Monday, April 25, 2011

When It Comes to Entrepreneurship, "Measure Twice, Cut Once"

Ron Mayer’s Sole Patch is more than just an upper-end men’s barbershop; it’s also a hotspot for upper-end networking.

Sole Patch is not your typical barbershop.  It has a guitar lounge.  Its clients run the likes of Kansas City anchormen, public figures, and athletes.  It’s even owned by a contestant of The Bachelorette.  Without a doubt, Sole Patch is an upper-end men’s barbershop unlike any other in Kansas City, and perhaps, unlike any other in the country.   
As owner Ron Mayer puts it, “We are Capital Grille meets barbershop.” 
Sole Patch, the modern-day men’s barbershop located in Prairie Village, was launched four years ago by Ron Mayer.  But Ron was not always in the men’s lifestyle industry.  He started out in the investment field, but found that his skills were more valuable in another industry—an industry completely different than that of investment.  Ron was to run an upper-end men’s barbershop.  Ron was to be an entrepreneur.
“In the investment world, I learned to analyze companies and look at numbers accurately,” says Ron. “But I’ve always been an entrepreneur.  So I paired my investment skills with creativity, laughter, and fun and came up with a men’s upper-end barbershop.” 
But why Sole Patch?  It seems a little too unique, a little too flashy, and a little too expensive for the Kansas City market.  But according to Ron, the business is booming, even in the recession.  In its second year, Sole Patch saw a 75% growth.  In its third year, 40%. 

“To be a big fish in a small pond, I needed to find an industry that hadn’t been reinvented in the last 30 to 40 years,” says Ron.  He found it—and reinvent, he did.
Do not be alarmed if you find a 1971 orange pick-up truck parked outside of a golf course.  That’s just Ron and his Sole Patch staff giving hot towel shaves to local Kansas City golfers.
Don’t be surprised if you walk into Sole Patch and leave with 10 business cards and a handful of new friends.
And finally, don’t be shocked to see the Sole Patch brand sweep the nation in years to come.  That’s Ron’s ambitious goal: “To become the best men’s hair cutting business in the city” and then to open many more locations.
Ron Mayer has opened up a barbershop that Kansas City needs.  And with his investment background and entrepreneurial heart, he has created a business that is to be successful now and in the future. 
Ron’s one piece of entrepreneurial advice?  “Measure twice, cut once.” Quite fitting. 
Written by Allison Way.

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