Posts tagged Beauty Brand
Keeping Up in the New Era
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The beauty industry is changing at a rapid pace. The question is, can you keep up?

Michael Cole, of Summit Salon Business Center, has been in the industry for over 30 years. He’s witnessed the many eras of our industry from the precision-cutting of the 70s, the rise of hair color in the 80s to the glamour shots of the 90s. However, nothing tops the digital-social era we’re living in today.

Our industry has become about so much more than cutting and coloring. Our stylists are providing new services, learning new techniques and perfecting their customer service skills. Our marketing and branding is out of this world. Our receptionists are out on the floor, engaging with clients, selling retail and building relationships along the way. Our salon owners and managers are learning all of the ins and outs of operating a business and as a whole we’re reaching new and incredible heights--and the view is great.

Michael refers to the revolution taking place as “disruption”. We’re being taken for a ride and we’re fighting to hold on, but to Michael, that’s part of the fun. Michael shares his secrets for keeping up with today’s technically savvy world and also how SSBC can help you reclaim your power. 

How to Handle Change as a High “S”

Are you familiar with the four DISC personality profiles?

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Did you know that 80% of beauty industry professionals score a high “S”? This means that the majority of stylists, estheticians, massage therapists and make-up gurus are the steady, calm, supportive personality type. It also means that one of their biggest obstacles is typically change. 

So, with all of the changes currently sweeping our industry, how can all of these High S’s not only survive, but turly thrive in their careers?

Get on Your Instagram Game

Social media is one of the most powerful tools we have in our digital toolbox, and for the beauty industry, Instagram is at the top of the food chain. Michael says that he can tell how technically on-trend someone is by doing a five second driveby on their Instagram page. It doesn’t take long to see if you’re with it!

As a stylist, your Instagram serves as your digital lookbook. It’s the perfect place to showcase your latest cuts and colors and you can even pull up your own Instagram during consultations with new clients when communicating about what they’re looking to have done. Michael says you should always be photographing your highest ticket hairdos in order to draw in others who want the same services. 

That being said, not only is it important to have a trendy Instagram as a stylist in order to showcase your work, but Michael says you should also be taking advantage of your Instagram-savvy clients. 

You probably won’t have time to take pictures of all of your clients while you have them in the salon, so you should be strategic about the ones who do get that before and after photo-shoot. Michael suggests taking a peek at your client’s Instagram pages in order to see who has the most followers. Anyone with upwards of 200 followers is the perfect client influencer. You definitely want to be tagging them in the hopes that they might share their new do on their own pages too.

Salon Owners, It’s Time for Your Social-Digital Bootcamp

Okay, let’s go back to those DISC personality profiles. While most of our stylists are high S’s, our salon owners and managers tend to be high D’s. They’re controlling, competitive and they’re used to being in charge. All of which are characteristics of great leaders, but they also mean that salon owners and managers are more likely to struggle with today’s power structure because they no longer have full control. 

Once upon a time, the beauty industry power structure started with the manufacturer, moved down to the distributor, trickled down to the salon owner, then the stylist until it found its way into the hands of the client, but alas, that is no longer the case. 

Today, it’s often the younger stylists that are the most digitally savvy, and they also tend to have younger clientele which means more client influencers to do the marketing for them. Michael has salon owners come to him all of the time with complaints of feeling disempowered due to this new system and he says that it’s all about how you view your situation. 

You have to learn to channel that power in a new way. You have to learn social and digital skills in order to catch up to your most technically-savvy team members and then you can set guidelines for the way that your team is allowed to live and breathe your brand on social and take back some control. 

Things are changing in our industry whether you like it or not, Michael says you might as well embrace it or you’ll wind up chasing it later on. 

If you’d like to learn more about Michael and the new era we face, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 187. And don’t forget to check out Summit Salon Business Center, where you can find the best coaches and mentors around to help you tackle these changing times.

Why You Should Consider Implementing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan at Your Salon
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Have you ever considered including an employee stock ownership plan in your salon’s business model? Well, it’s time to start!

Doug Cole, owner and founder of Cole’s Salon and self-proclaimed life-long learner, is here to teach you a thing or two about growing your business and giving back to the people who have helped you along the way. 

How to Know It’s Time to Grow

Doug is the proud owner of five beautiful salon locations with prospects of a sixth on the way, but he’ll tell you that he grew into each new location for exactly the same reason, it was simply time. 

He admits that he may have handled things differently than other entrepreneurs, because as soon as Doug ran out of space in one location, he eagerly opened another. After five years in his first salon, his team had outgrown their space and he quickly grew tired of turning down incredible talent. So, along came location number two, and well, you know the rest. 

Doug has such a heart for the people of Cole’s Salon, and he said it simply broke his heart not to bring people into their incredible community, especially as their reputation grew and so many young stylists were showing interest in his brand. 

