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Straight Talk from Jon Gonzales

sunrise-182302_640Straight Talk from Jon Gonzales

My straight talk blog post is designed to identify and find solutions affecting our salon, our standard of living and our profession.

Those of you who know me, know I have the utmost respect for everyone working in the beauty profession,especially salon owners and hairdressers. You also know I am not afraid to expose the many obstacles within our profession.

Glitter and hype aside, I believe you want straight talk,I can tell you what you want to hear and make you feel good and motivate you, which you know will only last for a couple of weeks or I can tell you what you  need to hear,and provide tough love opinions.

Yes I will probably step on a few toes including my own, I,m only expressing my own opinions based on my 43 years of experience as well as speaking to thousands of salon owners and hairdressers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on some of my opinions,we can agree to disagree. I feel fortunate because I was fortunate to retire financially independent and debt free.  The nice thing about retirement and being financially independent, I can now tell it like it is.

During my 43 years as an owner of multiple salons, and 10 years as an educator and business consultant I like you had to struggle finding solutions to the many challenges and changes occurring within the beauty profession.

Like many of you working 10-12 hours a day left little time to combat turnover, booth rental, lack of knowledge,finding and keeping help to name a few, but I did survive and was able to retire financially independent and debt free.

I know many of you share many of my opinions, my only purpose in founding Hairdresser Career Development Systems is to provide affordable educational resources and educational materials that will help you make your dreams and goals a reality.

A trial and error approach to building a successful and profitable business by trial and error is unexceptionable and too costly in today’s changing business climate.

The following information is designed to identify and seek out solutions that are affecting our livelihoods and standard of living.

With over 43 years’ experience as a salon owner/hairdresser,10 years as an educator, and now president of Hairdresser Career Development Systems and now working on my digital University of Educational Excellence for Beauty Professionals, I want to thank everyone for your trust and support in my efforts to upgrade our profession to a much higher level.

In order to stay loyal and focused towards your educational and business needs I have chosen to represent no product company or special interest groups; my only purpose is to help raise the standard of living for all professionals in the beauty profession, especially hairdressers and salon owners who represent the heart and soul of the beauty profession.

I want to share my experiences with you so I can make your journey easier than mine. I am one of the 5% of salon owners who made it beyond 7 years in business.

Today’s changing and competitive business climate does not allow a trial and error approach to meeting these challenges. It is just too costly.

My purpose in writing this blog post is to help my colleagues find solutions to the many challenges occurring within the profession, and provide real world education that meets growing job market and consumer demands. I want to make my journey easier than mine.

As professionals we have no voice, to express our concerns, my loyalty is to you my fellow colleagues. With over 43 years of real world experience as a working hairdresser and salon owner, I understand your educational and business needs. If we are to raise our standard of living, then we must raise our standard of educational excellence.

As you are well aware,  there are a lot of change and uncertainty occurring within our profession; sadly the beauty profession has not adapted to these changes. Price wars, commission wars, turnover, lack of a code of honesty, failure to attract quality people into our profession, minimum and overtime mandates, booth rental, salon suites,beauty schools closures, staff pirating, and the list goes on and on.

Before we can find solutions to the many challenges owners and hairdressers are facing every day, we have to have the courage to identify the dark side of our profession, and ask the question, why is this occurring? Why are salons failing at an alarming rate. Why are earnings for hairdressers at a poverty level. Why is there so much apathy and denial from many salon owners? Why are so many young starters leaving the profession? Why is it so difficult to find and keep quality people? Why is turnover such a problem? Why have we created an underground economy? Why are legitimate salon owners being penalized for honesty? Why are many of our beauty schools being targeted by the Department of Education? These and many more challenges are affecting the growth of our profession and our standard of living. on Monday and Tuesday May 15-16 I will be presenting my two day Business seminar for the entrepreneur salon owners in las Vegas who want to develop a high end profitable business .

I will provide solutions to the above challenges.

Sadly I see a coming storm. Only well managed high end salons and well educated business men and women will be able to overcome this growing storm.

Statistics tell us that the beauty industry is expected to grow to a 55 billion a year industry, yet the special interest groups are garnering the bulk of the 55 billion dollar a year industry.

As I have said earlier salons are failing at an alarming rate, studies tell us only 7% of salons make it beyond 7 years,  many salon owners are reluctantly entering into booth rental just to survive ,  hairdresser earnings of hairdressers are 20-25,00 per year, 7 out of ten newcomers leave the profession after 3 years, the prices of our services keep falling, many beauty schools are closing, the massive growth of low cost franchises keep rising, should we not be raising prices to keep even with the rising cost of living? The list of challenges continues. I write this post so we can identify our challenges, so we can find solutions and turn adversity into opportunities. We must return to professionalism.

Despite all these challenges, I see a coming boom for high end well managed salons. Despite this coming boom we must recognize these challenges before we can find solutions

These are some of the challenges we face:

Rising Business Costs — as costs continue to rise, profits if any go down, affecting not only business, but also the standard of living for our staff.

Why is it so Difficult to Find Workers — Who’s to blame? We all are to blame. Beauty schools, salon owners, teachers, product companies, hair show producers etc.

Apathy and Indifference Among Salon Owners — Theirs so much complacency among salon owners on learning how to become astute business men and women. Sadly many salon owners are in denial wanting to stay in their comfort zones, because change requires effort and new thinking.

No Unity among Salon Owners — although there are a few associations available, but many of these associations are run by product companies.

I am now forming my Salon Owners Alliance Network for Salon Owners.

Salon owners sharing their vast knowledge and experiences, owners learning from salon owners will be our theme.

Minimum Wage, Overtime  — there is a crackdown by our taxing agencies with new laws concerning minimum wage and overtime pay protecting the labor law rights of workers.

Lack of an Apprenticeship Program — while other professions offer internship programs that gain valuable hands on experience, our profession offers none. Why?

The Danger of Mis Classification of Workers — most booth rental salons are mis classifying their workers and exposing their salons to audits. I urge you to seek answers from a labor law attorney who will help you to protect your rights as employers .

Staff Turnover — there are many reasons for turnover, lack of leadership skills on the part of salon owners, no educational resources,lack of new customers.

A Growing Labor Crisis –— Attracting Quality people entering the beauty profession will be more difficult due to many beauty schools being closed because students are leaving the profession  and losing student loans.  


Lack of Quality Education —Most of our education in our profession are presented by product companies promoting their products disguised as education.The bottom line is that we must educate our own workers.

Poor Business Management Skills — Lack of business management skills by salon owners is one of the leading causes of salon owners.

These are just some of the challenges we must overcome if our salons and staff are to grow.

I am committed to finding solutions to the above. I want to make Hairdresser Career Development Systems and my University of Educational Excellence a truly educational company you can trust and rely on. Please hit  your like and share this message and join our grass roots movement . I will be presenting solutions on these topics at my upcoming 2 day business seminar in Las Vegas,

I invite you to join me as we march towards a new beginning for change and new direction in education.


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