Wayne Freeman had a successful finance and accounting career in corporate America. He made a comfortable living and enjoyed his job as a national account manager, working with products and business processes. However, Freeman was aware of the instability inherent in the corporate world and saw that no one was safe from layoffs and business closures. He began to look for a way to build a safety net and create financial stability outside his chosen profession.
Teaming up with a business partner and childhood friend who also worked in finance and accounting, Freeman explored a few different franchise concepts. “Food was quickly ruled out. We were young and thinly capitalized. Besides not having enough money for the startup costs, we also didn’t have the time to invest. The owner/operator model was not for us,” he explains.
One day, his business partner needed a haircut and decided to try out his local Sport Clips Haircuts. Impressed with his MVP Championship Experience, he spotted an informational flyer in the store about becoming a franchisee. Freemen says, “It was a good fit. We thought the concept was unique and fun. The business model aligned with our skill sets and goals.”
In 2003, Freeman and his business partner became Sport Clips team leaders (franchisees) and acquired six licenses. One of their first business decisions, Freeman says, was to hire an area manager, “Hiring good managers is very important. You have to trust them and invest in them. Without good managers we wouldn’t have been able to scale so successfully.”
Today, Freeman and his business partner have a total of 16 stores throughout Kansas and Iowa, and both partners have transitioned out of their day jobs to focus full time on their stores. Freeman says, “My initial goal wasn’t for this to be an exit strategy from the corporate world, rather it was to build wealth on the side. But as we scaled, it just made sense.”
Freeman has some advice for new team leaders, “Educate yourself on the resources available to you. Entrepreneurs like to do stuff on their own, but it is important to understand that you are part of a proven system. Don’t try to change the system, it works if you stick to it and utilize the wide range of resources available to you.”
Hear more from Wayne Freeman on September’s Validation Conference call.