Auto industry vet finds success with Sports Clips, with 12 open locations and three more on the way.
Jeff Burroughs opened his first Sport Clips in 2009 as a way to diversify a successful career in the auto industry. Burroughs coaches Little League football and baseball and previously raced sports cars. An avid sports fan, he was drawn to the Sport Clips concept and soon after, learned the value of support he received from the brand. While he grew the business and added more locations, Burroughs was able to successfully keep working his full-time auto job. He now is focused solely on Sport Clips with 12 locations and three additional locations set to be built in the next 12 to 24 months.
What was your perspective about franchising prior to joining?
I worked in the auto industry for many years and while there are franchises in the auto industry that are successful, I started exploring other options and found a wide array of other opportunities in franchising. I researched many concepts, some of which I now realize might have been more edgy than what I wanted, but I wanted to find something that really piqued my interest. It was important to me to find a business venture that I really loved and franchising gave me the opportunity to pick from a wider selection of options, rather than being confined to one industry.
What is the top thing you think people don't understand about franchising?
I think one misconception about franchising is that because it provides a system to be successful, it doesn’t allow a business owner to make it his or her own, but it is absolutely possible to take the proven system that a franchise provides and put in the effort to make it your own. Sport Clips’ corporate team is hands-on throughout the entire franchising process and guides site selection and grand opening organization. That support didn’t stop after I was open for business and the team continues to be open to my ideas about how to grow the brand to fit my strengths as an operator.
How has being a franchisee changed your life?
Sport Clips gave me the ability to step away from my 23-year career in the auto industry with no regret and that truly changed my life. When I got into franchising, I was looking to diversify my income with a business that would provide financial stability during the downturns in the auto industry. I wanted to invest in a concept that had a simpler model and gave the opportunity to grow faster and also provide a cushion to my day job. After I got a few stores open, I saw a path that could lead to a true future and help me leave the auto industry, which is tough to get out of for many people. Now, instead of helping build the future of a business for someone else, I am building a future for myself. I now own 12 locations and have three locations set to be built in the next 12 to 24 months.
Why did you pick Sport Clips?
I have previous experience in food service, so I initially looked into food and other similar concepts. When I researched Sport Clips, I saw a defined concept that really fit my sports-loving personality and loved how much the brand promoted the idea of teamwork. I used to coach Little League and race stock cars, so everything about the brand aligned with my personal interests. I didn’t know much about haircuts, but everything that I did know – teamwork, a positive environment and a consistent structure – sold me on the brand.
What types of other brands did you look at?
I looked into the food and service industry mostly, before deciding to pursue Sport Clips.
Why should someone buy Sport Clips?
The brand leaders do a great job of providing a supportive and detailed outline of successfully running day-to-day operations. There are a lot of details to master, especially related to hiring and training stylists, and the leadership team is very helpful in running the business. Many people go to college to pursue careers in specific fields, but don’t learn how to be a business owner – Sport Clips does a great job preparing people to be good owners. The team truly is always just a phone call away.
What advice would you have for someone looking to become a franchisee?
I would advise researching any concept of interest beyond an Internet search. It is important to spend a lot of time in and out of the brand in order to understand the work that will be required on a day-to-day basis. I really appreciated how open Sport Clips was to me doing in-depth research before committing to the brand. The brand’s development team wants potential franchisees to be a good fit for the concept as much as a potential franchisee wants the brand to be a good fit.