Posts tagged Beyond The Technique
Are You on Bangstyle Yet?
Beyond-The-Technique-Blog-Are-You-on-Bangstyle-Yet-Ashlee-Levitch-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson.jpg

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
Beyond-The-Technique-Blog-There's-No-I-in-Team-Mark-Pardo-Mark-Gonzalez-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson.jpg

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!

Easy to Manage Referral Programs for Salons
Beyond-The-Technique-Blog-Easy-to-Manage-Referral-Programs-for-Salons-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson.JPG

Are your guests excited to spread the great news about your salon to everyone they know? When they do, are they being thanked? 

If your goal is to begin a program that is easy to manage, you’re in luck! 

Salon Owner and Industry Expert, Kati Whitledge, shares how her staff at Be Inspired Salon works to capture guest referrals and how they thank them for their advocacy when those referrals come through.

In addition to hosting the beloved Beyond The Technique podcast, Kati is the owner of the award-winning Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the creative brain behind Meet Your Stylist, an innovative salon software system that matches potential clients with salon professionals based on services, lifestyle preferences, and personality metrics. 

Kati is incredibly passionate about helping others in the industry develop their own success stories, and today she’s sharing her secrets for building an easy-to-manage referral program in order to help you capture those leads.

Capture Data with Client Intake Forms

An easy way to catch wind of a word-of-mouth referral is to ask every new guest how they heard about your salon. You can do this with your client intake form. 

At Be Inspired Salon, the client intake forms are digital. They made a non-public webpage that they have saved as an app on their iPads in the salon. When a guest visits for the first time, they give them the iPad and have them fill out their information. They include the question, “How did you hear about us?” Which prompts each guest to check all that apply.

The reasons they add the disclaimer, “please check all that apply”, is so that they can track their return on investment for all advertising platforms. This could include Google, Facebook, Instagram, Meet Your Stylist, a local magazine, radio, a partnering business, a friend, or other. When a guest selects “friend”, there is a drop down box which prompts them to fill in their friend’s name. 

Even if you’re not ready to go digital with your client intake forms, you can effectively apply these same principles in print.

Give the Gift of Added-Value

After you have an easy way to capture the names of guests who have referred you new guests, it’s so important to show your appreciation. 

That being said, Kati also stresses how important it is to make sure that how you choose to show your appreciation in turn adds value to their experiences at your salon. What she means by that is, you always want to give more, not offer them a lesser price. 

Many salons will promote offers such as, “Refer a friend and you’ll both receive 20% off your next visit”. But did you know that this devalues your services and products and in the mind of the buyer? It tells them that your services and products are actually worth less. 

Instead, Kati suggests that you use value-based propositions such as, “Every time you refer us a new guest, we will gift you with a $10 shopping pass to use at our salon!” In the verbiage alone, there is a huge difference in the value you’re offering.

Show Your Appreciation with a Hand-Written Thank You

Regardless of what value-added gift you give, consider a thank-you note as a touch point in your relationship. 

For example, at Be Inspired Salon Kati and her team sit down once per week with their list of guests who have given referrals. They write each guest a handwritten thank-you note and mail them out later that day. 

“Thank you” letters are a lost art and people love the special feeling of receiving a personal card in the mail. In the note, Kati and her team leave a simple message, such as, “Mary, thank you so much for referring Connie to us! We appreciate your advocacy and we appreciate you. Please enjoy this $10 shopping pass at your next visit!”

The lesson for today is if you employ a referral program, make sure it’s easy to manage so you never have to worry about dropping the ball. Add valuable gifts to show your appreciation, and think of a personalized way to thank each guest who is going out of their way to spread their love for your brand.

To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 189, and if you’d like to learn a little bit more about our host, Kati, check out her website and don’t forget to subscribe to the Beyond The Technique podcast for more incredible industry insight.

Keeping Up in the New Era
Beyond-The-Technique-Blog-Keeping-Up-in-the-New-Era-Michael-Cole-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson.jpg

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?

Beyond-The-Technique-DISC-Personality-Profiles-Kati-Whtiledge.png

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.

