Camille Albane – Top 10 Problems We Solve For Independent Salon Owners
Camille Albane – Top 10 Problems We Solve For Independent Salon Owners
Camille Albane: Problems We Solve
Salon owners are smart, creative people who, every day, are being pulled in two different directions. On the one hand, they are talented stylists who more often than not have a large and loyal client base. On the other, they are dynamic business owners who are always trying to grow their salon and its offerings.
There’s often a great deal of tension between these two interests, because there’s only so much time in the already-long business day of a salon owner. But there doesn’t have to be. Selling to, or converting to, a Camille Albane salon can solve the problem quickly, efficiently and profitably.
Here are some of the major problems salon owners face, and how Camille Albane solves them:
No. 1: Owners don’t have employees who are committed to building your business — they have stylists who rent chairs from you to build their own book.
What it means: Finding motivated stylists who will work with you to build your brand is one of the hardest challenges an owner faces. The chair-rental business model doesn’t lend itself to success, because the first thing on that stylist’s mind every day is making enough money to pay rent. Sure, he or she wants the salon to succeed, but the bottom line is volume. You’re not a trusted partner; you’re the landlord. Rather than working with you on the salon’s overall direction, these stylists only want to make sure that they have the supplies they need to serve “their” customers. This is not to say chair rentals are all bad. If your location is prime and popular, and you have enough chairs, you can bring in enough money to pay most of your own rent.
The Camille Albane Solution: Camille Albane has an aggressive commission structure for stylists who want to leverage the Camille Albane brand, location, services and world-class training to become a force in the beauty industry. This ties each stylist back into the salon. Owners receive a percentage of revenue generated by every cut, color, service and product being purchased in the salon. This makes the business more valuable, because the customer is transacting with a salon, not a stylist. If the stylist leaves, the customer is more likely to stay.
No. 2: Finding good stylists.
What it means: When owners are asked why someone should want to work with them, the answers are very clear and passionate. Years of experience, strong customer loyalty, specialized techniques and services, and many other solid arguments are made. The problem here is those arguments are more about why a customer should choose the salon for services, not why a stylist should choose it as a place to work. If a stylist/owner doesn’t understand that difference, he or she will not succeed as an employer, but merely be a landlord.
The Camille Albane Solution: With Camille Albane’s spring and fall collections, and world-class training twice a year by French master stylist, paid for by Camille Albane, an owner can offer stylists a career path, upward mobility and renewable artistry they can’t find anywhere else.
No. 3: Stylists aren’t building the salon’s brand; they are building their own.
What it means: When an owner goes to work every day, it’s doubtful that the top-of-mind thinking is, “What can I do today to make my shopping-center landlord more money and promote their business?” The salon owner is a tenant; he or she wants the center to succeed, but it’s not their responsibility. It’s the same with chair rentals. The stylist certainly doesn’t’ want the salon to close, but if it does he or she just moves on. Everyone wants more money, but in the chair-rental model the owner can only become more profitable by charging more rent, which means the stylists make less. The magic can’t happen unless everyone’s interests are aligned, and everyone is making money.
The Camille Albane Solution: The Camille Albane commission structure means that the stylists know what they are being paid, as does the owner. The entire staff works as a team, vs. a landlord-tenant relationship that by its nature will always benefit one side more than the other. The owner is free to build his or her book of business, knowing that a percentage of every cut, color, service and product the salon and its stylists sell will be coming to him or her.
No. 4: Owners have all the risk; stylists keep most of the reward.
What it means: If a customer is unhappy, is the shopping-center owner whose reputation is destroyed on the Internet? Nope. The negative reviews mention the salon name front and center. So even though a stylist is to blame for sub-par service, the owner takes the reputation hit.
The chair-rental system means that the salon owner, as landlord, shoulders most of the business risk. The salon name is easily tarnished, and even if every stylist is busy from open to close, the rental money coming in remains the same. Raise the rent, the stylist might leave. It’s an unsustainable business model.
The Camille Albane Solution: By promoting brand more than individual stylists, Camille Albane succeeds as a destination. The unique shopping experience, custom training for stylists, spring and fall hair collections and branded products set Camille Albane apart. It’s not an hour in a stylist’s chair; it’s a destination for beauty and pampering. The experience is as important as the cut and color.
No. 5: Training and developing stylists is a never-end cycle.
What it means: Under the chair-rental business model, stylists come to the owner with a state license and often not much else. Some have invested in additional training, and so they are better than others. The owner, however, isn’t going to know that until he or she sees the stylist in action — or gets an earful from an unhappy customer.
Investing in training would seem to be the answer, but that’s time and money directly out of the owner’s pocket in terms of lost clients and the trainer’s fee. Stylists may or may not attend — they’re self employed, and have no more desire to lose a day’s business than the owner does. The end result is a group of stylists who aren’t offering anything new, and customers who are always looking for just that when they visit a salon. Nobody wins.
