Like many great breakthroughs, Sport Clips emerged from a fairly simple idea.
After graduating from both MIT and The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Gordon Logan, the founder and CEO of Sport Clips, wanted to focus his hard-earned knowledge on a single brand. But coming up with a million dollar idea isn’t always easy—unless, of course, you ask the right questions.
For Logan, that elusive “aha” moment came when he realized that true barbershop experiences were dwindling, and men weren’t always excited to get a haircut. So he asked himself, “What if we could change that?”
“I felt there was a real need for a concept that specialized in targeting men and boys due to the decreasing number of traditional barber shops,” Logan recalls. “We were looking for a sizable niche market that would be viable for many years to come.”
When Logan eventually opened the doors to the first Sport Clips location in 1993, he knew from the very beginning that this company would become a franchise. He was right—by 1995, Logan had sold his first unit to a franchisee in Houston, Texas. And as it turned out, offering a place where men could get a relaxed, no-frills haircut experience filled a growing void. From that moment on, the brand embarked on a steady, upward climb.
Twenty-two years later, Sport Clips has certainly come a long way. While their mission to offer an MVP experience to each and every customer remains the same, a lot has changed, too. Today, the brand is consistently ranked as one of the top fastest-growing franchises. Forbes recently highlighted Sport Clips as a “Top 10 Best Franchise” to invest in. And, most recently, the brand celebrated a momentous milestone—Sport Clips now has 1,500 stores worldwide.
But instead of getting complacent, Sport Clips is using this landmark moment as fuel to keep moving forward.
“Continual improvement has always been a way of life for Sport Clips. From 2011 to 2013, we grew from 772 franchise units to 1,167—it was huge progress, and it inspired us to keep pushing harder. We know there are plenty of territories out there that are untapped and filled with immense potential—that’s what drives us to keep going,” said Dave Wells, director of franchising for Sport Clips.
The brand is now targeting Connecticut and Hudson Valley, New York—two underserved markets with vast potential. According to Wells, the Northeast is filled with emerging markets, but to help regions like Connecticut and Upstate New York turn the corner, Sport Clips is looking for franchisees to lead the charge.
The perks of joining a 22-year-old brand are many. Wells points to the brand’s strong growth numbers as an example—since 2010, they’ve only had five store closings, which is a rarity for a franchise of such a large size. Start-up requirements are relatively low, too—$200,000 liquid with $400,000 in net worth and a commitment to expand to multiple units.
But according to Wells, Sport Clips’ culture is one of the most important elements inspiring franchisees to join the team. Ultimately, he believes this strong culture helps the brand thrive—turning untapped markets like Connecticut and Upstate New York into some of their most popular regions.
“The Sport Clips culture is a big factor in our growth—and it always will be. Everything we do at Sport Clips is guided by a set of simple principles that in turn guide our decision-making process and interactions with each other. For many coming out of corporate America, they are jaded from the pressure; the shades of grey they are forced to operate in,” Wells said. “But Sport Clips offers a refreshing perspective that nearly every candidate who learns more about the brand comments on. We’re focused on quality and work hard to make sure our franchisees are successful,” Wells said.