I Want to Be a Franchisee: Training and Onboarding a Salon Team

By Beth Caron Nilssen

In this series about starting a franchise business, we share how Great Clips helps its franchisees learn best practices for operating their walk-in hair salons.

In this post, I’ve pulled in two Great Clips® training experts to explain the components of the Great Clips® training and education program. My guest bloggers are Great Clips Director of Education Services, Sue Aderhold, and Director of Great Clips University and Events, Lora Peterson.

Figuring out what it takes to be a successful owner of a Great Clips® walk-in salon starts with Quick Connect, an onboarding program designed specifically for new franchisees. Then, it’s time for franchisees to get serious about hiring their staff—specifically, managers and stylists. What next? It’s time to make sure those new employees know everything they need to know about cutting hair the Great Clips® way and delivering great customer service—because, yes, there’s a proprietary system for both!

Delivering the brand

Every stylist a franchisee hires is required to complete Academy—an education program that blends online learning, personalized technical training, and an in-person experience. During each stage of the Academy experience, they learn about the Great Clips® brand promise, our best practice protocol for delivering a great customer experience, and the exclusive Great Clips Cutting and Clipper Systems.

The in-person experience is broken into four parts, and attendance can be customized to each stylist’s need. All stylists attend the GREAT Academy, which is all about the brand—what the Great Clips brand messages are, how success is measured, and how stylists convey the brand promise to customers.

Stylists are the face of the Great Clips® brand to customers. Having the right people who know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it is so important to how customers feel about the service they received. When customers are treated well and receive a great haircut, they decide to come back the next time they need a haircut. So, we spend a lot of time making sure stylists learn the importance of delivering a great experience.

Learning to cut hair the Great Clips® way

The additional in-person classes are hands-on technical education. Two of them focus on the proprietary Great Clips® Cutting and Clipper Systems. Every cosmetology school has its own system for cutting hair, so stylists who graduate from those schools know how to cut hair. What they don’t know is Great Clips’ unique system for cutting several different haircuts accurately and efficiently. The system also incorporates our proprietary steps for delivering excellent customer service. Another in-person class focuses on advanced techniques and trends, which is updated every six months to provide ongoing development opportunities for stylists.

Academy is the only required program for stylists; franchisees can, however, have their stylists complete other courses or send their stylists to additional Academy classes at any time.

An online campus for franchisees and their salon teams

Great Clips University (GCU) is an online “campus” of courses where franchisees and managers can access over 300 courses and activities related to a variety of topics for each audience. Topics for franchisees cover practically anything about running a Great Clips® salon—customer service, guerilla marketing, community outreach, team-building, product, technology, and more.

We are driven to help Great Clips® franchisees be as successful as possible. We design our training and education programs to meet the franchisees wherever they are in their business development and operations. That’s why there is really no end to the training programs we offer. We’re here to help franchisees improve on what they do for as long as they need it.

Thank you, Sue and Lora, and everyone on the education, training, and events teams who support more than 1,200 Great Clips franchisees. Want to read more about the process of becoming a franchisee? Start here. Feel free to send a note or make a call if you’d like more information. I’d love to talk to you.

Beth (Caron) Nilssen
Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.

800-947-1143 | 
franchise@greatclips.com