(A note from Ambrosio: Last week’s exclusive interview with Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon was very well received. I know most of us appreciate getting the inside scoop from key executives of our favorite franchises.
So I’m very happy that the VP of Franchise Development for Great Clips has agreed to participate in an exclusive Q&A with Franchise Chatter. Thank you so much to Rob Goggins for allowing us to take a closer look at the Great Clips franchise opportunity.
We have more exclusive interviews in the pipeline that I’m sure you’ll enjoy, so please check back often. But right now, let’s get to know Great Clips better through Rob Goggins.)
Rob Goggins joined Great Clips in July 2007 as Vice President of Franchise Development. Prior to Great Clips, Rob was Vice President of Franchise Development for Service Brands International. In that position, Rob helped grow franchise sales for all four of the Service Brands’ franchise concepts: 1-800-DryClean, Mr. Handyman, Molly Maid and DUCTZ.
He has been a panelist at the International Institute for Franchise Education’s Emerging Franchisor Conference and the International Franchise Association.
Prior to his franchise career, Rob spent more than 10 years in a variety of industrial sales management positions.
1. Why should someone interested in owning his or her own business consider a salon franchise?
It’s a $55 billion dollar, recession-resistant industry with very few large, established brand names – so there is plenty of room for growth. For example, Great Clips is the largest salon brand in the world and we “only” produce $800M in total consumer sales, about 1.5% of the market.
Additionally, it’s a manager-run franchise model so franchisees can maintain their full-time job while they build the business, if they wish.
Finally, most franchisees in the salon industry own multiple units, helping them grow their profits while spreading the risk.
2. What sets Great Clips apart from your competitors in the salon franchise industry?
We are 100% focused on our franchisees – every single Great Clips salon is owned by a franchisee. Our franchisees know that we are fully committed to helping them grow their businesses. We are not distracted with operations of our own salons.
We are also laser-focused on a handful of brand measures that our customers tell us are important. While some brands regularly introduce new products or services, we continue to make incremental improvements in our operations so customers feel comfortable that we can provide a great haircut for a fair price in a reasonable amount of time.
3. What qualities are you looking for in a prospective franchisee?
On a basic level, we need them to have the proper financial resources: $300k+ net worth, and $50k+ liquid funds.
In addition to the financial requirements, we recruit people who understand business and a profit and loss statement, they’ve had experience managing people and they know how to drive growth.
Our prospective franchisees know they’re not going to get rich quick in our business, but rather they see a 5-10 year plan, or even a 20 year plan, where they can achieve their goals and eventually sell the business, or perhaps hand it down to their children.
In a strip center anchored by the #1 or #2 grocery store in the market, or a Target or Wal-Mart anchored center. There are a number of other factors we consider, including demographics, visibility, signage, access, traffic counts, co-tenants, etc.
5. Based on your observations, what concrete steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their businesses?
They hire a good manager, execute our model by focusing on the brand measures and seek out growth opportunities.
6. What kind of ongoing support do you extend to your franchisees to help them become more successful?
Once we sign someone up, they are promptly handed off to our real estate department where we help them find locations and sign a lease. Our training group educates them in the business via online courses and in-person training here in Minnesota. Then we help them design and build out the salon.
Next our marketing team helps them prepare for grand opening and ongoing marketing. Finally, our Business Services group provides ongoing support to the salon manager, general managers and of course the franchisees.
In addition to all of this support, we offer proprietary software to help run the business, HR tools to help them recruit and retain employees, in-market ongoing training for all of their employees and of course annual meetings and conventions.
7. What would you tell a prospective franchisee who wants to know about the profit potential of a Great Clips franchise?
We have the most detailed Item 19 Financial Performance Representation of any salon franchise in our industry. I’d encourage them to read that carefully, and then speak with our franchisees to verify the information.
Great Clips is on a roll! We now have achieved 26 straight quarters of same-store sales growth – recession or not, we do well.
Great Clips also launched an industry game-changing online check-in service, and our customers are raving about it. Visit GreatClips.com and see for yourself how easy it is to check wait times at salons near you, and then check-in online and reserve your spot at the salon!
To read my exclusive interview with David Hands, franchisee of Great Clips with 7 salons in Illinois, click here.
To read my review of the Great Clips franchise opportunity, click here.)