Updates On Kennedy's All-american Barber Club´┐Ż

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things have been going quite well at Kennedy's -- recession-defying, really - so, should you still be interested in discussing becoming part of the Kennedy's family of franchisees, you're welcome to reply back to me, or even better yet, contact Adam Wonus, one of our current franchisees who would like to speak with you. Adam can be reached at 1-800-31-SHAVE or by emailing [email protected], and he's only 27 years old, but extremely successful. From him, you can expect an unfiltered view of what it's like for him to own his Kennedy's Club as an absentee-owner. And as the saying goes, if he can do it, then . . . so can you. Now, on to the updates: * We're nearly at 1,900 Kennedy's Members, and growing daily. This represents a better than 81% increase in net Members (over 823 as of this writing) since we acquired and improved our predecessor back at the beginning of the "Great Recession/Panic" of 2008 -- 2009. Many thought we were a little crazy to do this back in August 2008 - and we probably were -- "crazy like foxes," as they say. * During what is generally considered to be the most difficult economic period in decades, we've sold the franchise development rights to 152 new Kennedy's Clubs to be opened over the next five years, while nearly doubling our net membership . . . proving our concept to the fairly "recession-resistant." * We've now welcomed our seventh and eighth Clubs in Rockville, Maryland and in Ridgefield, Connecticut. So, if you (or you have friends, family, or co-workers) live near these new Clubs, do me a small favor and call 1-800-31-SHAVE to schedule an appointment. By now, I hope you already know the first-visit is on us - it's our irresistible, complimentary haircut and shave offer. So come visit and spread the word . . .

* In support of so many Clubs to open in the coming months, we've recently launched a capital raise to continue this growth and advance the Kennedy's Experience across the country. And no, this isn't me soliciting you about this; I'm simply informing you, but should you desire to learn more, you'll have to take the initiative to reach out to me.

* Less than one month ago, we launched our three, exclusive Kennedy's grooming products: Pre-Shave Oil; Shaving Cream; and After-Shave Soother. After months of testing many different brands and various formulas, we honestly think we've come up with the finest men's shaving products around . . . that is, outside of the 30-step Kennedy's signature straight-razor shave at our Clubs. You really should try them - we're launching our new webpage any day now so you can purchase them online, in addition to our Clubs. If you're not thoroughly pleased, let me know, send them back, and we'll refund your investment. I'm pretty sure no other grooming companies would do this. Just a hunch.

* At the Lake Mary Club (the one I personally own), we have just installed the worlds' most powerful hair restoration laser, the Halo Elite´┐Ż (only the 29th laser of its type in the world and first in the Orlando area), as part of our new Folli-Cure(TM) Hair Therapy System. This system produces 93.5% increases in client hair-counts, 78.9% increases in hair tensile strength, and 25% thicker hair on average . . . all with no surgery, side effects, or even a prescription. This is the latest (and only third) FDA-approved method for stopping hair loss and generating new growth, and I'm proud to make it available. If you know someone who's tried the other two FDA-approved treatments (Rogaine´┐Ż and Propecia´┐Ż) with limited success or someone who'd simply like to learn more, please refer them to us for a complimentary consultation.

* Since we started Kennedy's, we have now appeared (whether in articles or in ads) in the Wall Street Journal once; the Orlando Business Journal at least 3 times; Entrepreneur magazine 4 times; Inc. magazine 3 times; Franchise Times 5 times (soon to be a 6th); DM News once; and several more I'm probably forgetting, plus on various blogs where we've been written up. The more we get the word out, the better it is for everyone . . . so let me know if you have contacts who should know about the Kennedy's story. * Going-forward, instead of our twice-a-month blogs we've been writing since we started (which you may not even have known about), we're going to move into the realm of twice-a-week video-blogs. The simply fact is that more people are watchers than are readers these days, and we recognize that we can communicate more fully with our audience (people like you and your friends) via video. Now, don't worry -- these won't be overly long, and there will always be a point to them. I won't promise that they'll always be hilarious either . . . though I WILL promise you authenticity and sincerity about what we're trying to accomplish at Kennedy's and as men (fathers, husbands, sons, employers, co-workers, friends, and so forth) in modernity. These will be directly from me to you without any filter on a wide-variety of subjects, but especially about "bringing men back into being gentlemen." If you're a Gary Vaynerchuk or Bob Parsons blog-fan, then you have an idea of what the format of these will be, though I probably won't be quite as over-the-top as those guys can get sometimes.

* We're finally on Facebook! And no, don't give me the, "I'm too old for that" excuse! People over the age of 60 are their fastest-growing demographic. You might remember when we both thought many years ago, "Why would I possibly want people calling me all the time on my own, personal telephone?" But you probably own a cell phone now, right? Now you can Fan-us, get updates from us regularly (including the newest episodes of the video-blog above), and even learn about Kennedy's-only events and specials. Just be sure to tell others about us, too. No sense keeping our true Gentlemen's Club a secret.

* On April 1st we're launching what we expect to be a MAJOR new membership drive for us. We call it "Three and You're Fr.e.e." Basically, our Members will want to get three men (presumable their friends, family members, employees, etc.) to say they're the guy who gushingly told them about and referred them to Kennedy's, while these three new guys sign-up at the Member's level or higher . . . and then, we give that participating Member the next twelve months of his membership for FR.E.E.

