Beth Nilssen
September 15, 2022 / Great Advice

Are you a “typical” franchisee?

What do people who want to become a franchisee have in common? Is there a personality trait or work background that is part of a “typical” profile? Yes…and no.

A big part of my job is to help prospective franchisees figure out if investing in a salon franchise is a good match. Over the past few weeks, I have talked to several people who are seriously thinking about becoming Great Clips franchisees, and I’ve been intrigued by their backstories. 

From these brief descriptions, see if you can figure out what they might have in common:

• A 30-something man with two kids who recently moved from California to Houston is looking to invest money from selling property into a long-term business venture. In a previous life, he was a police officer and in the military and now owns a personal-trainer business. As part of the validation process, he asked to speak to another Great Clips franchisee with a military background, who told him “Great Clips destroys all competition.” The prospect says he feels confident that “joining Great Clips is joining the winning team.”

• A couple in San Francisco—she’s a hair stylist, he owns a trucking company—with two grown children want to invest in a business where they can be partners. As Great Clips franchisees, their preliminary plans would be for her to run the front of the salon (customer-facing, employee management), and he’d take care of the back-end (financials, facilities). Their goal is to work together and have the flexibility that comes with joint ownership.

• A longtime education executive is transitioning out of education and into entrepreneurship by purchasing some existing Great Clips salons in Minnesota. His wife already owns her own business, so they’re familiar with the advantages and challenges of running a business. They like the idea of purchasing an existing salon, knowing it would give them a running start on their new business venture.

So, what, if anything, do they have in common? All of them have some familiarity with being self-employed. But otherwise, each comes from a unique background, has individual reasons for wanting to invest in a franchise, and would certainly bring a distinct experience to owning a walk-in hair salon. 

Interestingly, some of these prospects do fit into the demographic breakdown reflected in some statistics I came across, sourced from Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, and Frandata, and Fortunly:

• The majority of franchise owners are men, but between 2011 and 2017 female franchise ownership jumped by 83% and is still growing.
• The median age for franchise owners is 45–54 years old. 
• Most franchise owners live in California and Texas. The fewest live in Alaska and Vermont. 
• Around 44% of franchise owners hold a bachelor’s degree.
• Veterans account for 14% of all franchisees.

On first glance (and without quick access to the demographic profiles of all 700+ Great Clips franchisees), I’d say members of our franchisee community are closely reflected in several of these stats: 

Gender? Our current franchisees are mostly male but I’m definitely seeing more and more women investing in walk-in hair salons.

Age? Current Great Clips salon owners are mostly in the “middle-age” category, but we have several rookie franchisees who are younger. (Meet a couple of them here and here.)

Veterans? Prospects who have served in the military often tell me they’re attracted to our franchise business model because our values align with their experiences—especially around team leadership.

So is there a typical Great Clips franchisee? Yes…and no—except for a mindset to be a successful franchisee. At Great Clips, we think this diversity of backgrounds is a good thing and only makes our franchisee community stronger. 

Beth Nilssen 
Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]

As Director of Franchisee Development for Great Clips, my job is to help prospective franchisees figure out if investing in a salon franchise is a good match. Right now, we’re working with dozens of prospective franchisees who are going through the initial steps of exploration. I’d love to hear from you, wherever you are on this journey. Give me a call!

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on September 15, 2022
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