In order for a franchise brand to be successful, it needs to have the right leadership. A company’s culture and work ethic flows from the top down—both franchisees and employees take their cues from those above them. That’s why Franchise Business Review, a leading independent market research firm, sought out to name the Top Franchise Leaders for 2017.
To find the best of the best, Franchise Business Review analyzed 18 months’ worth of data from approximately 30,000 franchisees representing 334 brands regarding their brands’ leadership and culture. The market research firm also took data into consideration surrounding franchisees’ overall satisfaction with their brands and their likelihood to recommend them to other aspiring business owners.
One industry leader who received high marks from his brand’s franchisees is Gordon Logan, the Founder and CEO behind Sport Clips. 1851 Franchise caught up with Logan to learn more about his unique leadership style that continues to resonate within the brand’s system.
1851 Franchise: What do you think are the traits or skills you possess that make your franchisees believe you are a top leader?
Gordon Logan, Founder and CEO of Sport Clips: We have always had a very strong values statement for Sport Clips, and we walk the talk: Do the right thing, do your best and treat others the way they want to be treated. We go out of our way to select people who will fit our culture, always looking for a win-win relationship. We strive to be fair in all our dealings, and our #1 priority is doing the right thing for the brand that builds franchisee profitability. We are always looking for ways to improve, the concept of “kaizen”, continual incremental improvements. We have built a world-class leadership team who lives our values, and our training and support programs are extensive. We deliver what we promise, which is why we have such a high Continuity Rate (99+%).
1851: What is your leadership approach?
Logan: I feel leading by example is the only way to make an impression and craft an enduring culture. I am often the last person to leave at night, and weekends are often spent working on Sport Clips. I am very careful to conduct myself so that I can be a role model for our Support Team and our Team Leaders (franchisees). By always putting the Sport Clips brand first, we have been able to create a system that has enabled many of our Team Leaders to achieve their goals for financial freedom and lifestyle. I believe in Zig Ziglar’s saying: “You can have anything you want if you help others get what they want.”
1851: To other founders, CEO's or Presidents leading franchise brands into the future, what advice do you have to give?
Logan: It’s important to start with a solid concept that is differentiated from the competition and that can be replicated with consistency across many units. Strong franchise agreements are absolutely necessary to protect the brand, but we have always tried to have a fair and balanced approach. Having been a franchisee myself for many years, I am sensitive to the needs of franchisees and try to always think how our policies and procedures, our system enhancements and our operational improvements will affect the individual franchisee. Always being fair and consistent gives everyone the comfort that they know what to expect and that we will do what is right and best for the system.
1851: Who is the person in franchising who has most influenced or inspired you over the course of your career?
Logan: Ray Kroc’s book “Grinding it Out” should be a bible for anyone thinking of franchising. Put the franchisee first; don’t make money selling things to your franchisees – establish quality, service and pricing standards for vendors and pass the savings on to your franchisees; be open to new ideas but test in isolated markets where possible before rolling out to the entire system; insist on brand standards being maintained – we are in the retail business and our stores must make a positive first impression on our Clients when they walk in the front door; have a solid system and establish processes that can minimize variations from the brand standards, since consistency is critical in a franchise.
1851: What does your typical day look like?
Logan: I usually arrive at the office between 8 and 9. Short lunch break, then work until 6 or 7 most nights. I am on the phone a lot with Team Leaders, suppliers, industry leaders, etc. and we have a fair number of meetings that we try to keep short and to the point. I travel a lot; I love getting out in the field to visit stores and Team Members. I try to set aside time to think about the next 5-10-15 years at least once a week….I work best when I think in small bites and let those thoughts percolate a while.
1851: Where do you see yourself in the future?
Logan: My son Edward is our Chief Operating Officer and has been groomed to take on more and more responsibility. He has been with us full time for over seven years now, and knows the business from the “sharp end” up, having grown up in the business and he has successfully operated our 50+ company stores for years. Over the next few years, he will continue to play an increasingly responsible role and eventually I will decrease my day-to-day involvement. I spend a lot of time on industry issues and veterans issues (through the VFW, USO and other organizations) and plan to continue those efforts for some time to come. As long as I can make a contribution to Sport Clips, I plan to stay engaged to the appropriate extent…having too much fun to retire!