Meet Planet Smoothie Franchise Owner Colin McGuire
As a professional marketer, this franchise owner knows the value of positive word of mouth and community engagement — techniques he uses every day
After more than a decade as a Planet Smoothie® Franchise owner, it would be understandable if Colin MacGuire eased up a bit. Understandable, but not likely for this former sports-team marketing guru, who knows that a successful brand never stops promotion and outreach. That’s why his Winter Garden, Florida, location has become a community gathering space.
What were you doing before Planet Smoothie came along?
I lived in Chicago, where I was the Sales and Marketing Director for the Chicago Fire Soccer Team.
What brought you to the idea of owning your own business?
One of my best friends owned a Planet Smoothie in the Orlando area, so I came down here and worked in his shop for about six months. I really liked it, and at that time I had the opportunity to open up my own location.
What was it specifically about the brand? What was the appeal?
The simplicity behind the business, in regard to inventory and operation. I’m a sports guy, I like the idea of a game plan and keeping things simple. And also the healthy aspect of the business. Our goal was going toward that health trend, 10-15 years ago, and it’s still one of the major appeals.
How has your target customer evolved over time?
Back when I started 11 years ago, it was maybe the 35-40 age range. Now it’s gotten up to about 40-50 as the years have gone on, and also reached down to younger consumers, so you know the smoothie business is going to keep on expanding. The kids are really getting into smoothies, so they stay customers as they age, which grows our clientele over time.
How did you come to this location?
It was a brand-new build out mall. When I was working in my buddy’s shop, the corporate team came to us and presented the location. We came out here, checked it out, really liked it, liked this area, so we signed up then. A year later I moved down here, and the rest is history.
So what do you think makes a good location?
Outdoor malls do really well, and being next to a gym. Nearby movie theaters help, anything that can build foot traffic.
When you got behind the counter, how was the operational training and all the things that you had to pick up?
Jason Mann, our Area Developer, does a great job. He came in and worked alongside us for a while as we got set up. The first four years was growing my business by word of mouth, and just making good smoothies, giving great customer service. I’ve got employees that have been here nine years, seven years, four years, so keeping employees happy has really made it a lot easier to grow the business.
How helpful is the corporate team with marketing, promotions and support?
Corporate does a great job with our limited time offers and new smoothies, they do a great job creating new smoothies. And they reach out to us for ideas. They’ll listen to us with any feedback. It makes my life a lot easier, to not have to deal with that overall marketing.
What do you think someone really has to have to make this work?
I’d say the biggest thing is personality and a focus on customer service, and also being able to find the right employees. If the smoothie’s not good, the people aren’t going to come back, you know? So I’ve really built this business on high-end, good quality smoothies, good customer service, and pretty much grew it from there.
Planet Smoothie is a smoothie franchise that sets itself apart by offering great-tasting smoothies that use healthier, natural ingredients. In a side-by-side comparison, our smoothies generally have less sugar and fewer calories — a big competitive advantage as Americans actively seek out healthier options. Planet Smoothie franchise is led by a veteran franchise team and dedicated brand support team as part of the Kahala Brands™ family.