* Now, I won't spend a lot of time explaining this contest here, but I will give you the reasoning behind why we're doing this: we want to honor and reward our Members' loyalty to us . . . especially those Members who talk positively and most influentially about us. We are always grateful and humbled when they refer the people they know to us, but now we want to ignite this even more. Sure, we could be like most franchise companies and focus our attention on recruiting new customers only, but with as many Members as we currently have, we'd much rather "spend" those monies on the people who already support us - our Members. Plus, if there's ever a universal truth, it is that we live in a word-of-mouth economy, so what they say about us has so much more influence than anything we could ever say about ourselves. The recurring comments I hear most from new Members and those new to Kennedy's is, "THIS is just what I've been looking for!" Many still-suffering men that should know about us, don't. So THIS should ignite the growth of our Clubs even more (we're not merely happy with over 81% net growth even in the middle of the Great Recession) and from the "inside-out." * On the Innovation Front, besides our new products and the new "contest," our "Ultimate Groom's Experience" is proving very successful. If you didn't know about this yet, we bundle all of our services together in one special package just for Grooms and their Groomsmen - we even include Kennedy's-branded cigars (a quite respectable 89 rating on the Cigar Aficionado scale). But no, the cigars aren't for sale. You can get one only by recommending a Groom you know to do the above package (your suggestion might even get you into their Wedding Party), or by being one of our better "raving fans." * We're doing more and more charitable events these days as awareness really builds about Kennedy's. We typically donate a 3-month membership at a participating Club, along with our grooming products, but we also insist on appropriate, minimum bids - we won't devalue the premium services (I like to call them "small indulgences" or "affordable luxuries") that we offer, so let us know if we can help near one of our Clubs. * We'll be doing a very special Memorial Day event this year - details in my next email to you, but I think you'll be impressed and want to help us get the word out, while we do our small part to honor our Brave serving (and having served) in our Armed Forces.

* Lastly, we'll soon be appearing (in June) in a second business book published by Entrepreneur Press. If you're curious and want to order a copy, just let me know and I'll provide you the details.

Well, you've probably noticed that we're not quite like any ol' barbershop or hair-cutting place out there. Besides the memberships, the unlimited services, the complimentary beverages, the relaxing atmosphere and sanctuary-inducing music, the lifestyle magazine, and so much more . . . we have a point-of-view; a certain set of beliefs that we want our Clubs to be "platforms" of and to promote. No, I'm not necessarily meaning anything religious or political, though I DO mean more traditional, even nostalgic. We are unabashedly proud of our country and our heritage and believe in what's referred to as "American Exceptionalism." Just look at our membership names and some of our initiatives. Need I say more? It is in this way that we like to think of ourselves as being in the "movement business," (we'll leave the "rock-n-roll" hair salons to teenagers and others who haven't grown-up; the strip center, cheapo chop-shops and old-school, zero-frills barbershops to those who won't or can't appreciate our level of service; and the women's hair salons to the silently-suffering and unaware [of Kennedy's] few).

In other words, when America's barbershops largely started dying-out in the 1970's, a small piece of the American cultural fabric faded. Barbershops had always been a "third-place" (between work and home) where men would go to get a civilized shave and trim to look "proper," catch up on the latest developments, and probably learn a thing or two. It was a place that fathers would take their sons - perhaps you even remember this with your father? It was a place where men could be men, but I don't mean that in some crude sense . . . I mean that it was a place where men shared our better qualities with one another, where the Great Ideas were discussed, where older men shared stories, with lessons, with younger men. It was a place were good men gathered and belonged, and where all men became better.

Some years ago, part of what made our country so great was the clubs and associations that past patriots belonged to. For all the technological advancements we've made since, we've lost a lot of that. Memberships in those organizations have declined significantly over the years. Manners and decency and virtues aren't as prominent a part of today's America as they were for our Founders' America. Crassness, in too many incidences, has taken their places. What we want to do at Kennedy's won't be for everyone, but you should know that we want to transform men's grooming by making it so much more than just about the grooming . . . and we strive to deliver that every time someone visits us. Since starting Kennedy's, we've had the desire to resurrect some of these gentlemanly values and use our Clubs as a platform to help keep our country at the fore-front of nations - yes, we think these things really ARE inter-related. Awfully grand notions, you may be thinking? Maybe so . . . but as I've said many times before and will continue to evangelize, "Kennedy's is no ordinary hair-cutting place. In fact, it isn't even about cutting hair - that's a 'side perk.' We're a great service business that wants to ignite a "movement," and we just happen to cut hair." Having memberships, a lifestyle magazine, and bringing back the lost-art of straight-razor shaves are just some examples of us harkening-back to those earlier days when being a gentleman meant something. (In many ways, our choice of supporting veterans for our future foundation is simply a manifestation of supporting a current group in our society that most closely represents the ideals we believe we need more of in today's world: honor; courage; commitment; personal responsibility; and even sacrifice.) These are some of things you'll see me discuss in our video-blog episodes, read about in our lifestyle magazines, and even find in other media and books about us. Hopefully, you'll appreciate these as you learn more about and perhaps eventually belong to a Kennedy's near you. We certainly aren't for everyone, but we believe we ought to be for far more . . .

I hope the bluntness of our vision isn't off-putting, and that you now know Kennedy's is something much larger and hopefully, more powerful and enduring. I do appreciate you sticking with me through this lengthy email, and as always, I welcome your input -- please don't hesitate to post them on our blog or email me. Respectfully yours, Chris Christopher G. Hurn, Kennedy's All-American Barber Club´┐Ż Cofounder/Chairman/CEO of Kennedy's International Franchising Proprietor of Kennedy's--Heathrow 940 Centre Circle, Suites 3002--3006 Altamonte Springs, FL 32714 [email protected] www.KennedysBarberClub.com 1-800-31-SHAVE 407-682-1632 (F) Voted "Best Place for Men to Get a Haircut" in the 2009 and 2008 Reader's Choice Awards of the Orlando Business Journal Voted "Best Barbershop" by Orlando Magazine 2008, 2007, & 2006.

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