Top-performer opens up about owning a Relax the Back franchise
Chuck Keyser opened his first Relax the Back location 25 years ago with his business partner, Ernest Jordan. All these years later, the dynamic duo operates 17 stores in four different states, and business, to say the least, is booming.
Keyser and his partner first heard of Relax the Back through word of mouth, and thought “it was the greatest idea ever,” he said. Within a month, the two successful businessmen were on their way to opening a location.
“And we realized early on that if we wanted to make a lot of money, we’re going to have to scale,” he said. “Ultimately, we ended up with 17 stores in four states.”
In this wide-ranging interview, Keyser talks about what sets Relax the Back apart from competitors, why business has been thriving, and why now is the time to invest.
What sets Relax the Back apart from competitors?
“It really is our sales process. We are a very consultative business, and people come in, we talk to them and we figure out what they need. And we recommend products to them and improve their lives through selling products that work. It’s why I love this business!”
How has business been the past few years?
“COVID definitely made people think differently about their lives, and invest more in self-care. That’s been a good trend for us, and we see that continuing. People realized, being at home so much, it’s uncomfortable if you don’t have good furniture, and it’s not ergonomic. And also there’s a peaceful aspect to our products. They’re very relaxing, very soothing and make you feel good.”
Are you seeing repeat customers?
“One of the greatest things about Relax the Back over the entire time we’ve owned the business is that the repeat customer base has been around 40%. So every year, people come in and out and repeatedly buy from us. To have 40% repeat customers is almost unheard of in any other industry.”
How has Relax the Back’s corporate team offered support?
“Relax the Back Corp. has helped us in many ways to succeed from the very beginning. My partner and I didn’t know much about finance, and they were able to show us systems that helped us manage our finances. Then as we got bigger, the primary thing that Relax the Back helped us with is our advertising and sourcing of products.”
Would you recommend Relax the Back to an aspiring entrepreneur?
“I would recommend somebody to invest in Relax the Back for a multitude of reasons. One, we’re a wellness business and the wellness industry is booming. And the second reason, it’s very profitable and relatively easy to run this business. The allure of a Relax the Back is that you can do it with very few employees, a relatively low upfront cost, and there’s no products that are perishable or go bad. It’s a very easy business, in my opinion, to operate.”
What are your hopes for the future?
“We’re always interested in acquisitions. We’re looking at upgrading and opening stores, maybe one in South Florida and one in Chicago.”
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