Doug Porter Finds an Encore Career with Sport Clips

Two years after retiring from his role as CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland, Doug Porter realized full-time retirement wasn’t for him. “I found myself having too much curiosity and energy for retirement. I began to search for a new project,” he explains. For years, friends of Porter had been talking about their investments in a haircutting salon, and how the semi-absentee business model was a great fit for the lifestyle he wanted to lead.

Porter says, “I became really interested in the haircutting industry. The semi-absentee business model gives me the flexibility I was looking for at this point in my life. It also matched with my strengths. And I don’t see haircuts being outsourced to computers, making the industry fairly recession-proof. I was interested.”

With a successful background in hospitality and marketing, Porter found working with the consumer side of a business appealing. With his years in management, he enjoyed the idea of shaping a store culture and devising a marketing strategy to drive business.

He continues, “My only problem was, I wasn’t excited about the brand my friends were invested in, so I never jumped. The first time I walked into a Sport Clips, I knew they were the brand for me. The atmosphere is terrific. I liked that the concept catered to men and boys. I liked how they add value to the client with the MVP experience. It’s a time for guys to relax and get a little pampering. And the sports environment is fun.”

Aside from the in-store experience, he also found the company’s leadership to be humble, sincere and authentic. He could also see they were always working to improve. He felt confident they would continue to create the right environment on the leadership level, maintaining their position as industry leaders. Simply put, Porter says, “They have built a strong base with a winning formula. I knew this was a brand I could get behind.”

Once he found the Sport Clips Haircuts offering, he was finally ready to take that jump into the haircutting industry and purchased an existing store last year. He says, “The support I received during the transition was crucial in ensuring we hit the ground running. The team leader training was incredibly informative. I was very impressed with how approachable and available everyone was."

Porter brings with him marketing experience and an understanding of the target market. He works to get involved in the community with school fundraisers, little leagues and community organizations. He also works to engage various media channels. His strategic approach to marketing has done well for the store.

-Porter found that there was a surprising amount of data and -this is where Sport Clips’ strong support systems come in. “Sport Clips helps me see how all the data comes together to tell a cohesive story of how the store is doing and suggest ways to improve. I wouldn’t have been able to piece that together on my own in the beginning. And with the recent upgrade to the POS system, there are even more data points available to me. It has really become an incredible analytical and communication tool for growing my business.”

He goes on to say, “Sport Clips has also been a great resource when it comes to stylist relations, especially the mock interviews during TLTC. The brand has made itself attractive to stylists because of the terrific career development opportunities within the company. This goes a long way in recruiting and retention.”

When it comes to relating to his team, Porter has followed the company’s core values. “Those tenants of doing your best, doing what’s right and treating people the way they want to be treated, are so simple, yet so effective. This is especially true when working with my team.”

“Stylists oftentimes come from a different background than most team leaders,” says Porter, “and what motivates and drives them may differ. I have found it is the way you give feedback that is even more important than what you say. Most importantly it is about inspiring my team members to reach their goals and acknowledging them when they give their best. It is about creating a team culture and environment.”

Porter has some advice for anyone considering investing in Sport Clips. “It’s a terrific opportunity for the right person. Give careful thought to your strengths and weaknesses and honestly assess whether you can do what is required of you. To do this you must first have a good understanding of what your role in the business will be. Make sure the places you can add value match your strengths. The ability to create the right culture among your team members is very important. Knowing how to hire the right people is part of that. If you can do those things, you will find Sport Clips a perfect fit.”

To learn more about whether Sport Clips is a good fit for you, get more info here.

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