Posts in Personal Development
How to Be a Daymaker
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As the world continues to speed up and we grow more disconnected from one another--there’s one thing that will always slow us down--kindness. 

David Wagner, the king of kindness, lives to slow things down. In fact, David wouldn’t be the salon industry success that he is today if it weren’t for his mission to care for and connect with each and every one of his clients.

David, the owner of Juut Salon Spas, coined the term “daymaker” and it has been both his passion and his profession ever since. He even wrote a book on how you change the world by simply making someone’s day. Today, David shares his secret to a successful career behind the chair, and it all starts with intentional acts of kindness.

How “Daymaker” Was Born

David was participating in a hair show in Dallas, Texas, watching the hairdresser before him when the crowd went wild. The artist had begun a drastic transformation, cutting off most of his model’s hair, the audience was loving it until the model started to cry right there on stage.

It was clear that this haircut wasn’t something that she had agreed to and the crowd was left stunned. As David and his model took the stage bearing the weight of the last performance, he said, 

“What if it was more about her than it was about me? I'm here to make her day, not mine.”

David got a standing ovation for a mediocre haircut because the audience saw the beauty in that small act of kindness.

After the show, David took his seat on his first class flight back to Minneapolis. With his rock’n’roll hair and leather pants, he stood out from the other businessmen around him, and one man leaned over and asked what he did for a living. 

“I’m a daymaker.” David said. The man, confused, asked him, “Well, what in the world is a daymaker?” And David responded, “I make people’s day.” 

And the businessman sat back and said, “Well, you must do it really well, you’re sitting in first class.” 

Why It Matters

David returned home, switched all of his business cards from “stylist” to “daymaker” set out on a mission to center every appointment around the client.

Flashing his business card, he would always get a chuckle out of his clients, a smile from friends, family or colleagues when attending parties or networking events, but it wasn’t until one of David’s usual clients came in unexpectedly that he really understood his own impact.

One of David’s regulars dropped by the salon in between her usual cut and color for a last minute blow out. He asked if she had anything special going on and she said no, that she just really wanted to look and feel good.

David knew something was up, but he didn’t know what, so he gave her a nice stress-relieving treatment, scalp massage and took his time with the shampoo. They had a blast for that brief half hour and on her way out she gave him a big hug and he knew something had changed.

A few days later, David received a note from the same client thanking him for being there. She admitted that she had plans to commit suicide later that night and wanted to look good for her funeral, but over the course of their short shampoo, his kindness touched her in a way neither of them were expecting.

You Have the Power to Change Lives

What if David hadn’t been there? Not just physically, but what if he hadn’t been present for that guest mentally or emotionally? He would never have had such an impact on her life.

So, David decided to start treating every single one of his guests as if they were the one. And he found that by connecting with each client on that level, he was able to keep his own energy up without feeling depleted as the day went on. 

His team started to see the difference he was making and it wasn’t long before everyone had their business cards changed to “daymaker”.

You Have to Make Your Own Day First

Now, as the owner of Juut Salon Spas, David centers his salon culture around day-making. His staff know that it’s not just about being a great hairdresser, it’s about being that kind, caring and compassionate person for each client when behind the chair.

David’s one rule of thumb? You have to make your own day first. You can’t give away what you don’t have. Eat well, sleep well, and take care of yourself first so that each morning you wake up excited about the opportunity to take care of others, even if it’s just for thirty minutes.

Want to learn more about David and how he made a career out of kindness?Listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 195. And don’t forget to check out his book, “Life as a Daymaker”.

The Huge Power of Small
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We all know the saying, “It’s the little things.”--right? But how many of us actually live in that mindset?

Salon owner and industry expert Laura Boton certainly does. For Laura, it was absolutely the little things that got her to where she is today and she hasn’t taken a single one for granted. 

Laura was on track to become a classical vocalist before she became fed up with waiting tables in order to pay for her schooling. She quit cold turkey, enrolled in beauty school and now owns one of the most successful multi-location salons in the city of Chicago, Sine Qua Non.  

That one little decision lead to a monumental change of course. Since then, Laura’s been stacking one small win on top of another in order to climb her way to the top and she’s never looking back.

Little Moments Can Have Monumental Impact

Laura’s initial experiences in the industry weren’t exactly glamourous. She had her own #metoo moment early on in her career and really struggled to find a salon that felt like home. 

Fresh out of beauty school with a new career on her horizon, Laura accepted an assistant position at a local salon. She was assisting the salon’s art director and after a year and a half, she was even taking her own clients two days a week in the midst of attempting to finish music school and performing with her rock band on her occasional night off.

Unfortunately, Laura’s leaders at this first salon truly let her down. The owner of the salon criticized Laura for pursuing anything other than hair after finding her working on homework for school in the break room in between clients.

Later, the art director Laura had been assisting also put her in an incredibly awkward position after showing up at local club where she and her band were performing one night. He had obviously been partying and insisted that she go home with him post performance. Laura refused his inappropriate advance--and the next day at work she was completely shunned by everyone on the salon team--including him.

After a few days of nothing but side eyes at the shampoo bowls, Laura recognized that she was being squeezed out and she decided to quit. She worked her way through a few other salons before growing tired of the lack of solid leadership throughout the industry.

Laura’s battles with bosses and her frustration with the lack of flexibility she was finding at these salons made her question her decision to join the industry at all, but they also pushed her. 

Her frustrations and limitations pushed her to overcome these adversities, to open her own salon where she could offer that level of flexibility and support, and to become the kind of leader she is today.

And thus, Sine Qua Non Salon was born.

Small Spaces With the Most Memorable Feel

Laura’s path to salon ownership wasn’t exactly an easy one, but she made sure to enjoy the ride. Her first Sine Qua Non was a super small, six chair, boutique salon. Laura and her small team of stylists all worked in a row, laughed with each other’s clients, it was such a communal space.

Laura reflects on those first five years and credits that initial experience in creating the foundation for her salons going forward. For Laura, her salon team is family. Even though they might not always get along, they always support and respect one another.

It was that strong, supportive salon culture that Laura worked hard to recreate in each new space, even in her larger locations. She is now the proud owner of three Sine Qua Non salon locations and they’re doing better than ever. 

Laura’s team continues to grow, the level of flexibility she gives her stylists is paramount but never taken for granted, and the entire Sine Qua Non family has made some incredible memories along the way.

Want to learn more about Laura’s leadership style or her renown Sine Qua Non salons? Listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 194. Want more on becoming a solid leader for your salon team? Check out our blog featuring leadership expert, Jay Williams, Becoming a Strong Leader: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What You Ask.

Are You on Bangstyle Yet?
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Well, are you? 

Bangstyle is your ultimate destination for hair inspiration. This digital platform brings the “art” back into our industry. Bangstyle provides professional stylists and the beauty obsessed with a place to feel at home. Follow trends, techniques and tutorials while sharing your passions and connecting with fellow artists--all in one place. 

Want to learn how? Whether you’re a professional beauty brand looking to get in front of industry professionals, or a stylist looking to showcase your work and grow your network, Bangstyle’s President, Ashlee Levitch, is here to give you the lowdown on how you can get involved.

Ashlee began her career in marketing and fashion only to make the switch into the beauty industry in 2008 when she first accepted the position as the President of Bangstyle’s House of Hair Inspiration. Since then, Ashlee has developed a space where beauty truly meets technology. She has developed this online platform to promote hair artist’s hard work, innovation and compassion and now she’s giving you the opportunity to get involved. 

What Is Bangstyle, You Ask?

Bangstyle was initially created so that stylists could share pictures of their work and basically build these amazing lookbooks where they could have all of their hair photos in one beautifully curated place.

Bangstyle was started just a few years before Instagram blew up--and it’s still the only photo-sharing platform dedicated to hairstylists--but boy has it blossomed into so much more.

Today, Bangstyle is a resource for hairstylists and beauty industry brands everywhere. In fact, it even has a large consumer base, who use it to sift through photos for their own hair-inspo before heading to the salon. 

Bangstyle produces all kinds of content, from blogs and articles, to specific brand features, to curated collections and beyond. It’s a one-stop-shop for all beauty industry professionals--so, what are you waiting for?

Want to Show Off Your Work? Stylists Welcome!

Are you a stylist or beauty guru? Do you want to show off your work and spread the love? You’ve come to the right place. 

Bangstyle was brought to life by a few incredible individuals who wanted to bring “art” back into this amazing industry. Ashlee reflects on their original mission centered around showcasing a stylists passion for their craft, which for many goes beyond the tradition cuts and colors being done in the salon. 

While babylights and balayages are artful in their own way, stylists and hair show artists are always creating these amazing avant-garde looks behind the scenes. While these might not be your run-of-the-mill salon styles, these artistic updos often grace runways and editorial shoots and absolutely deserve to have their praises sung--and thus, Bangstyle was born.

Today, Bangstyle is not only the perfect platform to post your own hair photos, but it’s an essential resource for connecting with other beauty industry professionals, brand ambassadors, hair educators--you name it. And, Bangstyle is always looking for content creators! If you’ve got an idea for a blog post, article or web series, submit away!

Creating a Bangstyle account is totally free and incredibly easy. All you have to do is sign-up and start sharing!

Have You Got Something Our Stylists Should See? Beauty Brands All Aboard!

Bangstyle is home to thousands of the industry’s best beauty brands, including cult favorites like Redken, Sam Villa and Keune, and they’re always looking to add more. Brands can create their own profiles on this digital platform, where they can share photos, product knowledge, post articles and even introduce team members and brand ambassadors. 

Ashlee attributes much of Bangstyle’s success to the level of investment from beauty industry brands everywhere. Without their support, consumers and stylists wouldn’t be quite as connected on the platform, these brands really bring everything full circle.

Ashlee is so proud of how far Bangstyle has come as far as brand promotion goes. Today, brands can create their own channels where they can publish content, post photos, articles and even upload videos to share with both stylists and general consumers alike.

If you’re looking for a unique way to showcase your brand and get in front of your ideal target audience, it’s time to create a Bangstyle account!

Want to learn more about the ever-so-inspirational Ashlee and Bangstyle’s roots? Listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 191. And don’t forget to create your Bangstyle account today! Happy surfing!

There’s No “I” in Team
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Are you still running a commission-based salon?

You’re not alone—but know that you’re also not the only one considering making the switch to team-based pay.

Mark Gonzales, owner of Mark Pardo Salonspas, is all for team-based pay. Aside from being a five-location salon owner, Mark is also the CEO of the Aveda Institute in New Mexico, a member of Intercoiffure and the 2 to 10 Project and a certified business strategy coach.

Mark is so proud of the team he’s built at Mark Pardo. With five locations, their bond has never been stronger, and Mark says that camaraderie is due largely in part to his team-based compensation system.

