Culture is Key for Sport Clips Haircuts Franchisees
Melissa and Todd Bains
When Todd Bains walks into one of his Sport Clips Haircuts locations, he gets to work. He vacuums, cleans, and makes sure stylists’ stations are prepared before each client takes a seat. Even though a Sport Clips franchise is an owner/investor model where stylists practice their craft, Todd, as the franchisee, still wants to show the haircare professionals he employs that he’s a team member, too.
Todd and his wife Melissa own 10 Sport Clips locations in two states. Prior to investing in Sport Clips, Todd was with a local car dealership for 15 years. During that time, the couple also started a local pet resort where they learned the ins and outs of owning and operating a business that included developing their own systems, policies, and procedures.
Culture and Leadership
When comparing the benefits of being a franchisee to starting and building a business on your own, Todd believes it comes down to culture and leadership.
“At Sport Clips, you have a family that truly supports you,” Todd states. “They already have the wheel invented…you don’t have to look for vendors, POS systems, etc. And the training is something you can really lean on.”
Building and maintaining culture is key in each of the Bains’ Sport Clips locations. They have grown their franchise investment by acquiring previously owned stores, so in the first 90 days they make sure nothing changes from the previous ownership. He uses this opportunity to observe and to establish trust with the team. Todd then sits down with the store managers one-on-one to see what they like and dislike about store operations. He interviews the team members, asking questions and easing them into any changes.
Todd says the key to what makes Sport Clips unique is the experience.
“If we’re not giving that experience to our clients and team members,” he explains, “we’re just another haircut place.”
Todd and Melissa strive to do much more than just the minimum in running their locations to ensure their Sport Clips stores are places where team members want to come to work. “By changing the culture for the team members, you change the culture for your clients as well,” he says.
No one left behind
The two mottos the Bains have for their Sport Clips teams this year are “have fun” and “no one left behind.” Together, they ensure team members receive the attention they need, talk with them to set both family and personal goals, and reward top performers. Through these intentional actions, Todd is seeing positive impact on retention in his stores. They host dress-up days in the stores and reward team members through Sport Clips’ new THNKS recognition program, that offers gifts of coffee, movie tickets, and other items that let stylists know they’re appreciated. They also use pep rallies and special training events to equip and encourage staff as the “pros in men’s hair.”
The Bains are just one of the many examples of Sport Clips team leaders who cultivate culture, build community, and live out the Sport Clips values of “Do What’s Right, Do Your Best, and Treat Others the Way They Want to Be Treated.” If you’d like to be a part of a values-based franchise system where the culture, training, and support are key, visit our research pages here or make a request for more information today.
Sport Clips Celebrates Multigenerational Franchise Owners
Interview with Multigenerational Sport Clips Franchisees
Al and AJ Rodriguez, a father-son duo of multigenerational franchise owners with a combined total of 35 locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, are a living testament to the Sport Clips proven business model. Sport Clips is proud to provide a system that allows franchise owners of any background to find a thriving path in business ownership. Keep reading to learn more about Al and AJ’s journey, and why Sport Clips could be the franchise opportunity for you.
What made you choose Sport Clips?
Al: I selected Sport Clips because the business model fit what I was looking for: work ‘on’ the business, not ‘in’ the business. I don’t cut hair, nor do I grow it very well. I needed to continue working my ‘day job’ for a couple more years. Also, I felt that Sport Clips filled a need, as full-service salons weren’t desirable for men and boys, and barber shops were disappearing.
Sport Clips’ values resonated with me as well—‘do what’s right, do your best, and treat others the way they want to be treated.’ I lived these values at my ‘day job’ but some people there didn’t share these values. I also liked the fact that Sport Clips is focused on delivering an ‘experience’ for our clients, and not a low-price provider. It’s also a recurring business, in that if you do a good job, clients will continue to return. There is little inventory, and it’s internet and recession proof.
Why did you decide to join your family in the franchise business?
AJ: Our values as a company and the opportunity it provided to work hard and be rewarded for that hard work. Nothing is given in our company, and everything is earned. Timing also played a large role, as my father was looking to retire from his day job at the same time I was graduating from college.
How has being a family of business owners impacted your career path?