How to Be Both a Learner and a Leader
Beyond-The-Technique-Blog-Leading-and-Learning-at-the-Same-Time-Kellie-Johnson-Elan-Hair-Studio-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson.jpg

There’s a strong sense of responsibility that comes with being a leader but you also have to be open to learning new things and facing new challenges. Sometimes that means admitting that you aren’t always the most knowledgeable person in the room. 

Salon Owner and Industry Expert, Kellie Johnson, is no stranger to the struggle that comes with finding your place as a leader. Today, she’s here to share her advice on becoming the kind of leader you want to be.

We introduced you to Kellie in our Beyond The Technique Podcast, but if you missed her previous interviews we’ll give you a quick recap: Kellie is the owner of the renown Elan Studio and a council member of The EmpowHERment Project. Aside from her career in the beauty industry, Kellie is also a certified Hypnotherapist and Professional Coach. With expert industry insight, she offers her best advice for becoming a strong leader within your salon. 

Salon Owners, You’ve Got to Stay True to Yourself

Kellie has always been passionate about learning new things and building on her experiences in order to grow. She believes that being a good leader is about becoming the best version of yourself--somebody that you would look up to--and that takes time. 

For Kellie, her first three years in business were her most challenging. She struggled to find structure, she wanted to please everybody, and at the end of the day, she simply wasn’t putting her own needs first.

Now, Kellie looks back on those times and she’ll tell you that learned a lot along the way, but the most important lesson she took away from those early years is that you absolutely have to lead with love and you can never compromise on your own values. 

A True Leader Invests in Their Team

Kellie is a strong believer in the idea that salon ownership isn’t about making money, it’s about growing people. She makes it her mission to create as many opportunities for her team as she can with the hopes of building their confidence one step at a time.

At Elan, they do focus on technical skill training, but Kellie also brings in speakers and industry experts who can educate her team on personal development and build on the intrapersonal skills that are truly a testament to a stylist’s strength behind the chair.

Kellie believes that education and opportunities for growth are crucial in creating a positive salon culture. Kellie works hard to empower her team to take their career into their own hands, by building their confidence both in and outside of the salon.

You Can’t Go Getting Your Feelings Hurt

Kellie reflects on one of the hardest lessons she had to learn as a new salon owner, which was that you can’t take anything personally. Letting your emotions get in the way of your leadership is disruptive for the entire team.

Of course, in a creative industry like ours, we’re constantly surrounded by incredibly sensitive, emotionally intelligent individuals who sometimes let their feelings get the best of them, salon owners and leaders included. 

Kellie believes that as a salon owner, you have to remember that it isn’t about you. You have to be able to see past your own emotions and reactions in order to help your team grow, both personally and professionally. 

How to Stay on Top of It All

Being a leader comes with quite a bit of responsibility and responsibility requires discipline. Kellie manages her stress by practicing meditation. As a salon owner, it can be quite easy to get overwhelmed with all of the little things you need to get done during the week, the month, even the year. 

Kellie recommends starting your day with a solid 20 minutes of meditation to simply check in with yourself. Prep for your day and what you hope to accomplish in those 24 hours. Don’t get ahead of yourself, don’t start thinking about the next day or the week ahead, just focus on what you want to get done that day. 

Then, check in with yourself again in the evening. Reward yourself for your hard work and give yourself a pat on the back for everything you were able to check off of your list! 

Meditation is one of the healthiest forms of stress management out there and anybody can do it. For Kellie, it has completely changed the way she looks at her to-do list.

If you’d like to learn more about Kellie and her incredible journey in the beauty industry, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 186. Be sure to also check out our other Beyond The Technique blog featuring Kellie’s incredible industry insight, “Five Ways to “Wow” Your Clients and Improve Your Salon Experience.”

Why You Should Consider Implementing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan at Your Salon
Beyond-The-Technique-Blog-Why-You-Should-Implement-An-Employee-Stock-Ownership-Plan-in-Your-Salon-Doug-Cole-Cole's-Salon-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson-new.jpg

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.

