Insider information to help every beauty owner and entrepreneur lead their organizations through the changes assailing the industry was shared at the International SalonSpa Business Network 2019 annual conference in May. With a strong focus on leadership to build confidence in teams and ignite innovations to navigate disruptions, the conference proved to be one of the most successful ever for the ISBN. But the message was clear; everyone must consider themselves leaders of change to succeed.
ISBN’s newly elected President Scott Missad, CEO of the 10-salon strong Gene Juarez group in Seattle quoted playwright George Bernard Shaw as he called members to action: "Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." He continued: "We can affect change for the positive and that way make everything better for the whole industry. If we make the numbers bigger then there is more pie for everyone to benefit from."
Each high octane speaker throughout the three days of conference in Bonita Springs, FL, focused on how to build towards superb leadership.
"Everyone has the capacity to be a great leader, but a lack of self-belief and self-knowledge can hold them back," urged one of the conference’s acclaimed speakers, leadership expert Dr. Shalom Saada Saar, currently associate dean at Miami University’s Business School and previously of MIT and Harvard. Speaking to a room full of executives from both multi-location businesses as well as the industry’s top vendors at the ISBN conference, Dr. Saar urged delegates to embrace not only their own potential but the potential of their colleagues to build the confidence needed to navigate the disruptions bombarding the industry.
This year’s conference was an invigorating retreat giving ISBN members time and opportunity to explore in-depth the changing economic landscape, to consider leadership strategies that promote organizational evolution, and to touch on ways to ignite ideas and understanding that will help them adapt to macro and micro influences in and on their businesses. Some of the content will be available to the entire beauty community over the coming year through ISBN web blogs and ISBN Facebook.
D.r Saar was followed by a speaker able to demonstrate what excellent leadership looks like. Drama researcher and specialist Cy Wakeman showed the way people are led can have a huge impact on productivity and that simply switching to put accountability on the individual can allow a business to claw back as much as two hours a day in increased productivity. According to Wakeman 816 hours are lost to workplace drama each year through inter-personal issues that lead to bickering and gossiping, or by staff bringing domestic problems into the salon.
"Good leadership can eliminate that drama by encouraging team members to see beyond their self-focused view and to accept accountability," she explained.
The following day, economist Dr. Alan Beaulieu shared data that predicts an economic slowdown next year. Forecasted to last up to 12 months, it could damage businesses where leadership does not have the confidence to instigate and embrace change. His advice centered on cutting out inefficiencies to create a leaner business, to emerge in 2021 stronger and well placed to take advantage of the upturn.
"Owners and management must not be blindsided in 2019 just because the business did well in 2018," he added. ‘They must address the challenges coming and prepare now by analyzing past performance and using that knowledge to build a plan that will see them through to 2020.’
But as with every ISBN conference, it was the networking and sharing of expertise at the breakouts that were applauded most by ISBN members, especially the newly introduced BIG IDEAS segment. Ten members, including Rachel Jud from JCPenney Salons and Nick Stenson of Ulta Beauty, revealed recent strategies and innovations that worked for them. The quick-fire presentations were followed by the highly anticipated ISBN MasterMind groups where members could quiz each presenter and discuss similar strategies that would work for their organizations.
Every year the ISBN conference provides a vital opportunity for ambitious owners, executives and business leaders to meet and share best practice, and build strategic responses to industry challenges. Over recent years, the membership of the multi-location association has doubled as small and large chains unite with franchise organizations to lead positive changes in the professional beauty industry, protecting the safe haven of opportunity for stylists, therapists and barbers that discover and blossom in the network.
The fast growing membership has added new dimensions to the association, strengthening its position as the beating heart of the industry, providing an essential forum for owners to share ideas and challenges unique to a business with multiple locations; a place to go where they haven’t outgrown the program.
The success of this year’s conference means members are already signing up for next year’s pilgrimage, taking place at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, on Coronado Island just off San Diego from May 3-5, 2020. The hotel was used in the Marilyn Monroe movie, Some Like it Hot, and is also famed for being haunted. Based on an island off the coast of San Diego, it promises a perfect canvas to an incredible three days, where can watch dolphins from the beach on the secluded island, appreciate it’s legendary history and glamour and connect with colleagues in contemporary meeting spaces.
To learn more and to register for or sponsor the conference go to https://salonspanetwork.org/annual-conference/