Be Aware of These Six Business Essentials


As salon owners and managers, you know that running a beauty industry business is no small task. You have to be on top of your game, both personally and professionally, in order to be the best in the business and it can be hard to know what to focus on in the moment.  

As the President of the Salon Summit Business Center and the owner of nineteen full service salons, two medspas and his own training facility, Peter Mahoney brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the beauty industry.  

Peter’s down to earth, pragmatic approach combined with his ability of transforming potential into reality has gained him a reputation as one of the most effective trainers in the salon industry and today he is here to share his six business essentials for improving the quality of life within the salon industry. 

Health, Wealth and Happiness

Time is Valuable

Peter is passionate about keeping his work-life balance in check. He prides himself on his ability to remain both focused and upbeat throughout his career—his secret? He schedules his life out a year in advance.

Thinking that far out might sound daunting at first, but Peter says the idea behind it is to block out the times throughout the year when you need to be mentally sharp and all there. So, you think ahead about the amount of time you want off to spend with friends and family, time for vacation and the things you love to do, so that when you are working, you’re extremely focused. Working to live, instead of living to work.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Your health is critical to your own success. While Peter admits that he isn’t the type to get up every morning and go on a fifteen-mile run or a two-hour bike ride, he does make time for physical activity at least every other day because for Peter, his health is an essential component for keeping his energy in such a competitive environment.

It’s Time to Establish a Sound Business Plan

You Must Manage Your Growth

Peter will tell you that to some degree, you simply take on the role of an opportunist when it comes to growing your salons. However, you still have to be strategic about which opportunities you take on and which you pass over.

Peter went from operating out of one salon location to opening a whopping twenty-one locations all across Atlantic Canada. He admits that his team was more assertive when it came to taking advantage of new developments, but at the end of the day Peter says that owes his salon’s impeccable growth rate to his team’s ability to manage their debt and remain conservative in the midst of their expansions. 

Quick Tip: Do you have a financial plan? If you want to see real growth you have to be intentional about the financial structure of your business. This means setting goals and tracking your progress. So, if you don’t already have one in place, it’s time to sit down with your team and get to planning!

Culture is the Differentiating Factor

Early on, Peter recognized that culture was going to be the one thing that would differentiate the winners from the losers in this industry. A salon with a set of service standards and a solid value system in place is going to be among the most successful.

Peter and his team work with salon owners to help them think about their vision, give their people a voice, and create a team environment that really makes people feel like they’re a part of something bigger—because they are

Big on Branding

In our ever-changing environment, we as business owners need to ask ourselves—are we adapting? Are we using each new platform to our advantage? Do we have strategies in place that are actually producing results?

People aren’t just buying into your services anymore. When they come into your salon they’re buying into your brand. So, think about your brand and what you want it to say about your business or the people who do business with you.  

The Key is in Career-Pathing

In our industry today, new hires and potential employees aren’t looking for a “job,” they’re looking for a career. Can your company provide those opportunities?

Peter reflects on his own business model in which students might start in his schools, graduate into his salons and start climbing the ladder from protégé to master with eight total levels of compensation in between. Today’s top talent is looking for a position that promises growth, education and specialization. As peter says, it’s about helping people to be more tomorrow than they are today.  

If you’d like to learn more about Peter and the Summit Salon Business Center, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 176. And be sure to check out their website to take a peek at all of the resources they have for salon owners like you!

Samantha Georgson