Sport Clips Haircuts Provides Rewarding Opportunity by Filling Niche

Share Button

VETERANS IN FRANCHISING COVER STORY AUGUST 2015

Since it first opened in Austin, Texas in 1993, Sport Clips Haircuts has continued to fill a niche in the hair care market by specializing in haircut services for men and boys in a unique, sports-themed environment and the successful business opportunity it provides franchisees.

Two years after Sport Clips Founder and CEO Gordon Logan and his wife, Bettye, established Sport Clips, the company began franchising in 1995. From Austin, the Georgetown, Texas-based franchise expanded into Houston and Dallas and beyond. Sport Clips is now the only national hair care brand to have a presence in all 50 states and has over 1,400 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

In addition to standard haircut services, Sport Clips also offers its signature MVP Experience that includes a precision haircut, massaging shampoo, hot steamed towel treatment and neck and shoulder massage.

“When our clients come in to get a haircut, the MVP Experience turns a necessary task into a 20-minute vacation,” Logan says. “While they lead busy lives, we’ve found that our clients come back to us – not just for a haircut – but, for the experience we provide.”

Filling the void

In the early 90s, numerous salon chains marketed to a broad audience as a family haircutter; but none were targeted to the men’s and boys’ haircut market specifically, Logan explains. Barbershops had been declining in number for many years, and men and boys were being left by the wayside as their favorite barbers closed up shop. This created a large niche with little direct competition, one that Logan spotted and filled with great success.

Ideal Franchisees

Logan says Sport Clips looks for candidates with strong managerial and communication skills, who enjoy working with people to develop their skills so they can succeed in their profession. Franchisees will work with their managers to help them develop their team, oversee multiple locations, and network in the local areas to market the businesses and drive sales.

Typically, once an inquiry has been received it will take 40 to 50 days to onboard a new franchisee through a series of interviews and meetings. Once a franchisee, they begin an orientation process that introduces them to the Sport Clips system; they learn various aspects of the business they need to know to be successful, including: the Sport Clips culture, business foundations, real estate selection, marketing, stylist recruiting, operations standards training and team development.

Sport Clips’ franchisee training includes four to five days of management development training in their market and a five-day “Team Leader Training Camp” held in Georgetown prior to opening their first store. Learning continues at their store’s grand opening, and afterwards, through follow-up management development sessions, which are held quarterly, and at the annual national conference known as the Huddle.

While much of Sport Clips’ expansion is currently focused in the northeastern region of the U.S., the company has territories available throughout the country. Interested parties can visit sportclipsfranchise.com for a complete list of developing areas.

The Sport Clips Difference

Although clients have many options to choose from when it comes to hair care providers, Logan says Sport Clips sets itself apart by providing a unique client experience:

“What makes Sport Clips different is the experience we provide,” he said. “Our stylists specialize in men’s and boys’ haircuts and receive continual education to stay abreast of current trends. And, if you’re a traveler within the U.S. and Canada, you can get the same experience at any one of our 1,400+ locations.”

While Sport Clips stays true to what it does best, the franchise is always looking for ways to serve its clients better and keep them engaged through initiatives, such as the recent “Instant Replay” promotion where clients who purchased the MVP Experience could double their experience at no additional cost, as well as elect to have a chilled towel, instead of a hot towel, on their face to help beat the summer heat, a special offering which proved to be a big hit.

Utilizing technology to benefit client experience is a focus of Sport Clips, as well. Logan says the company is in the process of implementing self check-in technology, which will also display exactly how long (or short) the wait may be for clients, and where each Client is in the queue. “Mobile check-in is not far behind,” he added.

From an owner’s perspective, Sport Clips is the leading hair care franchise that caters to the millions of men and boys in the U.S. and Canada, and offers:

A Multi-Unit ownership opportunity: Sport Clips’ business model allows for a comfortable transition from corporate careers to business ownership for franchisees when they are ready to “be their own boss.”

A Semi-Absentee/Manager-Run Business Model: An experienced manager oversees the day-to-day operations and provides leadership for the hair care professionals in the stores. Sport Clips believes the manager is key to success, and has strong management training programs in place to help them develop their leadership skills.

Extremely high success rate: While opening over 150 new Sport Clips each year, Sport Clips has had only five locations close since 2010, two of which were leases not renewed due to shopping center problems like closed anchor stores. Logan attributes this to their being very selective about whom they invite to join as franchisees, a comprehensive real estate site selection process, and the intensive training and support programs.

Sport Clips places as much importance on the stylist experience as they do the client and franchisee experience: For example, anti-fatigue “sport court”-type floors are easier on stylists’ backs and feet, and European-style shampoo bowls enable stylists to shampoo from behind standing up, which is also easier on stylists’ backs.

There are also ongoing training, incentive compensation, recognition programs, and career opportunities.

Supporting veterans

Logan, who has received the VFW’s James E. Van Zandt Citizenship Award and the Ernst & Young LLP’s 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year award for Central Texas, is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Sport Clips is a proud supporter of a variety of military-focused organizations, including the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship Program, Ageless Aviation Dreams, Aleethia Foundation, Honor Flight Network and the Veterans Airlift Command.

With a long list of awards to its credit from publications including Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine, Sport Clips continues to grow by offering an outstanding experience to its clients and exceptional opportunities for franchisees

and stylists.

Help A Hero

Sport Clips’ “Help A Hero” campaign has raised more than $3 million to help deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members call home through the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Operation Uplink™ and provide scholarships to active duty service members and veterans through the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program. By providing scholarships for use at post-secondary schools, including trade schools, our goal is to make the transition from a military career to the civilian workforce a little easier.

To date, Sport Clips has given more than $1.2 million in scholarships to help service members and veterans in the next chapter of their lives.

The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation

Sport Clips is the primary sponsor for The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization established and dedicated to honoring seniors and United States military veterans. Through donations, the foundation provides oncein-a-lifetime “Dream Flights” to veterans across the nation, many of whom served during WWII, in a Boeing Stearman biplane, the same aircraft used to train many military aviators in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s.

Aleethia Foundation

The mission of the Aleethia Foundation is to support injured service members with therapeutic recreation, small financial grants, family emergency aid, assistive technology items, and home improvements to assist with an injured service member’s mobility and other unmet needs. Sport Clips is proud to sponsor two “Friday Night Dinners” in 2015. These dinners provide injured veterans and their families with the opportunity to enjoy a great meal while socializing – an integral part of the healing process.

Honor Flight Network

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. Honor Flight transports our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Sport Clips is a proud sponsor of the Austin, Texas Honor Flight division.

Veterans Airlift Command 

VAC provides free air transportation to post-9/11 combat wounded and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. Sport Clips is proud to support VAC by transporting veterans to their destinations throughout the year.

www.sportclips.com