99 BIG Franchisees: Clara Osterhage

  • Great Clips
  • 21 units
  • # Employees: 150
  • 7 locations opened in 2005
  • Gross revenue 2005: $4 million
  • One store reported 1200 customers a week, with $750,000 in sales in 2005
  • Four stores on books for 2006

High-grossing, woman-owned
Becoming the employer of choice

Clara Osterhage says she is "the employer of choice in Dayton, Ohio."

"I treat them the way I want to be treated and I pay them weekly," she says. "I could cut costs in half by paying every other week, but I know how important it is to them. It's a huge recruitment benefit. I have people who will never leave me."

And it's that kind of loyalty that Osterhage depends on as she grows her franchise business. She's the first to admit that she is not very business savvy and relies on relationships, with vendors, landlords, bankers, and most important, employees, for her continued success.

The 45-year-old mother of four is in her tenth year as a franchisee and is grateful for the impetus that brought her to this point. As a two-time graduate and MBA grad, Osterhage had her sights set on the CEO position of the hospital she'd worked at for years. Instead, when time came for her promotion, the hospital hired a doctor for the position and kept her on for six weeks to train him.

"I had just come back from maternity leave with my third child," she says. "It was pathetic. I had a lot of stuff churning inside me, but I realized I had to get over it."

She ordered an infomercial video for Great Clips from an ad in the local paper and was hooked immediately. She felt the hand of fate guiding her decision. Today, in addition to running her own units, she spends a great deal of time helping the parent company by sitting on the franchise review board, participating in numerous committees and task forces, and talking to new franchisees. She loves to travel and troubleshoot for struggling owners.

Her husband retired four years ago from his hospital administration job and became her business manager, allowing her to indulge her competitive spirit and open new units in a market where she competes with three other franchisees - all male.

"I'm addicted to the entire process," she says. "It's all so fascinating."

Published: April 4th, 2006

Share this Feature


comments powered by Disqus
Golden Corral

Multi-Unit Franchising Topics »

Top Opportunities »

Subscribe »

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

The only publication dedicated exclusively to the hottest topic in franchising - Multi-Unit and Multi-Brand Franchisees.

Attend »

Multi-Unit Franchising Conference

Multi-Unit Franchising Conference

APR. 23-26, 2017 | Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV

A unique event because it is highly influenced by its advisory board, consisting of the very best multi-unit franchisees. The board works diligently to ensure that the conference delivers on its promise of being the best platform for franchisees to learn how to grow their businesses.

Subscribe to Multi-Unit Franchisee Report

A Franchise Update Media Production
Franchise Update Media | P.O. Box 20547 // San Jose, CA 95160 // PH. (408) 402-5681
Copyright © 2001 - 2017. All Rights Reserved.

In Loving Memory Of Timothy Gardner (1987-2014)