The Trick to Growing Your Tribe
Beyond-The-Technique-Adam-Broderick-The-Trick-to-Growing-Your-Tribe-Blog.jpg

Starting your own salon isn’t easy, and growing your team is no small task either, but it’s perhaps the most important step in expanding. Besides, as a new salon owner, you’ve got nowhere to go but up.

Adam Broderick is no stranger to the struggles of starting your own salon. We introduced you to Adam on the Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed his previous interviews, we’ll give you a quick recap: Adam is the owner of the renowned Adam Broderick Salon and Spa with two locations in Connecticut.

Adam took a unique route into the industry. He actually started his career as an animal groomer and eventually decided to take on the challenge of human clients. 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.

Growth Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Like all good things, growing your tribe takes time. Sometimes it takes a long time, but when you find those people who just fit, you’ll know it was worth the wait.

With two salon locations, Adam employs over 200 people. You might be wondering how he found so many people who fit his brand so perfectly, he says he simply took it one coworker at a time.

How Do Your Hire That Many People?

The next question you might be asking is how does Adam have enough hours for his 200 some employees? Well, for Adam, this is kind of his secret sauce. Before starting his own salon he worked on 5th Avenue with what he says were some of the greatest stylists he’s ever known, and he recalls how difficult it was to get in with them. 

Sometimes clients would have to wait two or three weeks before they were able to get an appointment and Adam decided that he wanted to give his clients more availability and access. Adam believes that level of accessibility is the new luxury. So, over the years he built up a team with more stylists than he had chairs and moved his team into split shifts. 

With his employees only working half of the day each day, he was able to extend his hours. He opens his salon up at 7:30am sharp and keeps his doors open until 10:00pm so that everyone can get in no matter their schedule.

Hiring New Talent Is One Thing, Keeping Them Is Another

Adam is proud to say that he has many stylists on his team who have been with him for 10, 15, even 20 years. While Adam believes that the longevity of a stylist is variable based on work environment and lifestyle preferences, he says that when he does experience turnover, it usually happens within the first six months to a year of their start date. 

Adam and his team always aim to create a really strong culture. He says that although they’re always growing and changing, his team strives to maintain a safe and accepting work environment. He wants Adam Broderick Salon to be a safe and dynamic place to work, and he works hard to give all of his stylists the career path they’re looking for. 

Adam loves this industry and he’s so proud of his team and how far they’ve come. Adam says the key to becoming a successful salon owner and growing your team is ultimately to give yourself permission to work differently. Don’t be afraid to change the industry for the better.

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 184. And don’t forget to check out his salon website to follow his movement on his own industry blog,Insights from Adam.

How to Get the Feedback You Really Want
Beyond-The-Technique-How-to-Get-the-Feedback-You-Really-Need-Jay-Williams-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson.jpg

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
Beyond-The-Technique-Blog-Podcast-Ashley-Toliver-Williams-Less-is-Definitely-More-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson.jpg

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.

Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future
Beyond-The-Technique-Laying-the-Foundation-for-a-Bright-Future-Heather-Yurko-PIP-University-Kati-Whitledge-Samantha-Georgson

No salon owner should have to go it alone—which is exactly why it’s so important to develop and nurture a leadership team within your salon to help you take over the beauty industry one task at a time.

Heather Yurko is the brain behind Lay the Foundation, a digital course that helps salon owners grow their team of leaders right from within the salon. We’ve introduced you to Heather on the Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed her previous interviews, we’ll give you a quick recap: Heather is the owner of the renown NeatBeat Salon in Louisville, Kentucky. She is also the founder of PIP University, which stands for Positively Impacting People, the salon owners platform for authentic and inspiring development.

Heather is constantly seeking out educational opportunities. She’s so passionate about sharing what she has learned in her trade with the other beauty industry professionals out there that she put together her own leadership course, Lay the Foundation, which is a three-week digital course dedicated to growing your leadership team.

So, Why a Leadership Team?

There isn’t a salon owner out there that can successfully run their business all by themselves, and truthfully, they shouldn’t have to. This is where growing a leadership team within your salon comes into play.

