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What’s Next For Me?

Sam Villa

Author Sam Villa | Founding Partner of Sam Villa

Hello, my name is Colleen Buck.   My work experience includes 30 years in the Corporate Business World – 10 years in Banking and 20 years in the Mobile Phone Industry.  In 2006, my company was suddenly sold and I was out of a job!  The economy was tanking; I was scared and panicked – “Ughhhhhhhhhhh, What’s Next!!”

Now, 4 years later, I own Elle Marie Hair Studio, a $1,000,000 salon with 22 employees and last month we opened our 2nd location!! I always wanted to be my own boss or better yet, not have a boss and manage my own business but never knew what to do.  I was the Director of Human Resources for a large Telecommunications Company and thought I should tap into my people skills for my next “adventure in life.”  I love working with people and nurturing and caring for them so I decided to go to The Academy of Coach Training and become a Certified Professional Life Coach and a Licensed “Living Your Vision” Coach.   I get a lot of satisfaction helping people grow and develop, achieve their dreams and supporting them to take their career to the next level.  My Coaching business was growing, I felt great pride about what I was doing but I needed more and was again asking myself “What’s Next?” My daughter Lorry was a hairdresser working for a small, miss-managed hair salon squeaking by making maybe $20,000 a year.  As I was contemplating my next adventure, she said, “Let’s open a hair salon!!”  Of course this was a silly idea as I knew nothing about the industry or managing a hair salon.   But, my success in the corporate world and in my Life Coaching work was always the result of setting measurable goals, taking some risks, being persistent and working hard.  I was ready for my next adventure in life so we agreed to “look into it”. The first step anyone should take before considering a new career is to write a business plan so we went to the Internet, got a Business Plan template and started writing.  Getting your plan down in black and white helps to envision the reality of your goals and to take your plan to the next level.  Our business plan included Our Mission Statement and Goals and Objectives – who are we and what do we want to do.  A written plan helps you stay focused and on track.  It’s so easy to get off track, but a written business plan always pulls you back and keeps you on the right path.  A Business Plan should include a Market Analysis of the industry and your location and a Financial Plan that includes important assumptions, projected profit and loss, projected cash flow and a projected balance sheet.  In addition, the Business Plan includes your strategy for opening your new salon and an implementation plan.  What is your competitive edge, what is your marketing strategy, sales strategy, sales forecasts, etc? Developing our Business Plan was an interesting process for us.  It helped us identify who we are, what we want and how to get there but it also helped us realized that we really didn’t know the day-to-day operations on managing a salon or hairstylists – we needed a System.  We needed to educate ourselves to learn more about the Salon industry.  We began by meeting with several Salon Managers, made phone calls to industry leaders, scoured the internet and signed up to attend the Summit Salon Business College.

We learned a lot during our 5 days at the Summit and met some great resources and mentors who helped and supported us to get started.   They reviewed our business plan and challenged us on several of the details.  We then hired a KRS Consultant who we met with monthly to help us establish our salon.  He helped us implement the KRS Level System, set some specific goals and objectives, wrote company policies and procedures, developed a sound budget to track and monitor and hired and trained our first hair stylists.   We also purchased the Envision Salon Management System that supports the KRS Level System.   We opened our doors exactly 4 years ago on August 3, 2006. We are proud of our accomplishments so far, it’s been hard at times but we never hesitate to HAVE FUN on our journey to grow our business. In my next blog, I share my experience on building a successful salon team.

Posted by Colleen Buck