How to Responsibly Grow a Mature Market

In 1999, Joe Klimek joined up with Bill Vandrick to buy three Sport Clips store licenses. The brand was still young at this point, having less than 20 locations. Not quite familiar with franchising, the pair ran into some trouble at first, but quickly learned that the Sport Clips system was there to help them and could be leaned on during difficult times.

Jump to today and Klimek and Vandrick are Area Developers for the Houston market. They play an integral role in assisting and guiding other franchisees who are finding their footing or encountering challenges. Thanks to their efforts and the spirit of Sport Clips as a brand, the Houston market alone has about 100 locations, either open or in development.

This is progress is what the business world likes to call “responsible growth”. Rather than forging ahead and opening locations, no matter the risks or chances of success, Klimek, Vandrick, and Sport Clips believe in taking the appropriate steps, carefully plotting a course, and truly supporting new franchise locations as they emerge. Indeed, due to this mindset, only one Sport Clips in the Houston market has closed in the last decade, a success trend that is practically unheard of in franchise industries competing in such a high population area.

Careful Market Calculations are Critical

Creating and dominating a market area with franchisees, or Team Leaders, means that at some point one franchisee could be competing with another if the brand grows too rapidly. No one really wins in this situation, as it becomes Sport Clips against Sport Clips. Responsible market growth upheld by Sport Clips uses fine calculations of the market to determine where franchise locations should be permitted, and what Team Leaders should control them.

For example, Sport Clips will not use 60 different Team Leaders to fill a market with 60 potential locations. Instead, it will use 10 different Team Leaders, each with 6 adjacent or semi-adjacent locations, growing slowly to fill the gaps. This allows the brand to dominate the region without competing against itself since a client choosing between two nearby locations will mostly likely be choosing between two Sport Clips salons run, owned, and operated by the same Team and Team Leader.

Klimek’s Four Principles of Development Success

  1. Pay attention to the current market and market projections, be proactive, and get ahead of the game. Don’t forget to see what real estate developers are doing as well since the retail space they create is the literal foundation for your market that you’re trying to responsibly grow.
  2. Share important market information with everyone who should know it. Excluding a particular team or location will hurt their chances and deteriorate relationships.
  3. Setup a reliable system of communication for internal information and use it as often as possible. Constant communication never hurts.
  4. Inconsistency in your practices and behaviors will make you lose ground, focus, and sight of your objective. Stay consistent.

Interested in Klimek’s story and want to know more? Go ahead and click here to view a full article about the responsible growth of the Houston market and others from 1851, a publication for franchisers and franchisees. Are you looking for a haircutting franchise opportunity of your own? Please feel welcome to request more information about Sport Clips today.

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