About three years ago, Beth McMahon left her job as a human resources manager in northern Illinois to stay home with her two young boys. Her family greatly benefited from the flexibility leaving the corporate world gave her, especially because her husband Michael’s job in sales required a tremendous amount of travel. While she loved being home full-time, Beth found herself missing the challenge of the work environment.
The family began to consider entrepreneurship as a way to give Beth the challenge she was craving, while at the same time building wealth for the future. Beth says, “Franchising appealed to us because we liked the idea of following a formula that has been proven. We wanted something turnkey. We felt confident with our work experience and skill sets, we could execute a system successfully.”
The McMahons looked at several different offerings, including Sport Clips Haircuts. “We considered several options, such as fast food restaurant and a children’s play place, as well as Sport Clips. The high inventory costs of the restaurant turned us off and neither one of them had the proven track record of success at the level Sport Clips does either. Over 25 years of demonstrated success is significant,” says Beth.
She adds, “We also felt that providing haircuts was more recession resistant than the other models we looked at. Even though we did not have a background in hair, we felt confident that we could follow the system and succeed.”
Maintaining the flexibility Beth gained from exiting the corporate world was a top priority for the McMahons. Beth says, “With the simple and effective manager-based business model we would not have to give up the flexibility our family needed. Sport Clips’ comprehensive support systems also meant that we would not be in this alone.”
While learning about the brand, Beth and Michael took the time to talk to other Sport Clips team leaders (franchisees). “We learned about their challenges and the pros and cons of this business. We felt prepared to handle those challenges,” says Beth.
At the end of March 2018, the McMahons made the decision to become team leaders and set a rather aggressive time frame for themselves for the opening of their first store. “We were eager to get to started and wanted to open up before Thanksgiving to take advantage of the holiday season.”
They immediately got to work and opened their first store in November of 2018. Of their grand opening Beth says, “The process went very well. The timelines set out in the playbook were very detailed and kept us on track. Weekly calls with the grand opening team helped us stay on top of any challenges.”
Beth continues, “While the grand opening month was intense as far as the amount of work and time we had to put in, since then it has become much more manageable. We have been able to maintain the flexibility that was a top priority to us when we went into this whole thing.”
During this process, Beth leaned into the brand’s grand opening support system. She recalls, “Early on, when I was interviewing stylists for my store, I was structuring the process with multiple steps and interviews, as I was used to in the corporate world. I risked losing some great candidates along the way. My recruiting coach let me know at one of our check points that this wasn’t the way it worked in the stylist world. We adapted and now just do one interview. It required me to put a lot of trust in my manager. I have an incredible team of stylists as a result. If you are flexible and listen to the feedback you are receiving from your coaches and support, you will get amazing results too.”
A month after the opening of their store, the McMahons were even able to sneak away for family vacation. “Salon Ultimate an amazing tool for us as team leaders. Being able to check in on our stores while we were on a beach in Hawaii was incredible. The technology allows us to stay connected anywhere, giving us so much freedom and flexibility.”
With their first store under their belt, the McMahons have their eyes on a new site and have plans to open their second location later this year. “We love that we can include our kids in on this whole journey. They are having fun with it and we are truly building a family legacy. Together we are securing our financial future.”
Hear more from Beth on this month’s Validation Conference Call.