Episode 106

Sue Arens

Podcast Length: 1 hr 3 min | Date Published: 14th September 2021

Here we are, at the time of recording it’s September 2021, the last 18 months have been a rollercoaster ride and whether I talk to salon owners in the US the UK, Australia or elsewhere the uncertainty of what the future holds for business is challenging and can be stressful. 

But one thing that is really important to hang onto is ‘hope’. Because at the best of times, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the pressures that being in business brings. 

But with the added challenges that come with COVID, and lockdowns, and debts and loan repayments, and staff shortages, it’s only natural that there are times when you might feel overwhelmed. 

One of the good things though, that has come out of COVID is the realisation that as an owner that you are not alone. There are numerous professional Facebook groups, Clubhouse events and podcasts where there is an avalanche of encouragement and support. 

So, I encourage you to tap into all the resources available to keep you motivated and in a strong positive mindset, because your mindset is the thing that as a leader you have to ‘protect’ because that is what will get you through.

That brings me perfectly to my guest on today’s Podcast, she is Sue Arens from the Studio Be Salons in Denver Colorado and like everyone she has [and still is] experiencing all the challenges and frustrations of being in business, and on today’s podcast Sue shares openly some of the things that she and the team at Studio Be are doing to keep positive. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Dealing with COVID in today’s environment
  • The importance of protecting your culture
  • The changing needs and expectations of team members  

And lots more!


In this Episode:

[0:02:01] The importance of mindset, and what you can expect from today’s episode.

[0:03:21] A brief rundown of the previous conversation that I had with Sue on the podcast (episode 33). 

[0:04:11] Sue shares what her career path has entailed.

[0:05:13] Growth that Sue’s business has experienced since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[0:08:35] One of the biggest learnings that Sue had because of COVID. 

[0:09:20] The length of time that Sue closed her salons for, and how she managed the reopening process. 

[0:11:42] How Sue helped her staff understand the new business model they have adopted since the pandemic.  

[0:13:06] What “double booking” means in the context of a salon business. 

[0:14:42] Factors that contributed to the $50 average ticket price increase in Sue’s salons. 

[0:17:06] Sue shares the importance of her “call centre” staff, especially during the pandemic. 

[0:18:24] Evolution that has occurred in the retail arm of Sue’s business. 

[0:20:17] How Sue feels about her relationship with her distributor. 

[0:22:36] Ingenuity and resourcefulness that arose as a result of the pandemic. 

[0:23:21] Why Sue chose not to send colour kits home with her clients while their salons were closed.

[0:24:58] The biggest challenge that Sue experienced in her business during lockdown, and challenges that she has experienced since reopening.  

[0:27:00] Studio Be’s Apprenticeship Program that all staff members have to go through. 

[0:28:12] Why Sue recently increased her prices.

[0:30:12] Changes that Sue saw take place within her client base post-lockdown.

[0:33:38] What Sue has spent a lot of time focusing on this past year with her leadership team.

[0:37:02] Why Sue chose to hold her company’s annual culture event two weeks ago, despite the decline in profit that her company has suffered since the pandemic.

[0:40:51] Sue’s opinion on how to build a healthy company culture. 

[0:43:25] The ten core values which underpin the culture at Studio Be. 

[0:46:20] How Sue motivates her team. 

[0:48:54] Sue shares her feelings about changes that have occurred in the salon industry because of the pandemic. 

[0:50:40] Changes that Sue would like to see in the salon industry. 

[0:53:40] Studio Be’s approach to social media. 

[0:58:18] Advice from Sue for any leaders who are feeling despondent about the future.

[01:01:24] Where you can get in touch with Sue. 

Thanks for listening!

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Links and Resources:

Grow My Salon Business

Sue Arens

LinkedIn | Email | Instagram 

Studio Be