To cover the salon’s overhead, the Huffstutters learned they needed to have 17 of the 18 chairs rented. “The strategies to recruit new leasers all included giving money away, which wasn’t an option if we wanted to become profitable,” says Luke. “And the rental price in our area was kept low because of competition. I felt like a slumlord, and culturally we found it difficult to hold the team to the standard we wanted to be known for.”
By 2007, Luke was contemplating quitting altogether before he learned about Summit Salon Consulting Group, signed up for a seminar and “bought into the model hook, line and sinker,” he says. “I hired a consultant to help me implement the systems, and we offered the 12 remaining renters the option to come on board as a commissioned stylist or continuing to work as a renter—three of them took us up on the offer. Simultaneously, we followed the Summit Associate Program and started growing commissioned stylists alongside our renters.”
In 2013, Luke is happy to report the salon is on track to do 1.4 million in gross sales, has 21 commissioned staff members, four renters and a full front desk team. “The transition wasn’t all roses, but I instantly felt relief knowing I had a plan in place and the opportunity to create a culture I was proud of with no glass ceiling.”
Frank Gambuzza is the owner of The Visage Group with four salon and spa locations in Knoxville, Tennessee. Scott Missad is the CEO of Gene Juarez, with 10 salons and two academies in Seattle, Washington. For more information about Strictly Business, the live education seminars founded by Gambuzza and Missad, or about the Summit Salons Consulting Group, contact Julie Oeffling at 800-718-5949.