As a real estate advisor, Richard Buxbaum has helped countless franchisees from a wide variety of franchises find optimal real estate locations. Five years ago, he was sitting across the table from a franchisee he had just helped sign a lease on a great location and a thought occurred to him. This realization would change Buxbaum’s trajectory, putting him on a path towards financial and personal freedom.
“I remember thinking to myself, I was making a one-time fee from this deal, but this franchisee had just secured himself an additional revenue stream that would be making him money for years to come. I wanted to be on that side of the table,” says Buxbaum.
Having worked with many different franchisors over the years, for Buxbaum the choice to become a franchisee with Sport Clips Haircuts was an easy one. “I felt that no other franchise had the infrastructure that was as broad and as strong as Sport Clips. Nobody is in its league when it comes to its support and marketing, as well as in their real estate processes,” he says.
Buxbaum especially appreciated the brand’s real estate priority policy. This policy is unique in franchising and encourages a cooperative approach amongst franchisees (team leaders) to market development. Rather than assigning exclusive territories or specific sites, territories are strategically overlapped.
Available sites are offered to team leaders based on their position in the priority policy. If that team leader is not ready to move forward with that site, it is offered to the next team leader on the list. This also prevents viable sites from falling to the competition, which is good for the entire brand.
“The real estate priority policy was a big reason I chose Sport Clips. It keeps everything fair and everyone on the same page. It goes a long way in creating team culture, because everyone knows where they stand,” Buxbaum continues, “I have worked with other brands that did not have a policy like this in place and it can get messy, even ugly. It can turn into the Wild West. Well thought-out policies like this one are an exception, not the rule in franchising.”
In his real estate advisor role, Buxbaum had a hand in creating Sport Clips’ market projections for his hometown of Houston, TX. Knowing what the market could support and seeing how it was poised for tremendous growth, he jumped at the opportunity to buy two existing stores that had just become available.
Over the next five years, Buxbaum grew his business at a steady rate, adding three more stores to bring his total number of stores to five. When asked how he has been able to successfully scale, he says, “I kept putting into the business upfront even before I got anything out. I kept spending money in marketing and recruitment even when I didn’t see immediate results. I didn’t cut myself short and I invested in the right people. It takes time, but if you follow the system it works out.”
With five stores under his belt, Buxbaum has been able to strike a balance between his job as a real estate advisor and his role as team leader, saying, “Stick to the model and it all falls into place. The manager-led structure allows you to leverage yourself and your time effectively.”
For a person considering investing in Sport Clips themselves, Buxbaum has this advice. “Your success as a team leader depends on your ability to put people first. You have to want to build a team and empower them to grow in their careers. You have to be engaged and show your team members that you care. Really consider whether that is a role that will fit you.”
Buxbaum concludes, “This journey has been incredible and all my expectations have been met. I am able to keep working my job that I enjoy while at the same time building wealth for the future on the side.”
Hear more from Richard Buxbaum on this month’s Validation Conference Call.