Deciding to expand her Great Clips footprint as a franchisee into Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in 2018 has been one of the easiest decisions Angela Rollins has made – even though a few years ago, she never would have imagined being a business owner in the brand’s franchise system. Rollins started out as a member of the Great Clips, Inc. corporate team, and even that move was unexpected. That’s because prior to her role with the company, she had previous experience working in the franchise industry that left a bad taste in her mouth, leading her to swear she’d never return. However, once she met the team at Great Clips, everything changed.
Rollins got her start with Great Clips when she was hired to take on a role within the brand’s Canadian operations team, providing guidance and coaching to local franchisees to help them run a successful business. She was enjoying work and had a great career as a part of the thoughtful and growing company. After becoming pregnant her second child, Rollins decided it was time to take a step back from her career to spend more time with her children, so she made the difficult decision to leave her position at Great Clips, Inc.
“Between wanting to be there to raise my children, and my husband's schedule as a firefighter, life on the road just wasn’t going to be possible,” said Rollins.
It didn’t take long for Rollins to find a new path to stay within the Great Clips family. A franchisee she met in her operations role reached out and told her he wanted to grow his business in Canada – more specifically in British Columbia where Rollins lives. That’s why he asked her to become his business partner. Just 10 days away from giving birth, the new partnership took over ownership of an existing Great Clips location on Vancouver Island—and opened the second just three months later. Now, with eight salons across two provinces, they are looking to expand into Saskatchewan.
In addition to being a natural and logical next step for expansion from a geographic standpoint, the Saskatchewan market provides Rollins with a great opportunity. While Great Clips already has strong brand recognition across Canada – having recently celebrated the country’s 150th salon opening – Saskatchewan is a wide-open market backed by previously untapped growth potential. This allows Rollins to break into the area and build Great Clips’ local awareness there from the ground up, giving her access to an opportunity that’s often difficult to find in a brand of Great Clips’ size. Great Clips’ introduction to Saskatchewan also comes as the prairie provinces are showing signs of becoming the next big franchising boom in Canada, ensuring that Great Clips and Rollins are both ahead of the curve.
Rollins said those competitive advantages in combination with the support she gets from the Great Clips team are the critical reasons why she continues to grow with the Great Clips brand. The support she receives all starts with the leadership of the company. “They listen, they implement ideas and they are invested in the success of their franchisees,” she said.
At the very top of the company, the executive team takes the time to meet with franchisees to gather feedback on a regular basis. Rollins has seen first-hand the actions taken by the corporate team to implement their ideas. From chair design to new products they want to feature, the corporate team listens to help make franchisees successful.
Rollins values the strong relationships that have been built among the franchisees in the Great Clips system. Everyone wants to see each other be successful, and look to help whenever they can. According to Rollins, “The culture is second to none. My experience has been great. Franchisees have developed relationships where they believe in the greater good of Great Clips. That means that if we help each other, we all succeed.”
Another example of Great Clips’ investment in its franchisees’ success and growth comes in the form of technology. The tools Rollins has at her fingertips help her manage her eight location. Using mobile management tools developed by Great Clips, franchisees can see real-time employee activity, customer flows, and sales data.
“These tools and information help me understand where to spend my time to drive a strong business,” notes Rollins.
It’s clear to see why franchisees like Rollins are continuing to grow alongside Great Clips. The ability to use her personal drive and skills to build her business, while still being available to raise her two daughters, has been critical for Rollins. And now, those two daughters tag along with her as she visits the different salons, even helping her sweep up hair from the floors. According to Rollins, “Great Clips feels like one big family business.”