There’s No “I” In Team

Mark Pardo salons started as commission-based salons, which is still perceived as the standard operating compensation in our industry. 

Mark ran his salons this way for years until he stumbled across an article that explained that any challenges you’re facing based on your operational systems often stem from the conditions within your salon. Commission-based compensation leads to an “all-about-me” mentality instead of fostering teamwork and a shared sense of creativity and support. 

Mark decided to do more research on team-based pay. He learned all about financial literacy and how team-based pay makes your employees more aware of how they can make a difference in their business--how they can contribute.

It’s All About Changing Your Mindset

People tend to perceive change as a negative experience. They view it as loss, something that comes with losing a perk or privilege they once had. 

Mark, on the other hand, has always seen change as an opportunity, and it was his leadership and influence that enabled him to convince his stylists of the positives that came with the switch to team-based pay.

As a stylist, choosing to work in a salon environment instead of renting your own booth already says something about how much you value having that community, that support system. Mark decided that it was time to remind his stylists of the bigger picture--that they belong to something bigger than themselves, they’re a part of a team of people dedicated to serving others and growing in their individual careers. 

Time to Level Up

Mark and his team incorporate tips as income. His new employees usually start out around $10 or $15 an hour depending on how well they’re performing within the salon and the system evolves from there.

There are five levels of stylists and your ability to move up depends entirely on your performance and your ability to hit or even exceed your benchmarks. These include stats like client retention rates, average product per service ticket, pre-booking rates, the cut-to-color ratio, etc. All of which contribute to a stylists ability to advance and earn more compensation.

In addition to this system, Mark instituted a bonus system within each individual level that allows them to make anywhere from $150 to $300 more every two weeks in order to keep the momentum going. 

Hourly All the Way

Although commission-based compensation was controllable, Mark never saw it as a motivator. With commission, there is a certain limit that salon owners simply can’t surpass while still maintaining a profitable business. So, your staff settles because they’re under the impression that they’ve reached the top and there’s no way for them to make more in the same number of hours.

Of course, payroll is the biggest cost in any business, so it still has to be controlled and maintained in a healthy way. But for Mark, this came easily with team-based pay. 

With this new compensation structure, Mark is able to make sure that his stylists are making a living, his salon business is, in fact, profitable, and he’s able to provide his team with the luxuries that make such a system sustainable, like health insurance, dental care, paid time off--you name it.

Three Is Easier Than Two

Mark can’t help but chuckle when he thinks about the old saying his mentor, Juut Salon Spas’ David Wagner, used to mutter. “Three is easier than two,” he would to say, suggesting that owning and operating three salon locations was actually easier than two, or even one for that matter.

For years Mark shrugged off this suggestion with a laugh, believing that in no way that more could ever be easier. Of course, eventually Mark opened location number three and realized he couldn’t have his hands in all of the action anymore. 

Instead, Mark found that he had to learn to let go and trust that his leaders could carry his brand without him just fine. Then, Mark was able to step into his larger responsibility, which was to coach and support leaders who would ultimately take care of his legacy and proudly begin to make their own. 

Now, Mark is the proud owner of five Mark Pardo Salonspas and he’ll tell you that it is, in fact, much easier to manage all five locations now than it was when he first opened location number one. Why? Because his employees truly care about the longevity of their brand and the success of their teammates--they’re all in it together. 

Want to learn more about Mark and his incredible group of Salonspas? Listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 190. Will you be at Intercoiffure this year? Direct Message us on social or shoot us an email and let us know, we’d love to meet you!

Climbing the Ladder of Success With Adam Broderick
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Here at Beyond The Technique we love to highlight the success stories of the many influencers in our industry because they’re all so unique, and Adam Broderick’s is no exception. Although many of us stumbled our way into the beauty industry after admittedly struggling in school, how many of us can say that we started our haircutting careers by practicing on poodles?

From working as an animal groomer to opening up an award-winning salon, Adam has done it all. Adam shares his steps to success starting from the very beginning—you’re not going to want to miss this! 

Adam is the owner of the renown Adam Broderick Salon and Spa with two locations in Connecticut. Amongst other things, Adam is also a motivational speaker and business consultant to other salon owners. He is quite the entrepreneur and he’s one of the industry’s most respected figures.  

Adam walks us through how he started his own pet grooming business before the age of twenty, how this incredibly unique career choice ultimately led him to the beauty industry, and how he eventually opened his own salon and built up his business in order to become one of the great successes of our time.                                                                                                               

Taking the Not-So-Traditional Route

Adam is the self-proclaimed poster-child for extreme attention deficit disorder, but despite being labeled as lazy or having a lack of focus, Adam decided to find his own way by following his passion for animals. While at the time he wanted to be a veterinarian, he knew that the level of schooling required wasn’t really in the cards for him.

He got his first job working at a pet store, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to enroll in dog-grooming school at the age of sixteen. After he graduated he started his own grooming business which he ran until he turned twenty and decided to look for something a little less tedious.  

At the same time, the hair industry began to grow. Adam remembers Sassoon coming to town and thinking how cool it was to be a hairdresser. Shortly afterwards, Adam decided to sell his business and enroll in beauty school.

You’ll Never Get What You Don’t Ask For

There’s something to be said for putting yourself out there, and Adam was never afraid to ask for what he felt he deserved. Adam fondly reflects on his first job at Sassoon, which he earned after shamelessly offering his services up for free.  

Nailing a job at a big-name salon was a bit of a leap for a kid fresh out of beauty school, and of course they couldn’t legally allow Adam to work at Sassoon for free, but ultimately it was his energy and enthusiasm that won Adam the job.

How to Know When It’s Time to Open Your Own Studio

Although Adam had been in business before, opening his own salon wasn’t really on his radar. Yet after spending some time working in the city, he decided he was looking for something different.

With plans to move to California, Adam packed his bags and headed to Connecticut to visit his sister before his travels out west. Of course, as the tale goes, this is where Adam met his partner Pete and as Adam likes to joke, it seems California is carrying on just fine without him.

Although there were a handful of salons in Warrern, Connecticut, where the pair decided to settle down, none of them were operating at quite the same caliber as those in the city and Adam was craving that familiar and exciting environment. So, he decided to open his own small color studio, and because he specialized in color, so began his hunt for cutting specialists to collaborate with.

Creating a Solid Culture Through Collaboration

Because Adam built his business around his need for a cutting specialist who could compliment his skills as a colorist, the business itself was less owner-centric, fueled on mutual respect for each other’s craft. To this day, Adam truly believes that it was that initial collaboration that set the tone for his incredibly successful business model.

After thirty-two years, Adam’s business model has certainly evolved but his carefully crafted salon culture has remained strong. Adam believes that the secret to success starts with humility. He always says that, as a leader, it’s less about being the star of the show and more about how you can shine a light on the success of your stylists.  

If you’d like to learn more about Adam and his incredible journey in the beauty industry including how he has managed to grow his salon, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 169. And don’t forget to check out his salon website to follow his movement on his own industry blog, Insights from Adam.

Insider Tips on Big Time Blogging
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Blogging has grown substantially over the years—and although blogs are no longer the hot new form of communication per say, they have picked up some serious speed with the rise of social media. 

If you haven’t already launched a blog for your business, it’s time to get started! Blogs are one of the most valuable tools business owners have in their toolbox. A blog essentially acts a publishing platform for your business, and it creates the perfect avenue to market directly to your prospective clients at little to no cost. 

If you still need convincing, you’re in luck because digital marketing expert Joey Donovan Guido is here to sell you on the concept of blogging and to offer his best tips and tricks for taking your business blog and running with it big time. 

We introduced you to Joey on our Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed his previous interviews we’ll give you a quick recap: Joey owns his own online marketing business, Cuppa SEO, in which he helps businesses improve their searchability and master all aspects of digital marketing. 

Before this major business venture, Joey dipped his toes into the world of blogging and was the writer behind “Daddy Brain,” a blog that gave its readers a peak into the thoughts, feelings and struggles of being a modern-day dad. Although he has retired his popular “dad blog,” he’s still very active in the blogging scene. He publishes content under his business name, Cuppa SEO, and works to help other businesses get their blogs up and running as well. With his expert industry insight, Joey spills his best blogging secrets to get you excited about creating content for your business.

Blogging: Good for Business in More Ways Than One

There is much to be said for publishing a blog under your business name because, regardless of what your business is, does, or sells, a blog is a great way to build a network of customers before they even walk through your door. 

Joey reminds us that blogging is not for the purpose of selling or pushing a specific product onto our readers, instead, a business blog should be used to build relationships with your clients. For salon owners, blogs can be the perfect way to preview some of your services for new clients, and to continue that candid conversation long after their time in your chair. 

 

Google Loves a Good Business Blog

On the marketing side of things, what a blog does for your business is absolutely invaluable. It’s a way to connect with clients. It’s a useful tool in helping them find your business and it could wind up being the cherry on top that really seals the deal in their decision to seek out your services.

This is where SEO comes into play. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is Joey’s jam. It’s exactly what it sounds like, it is the science behind enhancing or optimizing your searchability—or essentially an attempt to get the big dogs, like Google, to notice you. 

SEO is so important to your business because in today’s digital world everyone turns to Google for recommendations, and if you provide the services that a potential client is searching for, you want to ensure that your business is listed among those top hits. 

Well, we have good news—Google loves a good business blog. If you’re pushing out content, even just once per week, Google takes notice. After a few weeks, you start to build up some credibility and suddenly your blog alone has bumped you up from the third page of hits to the first recommendation.

 

Boasting About Your Business? Put It in Writing

A lot of the fear around publishing a blog comes from business owners who are afraid of the writing component. Joey encourages his clients to change their thinking—don’t view blogging as a writing assignment, think of it as another platform for communicating about your business.

At the end of the day, you know more about your business and your industry than anyone else. If you’re a salon owner, you likely can’t help but get excited about the services you specialize in and you could gush about your team or your best clients all day long. Take that same energy and put it down into words—it’s as simple as that. 

You don’t have to be an amazing writer to produce a popular blog, you just have to be pushing out content that you’re passionate about, and the writing will come naturally as a result. 

 

Get Crafty with Content Creation

When it comes to writing a blog for your beauty business, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many beauty blogs out there, you could easily look to other savvy salon blogs for some ideas and find fun ways to spin them to fit your salon. 

Gentle reminder: no one is expecting you to produce Pulitzer prize-winning blog posts. Your efforts should simply be put toward adding value for your readers. Focus in on a few topics that you know are relevant to your client base and run with them. 

Quick Tip: Sometimes the best blog posts are the ones that focus in on just one micro-topic. This could be a piece on your salon’s specific technique for cutting curly hair or a product review of your new beard oil, and just really cover that topic in full. These posts are super easy for your readers to digest and they’re just short enough to leave them wanting more!

