Village Salon & Spa: Bridging the Gaps with Summit Salon Systems
by Sara Altizer
Meet Tony and Kelly Berner, owners of Village Salon & Spa in Anna, Ohio, a salon with great potential that’s always had a fantastic culture and good atmosphere. Here’s how Summit Salon Business Center helped Village Salon & Spa take their business to the next level, providing them with clear direction, support, and all of the resources necessary to reach their goals.
Inspiration and Background
Kelly Berner was a hair industry veteran who had owned one salon before she opened Village Salon & Spa with her husband Tony. Because Tony was from outside the industry, he was able to bring in a fresh, objective perspective and analyze things from a business standpoint. But what he didn’t anticipate were the unique challenges of the salon industry.
“It was definitely a new challenge opening up a salon and spa,” Tony reflects. “We wanted to make a difference in the community as well as make the salon successful. We were doing well number wise, but we knew there had to be more to it than this.”
When Tony and Kelly began to see their numbers plateau, they forced themselves to take a step back and start looking at where they could do better.
One of Tony and Kelly’s greatest challenges was not having specific, defined roles for the stylists, receptionists, managers, or for themselves as owners. As Jenny, the salon manager explains, “Management was confused because everybody was working on everything all at once so nothing was getting done. There wasn’t a focused direction. Tony would look at the numbers and sales, but he wasn’t clear on how to plan or project.”
They identified three main problems within their business: a lack of direction, focus (not sure where to market or feature products and services), and organization. Ultimately, Tony and Kelly wanted to bridge the gap between what they knew they wanted and how to attain it.
Tony began to research the best of the best in the cosmetology industry, and discovered Summit Salon Business Center. When their Redken representative Rachel Roth-Indermuhle suggested they take a closer look at some of the training programs Summit offers, Tony knew it was time.
The Summit Experience
Tony was new to the industry, so The Summit was an eye-opening experience for him. His greatest “A-ha!” moment came when he heard Michael Cole speak. “For the first time,” Tony explains, “I felt real passion about what we were doing.”
Rolling out the program in the salon was a big adjustment for everybody, and Tony and Kelly admit to struggling at first. But with Jenny’s help, they were able to get their team on board and excited about the program, which included scheduling regular one-on-ones, establishing a budget, planning projection, and setting specific goals. In seven short months, the results are already beginning to show.
Impact on Stylists
“Now that the team had a clear direction we became instantly focused overnight and each stylist started strategizing and planning for their own careers,” Tony explains. “Excitement radiated through the salon and you could feel the morale instantly boost! We became more concerned with working as a team and providing the absolute best service to our clients.”
Kelly’s own business as a stylist improved with implementation of the Summit Salon Systems, which encouraged her to get in the habit of rebooking guests. In the past, Kelly’s clients always called in on the day they wanted an appointment, and Kelly was constantly stressed out, trying to squeeze people in. With the help of the Summit Salon Systems, however, Kelly went from hardly ever being rebooked to having 50 percent of her guests rebook on a regular basis! Now she isn’t focused on trying to
squeeze people in and each client gets 100 percent of her undivided attention. She can concentrate on educating her clients with proper retail service and product knowledge without fear of falling behind on her schedule.
Impact on Clients
Initially, Village Salon & Spa did lose between twenty and thirty guests as a result of the new changes. But this made way for new guests who care more about where the salon is going instead of where it’s been. The systems set in place by the Summit Salon Business Center have allowed the stylists to better manage their business and clientele, and the impact on the guests has been extremely positive. For example, the guests love all of the new internal marketing promotions, such as the welcome packets and coupons for new guests.
Village Salon & Spa greatly values keeping a gauge on the satisfaction of their guests. This focus on guest satisfaction has provided the business with knowledge and awareness, which plays a big part in the success of the salon.
“Our salon uses many different tools to measure our guest’s experiences, from online reviews, surveys, and websites to talking and engaging with our guests face to face,” Jenny explains. “We consistently ask our patrons how their experience was, because it helps us to ensure that we are constantly doing the very best that we can. And, everyone loves to be in the spotlight and have a chance to be heard!”
Where They Are Now
In such a short amount of time, Summit Salon Business Center (SSBC) has helped Village Salon & Spa increase the profitability of everyone involved in the business. The stylists have seen their income increase, on average, from $28,903 to a projected $35,541. The salon as a whole has seen a profit increase of 35 to 40 percent. As owners, Tony and Kelly now set goals, establish budgets, and make projections. They now have a new sense of clarity about how best to grow their business.
Although the culture and atmosphere of the salon have been strong from the start, they have improved even more with the help of The Summit. “We tackle issues head on and are able to use our Summit Salon Consultant to help mediate through tough situations,” Jenny explains. “In the end the entire salon has grown and our business relationship has been strengthened from the top down. SSBC helped us with relationships, and relationships are one of the most important aspects of life.”
Education now plays a greater role than ever before at Village Salon & Spa. “Since attending The Summit we began to understand that this was an opportunity we could provide for all of our stylists,” says Jenny. “Now our stylists are involved with many different classes from business courses through Summit to cosmetology classes regarding the latest trends. I’d love to be known as the salon that regards education as one of our top priorities… how can we be the best at client satisfaction if we are not educating our team?”
Tony and Kelly encourage anyone considering The Summit to attend. “It is well worth the money for the priceless knowledge and advice,” explains Tony. “You’re essentially paying pennies upfront to make the big bucks in the future. However, you must be accountable to the program. You will definitely get out what you put in.”
Prior to attending The Summit
- Total Annual Sales: $353,389
- Average Retail/month: $5,262
- Average Services/month: $24,187
7 months after launching the Summit Salon Systems:
- Average Retail/month: $9,232
- Average Services/month: $35,041
Village Salon and Spa’s Summit Salon Consultant is Kara Mayes.