Not Just Bigger, but Better

Of course, there are other areas you must grow in in order to have five successful salon locations. Doug and his team always focus on getting better before getting bigger

Doug struggles with dyslexia, and for years he avoided any kind of learning that would pose a challenge for him due to his disability. He worked hard, and he was an incredible kinesthetic learner, but for several years of his life he was afraid of putting in the extra effort required to tackle the things that challenged him the most, like reading and writing. 

At 26, Doug decided he had had enough and he wasn’t willing to let his disability hold him back any further. He found a mentor who challenged him to do an hour of learning per day, a habit that he’s carried into his 70s because it fills his mind with different ideas and possibilities for the future.

Doug’s commitment to learning is built into the culture at Cole’s Salon. His entire 375 person team is comprised of passionate individuals who are excited to climb their way to the tops of their careers—and the view just keeps getting better. 

Giving Back and Building Loyalty

After 15 years in business, Doug realized that so many of his best people had been with him since the beginning. His stylists grew with him and his brand, his managers had taken over their own salon locations, his front desk employees grew into leadership positions and for the most part, his best people stuck around. 

Doug’s employee retention rates were practically unheard of and he wanted to find a way to give back to everyone who helped shape his brand. Doug sat down with his tax attorney and they came up with the idea of implementing an employee stock ownership plan for all of the people of Cole’s Salon.

Another 30 years later, Doug proudly maintains 70% ownership of Cole’s Salon, and the other 30% is in the hands of his trusted team of employees. The tax breaks are pretty sweet and the Cole’s Salon brand has never been stronger. Doug’s employees are so proud to have part ownership of their company. Their loyalty runs deep and the brand continues to grow even bigger every day. 

Of course, with such a big appetite for education, Doug believes that the best is yet to come. He’s got so much more to learn, and he can’t wait to share in the abundance, there’s always enough to go around!

Want to learn more about Doug and his inspiring salon business model? Listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 185. And be sure to check out Cole’s Salon for more details on their incredible salon culture.

How to Get the Feedback You Really Want
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Everyone needs feedback in order to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, but sometimes it can be hard to ask for feedback. Perhaps it’s that we’re not asking the right questions. Maybe it’s that we’re really not as open to receiving feedback as we make ourselves out to be. 

There are so many factors at play when it comes to getting the feedback that you’re looking for, or maybe the problem is that you’re not actually looking. 

Whatever the case may be, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s standing in the way. Business Coach and Keynote Speaker Jay Williams is here today to share his favorite tips and tricks for getting the feedback that you deserve. 

If you aren’t already familiar, Jay is the author of the book, Leave Your Mark, which focuses on leadership and influence in the salon industry. Jay works directly with salon owners and beauty industry professionals to help them see the connection between emotional intelligence and the technical skills needed in order for them to thrive in their field.

Jay is passionate about the power of feedback, both positive and constructive, and today he shares his advice for both giving and getting the feedback you’ve been waiting for.

Why Is Getting Solid Feedback Such a Struggle?

While there could be many things standing in the way of your growth, getting the right feedback is crucial to your success. It’s called constructive criticism for a reason--it’s supposed to push you to be better, not keep you from chasing your dreams. 

So, why is getting the right feedback so tricky? Jay shares the top three things keeping us from asking for and embracing the feedback that we so desperately need to succeed. 

Receiving Feedback Can Be Scary

The first reason some people struggle to get solid feedback is that they’re afraid of what they might hear. This fear stems from anxiety around whether or not the feedback will be positive. Of course, we always hope it will be, but we also know that we have certain areas of improvement--are we ready to talk about them?

Sometimes We Don’t Think We Need It

The second reason people aren’t seeking out solid feedback is because they don’t think they need it. 

It can be difficult for some people to see past their own parameters and find room to grow. We are inherently narcissistic and we often have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we might actually benefit from a little constructive criticism once in a while.

Other Times, It Simply Doesn’t Cross Our Minds

The third reason someone might not be getting the feedback they really want is because they simply don’t know what they’re looking for. 

Sometimes we can chalk it up to the fact that the need for feedback hasn’t exactly crossed our minds. We don’t know what we don’t know, and so we haven’t thought to ask.

How Often Should You Be Offering Feedback?

As salon owners and managers, we often schedule out the times and dates we plan to deliver feedback to our teams--yes, I’m talking about reviews. But is this the only time we should be offering advice or praising our people?

It’s human nature to want to know where you stand at all times. That basic need feeds into emotional intelligence and the need to feel grounded. So, essentially, you should be sharing feedback every time the opportunity presents itself.

If we go back to those reviews, whether you choose to sit down with your team weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, the review should ultimately be a confirmation of what you’ve been sharing with your team all year long.

Jay says that if you’re able to share feedback with your team members on a daily basis, whether that be positive, negative, or constructive, nothing is going to come as a surprise come review day and thus there’s nothing to be anxious about. That’s how you tackle that initial fear.

