Management Insight: Multi-Brand Operator Uses "Coaching Management" Style
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Management Insight: Multi-Brand Operator Uses "Coaching Management" Style

Management Insight: Multi-Brand Operator Uses

Jeff Burroughs says when he met people in the franchise business a few years ago, the fit seemed right: being his own boss, growing his own business, and involving it in the community were all things he wanted to do. He also wanted to have more than one brand and for them to be “people businesses.”

Today, he has built a portfolio of 27 Sport Clips locations in Delaware and Maryland and also operates 4 Rita’s Italian Ice units.

Here’s what Burroughs told us about his management style and philosophy:

Business philosophy: “You Get What You Give.”

Management method or style: We use more of a coaching management style. Many of our employees come to work for us early in their career. For many employees this is their first job with structure.

Greatest challenge: The greatest challenge I have seen recently is having the ability to pivot on a regular basis to stay in front of the needed changes of the business. I feel we have done a good job with this, but pivoting seems to be a new way to stay ahead of the curve.

How do others describe you? They would probably say I am a “go-getter” and maybe they would also use the word “driven.”

One thing I’m looking to do better: Delegating. I hope to improve delegating tasks to my area managers as a way to educate them and help them grow in their positions.

How I give my team room to innovate and experiment: We discuss ideas with our management team on a regular basis. The first step is to work though the pros and cons. Then we discuss the ideas and work to execute.

How close are you to operations? I am hands-on with my business operations. We have area and operations managers who handle many of the operational tasks. This allows me to provide guidance to them while I’m also working on the growth of our company.

What are the two most important things you rely on from your franchisor? Training support and operational advancements.

What I need from vendors: We are always looking for innovation.

Have you changed your marketing strategy in response to the economy? How? We have taken on more digital marketing than before Covid. Our approach is more about educating and promoting our services or products instead of discounting.

How is social media affecting your business? Social media is important to help communicate the efforts of our business. This communication could support our marketing efforts or highlight our community support projects. We like to make noise and work to keep folks engaged.

How do you hire and fire? Hiring is a major priority for our company because in both brands we are in the people business. The stability and growth of each of our locations is sometimes mostly determined by staffing. Before we fire, we try to counsel, educate, and use corrective measures before termination.

How do you train and retain? Our goal is to train up. Most people come into our business at a very entry level with limited experience. There is always a desire to train on technical and operational skills to improve the customer experience. We like to promote from within our company. Promoting from within requires management training for employees who have the desire to get to the next level.

How do you deal with problem employees? We try to counsel, educate, and use corrective measures before termination. For many of our employees this is their first job or they are still early in their career. There are many who, once hired, have to adapt to structure.

Fastest way into my doghouse: To live by excuses and not by execution.

Published: June 21st, 2023

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