 

When It Comes to Blog Titles: Clarity Over Creativity

Perhaps the most important element to each blog post is the title. You could be publishing some incredible must-read content, but if that title doesn’t scream “click on me!” your readers won’t think twice before scrolling on until something else catches their eye.

Titles are your attention grabbers, they are the primary vehicles driving traffic to your blog posts, but at the end of the day—clarity always trumps creativity when it comes to titling your published pieces. 

Again, this has everything to do with SEO. If you want your blog post to pop up on Google during a relevant search, Joey says you had better throw the dog a bone and insert a few keywords into the title to increase your chances of being found. Think about the content of your blog post and dig deep to determine the main topic. Once you’re able to pinpoint the true premise of your blog post, you can begin to build off of that theme in order to brainstorm a more creative title.  

The best thing you can do when launching a blog is to simply put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Think about your target audience, all of your clients, past and potential, in order to determine what kind of content will be the most relevant to them. As long as you include your clients in the conversation and have a little fun with it, you’re going to benefit from publishing a blog under your business.     

For more insider tips on starting your business blog, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 158. Be sure to also check out Cuppa SEO’s website and business blog for more expert advice on all things digital marketing.

Getting Down to Business at Serious Business® 2019
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Serious Business® is the beauty industry’s networking event of the year. The conference, put on by Neill Corporation, can be chalked up to a wonderful weekend gathering of like-minded individuals and industry leaders dedicated to personal development and bettering their business practices.

According to Neill, the purpose of Serious Business® is to expose, evoke, and evolve the thinking of its attendees in order to encourage business owners and all of their employees to reach their full potential. This year’s theme, “Get Out of Your Own Way,” well—it pretty much speaks for itself.

Here at Beyond The Technique, our team had the pleasure of attending the many educational and inspirational talks given by this year’s amazing keynote speakers and we were so proud to support our own incredible host and CEO, Kati Whitledge, along with the other 2019 breakout speakers during this year’s breakout sessions.  

After spending an incredible weekend in New Orleans networking with and learning from some of the best in the business, we compiled a list of the top 12 takeaways from the event. Salon owners—listen up!

A Change is A-Coming

Seth Mattison, author of The War at Work, opens our eyes to the massive change we’re experiencing in the workforce today. We’re slowly and steadily shifting from the age of the hierarchy to the age of the network—which promises to change the way we work.  

Ultimately, this shift will lead toward more freedom for stylists, and in return less security for salon owners—but this is a good thing. Seth encourages salon owners and managers to welcome this change, it’s a chance to prove your loyalty to your tribe by propelling your team forward.

If you work to provide your team of stylists with ample opportunities to develop their skills and educate their peers, in return you’ll begin to build an even stronger relationship, one based on mutual trust and respect instead of unstable top-down leadership.

Personal Growth is Professional Growth

Advancing in your career can’t happen without a little personal growth and development. If you’re looking to level up in your professional life, you should start by looking for those areas in your personal life that could use some improvement.  

The pioneers of Emergent Wisdom, Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles, stand by the idea that breaking down those personal barriers is what will ultimately lead to developing your best business practices.

As founders of the groundbreaking Bridge Method, Panos and Smiles encourage all of us to get outside of ourselves in order to leverage our potential both in and outside of our profession. They recently co-authored the trailblazing book, Now or Never, which fits in perfectly with this year’s Serious Business theme—if you don’t dig deep now in order to determine which of your own personal tendencies are holding you back today, you won’t be better tomorrow—the time is now.

Get Social With It

There’s something to be said for social media marketing, and Shama Hyder is here to give you the low down on the importance of having a digital presence in today’s technological world. Hyder is the CEO of the award-winning agency, Zen Media, and the best-selling author of two books, The Zen of Social Media Marketing and Momentum.

As a keynote speaker with vast knowledge of the world of marketing, Hyder encourages salon owners to really think about the benefits surrounding social media marketing. She says the best way to gain a following across any of the various platforms available today is to find your niche in the marketplace and milk it.

Hyder shares the three principles for gaining momentum on social media.

It’s About What We Can Do for You

It’s not about what your brand says about you or your business, it’s about what it says about the people who believe in it—your clients are your brand ambassadors.

Agility Is Based in Analytics

Numbers are your friend—use your data and analytics to tell a better story.  

The People Are Vying for Video

Video has three times more reach than any other content, heed Hyder’s advice and make 2019 the year your brand focuses on video content.

Business Is About Building Relationships

The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life—or, in this case—your business. Psychotherapist, Esther Perel, recognizes the unique advantage that stylists have when it comes to building real relationships with their clients and customers. 

In addition to the generous amount of time stylists are able to spend with their clients in the chair, the salon is one of the few havens where human touch is actually encouraged, and that alone lends itself to a great deal of trust between the two parties involved. Capitalize on this opportunity—make it a point to really connect with your clients.  

Communicate With Your Clients

It might sound simple, but the key to keeping your clients is solid communication. Joey Coleman, author of Never Lose a Customer Again, argues that most businesses lose that connection with their clients after the purchase. So, he’s challenging salon owners and stylists to keep that connection and communication alive well beyond the point of sale.

If you want to keep your clients coming back, let them know! In order to improve the client experience, you have to carry on the conversation long after your clients leave the salon. Get personal—show your clients you’re thinking about them, spread love—and you’ll never lose another client again.

Know Your Worth

As president of the Gene Juarez Salon and Spa group in Seattle, Washington, Scott Missad is all too familiar with the stress that comes with pricing your own services. He encourages stylists and salon owners to remember the difference between value and price.   

Your clients aren’t just paying for their cut and color, they’re paying for the time spent in your chair—the full salon experience. As a salon owner or stylist, it’s important to that you give yourself credit where credit is due. Understand your worth and promote yourself with confidence. In return, your prices will always reflect the value of the services you provide.

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Surround Yourself With Success

As the owner of Be Inspired Salon in Madison, Wisconsin, Kati Whitledge knows how important it is to build a strong team of stylists. For many, the recruiting process is exhausting and can feel like a vicious cycle, but Kati encourages salon owners and stylists alike to get exciting about on-boarding by viewing it as an opportunity.  

Kati shares the three steps she always takes when it comes to recruiting.

You Must Master Thy Self

You can’t expect to successfully lead others without first conquering your own faults and flaws. Once you learn who you are, where you might fall short and where you often succeed, then you can begin to build your team with people who compliment you in those areas.

Be Tenacious When it Comes to Recruiting

You have to be relentless in the recruiting process. In fact, you should always be on the lookout for those people with potential, because regardless of whether or not you’re looking to add to your team in that moment, those personalities can be hard to come by and if you know they’re going to be a great fit, you can always find room.  

The Truth Is in the Technique: How Do You Hire?

Finally, it all comes down to the nuts and bolts of hiring. At the end of the day, your salon’s culture comes first. If you find that person with the strong personality who still needs time to develop their technical skills—hire them. Skills can be taught, but attitudes can’t always be changed.

Be Better Than the Best

Bad-Ass Business Coach, Lyn Christian, works with professionals in every industry in order to encourage them to take control of their lives and ultimately take charge of their careers.

Whether you’re looking to reinvent your career or you simply need help taking your business to that next level, Lyn believes the best way to close the gap between who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow is to find a fresh point of reference. Take the time periodically to sit down, look at your current situation and write down your goals. You might be surprised at how your objectives shift as you continue to develop your career.  

Be Nice, or Else!

The founder and dean of Paul Mitchell’s educational division, Winn Claybaugh, is here with one simple snippet of advice—be nice, or else. Being kind to others is the one behavioral practice that is guaranteed to guide you toward a life of love and leadership. Not to mention, it’s unbelievably easy and the rewards are immeasurable.

If you can create, train and sustain a “be nice” community in your workplace, potential hires will be dying to work with you, clients and customers will be determined to do business with you, and your team will thank you. 

Double Down on Your Salon Culture

As the owner of the Nutur Salon and Spa group in Columbus, Ohio, Patrick Thompson is all too familiar with the importance of forming a solid salon culture. Your culture should never be overlooked, it’s the energy that fuels the relationships that your business relies on.  

The two most important assets to any salon business are your teammates and your clients—and the one tried and true way to preserve those relationships is to provide an environment that both parties want to be a part of.  

Find Partners With Potential

As the Founder and CEO of Qnity and the 2 to 10 Project with a background in salon ownership, Tom Kuhn is uniquely qualified to see all angles that go into successful partnering. He believes that the secret to forming these relationships and ultimately finding a partner with potential is to keep competition out of the conversation.

Whether you’re looking to leverage your business or you’re hoping to hand over some of your responsibilities, building relationships through partnerships can be a great way to add value to your business while also providing a potential exit strategy for salon owners who are ready for their next career move. Partnerships are all about possibility—so, keep your eyes peeled for that next promising opportunity.   

Put Yourself First

Health and Wellness Expert, Ben Greenfield, reminds us that our professional performance relies on our personal health and longevity. Life is a delicate balance, and as busy industry professionals, many of us forget to take care of ourselves at that most basic level.

We all aspire to some level of health, wealth and happiness, but it’s important to keep up the effort in each of these categories. At the end of the day, a lavish life has little meaning without people to share it with. Take time for yourself, put energy toward maintaining your relationships, both personal and professional, and relish in the little things.

4 Ways to Overcome Hairstylist Anxiety
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Guess who’s back? Our top contributor and industry expert, Shana Dee! Shana has already shared countless industry tips with our followers ranging from consultation advice to Instagram tricks, and she is back again to discuss four ways to overcome hairstylist anxiety. Even better, this is a topic that one of our followers requested, and we’re excited to offer our help!

What is Hairstylist Anxiety?

To start, Shana Dee wants to make sure we are all on the same page about what hairstylist anxiety actually is, so we can work together to overcome it. Let’s start with a stressful situation that we can all relate to: the moment you realize that your client doesn’t like her hair, and you’re thinking “Oh man…this isn’t good.” Sometimes, your client doesn’t even have to say anything, but you can feel it, and you start to feel deflated. Can you relate to that? How about the situation when you have a new client who is booked for a fifteen minute color retouch, but needs a full color correction? You’re magically supposed to fit an hour service into fifteen minutes while winning this client over. There’s no way that this can turn out well, so here comes the anxiety (and maybe even some tears)!

Shana Dee wants to reassure our readers that she experiences these problems too—we promise that you are not alone! Even as a seventeen-year industry veteran, Shana has days when she drives home and thinks about starting a second career as a neurosurgeon! So, maybe you haven’t considered becoming a neurosurgeon, but hairstylist anxiety is a real problem that we all experience. Many hairstylists live in fear about receiving a bad review, having their reputation ruined, and losing their paycheck. This is not healthy, so Shana wants to open the conversation up and share four ways to overcome the unique stressors that hairstylists experience!