Al: I started working at 12 years old and had a successful career in sales and management. When I decided to become a franchisee and open Sport Clips stores, my prior experiences helped me to get off to a good start. At first, it was difficult managing a ‘day job,’ starting a franchise business, and being there for my family, raising two kids. Being a Sport Clips Team Leader has allowed me the opportunity to bring my family into the business. With my son being in the business and running the day-to-day, I now have the gift of time and spend it where I want. I love the business and still work a lot, but I’m also able to enjoy traveling and volunteering.
AJ: I was ambitious in my own entrepreneurial endeavors and grew to appreciate all that my parents had accomplished in business. I really admired them and chose to join the business after having run my own. They were and continue to be an inspiration to what I hope to become.
What impact has franchising had on your life?
AJ: Franchising has changed dramatically in the 20 years we’ve been engaged with it. In the early 2000s, it was one of the outliers. Now, it is one of the biggest industries supplying a large portion of domestic jobs. Franchising allows us to follow a proven playbook that allows for growth and jobs in our regions we choose to serve. Our lifestyle is largely based on the impact we can make in the communities we do business. I’m proud that we’ve built a business that gives us freedom of time and a stable financial environment.
What do you enjoy most about being multigenerational franchise owners?
Al: I get tremendous satisfaction watching my son learn and grow. I’m truly blessed to get to work with him every day. We’ve been working together for over 10 years, and we’ve had our challenges, but I wouldn’t change a thing. A significant component to our success as multi-unit franchise owners is the culture that we have built as local franchisees. We share our values by demonstrating them every day. Legacy is real, and knowing that my son is involved in the business and shares the same values gives me hope that my legacy will continue.
AJ: Leaving a legacy is important to both my father and myself, and we have aspirations to build something bigger than both of us. Lots of people depend on us now, and we want to build something that’s self-sufficient and dependable.
What are you most proud of in your experience with Sport Clips?
AJ: As a company, we’ve added two new brands and over 30 locations in the last eight years. It has been very rewarding watching roles develop and people do more than they ever thought they could. We’ve grown from around 60 to over 350 employees. It has been really fun watching the growth of the companies over the period of time we’ve been doing this.
Personally, I’ve been able to develop my knowledge, skills, and connections tenfold since joining the business. Being a part of a franchise system allows you to network with like-minded peers dealing with similar issues and aspirations. Many of them will be lifelong friends.
What makes you most excited about your future with Sport Clips?
AJ: This brand is a perennial Top 50 franchise system, and there’s a lot of exciting things to look forward to. Sport Clips just had its 30 year anniversary, and I think the future looks bright. We’re on our way to 50+ Sport Clips locations and want to continue the growth alongside our Franchisor.
Join the Sport Clips Franchise Family Today
If you too aspire to create a legacy that you can pass to future generations, now is a great time to invest in a Sport Clips franchise. We invite you to explore our research pages here for more information about the benefits of franchising with us. When you’re ready to start a conversation with our franchise team about your business aspirations, fill out our inquiry form here and we’ll get in touch with you soon. We look forward to learning more about you!
Interview With Sport Clips Multi Unit Franchise Owner
Franchisee Jeremy Aydell Talks Good Business
In a recent podcast episode, Jeremy Aydell, Sport Clips multi-unit franchise owner, went into detail about his experience with the brand. With an impressive portfolio of 15 locations spread across Louisiana and Mississippi, and number 16 set to open its doors soon, Jeremy Aydell’s journey is a shining example of the entrepreneurial spirit we love about our franchisees.
What was it specifically about franchising that appealed to you?
Previously, I was an external auditor, and got to see all kinds of different businesses and business models. That’s what led me to want to own my own business. But knowing I’ve got some limitations in being creative, the franchise model with just the basics and the support system was very intriguing to me. I think it was 2008, during the financial crisis, when I was looking into it. I wanted to invest in something that was recession-proof, which is, I feel, a haircut. Everyone needs a haircut. Something that you couldn’t outsource and something you really can’t get on the internet. The haircut was something that we felt strongly was a good business model. We looked into many different franchises in that industry, and Sport Clips far and away was the best we came across. The values of the company were second to none and aligned with us.
What about the Sport Clips model made you think this is a good investment?
I had some pretty good questions about where the money was going and fees, and what have you. Sport Clips was very quick to get me those answers. They were basically consistent with what I thought they would be. Obviously, if you’re investing money in something, you want transparency, and I thought that was a big win for us to have a company that could tell you where the finances and the fees were going.
What kind of support did Sport Clips give you starting out?
