In the beginning of Scott Randolph’s cosmetology journey, he fell in love and married a fellow hairdresser—Mary Randolph. Thirty three years later, they have built and developed three Randolph’s Salons in southeast Michigan that collectively gross more than $4 million a year. Their passion and focus as salon owners has shifted from growing their business and art behind the chair to growing their team.
As part of our Profiles in Leadership series, Scott Randolph took some out of his busy schedule to talk to SALON TODAY about his leadership style and his dreams for the future:
SALON TODAY: From where does your entrepreneurial drive originate?
Scott: “Growing up as a young boy, I was influenced by my grandfather, a self-educated man from Arkansas who never graduated from high school. He saw opportunity, moved to Michigan, opened his own auto-related company, and was extremely financially successful.”
ST: What is your strongest leadership quality, and how has it helped you grow your business?
Scott: “I grow people for a living, period. In an industry predominately filled with women it is my firm belief that by empowering the women at Randolph's Salon Company I can make a difference in the quality of their lives by holding them accountable to the vision, hopes and dreams they set as a standard for themselves.”
ST: How would you describe your management style? What do you think makes you a good leader, and in what areas would you like to improve?
Scott: “Positive Points of Contact--this is what I strive for and strive to spread throughout our management team. Do we always achieve this? No, so this is something we work to improve upon.”
ST: Throughout your professional career, what’s the best lesson you’ve learned after making a mistake?
Scott: “Treat people as you would like to be treated, be kind, and apologize when wrong.”
ST: As you grew your beauty business, what “Ah-Ha” moments of clarity helped you shape its future course?
Scott: “That being behind the chair does not serve my salon company. In order to assure the quality of service to our guests, I focus on the training, happiness, health, and culture of the team. After that everything takes care of itself.”
ST: From whom or what do you draw your strength, courage, vision?
Scott: “My partner and wife, Mary Randolph, whom I met when I joined my first salon company as the shampoo boy.”
ST: How do you set goals for yourself? How do you hold yourself accountable?
Scott: “I am the idea guy. I believe that nothing in our industry is impossible. That being said, in order to harness these ideas. I have found that surrounding myself with people who have the structure, organizational skills, and discipline to follow through with these ideas is essential.”
ST: In your opinion, what is the single biggest threat that beauty businesses like yours face? How do you believe you and your peers can overcome it?
Scott: “Deregulation, salon suites and the general loss of professionalism that we have striven so hard for in the industry. We need to fight for the higher standards that every other professional industry holds themselves to.”
ST: In your opinion, what’s the biggest opportunity for beauty businesses like yours over the next five years?
Scott: “This is the $1,000,000 question, isn’t it? I wish I had the answer.”
ST: If you weren’t in the beauty business, what would you be doing now?
Scott: “Tricky, probably flipping houses, especially after building out salons.”
ST: What’s the best thing an employee/colleague ever said about you?
Scott: That no matter what I was there for them—from sending roofers over to finish a job to bailing them out of trouble.
ST: If you were training someone to take over your job, what is the most important advice you could offer them?
Scott: “That it's not about you. It's about the culture of your team, coaching, mentoring, teaching and guiding. If you can focus on this, success will come.”
ST: If you were to look at a scrapbook of your professional career, what would be your favorite page? Which page would you like to remove?
Scott: “My favorite would be all of the smiling faces of our team. I have no regrets and nothing to erase. It's all a journey.”
ST: How would you like to spend your retirement?
Scott: “Being a consultant to our boys as they take over the business.”
ST: Whom do you lean on for advice/support/wisdom?
Scott: “My wife and partner, Mary.”
ST: Describe your company’s culture, and as its leader, what do you do to drive that culture?
Scott: “At every interview we state, ‘You have to be nice to work here.’ This pretty much says it all.”
ST: What makes your beauty business unique?
Scott: “We only hire the best of the best. At Randolph's Salon Company, just OK is NOT OK.”
ST: What business project are you working on now? What’s your next professional step?
Scott: “Possible school ownership.”
ST: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise most of the people you know in the professional beauty space.
Scott: “Unfortunately, I’m a brutally honest guy, as most of my colleagues would attest.”
ST: How do you like to spend your time away from your business?
Scott: “Family, boating, travel, cooking and fast cars—not necessarily in this order!”
ST: If someone were to write a book about your life, what would be an appropriate title?
Scott: “Think Big, It’s Just Zeros.”
ST: What do you hope is your legacy?
Scott: “That our sons have continued on in our footsteps and thought bigger than we could every image, and didn’t worry about the zeros.”
ST: Why did you want to join Intercoiffure?
Scott: “It is the most prestigious industry affiliate we could be a part of.”
ST: What has been the biggest benefit you have received from your ICA membership?
Scott: “This is our first year as a partner, and we have already met salon owners with like-minded business practices to share.”
For more information about Intercoiffure Canada America and becoming a member, visit Intercoiffure.com.