Why the First 10% of Effort Makes or Breaks the Remaining 90%

October 13, 2019 | By Eric Ducoff | No Comments

Remember all those great ideas and projects you had that never got off the launch pad, or fizzled shortly thereafter?

Well, of course you do.

Like most salon/spa owners, your entrepreneurial nature is always thinking and exploring ways for your company to perform more efficiently, profitably and competitively.

And like most owners, you’re busy as heck fighting fires and switching from one leadership hat to another. You’re just trying to keep up with the rapid pace of leading a service business. That’s part of the reason so many new ideas, systems and projects never see the light of day.

FACT 1: If the first 10% of an idea, system, project or vision is half baked, it doesn’t stand a chance.

FACT 2: The first 10% of effort that goes into a new idea, system, project or vision represents the foundational blueprint that supports the remaining 90%. That first 10% of effort defines the why, what, how and when.  ... Read More

Remember all those great ideas and projects you had that never got off the launch pad, or fizzled shortly thereafter? Well, of course you do. Like most salon/spa owners, your entrepreneurial nature is always thinking and exploring ways for your company to perform more efficiently, profitably and competitively. And like most owners, you’re busy as heck fighting fires and switching from one leadership hat to another. You’re just trying to…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

TBP19 — Reflections on Two Extraordinary Days

October 6, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 4 Comments

Planning began 18 months ago with the decision to hold our sixth Team-Based Pay Conference in Atlanta. And for over a year, we devoted thousands of human hours into making TBP19 something extraordinary.

Well, TBP19 wrapped up seven days ago. We’re all back in our homes and offices. There are phone calls to answer, emails to answer and a four-day Incubator Seminar in our Business Academy to prepare for.

But there is this post-TBP19 mix of emotions that still surrounds each and every one of us.

First, we are all exhausted. We went to Atlanta to give it our all and we did just that. Pulling off TBP19 is both exhilarating and stressful.

Where’s our stuff! An advance team arrived in Atlanta on Friday, and immediately discovered that the two pallets with EVERYTHING we needed for the conference did not arrive. Even worse, the trucking company’s website showed a new delivery date of Monday. Holy crap, the conference ends Monday.... Read More

Planning began 18 months ago with the decision to hold our sixth Team-Based Pay Conference in Atlanta. And for over a year, we devoted thousands of human hours into making TBP19 something extraordinary. Well, TBP19 wrapped up seven days ago. We’re all back in our homes and offices. There are phone calls to answer, emails to answer and a four-day Incubator Seminar in our Business Academy to prepare for. But…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

2019 Team-Based Pay Awards Winners

September 30, 2019 | By Eric Ducoff | No Comments

The fifth annual Team-Based Pay Awards were held September 29th, 2019 at the Westin Buckhead Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. The awards ceremony ran concurrently with Strategies’ Team-Based Pay Conference 2019 at the same location, and were sponsored by Kopsa Otte.

Strategies created the Team-Based Pay Awards to celebrate and honor the superior performance and financial successes of salons, spas and medspas that are currently using Strategies Team-Based Pay compensation program.

Entrants were required to answer essay questions for each of the eight award categories, as well as provide profit & loss statements, balance sheets, cash-flow plans and broadbands for each department.

The 2019 Team-Based Pay Award winners:

  • Best Turn-Around Award

    Mary Kate & Company – Wichita, KS
    Owners: Mary Kate Denton & Rebecca Smith
  • Best Culture Shift Award

    Omagi SalonSpa – Louisville, KY
    Owner: Marian Sang
  • Productivity Award

    Natural Remedies Spa – Vienna, WV
    Owners: Bill & Linda Moore
  • Profitability Award

    Shine Hair Color & Design Studio – Columbia, SC
    Owner: Laura Pinkas
  • Staff Retention Award

    Blush Salon Spa – Fargo, ND
    Owner: Lacey Spaulding
  • Customer Loyalty Award

    Viriditas Beautiful Skin Therapies – Providence, RI
    Owner: Laurie Neronha
  • Coaches’ Choice Award
    A New Beginning – Bethel, CT
    Owner: Carol Romer
  • TBP No-Compromise Leadership Business of the Year
    Poza Salon – Charlotte, NC
    Owner: Pooran Okhovat
The fifth annual Team-Based Pay Awards were held September 29th, 2019 at the Westin Buckhead Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. The awards ceremony ran concurrently with Strategies’ Team-Based Pay Conference 2019 at the same location, and were sponsored by Kopsa Otte. Strategies created the Team-Based Pay Awards to celebrate and honor the superior performance and financial successes of salons, spas and medspas that are currently using Strategies Team-Based Pay compensation program. Entrants were required to answer essay questions for…
Read More

Categories: Team-Based Pay

When the Air Gets Thick — Let Employees Vent

September 28, 2019 | By Eric Ducoff | 1 Comment

Without a doubt, salon and spa businesses can become pressure cookers for drama, rumors and stress.

It doesn’t take much to thicken the air with emotional funk.

