Cheston Syma always knew he wanted to be a business owner. Today he is an experienced entrepreneur, owning a variety of business concepts, including 13 Sport Clips Haircuts stores. But there was a time when the path to business ownership wasn’t so clear for him.
When younger, Syma spent time working in his parents’ manufacturing business. He says, “I knew I wanted to be a business owner like my parents. They were their own boss and had the flexibility to be at all my school and sport events when I was a kid. I wanted that type of freedom.”
After eight years in the Marine Corps, Syma began working as a personal trainer while attending college in the Houston area. He says, “I knew I still wanted to be a business owner one day, I just didn’t know what kind of business.”
However, Syma knew what he did not want in a business opportunity, “My parents, being business owners themselves, discouraged me from going into the food industry. They knew the owner-operator model would not give me the kind of lifestyle I wanted. I wanted the same flexibility they have, which meant a semi-absentee business model.”
One day, Syma was discussing his business goals with a client. His client, who happened to be a Sport Clips stylist, suggested Sport Clips as a way for him to achieve his entrepreneurial goals. “As a stylist, she had great things to say about the company, which said a lot to me," he tells. "I had never heard of Sport Clips before, so I immediately went and tried it out.”
He continues, “My first experience as a client was great. I loved the concept and the atmosphere right away. Logic told me this was a good investment. Everyone needs their haircut and it’s something that can’t be outsourced. I began to take a closer look at the company and the business model.”
After examining the brand’s offering and mission, Syma became a Team Leader in June 2004. Of his decision, he remarks, “The company culture and values were a good fit with mine. And the business model was exactly what I was looking for.”
Sport Clips’ semi-absentee business model gives Syma the freedom and flexibility he was looking for in a concept. He says, “I am able to peruse my other business ventures, while still scaling this business. I currently own 13 Sport Clips stores and counting, all while owning other businesses.”
Of Sport Clips’ effective manager led structure, Syma says, “I have area managers who report to me. They handle most questions and situations that arise in the stores, freeing me up to work on the business rather than in it.”
Syma looks forward to continuing on his path to personal and financial freedom with plans to open more Sport Clips stores in the future with his business partners. With Sport Clips’ emphasis on existing team leader expansion, he will find plenty of opportunities to grow.
For new team leaders starting out, Syma has some advice, “This is not meant to be just easy mailbox money. The more you put into your business, the more you will get out of it. Customers love seeing owners in the stores. Introduce yourself to clients and thank them for their business. They appreciate seeing who they are doing business with, and it adds a personal touch, which goes a long way in gaining their loyalty.”
Hear more from Cheston Syma on an upcoming Validation Conference Call.
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