The conscientious and diligent support Eric “EJ” Gozur, Jr., area developer for Sport Clips Haircuts, provides the 83 stores in his market comes in part from his unique journey with the brand. He owns 21 stores and not only talks the talk; he walks the walk. Having grown his market along side his late father, Eric Gozur, Sr., he has helped his family, as well as many other team leaders, reach their personal and financial goals.
Gozur was first introduced to Sport Clips Haircuts by his dad. Eric had always been an entrepreneur, owning a variety of businesses over the years. Gozur recalls, “There were a lot of up and down years for my dad as an independent business owner. I saw that being in business by yourself is hard work.”
In 2000, Eric sold his generator distribution company and started looking for his next venture. “Being in his late 40s, my dad was looking for stability above all else. He also did not want a high inventory business, like food,” says Gozur. “The hair industry appealed to him because it was consistent and fairly recession resistant. He considered Sport Clips and another brand. Sport Clips really stood out to him.”
Initially, Eric inquired about becoming a Sport Clips team leader. Because of his background in sales and building companies, Sport Clips leadership felt he would be a good fit for the role of area developer in the untapped South Carolina market. Eric agreed there was tremendous potential in the market, and agreed to the area developer role, opening his first store in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which was also the first store in that market.
At the time, Gozur was an account manager with a large grocery chain. “It was good work, but it was boring. I wanted more,” he says. “I saw my dad start to build this business and really enjoy it. I thought it was a great idea.”
Gozur wasted no time and the next year, he joined his dad and mother, Rosemary, making it a family business. He says, “My role with the business evolved over time as the market grew. When I started, I help with the operations side of the business and then moved to field support, and now I have taken on the role as area director.”
Since that first store in 2003, the Gozur’s market has grown to support 83 stores covering four states, with the family owning 21 of those stores. Gozur recalls how daunting the task ahead of them seemed in the beginning. “We had just opened the eleventh store in our market and were looking to add our first coach. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Only 89 more to go!”
What was originally just three members on the support team (Gozur, along with his mom and dad) has grown considerably. Gozur’s sister, Ashley, joined the support team, along with four full-time coaches, a marketing support professional, a business manager and four area managers, all dedicated to the success of the team leaders in their market.
“It is so rewarding to help someone who has made such a big commitment, both monetarily and in time, grow their business. The system this brand has created empowers people to reach their goals,” says Gozur.
In 2017, Gozur’s parents took a step back from the business when Eric was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The same year, Gozur opened a total of seven stores. With major events happening in both his personal and professional life, Gozur says the support and flexibility of Sport Clips helped him scale at such a rapid pace. “This brand has been wonderful to work with, especially in periods of transition. They are understanding and really put people first. They help get you to the next level. The structure and advice they provide helps you level up.”
As a multi-unit owner, as well as supporting the growth of many other team leaders, Gozur has some advice for team leaders looking to get to that next level themselves, “Listen to those who are where you want to be and be open to the ideas of those who have been there.”
Hear more from area developer EJ Gozur on June’s Validation Conference call.