A franchisees story: This Salon Owner has Stylin' Skills

It’s second nature for Great Clips franchisee Brent Brickman to know how to motivate his stylists—because he’s been in their shoes

Franchisee Brent Brickman has a 30-year Great Clips pedigree, beginning as a stylist working at a Great Clips salon in Minnesota. Over the years, he moved from working in the salon to working at the Great Clips corporate office and around the country, eventually landing as director of education services. Six years ago, he left Great Clips, Inc. to work with franchisee Tracy Gardner and her eight salons in Anchorage, Alaska

A few years ago, Brent and a partner purchased five salons in Portland, Oregon. One year later, one of those salons has set two customer-count records and three salons had record sales.

It’s pretty obvious that Brent has the Great Clips brand coursing through his blood! He’s passionate about making every customer feel welcomed in the salon, and making every stylist know how to translate their skills into a successful career. Here’s his story, previously published in the Great Clips Leadership Report, an annual publication distributed to franchisees.

Brent, two customer records and three salons with record sales! What’s your secret?

Brent: I’m a big believer in process, metrics, consistency, and setting expectations. We’ve been focusing on delivering a great customer experience, taking it one step at a time. Our product sales are up dramatically and higher than our market average. That’s what happens when you focus on delivering a great experience for the customers and creating a great place to work for the salon teams!

You say you believe in setting expectations. How do you do that?

Brent: Every morning, I send out two emails to each of our salons. The first email gives them a handful of key metrics that I’m able to monitor from wherever I am—even if I’m on vacation or traveling. So, in that first email, I share the ranking of each salon using those metrics.

[Great Clips, Inc. has developed the technology to help franchisees manage and grow their businesses, including web-based business intelligence tools that provide operational data for every salon in real time.]

The second email is a game plan to achieve their weekly goals that are linked to growth and profitability. Every salon is different. For one salon, the focus might be on improving a specific step in the customer experience; for another, it might be improving product knowledge among the stylists. I work with the manager to figure out what that should be.

As a franchisee, how involved are you in the salon operations?

Brent: I believe an engaged franchisee really makes the difference. It’s about getting the whole team focused on the same goals. It’s building a structure that supports the teamwork.

When we bought the Portland stores, the first thing I did was have an all-staff meeting to introduce myself and tell them my expectations and goals. Our first Great Haircut Sale was the same week. I made a point to show up with goodie baskets and I put myself on the schedule. It was a pretty good wake-up call for them—to see me in the salon doing exactly what I was asking them to do.

During a Great Haircut Sale, both my general manager and I are scheduled 40-plus hours a week. I understand that not every franchisee knows how to cut hair, but you can still be active in the salon—sweeping, folding laundry, answering the phone.

Sounds like Great Haircut Sales are a priority for you. What else do you do?

Brent: Great Clips provides us with some great system wide promotions that really help local markets promote brand awareness. I am a big advocate of the Great Card promotion we do in November and December. It’s huge—huge! When a customer buys a card, they are carrying Great Clips in their pocket all year long. And that’s good for business.

Brent Brickman is just one of 1,200-plus Great Clips franchisees—independent business owners who leverage a proven franchise system to build their organizations. Want to know more? Drop me a note or give me a call! In the meantime, check out a few more stories about what it’s like to be a Great Clips franchisee:

Cheryl Stensrud: The Secret to My Success
Debbie Tillery: RockStars
Dennis Stevens: How I Make a Difference
Life as a Great Clips franchisee

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