Sport Clips Team Leader Profile: Kevin Henkel

Kevin Henkel, a Sport Clips Haircuts multi-unit team leader in Northern California and Reno, Nevada, is in the build out process for his ninth store. When he opened his first store in 2007, he thought he would only open three stores total. But as opportunities to scale his Sport Clips interests became available, he found himself retiring early from his teaching job to focus on his expanding business.

Having taught eighth grade chemistry and physics for over two decades,while there were many aspects of the job he greatly enjoyed, he realized it was time for a change.

While Henkel had some real estate investments at the time, the market was peaking, and it wasn’t an ideal time to reinvest in those interests. Thus, began his search for a new investment opportunity, something that was less tied to the ups and downs of the economy.

During that time, Henkel went on a trip to Colorado, where he had his first MVP Experience at Sport Clips. He immediately knew it was something special, saying, “The concept is unique and fun. It was so different from any other haircut I had ever had. I was really impressed.”

With three boys, Henkel understands how important it is to make the haircut experience enjoyable. “Between my sons and me, we are getting our hair cut up to four times a month," Henkel says. "With Sport Clips, what was once a chore is now something we all look forward to.”

He came to the conclusion, “Parents of young kids, like me, will spend more for an MVP and buy products if it means their kids have an enjoyable experience. I saw opportunities for recurring revenue.”

With that, Henkel made the decision to invest with the brand and hasn’t looked back since. He comments, “I found a lot of similarities between the skill set I used for teaching and what I use as a team leader. I do a lot of motivating, team building, goal setting and self-esteem building with my team, just as I did with my students.”

He continues, “The Sport Clips Haircuts organization has been helpful along the way. Everything is laid out for you. There is a solid road map, with every aspect thought out, taking out most of the guess work. Their consistent coaching for team members has been quite valuable. And there is always someone to call to ask questions, and go the extra mile to help find answers.”

Having opened his stores in one of Sport Clips emerging markets, Henkel says, “Brand awareness is steadily rising in my area. Connecting with team leaders in the region has been a great resource. The network offers great support, and the brand fosters that team culture.”

On the verge of his ninth store, Henkel offers this advice to someone about to make the decision to invest, “Make sure you and your spouse are on the same side going into this. Starting out, my wife Nancy and I weren’t on the same page and it was a struggle. It was more my thing. But now, in addition to taking care of our boys, Nancy plays an integral role in the business, and it has made all the difference.”

Henkel also has some seasoned advice for new team leaders building their business, “Just have fun with it. Any business has its bumps in the road, but if you approach it with the attitude of ‘whatever happens we work as a team,’ getting through the obstacles together, you will be successful. Remember to laugh!”

To hear more from Kevin Henkel on June’s Validation Conference Call.