The Camille Albane Solution: By bringing in world-class, professional stylists and trainers to discuss new European techniques, as well as how to deliver the new spring and fall collections, a Camille Albane salon is always fashion forward. Camille Albane covers this training; all the salon owner and his or her staff have to do is show up. The No. 1 reason clients leave a salon, even one they like, is that the products and cuts have grown stale. New cuts, colors and Camille Albane-branded products keep everything fresh, with no risk to the owner.
No. 6: The stylists own the clients.
What it means: When one stylist rises above the others in a salon, it’s only a matter of time before he or she moves to another location, or opens a competing business — usually nearby so the client base can be maintained. In the chair-rental model, a salon owner is a landlord whose tenants are actively undermining his or her business. The owner has a following thanks to his or her own skills, but doesn’t know most of the salon’s other customers well. That’s especially true of hair coloring, where 80 percent of clients retain their colorist year over year.
The Camille Albane Solution: Location, location, location. Camille Albane salons are in the most convenient, desirable parts of a city. They are in the fashionable areas where clients want to eat, shop and spend time. Couple that with a unique shopping experience that includes branded merchandise, as well as a constant influx of new cuts and colors thanks to a spring and fall collection every year, and it’s easy to see how loyalty shifts from the stylist to the salon.
Camille Albane owners also get to build a relationship with all their customers, thanks to a database on each visitor. Cut and color preferences, along with preferred products, is at an owner’s fingertips. If a stylist leaves, the owner has a better than even chance of retaining that customer because he or she doesn’t want to give up the Camille Albane experience. Stylists also must sign a non-compete within a three-mile radius of the salon as well, so even if they do leave the owner knows that new competition isn’t going to spring up next door.
No. 7: When the stylist/owner isn’t at his or her chair, there’s no money being earned.
What it means: Salon owners are usually stylists trying to keep their own book of business as full as possible while also supervising the shop and dealing with the stylists who rent chairs from them. This means the owner has to, all day, every day, balance his or her own clientele with running the business. It’s too much to juggle, and the operations side almost always cuts into the styling side.
The Camille Albane Solution: Owning a Camille Albane franchise means taking a commission of close to 50 percent of what each stylist earns on each client, as well as a percentage of all product sales. Because Camille Albane clients’ per-ticket prices tend to be high, that means a steady source or revenue that’s significantly better than what owners make from chair rentals alone.
This means the owner isn’t chained to a styling chair, but can actually take some time away from the business, or just work a full day satisfying clients with the latest cuts and colors. The revenue stream is based on the salon volume, not the owner’s volume. That means he or she can dial back on styling, or get out of it entirely, and still make as much if not more than he or she was bringing in before while wearing two hats.
What it means: There are two ways to make money in any business; cash flow, or what is left over after all the bills are paid; and equity, what the business is worth when sold. Successful small businesses earn equity over time, just as houses do, netting the owner at least three times what he or she actual makes per year. For example, if a small business owner is making $75,000 a year, then a solid price for the business should be $225,000.
It’s different for salons. They usually only bring two times what the owner makes or even less. Many don’t sell at all, and the owner just shuts the business down. Why? Because often the stylists who are renting chairs from that owner will leave, taking their books of business with them. The new owner has to build the salon from the ground up, and he or she knows this. Buying a shell isn’t a very strong value proposition, so single-salon sales are not a seller’s market by any means.
The Camille Albane Solution: A Camille Albane salon will sell for three times, or more, of what the owner is making. In fact, most Camille Albane owners end up expanding their venture and owning several salons; their own “mini chain.” This is because their customers are loyal to the brand, not to a specific stylist. A Camille Albane owner has products, services and systems in place that propel the business forward. Brand equity is an ongoing proposition, and so when the owner decides to sell, he or she has a business on the market that’s a proven profit generator. This is a much better place to start negotiating from, and it’s why owners making $100,000 a year are selling their salons for anywhere from $250,000 to $400,000.
No. 9: I can’t grow my business.
What it means: Most salon owners make the majority of their income doing cuts and colors. When they’re busy doing that, they’re not marketing the salon. If their book is full, that means no more clients. End result? An owner whose income doesn’t look very different from the stylist behind the next chair, except for being responsible for rent, overhead and operations.
The Camille Albane Solution: By providing world-class training by internationally acclaimed stylists, Camille Albane ensures a steady stream of qualified stylists. The spring and fall collections, upscale locations and high-quality, branded products give a stylist much more to sell than just a cut and color, and so they make more. That kind of word gets around, and brings in more stylists. That means more customers, and so word-of-mouth marketing takes off with very little work by the owner.
No. 10: I am an artist and creative professional, not a businessperson.
What it means: Most salon owners are entrepreneurs, and know the value of owning a business. But they also are gifted stylists, and never want to be too far away from a chair. How to blend the two?
The Camille Albane Solution: Camille Albane lets an owner be both. From unique products and training to back-office systems that increase efficiencies, Camille Albane knows how to make women look and feel beautiful — and make money doing it. Strategies for marketing, stylist recruitment and retention, customer acquisition and retention and more are in place, and are proven winners when it comes to keeping the business growing.