Clinic owner Karen Johnson wins Professional Beauty SOS Competition 2017

Karen Johnson SOS Competition 2017 winner

Clinic owner Karen Johnson is the winner of our Professional Beauty SOS: Support Our Salons Competition 2017, which took place at Professional Beauty North in Manchester Central last weekend.

The competition was part of a wider campaign which launched at the exhibition, with the aim of sustaining and growing the salon business by helping salon owners share ideas, problems and solutions.

Competition entrants had to tell us in 100 words of fewer, “What’s the biggest or most surprising challenge you have faced since starting your salon or mobile business, and how did you overcome it?”

Johnson scooped the top spot after bravely talking about the challenges of moving to a larger premise to follow her passion: “My [biggest] challenge happened earlier this year when I took a leap of faith and set up my clinic. After renting a room for five years in a beauty salon, it became clear that the business could only grow and introduce new treatments and practitioners if we had our own premises. 

“At 62 years of age, I’ve embarked on the most exciting part of my career, and after only six months of operating, we’re on track to triple our turnover with the addition of a doctor and other specialists joining us. To anyone at any age I would say If you have a vision and passion go for it, it's never too late.”

Johnson has won more than £5,500 worth of business support which includes: a Lycon Starter Kit, Cuccio Nail Kit, Elemis Pro-Collagen Super System, £1,000 to spend on the business from Professional Beauty, Salon Success Freedom nine-month programme courtesy of Susan Routledge, six-month e-mail marketing done for her by specialist Catherine Trebble, waist trainer with cleaning spray from Maskateer, and Defiderm Skin Analyser.

Second place

Our second-place winner was salon owner Sharon Blake who spoke about the challenges of staff retention: “The biggest challenge has been maintaining staff loyalty and stopping them being poached by my competitors (lots of them in a small town).

“I’ve introduced a commission scheme so that the busier the salon is the more the staff earn. It helps to keep them motivated and push for repeat bookings, helping to increase customer service and create a great feel-good factor in the salon.

“In addition, we have overcome the parking issues in the town by purchasing parking permits for each staff member. They can park FOC and all walk to and from the car park together – safety in numbers. These two small steps have created a bonded and busy team and a great salon atmosphere.”

Blake won £60 worth of vouchers.

Third place

Katie Ingham scooped third place after talking about adapting her business to suit clients’ needs: “Taking the risk by growing the salon's capacity was my biggest challenge so far. I was terrified of not being able to deliver enough work to go around, but with constant client awareness, social media presence and local social responsibility, we’ve made a name for ourselves in a village where the competition is close.

“We now have four therapists working until late and being open during these unsociable hours is setting us apart and offering clients flexibility. We take our time to create the perfect client experience while making them feel comfortable, and offer superior treatment results.”

Blake was awarded £30 worth of vouchers.

Johnson, Blake and Ingham have also all won tickets to the Professional Beauty Awards 2018 dinner in London in February, and editor Eve Oxberry will be in touch about potential interviews in the magazine.