The team from Ego Salon in Howell, New Jersey, just started working together before the pandemic struck. The #30Days2Grow challenges helped the owners develop their leadership skills and hold their team members accountable. 
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The team from Ego Salon in Howell, New Jersey, just started working together before the pandemic struck. The #30Days2Grow challenges helped the owners develop their leadership skills and hold their team members accountable. 

Phorest Salon Software recently wrapped its 2021 edition of its #30Days2Grow challenge, which encouraged thousands of salons (regardless of what software they use) to take part in a challenge of daily tasks to help their salon owners and their team members thrive. Coming off a tough year in business, this year’s theme centered around positivity, wellness and leadership—bringing together all aspects of running a salon business in month’s worth of tackle tasks designed to focus growth in the future.

Throughout the month of June, participants received weekly emails with links to challenges for the week ahead. Each day of the week had a different theme, including Marketing Mondays, Teamwork Tuesdays, Win Wednesdays, Think Digital Thursdays, Feel Good Fridays, Self Care Saturdays and Strategy Sundays.

Each challenge was supported with links to educational content in audio, video or written form, so that those who wanted to further educate themselves on the topic of the daily challenge could do so.

Strengthening Leadership Skills and Team Culture

GianCarlo Micera and Darren Bari opened Ego Salon in Howell, New Jersey, in September 2019, just six months before the pandemic struck. The duo already were seeking a growth course or coaching company that could help shape their new company and themselves as leaders, when they discovered that Phorest’s #30Days2Grow was at their fingertips and free for participants.

“Every single morning we would make coffee, explore the day’s challenge and take in all the supporting material,” Micera says. “The challenges really helped us develop as leaders, and created a team environment in our salon that kept us all accountable, while helping us also develop a healthy work-life balance.

GianCarlo Micera and Darren Bari, owners of Ego Salon, with their salon mascot Smudge. 
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GianCarlo Micera and Darren Bari, owners of Ego Salon, with their salon mascot Smudge. 

Micera and Bari said the challenges had a positive trickle-down effect from the owners to the team to the clients. “Clients didn’t know we were participating in a specific challenge, but they’d notice the interaction and the outcome of it, and more than once they’d comment that they liked the positive ways we were cultivating our team,” Bari says.

For example, one of the Feel Good Friday challenges revolved around expressing gratitude. The Ego Salon team decided to incorporate the idea into their weekly practices. “We chose a staff member each week to focus on and we’d go onto Facebook and Instagram and give them a shoutout, expressing our appreciation for their hard work and expressing our feelings of love,” Micera explains. “Now, once a week we delegate two team members—one to do a shoutout to another team member, and one to do a shoutout to a client.”

The owners were especially appreciative of the challenges that helped them grow as leaders. “There was one challenge that talked about conflict resolution, explaining that there were A Players and B Players and how to communicate to different personalities,” Micera says. “It talked about when to have a conversation on the salon floor, when to bring in into your office, and when it’s best to take that conversation to a more neutral ground.”

The owners talked about one of their A Players who was seemed to be going through something that was impacting her at work, and they decided this was the perfect example of a time to take that person out to lunch.

“We wanted to open up the communication with her and get to the real issue and develop a plan that helped us work through it together,” Bari explains. “Having that conversation in the office would have made it feel like a reprimand, naturally putting the employee in a defensive mode. Having the conversation offsite at lunch made it neutral ground. Instead, we could show concern and have a serious conversation, and it was a far better outcome.”

The team from Firefly Salon in Bainbridge Island, Washington, started incoporating some of the #30DaystoGrow challenges into their weekly routines. 
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The team from Firefly Salon in Bainbridge Island, Washington, started incoporating some of the #30DaystoGrow challenges into their weekly routines. 

Showing Gratitude to the Team and to Yourself

Across the country, at Firefly Salon on beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington, Salon Manager Kaylee Arnold was reveling in the Teamwork Tuesday challenges. With the first challenge, “Build Relationships Before Driving Results,” she gave each member of the team a handwritten note reminding them why she was thankful for them and how their creativity and style made the salon the best place around.

“The boost in morale was unparalleled,” Arnold reports. “Small affirmations can boost a person’s mood and energy, which transfers to every person they connect with each day. It’s a chain reaction! I think many types of businesses would benefit from utilizing these challenges and ideas.”

Personally, Arnold says she also benefitted from the Self-Care Saturdays. “As managers and owners, we tend to forget to thank ourselves and acknowledge the hard work we put into our business,” she says says. “It’s such an empowering and gratifying thing to check in with yourself and make adjustments to better serve yourself, and, in turn, your business. The gratitude journal strategy inspired me to take a step back and look at what I accomplish every day at work, and think about what I am thankful for in general.”

A stylist at Firefly Salon working with a client. 
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A stylist at Firefly Salon working with a client. 

“Instead of grasping for ideas for team-building activities that boost development and salon business solutions, we can recycle the 30Days2Grow challenges and use them throughout the year,” Arnold says. “Reusing the challenges will result in new and creative ideas each time. It will change our long-term structure as a business to be more fluid, and we will have the ability to adapt and change as the salon industry morphs.”

“The #30Days2Grow challenged forced us to reflect on the year that just happened and change our outlook as business owners. We want to show our appreciation to our staff, we want them to succeed as much as we do,” Micera says.

Challenging Yourself to Be Your Best

Interested in seeing what some of these 30Days2Grow challenges looked liked? Here are three:

Challenge 1 - Teamwork Tuesday - Build relationships before driving results 

Your challenge: Take some time today to build on the relationship you have with each of your team members by sharing your gratitude with them. Gratitude helps you and your team feel more positive, cared for, and happy. Write them a handwritten note, a text message, or even a group message if you have a large team. Take it up a notch by posting your gratitude on Instagram with a picture of your team along with a caption sharing how much you appreciate them. Of course, don’t forget to tag them in it!

Challenge 13 - Strategy Sunday - Review your employer brand 

Your challenge: Create the story of being the one business everyone wants to work for. First, visit your website and make sure you have at least one page for your salon’s story, mission statement and values. If you do, review the content and see if you can write a better story, one that makes people think, “Wow, I want to be a part of that.” If you don’t have those content pieces on your website, then today’s your opportunity to write them.

Second, review your employer profiles on recruitment sites. Can you make them more enticing? Can you tell a better story?

Third, if you have job listings online at the moment, schedule some time to review and update them all over the next 1-2 weeks.

For example, instead of writing something like:
At (fill in your salon), we are hiring for an experienced stylist. If you have 2-4 years in the industry and want to be part of an awesome team, please submit your resume.

Write a better story, such as:
At (fill in your salon), we do loyalty, laughter, and friendship. We work hard and work together. We honor that our individual successes make up our team’s success as a whole and are looking for a stylist with a few years of experience who wants to add to our magic. Is it you? Please apply, and let’s find out!

Challenge 28 - Marketing Monday - Brainstorm your upcoming salon campaigns 

Your challenge: Make a commitment to your salon by creating a Marketing Calendar for the next 12 months. If that seems daunting, we have created a calendar tool that generates key dates and campaign ideas for your salon based on your location. Just head to the calendar tool below and answer three simple questions to create a downloadable calendar to help shape your email, SMS and paid marketing tactics for the year to come.

While the official #30Days2Grow challenge has concluded, Phorest has left the challenges in place so any salons can follow them at their own pace. To access, fill out the registration here.

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