It’s also important to remember that while “reviews” are often tied to monetary goals or incremental values, feedback can take many forms and shouldn’t always be tied directly to profit performance. Instead, “feedback” should simply be a part of your daily communication. Keep it constructive and don’t forget to sprinkle in a little positive affirmation once in a while. 

As Leaders, What Should We Be Giving Feedback On?

Do we only want to be offering advice specific to the technical aspects of things? Should we take our feedback beyond the technique

According to Jay, there are opportunities in both areas. The biggest benefit to giving feedback more frequently, whether it be related to those technical components or more in line with your general business values, is that it allows for real-time course correction. 

You can solicit feedback without following a specific format, but remember that the goal is always to improve performance. So, it’s important that no matter the tone of your feedback or the subject of your solicitation, you always make your intentions known. Not only does this help build trust between both parties, but it also eases the tension around accepting feedback in the first place.

What Are the Most Basic Dos and Don’ts of Soliciting Feedback?

Do say: “I want you to be successful.”

Don’t say: “You’re not meeting my expectations.”

Do say: “I want to give you some constructive feedback.” 

Don’t say: “Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong.”

Do say: “I want to help you.”

Don’t say: “Don’t be defensive.”

Giving feedback is a skill, and much like cutting or coloring hair, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Ultimately, if you want to improve someone’s performance, you’ve got to improve their thinking. 

And remember, when you praise, do it publicly. When you go about perfecting your communication and the experience with your people, do so in private. 

If you’d like to learn more about giving and getting feedback, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 182. Want to learn more about emotional intelligence? Check out our blog on why our EQ matters more than our IQ

Are you ready to leave your mark on the industry? It’s time to grab Jay’s book and get down to business!

Less is Definitely More
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We have convinced ourselves that the only way to get where we want to be is by working twelve hours a day, six days a week, but do we really need to sacrifice our work-life balance for the sake of financial freedom? 

Salon Owner and renown Hair Dresser, Ashley Toliver-Williams, will tell you no. Volume is no-longer the only marker of our success in this industry. Ashley is the owner of Fringe Salon and Color Bar in Houston, Texas and the National Chairman of the business team at Eufora International. Ashley is determined to inspire change and increased professionalism in the beauty industry.

When you get down to the basics of simple business behaviors, Ashley believes that there are so many opportunities to maximize our efforts with the clients we already have coming to us over the course of say, only three or four days a week, while still making great money. She devotes her time and energy to helping others in the industry create both the career and the life they want and today, she’s spilling all of her “less is more” lifestyle secrets. 

We’re More Than Just Hairdressers

In this industry, stylists do so much more than just hair. They’re skilled in chemistry, geometry, and biology. They know how to mix color formula, they can map out each and every different head shape, and they know to use products that will enhance the natural hair texture or relieve even the most sensitive of skin types.  

Today, stylists are the experts, they educate their clients on what haircut will look best with their face shape, what hair color will best compliment their skin tone, and what products they need to maintain their looks at home. They can fix a client’s dry scalp, offer solutions for their thinning hair, or recommend products that will bring the life back to their client’s dry, kinky curls.

So, why aren’t they living the luxurious lives that the experts in other industries are? Why aren’t they living like the doctors, the surgeons, or the accountants? Whether a stylist is simply looking to spend less time behind the chair or make even more money per client at each appointment, it’s time for the stylist to get back in control of their own career.  

Be Transparent With Your Guests

Over the years we’ve convinced our stylists that the only way they’ll make big bucks behind the chair is by opening up their schedules on Saturdays and working until 9:00pm every night.

We’ve also engrained in our clients that it’s acceptable to purchase shampoo and conditioner from the drug store or their local grocer.

Ashley acknowledges that it can be a challenge to change the relationship after establishing a routine with a client, especially for those that you’ve been seeing for a long time, but it’s so worth it. If your stylists are looking to up their financial freedom or take some of their time back, they had better maximize the time they do spend behind the chair and take control of the relationships they have with their clients.

Whether it’s a conversation about pre-booking or purchasing product, Ashley says you simply have to be transparent and forthcoming with your guests.

You might explain that you’re reducing your hours to spend more time with your kids and mention that your schedule is starting to book out further as you continue to take new clients. A simple segue into pre-booking, you might even be able to take a look at your schedule together while you have them in the chair. Then you could ask about your client’s at-home color maintenance routine and recommend some products that will help them prolong their highlight until that next appointment.  

In Turn, This Newfound Freedom Heightens Commitment

Providing your stylists with the roadmap to their own financial freedom along with the tools necessary to take control of their careers is the greatest gift you can give your team. And in return, they’ll be that much more committed to the work that they do because it’s all a part of their future growth.  

If you’d like to learn more about Ashley and her “less is more” mindset, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 177. And don’t forget to check out her incredible Fringe Salon in Houston, where she raises her team to reach for the stars.