#59. | The Barbers Owner Don Lovell Part 1 | Retain Like Crazy | #MakingOrders
This week on The Business Over Beer Podcast, we welcome Don Lovell, Owner of The Barbers. The Pac 10 North Player of the Year with Portland State in 1985, Don had a successful baseball career in the minor leagues before suffering a shoulder injury which eventually forced him to retire from the game.
After baseball, Don got into the hair business, selling hair care products to salons in Michigan, before moving back to his hometown of Portland, where he met his wife, a hair stylist at one of the salons he called on. Together they opened The Barbers in 1999, doing 12 hair cuts the first day. After 21 years in business, they have 35 locations, 450 hair cutters, 3 franchise partners and did over 1 million haircuts as an organization in 1999.
In this episode:
There were no Barber Shops in the suburbs, and Don believed that there had to be others like him who would like to get a hair cut at a place like The Barbers.
The Barbers business model was to bring back the old fashioned barber shop experience AND pay the barbers what they’re worth.
They created a revenue sharing business model, splitting everything 50/50 with their barbers in an effort to make The Barbers a career job for the hair cutters.
Retaining the barbers directly relates to retaining customers; if the barbers the leave, their customers leave with them.
Flipped the hierarchy triangle, it’s not about ownership or management; Don puts the barbers first, and everyone’s job is to keep the barbers happy, who in turn keep the customers happy.
Retain like crazy! If they all stick with it, they win together; but if they fracture, they all lose; retention at every level is how you make it in this business.
Baseball taught him to always be on; he was used to a fast pace and had high tolerance for the grind and the sheer numbers of calls help him outperform his sales peers.
“Belgians say, “Op uw gezondheid’” when toasting, but you don’t have to speak Flemish to appreciate the bold, complex flavors of fig dipped in dark chocolate, ripe fruit and toffee in this immense Ale. Dense off-white foam on top of a dark russet body with hues of crimson red. Aromas of fig, stewed cherries, and a touch of clove. Full, rich, creamy flavors of ripe bananas, chocolate covered figs, and ripe plums fill the mouth. The mouth is left smooth with a touch of warmth, and a lifting bitterness.”