Arif Taj is no stranger to franchising. After opening his first franchise in 1994, he has had over 20 years of experience in the field. Now, Taj is a successful Sport Clips franchisee in Southern California with big plans for expansion.
While working as a computer engineer at a very large computer company, Taj opened his first Baskin-Robbins franchise. After running several Baskin-Robbins locations, Taj was looking for a new opportunity with a different business model. When he left his job as an engineer, he found the Sport Clips brand matched what he was looking for in his next opportunity.
“After I left my work, I was looking for something other than Baskin-Robbins,” said Taj. “Baskin-Robbins is more hands-on. I found Sport Clips in 2007, and the business model matched what I was looking for.”
Sport Clips allowed Taj to work for his business, not in his business. And that was important to him. It allowed him to build a successful business while also having time to do the things he enjoyed, like working with non-profits.
Taj currently owns four Sport Clips locations in the Southern California area and he has big plans for expansion. With a new partnership, Taj will be opening 10 more locations in the area. His goal is to have 20 Sport Clips locations by 2018.
This success goes back to the Sport Clips model.
“The way the business is set up is if you do everything right and make sure you take care of your team and people, it really is a very, very easy model to work with,” said Taj. “It provides you with support and you can grow your business organically and feel good about it.”
While the business model is what brought Taj to Sport Clips, it was also how the brand treats their team that Taj enjoys.
“My favorite thing is that the Gordon family really cares about how they grow the brand,” said Taj. “It’s not just numbers, it’s finding the right people. They are great people to work with and have great support for their people.”
For Sport Clips and Taj, it’s all about people.
“Whatever business you do, it boils down to a simple thing, and that simple thing is people,” said Taj. “If you are the type of person who can nurture, create, motivate and inspire a team of professionals, because these woman and men are all professionals who have gone to cosmetology school, you will be successful.”
As a self-described optimist, Taj sees everything as an opportunity. To get into the franchise business, Taj suggests people need to know what they want to get out of it. From owning a business, to making a difference and being successful, there are many reasons to get into franchise ownership. For Taj, he wanted to be successful and make a difference in someone’s life, and Sport Clips provided him with those opportunities.
Currently, Sport Clips is running their Help a Hero promotion in conjunction with the VFW. Through the Help a Hero program, Sport Clips raises money for a scholarships for veterans to help them transition back to civilian life.
“This year, we’re hoping to raise even more than last year,” said Taj. “It’s a company that really gives back to the community and the U.S. for people who deserve to be helped.”
Taj and his team are hoping to raise more money than last year to support the scholarship through Sport Clips. “We all want to make a difference,” said Taj. “It’s all about the people.”