Franchise Fun March/April 2020 Women in Franchising Women in Franchising Article

Franchise Fun: Making the Cut

Great Clips, Inc. vice president of operations Yvonne Mercer has certainly come a long way since she started out as a cosmetologist, and the same can be said for the Great Clips brand. Great Clips, Inc., which offers convenient, value-priced haircuts to men, women, and children, is on pace to open its 150th franchise unit in Canada by the end of the first quarter of 2020, along with its 4,500th unit system-wide.

Here, the optimistic, caring, and fun Mercer shares her thoughts on the key components of a successful franchise environment, including collaboration, culture, and commitment. She also provides a glimpse into her personal side, from her love for sugar and passion for travelling, to her appeal for more tolerance in the world and devotion to her family.

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is… Work-wise, I’ve been learning about consumer privacy laws and how they will affect the way many retailers do business. Personally, I jumped off a 30-foot cliff into the deepest blue hole in the world.

In its best form, work is… Collaborative, transparent, and for the good of the whole.

A good franchisee… Is engaged with their business and creates a great culture for their employees.

A good franchisor… cares about the franchisee’s success and knows if franchisees are not successful, the model will not be successful.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is… To understand the time commitment that is needed to be successful and have a realistic understanding of how long it will take to become profitable. Also, follow the system and remember why you wanted to go into business for yourself when times get tough. It’s worth it!

My top advice for new franchisors is… To always keep the big picture in mind by developing strategic plans and sticking to them and be willing to adjust on the fly if needed. Attend local franchise events and the CFA annual event to stay connected and learn best practices.

The most important thing in life is… Family.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is… Travel.

The hardest thing for me to do is… To not eat sugar!

My favourite drink is… Canada Dry Ginger Ale!

If I could change one thing… It would be for every person to be more tolerant and patient of one another.

If I could meet anyone… It’s cliché, but it would be Jesus.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is… Rhoda Olsen, the vice chair of the board for Great Clips, Inc.

Canadian franchising is… An incredible opportunity for people to create their own success.

My franchise system began because… Our founder, a barber by trade, saw that there was a real future in the walk-in haircut service concept. He knew that an efficient haircut at a good price would never go out of style.

The most positive influence on my life as a person is… My mom.

The keys to success are… Working hard, great leadership, and staying humble.

I’d like my friends to describe me as… Generous and a good listener.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is… Helping my teenagers learn how to be great adults.

My personal motto is… You can’t change people; you can only change how to react to people.

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is… To see as much of the world as I can.

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