The Proof is in the Results

By Steve Gomez

It was an ordinary Monday afternoon when the phone rang. When I answered, I heard, "Steve, this is Terry."

It was not our usual scheduled call, so I became prepared to coach her through any number of unexpected occurrences that accompany owning any salon business.

As it turns out, Terry, the sole proprietor of a full-service salon with fifty employees called to share her good news: numbers were up again.

For a year and a half, Terry has sought training through business coaching. Having seen dramatic results through her own training, Terry reports that she has put all fifty employees through the coaching and implements essential chapters of the trainings as a regular part of weekly staff meetings.

According to Terry, "The results are tremendous!" Not only has the program been a blessing to her business and her pocketbook, Terry finds improved morale among her employees. "My employees are happier because they know what to do, which provides a lot of freedom from stress."

Terry's employees find it best to follow the coaching techniques to the letter. Providing the business with specific guidelines, standards and expectations, Terry notes that training received through the coaching has defined a culture for her business. "When I hire new employees, they understand and like the way we do things here."

Terry's salon is a prime example of the purpose of coaching -- to revolutionize salons and position them for long-term growth and stable profitability through systematization. "Customers now see my business as more than a salon," says Terry. Customers see my business as a company, and I will never do business any other way."

Terry credits the business coaching she received with helping to improve the listening skills of her staff, which turns into profitable dollars for all involved. "My staff now knows the correct way to ask questions, the correct way to promote retail and the correct way to assess needs of the customer. As a result, we have far less re-dos and few complaints -- if any. This way, my clients leave my salon satisfied every time."

During the conversation, I noticed that Terry has taken on a language of her own. Like any good host, she politely refers to her patrons as "guests," and adds that referring to her customers in this manner makes them feel welcomed into a professional environment with real standards. Similarly, guests know what to expect and how to be treated. Best of all, guests come back.

Within six months of participating in business coaching, service-to-retail numbers at Terry's salon skyrocketed to 17 percent, which translates into roughly ten additional dollars per customer. By the end of the year, Terry's service-to-retail figures were up 20 percent, which translates into roughly $12.00 per customer. Currently, retail alone is up 24 percent.

Every day coaches across the country train salon and spa owners for profitability and success through tested and proven business-building techniques and strategies that produce results.

Coaching should require full participation from salon and spa owners who believe that success is possible. Salon and spa owners, if you want to grow as a successful, stable business, remember that while change may be simple, it is not easy. What we are teaching here is not rocket science; however, we ask you to take a hard look at aspects affecting your business you may not have wanted to see.

Even though it is estimated some 85 percent of salons operate at a deficit, success is possible. Ask Terry, whose initial assignments included taking a good, hard look at her figures. She claims, "When it comes to operating as a loss or a profit, I just looked at the numbers, and numbers don't lie."

Steve Gomez serves as Milady's Professional Development Manager / National Trainer For more information on coaching and consulting with Milady, call 800.998.7498 ext. 2700 or email Delmar.milady@Cengage.com

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