Strategy #1: Eliminate The Problem Before It Starts

Here’s another situation that Shana is sure you can relate to: you check your schedule for the day, you see a name that you don’t recognize, your heart skips a beat, and anxiety rears its ugly head! You run to the receptionist, ask a million questions about this new client, but you end up feeling unprepared and anxious about the unknown. Of course, this new client expects you to solve all her past hairstylist transgressions in one appointment. No wonder we feel so much pressure!

Well, Shana was so tired of feeling this stress that she decided to eliminate this problem before it could even become a problem! To do this, Shana received approval from her boss to implement a new requirement that all new clients had to have an email consultation with Shana before they could be added to her books. Basically, any new client had to talk with Shana before they could have an appointment with her. By taking charge of how new clients were being scheduled, Shana no longer felt anxiety when looking at her schedule. Now, she knows exactly what type of client she is seeing, what they are expecting of her, and knows that they are scheduled for the proper service time. What’s even better is that Shana’s clients are often so appreciative that she has taken this extra step that they feel even more comfortable with her! That’s a win-win!

Shana Dee understands that this system might not work at every salon, but there is a tool that can work at (almost) every salon! This tool is Meet Your Stylist! Meet Your Stylist is a unique survey that matches clients with the hairstylist at your salon who is the best fit for them based on their service, personality, and lifestyle. Again, this eliminates the fear of the unknown for both the client and the stylist. If you can use Meet Your Stylist and implement email consultations, you can say bye-bye to this type of anxiety for good!

Strategy #2: Let It Go!

When clients complain, it sucks. There is no way to sugar coat it. Shana Dee admits that there is nothing that can deflate your confidence as quickly as a complaining customer. Just one complaint can haunt you for days while you replay that appointment over and over in your head. In that moment, you are expected to fix the problem while totally shutting out your own emotions and trying not to get flustered. Who can’t handle that, right? Wrong! This is totally overwhelming, and we often find ourselves alone and crying in our car—Shana is not afraid to be honest and say that this has happened to her! We give our energy, love, and talent to each guest, so when it doesn’t turn out right, it really hurts us emotionally.

While Shana wishes that she had a magic wand and could make all the hardworking stylists feel better after a complaint, she just can’t do it. But, she does have a few suggestions to build your confidence back up! First, Shana Dee recommends going home and eating a really nice dinner! Whether you pick up your favorite takeout or make a bowl of mac and cheese, take some time for yourself and eat dinner. You’re probably jacked up on caffeine from working all day and haven’t eaten lunch, so a relaxing dinner is a must! Then, go to bed. Just close your eyes and leave the day behind—just let it go! When you wake up in the morning, scroll through your Instagram and remember all the clients who have left your chair with huge smiles and loving their hair!

Shana reassures you that it might take a few days to heal, and that is okay! But, one of the worst things that you can do is start telling everyone about the incident. Just don’t do it! It’s understandable to tell a few trusted friends, but Shana Dee has heard colleagues talk about bad experiences over and over again and suddenly this one incident has been dragged on for two weeks. If you are still talking about it, it has power over you; once you stop talking about it, you can move on. At the end of the day, you just have to take out the emotional trash, and let it go!

Strategy #3: Fake Being Ok

We’ve all heard the saying “Fake It ‘Til You Make It.” Well, Shana Dee is here to tell us that there is some truth to that! Have you ever heard of the concept of cognitive dissonance? Shana explains that cognitive dissonance is the scientific explanation of fake it ‘til you make it. Essentially, if you act like you’re confident and happy, even if you genuinely aren’t, you can start to actually feel these positive emotions. Shana recommends that when you’re feeling hairstylist anxiety, just take a few minutes and pretend that you’re okay. That’s right, just pretend that you’re feeling terrific. This one simple activity can help alleviate so much of your anxiety!

On days when the struggle is extra real, Shana suggests repeating to yourself “I’m the best hairstylist in my city. I am smart and this will not break me.” If you keep repeating this in your head, you will start to believe it, and you’ll get a huge confidence boost! While this might sound silly, Shana Dee assures us that these are techniques that she has used and have worked!

Strategy #4: Education is Key!

One of the biggest culprits of hairstylist anxiety is feeling like we can’t get the results we want, or wondering why a service turned out so badly. Shana is here to remind us that hair color and cutting is a science. Once you understand the laws of hair color, you will know how to do all color corrections, and it is no longer a guessing game! You will know with certainty how to perform every single service, and you will feel so confident!

With the fabulous invention of YouTube, Shana explains that you have no excuses for not learning something new every day. You don’t even have to leave your house or spend any money to learn something new! Start doing this today, and not only will you learn so much, but you will be so inspired by others. Shana Dee also encourages you to not limit yourself to learning about cutting and coloring, but start reading books about marketing, business, communications, and so much more! Educating yourself is all about gaining confidence which will definitely reduce your anxiety!

To recap, Shana Dee recommends four ways to reduce your hairstylist anxiety: #1: Eliminate The Problem Before It Starts, #2: Let It Go!, #3 Fake Being Ok, and #4: Education Is Key. Shana would love to hear about other situations that produce anxiety, so we can work together to overcome them! Please remember that you are not alone in experiencing these feelings, and we are all here to support each other. If you have other instances to share, or tips to overcome anxiety, please share them on our sister company's private Facebook group! We can’t wait to meet you!

Profits Are Yours for the Taking
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Do you have a mindset of scarcity or abundance? If you’ve heard my previous podcast on struggling with food addiction, I used to have the mindset that I had to eat the last four brownies that were left. I did this because I was scared that if I didn’t do it now, that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to have that taste, that feeling, that experience again, and I’d regret missing out on it. That is the scarcity mentality, where you constantly fear that the thing you really want will be gone tomorrow. 

Now, I want to translate that fear mentality into profits. I believe that some of us are discounting what we have to offer because we are scared that if we don’t offer the best deal, someone else is going to offer a better deal, and we’ll lose out on business. Or, we are afraid to charge what we believe we’re worth because we’re afraid to lose a client because of it.

But I want to tell you that profits are yours for the taking. You don’t have to be afraid of the “what-ifs.” I think sometimes we make things up in our minds that don’t even exist. We create these irrational fears. That’s natural. But, how can we train ourselves to think differently? And, how do we adjust to have an abundance mentality instead?

What is money?

Money is an idea backed by confidence in its exchangeability. I’ll say it again: we’re in business together. We’re entrepreneurs. There is a difference between rich people and wealthy people. Rich people have money. Wealthy people have time and money. What would you do if you had unlimited time? If money wasn’t an issue?

Don’t you want to get to that point? You can create that type of life for yourself if you have an abundance mentality.

Here’s the truth of it: historically we’ve proven that we don’t run out of resources. We won’t ever run out. When we’ve lost our way or we’ve come to a crossroads and needed to find a new path, historically we have always figured it out.

An author I recommend is Paul Zane Pilzner who wrote a book called Unlimited Wealth. In it, he explains that the essence of economics is alchemy. In our history, we’ve figured out how to create something from nothing. We can look at Benjamin Franklin and his discovery of electricity, or Thomas Edison creating the light bulb. We can look at Andrew Carnegie figuring out how to manufacture steel for skyscrapers using an efficient process with an affordable cost. There’s Rockefeller, converting crude oil into kerosene and then kerosene into gasoline. If we fast-forward to more recent times we could talk about artificial insemination or cloning. We have a legacy of figuring things out. Why? Because we are innovative problem solvers.

Innovation as a Means for Success

Confrontation leads to innovation. When you’re searching for a method or solution, establish a group of people who don’t necessarily agree with each other, but have a common goal. That’s the beauty of creating a team. You have a problem and you figure it out, through innovation and teamwork, with differing insights available.

What are the reoccurring themes of your own self-talk? Are you worried? Fear is just false expectations appearing as real. The first step is to recognize whether you have a scarcity mentality or an abundance mentality. If you lean more to the scarcity side, that’s okay. But consider adjusting your viewpoint to see the potential and abundance all around you. Money is everywhere and it’s available for the taking.  It all comes down to how you choose to look at it.

If I could leave you with one other resource today, I’d recommend a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It asks questions about how you grew up looking at money, viewing money, and how you can recognize and acknowledge these aspects.

How will you change or expand your current beliefs so that you aren’t sitting back and worrying about making profits, but that you recognize that profits are all around you? There are so many creative ways to have profits come to you… they are yours for the taking.

Do you have more tips for developing an abundance mentality? Or, do you want some more help leaving behind your scarcity mentality? Share with us on our Instagram and in our sister company's private Facebook group! We will see you there! 

How to Manage Stress: Part 3
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The Third Way to Manage Stress: Find Your Breath

We breathe all day, every day, but never really take the time to think about it. Spend a moment now breathing deeply and make note of your body’s reaction.

Taking a few deep breaths should be your immediate reaction to stress, anxiety, anger, or worry in your day-to-day life. In those moments, taking the time to step away briefly and breathe can be highly beneficial when you’re ready to return to the situation and resolve the issues you’re facing.

Many of us are in stress mode all day and never give ourselves the chance to slow down and breathe. If you’re looking in the mirror and trying to breathe properly, it should look like your stomach is blowing up into a balloon, rather than your shoulders are lifting up towards your ears. Keep your shoulders relaxed and neutral. Instead, expand and contract your stomach as you breathe deeply.

This style of breathing works your diaphragm properly. It’s also the way that musicians breathe in order to effectively support the dynamics of their song. This strategy is so important to implement because it can offer immediate stress relief!

Yoga is also an incredible way to learn about breathing! I used to be against yoga, because I thought it would be boring. But once I found the right yoga studio for me, I discovered how much I loved it, and now my body needs yoga. Sometimes the things we don’t want to do are actually things we need the most. For me, that was yoga.

Yogis call yoga a “practice” because it really does takes time to master, and you won’t be amazing at it on your first attempt. I try to attend one yoga class per week, but the breathing part of the class is still one of my greatest challenges. It’s not the moves I struggle with, but making sure I’m not always holding my breath and keeping all the tension in is challenging.

The bottom line is that breathing will help to alleviate your stress! Your main goal should be to find easy ways to manage stress, because it’s not just going to stop being a part of your life. Instead of wishing stress away, you need to become more resilient to it, and find ways to cope with it. If you find positive outlets for stress, I believe you’ll be less likely to make decisions that will harm you in the long run.

I used to look to food as a source of stress relief--something that would make me feel good immediately. I also used to have wine every night after the salon closed. I was at the salon all day working like a crazy person, and I’d be so busy that I wouldn’t eat much throughout the day. Then I would go home and drink about a bottle of wine every night to relax and unwind from the day. That type of habit didn’t set me up for long term success. Yes, it was instant gratification, but those negative choices will eventually catch up with you. If you have positive outlets instead for when you’re stressed, tired, or anxious, you’re setting yourself up for much greater success!

