Episode 042

Tom Kuhn

Podcast Length: 50:12 | Date Published: 9th June 2020

The majority of hairdressers I meet find their way into this industry for reasons like the social interaction or creativity aspects that a hairdressing career can offer.

Most of us don’t initially get into hairdressing with a business focus, and there is nothing wrong with that. The reality is that most of us open salons ill-equipped for the skills of what running a business really involves.

We have to learn the language of business and learn fast…and many of us do.

We often hear about these successful and profitable businesses, and I have interviewed some of those salon owners on previous podcasts. Still, I am aware that those success stories don’t represent the industry as a whole.

Most salons run on minimal profit margins, and as has been laid bare in the coronavirus shutdown, most salons have no savings or cash flow buffer to survive more than a week or two without going into further debt or relying on government intervention.

As unsexy as it might sound, a lot of the success of business all comes down to understanding the numbers that go on in business and being able to make the right decisions about your business accordingly.

My guest today is Tom Kuhn, accountant, former salon owner, and founder of a US-based business called Qnity.

In today’s podcast we discuss:

  • The importance of visual learning to understand the numbers.
  • What are the key metrics to focus on?
  • What are the lessons for small businesses that we should take away from the current situation?

In This Episode:

[02:12] Welcome to the show, Tom!

[02:45] Tom shares his background and the three chapters of his career.

[06:11] Tom speaks about some ah-ha moments over the years and why visual thinking is so essential in the beauty industry.

[08:19] Antony chats about how numbers made little sense to him until he saw things in a graph format.

[11:00] Tom shares about being President and COO of a salon group.

[12:18] Tom discusses when he learned the importance of visual communication and design, which was the content for Qnity.

[14:58] He describes a simple chart he used to talk to the salon group leaders when he couldn’t get their attention with numbers.

[16:17] What was the catalyst that made you launch Qnity?

[17:47] Qnity’s mission statement is to help people prosper.

[20:18] Tom shares some golden rules that he thinks salon owners all over the world should follow.

[23:02] Do you have financial literacy?

[24:38] Tom describes key things that the small business community should implement moving forward from the coronavirus.

[28:26] What is a realistic profit margin that a well-run salon should be able to achieve?

[30:08] Tom speaks about the data he received from his 2 to 10 project.

[33:15] Antony believes that salons should be able to make a 10% profit.

[34:27] Tom shares what he finds is a good number for labour costs.

[37:17] Do you believe that to have a high-profit margin, you must have strong retail sales?

[38:55] Tom discusses the five top metrics that salons should look at daily and monthly.

[41:20] The top things to look at for profitability.

[42:51] How do I find out my revenue per square foot?

[45:28] Tom speaks about what he tells salon owners they need to be doing when they get reopened.

[47:45] Tom wants to help 10,000 small businesses level up their financials to help them survive.

[49:26] Tom, thank you so much for being on the show today!

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.

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

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