About ten years ago, Jeff Burroughs, a sales manager in the auto industry, began to see slowing sales numbers. In an industry subject to economic fluctuations, he longed for more control over his financial future. Burroughs recalls, “I had spent 20 years trying to get to the next level, but really I was just helping someone else get ahead.”
After working 60 hours a week, six to seven days a week, he finally asked himself, “Why am I working for someone else when I can be working for myself?” With that, Burroughs and his family embarked on a journey toward personal and financial freedom. “I realized I could stay where I was and be mediocre, building up someone else’s business or I could take control over my future and build something for myself.”
Burroughs started flipping houses, but quickly realized that did not fit in with his lifestyle. He says, “I decided my best option was to buy into a system and a brand.” With that, Burroughs started looking into different franchise concepts, saying, “I kept coming back to haircutting. Unlike food and other industries, haircutting is an industry less susceptible to the ups and downs of the economy. Everybody needs a haircut.”
After deciding on the haircutting industry, Burroughs reached out to several concepts, but Sport Clips Haircuts stood out from the others. “With the other brands, I felt like, for lack of a better term, I was talking to a used car salesman. I felt pressured and rushed. Sport Clips, on the other hand, took the time to determine if this was a good fit for me. The Discovery process was informative and transparent. It wasn’t about getting my money, it was whether this was right for me.”
Opening their first store in 2009, today Burroughs, and his wife Robyn Hanson, own 21 Sport Clips stores in the Maryland area. In 2014, Jeff left his car sales job to focus on scaling their business. “That was probably one of the happiest moves I have ever made,” Burroughs says. “It has allowed me to be more involved in my family and community.” What began as a way to supplement fluctuating income, became a vehicle for greater personal and financial freedom for the Burroughs family.
As a team leader, Burroughs found better work-life balance than in his previous career. “I never had to miss one of my kid’s college football games because my boss wouldn’t let me have the night off. I now have the flexibility to live the life I want. That in itself is priceless,” he says.
This year, Robyn was able to leave her corporate job to become more involved in the family business. Their son, a recent college grad, is also taking on a more active role, making it a true family affair. “Building this business together has been an incredible experience,” states Burroughs.
Along with financial stability and personal freedom, community involvement is also part of Burroughs and Hanson’s “why”. As a volunteer fireman, Burroughs has always felt a strong connection to his community. Now as business owners, the Burroughs family contributes to their community on a whole new level, through local sponsorships and charitable contributions.
Enriching the lives of their team members has been very rewarding for the couple. “Watching these team members achieve their goals is very rewarding. Seeing them buy their first car or house and knowing that we had a part in that is a wonderful feeling,” says Hanson.
When asked what advice they have for new team leaders, Burroughs says, “I am a firm believer in that you get what you give. If you put in the effort you will get the reward. That has been our experience as team leaders.”
The brand’s effective management structure has allowed the Burroughs family to scale their investment beyond what they anticipated. “Sport Clips is well structured,” explains Burroughs. “They provide you with the tools and support you need to grow. The sky’s the limit.”
Hanson adds, “Following the system has been key. Our recipe for success has been: find a great location; implement the system; have fun. It is that simple.”
To hear more from Burroughs and Hanson on this month’s Validation Conference Call.