Do you want to share your stress-relief tips with other industry professionals? Check out our sister company’s private Facebook group to interact with like-minded professionals! We can’t wait to see you there!

Three Hairdresser Money Mind Shifts, Featuring Industry Expert Shana Dee
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As beauty industry professionals, it’s so important for us to think in ways that give us the outcomes we desire. When you’ve been standing on your feet for eight hours, working with numerous personality types, and taking the last walk-in appointment, you definitely need to put mind over matter and focus on positive thoughts! Today, Shana Dee—Master Stylist based in DC with over 16 years of beauty industry experience—is sharing three mind shifts that will put you in control of your own life and your money!

#1 Eliminate Competition

Shana’s first tip is to eliminate competition. You might be thinking: how do I get rid of competition when there is a salon on every other corner? Friends, Shana Dee reminds us that your only competitor is your own mind.

Let’s start with a short story to show you what we’re talking about and how you can eliminate competition! There is a successful salon in the Midwest that has been passed down through four generations. It is a strong community staple, but then a chain salon opened and started offering $6 haircuts. When this chain salon opened, the owner got nervous and approached his son worried, “What are we going to do? Our ‘competition’ is offering $6 haircuts. We can’t compete with that! We’re going to go out of business!”

Instead of panicking, the son said to his dad, “What would it take for us to make more money than last year? Let’s each write down three ideas that can help our business succeed.”

Guess what they came up with? They developed a new slogan: We Fix $6 Haircuts. How perfect, right? In that year, not only did they thrive, but they made more money in that year than any year prior!

Shana Dee explains that when you start viewing other salons and even your coworkers as competition, you kill your creativity. You may be wondering, where does this scarcity thinking even come from? As kids, we were taught that you can’t have another piece of the cake because that means someone else won’t have a piece. But, we live in an environment where you can create an even bigger cake, and eat it too! Instead of thinking about what you lack, think in abundance.

How do you change your mindset to one of abundance? Shana suggests that you start with gratitude. For instance, say something like, “I’m so grateful that I have a full schedule and I’m always attracting new clients.” Or try, “I work with so many talented hair stylists, and I receive a lot of inspiration from them. I love that we collaborate and are always lifting each other up!” Positive affirmations and expressing gratitude are the quickest ways to bring creativity and abundance to your life.

#2 Be an Expert

Shana Dee reminds us that in every industry, the expert is always paid the most. A CEO is paid more than the intern and a lawyer is paid more than a paralegal. So, why do so few people become experts in their chosen field? It’s all about what you know and what you do.

When you go home from work, what are you doing to increase your knowledge about being a hair stylist? The opportunities to increase your knowledge are truly endless! You can learn how to edit videos, use Photoshop, take advanced color and cutting classes, read business books, and listen to podcasts! Shana stresses that becoming an expert separates you from the herd and makes you stand out!

How do you separate the expert from a novice? Shana Dee uses one simple question: are you confident or certain? Let’s say that you absolutely love hair color, and you’ve decided to become an expert. When you’re in the middle of a color correction appointment, are you confident that you know how to fix it, or are you certain? Are you running to the back to ask another stylist for advice or do you know every required step to get from A to B? There is a big difference between being confident and being certain—this is the difference that will make you an expert. Pick a craft that really lights you up and become an expert!

#3 Mind Over Money

We’ve all been there before when we look at our schedule and our jaw hits the floor! You think, “OMG, I have no clients!” Then the stress hits you and you start worrying about money. It’s easy for you to start blaming your surroundings and think, “If only I were at a different salon, I would have more clients.” Shana Dee explains that these thoughts place you in a state of desperation and jealousy. Trust us, money will not come from these thoughts!

The difference between stylists who are booked with a steady stream of clients and the ones who are worrying about money is how they are thinking. The more successful stylist is thinking different thoughts; she is thinking, “I love being so busy!” and “I am so grateful that clients choose me to be their stylist—I’m providing them a great service!” Shana emphasizes that these positive thoughts also spill into other aspects of your life, and you go home pumped up and ready to become an expert! You start spending more time mastering your craft and building your following. Start thinking positive thoughts and the money will follow!

What’s Next?

Now that you know the three money mind shifts, you need to set some goals for yourself. Your goal could be to post one Instagram picture or video every day, or you plan to get five new clients in a week. Whatever your goals are, Shana reminds us that you really have to set clear goals and go for it! You don’t have to know every single step along the way, you just have to take the first step—you will get closer every day!

Do you want to share your goals with other industry pros who can keep you accountable and give you confidence? Check out our sister company’s private Facebook group! We can’t wait to see you there!

How To Manage Stress: Part 2

I love exercise--it’s definitely my favorite way to manage stress. It’s incredible to notice exercise boosting your endorphins. For example, you’ve probably heard that people who are avid runners can get a runner’s high each time they work out. This is because there are neurotransmitters in your brain that pump out good feelings when you work out.

Exercise can also be a great escape. A great workout takes your mind off of whatever might be happening this week or morning, because your body is focusing on movement rather than stress. Additionally, exercise helps you sleep better, which is a proven stress reducer. Sleep is incredibly important for the body, because it helps increase your mood and self-confidence, and lowers symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

However, there are also a few rules I have for great, productive exercise.

#1 It should be challenging

I’m not saying every workout needs to be extremely challenging, because going for a walk or doing some yoga is also very beneficial for your body. Not all exercise has to be challenging, but most should be. You’ve heard the saying, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” and that is very true for me. Your heart has to be pumping, and you have to put some effort in for your most successful workout.

#2 It should be fun

If you don’t have fun, you probably won’t stick with it. You’ve all probably tried exercises and activities before that you thought were awful. For me, this was swimming. As much as I would love to pretend by buying a Speedo suit and putting swimming into my exercise plan, I just don’t have fun with it. I’ll lay on a raft and get some sun, but swimming is not personally enjoyable for me as cardio exercise. The most important thing is to find what’s fun for you, and try lots of new things until you do.

#3) It should be regular

In my opinion, you should exercise a minimum of four days per week. Typically, I do five or six days each week, because I really do love it and love the benefits. You have seven days a week to work with and I think four days is a good middle ground, and a realistic option for most of us. Not only will you feel better and be less stressed, but you’ll look better too. But if you don’t exercise regularly, those benefits also won’t happen regularly.

#4) It should become your lifestyle

I know some of us tend to give up after we start, but it’s important that you become an active and healthy person. You need to be able to look in the mirror and say, “I’m active and healthy” without your mind disagreeing with you. Start by saying that you’re in the process of becoming active and healthy so your mind believes you, and you’re able to achieve it. Once you have 30 successful days under your belt you can change up your verbiage and say, “I am active and healthy!” It takes a long time for anything to become a habit. It needs to be a lifestyle for it to really stick and become real. You can’t stop after the thirty days; you just have to keep going. In order to avoid having an “end date” to your fitness, you need to make it a part of your everyday lifestyle.

Do you have any fun exercise ideas or other stress management advice?  Share your tips with us on our Instagram and in our sister company's private Facebook group! We will see you there! 

Three Things You Need to Say No To If You Want to Grow

Do you remember your best, “Aha!” moments in life? One of mine came while watching the Oprah Winfrey Show a few years back. I will never forget this, she said, (and I’m paraphrasing here) “When you say no to others, you are saying yes to yourself.” I’m a bit of an overachiever in life, and I’m completely guilty of biting off more than I can chew, but I’ve come to realize that success isn’t what you do, it’s what you don’t do. I’ve learned that it’s OKAY to say no. Especially if you have specific career or life goals. It can be difficult to make progress when your time and energy is pulled in a lot of different directions.

Unfortunately, you can’t start saying no to everything. It’s important to make sure you are saying no to the right things that will give you back time and energy to focus on your goals, whether that be growing your salon business, going back to school, or simply living a happier life with a little less stress. Lucky for you, I’ve narrowed down three important things you need to start saying no to.

#1: Say No to Actives/Events/Tasks That Drain Your Energy

The first you need to say no to are any activities, events or tasks that DRAIN your energy. There are a lot of great things you can be a part of, but if it drains your energy to be there, then you are hurting the people you aren’t giving 100 percent to. Also, you’re hurting yourself by not spending that energy on things that could really use your attention.

For example, maybe you are a part of a local professional organization or chapter. You joined a few years back to network and learn, but you really aren’t getting anything out of it anymore. Maybe the meetings are farther away than you would like, or maybe they run too long, but you have been involved for so long you feel super guilty leaving. I’m here to tell you – it’s okay to walk away, it might involve a difficult conversation, but if it will take a little stress off you and give you back some time to focus on your business or personal life – start saying no.

#2: Say No to Actives/Events/Tasks That Aren’t Important to You

It doesn’t make you a bad person if you don’t want to donate to every charity you come across, or even if you don’t want to volunteer at your church’s bake sale. We all cannot be a part of every single charity organization that’s out there. Even if you could, your time, money, and effort wouldn’t be as impactful as it would be if you put all your effort into one thing that was very important to you. I give you permission to say no to book club and spend your time listening to business podcasts that will help your salon grow or book another client to fill that time.

#3 Say No to Actives/Events/Tasks That You Won’t Be 100% Present

I talked about this earlier, but if you aren’t giving it your all when you participate in an event, you’re not helping anyone out. You need to show up to what’s important to you or find a way to make those activities or tasks more enjoyable, so you do give it 100 percent. Say you find it hard to focus on bills and answering emails when you are at the office, because of this you procrastinate on the task. Then, when you are forced to do it, you dread it even more. Now you can’t avoid paying your bills, but you could take a day to go work at a coffee shop or library. That way it shakes up your routine, gets you in a new place, and makes you more excited to take on the task. The key is to be mindful of what and how you choose to spend your time.

How to Start Saying No

Of course, all of this is easier said than done – but it’s not impossible. So here is how I’m going to help you learn to say no to those three things.

First, look back at the last six months of your calendar and make a list of any activity, event or task you had to do that was draining to your energy and took away time to focus on your goals and dreams. This could be something as futile as doing laundry. I know that sounds crazy, everyone must do laundry – but do you really?

I’ve talked with a lot of business owners about farming tasks out. If there is a task that drains you, that’s taking up time you could be using to write your first book or take on an extra client—it’s worth asking if it’s possible to not do it. For me, it was worth paying someone $10 or $15 to do my laundry so that I could go to the salon and earn an extra $40/hour – I’m still coming out on top. This is just an example, but if you really evaluate where you spend your time, you’d be surprised how you can rearrange your life to make room for things that will help you reach your goals.

Once you’ve decided what you are going to give up, you need to stick to your decision. Even if that means you are going to have to have some uncomfortable conversions – it will be worth it.

Next, hone in on your goals! You will have more time and energy – so don’t waste it. And don’t refill your time with things that don’t matter. As humans, we tend to fill up our time as soon as we have it. Be picky with things you choose to do with your time. Remember, when you say no to others, you are saying yes to yourself.

