We're so flattered and humbled by this article in Hair Biz magazine this month. Thank you to the editors for featuring our journey in the Salon Business world with your readers. We thought we'd share the article here also...
'They’ve been sharing their knowledge with other salon owners for years but, having launched their most recent membership program, ‘Salon Business By The Keeleys’, we thought it was about time we learned a little more.'
'Hair Biz Editor, Kym Krey spoke with Carl and Belinda Keeley recently.'
'C & BK. Our first Chumba salon was ‘born’ in 2003 in regional Victoria and we still have it 17 years later. We founded our Chapel St, Melbourne salon in 2008 and we also had two franchised salons under the Chumba brand at one point.
At the very start of our businesses, we entered a lot of business and hairdressing awards to establish our brand and are blessed to have won our fair share. In between running our salons we were also asked to educate and mentor other businesses and we did this without necessarily publicising anything as we were not in it for the money. We just wanted to help others along their path.'
BK. After 17 years of running a regional salon, a city salon, a partnership salon and two franchises we’ve experience a lot! As any salon owner will tell you, the daily hurdles and pitfalls are both many and varied. It’s not an experience that you can read about or study from afar - you have to live it. Perhaps we’re best thought of as ‘practitioners’ rather than ‘cheer leaders’ or ‘theorists’ -as we
actually run successful salons. That’s our core role in the industry. We also teach business skills/ systems to other salon owners and have done so for many years now. We consult directly to a select number of salon owners daily - all high profile and mostly in the $2m+ turnover category as that’s what we know best.
After ten years of running these systems and testing them in our salons, we started to teach them to others as people had begun to ask us for
help in this area in particular. It took two years to make the systems and ten years to test the systems, so it wasn’t a quick fix but it was the right pathway.
Today, in less than 10 minutes, we can pull a salon apart financially and diagnosis business issues. It’s a skill that we think is quite unique and worth sharing with others.
BK. Lack of business knowledge and training, particularly financial competency. Most salon owners have no idea and even more have no willingness to address the problem. They know they’re broke but won’t take the step to ask for help or education and eventually they give up or go under. It’s a horror story out there, unfortunately. Having said that, we’re blessed with quality coaches , mentors and trainers in our industry. The results through great coaches are excellent client outcomes and quality standards, but we often see amazing salons on the brink of going under through lack of business understanding. It’s a shame that salon owners often design a system that guarantees failure through ‘not know what they don’t know’.
Honestly, because we’d all rather be doing great hair than being stuck at a computer! Hair is fun - business can be hard. Plus, it’s tough to go back and learn the business skills when you’re ‘the boss’ and therefore ‘should know this stuff’. Hairdressing and hair-business are two separate things.
BK. We offer a few. One is our Financial Management class which is two very full-on days. It’s basically financial bootcamp followed by a financial intervention on your company. It’s a very challenging course but the rewards are enormous for salon owners who have decided to turn ‘Pro’ and stop being a ‘hobbyist’ in their business.
We also run our Salon Manager’s Course for owners and managers. This course is designed to build out your management teams and systemise your salons. New this year is “Salon Business
by the Keeleys” which is a weekly webinar and membership community on different focused topics. This is a bite-sized taste of what we do and is designed to give you actionable lessons for that week to build your salon business.
BK. Culture. Culture is King. We live a culture of professionalism within our salons. We are proud to be hairdressers and thankful for the relationships our industry enables us all to have. We value diversity and individualism; all are welcome at Chumba. We are team-focused at all times.
Our salon’s mission is to provide world class hairdressing experiences to our clients - everyday to every person. It’s easy to say, but hard to maintain and we work on this daily and live our values in all areas of our lives.
BK. The best thing about hairdressing is that you get to decide on your services and pricing, but it’s also the worst thing as most salons price their services incorrectly. By doing so, they set their team up to fail. How can you hit goals or targets in an equation that makes it impossible to do so? Unfortunately, salon owners have to take responsibility for the situation and charge rates that make economic sense. Only then can your staff ‘win’ the game you’ve designed.
“SALON OWNERS HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SITUATION AND CHARGE
RATES THAT MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE. ONLY THEN CAN YOUR STAFF ‘WIN’ THE GAME YOU’VE DESIGNED.”
- BELINDA KEELEY
1) My lawyer told me to “write that angry email but don’t send it - instead bin it” – and yes, I follow that advice now, but it took me a few years before I did! 2) “Sales minus Profit = Costs”. Learnt it, did it and I teach it. That equation will change your world if you’re a business owner. You must commit to taking your profit first- not taking whatever is left over.