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Hedkandi Salon Group in downtown Calgary, Canada, is pretty unusual within the beauty industry when it comes to team retention. In the eight years before the Covid pandemic, the group didn’t lose a single stylist to a competitor. Some moved cities, others left the craft, but no one jumped to another salon, threatening to take their clientele with them. Yet even with this stability and this level of team skill, owner Jereme Bokitch couldn’t guarantee a fixed level of profitability.

Cut Out The Variables

When opening Hedkandi and enlisting his one-time assistant and friend, Robbie Lane to join him, Jereme based his prices on how much time it took to deliver each service, plus an additional amount to cover salon overheads, which included color. As his team grew and he opened two more salons, he stuck with this pricing model. But while he could track how much time stylists took and charge for it accordingly, he could never track the variable cost of color. An elusive detail that varies between salons and stylists. Vish data shows that some stylists might use just $4-worth of color on a client, while others in the same salon might take $16-worth of color to deliver the exact same service. Jereme was aware of discrepancies across his team but was yet to find a solution.

“As we grew, costs were creeping up more than could be accounted for simply due to the presence of more people on the floor. With a team of nearly 50 stylists and assistants it would be merely impossible to track color and inventory,” says Jereme, who still works with Robbie, now his brother-in-law, and his wife, Wray. “Often we were losing money without realizing.”

The Breakthrough of Vish

Jereme is a fan of innovation and quite willing to embrace new technologies when advances offer better ways to improve business efficiency. When he learned about Vish and its full integration with his Meevo software, he followed up immediately, recognizing its potential to nail down profit from every service. As a system that can be tailored to any salon’s pricing structure, Vish has enabled him to refine his time-based charging model so clients are billed on the time the service takes, plus all color dispensed – similar to a parts & labor system used in many other industries. It makes charging completely transparent for clients and stylists, and it allows Jereme to monitor color usage across all three salons even if he’s away from the business. Most importantly, it guarantees profit from every service.

Knowing clients will be charged for all color and that their color use is monitored has made the stylists more conscious when dispensing at the color bar. Waste is down massively, and the group is now consistently within its budget, spending 7-8% of revenue on inventory. 

“We saw revenue go up by approximately $120k while our color spend significantly decreased. It happened so quickly that our color line got in touch because they were concerned our business had taken a sudden, and catastrophic dip,” adds, Jereme.

In reality, his color business was thriving. At the color bar, inventory was less bloated and they were only reordering color that were actually being used, helping to free up cash flow for other use within the business.

Team Retention Returns

The team quickly mastered the new system, with reweighs now consistently around 95%. If it dips, Jereme will see it on the Vish Dashboard and can react quickly, prompting teachable conversations with his team on how they can improve. While Covid certainly had an impact on retention levels and still resonates within the industry, Hedkandi’s team is once again stable and growing. So much so that the customized jewelry Jereme gives to mark anniversaries, from a silver asterisk charm bracelet (the asterisk is part of the Hedkandi logo) at five years to a gold necklace at 10 years, diamond earrings at 15, and gold emerald earrings at 20 years, is running into the $1,000s. But Jereme is delighted. He knows team longevity is the backbone of every successful business.

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