If one were to ask John Kohler whether he would ever see himself as a franchisee, he would have answered with a hearty “no.” Yet, he is now one of the largest area developers for Sport Clips. Since 2004, Kohler used tenacity, dedication, and his acute skills to bring 130 new stores to Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, and Eastern Missouri. For him, this is only the beginning.
Prior to joining the Sport Clips team, Kohler was the senior vice president of global operations for Tellabs, Inc. He oversaw more than 4,700 employees. However, when the dot-com industry fell, he found himself in the unfortunate position of having to lay off nearly 3,800 workers. The experience took a toll on him and caused Kohler to re-evaluate what he wanted to do.
It was by coincidence that Kohler stumbled upon a franchising seminar. Though hesitant at first, he learned of the opportunities franchises presented – Sport Clips especially. It was the simple business model and the company culture that drew him in. Everyone needs haircuts and the fact that the jobs cannot be outsourced influenced Kohler’s decision to join.
Only 143 stores existed when Kohler joined the franchise. Now Sport Clips has over 1,500. Kohler believes the company’s commitment to doing the right thing and having complete transparency is what makes it great. He says,
I always tell people I haven’t bought a job; I’ve invested in an adventure. My goal is to run a great brand and a great company. I want to support my employees, develop their talents and continue to make each and every one of our customers’ days. As we look to continue expanding Sport Clips in the years to come, my goal is to convey that very message to prospective franchisees. If you are the type of person who can nurture, create, motivate and inspire a team of professionals, you will be successful.
Kohler strives to hit his 209-store-goal within the next five to seven years. If you would like to meet John Kohler stop by the International Franchise Expo (IFE). The convention will be held in New York on June 16-18. Stop by booth #547 and explore what a successful future with Sport Clips could look like. #ItsGoodToBeAnOwner!