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Management Practices

By Strategically Planning for Growth, Salon Spa W Averages a 20% Increase Year after Year

Stacey Soble | March 7, 2019 | 8:07 AM

China Wong doesn’t need to wait until the end of the year to study her P&L to learn if Salon Spa W will hit double-digit growth in 2019—she knows it will, because she’s already planning for it. Since opening 13 years ago, Wong has averaged a 20% growth in overall sales year over year, with 17% being her lowest.

“For us, it’s been a lot about planning projections and forecasts,” she says. “We study the overall sales of the same quarter the previous year—we are targeting a specific percentage and then we look at what we need to do to get there,” she says.

“Some years we need to get a little more creative to make the goal and it will really drive our focus. We might look at how our gift cards did last year, and we’ll design a special promotion around that. We’ll study the floorplan of the salon and decide if we could fit in another new stylist. Or, we’ll look at bringing in another service category. Last year, we brought on VoMor extensions as a new revenue category, and this year it’s brow tints.”

For the Salon Spa W team, that growth goal drives new service initiatives, retail initiatives and how they interact with guests.

“I think for many people growth is an afterthought, something that they celebrate at the end of the year,” she explains. “Instead we back into it by studying the numbers and looking for the opportunities to grow.”

Approaching the coming year with wildly important goals shapes what Wong herself focuses on.

“I tend to work on the big picture instead of getting caught up in the little problems owners face every day,” she says. “It’s a bit like dieting—you have to focus on the big picture. It’s not the end of the world if you eat a cookie every once in a while, but you can’t throw in the towel if you do.”

Wong is passionate about using the ZeeZor app, because she can check the salon’s benchmarks at any time.

“It’s so simple for our team members to look at the red number or the green number and immediately understand where they are against the goal,” Wong says. “And, we celebrate the people who are having fantastic performances. Maybe their service dollars are not what they wanted, but they still got to the goal in retail sales. They want more of that good feeling, and we focus on the behaviors that help people get to their goals.”

Wong also launched the Rising Star Group by identifying the 16 team members she believes have the most opportunity for growth.

“We meet once a month and they meet weekly with the education director. They write down their numbers from ZeeZor on a tracking page—writing them down helps them stick in your mind,” she says. “Last year, this team went through the Qnity program for an extra layer of support, and we focused on specific behaviors that will help them reach their goals. We’re solely focused on wins, and celebrate with fun things, like last year we got into crazy cat shirts and stickers.”

The added support paid off. In 2018, everyone in the Rising Star Group reached their goals.

On May 19-21, the Data-Driven Salon Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, will spotlight data stars including Wong in a hands-on workshop approach to mining the metrics to drive salon performance. Learn more at datadrivensalon.com.

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