Episode 030

Ben Jay

Podcast Length: 61 min | Date Published: 10th March 2020

How to compete with changing ‘employment models’, the age of ‘specialization’ and the ‘evolving salon retail model’.

I have the pleasure of working with many salon owners all over the world. As a result, I am very fortunate to have inspiring and insightful conversations about the changes that are happening in the salon industry.

But, perhaps, more importantly, I get an insight into how forward-thinking salon owners are evolving their business approach to accommodate the never-ending changes to succeed in the salon business today.

Today’s guest on the Podcast is Ben Jay co-owner of The Hair Loftsalons, a successful family business in Chicago that started in 1980 and continues to evolve with the times.

In today’s podcast, amongst many other things, we will discuss:

  • What some of the changes are that are impacting on the traditional salon businesses model?
  • The never-ending impact of new technologies
  • The increase of speciality salons.
  • How the big product brands are evolving and what that means for the salon business

In This Episode:

[01:31] Welcome to the show, Ben!

[01:56] Ben shares his background and how he ended up in the salon business.

[02:57] How many salons do you have now? How many employees do you have?

[04:04] Ben speaks about some of the challenges he faces in his salon today.

[06:05] Ben shares his business model and his insight on the new models he sees today.

[08:52] Ben believes that the employee-based model dominates in Chicago, but the salon suites model is popping up everywhere.

[11:07] With the technology, lifestyle, and business model, it’s almost like the perfect storm for the increase of salon suites.

[13:08] How do you keep stylists in your salon and prevent them from leaving to work for themselves?

[15:00] Ben gives examples of how he makes his stylists feel like they are getting a more significant share of the commission than they are by adding value.

[17:43] Giving his employees by giving them continuing education, scheduling help, and other things to support them daily.

[18:35] What do you do at The Hair Loft that bonds people to your brand and keeps them with you long term?

[20:07] How do you factor flexibility in schedules into your business model?

[23:43] Ben believes that you have to scale hairdressers’ pay so that they can make a good living and break the belief that they can make more on their own.

[26:34] Have you ever leased a suite and then wished you had stayed with your salon?

[27:47] Ben speaks about the advantages of having a team behind you.

[28:55] Ben chats about two new stylists he just brought in and their individuality.

[31:56] Ben gives examples of different types of specialty salons.

[33:21] Is your salon a full-service salon? Do you have a blow-dry menu?

[35:11] Ben describes the color room in his salon and who works there.

[38:55] Ben shares about professional product brands and their attempts to cut out the distributors.

[44:24] What do you do as a salon owner to protect the retail side of your business?

[47:00] Ben speaks about the salons online retail store that allows their clients to purchase products and have them delivered or shipped.

[49:08] Antony recommends that everyone go to www.thehairloftltd.com and look at their website.

[50:04] Ben shares about the unique products they have in their retail store that are made by local Chicago residents.

[54:56] Ben speaks about getting their alcohol and liquor license so they can sell wine and beer in their salons.

[56:15] How do you promote beverages? Do you have a menu?

[57:25] Ben shares about the app they have in their salon.

[58:50] Do you have any final words or thoughts for the listeners?

[59:46] If you are listening to this podcast and have enjoyed it, please take a screenshot on your phone and share it on your Instagram stories.

[1:00:06] Ben, thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast!

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the side or bottom of this post.

Also, I’d love it if you’d leave an honest review for The Grow My Salon Business Podcast. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and help other people find my podcast. I also love to hear what’s been helpful! Just click here to review, Click through to ‘Listen on apple podcasts’ scroll to the bottom, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favourite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

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Special thanks to Ben Jay for sharing his words of wisdom with me for this week’s episode. Until next time!

Find Ben

Benjamin Jay



The Hair Loft


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