Building a successful business begins with getting off on the right foot – and at Ideal Feet, that’s exactly what you’ll do. With over 30 years of industry experience, Ideal Feet has made its mark on the orthotic insole space with a best-in-class business model and empathetic approach that prioritizes reliable relief for customers who suffer from chronic pain. By Tamara Rahoumi
Building a successful business begins with getting off on the right foot – and at Ideal Feet, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
With over 30 years of industry experience, Ideal Feet has made its mark on the orthotic insole space with a best-in-class business model and empathetic approach that prioritizes reliable relief for customers who suffer from chronic pain. From plantar fasciitis and flat feet to gait-related pain in the back, hips and knees, Ideal Feet’s 25-plus styles of thoughtfully designed insoles provide exceptional arch support for people of all ages.
When individuals join the Ideal Feet family of franchises, they are given the opportunity to build a business with a strong operating model that has been perfected over decades. More importantly, they are given all the tools they need right off the bat to get their business off the ground.
“When franchisees first come on board, it starts with five days of training,” said Ernest Wallace, owner of Ideal Feet. “Three of those five days are always hands-on, where we teach franchisees how to present the product and how to identify the best insoles to fit a customer’s needs. Then, two of the days are all about operations – getting trained on the software system, insurance, opening and closing the store, inventory management, all of that.”
However, the support hardly stops after that initial training period has passed. On the contrary, Wallace prides himself on being readily available for his franchisees throughout the journey, especially during the first year, as they get settled in the business.
“I always say that at Ideal Feet, you’re in business for yourself, but you’re not in business by yourself,” said Wallace. “In the first quarter, I typically visit my franchisee about four times. Then, I do three visits in the third quarter, two in the second, and one in the fourth. And those visits aren’t just to check in. I’m really coming to work with you and offer more training to you and your employees, if and where needed.”
Beyond this strong support system, Wallace pointed out that another big benefit of owning an Ideal Feet franchise is the freedom to be a little creative. While the business aims to keep a sense of consistency across locations, when it comes to aspects such as logos and general brand experience, it also comes with a level of flexibility for owners to put their own personal touch on their stores, play with the presentation of products, and bring new ideas to the table.
Additional benefits include that Ideal Feet franchises require a small retail footprint (600 to 1,000 square feet is more than enough space, according to Wallace) and offer a lot of flexibility with location throughout the U.S. and Canada. That said, Wallace noted that some of the hottest markets are in Texas, given Ideal Feet’s established presence and brand recognition in the region, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, where the brand was first established.
Perhaps best of all, though, is that an Ideal Feet business offers the opportunity to build something based on compassion, both as it relates to pain relief and Wallace’s wider efforts to infuse the brand with a commitment to the community, such as through civil service discounts for educators and veterans, which he encourages franchisees to offer.