30 Heroes for 30 Years: Gordon Logan, SportClips
Gordon Logan was working as an engineer while the Vietnam conflict was going on. Due to his career, he had an occupational deferment. But Gordon felt bad watching his friends go off to fight, so he applied to the Air Force as an engineer. He was told that what was really needed were pilots, and so Gordon went to flight school.
Gordon flew C-130’s in support of the operations in Vietnam, mostly helping move refugees out of harms way. Wanting more control over his life, Gordon went into the Air Force Reserves and started to work for Price Waterhouse as a consultant. But he was longing for something more. In 1978, Gordon purchased a franchise with Command Performance and eventually owned the whole chain after about 12 years.
Never satisfied for long, Gordon spotted a new opportunity to specialize in men’s hair care and founded SportClips in 1993. He knew that if he wasn’t happy about his hair cut in a beauty salon, other men were not happy either. There was an opportunity to be explored! Opening the first store in Austin, Texas, he started to franchise the concept in 1995. With more than 1900 locations in all 50 states, the franchise continues to grow. SportClips will open more than 60 locations in 2022, and they expect continued growth next year as well.
Gordon believes that there are a lot of good lessons that can come out of military experience. Mainly the art of accountability and learning to work as a team. In the Air Force, Gordon oversaw a crew of 5 people and they had to work as a team to accomplish the mission and are for their aircraft. It was also vital that Gordon built confidence in his leadership among the junior enlisted on his crew.
In both the Air Force and franchising, plans seldom work out as intended. Gordon recalls the maxim that ‘Plans are worthless, but planning is essential.’ Failure is not an option in either the military or in business. This proved especially true during COVID. Gordon pointed out that it was harder to run a system with zero stores open than with 1900. But SportClips emerged stronger than ever after COVID. With 15% of the SportClips franchisee base being Veterans, it makes sense that the brand knows how to overcome unexpected difficulties and move forward towards continued success.
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