It was very important for me to have a good business model, and one where they would really help opening your first location. Yes, it’s stressful. I was an accountant that did not really know much about the hair industry. And they really, really provide a bunch of checklists, one-on-one meetings, and walk you through the whole process to simplify it for you. I don’t want to say they hold your hand, but you know, they want to set you up for success. It doesn’t behoove them to be in business with a partnership if both people aren’t on the same page, and without that support and help we wouldn’t have been as successful with our first location and growing so fast over the years.
Are you meeting your personal and professional goals with Sport Clips?
Oh, absolutely. It’s allowed me to chase some other interests of mine, including investing in real estate. It’s having financial and personal freedom to do what I want to do with my other passions. I’ve really, really enjoyed the workforce, and the stylist industry more than I ever thought I would have. I would say that I’m very, very passionate about the cosmetology industry. I think it’s a great industry, we need some reform there. Right now, it’s a little costly for these stylists to go to school. But I know we’re making some progress there. Being a leader in my area, that’s something else. That’s a passion of mine, making sure that stylists are going to good schools, getting a good education, but that they’ll also be able to pay for that education when they get out.
Learn More About Franchising with Sport Clips
If you’re interested in opening a Sport Clips franchise of your own, now is a great time to invest. For more details about this exciting business opportunity, check out our research pages here. When you’re ready for the next step, fill out our inquiry form here, and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!
Sport Clips Franchise Review: Meet Melissa Strick
How one woman entrepreneur became a top-performer with the iconic men’s haircut franchise
If you wanted to find out how to become a top-performing franchise owner with Sport Clips, asking Team Lead Melissa Strick would be an excellent place to start.
After opening her first location in Hagerstown, Maryland in January 2021, Melissa is already looking for her second location. She shows how our business model is built for growth, and that the significant training and ongoing support can help a first-time business owner exceed their goals.
“This experience of owning a Sport Clips has been incredibly rewarding,” Melissa says. “I knew before we opened that Sport Clips had a great reputation, but they’ve gone above and beyond. Ever since we opened our doors, support has been pouring in every day.”
In many ways, Melissa had the inside scoop on Sport Clips long before she became a Team Lead. Her sister works in the hair salon industry, and had not only managed a Sport Clips location, but she had also worked for Great Clips and Super Cuts, and Sport Clips was by far her favorite.
“When my husband and I were fortunate enough to explore business ownership, we looked at a lot of different brands,” Melissa says. “We looked at Massage Envy, we looked at lash bars, and family entertainment franchises. When we came upon Sport Clips, I knew it was the right choice. It was a manager-based business model, which was my wheelhouse, and my sister was a manager of a few different hair salon brands, and Sport Clips was such a positive experience.”
Even during their process researching franchise opportunities, the couple found that the way Sport Clips treated them was far different than the other franchise concepts they were exploring at the same time.
“The other franchise opportunities made us feel like they were only interested in us for our money,” Melissa says. “With Sport Clips, it felt like they were trying to get to know us as people. They wanted to know about our family, our goals, and our values – and that’s exactly what we cared about. We wanted a brand with a strong culture, strong values, and proven track record.”
Melissa found that Sport Clips made good on their culture of support and Heart of a Champion ethos right away when she went to her initial training session.
“When I first came to the Team Lead training, I was drinking little sips of the Sport Clips Kool-Aid, but by the time I’d graduated, I was drinking whole gulps,” she says, with a laugh. “The level of support at every level of the business model has been phenomenal.”
Melissa is focused on creating a culture of care and support in her store. This means visiting her store frequently, and making her stylists feel like valued members of her own family.
“It’s so important to make sure that my stylists feel important, because they truly are,” Melissa says. “I’m in my store often, and I like to make sure they feel appreciated. I give out gift certificates for hitting their goals or doing a great job, I bring coffee, and I listen to what they need. You have to create a culture of support with your stylists to retain them, and making them feel valued goes a long way.”
A little over one year into her new business, Melissa is ready to grow. Her experience in the business has given her confidence to expand into multi-unit ownership – and she’s already looking for a second location.
“I believe in Sport Clips so much that I told my Area Developer that I want all of the available territory,” Melissa says. “I’m very excited about the future, and can’t wait to keep growing.”
Ready to start your next chapter as a Sport Clips Team Leader?
If you’re interested in learning more about the Sport Clips franchise opportunity, simply fill out an inquiry form on this website and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly. We can’t wait to learn more about you!