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Steve Hockett

Steve Hockett

CEO, Great Clips

For years, the franchise model has been a traditional sector of the economy. It helps stimulate local business, and provides opportunities for people in the community. With 1,300 franchisors across the country, the sector directly or indirectly employs 1 in 10 Canadians. Even millennials are showing increasing interest in creating new franchise concepts or buying into existing franchise brands.

The franchise model is one that’s worked well for Minnesota-based Great Clips, Inc., which has more than 4,400 hair salons in Canada and the U.S. Great Clips franchisees have the benefit of owning and independently running their own business, with the support of a successful and established brand name.

“Our franchisees are smart, dedicated, and focused on their business,” says Great Clips CEO Steve Hockett. “They’ve taken the risk and investment because they believe in our brand and what we’ve built.”

Last year, the company delivered more than 115 million haircuts. For 37 years, Great Clips has taken a disciplined approach to its craft by focusing on one core offering: haircuts. That means no colour, and definitely no appointments. Fuelling its success is its approach to embracing innovation and technology. “We innovate around our core business,” says Hockett, “but we’ll always stay true to who we are.”

We innovate around our core business, but we’ll always stay true to who we are.

Steve Hockett, Great Clips CEO

The company has been an early adopter of cloud-based technology and smartphone apps, first disrupting the haircut sector with Clip Notes — a technology that records customers’ haircut preferences across salons. “Our customers can walk into any Great Clips and expect to receive high-quality, consistent service,” says Hockett. “Now they can also ensure they get the cut and style they love, no matter the stylist or salon.”

The company’s Online Check-In app lets customers schedule and keep track of their spot in a queue from the convenience of their smartphone, giving them the flexibility to arrive when they’re first in line. With more than 12 million downloads, the app has been a huge success in retaining and attracting customers.

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