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Salon Today 200 Celebrates 20 Years!

Stacey Soble | July 11, 2016 | 9:20 AM

Do you remember when you turned 20? It was such an accomplishment to finally enter your adult years, yet you still had a long, bright future to plan and enjoy.

The Salon Today 200, our hallmark salon business competition that recognizes growth and best practices, is turning 20 this coming January, and we’ve got some exciting things planned.

When Michele Musgrove, then editor of Salon Today and now our associate publisher and editorial director, was conceiving of the idea behind this recognition program, salon numbers were closely guarded secrets. Michele decided the best way to verify a salon’s growth was to request copies of its tax returns. Industry naysayers, including some of our management at the time, told her that could never be done. “It’d would be challenging to get one trusting owner to give you a look at his or her numbers, let alone 200,” they said.

Because Michele not only wanted to celebrate the success stories of great salons, she wanted to help establish important business benchmarks that all salons could measure themselves against, she persevered. Her instinct was rewarded when a landslide of applications and tax returns came in, and the first Salon Today 200 was born in 1998. 

In 2010, our popular success competition underwent a metamorphosis. After the economy started to tank in 2008, the strongest salons in our industry were doing well to hold steady, and few were posting growth figures. At the same time, our editors thought it would be a good idea to recognize the best business practices that contribute to growth, and we created competition categories that allowed readers to spotlight their strong points while simultaneously leveling the playing field for salons of all sizes.

Our 20th anniversary competition will honor this new tradition by featuring 11 competition categories, including Growth, Compensation & Benefits, Retention and Referral Programs, Customer Service, Employee Education, Salon Culture, Inventory Management, Philanthropy, Technology, Retail & Merchandising and Planned Profitability.

To commemorate our 20th birthday, we’ll be  issuing celebratory certificates to salons that have made the list five years or more. This will require a little work on our part, since we’ll have to enter in missing data from our early years to create a database that can study all 20.

We’ll also take a closer look at some of the salons featured in that first 1998 competition. We’ll be looking at where they are now, and what they’ve done to maintain their growth.

Plus, we'll take an interesting look at salon business then and how it's different today.

Our honorees will also enjoy one helluva birthday party in New Orleans at the close of Serious Business. You won’t want to miss it, and the only way to earn your ticket is to visit salontoday.com and start working on your application. Due date is August 31!

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