Two Years after Summit launch: +35% Total Sales
Agape Salon & Spa’s Summit Salon Consultant: Britta Larson
Those who are attracted to the idea of owning a business typically have one characteristic in common: they are self-motivated. Teresa Thayer of Agape Salon & Spa in Waterford, Michigan fits this description perfectly. She opened her salon company on the assumption that the only thing stylists needed in order to be successful was the right environment. But she quickly discovered that self-motivation is not a universal trait. Instead, a salon owner needs to provide leadership and should have the ability to motivate and inspire others. With the help of Summit Salon Business Center programs and the expert guidance of Summit Salon Consultant Britta Larson, Teresa was able to obtain the salon business knowledge she needed to catapult Agape Salon & Spa into achieving exponential success.
Inspired to Make a Difference
Teresa’s inspiration to enter the professional beauty industry came later in life, after she became a mother to her stepdaughter. “As a child, I was never into fashion, let alone doing my hair,” Teresa explains. “I was raised on a 40-acre farm where riding horses and playing with Tonka trucks was more important than looking good. It was not until I married the first time and I became blessed with a stepdaughter that I thought about going back to school to become a stylist. My stepdaughter encouraged me to go since she thought I was good at doing her hair.”
Once Teresa was licensed and began working for different salon companies, she quickly grew tired of working in poorly run salons and for owners who did not care about the staff or the meaning of teamwork. She became inspired to become the kind of owner she wanted to work for, and that is how Agape Salon & Spa came to be.
“I never wanted the title of boss,” Teresa explains. “I am a very self-inspired and self-motivated person. I simply wanted to work with stylists who shared the same ideas and passion. Because of this, I focused my energy on creating an environment that was drama free and where they could feel appreciated.” It seemed, however, that the stylists were always looking to Teresa for motivation. But Teresa lacked leadership experience, so she did the only thing she could think of to try to motivate her team—she changed things often in an attempt to appease them.
Teresa’s general lack of a plan or sense of direction made it difficult to find reliable, trust-worthy, and passionate stylists. She was constantly trying to come up with ways to motivate and educate the stylists, hoping to inspire them to become more serious about their future in this industry. “I felt frustrated, exhausted, and overwhelmed,” Teresa explains. “As a result, I was not consistent because I was constantly trying out different ideas to cultivate a better culture.”
Extreme Circumstances Bring Extreme Action
For many years, Teresa continued in this way, trying everything she could to attract stylists with the right mindset and to motivate her existing employees to work harder and accept responsibility for their own success. Unfortunately, it was only when the worst imaginable circumstance occurred that Teresa was forced to rethink her approach. She knew she needed help. More than anything, she needed a definitive plan.
“In May of 2011, my second husband of over twenty years suddenly died,” Teresa explains. “It was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. The stylists at the salon became my greatest supporters. They pulled together and proved to me that they were capable of doing what they needed to do to keep the salon running, and take care of me. After a year of feeling lost I began pouring myself into my business. I realized that life is way too short and that I needed a real business plan. If something happened to me tomorrow, I wanted the stylists to know that they would be okay.”
Teresa remembered hearing about Summit Salon Business Center from a Michael Cole class she had attended years before. While attending The Summit, Teresa realized that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. SSBC offered a level system designed to motivate stylists to achieve personal goals, leadership training in how to hold personal development meetings with staff, and access to a Summit Salon Consultant who would personally walk the journey with her.
Taking the Guess Work out of Leadership
A vital part of the Summit Salon Systems is the implementation of the level system. The level system is based entirely on demand of time and allows stylists, if they choose, the opportunity to earn promotions. When promoted, stylists are able to increase their prices, boasting their earning potential. Within the level system there are very defined career paths for stylists. As a result of implementing the Summit Salon Systems, the team at Agape Salon & Spa became more driven and motivated because they were now being held accountable to a defined set of goals.
Lisa Howard, a level 3 stylist at Agape Salon & Spa, has been a part of the salon company for nine years. After the first year of implementing the Summit Salon Systems, Lisa experienced a 36 percent increase in services and sales. “I have taken my career more seriously since our salon company joined SSBC,” Lisa says. “I am no longer satisfied with simply ‘getting by.’ Now, I strive to succeed in my career, and am motivated to coach others and help them achieve their career goals as well.”
Teresa credits the Summit Salon Systems for providing her with the foundation to improve her leadership skills. “I became a better leader,” Teresa explains. “I became more firm, and learned to remain professional and handle things on a business level instead of taking it personally. And, because the vision of the salon was now clear, I gained the trust of my staff.”
As her salon company grew, having a consultant to reach out to proved invaluable for Teresa. She no longer had to turn to her staff for advice and input on how to handle different situations, but had access to someone with salon business strategy experience whom she could trust.
“Since joining with SSBC, I have a new outlook and I feel more relaxed. It completely changed my life and the lives of those on my team. We are very personable with our guests and have great customer service. We are professional, friendly, educated, fun, and creative. Having these systems as our foundation has allowed us to shine and be the best that we can be.”
Pre Summit (2013)
- Total Annual Sales: $213,407
- Average Retail/month: $1,360
- Average Services/month: $16,423
Two Years after Summit launch: +35% Total Sales
Favorite Retail Campaign/Contest:
- Buy 1 product receive 10% off, buy 2 products receive 20% off, and buy 3 products receive 30% off.
- For every unit purchased, receive 1 ticket for a chance to win a blow dryer. The stylist of the client purchasing also receives a ticket and is entered to win a cash prize of $100. It is a win-win for everyone!
Are you interested in implementing proven salon business strategies into your salon company? Click to view upcoming Summit Salon Business Center programs.