As an owner, you have so many things on your plate, from managing your stylists to marketing your services, and if you try to do it all yourself, you’ll inevitably burn out. Not to mention, having your hands in so many aspects of the business could be the very thing keeping you and your salon from moving up to that next level.

There are so many reasons to put time toward nurturing your leadership team from sharing the workload to building a stronger salon culture, but perhaps the most important is simply that your team is a direct reflection of your own leadership style. You owe it to yourself and to your team to invest in your leaders, allowing them to become the developers of their own future and in turn granting you the freedom and the mobility to be the best leader you can be.

Your Leaders Will Show Themselves to You

The first step in developing your leadership team is deciding who those leaders are going to be. Of course, you can’t give everyone on your team a leadership role, twenty people in power is just as dysfunctional as leaving it all in the hands of one.

Heather believes that the sweet spot is somewhere in between two and five strong leaders depending on the size of your team. The good news—these leaders will show themselves to you.

I mean, how many of you already have a couple of specific team members that come to mind? Your leaders naturally rise to the top. They’re the ones that always go the extra mile, the ones that step up to the plate when needed. Your leaders are the ones you can trust to help you manage the team and run the business, and they’re more than happy to take on that role.

Your Leaders Are Hungry—Feed Them

Building a structured leadership team is also about allowing your leaders to take that next step in their own career. Your natural born leaders are ready for the added responsibility. They deserve your trust and they have worked hard to prove it.

For your front-runners, having a structured system of leadership will be the next step in their professional development and they’ll be able to take on somewhat of a managerial role within the salon. Not only does this relieve some of the salon owner’s stress, but perhaps more importantly, it truly empowers those stylists on the team that are hungry for some additional responsibility.

We’re Stronger Together

Heather also emphasizes the importance of building a community and encouraging your team to make use of their resources, which is why PIP University has a private Facebook page created to connect leadership teams from salons all across the country.  

Heather believes that creating a network like this is a crucial step in laying the foundation for a bright future. On this platform stylists, managers and salon owners are all able to collaborate with one another on issues both big and small. That’s the beautiful thing about the beauty industry—we’re all in this together.

As Heather says, there’s nothing holding you back other than yourself. There are resources out there that will help you achieve your definition of work life balance, but at the end of the day, it really comes down to having a support system and having other leaders around you who will help you run the village.

 If you’d like to learn more about PIP University and Heather’s Lay the Foundation philosophy, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 174. And don’t forget to join the Facebook community to expand your network with the best in the business!

A Man on a Mission for Justice and Soul
Matthew-Fairfax-Lauren-Enbright-Justice-and-Soul-Foundation-Cambodia-Sex-Trafficking-Survivors-Salon-Volunteer-Beyond-The-Technique-Kati-Whitledge-Sam-Georgson.jpg

Arguably the best part about working the beauty industry is the level of impact we, as salon owners, managers, stylists, influencers and the like, can have on the community—even the world.    

Today we’re diving into the incredible story of one of the most impactful organizations within our industry, founded by the amazingly selfless, Matthew Fairfax and his business partner, Lauren Enbright. The Justice and Soul Foundation began as a shared vision to provide a path to a new life for sexually exploited and at-risk youth.

Learn how Matthew and his team began with a mission—tiny, but mighty—to change the world. And how it has since blossomed into an industry-wide initiative to empower young men and women to become confident and self-sufficient individuals though professional training in cosmetology.

From Human Resources to the Hair Industry

Matthew followed a rather unconventional route into the beauty industry, starting with a job in human resources.

Matthew admits to being in and around the salon industry for much of his life, as his partner managed James Alan Salon and Spa. He got to know distributors and even started doing some of his own salon training and education before officially joining the industry.

Matthew remembers when Robert Lobetta’s hair show came into town and in that moment, he knew he was going to wind up in the beauty industry but he didn’t exactly know how. Shortly after that, Matthew had the opportunity to buy his partner out of James Alan, which jumpstarted his transition. He quit his job and worked his way into being full time at the salon, doing consulting and training. 

