“Mommy, why don’t you come to my school every day?” When her young son spoke those words, Cynthia Wells reevaluated her life. “Hearing him say that just broke my heart. We were making good money for other people, living a comfortable life, but that wasn’t important to my son. He just wanted to spend time with us,” says Wells.
With that, the human resource executive and her husband, Paris, began to discuss ways to create more flexibility and financial freedom in their lives. They knew they did not want to start a business from scratch however, saying, “We chose franchising because we wanted the backing of a proven system that has already demonstrated success.”
The Wells’ looked into a few different brands before deciding Sport Clips Haircuts best aligned with their personal and financial goals. Wells says, “The business model really resonated with us, as did the values. Sport Clips is about taking care of people, making them look good and feel good. We were excited to be a part of that.”
Paris and Cynthia opened their first store last month on August 21. The road leading up to their grand opening had a few unexpected detours, but now that the store has opened, they are beginning to see the fruits of their labor.
Cynthia comments, “We had never been a part of this sort of process before. It was all new territory for us. We learned a lot with this first store that we will take with us to the next. There was definitely a learning curve. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Sport Clips.”
She adds, “Sport Clips’ grand opening playbook laid out what to do step-by-step. The timelines were very helpful. We had to resist the urge to take over and do it on our own. We soon realized that there is a method and reason for everything. We had to learn to trust the system.”
One of the first items to be addressed as new team leaders was real estate. “Location is key, and we went through a few different sites before we settled on our store’s location. We took advantage of Sport Clips’ preferred vendors whenever we could,” says Wells. Their expertise and guidance were helpful for the new Team Leaders throughout the entire process.
After selecting their site and settling the terms of their lease, they began the build out process. The new team leaders decided to take on new construction, and this came with some challenges, Wells explains, “We did have a few setbacks in the build out process. Things that no one could have predicted, such as our air conditioning units being delayed due to Hurricane Harvey. This pushed our opening date out from April until August. That was frustrating, but we soon realized that there was a lot of other things that needed our focus.”
With construction being delayed, the Wells turned their attention to hiring. Wells says, “During the hiring process, Sport Clips provided great support. Having a background in human resources, I felt confident determining if a person was a good fit personality wise, but when it came to actual haircutting technique, the Sport Clips coaches Charlee Hayes and Alishia Yarmoluk really helped. They knew what to look for and provided insight in that area.”
She adds, “We got a great manager, Karen Karpinski, transferred to our store from another Sport Clips location. She has a passion for this brand and knows the system and how to implement it. We felt ready for our grand opening because we had the right people in place.”
Wells describes the time leading up to the store’s grand opening as time consuming, but now at six weeks out, they are finding their balance. “There was a lot of heavy lifting to do before we opened. One particular week of training took forty hours. Many times, Paris and I had to divide and conquer. But after we got through it, we have since been able to find more balance and flexibility.”
She goes on to say, “The entire process has been exciting. This business is our dream. We are building our future, and if that means we have to invest a lot of time upfront to get it going, it’s worth it.”
When asked what their life looks like since their grand opening last month, Wells says, “We have spent a lot of time in our store. We really enjoy our visits. They are fun. Our son is right there with us and he loves going to the store. He has the honorary title of ‘director of security’, and he takes his job very seriously. We are building this legacy for him and having him involved in it with us means everything.”
Wells says it’s important for new team leaders beginning the grand opening process for the first time to follow the system. “Make sure you carve out enough time to thoroughly follow the process. Take advantage of the support that is there for you, especially when unexpected challenges arise. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to ask questions.”
She concludes with, “Our family learned to really lean on each other during this time. We worked as a team and did it together.”