Missad: They think they can ‘outwork’ any financial challenge by adding more people, more hours, more chairs, but they get themselves in a position that no matter how hard they work, profitability is a mathematical impossibility. They end up hiring staff who have people on the books, and end up paying too many commissions that are too high. And, often when they do look at finances, they look at the break-even point, without ever factoring in what they want to make as a pro t. Also, they fail to realize that retail and service are equally important when it comes to profitability.
ST: Salon Visage has served as the test salon for your teachings—how has it changed over the years?
Gambuzza: It really changed when we started making each individual accountable through total productivity. Then it no longer was our responsibility to make them successful. We quit accepting mediocrity, we expected performance—of course we gave them all the coaching, training and tools necessary to perform. But once we had measurable accountability, we leveled the playing field for all staff, and we created higher productivity and more revenue for them and better and more pro table lives for ourselves.
ST: How has the economy changed the game for salon owners?
Missad: As I often say, “Easy is over.” Owners can’t get away with the same mistakes, they don’t have that luxury. Owners are classic waiters, they wait for things to get better. But I don’t think things are going to get better–I think this economy is our new reality, in fact, it might even get worse. That doesn’t mean there’s not opportunity. But you’ve got to act, not react.
ST: When owners come to your seminars, what are they looking for?
Missad: It’s not always just about pro t. We usually ask them if their career and their company is at the level of excellence that they dreamed about when they first started. What was the dream? They are looking for the business practices they can put in place that will give them the dream.
Gambuzza: Speaking as a salon owner, they want hope, they want control, they want freedom, and they want an easier way to sleep at night.
Missad: What makes our education great is we are bringing in answers from outside the beauty business, and everything we do is quantifiable. We take answers from outside the beauty industry and right-size them for the salon world.
ST: What kind of results have you seen with the owners you worked with?