It was on a drive through Northern California that Jim Noah first learned about Sport Clips. He was tuned into his favorite Sirius XM station when he heard a radio ad highlighting the brand’s renowned MVP experience. So, one day, he decided to finally check out Sport Clips for himself. That same day, he walked out of the salon with a franchise brochure in his hand, and he immediately called his wife while walking to his car in the parking lot—he wanted to open up a Sport Clips location of his own. And just like that, he did.
In less than a year, Jim and Kim opened the doors to Medford, Oregon’s first Sport Clips salon—marking an important milestone for both the Noahs, and the brand.
“We were the first Team Leaders to open a Sport Clips in Southern Oregon. The next store is three hours north of us and three hours south. It was a big moment for us to finally take the leap into business ownership—but it was an even bigger leap to open a store in a market that, for the most part, hasn’t yet been exposed to the brand,” Jim said. “Having the opportunity to be pioneers in that sense is incredibly exciting.”
According to Jim, Medford was the perfect location for Sport Clips, even without the built-in brand awareness. Made up of a regional airport, major medical centers and a large industry of supplier companies, the city serves as a major business hub for Southern Oregon. This meant that on any given day, there were hundreds of commuters coming in and out of the city. And that steady flow of traffic left the Noahs feeling confident that Sport Clips could thrive in this new area—especially with its unique MVP experience.
“Medford is already home to a lot of the quick hair cut places that you see in most cities. They have a lot of mom-and-pop salons, too. But nothing could ever compare to the Sport Clips experience,” Jim said. “Developing in an emerging market can be tough for any business, but we felt confident in the strength of our market and in the strength of our brand.”
Buzz surrounding their Sport Clips location built up quickly, which was due, in large part, to the Noah’s local marketing efforts. The duo had nearly six months to plan for their grand opening, and during that time, they executed an effective marketing campaign of direct mailings, radio spots and in-person community promotions. But according to Jim, it was their guerilla marketing efforts that really made the biggest impact.
“We quickly realized just how important it was to get out into the community, visit local businesses and introduce ourselves to the people we may one day serve by handing out coupons. Very few people had ever been to a Sport Clips, but we found that as soon as we explained the concept, people were eager to know more,” Jim said. “When launching a business in an emerging market, you can’t just put a flyer in the mail. You have to get out there in front of them. It’s a strong approach, but it’s necessary.”
Since the Noahs opened their location on December 3, 2016, it’s clear that tactic has paid off. During their first week in business, their salon posted some of best grand opening client count numbers in the Sport Clips system. And both Jim and Kim credit Sport Clips’ support system for helping to make that happen.
“Going into this, we didn’t know much about franchising, let alone getting started in a market that’s new to the brand. We were lucky to have an experienced corporate team on our side. They made the entire process a seamless one—from securing real estate and developing an effective local marketing campaign, to navigating any obstacles that were thrown our way,” Jim said.
In the years ahead, the Noahs are planning to build off of their success in Medford by opening two additional locations in Southern Oregon. And thanks to their positive experience in getting their first location off the ground, they’re eager to apply the lessons learned to their next endeavor.
“If you’re determined and organized, you will succeed. Sport Clips makes sure of that with their incredible support system,” Jim said. “We’ve had the opportunity to bring Medford its first Sport Clips salon—something I never imagined we’d be doing. And through that experience, I can confidently say that we can thrive just about anywhere with this brand.” For more information about franchising opportunities in the Pacific Northwest, click here.