Missad: We did the first Strictly Business with no intentions to do more, but about seven years ago we started doing extended, four-day seminars for Kerastase and L’Oréal salons, eventually partnering with Salon Summit Business Center, who does the follow-up coaching.
ST: What was your overall goal with this new kind of business education?
Missad: What we set out to do is redefine what success looks like for a salon. Salons often measure their success by how many employees they had or how many locations or the volume of their top-line sales—that’s all nice, but if you’re not profitable, it doesn’t matter.
Gambuzza: At the time, I would go to shows and hang with other owners and I knew my operation was smaller than many of the other owners, but I also realized we were making more money. It’s not about what you take in, it’s about what you get to keep.
Missad: It’s the difference between buying a job (a place you get to work in) versus owning a real company. You have to want to lead a company. We take salons from survival mode to success mode to sustainability. A sustainable salon is predictable, process-driven and highly pro table, regardless of whether the owner is doing hair or not.
ST: What is The Profitability Project, and what do you hope it achieves?
Missad: Our overall goal is to give owners hope, to show them that finding their way to profitability is not as complicated as they think. Through The Profitability Project, we’ll be partnering with SALON TODAY to bring our concepts to a wider audience through a monthly column/exercise in each issue, profit tips on MODERN SALON TV, best practice webinars, as well as live events. Frank and I will continue teaching Strictly Business for those who want to dive deeper and learn more.
Gambuzza: We hope owners will get to the point that every time they need to make a decision about their business, they consider the nancial implications—how it will impact their ROI (Return On Investment)—and that will help guide them to the right decision.
ST: When it comes to building a profitable business, where have you found most owners go wrong?
Gambuzza: It’s a simple answer really— they work on trying to keep individuals in the salon happy, as opposed to building a company. They make emotional decisions, instead of decisions based on numbers. They never calculate what numbers they need to make to pay for the decisions that they’re making. Then after a quarter or six months, they discover they’re broke.