Wendy White-McCown is the owner of Signatures Salon in Lake Charles, LA.
If your salon is anything like Signatures, employees want to work less and make more... This sounds like an oxymoron, but with lots of thought and execution, this has become a reality in their salon.
Back in 2011, in a salon meeting, she asked a simple question. "What would make Signatures Salon an even better place to work?" In response a stylist said, "It would be cool to work 3 days a week". Wendy felt like she really needed to do her best to develop a strategy to make this a reality for her employees, so she scheduled a 2 day retreat with her salon leaders to weight their options. Off they went to learn just how they could work less and potentially have higher profits.
As they began looking at their chair utilization rate they saw lots of opportunity to increase profits by having each chair 100% utilized (or booked) each day. Since Signatures is open 6 days a week, and stylists were working 5 days on average, they knew this was an opportunity that needed to be examined more closely.
A question came to light for them during their analysis, “what if our stylists were only working 3 days each week and were 90%-100% productive verses working 5 days a week and only being 70% productive?” They realized that there current schedule could easily lead to burn out, working 5 days a week, month in and month out. Wendy and her leadership team wanted more than anything to retain their stylists for the long-haul, so they saw this as a way to keep their stylists long term while increasing the profits of the salon.
This transition took 2 years to implement and, after the completion of year 2, there was an 82% increase in net profits. The salon’s expenses didn't increase much while the revenue increased significantly. With the higher profits Signatures has been able to pay their support staff more, which has created tenure in that department as well. Their salon with just 7 chairs now employs 14 hairstylists that work just 3 very efficient days each week.
Wendy says although the 3 Day Work Week has been a win, win, win for their stylists, support staff and the salon, it's not the scheduling and chair utilization that solely attributes to their success. The largest contributing factor to the success of Signatures Salon is the systems of efficiency and quality that stem from the implementation of the 3 Day Work Week, she says.
Listed below are a few factors Wendy believes to be very important in a highly productive salon:
- Stay connected with your team through daily huddles, weekly 1-on-1s and team meetings.
- Set and maintain measureable goals in your salon through consistent training and coaching.
- Create a culture that people can believe in and thrive in.