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.
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.
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.