Sola Salons Studios’ Explosive Growth Sets Early 2018 Milestones
Almost 10,000 Independent Salon Pros In 400 Locations And More!
May 29, 2018 // Franchising.com // DENVER, CO - Sola Salon Studios continues its expansion and preeminence in the salon franchise category. Since topping Forbes magazine’s 2015 Best Franchises to Buy list, Sola has added nearly 120 locations in two years across the USA (300% more than its closest competitor), plus its first outpost in Toronto, CA. A new Brazil-based strategic partnership kicked-off in 2018 too, with former beauty-industry executives tasked with building a franchisee portfolio in this country.
In 2004, Sola Salon Studios was established with the opening of the first location in Denver, CO.
Sola currently counts 138 franchise owners, with over 400 locations and 10,000 independent renters across the US - a 100% increase over 2015. Randall Clark, Sola CEO, notes “We’re 13 years old, but five years ago we had only 70 locations and are now over 400. Sola continues to open 55 to 60 locations annually in North American and has plans for rapid international expansion.” The first Sola locations in Canada (Toronto) have opened this year.
A key 2018 initiative for Sola is creating greater connectivity to the beauty industry for their studio renters, while providing hands-on business tools to ensure their success as independent professionals. Sola currently offers numerous business benefits that a typical independent salon might find cost-prohibitive.
“We've added technology resources and all of that is inspired by learning from our community of 10,000 business owners and seeing what their needs are and how we can better support them and further continue to serve them in their business every day,” says Jennie Wolff, VP Marketing and Education.
Sola recently partnered with GlossGenius on its exclusive SolaGenius app, enabling stylists to run their business in a few clicks. The app allows for online booking with new and returning clients, marketing tools, calendar management, appointment notifications, inventory reports and analytical information, plus it allows salon owners to process credit card payments for services and products.
“We are highly proactive with technology in the digital landscape and delivering ongoing education beyond the artistic side,” says Wolff who observes that, “Although independent, our professionals are part of something bigger thanks to the strong sense of community, our resources, technology and education at Sola. We’re continually creating new technology to enable beauty professionals to connect from anywhere and learn from one another, as well as from some of the best talents in the beauty industry.”
While the company itself is brand-neutral on products, another added-value benefit is the SolaPro app which provides a platform for beauty and grooming brands to be seen by Sola’s community with exclusive discounts, education videos, plus a variety of unique tools and resources.
An interesting convergence of factors contributes to Sola’s rapid growth, namely the strong spirit of independence and entrepreneurship of those seeking more freedom and control of their business, schedules and artistic choices. As Sola’s SVP of Business Development Ben Jones says, “Our primary customer is the stylist and the customer always comes first. Our goal is to create resources and technology solutions to help them open and manage successful businesses, which has really changed the landscape of the professional beauty industry.”
Another key point: astuteness in selecting best-in-class franchise owner/operators who create local communities within their stylist portfolio of Sola locations.
Formerly for top grossing stylists, the only way to increase revenue was to go into traditional salon ownership. As CEO Clark observes, “Many great hairdressers may not be equipped to be a salon owner. There have been so many failures with start-up salons for this reason. At Sola, we’re providing that next step up: employee-free salon ownership. When a stylist makes a move over to our concept, they typically get a 50-100% take-home pay bump.”
“We are a very entrepreneurial company supporting other entrepreneurs who own, grow and manage Solas around the country. They, in turn, support the beauty entrepreneurs. This concept is very clearly hitting the right notes to an ever-growing segment of the professional beauty industry,” concluded Clark.
President & Co-Founder
Exit One Solutions
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