Are you still struggling with saying no? Share your struggles and ideas with other industry professionals by joining our sister company's private Facebook group. We all work together to empower others and build one another! We can't wait to meet you!

Is It Time To Join a Mastermind Group?

If you are a salon owner, manager, aspiring business person or entrepreneur, then you need to consider joining a mastermind group. What exactly is a mastermind group? Great question! A mastermind group is a group of professionals who come together to help each other improve their business skills by sharing ideas and challenges and then brainstorming solutions.

There are many benefits that come from being involved in a mastermind group, but only if you are a part of a group set up to succeed. So today, I’m going to walk you through the benefits of being a part of a mastermind group and how to find one that will be worth your time.

Benefits of Joining a Mastermind Group

People who join mastermind groups are serious about their careers. It’s a great way to connect with other success-driven professionals to share ideas and challenges. I’ve personally been a part of mastermind groups for years. I find them to be invaluable. Other members have gone through challenges I haven’t and can help shed light on new ideas I have, or problems I’m facing with my business. It’s a wonderful resource when you have a new idea - you can bring it to the table and other successful people can add to it, give feedback, and basically help you learn to work smarter, not harder. So with that, here are my top five benefits from joining a mastermind group.

  • You will have a group of people to share new ideas, strategies and challenges with. These people will help you think through your business problems and brainstorm viable solutions.
  • You will become part of a community of supportive colleagues who will keep you accountable to your professional goals.
  • You don’t just get, you give. You will get to help other people through their business (or personal) journey. It’s a great way to help others out – you have insight and wisdom to share!
  • You will learn so many new things! You don’t know what you don’t know. Being a part of a mastermind group has saved me money. I’ve had great ideas (or I thought they were) and I’ve brought them to the group only to discover many have tried these great ideas with not so great results. But I wasn’t made to feel discouraged, I was able to learn from others’ mistakes and take away new ideas that have proven results.
  • You will grow your professional network. Now, mastermind groups aren’t meant to be your typical “networking” event, in fact, most groups don’t allow self-promotional talk. However, you will meet new people, most likely in your industry, and you will establish strong relationships, which will be useful in the future outside of the group.

What Makes a Good Mastermind Group?

As with many things in life, you are only going to get back what you put in. Mastermind groups only work if people are serious and committed. You need the members of the group to participate, because it’s the open, raw dialogue that will provide the great insight. If you’re new to a group, you don’t need to share your life story at the first meeting, you can definitely ease in. But if you have no intention of truly participating, then a mastermind group might not be for you. Other than group participation, I’ve outlined the three things you should look for in a mastermind group.

Size. Size does matter when it comes to mastermind groups. Make sure it’s a relatively small group, 8-12 people is usually a good size. Too many people can lead to less productive meetings. You want enough people to share advice, but not too many where people don’t get the chance to participate at a deep level.

Structure. Find a group that’s organized. Everyone is busy and no one wants to have their time wasted. Join a group with a set agenda for each meeting. This will help keep the group focused and on schedule. In addition to an agenda, you want a group that requires action items at the end of each session. This will keep the group accountable.

Commitment. To really get the most out of a mastermind group, you want members that are committed. Committed to showing up (and showing up prepared) and committed to participating.

Are you interested in joining a mastermind group for salon owners and professionals? Good news! Beyond The Technique has a mastermind group! Our groups meet monthly for a 90-minute video conference with open dialogue focused on growth and development for your salon business. To learn more, visit our Group Mastermind Sessions page.

If you aren’t ready to commit to a mastermind group yet, but you still want to connect with other professionals to share ideas and tips, send a request to join our sister company’s private Facebook group. You can also follow our weekly podcast for more professional and beauty industry advice!

How To Manage Stress: Part 1

This topic is the first in a five part series on various ways to manage your stress. This first tip for stress management is sleep!

Are you getting enough sleep?

We’re often told that 7-10 hours of sleep is ideal, but I would say that the amount of sleep you need depends on how much stress you have.

Stress can appear a lot of different ways. You can be stressed even if you have a lot of awesome things going on and you’re feeling happy. Even if you’re overloaded by work you love, your body still reacts to stress the same way. You can also be stressed if you’re dealing with employees leaving, a loss of profits, or stressful clients.

No matter the type of stress you’re experiencing, your body still needs recovery so that you are able to manage your life better and healthier.

What does this look like for you?

I recently read a great article on Health.com about a study done at Stanford University. This study showed that football players who slept 10 hours a night for 7-8 weeks improved their average sprint time, had less daytime fatigue, and more stamina. Of course we’re not professional or college football players, but we are business owners, business professionals, and stylists--all with a lot going on. A lot of us put in many hours behind the chair, working with a lot of different personality types between our clients and our colleagues.

The big point is that if you’re tremendously overloaded and working at a higher capacity, you may need more sleep to continue your success.

Why do you need more sleep? There are significant benefits to being well-rested, one of the biggest being emotional stability. In that same Health.com article, the doctor explains that lack of sleep can contribute to depression and that a good night sleep can truly help to decrease anxiety. We get overwhelmed. That’s very natural. Sometimes, it even helps to take a quick nap.

Another huge benefit of sleep is that it curbs inflammation. Getting enough sleep decreased inflammation, which is important because that’s one of the big things that causes chronic illness. These can be things like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. In the beauty industry, one of the worst things can be premature aging. I’m sure a lot of you agree that you’d like to avoid that. Getting enough sleep is one way to do it.

Another big strategy is clean eating. Definitely avoid things like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine close to bedtime so that you aren’t abruptly woken up. When I have had drinks in the past too close to bed I often wake up after only 5 hours of sleep, and I just can’t sleep anymore. I think it’s because of the sugar. Some of you may have experienced the same things.

Getting enough sleep is also helpful for losing or maintaining weight. In that same article, the researchers explained that sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. So, depending on when you need to wake up, figure out a time to go to sleep that will give you those 7-10 hours, and see if it leaves you feeling more rested, and less stressed. Whether your daily demands are positive or negative, stress can always affect your body negatively. Sleep is one of the best ways to combat that stress and stay healthy.

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What can you do today to help prepare for a more positive sleeping environment and consistency with your sleep? Share your tips with us on our Instagram and in our sister company's private Facebook group! We will see you there! 

How To Be an Inspirational Salon Leader

Before you can be a leader who inspires greatness in others, you must be working towards greatness yourself. You truly have to practice what you preach and show your team that you’re going to continue to grow and learn alongside of them! Once you have committed to continuously learning, you must encourage, see, acknowledge, and support others on your team.

Encourage others to be great. It is nearly impossible to inspire others if you are a pessimistic person with a negative attitude. Instead, you should be your team’s biggest cheerleader! As a leader, you should be enthusiastic, encouraging, and positive. When you approach the day with a positive attitude, others will follow your lead!

See. You need to be actively looking for moments of greatness in your team. As a leader, you are often looking for the downfalls and thinking of ways to correct or prevent them. When you have the mindset to only look for improvements, you often overlook moments of greatness. Continuously remind yourself to see greatness in others!

Acknowledge. Once you have seen a noteworthy accomplishment, you must acknowledge that occurrence. We recommend acknowledging these moments by speaking that person’s love language. How do you know someone’s love language? Observe how they treat others. Is your receptionist someone who always brings others a birthday coffee? Their love language is gifts. Is your salon manager always complimenting others work or clothing? Their love language is positive affirmations. Get it? Good! No matter the love language, you want to show your team member that you appreciate their hard work!

Support. You must be willing to support others to advance their greatness. For instance, if you know that one of your Stylists really enjoys curly haircutting and has continuously been working to get better at it, you can pay for her to receive advanced education in curly cutting. If you know that someone on your team has a desire to go after something, be the one to support that. In the end, we all rise when we lift each other.

If you are lucky enough to be in a leadership position, keep encouraging and supporting your team—we all need great leaders! To get more industry advice to grow yourself and your team, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to the weekly podcast!  

Do you have other ideas, thoughts, and questions about being a salon leader? Check out our sister company's private Facebook group to bounce your ideas off of other industry pros--we will see you there!

Build a Personal Brand with Social Media

Are you branding yourself on social media? The answer is always yes. Right now, whether you recognize it or not, you are creating your own personal brand. Think of yourself as a trustworthy politician who everybody loves.

The mindset that I believe will benefit you, regardless of whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re an established entrepreneur, is to realize that your job on social media is to run a likable campaign. You’ll be the brand behind whatever position you take or life role you play.

Here are some basic rules for you to follow in order to have a winning self-brand!

Rule #1: First Impressions Are Everything

Others will judge you in seconds based on your first few posts. So, be wise about what you want others to believe about you. I’ve talked about this before: there’s no difference between a greeting online or in-person. Some of you say, “I want to keep my social media private rather than public,” but I think there is a way that you can do both. First off, I’m glad there wasn’t this social media presence when I was a teenager because I would have scarred my adult self had I posted, shared, tweeted, or snapped pictures of events that I participated in when I was young. (Thank you for this blessing!)

But, now you have to think about your social media presence strategically, as though you’re a politician running a likeable campaign. If you’re trying to stay private you’re really missing out on a competitive advantage. These days people don’t necessarily like to follow the brand itself; instead, they like to follow the person behind the brand. That’s who inspires them.

How are you inspiring the people you’d like to do business with? If there are people you’d like to meet that would provide you with opportunities for growth, then figure out who they are and utilize your personal brand to get in front of them. Just remember that first impressions are everything! So choosing the right pictures to display or making sure the wrong pictures aren’t out there is crucial.

Rule #2: Post About What You’re Passionate About

The easiest way to gain followers is by being yourself. There are so many people in the world who share your interests and values. Be bold and confident enough to share yours. If you’re passionate about healthy living, then that can absolutely be a part of your brand. You’re not just an “accountant by day” or a “salon owner by day;” you are this person every day and you have a multitude of unique attributes, characteristics, hobbies, and passions. Share the things that you’re passionate about with the world and you will encourage authentic engagement. The right people will want to be around you, and not just because you’re an awesome hair stylist who happens to be the best at blonde hair coloring. They don’t just follow you for your talents, they follow you to find out more about you as a person, what your everyday life is like.

Again, it always comes back to how you inspire others. I encourage you to post about what you’re passionate about. If a couple people don’t resonate with those passions and they stop following, that’s okay. You open yourself up to a world of possibilities when you’re authentically true to yourself. The right people will be following you, and that opens up doors for opportunity in the future. There are many people I’ve met only online who have opened up opportunities for me.

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I’ll share a story. Before I ever started my podcast, I thought a lot about starting one, and I purchased the equipment for it. I sat down and recorded some pretend episodes to practice and see what I sounded like and how I could improve, before ever launching the “Beyond the Technique Podcast.” I had also been listening to a lot of other podcasts.

