Claudio Lazo, owner of C The Salon and Wella Top Artist, has managed to balance both sides of his brain to be a consumate creative and successful entrepreneur. We asked him to wear his salon owner hat and respond to the question below. He and his business manager Robbin Soto collaborated on the response.
Q: What’s the most critical regulatory/legislative issue to impact salons in the near future and what should they do to be prepared?
Claudio Lazo: "According to the Congressional Budget office, they have projected continuous economical growth of 3% in 2015 . This growth is due to increase in hourly compensation, rising wealth, the recent decline in crude oil prices, and a step up rate in the housing market. The average American family is finally able to feel comfortable spending again for the first time since 2007.
"We as small business owners always remember the downfall of the economy and how greatly it affected the service industry. Our industry was probably one of the hardest hit, because having your hair done at a high-end salon is a luxury, not a necessity. People found ways to do it at home or to spread out their 6 week appointment to 12 weeks.
"I am going to take this opportunity of growth and do what I can to bring new clients into my culture, catering to many demographics and making all services relevant. I want to get these clients hooked and have them continue to be a part of my culture so when the economy plateaus, like all things do I will have an even stronger successful business.
"If you build up the right environment and culture, people are willing to spend. They must see the value in what they are spending. So if they become part of your culture, don’t assume that they don’t want to add on a service or buy the products they need. Make sure you offer a range of retail lines that cater to the client demographic of your salon.
"The upcoming legislation to watch out for that could affect our business is the increase of minimum wage and overtime eligibility for support staff. We need to always factor in increasing operational expenses and plan for it. We continually set retail and service goals to meet those needs. We are also working hard to take back our retail sales away from the internet. Huge companies like Amazon and e-bay are attracting customers because of the convenience and the perceived savings they will receive. We have to find ways to entice them to come in and experience the culture and to actually feel the different products available to them. To remind them that they might not be choosing the right product for them."
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