The promise of freedom is a primary motivation that drives countless hair stylists to open their own salon businesses.
The entrepreneurial freedom to run a salon the way they see fit, the freedom that comes with financial independence, and the freedom of time to enjoy the benefits of hard work can look very attractive to a young stylist struggling to build a career.
Rick Maybee understands the allure, but like many have come to discover, owning a salon business can be anything but liberating.
Maybee first opened Jazz Hair Studio in Belleville, Ontario over a decade ago with simple career goals, but the cold hard reality of salon business ownership quickly shook him of any romantic notions he had held.
“Paying the rent,” he answers without a second thought, when asked about the hardest part of running a one-man salon.
“I thought self employment was providing freedom. I was wrong.”
“Working 50 hours a week until 10 o’clock at night and still trying to get together that rent payment. It was tough.I had one staff member, but didn’t know how to grow her, I didn’t know about referral cards and discounts. We had no computer system. We didn’t know what we didn’t know.”
“And I was working too much.”
At the urging of his local Redken distributor sales representative, Maybee and his partner Marc Bourgeois attended “Take Command”, a day-long seminar presented by Summit Salon Business Center, and sponsored by Redken Canada.
Take Command with strategies to increase profitability and boost income
Presented by internationally acclaimed salon consultant Glenn Baker, Take Command introduces salon owners to common sense leadership, sales, marketing, and customer service strategies designed to increase salon profitability and boost service provider income.
“Salon owners need to have strategies for growing their people,” explains Baker. “They need to understand the variables that directly impact revenue, including the importance of retail sales, the number of clients serviced, and the average dollar amount each customer spends in the salon.”
For Bourgeois, who worked with the federal government for over three decades as a business planner and financial analyst, the Take Command business message struck a chord.
“I found it interesting when Glenn talked about the business of growing people,” said Bourgeois.
“If you focus on growing people and making them successful by setting achievable goals, the business takes care of itself. I realized we aren’t in the hair business, we are in the people business.”
Building a foundation for change with the Summit Salon Scorecard
As part of their Take Command experience, Maybee and Bourgeois took advantage of a no-charge consultation with a Summit Salon Business Center consultant, who walked them through the simple, yet eye-opening exercise of completing a Summit Salon ScoreCard.
The Summit Salon ScoreCard captures critical details about monthly salon sales, and compares them to expenses. With this information in hand, the salon owner can recognize, often for the first time, the actual state of their business.
A Summit Salon ScoreCard analysis then provides the foundation for the development of financial planning and sales strategies specifically tailored to meet individual salon needs.
At-a-glance details on sales, new customers, and pre-bookings are reflected by the Scorecard. In addition, an overview of expenses enables the salon owner to gain a better understand where their money is going each month.
“The ScoreCard often presents salon owners with a jarring reality, that change is required if their business is to survive,” says Baker.
Climbing The Summit
The results came quickly after Maybee and Bourgeois attended The Summit, a four-day educational event presented exclusively to Redken color salons in Canada by Summit Salon Business Center.
Picking up where the ScoreCard leaves off, The Summit provides extensive classroom education on salon team building, and knowledge-based salon business management.
“The surprise was what The Summit could teach us about dollars, about business sales, and how to grow people,” added Maybee. “This is what the industry should be aspiring to, helping people to earn a better living, and live a better life.”
In the year following The Summit, Jazz Hair Studio’s revenues jumped 19%. That was enough to convince Bourgeois to leave his job to manage the salon full-time, alongside his partner Maybee.
Today, Jazz Hair Studio is among the most successful Redken platinum salons in Canada, employing a staff of 20 at their expanded flagship salon in historic Belleville, and a recently opened second salon in the nearby town of Trenton.
To learn more about Summit Salon Business Center educational events in your area, or to arrange to have your ScoreCard evaluated by an SSBC consultant, talk to the exclusive Redken distributor in your area.
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