**Featured Spotlight**

Vanessa Vargas
September, 2016 Spotlight

When Vanessa began her beauty industry career in 1996, her dream was to become a teacher.  She saw “doing hair”—something at which she was very skilled—as a way to earn income while she earned her teaching degree.  Her high school cosmetology instructor, who was both a great inspiration and influence, convinced her that she could easily do both.  Her senior year in high school, she took a job at one of the most prestigious salon & spa businesses in New Jersey.  She would soon be graduating high school with her State Board license and also had a job in a salon that was very organized, corporately-structured, and offered her a host of benefits that included paid time off.

Seven years later, Vanessa, armed with her 2-year plan, sought the advice of her high school instructor regarding opening her own salon.  Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, it seemed like the natural thing to do; but she knew nothing about actually running a business.  All she knew was how to do hair and make her clients happy.  She was “comfortable behind the chair”, as she puts it.  Even though she didn’t have a strong “business sense”, she knew the value of seeking wisdom from someone who knew more than she.  Her instructor, who was also a salon owner and a State Board examiner, answered Vanessa’s numerous questions:  What type of insurance do I need?  Should I lease or buy my salon equipment?  How many square feet should the salon space be?

After that conversation, Vanessa’s 2-year plan quickly became her 6-week plan as her instructor gave her the keys to her salon to take over.  She was both excited and scared, but she took the leap of faith.  “You either fly or you fall,” Vanessa asserts.  She soon realized she didn’t know the first thing about managing business finances.  She was overwhelmed with quarterly taxes, payroll taxes, the cost of supplies, and other mounting expenses.  Oftentimes, she went without a paycheck to make sure the business stayed afloat, all while working 50 hours a week, 6 days a week.  She knew she was making money, but wasn’t sure that she was profitable.  She knew how to keep her bills paid, but wasn’t sure where her business stood financially. She knew how to be her own boss, but didn’t know how to be a business owner.  She had no clue how to coach and grow her team while growing her finances.

After 7 years of running her business that way, she met Lauren and the Inspiring Champions team.  Vanessa attended Champ Camp and returned to the salon “fired up.”  She was eager to change everything about her business.  She also attended Cash Flow Camp in order to change her financial perspective.  She states that Cash Flow Camp made it very clear where she needed to invest in her business, whether or not she was doing enough marketing, whether she was spending too much on supplies, etc. 

Vanessa discloses that one of her biggest problems was not knowing how “the numbers” related to one another.  She could look at the numbers herself, but she needed someone who could analyze and interpret them.  She realized that she couldn’t do it alone.  It was no longer good enough that her “doors were open.”  She knew she needed more personalized assistance and one-on-one coaching that would hold her accountable.  She sought the coaching expertise of Inspiring Champions business coach, Randi Rose to whom she affectionately refers as “my Randi.”
In their very first meeting, Randi asked Vanessa, “If you were to dream big, knock it out of the park, what would that be?  How would that look?”  At that time, the salon staff consisted of only Vanessa and two other stylists.  Combined, they were making about $120,000 in sales annually.  Vanessa’s dream was to double her staff and increase her sales to $500,000.  In four years of working with Randi, Vanessa’s financial growth steadily improved until she achieved that goal.

Sitting down with Randi, Vanessa was able to identify where she could cut back on her spending.  After observing that about 22% of her sales was going toward rent, she needed to make some adjustments.  She either had to increase the number of people in her business or try to renegotiate her rent—neither of which was possible at the time.  Having Randi to coach her through the process, teaching her formulas that related her expenses to sales, showing her exactly how to know whether or not she could truly afford something was life-changing, to say the least.

Today, Vanessa works with her staff to achieve their financial goals.  She and her team share in the financial accountability of the business.  She states that her team makes good use of the IT systems and tracking tools that they currently have in place to enter their personal numbers and set their own monthly goals.  Back in March, they celebrated together as a team the milestone of making in one week what they used to earn in one month.  Today, they are projected to earn $550,000 annually.  Not only are they earning more in sales, but Vanessa is in the process of purchasing a larger salon space under her business name with room for 12 stylists.  Congratulations to Vanessa and the ladies over at V’va Hair Salon! 

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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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call 703-359-6000,
visit www.MktgSols.com
email MktgSols@MktgSols.com

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