your research and open up a franchise in a visible, high traffic location paired with a good team, you can be very successful!