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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

UP & RUNNING

Give customers what they really want

By Roger Pierce
www.bizlaunch.ca


It's the golden rule of market research: Ask people what they want. "I learned that most Canadian men don't like getting their hair cut," says Sergio Medrano.
Sergio Medrano launched ScoreCuts -- Winning Haircuts for Men this month.


Medrano just opened ScoreCuts (www.scorecuts.com), a hair cutting place exclusively for men. Inside his first location at 250 Eglinton Ave. W., his male customers enjoy a truly unique hair cutting experience.

ScoreCuts is designed with guys in mind, featuring wall-to-wall television screens and the latest sports magazines. Customers can kick back in a self-adjustable electric massage barber chair and catch up on their favourite sports. Individual TVs at each cutting station play the latest games so customers don't feel compelled to make small talk with stylists.

"Men told me that sitting next to some old lady in rollers, staring into a mirror and making idle chit-chat with a distracted stylist is not their idea of a good time," Medrano says.

To ensure his customers get the haircut they want during each visit, Medrano's experienced female grooming coaches record each customer's hair preferences. He also offers free "neck clean-ups" within 30 days of a haircut.

His market research in Canada revealed that men don't enjoy the typical hair salon experience. Medrano paid attention to his research results, and decided to model his company on a very successful franchise in the United States that has more than 500 locations and is exceeding the industry growth rate.

Medrano could have gone down a completely different career path. With a Masters Degree in Business and fluency in five languages -- including Japanese -- he could easily land a job with any large company.

"Everybody in my family is a business person so entrepreneurship is in my blood," he says. "I love the challenge of organizing and building a small business that really works."

Medrano says his first ScoreCuts is just the beginning. "I plan to open 50 locations during the next five years -- we'll get there by delivering one great haircut at a time!"

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

www.bizlaunch.ca





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