If you’ve ever attended the intense Strictly Business education developed by Scott Missad and Frank Gambuzza, you’ve witnessed the not-so-subtle transformation among the salon and spa owners who attend the four-day program.
Most owners enter the first morning, riding a wave of bravado, comparing their number of staff members and sales figures with one another. By day two, they’re in a bit of shock as they compare their own numbers with the potential their businesses could be producing. That’s when they began to let down their guard, divulging their fears and frustrations with their own salons and staff members. By the final day, they’re in tears, filled with hope, and confident they’ll be able to achieve the sustainability, the freedom and the profitability they dreamed of when they first launched their businesses.
Missad, a former vice president of sales at Maly’s Beauty Supply, Redken 5th Avenue NYC and Beauty Alliance and the founder of the Agility Group; and Gambuzza, who with his wife Belinda owns the Salon Visage chain of salons in Knoxville, Tennessee, developed the business training program to offer superior consulting, technical and financial training for discerning salon and spa owners. In 2012, they’ll partner with SALON TODAY to bring their financial know-how and proven systems to a wider audience of salon owners through The Profitability Project. In a one-on-one interview with Editor in Chief Stacey Soble, Missad and Gambuzza describe the new venture and how it can impact the future for all salon owners:
ST: How did you team up, and why did you start Strictly Business?
Missad: It started around 1999, when I was working at ISR, a distributor in Florida. One of the things I had taken there from my former job at Maly’s Beauty Supply was belief that we would only be as successful as the salons we service. We always put a heavy emphasis on business-building, which was unusual at the time. So, we decided to create an intense business seminar for salons, charge $500 for two days (which was unheard of), and sell to no more than 100 salons. No one thought we could do it, but we sold out. We had speakers including me, Frank, Geno Stampora, Michael Cole and Gary Harlan, who owns NColor in Naples, Florida.
Gambuzza: To be honest, I didn’t think we would sell out either, but talk about magic. People had never looked at their business this way, and by the end, owners were emotional and going home with a sense of hope. It showed that people wanted great business information but had no place to get it. And it wasn’t branded with a manufacturer, so there was no other agenda but creating a better businesses.