In the quaint, colonial town of Centerbrook, Connecticut stands the Strategies’ Corporate Office. Built in 1993, the office serves as both a headquarters and training grounds for salon owners who travel in for business workshops. This weekend I had the pleasure to sit in on The Strategies Salon Today 200 Incubator session which has challenged, motivated and inspired salon owner attendees to better their businesses.
The Incubator is a four-day voyage that will indoctrinate each of the salon owner attendees into the Strategies’ comprehensive approach to business management—simply a way to prepare them into re-engineering their business systems.
During the next few days every conceivable business process will be examined and re-engineered to meet this economy’s demands. Salon owners today were presented with different approaches on how to change their ineffective methods of management and replace them with new, modern, broad-based systems and processes.
Equipped with plenty of paper, pens, calculators, sales reports, and most recent Balance Sheets, Profit & Loss Statements and Statement of Cash Flows (one per month) for the past 12 months, the Salon Today 200 salon owners who visited this session were ready to be educated on the “Strategies Way” of bettering the life of their employees, their clients and most of all themselves.
The Salon Professional Academy in Tampa, Florida
ABQ Hair Studio, Albuquerque, New Mexico
As You Like It, Mary Esther, Florida
Domani Salon & Spa, Watertown, Wisconsin
J'on Alan Salon, Nashville, Tennessee
Luxe Salon, Denver, Colorado
Salon West, Largo, Florida
Sky Salon, Strongsville, Ohio
Spa Mizan, Lafaytte, Louisiana
The Atrium, Asheville, North Carolina
Warmsprings Salon & Spa in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
The class started out with everyone listing what their current reality was at their salons. Some had limited resources, a loyal management team but not enough “leaders.” Some had too much control of their company, or wanted to grow to multiple locations but didn’t know how. Some had a “clash of generations” between their younger and older employees. Some simply didn’t know how to create a “name” for their salon.
With all of these questions raised, came answers today from Certified Strategies Coach Daryl Jenkins and Strategies CEO & Founder Neil Ducoff. Today they delved into the concepts of Re-engineering, No-Compromise Leadership, Financial Intelligence and Cash-Flow Planning.
Jenkins led the class into a deep dive discussion about Re-engineering. He emphasized to the class that if their current model was not working, then they needed to take their businesses in a different direction. According to Jenkins, Re-engineering is the fundamental re-thinking and radical re-design of business processes to bring about dramatic improvement in business performance. “Re-engineers must be one part visionary, one part communicators and one part leg-breakers,” he said as he was quoting Michael Hammer, author of The Re-engineering Revolution Handbook. Jenkins emphasized that you cannot re-engineer half-way with your business if you are serious about changing. You need to prepare yourself to go all the way, or don’t re-engineer at all.
Afterwards, salon owners considered what was standing in the way of their success. Was it their own conflicting personal agendas? Lack of leadership? Poorly designed systems in their salons? A pay system that rewarded the wrong behaviors?
Some of these topics rang a bell with the salon owners in the room today. (They might with you too…) The fact of the matter is, according to Ducoff, is that if you want your overall salon system to work, you need to start practicing a system of “No-Compromise Leadership.” “In order to be a ‘No-Compromise’ leader, you need to track your retention rate, measure your retail sales, know your pre-book numbers, and as a leader you have to know these numbers in order to move forward.”
Ducoff recommended doing huddles or most of all, helping your employees reach their individual goals. “By doing this it will make your company more successful,” he says. One salon owner asked today, “How do you convince your employees to go over and beyond to reach their goals?” Ducoff responded, “Relentlessly communicate. Invest in your people. You may ask yourself, ‘Well, what if they leave?’ The real question is, ‘What if they stay?’”
The second part of the day handled financials. According to Ducoff and Jenkins, by properly figuring our your financials, you can: figure out if you have a financial cushion, see how you measure up to competition, determine if you’re spending too much (or if you are spending it effectively), and whether of not you can pay yourself more. In the session, salon owners got an inside look at what numbers Strategies’ recommends their benchmarks should be for total sales, cost of sales, gross profit and operating expenses (which includes things such as advertising, payroll, employee benefits, utilities, repairs and more).
The day finished off with the Salon Today 200 owners getting a chance to fill out their Cash-Flow Projection Sheets. These sheets helped them to determine exactly where their salons were with their numbers and the areas in which they should improve.
And, that’s not all! Ducoff gave the class a FIRST LOOK at his new book, Wake Up! The book is split into 144 articles (8 different topics) and is comprised of Ducoff’s Monday Morning Wake-Up columns that are full of fast, relevant use-them-now strategies that help salon owners survive and thrive in today’s “new normal.” The book's quick doses of no-compromise thinking will change your way of thinking. Pick up the book today, or sign up for Neil Ducoff’s Monday Morning Wake Up! at strategies.com.
Well, that’s it for today. Tomorrow, we will be learning about Team-based Pay. Don’t know what it is? Tune in for tomorrow’s article…
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