Mark and Jan Mansfield know what it means to pioneer an emerging brand. They invested in Sport Clips Haircuts nearly two decades ago at a time when the brand had only 26 stores. Their first store as franchisees was one of only three stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. “No one knew who we were since the Sport Clips concept was so new at the time,” recalls Jan.
After their third store opened in 2003, bringing their market’s total up to 12, the Mansfields made a decision. They became area developers, committing to grow their market and help others find the same financial stability and personal freedoms they did with the Sport Clips business model.
Today, the Mansfields have helped open more than 100 stores in their thriving Dallas/Fort Worth market, one of the brand’s strongest, and it is still growing. The couple’s hard work and commitment to helping team leaders (franchisees) grow, embodies the values of the Sport Clips brand.
Both graduates of Texas Tech University, Jan and Mark began their careers in industries very different from where they are today. Jan was an elementary school teacher, but when the couple had their first child she became a stay-at-home mom. Mark worked for an oil company and was required to travel extensively between Dallas and Houston.
On one of his trips to Houston, in need of a haircut, Mark walked into the department store near his hotel and asked a young woman at the jewelry counter if she had any recommendations on where to go. Mark recalls, “She got really amped up and told me to go to Sport Clips. I have honestly never seen someone get so excited about a haircut. She was so enthusiastic and went on about what a great place it was and how her boyfriend just loved it. I decided to try it out.”
After trying out the MVP Experience for himself, he says, “She was right, it was a great experience. I thought about how there was nothing like this concept in our area. It really stayed with me.”
About two years later, they saw an advertisement looking for Sport Clips franchisees in their market, and the Mansfields began to consider investing. Mark says, “With a growing family, Jan and I wanted to build something for the future that would create more financial stability and flexibility in our lifestyle.”
He continues, “We thought the Sport Clips’ concept was great and decided to look into the opportunity. After many conversations with Jean Booth, who was the entire franchise department at the time, and our own due diligence, we made the decision to become team leaders.”
In May of 1999, the Mansfields opened their first store. Initially Mark was going to run the business himself, but Jan’s aptitude for people management led her to take over the operations side. It has been a business partnership that has been successful ever since. Jan comments, “How stores perform really comes down to the people who are in place. Once we found the right managers, things took off.”
“Back then the brand was still new, and the team was small,” recalls Jan. “Jean Booth did marketing, Nancy Vandiver and Kerin Haney were the coaches. That was it. It was all hands-on deck. I even remember Gordon (Logan), founder and CEO of Sport Clips, with a drill, putting together a salon chair, helping with the build out. “
Mark adds, “We have seen firsthand how substantially the support has been expanded as the brand has grown. There is now a wealth of resources available to team leaders. It was important to leadership that the business never outran the support.”
With the expansion of support, the Mansfields have seen team leaders maximizing their revenues as a result. Mark says, “I remember it used to be such a huge deal for even just one store to reach a certain amount in weekly sales. Once, Gordon did a contest, where the first store to reach this certain amount would get a trip. But now, at least 400 stores hit that mark every week. It has been incredible to watch this growth.”
Over the past two decades, the Mansfields say they are reminded of the tremendous growth every year at the annual Sport Clips gathering known as the National Huddle. “We used to have the Huddles on a small boat or in a little room. We knew everyone. Now the Huddles are these big events with over 3,000 attendees,” comments Jan. “But even with all this growth, the values have stayed the same. That has been a key to the brand’s success. Gordon kept the focus on what was important, and that never changed.”
When discussing how the brand has grown throughout the years, for the Mansfields, the growth is interwoven with their family’s growth. Mark says, “Our youngest was a newborn when we opened our first store. Our three kids have grown up in this business. Our girls worked in the store as teenagers, helping with marketing and coordinating. Our son, Ben, has done work with our contractor helping with store buildout and with our summer marketing program. We are working on bringing him into the business more and more.”
Also interwoven in their memories are those of the Logan family as well. “I remember seeing Edward, the founder’s son and now Sport Clips’ president, in 8th grade intently looking over store plans, really soaking it all in and trying to understand it all,” recalls Jan.
Mark adds a memory as well, “There was one Huddle on a dinner boat cruise, Gordon was standing in front of a food table that was draped with a table cloth, and I see a little hand reach out from underneath and grab Gordon’s leg. It was his daughter Caroline, sitting underneath the table with a book and a flashlight.”
He continues, “Gordon has set a good example on how to bring your children into the business. This last year we attended Sport Clips’ first meeting discussing second generation business ownership. Our initial goal in joining a franchise system, was to build a business, we have been able to do that as well as build a family legacy.”
Mark and Jan have been successful team leaders and have helped many others achieve their own success. Offering their seasoned advice to new team leaders, they have this to say, “We have been blessed with great team leaders and coaches. Building a good team is important. You also have to stick to the systems and policies in place. People ask us how we have been able to be so successful and we say, ‘We just do what we are told to do!’”