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Climbing every mountain and starting to enjoy the view!

Profile by Sara Altizer

Array header

Brand-new business owners frequently “wing it” during the first few years, ruling out what does not work and running with the things that do. Some owners luck into success, without knowing how they got there, and are unable to replicate the results. Others keep trying everything and end up having to close their doors. Still others ask for help. Array Salon owners, Bryan and Ashlee Raybould, did just that. After many times of starting at square one with a new plan/idea/inspiration, they teamed up with Summit Salon Business Center and Summit Salon Consultant, Carrie Rutt, who taught them the ins and outs of salon business strategy.

Here’s the story of how Array Salon was able to have a 66 percent increase in sales and pay off their debt in just one year with the Summit Salon Systems.

The Beginning

Bryan and Ashlee started Array Salon & Spa from scratch, and opened the salon with plenty of passion, excitement, and good intention. With very little experience in running a business, they worked tirelessly, playing trial and error to see what worked and what did not work. “A big challenge we had was not having a clear view of our mission and purpose,” Ashlee explains. “We lacked direction and focus. There wasn’t a strong training program and we had some turnover. I felt like I was constantly playing trial and error. I thought I was never going to have a day off, and that I was going to have to work until I die. I did not see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Bryan and Ashlee struggled greatly with employee turnover, devoting time and energy to training only to have the service provider leave. They also lacked a defined budget and they had no strategies for growth. “I have always been very positive, but I would let my passion get in the way and allow my feelings to take control, rather than staying neutral, Ashlee explains. “I felt like I needed to be everyone’s friend, but that really only made it harder to have honest conversations.”

“I knew things had to change when I sat down with Summit Salon consultant Luke Huffstutter and realized that I had no idea what I was doing and that instead of continuing to play trial and error, I could go to The Summit and learn what has worked for many salons,” says Ashlee. “I was also sick and tired of being sick and tired. I wanted my service providers to make more money and have solid careers. I wanted my salon to be successful and be a market-leading salon where stylists could work and earn a nice living and customers could get a good experience.”

A Defined Direction

Summit Salon Business Center provides proven and effective salon business strategy knowledge and support. Through implementing the Summit Salon Systems, which include a comprehensive career path for service providers and the salon, everyone is held accountable for their success. This system ultimately empowers and motivates individuals to unleash their potential. Carrie Rutt and other Summit Salon consultants are there to offer individual, customized financial strategies, tailored to specific salons, defining where the salon is and where it is going.

For Array Salon, establishing a specific and defined earning potential for each stylist and for the salon as a whole was a game changer. This element alone provided Bryan and Ashlee with the “big picture” vision they needed to get to where they wanted to go. “Having a Summit Salon consultant really helped with the launch and implementation of the Summit Salon Systems,” Bryan explains. “It helped to keep us accountable and constantly working towards growing and improving our company.”

With a big picture mindset, Bryan and Ashlee were able to see that turnover had been directly related to lack of a defined career path for each stylist within the salon company. The Level System is a simple, proven way to organize a salon company, maximizing the profitability of every individual, and ultimately maximizing the profitability of the salon company as a whole. The level system offers pricing strategies, opportunities for promotions and additional benefits, and shows the stylists what they are capable of achieving, if they choose to do so. “Having a career path is very helpful in recruiting new hires, and in keeping the service providers constantly working towards something,” Ashlee explains. “Also, having our salon pricing dialed in has helped us grow and make more money.”

“My relationship with my employees is more professional and more of a mentor relationship rather than buddy-buddy,” Ashlee explains. “I am here to help others grow and prosper with and around me. The clients really like having the pricing clearly defined. Our environment is more professional and we are seeing a lot more new guests in the salon.”

“As an owner I am more focused, more goal-oriented, and less emotion driven,” Ashlee says. “SSBC has changed our lives, and it brings us so much gratitude to see our employees grow and ourselves grow. Things we thought we’d never be able to do have become a reality and we will be forever grateful. Not all days are easy, and we are constantly improving, but it is a good feeling to know what we need to do to get to where we want to be.”

Could Summit Salon Systems be right for you?

If you are still on the fence about whether the Summit Salon Systems could work for you, Ashlee has this to say: “We were haphazardly using some of the Summit Salon Systems before actually attending. We would’ve saved a lot of trial and error by attending before and teaming up with a consultant earlier, as opposed to trying to do it on our own. It has changed our salon company and we would not have grown as much without it. You have to be prepared to change and prepared to commit to the systems. It is a constant mountain that we climb, but it has paid off very nicely.”

Pre-Summit

  • Total Annual Sales: $300,000
  • Average Retail/month: $3,000
  • Average Services/month: $25,000

One Year after Summit Launch: +66%

Favorite SSBC Products: Over The Top Leader’s Guide, Summit Salon Associate Program, Intelligent Verbiage, Retail Sales Over the TopOver The Top textbook, Summit Salon Planner

Summit Salon Consultant: Carrie Rutt

Favorite Retail Contest: Buy 2 get 1 free

Are you interested in implementing proven salon business strategies into your salon company? Click to view upcoming Summit Salon Business Center programs.