Investment in staff core of success
TO succeed for this long, a business needs to cultivate clients who are champions of the business – and this Sanctuary Cove salon has nailed the formula.
When Caroline Childs and husband Steve took over the established Champions Hair Beauty Day Spa 17 years ago, there were just four staff working in a 95sq m salon.
The workforce at the Marine Village site has since quadrupled and the floorspace more than doubled – growth Ms Childs said had been enabled by fostering a loyal long-term staff.
“The girls are well-trained and we have a lot of long-term staff who make Champion what it is,” she said.
“I think that really sets my business apart.
“In all small business, it can be challanging to find the right people and keeping everyone happy, clients as well as staff.
“I think I’ve found the right recipe.”
In 2005, the business built a larger facility nearby, which they moved into two weeks
after Ms Childs gave birth to her son.
Five years later, as the GFC was ravaging businesses of all sizes, this business took the opportunity to expand again into the shop next door.
The expansion and diversification has paid off – there are now 14 hairdressing chairs, six beauty rooms and three nail technician stations.
Some clients have been going to the salon since before Ms Childs took over.
“With some clients we reminisce about when I started in my mid-20s,” she said.
“I’ve seen them grow up and then the next generation coming through – it’s gone so quickly.”
Over the decades, the salon has made a name for itself as an “oasis of relaxation”.
“I’ve had a passion for it from a young age,” Ms Childs said. “I enjoy giving to people and making them feel relaxed and confortable. “
Over the years, six of the staff have become mothers, with nine “salon babies” between them.
Some of the team have worked at Champions for more than 20 years.
“We call it our core group, we’ve all grown up together, got married, had kids – and we’ve all got to work,” Ms Childs said.
“I’ve made it the right environment to be family friendly and don’t want anyone to feel pressured into coming back into full-time work after they’ve had a baby.
“I try to make it the best working environment – happy staff mean happy clients.
Ms Childs’ staff had their chance to repay her care for them last year – their world stood still when at 47, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I’m one of the lucky ones who came out the other side of it,” she said.
“I was also lucky to have the support of my long-term staff and clients.”
Champions Hair Beauty Day Spa has been run by Caroline Childs since 2000 and continues to grow.