When Don Bewley, founder of Eufora, was a salon owner, he remembers the pressure of feeling competitive with other salon businesses. At a certain point, he realized that it would be more productive to work together than compete, so he started a salon owner group to bring the local owners in his town together. Because of this experience, Don and his wife, Beth, have launched the Eufora Salon Owner Network (ESON), which is open to any salon owner. Today the network has a participating community of 425 owners who work together to better the beauty industry.
SALON TODAY: Why did Eufora launch ESON?
Don and Beth Bewley: “When Don started the local group of owners, we knew that once they got to know each other they would respect each other and be able to work together. The result was fantastic. The owners realized they all had similar obstacles and were willing to help each other with solutions. Because of this experience, Eufora launched the salon owner network early in its history. While most industries and business professionals have organizations that offer support and collaboration, community resources for salon owners to network are limited, despite the fact they share many common challenges. It can be a very lonely job.”
ST: Why do you think it is so important to support business sharing at a local level?
The Bewleys: “Having a group that is local is an important relationship-building opportunity. Most salon owners see other owners as just competition. Once relationships are established with other local salon owners, there is a greater respect for one another and less "stealing" of stylists. ESON is about owners sharing common challenges and sharing solutions so that the industry as a whole excels.”
ST: What happens at an ESON meeting?
The Bewleys: “Eufora coaches a ‘chapter leader’ to facilitate the meeting. It is not a ‘business class’ but Eufora directs the curriculum to address various business-building topics. While Eufora delivers content and an agenda, it really is up to the owners to work together in the sharing of ideas and solutions. Meetings have a very interactive and open discussion format and serve a number of purposes: getting together to exchange ideas, success stories and give/receive support to and from fellow salon owners.”
ST: What are some of the scheduled topics that are discussed at and ESON meeting?
The Bewleys: “Based on the feedback from our network, we identified topics relevant to independent salon owners, such as leadership, creating a vision, goal-setting, time-management, communicating through effective team meetings and one-on-ones, creating systems for client retention and attracting new clients, how to read a financial statement, attracting and motivating your salon team, and more. On this year's agenda, we will be covering personal development, creating a unique salon experience for clients, effective utilization technology, and empowering your superstars.”
ST: How are the group leaders selected?
The Bewleys: “Group leaders must be owners who are successful with Eufora and willing to commit the time to facilitating the meetings. Our distributors along with Gayle Fulbright, our national chairperson for ESON, work to identify the chapter leads. Leads are not ‘trainers’ but their role is to facilitate a productive meeting and to keep the group on track.”