Retired U.S. Navy officer Miguel Gonzalez did his homework before jumping into the franchise business by investing in two very different service sectors. It gave him invaluable insights into what makes a good franchisor and led him to drop one of the businesses to focus on the one that gave him the best support.
In 2021, Miguel Gonzalez dove into the world of franchising by acquiring a packing and shipping store. The following year, he expanded his business portfolio by investing in a Great Clips walk-in hair salon franchise in San Diego, where he lives with his family. Both franchise organizations, he had learned, are highly rated. But this year, he sold the shipping franchise in order to focus on Great Clips.
“I recognized that Great Clips knew what they were doing much better than the shipping business,” Miguel said. “Three things helped me make my decision: The Great Clips computer system is seamless and makes it easy to understand your numbers and manage your business. The people at the corporate office communicate better. And as a franchisor, Great Clips provides better support. Really, choosing Great Clips was a no-brainer.”
It’s not that the shipping franchise was bad, Miguel noted. It’s just that Great Clips was better. “The field reps, for example, are so responsive. They come out and operate with you, assess your salon, make suggestions. It feels more like a team effort.”
Miguel retired from the Navy after 20 years with the goal of becoming a government contractor. But first, he figured he needed actual experience running a business. Going the franchise route would provide that experience under the guidance of a corporate franchise organization.
“Great Clips provides the fundamental knowledge I was seeking,” said Miguel. “As a nuclear officer for the Navy, I learned to do root-cause analysis. If there is a problem, you keep digging for answers. I like that Great Clips has developed data-tracking technology to assess the situation. Is a promotion working in your area? If not, why not? What does the data say? As a franchisee, I can look at that data and make decisions that are right for my business.”
The collaborative atmosphere within Great Clips is another highlight for Miguel. He values the team-oriented, hands-on approach of field reps who assess salons, make suggestions, and support franchisees in achieving their goals.
Great Clips resources have been particularly valuable in helping Miguel understand real-estate leases and financing options, and even tips for how to successfully recruit stylists. “I always feel smarter and more prepared after a phone call with my local rep,” said Miguel.
Miguel starts most days in his San Diego walk-in hair salon, meeting with the manager to discuss operations and marketing. He returns later in the day to visit with his staff of seven stylists. “I’m trying to have a presence and make sure their voices are heard,” he said. “They make the business tick.” He’s prepared for these daily salon visits to take up more of his work day since opening a second salon in mid-December.
Miguel’s wife, who works as a contract nurse for the U.S. Border Patrol, comes in on weekends. Miguel says she’s more of a stickler than he is when it comes to the physical aspects of the salon. “She makes sure the salons look great!”
On the operational level, being part of a franchise organization means Miguel can rely on the practical advice of people with more experience than he has. After participating in a recruiting webinar presented by the corporate office, Miguel said he and his managers put a few of the suggested tactics into action.
“It really opened our eyes about what works—about how to connect through other platforms,” said Miguel. “Using those ideas, we hired four people that same month. Great Clips has a ton of resources. And if you use them, you will be successful.”
Miguel Gonzalez is just one example of a new franchisee using the tools and resources provided by franchisor Great Clips, Inc. to establish and grow his business. If you want to know more about what it might look like to build a successful hair salon franchise business, give me a call. I’d love to talk to you.
Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]