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The guidance you need to get through whatever comes your way!
Service Provider Profile by Sara Altizer

Laura Benoit

Summit Salon Business Center is passionate about bringing professionalism, stability, and structure to the professional beauty industry. In an industry where income is directly related to building, growing, and maintaining a clientele, being unable to work is high risk and can set stylists back exponentially in their earning potential.

Laura Benoit, a level 4A stylist and shareholder at Shear Art Salon & Spa in Tampa, Florida, is a stylist who experienced some major life challenges that left her unable to work for a while, causing her clientele and income to drop drastically. Here is how the Summit Salon Systems gave her the salon business strategy she needed to rise above her circumstances and earn more than ever before.

Laura’s hairdressing instincts started at an early age when she daringly took her Cher doll’s signature long hair and cut it into a bob. “I knew from the age of ten that I wanted to a be a hairdresser,” Laura explains, “none of my dolls or Barbie’s had hair after I was done with them.” Her dreams began to come true when she started working at Shear Art Salon at the age of twenty-three, a salon she has been a part of now for twenty-five years.

“I remember when Shear Art first became a Summit Salon.” Laura explains, “Our salon brought in $300,000 more in revenue in the first year. Learning about the daily tracking was the most helpful for me. Just knowing that I didn’t have to settle for the dollar amount scheduled for a day is very empowering. I learned quickly that with just a little planning and focus I could increase my bottom line.”

“The Summit Salon Systems have really helped us have a consistent culture,” Laura explains, “Everyone works really hard and is so creative and motivated. We feel like family and we hold each other accountable. Plus, the amount of education we receive is astounding. I feel so spoiled and lucky to call Shear Art home.”

“I have always found joy in mentoring others and sharing insight to an industry I am passionate about, but two years ago I really got off track.” Laura says, “I got divorced and broke my collarbone all at the same time. I was in a pretty dark place and I know that that was translating into my work life as well. I had to be out of work for six weeks, which for hairstylists means that you essentially have to come back and completely rebuild your clientele.”

“At the time I had just disconnected and I honestly needed a wake-up call.” Laura explains. “As luck would have it, Michael Cole was teaching one of our very first classes of the year. He had a list of what we had earned the two prior years and had us ask ourselves if we had an increase or decrease and why. I had a big decrease because of my injury and personal issues and he helped me ‘own’ that chapter of my life and recognize that I had the power to get back to the life I deserved and wanted. It was a day of reckoning.

“I set a goal that very day that I wanted to have a 30 percent increase—$20,000—which would put me back on track as if the year before had never happened. I knew I was setting my sights high, but like Michael Cole says, if you set it at 30 percent and reach 20 percent, that is still a success. I didn’t necessary think I would actually be able to accomplish it, but the Summit Salon Systems helped me break that number down into months, weeks, and even days. I knew how much higher my average ticket needed to be—how many add-ons I needed to do and how many new clients I would need in order to do it. And you know what? It worked. I saw the 30 percent increase in 2014 that I worked so hard for. And now that I have proved to myself what I am capable of, I have continued to set high goals for 2015 and diligently pursue them.”

Sooner or later life has a way of catching up to all of us, but we are capable of being proactive and not reactive to our circumstances. Laura explains, “Learn as much as you can all of the time! Be humble and surround yourself with positive, successful people in and out of the industry. And make the time or budget to see Michael Cole. I have been seeing him for twenty-five years and he always brings something new to my life and career. With the Summit Salon Systems you are never alone and never without the guidance you need to get through whatever comes your way.”

Click to read the profile of Laura’s co-worker Julie!