How the Sport Clips Discovery Process Helps Candidates Prepare for Success in Franchising

One of the foundational elements to a solid franchise system lies in its franchisees. The franchisee selection process is an essential building block in that foundation. Having closed an average of fewer than two stores a year over the last six years, we have identified key characteristics that help make a successful franchisee (Team Leader) and have designed a finely-tuned qualification process around finding the best match for our offering.

Consequently, the Sport Clips Discovery Process is one of the most rigorous selection processes in the franchise industry. This is one of the reasons we have been able maintain such a low store closure rate. If someone is not a good match for a business, they are unlikely to be successful. This presents a lose-lose situation for the both the franchisee and franchise system; a situation we go to great lengths to avoid.

Transparency is one of the main pillars of the Sport Clips Discovery Process. Part of this means giving candidates the tools they need to effectively evaluate a franchise business model. By educating candidates on the fundamentals of franchising, we ensure these candidates will be better positioned to make a more informed decision about whether Sport Clips, or any other concept, is the right opportunity for them. In fact, in post Discovery Day surveys, 100 percent of candidates report they feel better prepared to make an informed decision on ANY business opportunity having gone through the Sport Clips Discovery Process.

Jim Atkinson and Jerry Eulentrop, directors of franchise development for Sport Clips, both weighed in on this subject. “Candidates can use the evaluation points they get in this process to look at other franchises as well,” says Atkinson.

“You don’t know what you don’t know. This is why we take great care to give our candidates all the information, not just hand-picked sound bites,” observes Eulentrop.

An example of this pervasive transparency is the presentation of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Atkinson, who has also worked with other franchise brands, says, “Although every franchisor is required to disclose critical information in a standard format through the FDD, most assume the candidate already understands the document and the way information is presented. One of Sport Clips’ differentiators is how we approach this conversation. We walk people through the entire document, item by item, and make sure they understand how to read and interpret it before walking through the points that will most significantly impact their bottom line.”

Another pillar of the Sport Clips Discovery Process is validation. Eulentrop says, “Ronald Reagan once said, ‘Trust, but verify.’ That rings true in this process. The decision to invest is a big one, and it needs to be the right fit for everyone involved. My role is to point candidates in the right direction and give them the tools to verify the information they are receiving. We help them speak the same language of the existing franchisees and give them the language to ask better questions.”

Once a candidate has gone through all the modules in the process, one of the most important events lies at the end: Discovery Day. Of this final meeting Eulentrop says, “Discovery Day is not a closing tool. It is a chance for the candidates to meet with the leadership team and see if there is alignment on both sides. Being a compatible match with a candidate is crucial to success. Only about five percent of the candidates we work with ever make it to Discovery Day, and even then we turn down about twenty percent because, after spending the day with them, we don’t feel that it is the right fit.”

Sport Clips is committed to the success of our Team Leaders and we put tremendous resources into supporting those in our system. This is why we take great care to educate candidates on franchising and give them the tools they need to evaluate the Sport Clips offering. Providing them with a better understanding of franchising creates more informed candidates, ensures the right fit, and ultimately benefits everyone. To start your journey to a better understanding of franchising, click here.