The hugely popular Tour de ISBN (International SalonSpa Business Network) series that takes delegates into other members’ businesses to scrutinize every element of their success kicks off again this October 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a full-access pass into one of the most successful beauty franchise businesses in North America, Great Clips. The Minneapolis-based franchisor was started in 1982 with just one salon. It now has 4,300 locations dotted across the North American and Canadian landscape, with annual revenue in excess of $1 billion.
Rhoda Olsen, vice-chair of Great Clips and two-term president of the ISBN, along with her team, will lead the tour, which actually starts on October 18 with a welcome reception to connect tour attendees – one of the key drivers for all events produced by International SalonSpa Business Network. The following day delegates will visit two Great Clips salons before taking part in workshops at one of the newest Great Clips regional training centers.
"The future health of our industry depends on us helping one another to understand the challenges and disruptions we face. Coming together to share best practice at events like this is one of the best ways to do that," says Olsen, outgoing president of the ISBN, who joined Great Clips in 1984 as a part-time training consultant before going full-time in 1987 as vice-president of human resources. "The membership of ISBN is hugely diverse, from a big franchisor like Great Clips to smaller owner-operators with just a few successful salons, but we all face similar challenges and it is hugely enriching to see how others drive success."
The Tour de ISBN was launched last year when a large group of members were invited to the soon-to-be-opened Gene Juarez Salons and Spas. Gene Juarez operates eight beautiful luxury salon-spas across Seattle, with Bellevue representing the relocation of an existing salon and a launch of a new concept. While there, delegates were given multiple opportunities to sit down with various Gene Juarez executives to quiz them about the build-out, training, branding and marketing – all areas necessary to running a successful beauty business. A second Tour de ISBN followed last May with a visit to the fast-growing V’s Barbershops in Phoenix, Arizona, followed by intimate round-table discussions focused on how V’s has stayed true to its core values despite its nationwide growth.
"Our aim is to keep building ISBN so it represents the industry in all its varieties. We must unite to seek out solutions to challenges, which we can then face head-on together," adds Olsen. "Meeting throughout the year at events such as these tours, in addition to the exciting annual ISBN conference, gives us amazing insights into how others function, and will support industry growth and career opportunities for young professionals in all areas of beauty, despite economic changes or threats from Amazon and other seemingly intractable problems."
Great Clips is renowned for its streamlined operations and flawless franchisee support systems, creating a consistency that stretches across thousands of miles. Tour attendees will see first-hand how it’s done and gain access to tools that will help them grow their own businesses.
"If I’d known 20 years ago what I know now, it would have saved me a lot of time, money and stress," says Olsen. "I’m excited to share some of the lessons we’ve learned over the past three decades-plus and help ISBN members avoid some of the pitfalls that come along with scaling a business.
About ISBN: The International SalonSpa Business Network (ISBN) represents the global voice for the multi-location salon and spa segment of the professional beauty industry. It comprises the full spectrum of the industry, high-end to value-priced, salons/spas with thousands of locations to those with two or three, corporate-owned to individually-owned, franchise companies and their franchisees. To be eligible for membership, applicants must own or operate 5 or more salons or spas and employ at least 50 licensed professionals; or own and operate 2 or more salons and spas that yield total gross sales of at least $3 million annually; or franchisors in the industry. Working together, the ISBN and its members can and will effect positive change for business and the industry.