Beth Nilssen
October 23, 2018 / Great News

What makes a great franchisee?

Every year, Great Clips recognizes franchisees from throughout the organization who exemplify great leadership and business acumen in the walk-in hair salon industry. It’s an award that isn’t given lightly, and while many are nominated, only one or two are selected. Here are the stories of the 2018 Great Clips Franchisees of the Year.

Franchisee of the Year Brian Stevens

Brian Stevens exemplifies leadership, learning, challenging the norm, and changing behaviors. And he does all this in a way that people still like him when it’s over! 

While Brian’s father, Pat Stevens, is a previous Franchisee of the Year and a member of the Great Clips Hall of Fame, Brian has clearly paved his own way. Several years ago, Brian sat down with his leadership team to talk about a change in the direction of his company. Together, they developed a business plan with a focus on clear direction and vision, strong core values, and specific goals to achieve within 10 years. 

One of those goals was to improve their weekly customer counts. Not only did they reach that goal and many others in half the time, they did it while acquiring three salons in a neighboring market.   

Today, Brian owns 20 salons in the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth markets with above-system-average customer counts and sales growth.

Brian is actively involved in his co-op, and he led the initiative to help the Minneapolis market identify smarter discounting strategies. This resulted in more resources to shift to critical areas like recruiting and retention. 

Brian is a thought leader, never reluctant to challenge the status quo. Fellow franchisees praise his dedication to serving the entire franchisee community. 

A manager in his organization said: “It’s a privilege to work for this man. He’s not just the best boss I have ever worked for – he’s the best person I’ve ever worked for.”

Congratulations to Great Clips Franchisee Brian Stevens!

Franchisees of the Year Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher is someone who has generally stayed under the radar within the Great Clips system, quietly building a strong organization in an outlying market. He is known for his unassuming demeanor and unselfishness, illustrated by this story.

A few years ago, several people from the Great Clips home office went to visit Mark and his managers in Topeka. Mark came to pick up the group, and there weren’t enough seats in the car for everyone. No problem! Mark climbed into the back of his hatchback and rode there until they arrived at our destination. While probably not the safest choice, it clearly represents Mark’s willingness to make sure everyone else is comfortable, even at his own expense!

Those unselfish traits are evident in his willingness to support other franchisees. 

A general manager in a neighboring market offered this testimonial: “After Mark and his GMs shared with us practically everything they know, Mark challenged us to beat him at his own game! With his performance numbers, this is definitely a high bar.”

Heartfelt praise comes from his managers and stylists who told us how quick Mark is to express his appreciation for all they do, and he is especially known for sending hand-written notes.

At monthly staff meetings, he starts by asking each manager to share a story about someone in their salon – whom he calls a “family member – and then, not surprisingly, he sends a personal note — hand-written, of course — to recognize their hard work.

One stylist said, “It’s because of Mark that we all love our jobs. With him, we feel like valued employees — like valued people.”

High praise and well deserved. Congratulations, Mark Fisher, for being a Great Clips Franchisee of the Year! 

Interested in knowing more about being a Great Clips franchisee? Have questions about what it takes to become a salon owner? Contact me at Great Clips Franchise Development (800-947-1143) or email us at [email protected]


Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on October 23, 2018
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