Matthew made is his mission to get involved in the community, and his salon paved the way by participating in outreach events, taking on several sponsorships and hosting their own in-house fundraisers. Several years later, Matthew was called to take his passion one step further after being introduced to the insidious issue of sex trafficking on a global scale.

Combining Your Passion With Purpose

Although it took some convincing, after a client at James Alan approached Matthew about the rising issue of sex trafficking in Cambodia with a plea for help, he simply couldn’t turn away.

This particularly convincing client talked Matthew into offering vocational training to these young men and women who were rescued from sex trafficking and other at-risk situations, and this is how the Justice and Soul Foundation was born. But of course, the journey wasn’t easy.

After his first visit to Cambodia, Matthew realized he had taken on quite a major project, one might even say monumental. After his first ideas, including setting up a three-month educational program and funding additional help through donations, were squashed, Matthew realized that this project would require more than a simple three-month stint. 

Matthew and his team went back to the drawing board and decided that the key to creating a sustainable solution was to become a part of the Cambodian community and tap the money from the country’s middle class by offering something of value—salon services. 

It made perfect sense, they could stick to what they knew best and open up a western-style, high-end hair salon right here in Cambodia that would generate enough funding to pay its own way and then some. Of course, such a grand idea was backed by a major commitment to the cause, and it was then that Matthew realized he simply had to move there in order to make this dream come true.

Taking a Leap of Faith for the Foundation 

Although it was an incredibly big leap, Matthew had faith in his idea, in the industry itself, and most importantly, in the cause. Within a few years he had sold almost everything except his salon, which became almost entirely the responsibility of his leadership team, and thus began his new life in Cambodia.

With highly successful crowdsourcing and incredibly generous donations from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Winn Claybaugh, Paul Mitchell, and Andrew Gomez as well as product donations from Davines and Dermalogica, it took just over a year for Matthew to open his salon and begin his education program.

The Justice and Soul Foundation has since partnered with several NGOs that work on the frontlines, rescuing these young men and women from their horrific situations, to get them into trauma therapy and set them up with the resources and skills necessary to rebuilt their sense of self-worth and ability to live.  

Matthew and his crew work directly with these survivors, providing all sorts of education from English to Math and Science in order to rebuild their self-esteem. These young men and women are also given the opportunity to go through Justice and Soul’s very own technical training program which allows them to participate in vocational development, after which many of them go on to work in Matthew’s salon or one of the many others that have partnered with his organization.  

With roughly four years of time invested toward this cause, Justice and Soul has grown tremendously, even spreading its wings in order to tackle the sex trafficking issues back home, here in the U.S. With so many opportunities for expansion, Matthew says it can be overwhelming at times, but it’s the most rewarding work he has ever been involved in and he’s excited to see how it continues to grow.

If you’d like to learn more about Matthew’s journey, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog post, episode 171. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Justice and Soul Foundation you can head to their website for more information on volunteer work and all of the ways you can donate to the cause.

Climbing the Ladder of Success With Adam Broderick
Adam-Broderick-Beyond-The-Technique-Podcast-Steps-to-Success-Salon-Owner-Kati-Whitledge.jpg

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.

The Key to Nailing the Consultation Is Open Communication
Alicia-and-Christian-Blazevich-Bespoke-Beauty-Bar-Salon-Owners-Beyond-The-Technique-Blog.png

The consultation is the single most important step in securing a potential client. This introduction sets the stage for all future interactions between your client, their stylist, and ultimately, your salon. And the key to nailing the consultation? Open communication and conversation.  

Bespoke Beauty Bar Owners, Alicia and Christian Blazevich, know exactly what it takes to seal the deal during the consultation. In fact, their knack for client communication is what makes them a Salon Today Top 200 Salon. After putting in their time at a four-year college, Alicia and Christian found themselves longing for something different, so they decided to switch courses and that’s how Bespoke beauty bar was born.

