Franchise Development Players: Pete Lindsey of Sport Clips
Franchise Development Players: Pete Lindsey of Sport Clips

The VP of Franchising at Sport Clips Support Center shares his thoughts

How did you fall into franchising?

I was a franchise owner of Mailboxes, Etc. many years ago. I ended up working in the brand’s support center and came up in the industry through operations. In my role now, having that background and ability to relate to a franchise owner’s experience was critical. [Founder and CEO of Sport Clips] Gordon Logan was also a franchise owner, and I see his experience in how he deals with franchisees and the empathy he shows.

What makes you love franchising?

We’re in the dream business. When you look at the final frontier of the American dream, that’s where franchising lives. Whether I was on the operations side or the sales side, we are helping people improve their lives and live their dreams. Any aspect of franchising I’ve been involved with has been exceptionally rewarding.

What do you wish would change in franchising?

There’s a lot of white noise in the industry. If you’re looking for a franchise today, it’s tough and you have to do your homework. If I could change anything, I would require that people take disclosure seriously. Many brands dance on the edge. I think our obligation in presenting our franchise is to make sure people get it and truly understand what it means to be a Sport Clips franchisee. We can’t just take checks because we can. People can sell a lot of different things, but what you get sold on isn’t always what you get at the end. Disclosure should always be enforced and something that is taken exceptionally seriously.

What makes a great franchisee?

A great franchisee needs passion for the brand and an understanding of the lifestyle that they’ll have with the brand. The opportunity really has to be something that matches up. That’s something that we’ve got to do well, and have the ability to stop and recognize when someone isn’t a good fit for our brand.

In the case of Sport Clips, we are looking for people that are passionate about working with younger folks and mentoring people. We say you have to facilitate fun in a salon or store, and you have to know how to get along, create a dynamic culture and have a heck of a lot of fun doing it. With any business, when people are having fun and have good energy, people will come back. We are careful about choosing people that are going to be happy and enjoy that environment. So many people have gone to a job and collected a paycheck, and that’s fine for some people, but franchising, and Sport Clips specifically, offers an opportunity to get into something that you love.

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

Passion. Trust. Commitment. Support. Common understanding. Alignment. The passion, trust and support are the top three. Franchise owners have to understand who they’re doing business with, the culture of that company, and the common ideas.

Now more than ever when people meet the executive team, I see how committed they are, and how much they love this business. After we’ve determined the passion and the fit, at the end of the day what’s important is that everyone from the folks running the salon to the folks in the trenches get each other. Then you know it’s the right fit. 

To view a more in-depth 1851 interview with Pete Lindsey at IFA 2017, click here