The Summit Experience

by Marti Nelson

In helping young stylists set personal and professional goals, I often hear them say that someday they want own a salon. It’s a common dream, yet just as often when working with existing salon owners we hear that the dream didn’t turn out as they had expected.  There are money struggles, staff issues, client problems, and more. Consistently we learn that 80 percent of salons are still not profitable. Although salons continue to be on the “recession proof” industry list, we meet many owners who are struggling. As the present economy appears to be the new reality, salon companies must commit to working with systems that will not only keep their salons open, but enable them to continue to grow.

The Summit founders began with the key principle to “keep the independent salon alive and profitable.” Since its inception in 2002, there have been over 150 Summit seminars with 2000+ salons attending.  Eight-five percent of attending salons have had salon consultants provide training on how to grow their companies.

I could tell you about The Summit experience, but I want you to hear what some of the Summit salon owners are saying.

Cathy Hall, owner of Makin’ Waves Salon in Belfast, ME said, “It is the most amazing experience! You have made such a difference in my business and life!” Cathy reported a 26 percent increase the first year on the Summit Salon Systems. More significantly, Makin’ Waves went from losing money every month to being in the top 5 percent of the most profitable salons. Cathy believes that consistent coaching from a Summit Salon consultant has been key to her business and leadership growth.

Kelli Roe-Philo, owner of Mirage Hair Studio, Myrtle Beach, SC said, “The Summit has shown our team that we can make a lot more money working fewer hours. It has given us goals for the future and allowed the idea of having the Summit Salon Associate Program to become a reality.” Kelli was already showing a profit. The Summit Salon Systems simply married her wise business acumen with a clear, direct roadmap, which enabled her to grow people.

Danea Johnson, owner of Concepts Styling Salon, Cape Giradeau, MO said, The Summit program is the best thing that ever happened to my business! We went from being an ‘okay’ salon to becoming a booming business…and we continue to grow!” Danea is a gifted mentor in her company. She went to The Summit as the owner of a blended salon. By successfully implementing the level system with the support of a Summit Salon consultant, she coached her commission stylists to accelerated growth, which facilitated a smooth transition into an all-commission salon. She didn’t mandate it or require it. Her independent contract stylists simply saw the growth and wanted to be apart of it! The result: in four years she went from monthly gross sales of $23,000 to $66,000!

Ashley Martin Hardiman, owner of Salon Zen, in Norman, OK said, “Becoming a Summit Salon was definitely the best decision we have ever made for our business. It forced us to recommit to each other as business partners, and to our staff. What a ride it has been! Not only do we now have a mentor to lead us as owners, but we have learned to mentor our staff, helping them grow to be exceptional stylists and business people.”

Robyn Reed Paul, owner of Dr. Fly’s Salon, in Joplin, MO said, “Summit has taught me what it means to be a leader and to invest in those around me. Our salon has grown 50 percent every year in the past four years!” Robyn has expanded to three locations in the Joplin vicinity and continues to see amazing growth. She has combined her strong leadership skills with the Summit Salon systems to create a healthy and prosperous environment for continued growth for many people.

Liz Covin, owner of Vivid Salon in Atlanta, GA said, “February 2013 marked my two years as a Summit Salon. I truly believe if it weren’t for the support I have received, not only from Summit, but also from Salon Centric and Redken/Pureology, I wouldn’t be in business today. I am forever grateful for The Summit experience, and I look forward to a long working relationship. Thank you for helping owners like me make our dreams come true!” Vivid’s gross sales have increased by 66 percent since Liz attended The Summit. She has continued to grow by attending additional SSBC training such as the Associate ProgramSummit Phase II, and has recently signed on with the Summit Salon Financial Services. A second location is one of her not-too-distant goals.

The stories go on! And these salons are not simply the exception to the rule. As those who have signed on for the Summit experience have discovered, the stories shared by these salon owners are quickly becoming the rule.