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Being a Salon/Spa Owner is Still One Hell of an Opportunity
September 7, 2020 | By Neil Ducoff | 2 Comments
Like you, I am a business owner. After 27 years of owning Strategies, the first eight months of 2020 will go down as the most surreal I have ever experienced.
Without a doubt, witnessing 100% of our coaching clients shut down was scary to say the least. The challenge for all owners was simple — figure it out, and figure it out fast. That’s what we did so we could help our clients do the same.
For all owners, this year definitely gave new meaning to the term “hard work.” Throw in a few helpings of fear and frustration, and you could be asking yourself, “Is ownership really worth it?”
The answer is simple. Hell YES it’s worth being a business owner.
So much so, that I took some time to reflect on these past eight months. Here’s what that reflection told me:
- Pride in my company and team: We work really hard on our systems and culture. That hard work definitely pays off in good times, but it truly pays off big time in bad times. We didn’t realize we were preparing to survive a pandemic and an economic meltdown, but that’s exactly what we were doing. Systems are nothing without teamwork. Teamwork doesn’t exist without the right culture. That’s why our coaching is so focused on systems and culture. We practice what we preach. You can’t put a price on pride and teamwork.
- Pride in my leadership: Being an entrepreneur for almost 50 years, I take my role as leader seriously. The moment it was clear that this crisis was going bad fast, I knew my team would look to my leadership to get us through it. Everything I wrote in my No-Compromise Leadership book is how I show up as a leader. Open and honest communication and full transparency was a must. Showing my team the path to daylight created energy and momentum. In the most humblest of ways, I am proud how I stepped up as the leader of my company. You can’t put a price on personal pride.
- Pride in the tough decisions I made: Most often, the toughest decisions a leader makes have to do with money (cash flow) and people. I was very open with my team that I was determined to get every employee and coach through this crisis. I shared exactly what we had to do financially to protect the company and our livelihoods. Just like we coach, each and every tough decision was addressed openly and expeditiously. You can’t put a price on the pride of doing what needs to be done.
- Pride that not one employee or coach missed a paycheck: In business, financial discipline and accountability is a non-negotiable. There’s nothing scary or overly complicated in doing forecasts, budgets and managing cash flow. The end result is building a cash reserve to weather a storm or seize an opportunity. I’m proud that we never had to touch our cash reserve during this crisis. I’m more proud that no one on our team had to worry about getting paid. You can’t put a price on the pride of protecting those that believe in your dream.
- Pride that we had each other’s back: Trust is earned through actions, deeds, honesty and transparency. Trust is earned by giving employees the opportunity, training, tools and confidence to achieve their full potential. In a high trust culture, you don’t have to keep looking over your shoulder. In a high trust culture, your team has your back because you have theirs. You can’t put a price on the pride to earn and have the trust of those you lead.
- Pride how we helped so many owners through a nightmare: It’s one thing to have your team share your vision and passion. It’s a rare privilege to lead and be part of a team that draws its energy by helping owners thrive. In the case of COVID-19, the higher sense of purpose to help owners navigate through this crisis was empowering and inspiring. You can’t put a price on the pride of building a compassionate company.
Here’s my challenge to you: Business isn’t all about money, critical numbers, and productivity. Business is about people and building something special to share with other likeminded individuals.
It’s one thing to be an owner and to be able to control your own destiny. It’s something entirely different to be the owner of a company that captures the hearts and minds of those it employs.
For me, it’s never been about the money. It’s been about the journey and making a difference. The money comes from doing the work of business. Money is the outcome of systems, accountability and discipline.
Starting now, make your own list of all the things you are proud of — all those things that make being an owner the greatest job ever.