Ironically, both Alicia and Christian grew up with a soft spot for the salon environment. As a child, Alicia spent most weekends at the salon with her grandmother perfecting her perm, and Christian fondly remembers visits to the barbershop with his grandfather. The Blazevich’s both grew up with a deep appreciation for the community atmosphere that salons provide, which played a significant role in their beauty bar for their own salon.

Alicia and Christian opened Bespoke Beauty Bar with the intentions of highlighting each client’s individuality. They knew that the same old cookie cutter formulas simply wouldn’t cut it in their studio, which is why they put an extra emphasis on the consultation. By getting to know each of their clients and their own intimate relationship with their hair, the Blazevich’s and their team are able to tailor their services to meet each client’s unique needs. Alicia and Christian ask all of the right questions during the consultation—and you can too!

Put it in Writing

Contrary to popular belief, the Blazevich’s know that doing everything digitally doesn’t always mean it’s going to be done better.  Alicia emphasizes the impact of using a hand-written client intake form during the consultation. While a digital form might speed up the process, there’s a level of thoughtfulness that comes with writing something down by hand.

I mean seriously, how often are we asked to jot down our thoughts and feelings anymore? Alicia encourages salon owners to hand their clients a pen and paper during their first visit in order to prompt them to really process the questions and fill out the form authentically.

Make it Positively Personal

While the consultation should still ultimately be about the technical services your client is seeking, it’s important to include some personal questions when getting to know them and their individual needs. Not only does this help you match each client with their perfect stylist, but it also shows that you care about the person underneath each head of hair.

Alicia and Christian also suggest spinning the consultation in a positive light. During the first visit, we often focus on what the client is looking to change, what they don’t like about their hair. Alicia emphasizes how impactful it can be to shift the focus to what they do like, what about their hair makes them feel good.

Of course, we’re still there to tend to that unwanted outgrowth or make those color corrections, but by asking these questions and getting to the bottom of their wants and needs you’re letting each client know that they’re valued, and that you care about their feelings.  

Alicia also suggests that you ask each client about what they look forward to when coming to the salon. Make yourself aware of their favorite part of the salon experience and linger there during their service. For some, coming to the salon is a chore in and of itself, so don’t add the extra frills. For others, they might say they love the shampoo or simply being pampered, so give them an extra rinse or add some essential oils to amplify the experience.

Ask the Tough Questions

It can be tempting to wrap up the consultation after the more enjoyable “get-to-know-you” questions, but it can’t end there. The most important questions are the ones regarding maintenance and budget.

As a salon owner or stylist, the goal is always to send clients off with a new wave of confidence and incredible hair, but the key to keeping your clients is giving them the ability to recreate that same look and feeling at home. Alicia and Christian know that hair maintenance looks a little bit different for every client, which is why they take the time to ask the tough questions.

At Bespoke, they really break it down to understand each client’s level of ability when it comes to maintaining their color, their biggest challenges when it comes to styling, and their current product regimen. Alicia suggests that you start with the basics and work your way up. Ask your clients, “How much time do you spend on your hair in the morning?” And go from there.

Break Down the Budget

Finally, it’s time to talk about the budget. At Bespoke, the last page of their client intake form is the personalized Bespoke Beauty Plan, where they cover the cost down to the dollar.

Again, Alicia says it’s important to break the cost down by service. Does your color require an additional glaze or bonding treatment? How many times will you need to process? While this level of disclosure might sound daunting at first, Alicia and Christian argue that this kind of transparency helps build trust with your clients. Not to mention, it’s tremendous for bridging the gap between the client’s expectations and what’s actually realistic for their budget and level of ability. 

To learn more about Bespoke Beauty Bar and the Blazevich’s knack for client communication, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 162. If you’re interested in more step-by-step advice on perfecting the consultation conversation, read our previous blog post on the Six Steps to a Winning Consultation.

 

Getting Down to Business at Serious Business® 2019
Serious-Business-Theme-Get-Out-Of-Your-Own-Way-2019-New-Orleans

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.

Kati-Whitledge-Sketch-Effect-Drawing-Build-Your-Best-Team-This-Year-Serious-Business-Break-Out-Speaker-2019-New-Orleans.jpg

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.