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It Pays to be Neighborly: Franchises Building Relationships with the Community

By: Franchise.com

 

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It doesn’t matter what you sell or what service you provide; community members will be more inclined to embrace and support your franchise if it has the reputation of being a good neighbor in the community. Everyone loves the neighbor who plans block parties, waters your plants while you’re away on vacation, and does their part to make the community a better place. One of the magical things about owning a franchise is the fact that you can be THAT neighbor and benefit your entire community by using your business to give back and get involved with local causes and organizations.

 
Preston Luman, an investor in the Sport Clips franchise, which offers men and boys a sports-themed haircutting experience, has benefitted from this phenomenon in many ways. “I ‘retired’ at 50 after a career of corporate executive positions in the functional areas of finance and operations. I looked at a number of investment opportunities to occupy my time. Sport Clips was my choice due to the strategic business model, culture of integrity I sensed from the management of the company, business growth that the overall company was experiencing, and lastly, an opportunity to support various philanthropic organizations.”
 
For Luman, Sport Clips had an attractive philosophy that he knew would resonate with the community. Posted prominently above each of the Sport Clips stores is a sign that reads: Do what’s right. Do your best. Treat others the way they want to be treated. According to Luman, “This is the basis of what occurs within our stores. But for me personally, it transcends the walls of our store. The business has given me the opportunity to get involved with various local charitable organizations. A few notable ones are the Boy Scouts, many elementary school primary fund raisers, hair “Cutathons” for various causes, Minnesota-wide contributions to a local TV celebrity’s cancer foundation, direct contributions to local high school athletic departments, sponsorship and participation in high school senior graduation events, a High School Band Booster Club, team sponsor and participant of the MS150 Bike Ride, to name a few.”
 
One of the benefits of owning a franchise is that you are buying into the company’s reputation. Sport Clips is an extremely charitable franchise that gives back to the community. For someone considering different franchises, it pays to research the reputation that the franchise has within the community. Do they give back? Do they host events? Do they try to make the community a better place? Sport Clips is an excellent example of how being a good neighbor and giving back to the community ultimately pays off.
 
Sport Clips is the primary supporter of Operation Uplink, a successful VFW program. Operation Uplink offers military personnel serving abroad and in veterans’ hospitals the opportunity to phone their families free of charge. Sport Clips franchise owners raise funds for Operation Uplink and also offer $1 haircuts on Veteran’s Day. During 2010, Sport Clips raised in excess of $400,000.
 
Luman says that “our support for this great cause of American military and their families has been so successful that the initial opportunity for the armed force personnel of phoning only on a few select holidays has now been extended to cover the entire year!” Owning a business that benefits and supports the community is rewarding both personally and professionally. Luman has seen the ways that his business supports the community and how the community supports his business. Sponsoring local sport teams can have a positive impact on your customer base. Luman confirms this idea by saying, “I have also sponsored local men’s softball teams, broomball teams, and baseball teams. Local sponsorships have garnered some local attention and support of my business…”
 
Being a good neighbor and giving back is a positive way to make a difference in your community. Luman has learned many things from his experiences as a proud Sport Clips franchise owner. “I feel especially blessed in the area of youth organizations as to support of good causes in the local community.” By investing in a franchise that embraces communal initiatives you can feel good about your investment and the return it has for your pocket and your community.
 
This article was originally published by Franchise.com
Published: July 23, 2013
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