  • The departure of a vocal employee, voluntarily or otherwise, can stir the pot.
  • A new employee can disrupt the culture.
  • Changes to procedures, systems or pretty much anything can set things off.
  • Bad communication, budget restraints, promises made with good intentions but never fulfilled can fester and eventually contaminate the culture.

When the drama and stress go on too long, everyone pays the price. Employees are miserable, owners get stressed and client experiences suffer.

The BAD news is that too many owners allow the funk to fester, fearing the fix could make matters worse and one or more employees could leave.

The GOOD news is that employee frustrations can be solved relatively easy if approached properly.... Read More

Without a doubt, salon and spa businesses can become pressure cookers for drama, rumors and stress. It doesn’t take much to thicken the air with emotional funk. The departure of a vocal employee, voluntarily or otherwise, can stir the pot. A new employee can disrupt the culture. Changes to procedures, systems or pretty much anything can set things off. Bad communication, budget restraints, promises made with good intentions but never…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

Twenty-Six Years of Strategies

September 22, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 9 Comments

Holy crap! My company turned 26 on September 13th. Yes, that would have been “Friday the 13th.” Perhaps that’s why we let it pass without much fanfare.

As my thoughts drift back through the years, I feel a profound sense of pride on many levels that I would like to share.

  • My vision has never wavered: From day one, Strategies has been about making a difference in the lives of those that entrust us to coach and train their companies. It’s about helping owners and their employees find and live a better way to do business. Every member of the Strategies team is 100% committed to the vision and the responsibilities it requires.
  • Together, we overcame the challenges: Like any business, we’ve had our challenges. I’m responsible for a few, like my encounter with depression back in 2007, and ten years later when I was hit and seriously injured while riding my bike. Both times, my team stepped up to allow me time to recover. When the economy tanked in 2008, we responded by redesigning our seminar and coaching programs to make them more accessible. And, after 14 years of publishing Strategies Magazine, we made the tough decision to make the December 2007 issue its last. Today, my Monday Morning Wake-Up blog post has ten times the number of readers.
  • Strategies past team members: When you truly believe in your vision and your work, you attract like-minded followers. Over the past 26 years, employees and coaches have come and gone. Without question, each and every individual played a role in our growth and success. To those that moved on, I say, “Thank you for your contribution.”
  • Strategies current team members: Strategies is a very different company than it was ten+ years ago. We have tight systems, shared and focused leadership, and a company culture that is nothing short of amazing. I am blessed to have the most amazing leadership team and coaches ever. To the twenty-five+ that represent Strategies today, I say, “Lets continue our mission to bring best business practices to the salon/spa industry.”
  • Team-Based Pay is officially mainstream: This coming weekend in Atlanta, GA, September 29-30, we will be holding our sixth annual Team-Based Pay Conference. Not only is TBP19 the largest we’ve done — it’s incredibly-close to being sold-out. TBP salons, spas and medspas from all over North America will gather to learn, share and re-energize. On Sunday evening, we’ll be holding our 5th annual TBP Awards Ceremony. The Strategies team works tirelessly to make each TBP Conference better than the last. All I can say is, “Thank you for believing and making a dream come true.”
  • Who’s afraid of technology?: Strategies surely isn’t. In 2014, we built our first-generation coaching portal fondly named, the Command Center. Everything related to Strategies coaching was built into the Command Center, including a back end for documenting coach calls and monitoring progress. In late 2016, we began work on Command Center 2.0 and launched it the following Spring. Custom spreadsheets are better than ever, as is its entire functionality. Today, we have our own full-time programmer to keep CC2.0 humming along. We also moved operations and marketing to custom-built version of Infusionsoft. Our technology investment is huge — and, thankfully, it all works.
  • Onlive — The future of education is now: As much as we love our Strategies Business Academy and other seminar venues, this year we launched Onlive Training to bring live interactive learning to your computer. This meant taking over the entire first floor at our corporate headquarters and building a full-blown video studio with all the bells and whistles to do serious full-day live-feed broadcasts. In March 2020, we will begin delivering our flagship Incubator Seminar Onlive, one full-day each week for four weeks. We can’t wait to share the Incubator Onlive experience with you. Stay tuned for details!
  • What’s Neil going to do?: For some reason, I keep getting asked this question. Maybe it has something to do with me turning 70 this coming February 2nd. So here’s my official answer: I have a great team that’s been pretty much been running Strategies for a good number of years. I oversee my company and offer my guidance when asked or if necessary. I write my Monday Morning Wake-Up and do a few speaking events a year. Honestly, I’ve traveled enough in the past 50 years. As for my health, I would have done 3,000 miles on my bike this year if I hadn’t slashed a tendon on my thumb with a saw last 4th of July. I’ll wrap up 2019 at about 2,100 miles. Not too shabby for a guy about to turn 70.

Here’s my challenge to you: This is my story on my company as we begin our 26th year. We worked through our challenges and celebrated our successes.... Read More

Holy crap! My company turned 26 on September 13th. Yes, that would have been “Friday the 13th.” Perhaps that’s why we let it pass without much fanfare. As my thoughts drift back through the years, I feel a profound sense of pride on many levels that I would like to share. My vision has never wavered: From day one, Strategies has been about making a difference in the lives of…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

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