For example, there’s an awesome sales podcast called “The Sales Evangelist Podcast” with Donald C. Kelley. I started listening to his podcasts, and at the end of each, he’d encourage people to connect with him on LinkedIn, which I decided to do. And instead of sending the typical automated message, I created a custom message and said, “Hi Donald, I just wanted to let you know that I have been listening to your Sales Evangelist Podcast. It’s awesome! Keep up the great work. Thanks, Kati.” What was really cool is that he not only accepted the connection, but he responded to me and said “Kati, that’s awesome! How did you hear about my podcast?” So I messaged him back and said “Well Donald, I’m new to listening to podcasts and I love business, sales and motivational topics so I was looking into some and found that you were one of the top choices to take a look at, so I subscribed to your podcast and I’ve really enjoyed it.” He replied a couple days later and said, “Awesome Kati, are there any sales topics you’re looking to hear about?”

I didn’t respond right away because I wanted to think about this: what could I learn more about in regards to sales? I was in the shower where there were no technological distractions and thought, “You know what, this is an opportunity for me to respond a little bit differently. I should respond and ask him to have me on as his guest. What’s the worst that could happen?” So I went back and said, “Donald, I would love to offer myself as a guest on your show. The topic would be People + Passion = Sales. I think that would be really cool; let me know your thoughts! If you are excited about this, I will send you an outline of the show for you to consider.” 

A couple of days went by and I was lying in bed, looking at my husband, and thought, “There is no way this guy is going to respond to me. He’s probably just going to ignore it and wish it away because he feels bad rejecting me.” But instead, something amazing ended up happening. Donald messaged me back and said, “Kati, that topic sounds awesome! Click on this link to set up a date when we can communicate with one another.” Score! Now he’s down in Florida, so our podcast session was a virtual conversation, and it did get released. You can officially go and check out the Sales Evangelist podcast for the “People + Passion = Sales” episode. I’m incredibly thankful that I decided to put myself out there!

When you put yourself out there about something that motivates or moves you, it pays off. That was actually my first official podcast before my own podcast launched. So like I said, posting about what you’re passionate about will help you get to know the right people.

Rule #3: Avoid Unnecessary Topics

What topics should you avoid? The ones that you yourself don’t like to see. The topics that drive you nuts, and the ones you want to disregard--those are the posts that you should also avoid. I could give you some common sense advice in connection with today’s politics. It’s very challenging to take a stand politically when you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, because potentially 50% of all people, regardless of what stances you take, will completely disagree with you.

Is it worth that conversation? It’s kind of like a marriage: there are some arguments that are just not worth having. But just keep in mind that it’s okay to avoid the unnecessary topics altogether. I get that you’re passionate about some things, but ask yourself if it’s worth the potential back-lash if you post on touchy and controversial topics. Everyone is different, so just do what feels right to you, while keeping the reactions of others in mind.

Rule #4: Remove the Negative

If you have a connection or friend online who is constantly posting negative content, remove them or unfollow them! Figure out a way to get it out of your sight! You don’t need negative content in your life.

Here’s an example: If you’re working on living a healthy lifestyle and you have friends who are constantly posting temptations, get those posts out of sight and out of mind. There may be people constantly posting that they’re out partying and drinking, but you’re trying to focus on building your wealth, not your weekend. That might not be a hindrance, but if you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthy then it may definitely affect you.

What are those things for you?

Rule #5: If You Sign the Checks, You Are a Public Figure

I’m speaking figuratively here. If you own a business and have built a life as an entrepreneur, you’re a leader. People are following you and you should know it’s time to accept that leadership role. What is your mission? That’s what your public page should represent--the mission of your life. Not just personal or professional, but all aspects of your life. Your personal life is not separate from your professional life, they’re completely connected. Your career, social life, family, intellectual well-being, spiritual well-being are all important pieces of your life and are some of the things that your public figure page can represent.

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Now you’re armed with five rules that will help you create a winning self-brand on social media. So what are the next steps?

Take it slow. For Week 1, just look through your photos and decide what stays and what should go. Take a look at your timeline. Do you have it set up ask you to approve when someone tags you in photos or posts? You may sometimes want to hide it if the pictures you’re tagged in don’t accurately represent you.

It is important to be protective of your personal brand. During Week 2, you should come up with a plan of things you want to post and make sure there’s a consistency to your plan.

I’m personally passionate about business, the beauty industry, living healthy, physical fitness, and my faith in Jesus Christ. My family, friendships, and networking are things I’m passionate about. My goal is to slowly build a plan around that. Let’s say you post once every couple of days. That should be consistent. If you’re on Instagram and you want to post every single day, that’s awesome. Keep a focus on your passions and you’ll begin to build a consistent following, because your followers will understand who you are and what you do. They’ll want to join you on your journey because you’re an inspiration to them.

For Week 3, you should be all about removing the negative. When you see something that does not align with what you believe or value, remove it right then and don’t think twice about it.

Finally, Weeks 4 and 5 are when you should take the plunge and set up a public figure page. This might take a little more planning for you but don’t overthink it. Your life has been your preparation for this. You need to step on stage for your performance. It may not be flawless, but it will get there.

Practice makes permanent. The more practice you get, the more feedback you’ll get, and thus the better you’ll get. I know it’s a little scary to put yourself out there, but what’s the worst that can happen? People can choose not to follow you or ignore the posts you put out there. But most people are going to accept and support you. They’re going to be excited that you put yourself out there and admire your boldness and bravery. They’ll like you and praise the fact that you’re confident and in tune with your journey.

Are you ready? If you take action on this plan, please share with us on social media! We can't wait to see your success story!

How To Start Your Own Salon | Part 3: Location, Location, Location

Welcome back to the last post in our three-part series on starting your salon! Today, we are focusing on the third step which is all about the space!

If you remember our previous posts, we really recommend starting small—we cannot emphasize this enough! As an industry professional and salon business coach, I talk to a lot of salon owners and their number one struggle is finding great talent. Because of this, you do not want to start too big and struggle to find amazing stylists to build your salon. Believe me, you do not want to be in a position where your salon can’t function without 15 stylists on board at all times. Even though you want to build the biggest and best salon in your area, please start small.

Build Your Team

The first step in looking for a salon space is to gather a small group of advisors. There are four main people who you want on your team: a commercial real estate broker, a business attorney, a CPA, and a salon designer.

First, your commercial real estate broker. Your broker is similar to a real estate agent when you are buying a house. Your broker works for you, but will be paid by the owner of the building that you decide to lease. Do some research and find a well-known and reputable broker in your area.

Business attorney—there is no question about this; no matter what! Your business attorney will look at every single document or agreement that you sign your name on. This is going to cost you which is why you need to build the cost into your financial plan. If you skimp on a business attorney, it can cost you a lot more in the long run! Your business attorney will even review the agreement that you sign with your broker.

A CPA is your accountant. You need someone in your corner who knows the financial implications that comes with each decision you make. Including growing your team! Why you ask? Because you have to pay taxes on each new hire, assuming you’re building a team of employees vs. independents. Which I believe is worth it in the long run, but that’s another discussion for another time. Just note, if you hire someone for $15 per hour, you’ll actually pay closer to $19 per hour after taxes. All of these little details mean everything. Another example is selling retail. You’re going to see all the money hit your bank account after daily sales, but remember, you will have to pay sales tax—typically quarterly. So, having someone advise you on your financials might be a must for you if this is not a strength of yours.

Now the fun part—find your salon design company. When you do some searching for a salon equipment company, they will usually include salon design as an added value to working with them! This is a great choice if it’s your first salon. You can do all of your research online or you can visit an industry beauty show to meet and greet with some representatives. To find our salon design company, I visited the Midwest American Beauty Show in Chicago. However, once you decide to build your forever salon home, I’d recommend working with a designer who is not associated with a company. This means, design is all they do and they can focus on being the best at design, period. Remember, you get what you pay for!

Pro tip: having a salon design company doesn’t exempt you from needing an official architect. Your architect will review your equipment and designs to ensure that your space is compliant with local building codes.

Call the Property Brothers

Now that you have your team together, it is time to start visiting spaces. When you start looking at properties, we recommend that you use a “grading system” to rate spaces as: A Properties, B Properties, or C Properties. While you will have some of your own criteria when determining how to grade a property, here are some basics:

A Properties are located in a well-visited area and are highly visible from the street. In other words, it is not a struggle to find your salon. An A Property is typically located on a main road and includes great parking. Remember, there is a time factor associated with our industry—we want clients to be on time for their appointment, so being easily accessible with good parking makes punctuality easier! For example, I only choose properties that can be accessible by taking a right or left hand turn into the parking lot—or road it’s located on. Think about this! The little things mean everything.

B Properties are similar to A Properties, but down one notch. They aren’t located on a main road, but they are right off the main road, and still relatively easy to find. On the other hand, C Properties would be challenging for a client to locate without using a GPS and have limited parking. But at the end of the day, if you’re great—people will come to you. We are a destination business, so luckily location isn’t the most important factor.

Okay, now you have some basic grading criteria. What else should you be looking for?

  • Natural light. Great natural lighting can make a huge difference when doing makeup and hair color.
  • Easy to build out. Typically, great spaces are going to square or rectangle. This footprint allows you to build internal walls if you are hoping to section of certain parts, build an office, color-mixing area etc.
  • Entrance and exits. Is the space easily accessible for guests? Is it on the ground floor or on the fourth floor? If located in a shared building, are you able to post signage with directions? Is it front facing or do they have to walk through a maze to find you?
  • Common areas. If you are in a shared building, are there common area spaces? For instance, at Be Inspired Salon, we have access to two common area bathrooms. If you have to build a bathroom in your space, it will be at least $10k. And in Wisconsin, you have to have one bathroom for every fifteen people in the space.
  • Guaranteed parking. Are you able to ask for guaranteed parking spaces? This a question that your broker can negotiate in your letter of intent.

When reviewing our list, you may be thinking about building an awesome reception area that allows your guests to lounge in luxury. However, we strongly warn you against this impulse because your waiting area doesn’t make you any money! Think about how you can maximize your profits per square foot!

The Logistics

Now that you have found a space that satisfies all (or most!) of the criteria on your checklist, it is time to get into the nitty gritty business dealings.

First, your broker will write a letter of intent. The letter of intent is sent to the building owner and it outlines your conditions for leasing the space. Basically, you are saying: “we intend to lease this space, but we want to know if you would agree on these things…”

So what goes into the letter of intent? Think about: cost per square foot, will they include any free months, can there be a sliding scale ($15 sq/ft for 6 months, then $20 sq/ft), is there a buy-out option where you can terminate your lease early, is there a minimum or maximum to the lease, will the lease amount go up each year, ask for signage on both the inside and outside of your building, are their internet and phone plug-ins etc. Is your head spinning yet? The bottom line is that everything is negotiable which is why you want to work with a seasoned broker!

