Ten Defining Factors of Salon & Spa Success

February 19, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

One thing for sure, starting, owning and growing your own salon/spa business is not for the faint of heart.

To succeed, you must be bold and possess a level of determination that will be tested time and time again.

The problem is that boldness and determination are more about your spirit and attitude than your skill as a leader and businessperson. There are many bold and determined owners that get beat up and never truly experience or taste business success.

In a skill-based industry like salon and spa, the vast majority of owners are hair stylists, estheticians, massage therapists or nail techs. It’s one thing to be a successful service provider, building a successful company is a very different undertaking.

EXAMPLE: The dreaded “staff walkout” scenario is all too commonplace. Walkouts happen for a reason and can always be traced back to an owner’s leadership abilities.

The dilemma and danger of “Perceived success”

If there’s anything I’ve learned after four decades of coaching salon and spa owners, it is that “being busy” does NOT define success.... Read More

One thing for sure, starting, owning and growing your own salon/spa business is not for the faint of heart. To succeed, you must be bold and possess a level of determination that will be tested time and time again. The problem is that boldness and determination are more about your spirit and attitude than your skill as a leader and businessperson. There are many bold and determined owners that get…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

How to Retain Long-Term Salon & Spa Employees

February 12, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | 4 Comments

I had two back-to-back coaching calls with two salon/spa leaders where the focus was on a long-term service provider.

  • Call number one was on creating new opportunities for an extremely busy stylist.
  • Call number two was on how to end the relationship.

Losing a highly productive long-term service provider is disruptive and costly. Although the two scenarios in my coaching calls were quite different, both offered up some vital lessons for all owners and managers.

Scenario One: New opportunity for busy stylist

On call number one, the general manager and stylist were on the call. The stylist has been with the salon/spa since opening almost ten years ago. She is on Team-Based Pay at a premium hourly rate with an always-full appointment book.

It was a wonderful coaching call because it wasn’t about how to drive more revenue through the stylist’s two hands. It was about carving out a few hours a week for the stylist to contribute to the company in other ways, such as training and mentoring new talent.... Read More

I had two back-to-back coaching calls with two salon/spa leaders where the focus was on a long-term service provider. Call number one was on creating new opportunities for an extremely busy stylist. Call number two was on how to end the relationship. Losing a highly productive long-term service provider is disruptive and costly. Although the two scenarios in my coaching calls were quite different, both offered up some vital lessons…
Read More

Categories: Staff Retention

How to Make a Salon or Spa Comeback

February 5, 2018 | By Eric Ducoff | 7 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about comebacks lately.

At Strategies, we’re always coaching a number of salon/spa owners back from devastating walkouts, financial nightmares and other setbacks.

FACT: Setbacks suck. Comebacks are tough.

So why have I been thinking a lot about comebacks? As many MMWU readers know, I was hit while riding my bike on June 7, 2017. I spent 20 days in the hospital with injuries and now have a plate and screws in my left hip.

I love cycling because it keeps me fit. But the accident presented a major setback in my endurance and strength. Hey, I could have been killed. I’m grateful my injuries weren’t worse.

A few days ago, I got back on my trainer to begin training for my ninth MS Cape Cod Getaway Ride on June 30-July 1. It’s 150 miles from Boston to Provincetown. I’m captain of Team Strategies and ride with amazing people.

Last June, I followed my team ride from my hospital bed. That was emotionally painful.

THE POINT: It doesn’t matter if it’s a business or physical setback — the process of making a comeback and returning to optimal performance requires a specific mindset.... Read More

I’ve been thinking a lot about comebacks lately. At Strategies, we’re always coaching a number of salon/spa owners back from devastating walkouts, financial nightmares and other setbacks. FACT: Setbacks suck. Comebacks are tough. So why have I been thinking a lot about comebacks? As many MMWU readers know, I was hit while riding my bike on June 7, 2017. I spent 20 days in the hospital with injuries and now…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

Customer Loyalty Systems Hit List for Salons & Spas

January 29, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | 2 Comments

If you want consistency in customer service, satisfaction and retention, you must use systems.

A football coach has his playbook — a collection of systems designed to produce specific results.

What does your company’s playbook look like?

Customers are on the receiving end of your systems. If those systems are designed well and your team follows those systems with discipline and resolve, you have the best chance of achieving consistent and predictable results.

If you’re lacking systems, or they’re poorly designed and not followed, your customers are on the receiving end of compromise.

Your company phone won’t be answered correctly. Customers will be on hold too long. Problems will take longer to resolve. Retention will suffer.... Read More

If you want consistency in customer service, satisfaction and retention, you must use systems. A football coach has his playbook — a collection of systems designed to produce specific results. What does your company’s playbook look like? Customers are on the receiving end of your systems. If those systems are designed well and your team follows those systems with discipline and resolve, you have the best chance of achieving consistent…
Read More

Categories: Customer Loyalty

How to Fix Professional Salon/Spa Retailing

January 22, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | 9 Comments

The opportunity for a salon/spa to generate a quarter of its total revenue in retail is real.

It’s always been real.

But there’s something out of sync with the passion for using professional products vs. the actually “selling” of those products to salon/spa clients.

For the selling of professional products, it is the ultimate love/hate relationship.

When it comes to salon/spa professionals actually recommending the products they use and love, there are almost as many excuses for not selling, as there are products.

The excuses sound like:

  • I’m not a salesperson
  • I don’t have time to sell
  • The product we sell is widely diverted — so why bother
  • Clients can buy it cheaper at Ulta
  • My clients take a photo of the product and buy it on Amazon
  • I don’t want to be pushy

Excuses for not selling retail are just that — excuses.

In a recent interview on the retailing of professional products, I was asked seven questions. Here are my No-Compromise Leadership answers:... Read More

The opportunity for a salon/spa to generate a quarter of its total revenue in retail is real. It’s always been real. But there’s something out of sync with the passion for using professional products vs. the actually “selling” of those products to salon/spa clients. For the selling of professional products, it is the ultimate love/hate relationship. When it comes to salon/spa professionals actually recommending the products they use and love,…
Read More

Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

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