The numbers alone paint a telling picture of just how large the franchise industry is. Today, there are more than 800,000 franchise establishments in 300 lines of business. Together, these businesses support nearly 8.9 million direct jobs and generate more than $890,000 billion in economic output.
That’s good news for the industry as a whole. But for entrepreneurs looking to become franchisees, choosing the right brand to invest in can be nothing short of overwhelming. Fortunately, the Franchise Business Review’s Annual Top Franchise Opportunities rankings can make that decision a little bit easier. These listings, which exist to shed light on the industry’s best franchises, are based on feedback from the people who know these businesses best—their franchisees. To measure satisfaction, franchisees are asked over 40 questions related to training and support, system communication, franchisor/franchisee relations, financial opportunity, market demographics, business lifestyle and overall satisfaction with their business.
Backed by a strong system of nearly 1,550 locations nationwide, Sport Clips is one of the brands to make the elite list.
“Satisfaction is one of the most critical factors every entrepreneur should consider before investing in a franchise. At Sport Clips, we’re fortunate in that franchisees who join our system find exactly what they’re looking for in a business model,” said Karen Young, the Franchise Recruitment Manager for Sport Clips. “We work hard to provide all the tools needed for our Team Leaders to be successful and realize the full satisfaction of their Sport Clips investment. And in return, we’ve developed this incredible network of devoted entrepreneurs who want to stay with us and grow with us.”
According to the Franchise Business Review’s Franchisee Satisfaction Report, Sport Clips’ strong and trusted leadership team, core values, corporate culture and supportive franchisee community were some of the top rated categories amongst the surveyed participants. Franchisees also highly rated their own happiness levels, citing that they often feel like a valued member of the franchise organization.
That high level of franchisee satisfaction is evident in the loyalty many of the owners have for the brand. With more than 45 stores currently open, John Weber has emerged as Sport Clips’ biggest multi-unit owners. He first started as a franchisee in Tennessee in 2008. Happy with the success and experience that he had with the brand, he decided to become even more involved—so he bought the developing rights for the rest of the Tennessee market. He picked up some existing stores along the way, built more locations, and even bought additional territories in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Indiana.
“Sport Clips has really delivered for me, and I wanted to deliver for them. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from Sport Clips,” Weber said.
John Kohler, one of Sport Clips’ largest area developers, shares a similar story. In June 2004, Kohler signed on with the brand as an area developer in Northern Illinois. His goal was to build out the Chicagoland area—a sweeping territory that was untapped at the time. Development picked up quickly, and three years later, he acquired the rights to bring Sport Clips to Eastern Missouri. By 2011, he was expanding the brand’s footprint throughout Eastern Michigan. Today, he oversees more than 130 stores.
“It’s crazy to think how about how far things have come since I started with the brand 12 years ago. When I first signed on as an area developer in Northern Illinois, Sport Clips only had 143 stores. Today they have more than 1,550. What’s even more incredible is that over the past six years, the brand has only closed six stores,” Kohler said. “This has been an unbelievably positive and rewarding experience. That’s why it’s easy for me to tell people that I haven’t bought a job; I’ve invested in an adventure.”
There are countless other stories similar to Weber’s and Kohler’s. And that’s because, simply put, Sport Clips is a brand that franchisees are proud to be a part of.
“We’re fortunate as a brand to have such loyal franchisees. They truly want to see the brand do well, and they’re committed to putting forward their best effort possible until they see real, measurable results. The strong team mentality at Sport Clips will take the brand far,” Wells said.