During Zona Salons Prosperity Panel, Stylists Stefanie Gilardo, Michelle Freitas and Shelly Kotkosky share their personal financial planning and savings strategies with their peers. Now that Frank Zona has grown Zona Salons into three locations surrounding Weymouth Massachusetts, he makes it a goal to get before the entire team about eight times a year to review the company’s performance, reinforce goals, and identify opportunities. In addition, Zona plans two staff appreciation events a year, a day-long annual summit and several technical education events per year.
But this past April, Zona took the gathering idea one step further by organizing the staff’s first annual symposium in a local, community art center. “This one was more of a team thinking and planning session,” says Zona. “It was still inspirational—but in the idea sense rather than the artistic sense.”
For the symposium, Zona brought in William Edge, a fellow salon owner and motivational speaker to kick off the day, and he hired Qnity’s Tom Kuhn to share success factors and coach the staff through setting and achieving specific salon goals in the afternoon. But Zona also wanted to feature and celebrate some of his own staff in the roster of speakers, while at the same time addressing a need he’d witnessed among his team.
For many years, Zona has conducted an annual financial questionnaire of his staff asking them what they’d like their W2 to read the following year, and what are some of their personal financial goals, as well as their plans for attaining those goals. “Although I don’t know what the stats are, when I think about a stylist leaving a salon or even industry, it really has to do with the stylist’s perception of their own success.” the Zona. “And, many times, a stylist’s personal success is influenced more by the way they manage their money rather than how much they bring in.”
For Zona’s New England community, home ownership continues to be a benchmark of financial success, and a goal for many of his younger staff members. But over the years, he’s discovered that many of the recent cosmetology school grads didn’t have a personal financial plan for achieving those goals. So, Zona looked at the members of his team who’ve been able to purchase their own homes while in their 20s, and asked three of them if they’d be willing to share their personal stories in a special symposium session he dubbed The Prosperity Panel.