Beth Nilssen
August 18, 2022 / Great Advice

Looking for a smart investment, this franchisee took Warren Buffet’s advice

Norm Sheppard became a Great Clips franchisee in December of 2021 and is currently in the process of opening his first salon in the Toronto market. His greatest motivation for investing in a walk-in hair salon was to buy a business—not a job.

Norm, what led you to explore franchising? 
I've always wanted to be free of the rat race of having a full-time job working for someone else. I’ve invested in some rental properties and a laundromat, so I know what it’s like to run my own business. What I really wanted was to invest in a system, a well-known brand that would allow me to buy a business without having to buy a job. It’s really important to me to be able to manage my own time, so a franchise seemed like the smart way to go.

What led you to explore Great Clips?
I remember something Warren Buffet said: Look around your house and invest in that stuff. So, I looked at pet stores, a few restaurants, and eventually hair salons—although Great Clips is the only hair salon I really investigated. Maybe that’s because I’m a customer, and I really like the Great Clips app, especially Online Check-In. I guess Buffet was right—I just needed to look in the mirror and see what was important to me, like getting a good haircut! 

What did you find when you first called Great Clips?
There was an instant connection with Great Clips from the very first phone call with the Development team. They described the process this way: This would be a chance for me to get to know Great Clips and for Great Clips to get to know me. They listened to what I was looking for and were really transparent about what investing in a walk-in hair salon entailed. They never sugar coated it and were very honest about what it takes to be a successful franchisee. 

It felt like Great Clips was offering me an opportunity to invest and grow, to have a system for operating my organization, and to build a business with a positive culture where the employees know they’re appreciated. That’s what I want to do in my salons—to put the right people in the right places and to provide them the opportunity to move up in the organization

What was the most convincing selling point about Great Clips?
The support. Every step of the way they have a tool or process for franchisees to use. It seems really hard to screw this up if you follow what they recommend. I mean, they’ve done this before! And they have it all written down, and if you don’t understand, there’s someone who has an answer.

What are you most looking forward to as the owner of a Great Clips walk-in salon?
I’m a big believer in giving back to my community—I coach a baseball league for children with special needs—so that’s something I hope will be part of our salon culture. My wife and I have four children; three of them are adopted, and two have special needs. When one of the kids needed surgery, the Toronto Blue Jays foundation paid for the medical costs. I’d love to pay that forward in some way.

What are your future plans as a franchisee?
I want to open as many salons as Great Clips will let me!

You have to admire a franchisee who turns to Warren Buffet for advice! Thank you, Norm, for sharing your experience as a rookie franchisee.

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

Contact me if you want to know more about what it’s like to invest in a Great Clips franchise. Right now, we’re working with dozens of prospective franchisees who are looking to have more control over their professional and personal life. I’d love to hear how that dream fits into your future. Give me a call today!

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on August 18, 2022
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