Another important concept to be clear on is whether the space is being leased as a gross or triple net space. In a gross lease, you will pay a base rent price per square foot, and your landlord pays property insurance, taxes, and maintenance. On the other hand, a triple net lease requires the tenant—you—to pay a percentage of the property taxes and building maintenance. Since property taxes and building expenses (snow removal and garbage collection) can change, a triple net lease can result in paying different amounts each year. Although a gross lease is much simpler and easier to budget for, a majority of leases are triple net. Regardless of the lease type, you need full clarity on your contract; don’t be afraid to ask questions! 

Last but not least, you need to make sure that your space is affordable. Think about the cost per square foot as well as your other expenses: stylists, purchasing retail, brochures, website upkeep, marketing, equipment, and more! Have we mentioned that it is OK to start small? You can always grow bigger, build an addition, take over the space next door, or find a new location.

You Did It!

Take a deep breath or pour yourself a glass of wine because you’ve made it through our three-part series on starting your own salon! Congratulations! Here is a rapid recap of what you have learned:

  • Identify a strong vision of where you want to be someday, but understand that there is nothing wrong with starting small.
  • Develop a plan to fund your salon—without proper planning, you will not see any profits.
  • Find a terrific location with the guidance of a team of advisors who have your back!

Do you have more ideas, questions, struggles, or victories that you want to share with other salon professionals in a safe space? Join our private Beyond the Technique Facebook group! We will empower each other and move everyone forward!

How To Start Your Own Salon | Part 2: Funding Your Vision

In Part 1, we discussed the first step to start your own salon which is your vision. Then, we sprinkled in a dose of reality and explained that you really need to cut your vision in half to ensure that you are starting small and working towards your dream salon. Now, we are going to discuss how to fund that dream!

How are you going to get the money to start your salon? Although there are several different ways to secure funding, it only seems right to share what I have done. When I opened Be Inspired Salon in 2010, it was 750 square feet with five stations, two shampoo bowls, two dryers, and an exposed color-mixing area. It was a very small, boutique-style salon that I started with less than $100,000. How the heck did I make that tiny space work on a shoe-string budget? Let’s dive in!

Now Accepting Donations

When I started my salon, I didn’t have any liabilities. I didn’t have any bad debt—no credit card debt, no car loan, no mortgage debt. That all sounds great, right? But, that also meant that I didn’t have any assets. In other words, I didn’t have anything that the bank could take away from me if I failed. Even though I had a great business plan that demonstrated my success as an independent contractor, it was a struggle to secure funding from banks and investors, so I needed to look elsewhere.

Pro tip: you need to be on the lookout for expensive money. While you may find a bank that is willing to take a risk and lend you money, it could come with astronomical interest rates! Interest rates upwards of 16% are not cool! In our current market, you should expect rates to vary between 4-5%. And just remember, the better the economy, the higher the interest rates. I could do an entire blog about buying when the market is down and selling when it’s up—but we’ll save that talk for another time!

Since I wasn’t having any luck with the traditional route, I took my business plan to potential investors. I specifically looked for individuals who did not want to have any stake in the company. These are investors who are lending you money, but they do not receive any ownership nor any profits from the company.  In other words, you agree to return their investment with interest. You will not see this on Shark Tank.

With hard work and perseverance, I secured my first community investor called Madison Development Corporation. Each year, the corporation chooses a promising start-up company and offers a business loan. The Madison Development Corp. gave me a $20,000 loan! This was an excellent start. There are awesome opportunities like this in almost every city, so start looking! Community investors give time and money to start-ups who will employ locals and grow their neighborhood—these are amazing groups who want to see a success story!

Now, I have $20,000; what about the other $75,000? This is where things got a little crazy and really exciting! My next step was sitting down with my parents to ask for an investment. In my family, my parents gift each of their children $10,000 for their wedding. Instead of waiting for the wedding, I asked them to invest $10,000 into the salon with a return of 7%. Fortunately, they said yes!

With a commitment from my parents, I went to my business attorney to write a promissory note—you will need to do this! The promissory note becomes the legal agreement between you and your investor which details the amount invested, interest rates, and timeline for payment. Another great benefit of working with investors instead of a traditional financial institution is that you can negotiate the repayment timeline. For example, each of my investors agreed to give me 3-6 months before I had to start paying the loan back. This small grace period allowed my business to build some momentum which was a true blessing!

Are you keeping up with the math? At this point, I have $20,000 from Madison Development Corp. and $10,000 from my parents. So, I’m now at $30,000. The remaining $65,000 came from a truly amazing person! My father had a friend with a money market account that was making close to nothing. In 2009, nothing good was happening with the economy, so his money market was only making about 3%. Instead of keeping his money around 3%, he chose to invest $65,000 in my salon with a 7% return. This investor decided to take a chance on me because he believed in my business plan, and I was offering a good return. How amazing!

Paid in Full

What happened with my business and investors? The business blew up, I am happy to report that all three investors were completely paid off within three years! At the three year mark, we actually found ourselves needing to expand our salon! Since I now had three year’s worth of profit and loss reports, tax returns, etc., I could demonstrate our amazing financial records to a banking institution. So, the bank funded an addition to our salon at an interest rate just under 4%—which is less than the 7% that I paid back to my original investors. Now that our salon has been open for almost seven years, we are looking for an even bigger and better space!

If you are as excited as I am to talk about business and financial planning, being a business owner may be a great fit for you! If you have more questions—everyone’s personal situation is different—please contact me. I will offer a non-biased opinion, and I care deeply about beauty industry professionals! Although we say profit isn’t everything; honestly, it is the only thing. Yes, people come first. If you don’t build up your team and equip them for success, they will not make you a profit. And without a profit, you cannot keep going. If you would like personalized attention on this topic, reach out to me at info@beyondthetechnique.com.

We will see you next week for Part 3 where we share some insider tips about securing the perfect location for your salon! In the meantime, check out our weekly podcast and follow us on social media

How To Start Your Own Salon | Part 1: Your Vision

We are super excited to kick off a three-part series on starting your own salon! Do you have a passion for building an amazing environment where others around you can excel in their career? If so, I get it! Let’s dive into the importance of having a vision!

At the first salon I worked at, I had the opportunity to change my status from an employee to an independent contractor—at the same salon. If that sounds strange to you, it’s because it is not typical. However, it was an amazing opportunity! When I transitioned from an employee to an independent contractor, I started to run a business within a business, and I loved it! I found so much fulfillment and joy in marketing, developing promotions, starting referral programs, and everything that went along with running a business!

There is a lot to learn about running your own business, but I hope that sharing my story gives you the inspiration and insights to consider starting this journey of entrepreneurship! Let’s get started!

Your Vision

First, ask yourself why you want to take this jump and start your own salon. If you’re like me, you probably want to have a space of your own that is conducive to teamwork and allows for more structure and consistency. At my previous salon, I couldn’t help but see a few gaps in the system—components that I thought I could fix in my own business. Ultimately, I thought that I could do it, I told myself I could, and I took the plunge! 

After you understand why you want to begin this process, you need to develop your vision. Your vision is home base. It will be a point that you can consistently return to when the going gets tough—and it definitely will. I recommend that you start by picturing your dream space, and actually map it out on poster boards, using pictures from magazines, or Pinterest boards. Having a vision board gives your planning the hands-on element that most of us need.

In addition to your vision board, start writing down your ideas and putting pen to paper. Try this: close your eyes and take a tour of your salon. As you are walking through the space, write down everything that you want! Use all of your senses and consider what you feel, smell, see and hear. The more descriptive the better. Write down your shampoo units, the styling chairs you want, your color bar design, whether you see receptionists in your salon. Are there bathrooms? Color schemes? Is it bright and cheery or dim and cool? This is the fun part, so let your imagination do the work.   

Reality Check

And now is where the killjoy comes in. I don’t want you to discard your big vision and your dreams. You should definitely take your time with the first stage because it will give you momentum, create focus, and it will keep the dream alive for you.

But, when it comes to actually opening your salon, I want you to realize that it is probably going to take about a year. So, I want you to take this big dream that you have and cut it in half. Take all of the things in your dream and do them on a much, much, much smaller scale.

While you may feel like I just crushed your dreams, let me share my experiences, so you understand why it is important to start small. When I opened Be Inspired Salon in 2010, our space was only 750 square feet. It was very small! Since then, we have nearly doubled our space to about 1,150 square feet. But the important thing is that I didn’t start at that size. I grew into the larger space as my business grew and developed. It was hard work getting there, but it was possible for us and it’s possible for you.

When I first started, I was picturing the average salon having 8 to 10 stations and being around 1,200 to 1,600 square feet. Of course, I also looked for convenient locations and nice areas to be located in. At that time, though, I was definitely getting a little overconfident. I was so sure that I would never have a problem getting clients and filling chairs. I figured at the time that my income alone would cover the cost of the space. Hint, hint: that is not a good idea!

Eventually, I scaled back my ideas and hired only two people at the beginning and started in a small boutique space. We started slow and steady, so that we could build up to the success we have now. Within three years we were able to expand! But had I started out too big, I would have had a major issue with cash flow. That’s why I really encourage you to cut your expectations in half, so you can start out successful and build up from there.

You never want to be in a position where you can’t afford to pay your staff. That’s how businesses fail, and it does happen. In the first year of my salon, I didn’t make any money for myself. I was still covering the costs of opening, paying employees, and growing their clientele. At that time, I did have to rely on my husband while my business got off the ground. I worked very long shifts that year, and I was incredibly overwhelmed at times. Despite the crazy long hours, I LOVED the experience of working hard and building a business! I persevered, and it paid off!

Work, Work, Work!

Based on my experiences, I can say this with confidence: opening your salon will take double the money, double the time, and double the effort than you expect it will.

If you think that you can start a salon for $50,000; you need to be prepared that it’s actually going to cost you $100,000. So, if you want to start a salon for $50,000, you need to only plan to spend $25,000 because it’s probably going to end up being $50,000 in the end.

You may have the “go big or go home” mentality, but I promise you that it is very challenging. Most salons fail within the first seven years, and a huge majority of those fail within the first year. It’s a very expensive decision to make, so choose wisely. Be willing to start small and work towards that big vision, so that you can build on it year after year.

Just remember that even if you resize your dreams in the beginning, you should always have your big vision in your mind and in front of you. That is where you’ll want to be someday.

Be Inspired Salon has been open for six years now, and it has been an absolutely amazing experience! I encourage you to start your own salon if this is your dream too. Don’t stop—do whatever it takes!

We hope to see you back for Part 2: Funding Your Vision where we share our insights about securing the money to start your salon! In the meantime, check out our weekly podcast and follow us on social media!