Franchise Development Players: Beth Caron, Director of Franchise Development for Great Clips
Franchise Development Players: Beth Caron, Director of Franchise Development for Great Clips

1851 Franchise recently caught up with Caron to discuss her thoughts on franchising and the process behind it.

When it comes to walk-in salons, Great Clips is one of the most instantly recognizable and referenced names. The franchise has more than 4,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada, making it the world’s largest salon brand. Those stores are locally ran by upwards of 1,200 franchisees across North America.

Taking those numbers into account, Great Clips is one of the great power houses in franchising. One of the driving forces of that power house is Beth Caron, Director of Franchise Development for the brand.

1851 Franchise recently caught up with Caron to discuss her thoughts on franchising and the process behind it.

1851 Franchise: How did you fall into franchising?

Beth Caron: “Completely by accident. I was working retail after graduating from college with the intent of being in broadcast media. It became apparent quickly that media wasn’t the right fit at that time, so I was searching for a better fit when an acquaintance recommended I apply for a job opening at Great Clips. I had no idea what the role was, but it looked like something that I could definitely learn, and so I went for it. That was 10 years ago this month.”

1851: What makes you love franchising?

Caron: “I love franchising because it’s business- but it’s a people business.  When you make a decision, it’s not just “how will this impact the bottom line… go”. There are nuances to working with people that make this industry far more challenging and ultimately, more rewarding.  In the Development arena- I love that we get to come into people’s lives at a point when they are ready to make a significant change- and usually help them fulfill a lifelong dream of business ownership.  To see these people take on a new challenge, and connect with them again 5-10 years later when that decision to become a franchisee has impacted their life so dramatically, it’s incredibly rewarding.”

1851: What do you wish would change in franchising?

Caron: “I love that women are becoming a bigger presence in the franchising world.  I remember my first conference 10 years ago, and I felt like such an outsider when I looked around at what I perceived to be a “good ol’ boys club”. That is changing so dramatically, and women are becoming a force to be reckoned with in this industry, so that is something I am thrilled to see changing already.  Beyond that, I want to see the truth about franchising understood in the general public.  Last year, Aziz Hashim, in his role of Chair of IFA, was so focused on trying to help the general public understand the true story about franchising- and I agree wholeheartedly with that initiative. I would love to see the people who aren’t directly involved in the industry (and even some who are!) have a better understanding of how franchising works, and the positive impact it has on local communities and local business owners.”

1851: What makes a great franchisee?

Caron: “Grit. There’s a TED talk out there about people who have that “stick-to-it-iveness” and how, pure & simple, the kids who have grit are the ones who are succeeding in school and life. Well, I think the same applies to franchisees.  It’s not always about who has the most money, or who has the highest IQ, etc.- but if you have the basic skills the franchisor requires, you are willing and able to follow a system, and you’ve got grit (that power of passion and perseverance), I think there is nothing stopping you from being an incredible franchisee.”

1851: What’s the No. 1 thing that sells franchisees?

Caron: “Listening. When you truly listen to what a prospect is saying (and not saying) you will be able to get a much better understanding of whether or not your concept is a good fit for both of you.  We don’t really want to “sell” our concept to someone. We want to help them figure out whether or not Great Clips will help them achieve their goals. And when that’s the mindset- you’re going to find people who are a much better fit for the brand and overall culture, which will bring about a much more positive relationship in the long run.”