Amanda Daluga, a tax financial advisor and Chris Daluga, a construction manager, lead very active lifestyles. Besides her own practice, Amanda is on a swim team that meets at 5:30 a.m. every day and is an active volunteer at her church. “We like to keep moving and want to dedicate ourselves to worthwhile and productive things. You really have to be intentional about how you spend your time,” explains Amanda.
With the last of their three kids finishing up college and about to “be off the payroll”, as Amanda affectionately teases, the Dalugas have found themselves looking toward the next phase of their life. “We wanted to build more financial freedom into our future, while at the same time having the flexibility to still be able to dedicate our time to the pursuits we are passionate about,” she states. “We just didn’t have any firm ideas as to what that looked like.”
With experience in real estate investing, the pair knew that was not what they were looking for. Amanda explains, “After owning a few properties and doing some house flipping, we had grown tired of real estate. Having tenants is a 24-hour commitment. We didn’t want something that was so demanding of our constant attention.”
After reviewing their options, franchising aligned best with their goals. “Buying a franchise business appealed to us because it struck a good balance between growing something of our own but with a business model that has already been proven to work,” says Amanda. “Initially, we had looked into some fast food restaurants, but none of those concepts grabbed us. Our hearts weren’t in it.”
Having tabled their search, it was a discussion with their daughter about her career that got them excited about business ownership again. Miette, a hairstylist, had left a full-service salon to work at Sport Clips Haircuts. As a college student, she found she had greater flexibility in scheduling and made more money with the brand’s pay structure than she had before.
Amanda says, “We saw Sport Clips really work with Miette. She was even able to transfer to another location that was closer to her college. She is finishing up her B.A. in psychology and has plans to pursue her PhD and accomplishing her goals wouldn’t be possible without the help of Sport Clips.
“We were already aware of Sport Clips’ commitment to creating an MVP Experience for its clients, because Chris had been getting his haircut there for over 15 years. Seeing it from a corporate perspective, we were impressed with how supportive they are of their team members.”
The Dalugas realized this might be what they were looking for. “We really liked the energy and positive environment. We saw how passionate people were for the brand. We started to get excited about the idea of joining the brand,” says Amanda.
As they learned more about the Sport Clips business offering, they saw alignment. The brand’s comprehensive step-by-step guide and semi-absentee model were both important aspects to Amanda and Chris. “It meant we had a road map and check points along the way, so we didn’t have to go about reinventing the wheel. It was all there for us, laid out. The manager-led business model of Sport Clips gives us the flexibility we needed to still maintain our other commitments.”
From the beginning, Sport Clips’ discovery process was a positive experience for the Dalugas. “After submitting our request for more info, we were contacted by our area’s developer John Kohler and he was, and still is, a tremendous resource for us. Throughout the entire process we never felt rushed or pressured. It was always about making sure this was the right fit for us.”
Attending Discovery Day reinforced the Daluga’s excitement for the brand. Amanda says, “We enjoyed meeting the leadership and support staff and seeing the team atmosphere firsthand. Between the support and the step-by-step guide, it really helps takes some of the burden off. We have less fear of the unknown knowing we have the support of such a committed franchisor.”
Since signing on to become team leaders in February of 2019, the Daluga’s have never felt alone in their business. “Matt Kamm, director of store development, has been essential to getting our store closer to opening. The support has been absolutely amazing as we have worked through the permit process and construction of their first store,” comments Amanda.
Recently, the Dalugas attended their first annual Huddle and found it to be a great experience, Amanda says, “The team environment was inspiring. Being part of this network is a tremendous resource. We got so much useful information that we were able to apply right away.”
For Amanda and Chris, owing their own stores represents a way for them to create more freedom and flexibility in our lives. “We have a passion for serving and volunteering and our church community is very important to us. This business model fits into our lifestyle and helps us accomplish our financial and personal goals,” says Amanda.
When asked if they had any advice for someone who is considering investing in Sport Clips for themselves, Amanda offers this, “You need to be ambitious and self-directed. Growing a business takes some work, especially up front. You need to set appropriate expectations as well. This is not like buying a mutual fund where you send a check and then passively wait for your returns. You will get out of it what you put in, just like most worthwhile things in life. You are growing something for your future.”
To learn more about how you can build more financial freedom and flexibility into your life just like the Dalugas, click here for more information.