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2015 Salon Today 200: Advanced Education

A steady infusion of advanced education keeps a salon’s team on-trend, motivated, creative and at the top of their game. In return, this renewed spirit fuels the salon’s sales and leads to growth. We asked ST200 applicants in this category to make a presentation to their staff memebers that outlines all the educational opportunities the salon/spa will provide for the upcoming calendar year. Extra credit was awarded to salons that implemented programs to cover educational costs and that required staff to come back and share what they learned with the team.

Salon Today 200

2015 Salon Today 200: Recruitment & Training

Recruiting a team that best fits your culture and training them to your exact standards lays the foundation for success in the future. We invited ST200 applicants to write to a graduating student and describe their methods for cultivating candidates, their interviewing processes and expectatiopnsm and the unique stages of their training programs. Extra points were awarded to salons that developed relationships with area schools, sceintfic systems for screening applicants, and creative ways to ensure new hires were ready to hit the floor.

Salon Today 200

2015 Salon Today 200: Retail and Merchandising

One of the most challenging management tasks in the salon is to motivate staff to retail products, but those who succeed quickly discover a path to higher profits. To challenge applicants in this category, we asked them to put together a presentation of their top retailing strategies, including outlining their top campaigns, sharing programs for educating clients and explaining any in-salon retail competitions to inspire staff.

Salon Today 200

2015 Salon Today 200: Compensation and Benefits

While it’s the responsibility of the salon’s staff to take care of the clients, it’s the responsibility of its owner to take care of the team. These salons attract top talent through competitive salaries, attractive benefits, a flexible environment and an energizing culture. To evaluate the workplace environment, we challenged these applicants to tell their compensation story to a local reporter doing a feature on top places to work. They were invited to clearly outline career paths, salary expectations and benefits packages.

Salon Today 200

2015 Salon Today 200: Environmental Sustainability

A commitment to the environment is one of the noblest endeavors a salon or spa owner can embrace, but it also is a wise business decision. To assess the greeness of our applicants, we invited owners to state their best case to a local environmental action group, outlining their eco-friendly practices and policies. Extra credit was awarded to salons that took the extra step to help educate staff, clients and the community about sustainable choices. 

Salon Today 200

2015 Salon Today 200: Planned Profitability

Continually growing service and product sales while trimming expenses is a balancing act for any salon and spa owner and the profit percentage one posts at year’s end is their management scorecard. When a salon owner can step out from behind the chair and grow a sustainable business that can thrive without relying on the owner’s income as a service provider, that’s the mark of a truly successful beauty business. We invited ST200 applicants to prepare a presentation to fellow salon owners showcasing long-term strategies for growing a sustainable business and cultivating a profit.

Salon Today 200

2015 Salon Today 200: Customer Service

What does it take for a guest to truly feel welcome in your salon or spa? Today’s most customer-service savvy salons continue to go beyond a warm smile, a cool beverage and a trendy read in creating an experience that is personal, unique, and engaging. To gauge a salon’s commitment to customer service, we asked about specific service staff training, mystery shopping and guest surveys. We also challenged applicants to put together a customer service presentation intended for the head concierge of the Ritz Carlton who is seeking a first-class experience for her guests.


Salon Today 200

2015 Salon Today 200: Technology

While salon and spa technology plays an important role in every aspect of the business, including  appointment booking, management, marketing, customer service and even the actual services, keeping on top of the latest advancements is a tough job for any owner. To determine all the different ways applicants tap technology, we challenged them to put together presentations to their local bank as a supporting document for securing financing.

Salon Management

6 Thoughts on Hiring and Motivating Salon Employees

"It was like the divine 'aha' occurred about 10 years ago when I realized that hiring smart made all the difference," says Bonnie Waters, owner of Changes Salon and Day Spa (who employs over 60 stylists). "When we did that, and we really did a thorough interview, there's so much less turnover and less money spent in training and so on."


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