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How One Salon Paid Employees During the Shutdown and Stayed Debt-Free

Strategies definition of Profitability: “The profitability business outcome is all about achieving predictable cash flow and bottom line profitability — and doing so with the highest level of no-compromise financial accountability at all levels of the company.”

To showcase what a salon that's truly locked in on profitability looks like, we interviewed this year’s winner of the 2020 Team-Based Pay Award for Profitability, Laura Pinkas, owner of Shine Hair Color & Design Studio in Columbia, SC.

What was Shine’s number one accomplishment in 2020?

Laura Pinkas: Our number one accomplishment has been living our Cash-Flow Plan to create financial stability and cash reserves.

We are proud to say we didn't need to use the PPP loan, we were still able to pay our employees during the shutdown, and we remain a debt-free company.

What was Shine’s culture like before and after implementing Team-Based Pay?

Laura Pinkas: We converted to Team-Based Pay in September 2015 and haven't looked back.

Five years ago, we thought we had a team. What we really had were individuals working under one roof calling ourselves a “team."

Believing in and implementing the systems that allow Team-Based Pay to work was our first challenge. We relentlessly communicated the business systems to our stylists and coached them, so they understood how these systems bring stability to the company and growth opportunities for them.

Before Team-Based Pay, we thought our culture was healthy. During the eight-week COVID shutdown, the trust our team had in us grew immensely.

Experiencing COVID-19 together, the belief in the financial stability of our company created an even stronger bond in our team that we didn't realize was possible. They realized that we truly wanted to make sure they were taken care of.

How were you able to pay your employees during the shutdown and still remain debt free?

Laura Pinkas: We have an amazing company with strong leadership that allowed us to get through 2020 as a team and financially healthy.

We’ve been able to take all we have learned from Strategies, including our coach Daryl Jenkins, and put it into action. Strong leadership, staff retention, our culture, open communication, working our Cash-Flow Plan, controlling expenses, client retention, and shared accountability, have all helped us to succeed and stay healthy this year.

We relentlessly work our Cash-Flow Plan. 2020 really taught us why cash reserves are so important so we can pay our team, pay our bills and not have to freak out during and after the shutdown.

  • We did NOT have to lay anyone off.

  • We were able to pay our employees their full pay for the eight weeks we had to be closed.

  • All of our staff came back to work when we reopened.

We would have struggled without having all of our systems in place and our Cash-Flow Plan in order.

We never stopped during Covid-19. We made the best of a bad situation by re-painting our salon, cleaning and disinfecting the entire salon from top to bottom, as well as keeping up constant communication with our team and clients.

We found innovative ways to continue bringing in revenue through retail sales. We continued to create our great customer experience by personally delivering product orders to our clients’ doorstep.

How have you adjusted Shine’s productivity rate after the shutdown?

Laura Pinkas: Prior to the shutdown, we were running at a productivity rate of 100–106%. Since reopening, we keep our team within a healthy 80–90% productivity rate. This allowed us to give even better customer service.

All things considered, we are proud of our 80% productivity rate. We are fortunate our team, as well as clients, feel safe returning to Shine.

We all work as a team. We are all accountable for all the service hours our company has available for sale. Since our entire team is skill-certified, clients are comfortable and excited to take advantage of the many talents on our team. Our team is consistent with prebooking to ensure healthy productivity. We don't have to "squeeze people in.” We encourage each other by helping and acknowledging that the entire team can help take care of clients.

You are very optimistic about Shine’s future. Please share why?

Laura Pinkas: Our company has a culture of wanting to succeed. We look at our daily goals together, make our plan of action for the day, and we all work hard to achieve our goals.

We all know that we are responsible to sell all of the hours at Shine. We don't have appointment book column vision. We embrace prebooking and retail recommendations to ensure we stay profitable. It helps us look at the Cash-Flow Plan and have better predictability for where we are and how we can grow revenue.

  • We have a true team with a strong culture which believes in loyalty, trust, respect, hard work, enjoying each other and supporting our company.

  • Because our team understands their importance, all of our critical numbers have improved.

  • We have been able to maintain a healthy productivity rate and still make a profit.

  • We have brought up our retail sales.

  • We have great client retention and prebook rates.

  • We have a team that's excited to go to schools and explain the Team-Based Pay model. We now have a lot of interest from applicants looking to be in a salon where they can be part of a team and have growth opportunities.

We are truly Team-Based Pay proud. We love to stand out. We have truly learned the importance of all the systems that Strategies taught us. It works if you work it.

Learn more how the Team-Based Pay Business Model can create a better future for your salon, spa or medspa here. 


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