April 15, 2024


Starting a new business is never easy. But once a business is established, many entrepreneurs dream of a new goal: franchising (and, of course, the money that comes with it).

Three entrepreneurs who started a business nearly 20 years ago are realizing that dream now. Through a combination of sales innovation, lean proprietary systems and old-fashioned hard work, Amerisleep recently began franchising.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

A ‘gap online’

In 2006, three entrepreneurs — brothers Moe and Firas Kittaneh and Joey Holt — opened an online mattress store, Sleep Masters, which sold multiple brands. Moe Kittaneh had recently earned a bachelor’s degree in e-business and immediately noticed something lacking in the sleep industry.

“I realized there was a gap online in the mattress industry,” says Kittaneh, Amerisleep’s CFO, “and we were one of the first [companies] to introduce mattresses online.”

In 2007, the trio opened their first retail location in Scottsdale, Arizona. Holt, Amerisleep’s COO, says the experience of opening a physical store prepared the team for the various challenges franchisors face. Plus, it satisfied a customer demand. “The number one question we would get [from] customers was whether we have a location nearby where they can touch and see the product,” Holt says.

Founding Amerisleep

In 2010, the company introduced its own mattress brand, and Amerisleep was born. Kittaneh says that one of the main reasons for changing tactics was to focus the team’s efforts. “We realized we [needed to] focus on one brand; back then, we sold several brands.”

This strategic shift allowed Amerisleep to dedicate all its resources and attention to developing and improving a singular product line. It also enabled it to innovate more effectively and build a strong, recognizable brand that resonated with consumers. Still, moving from multiple brands to producing and selling their own was daunting. “It was a huge project, but we had a great idea, and we got it off the ground,” Kittaneh says.

Related: Find Out Which Brands Have Ranked on the Franchise 500 for Longest, Earning a Spot In our New ‘Hall of Fame’

Opening physical stores

In 2016, as many companies were closing physical locations, Amerisleep began opening them. However, they weren’t typical mattress stores. Amerisleep locations feature 4k TV walls and Dream Suites, where customers can try out a mattress in private.

“It’s very unlike your traditional Mattress Firm-type of place, where you walk in, and it’s just a room full of 50 mattresses,” Holt says. “It can sometimes feel odd and uncomfortable to lay on a mattress with people looking at you, so we try to focus on the customer experience.”

Pandemic effect

The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on numerous business sectors, primarily because of supply chain issues and decreased foot traffic at retail outlets. However, Amerisleep had a leg up on mattress stores with little online presence. The company’s robust digital strategy — along with a fear-fueled increase in consumers willing to “buy without trying” — enabled Amerisleep to weather the storm, with the pandemic impacting only a small percentage of its business. “Covid didn’t slow us down online,” Kittaneh says, “it was still going well.”

Related: Don’t Make These 5 Risky Franchise Ownership Mistakes

Starting to franchise

The Amerisleep team decided to franchise in 2023, achieving the dream of many business owners. The benefits for franchisees, the founders say, include lower startup costs than many franchises, an innovative sales approach and, perhaps best of all, no inventory. Amerisleep has seven corporate locations open and is currently in discussions with multiple prospective franchisees.

The founders say an Amerisleep franchisee’s primary job is to please the customer and sell. This process is simplified and streamlined, free of the headaches of managing a warehouse full of inventory — and hiring employees to staff it.

Growing industry

In 2024, global revenue for the mattresses market is expected to hit $38.97 billion. With an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.92% from 2024 to 2028, the market is on track to be worth about $50 billion in 2028. This rising trend shows the industry’s ability to bounce back and adjust to what consumers want, as well as adopt the latest tech developments.

With people focusing on comfort, health and overall well-being, Kittaneh expects a big jump in the need for top-notch mattresses, giving Amerisleep an extra boost on the way to its next goal. “We’re going global,” he says. “We’re already in Australia and South Korea. We’re going to be one of the biggest mattress franchises in the world.”

Related: How Immigrating from Argentina to the Bronx Prepared Her for Life as a Franchisee

Customer experience and support

For now, the founders are focused on creating the best possible customer experience while also supporting their new franchisees. A top goal is refining the company’s marketing and sales processes to save franchisees money — savings that can be passed on to the customer.

“From day one [of] opening their doors, they’re able to benefit from the large digital presence that we created before we even opened up our first retail experience,” Kittaneh says. “As an entrepreneur and an e-commerce person, I would love to have a business without inventory and just focus on selling and marketing — and that’s what we have here.”



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