New Sport Clips Team Leader Profile: Bob Garcia and Esthela Saenz

For the past few years, long-time friends Bob Garcia and Esthela Saenz have met weekly for lunch. Over these lunches they often discussed their future goals. While in different places in their careers and personal lives, they realized they both wanted to take control of their financial futures to create more stability and flexibility.

Bob, who works for the public education system as an administrator in data processing, was coming to a point in his job position where he will be eligible to retire. He began asking himself what it was he wanted to do for the second half of his career and ran several scenarios through his mind.

Becoming an entrepreneur had always been a dream of Bob’s, but with twin daughters heading off to college soon, he wasn’t sure if it would be wise to take on the risk of starting a business. Bob saw franchising as an option for his risk aversion, saying, “Franchising really appealed to me because it offers stability and support, taking a lot of the risk out of building a business.”

At the same time, Esthela was also considering her financial future. As a single mother to a daughter in middle school, she was the sole bread winner in her family and securing their future financially was a top priority. She had successfully made a living selling insurance while building a courier business from the ground up on the side. While she was doing well, she felt she needed to diversify her investments.  

One day over lunch, Bob discussed his situation with Esthela. He had watched her build her businesses over the years and sought her perspective. She says, “With a franchise, all of the guesswork has been done for you. It goes a long way in shortening the learning curve that comes with a new business, accelerating the path towards profitability. I like the peace of mind that comes along with a business having a proven track record of success.”

Esthela liked the idea of franchising so much that she also began to see it as a way to reach her future goals as well. With that, a business partnership was formed between Bob and Esthela and the pair began researching what went into investing in a franchise.

Bob says, “We looked at liquidity and net worth needed. We looked at all the fees associated with franchising. We found many too expensive. We also did not want the expense of a lot of overhead.”

During their research, they came across Sport Clips Haircuts' franchise offering. “The brand is so well established, its in every state. It has consistently topped Forbes’ annual best franchises list. It has a solid reputation,” says Esthela.

Bob adds, “When I saw they were looking to expand in our market, it felt like a big red arrow was directing us toward this opportunity.”

While Bob felt all the signs were pointing toward Sport Clips, Esthela took a more analytical approach. She says, “I made a checklist and studied our investment criteria. Sport Clips aligned perfectly. I came to the same conclusion Bob did, this was the right opportunity for us.”

As they got to know the brand better, the more excited they became. “The clincher for us was Sport Clips’ team culture and family values. They were in line with our mentality and how we wanted to model our business,” explains Bob. “We could see that the culture was not just words on the paper. The people in this brand reflect it.”

The formation of their partnership and their interest in Sport Clips accelerated very quickly. Bob says, “We were very gung-ho from the get-go and Sport Clips cautioned us to slow down a bit, to take the time to learn about the brand and business model. They wanted us to really evaluate whether this was the right fit for us. There was complete transparency throughout the entire discovery process.”

Digging into their due diligence, Esthela says, “We got to know the brand well. We talked to other team leaders. We read any article or blog post we could find about Sport Clips. We also read about the industry, which we felt demonstrated a history of being recession resistant.”

Bob adds, “I think people often pigeon hole themselves in business into what they feel comfortable with. Stella and I felt confident that even though we didn’t have any salon industry experience, we would be able to succeed in our role as team leaders.”

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After a thorough look at the brand, Bob and Esthela were ready to attend Discovery Day. “While I am going into this with a business partner, it was important to have my wife, Amy, on the same page. She knows I am a numbers guy and that I did my research, but Discovery Day was her first real exposure to the Sport Clips culture. While she was a little reluctant to come to Georgetown, I am so glad she did. Amy was really impressed with what she saw and got a lot out of seeing it all for herself,” says Bob.

Having signed on as team leaders in southern Texas, the two friends and now business partners, are looking forward to their future with Sport Clips. They are in the process of finding the right location for their first store. Bob says, “I am savoring the process. This has been a dream of mine for a while. I find all the planning exciting.”

Esthela, on the other hand is finding herself eager to move to each next step. “I can’t wait to be in our store. I must remind myself to trust the process and not rush through each phase. This is a business that takes time to build.”

For Bob and Esthela, years of friendship and weekly lunches have blossomed into a business partnership that has put two families on the path toward achieving their personal and financial goals. Excited for their joint venture, Bob says, “The sky’s the limit!”  

To learn more about how Sport Clips can help you on your own path towards achieving your goals, let’s continue the conversation here.

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