For the first time, we’re doing the same with the SALON TODAY 200. As in years past, our list continues to honor the fastest-growing salons in North America—which, let’s face it, was no easy task over the past few years. But for this 13th anniversary issue, we decided to take the ST200 in a new direction by designating the salons that have led our industry in certain best business practices.
Our ST200 Class of 2010 has Tech Titans, Marketing Gurus and Retail Wonders. We’ve identified the Earthly Preservers, the Eager to Pleasers and the industry’s top Talent Scouts. We’ve recognized the HR Wizards, the Rewarders and Retainers, the Education Champions and the Inventory Controllers.
Earning one of these Best Practice designations wasn’t easy. After requiring applicants to provide all kinds of illuminating details about their businesses, we asked multiple questions requiring detailed essay responses. And, we made them back up those compositions with additional data and statistics.
As a result, the ST200 continues its overall mission of establishing and providing important benchmarks that all salon and spa owners can measure then businesses against.
Think of this year’s honorees as the ST200 Class of 2010 and this issue as their yearbook. It’s a chance to look back and reflect on then ideas and use them to plan the future of your own business.
Who is the ST200 Class of 2010? If you took a composite picture of the typical ST200 owner, you would see a salon and spa that...
- Opened its doors in 2000.
- Occupies 4,915 square feet of space.
- Earned an average of $1,665,466 m gross revenue in 2008.
- Experienced an average 21-percent increase in revenues from 2007 to 2008.
- Received 33 percent of their gross revenues from hair cutting and color service sales.
- Charged an average of $48.75 for a shampoo cut and style.
- Charged an average of $64.70 for a single-process color.
- Employed an average of 35 employees.
- Spent almost half (48%) then expenditures on labor costs.
- Is a member of one or more professional associations.
Through the Years
Who says 2008 ended on a bad note? Even though SALON TODAY broadened the focus of the competition to include best practices, the SALON TODAY 200 as a class continued to demonstrate strong growth. In 2003 the average gross revenue was $1,025,730 compared with the $1,665,466 reported for 2008. Despite the economic crash, 2008 gross revenues demonstrated an average 21 percent increase over 2007—a few percentage points slower than years earlier, but still a healthy growth rate.
What’s in a Name? The SALON TODAY 200 Class of 2010 yields some interesting observations when it comes to the name game
- Five salons had a foreign affair, playing with translations of the word beauty: BEAU MONDE SPALON; BELLA CAPELLI SANCTUARIO, BELLA LUCI SALON, BELLA SALON AND DAY SPA, AND BELLE EPOQUE AN ATELIER SALON.
- At least eight got colorful: GREEN PERIDOT, GREENER GRASS HAIR COLOR AND DESIGNS, INDIGO HOME FOR HAIR & BODY, INDIGO SALON AND SPA, JADE AVEDA SALON, JUNGLE RED SALON, RED 7 SALON AND SALON ORANGE MOON.
- While others explored the flora and fauna: LEMON LIME, MANGO SALON, TANGERINE SALONS, WILDFLOWERS SALON AND WISTERIA SALON SPA.
- And, 11 got right to the point, starting their name with word, salon.
Raking It In: When the SALON TODAY 200 Class of 2010 looks at their gross revenues by category, hair cutting services and hair coloring services are head to head with 32% each, followed by retail sales at 18%, skincare and bodycare services at 11%, nail services at 5% and chemical services at 2%.
And, Breaking it Down: Unfortunately what comes in also goes out. At 48% labor costs accounts for almost half of all ST200 expenditures, followed by supplies at 11% lent/mortgage at 8%, takes at 5% marketing/advertising at 3%, and conventional employee benefits education and training, utilities, professional services and insurance at 2% each Owners did keep some of the pie with 4% of the expenditures allotted for owner compensation and 6% making its way into profit. (Other responses accounted for 5%.)
Ramping Up: On average, for each $25,000 to $34,000 in sales, title ST200 add on another employee.
Regional Differences: The states with the largest number of ST200 salons were California., Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio Regionally, 32% of salons were located in the South, 30% in the Midwest 20% in the Northeast: 17% in the West and 1% were outside the United States Regionally there were some interesting differences:
- Salons in the Midwest tend to be larger than other regions
- Salons in the South experienced a much higher growth rate (31%) from 2007 to 2008 than salons in the Midwest or the Northeast
- Salons in the West charge significantly more for both cutting and coloring services than salons in other parts of the country.
- Retail sales represent a higher percentage of gross revenues for salons in the Midwest and West.
- Rent/mortgage and insurance expenses are a higher percentage of total expenses for salons in the West.
To be eligible for consideration in ST200 for 2010, salons had to meet the following criteria:
ESTABLISHMENT: The salon or spa opened on or before January 1, 2007
PROFESSIONALISM: The salon is primarily a provider of professional salon or spa services including, but not limited to, one or more of the following hair care, skin care, body care and spa treatments.
VOLUME: The salon/spa generated annual service and product sales revenues of at least $250,000 per year since 2007.
WILLINGNESS TO SHARE: The owner completed the applicant information portion of the form, providing statistical information about the business, and completed at least one of the Best Practice sections.
VERIFICATION: If the applicant competed in the growth category, the owner submitted documentation to verify financials for 2007 and 2008.
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