Kathleen Casey wants her franchisees to spend as little time as possible thinking about payment processing and technical support, and much more on helping make bridesmaids even more beautiful.
Casey, with her daughter, Erin Casey Wolf, runs Bella Bridesmaids, which has 51 franchise store fronts across the country. And it helps the mother and daughter to have good partners with expertise in processing and a fixer who can bring people together.
The fixer, said Casey, is George Faerber, who runs Radial Studios, which builds websites and plug ins for small businesses.
Farber is the one who connects the developers, the tech people, the payment processors and the back office, Casey told Illinois Business Daily. Bella Bridesmaids is increasingly using Vantiv for its payment processing, while its back office operations are managed by Agiliron.
"Being wholly automatic is huge for us," said Casey, adding that it was not long ago that credit card payments would be manually keyed in. "As the business grew, as the brand grew, the tech teams have tremendously helped. It gives our owners more time to grow their business. The amount of time we spend processing cards has become minimal, compared to the girls having to key everything in themselves. It’s made our lives so much easier, I can’t even tell you.”
Radial Studios owner Faerber appreciates the positive impact his services have for entrepreneurs.
“Business owners really want to get back to doing what it is that drew them into their business in the first place,” he said. “They don’t want to be on the phone for hours setting up an e-comm account or trouble-shooting a payment system. We make the experience really pain-free for them so they can get back to doing what they love.”
The mother and daughter started as franchisees 10 years ago. They were propelled to get into the business as Casey Wolf planned her own wedding.
“We partnered with Radial Studios to figure out how to work smarter and more efficiently to save ourselves time on the backend by integrating and connecting all of our various digital systems," Casey Wolf said.
They opened first in Chicago in 2007, and in Milwaukee the following year. They acquired the overall business in 2012 and have since grown from 37 franchise stores to 51 in cities as disparate as Atlanta, Boston and San Francisco.
And there are plans to expand, a process made easier if potential franchisees know they can concentrate entirely on their passions rather than back-office processes.