**Newsletter Spotlight**

Vanessa Vargas
November, 2016 Newsletter Spotlight

Vanessa began her beauty industry career in 1996 initially wanting to become a teacher.  She knew she was great at styling hair, but she only viewed it as a way to earn money while she sought her teaching degree.  After gaining some valuable experience in a well-organized, corporately structured salon and having a conversation with her mentor in the beauty industry, she decided to open her own salon.  It seemed like the natural thing to do, coming from a family of entrepreneurs, but she felt she knew very little about actually running a business.  Two major issues for her were:  1) growing the finances of the business, and 2) coaching and growing her team.

After approximately seven years in business, Vanessa met Lauren and the Inspiring Champions team.  Champ Camp was the initial spark that she needed to get moving.  She came back from Champ Camp fired up and ready to change everything about her business—all at once!  It was met with much resistance from her staff.  She felt that it was only because they didn’t go to Champ Camp that they weren’t as excited as she.  That was far from the truth of the matter.  Fact is, she didn’t include her staff in any of the changes that she was making, and she didn’t implement those changes gradually.  This caused some major turmoil for Vanessa.  Right before going on maternity leave, her most integral employee (to whom she referred as her “right hand”) quit and left her without a plan.  This not only caused her to lose 60% of her business, but she had to return to work only two weeks after giving birth via Caesarean section.  It was quite the catastrophe!

Vargas admits that she wasn’t a very good leader.  She states that she was more of a “dictator” and wasn’t at all approachable.  Whenever she called a team meeting, her team assumed it was to reprimand them for doing something wrong.  She realized that they feared her instead of respecting her.  She discloses that the reason she held the reins too tightly was because she didn’t want to “give [her] power away”.  She later recognized that there was no power to be had.  She also feared that her staff didn’t have the same goals that she had.  Through business coaching with Randi Rose, one of Inspiring Champions’ dynamic coaches, Vanessa was able to empower her staff.  Before she didn’t allow them to voice what their goals were.  Now, she knows that they want to support her and that their goals are in line with her goals.  Now she asks them what they want to do or be, and she works with them to help them achieve it.  Working with her team--including their input in any changes--to achieve both personal and salon goals surely includes the financial side of things as well.  Each employee is responsible for inputting their numbers into the tracker and seeing where they are individually and as a team.  Earlier this year, they celebrated a financial milestone as a team—it was the first time they made in one week that they usually made in one month.  Talk about growth!

Vanessa’s current staff has been with her for over five years—no turnover!  Before she changed her management style, her staff consisted of only two other members and herself.  One left to have a baby, and the other left to go her own way.  Since then, her staff has doubled to its current size of 6, and no one has left.  They continue to stay with her and grow.  They even look forward to their Saturday morning team meetings.  She recognizes her employees with incentives for doing a great job.  They know they will be acknowledged for what they are doing right.  Vanessa’s new management style contributed to a major shift in the culture of the salon.  When a client walks in, they’re greeted by everyone. “It feels amazing that no one knows who the owner is…” Vanessa beams.  She goes on to explain how much it warms her heart that her everyone is so involved that it’s hard to tell who’s running the space.  Each employee takes ownership of the culture of the salon and of the clients’ experience.  “You may have an appointment with Jessica today, but Jamie offered you something to drink.  Or Julie asked to take your coat…” she states. 

When asked her advice to other salon owners, Vargas responded, “Get yourself a business coach.  You need to surround yourself with people who know more than you do.  Hire someone who knows more than you do.  That’s the only way…I truly whole-heartedly feel that that’s what Lauren offers…She has so many talented people on her team that know so much more than we could ever know.  We know how to do hair.  That’s what we know.  To run a business and run it systematically, efficiently, successfully?  That’s her nugget.”

Her goal in 3-5 years is to have a split shift schedule (to enable her to spend more time with family) and have 12 stylists.  As for revenue, they are well on their way to being a million-dollar salon!


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EDITORIAL NOTE:
Inspiring Champions is a business and coaching company offering live training camps, coaching and mentoring services, webinars, audio tapes and educational resources.

For more information:
call 800-496-9305
visit www.InspiringChampions.com
email info@inspiringchampoins.com
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For more information:
call 703-359-6000,
visit www.MktgSols.com
email MktgSols@MktgSols.com

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