A Technology Solution to Salon/Spa Tipping Challenges

June 3, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 12 Comments

Tipping at salons and spas has been a quagmire of issues for, well, pretty much forever.

But in recent years, the migration from cash to plastic, and now electronic payments like ApplePay, means all of us are carrying less cash.

Last year, U.S. Bank did a study and found that 46% of people surveyed used cash less than eight days a month. Further proof that the need for cash is rapidly fading away.

Given that tipping in salons and spas is damn near a sacred practice, owners need a real solution.

More importantly, how your company addresses tipping is directly tied to your service providers’ future compensation, and a significant factor in employee retention. Simply put, it’s time to pay attention.

Let’s start with the three stages of salon/spa owner response to a customer asking, “Can I leave a tip on the credit card?”

Stage 1: DENIAL: No, I am not going to pay those added processing fees. Instead, I’m putting in an ATM and saying, “We don’t accept tips on credit cards.”... Read More

Tipping at salons and spas has been a quagmire of issues for, well, pretty much forever. But in recent years, the migration from cash to plastic, and now electronic payments like ApplePay, means all of us are carrying less cash. Last year, U.S. Bank did a study and found that 46% of people surveyed used cash less than eight days a month. Further proof that the need for cash is…
Read More

Categories: Financial Literacy

Why Those Dreaded Conversions Are So Vital

May 26, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

We don’t go into business or a leadership position because we want to have those dreaded conversations with employees.

A dreaded (or fierce, or crucial, or difficult) conversation is about addressing and fixing a problem.

It could be a problem with the salon/spa business that can only be fixed by implementing change, so significant, that it requires buy-in from all team members.

Because there will always be certain team members that push back on change, these “change” conversations can be dreaded and stressful events. And dreaded conversations almost always occur long after they should have taken place.

Most often, the most dreaded conversations are with a specific employee. You know, the one that doesn’t take constructive criticism well, or blames everything and everyone except owning his or her personal behaviors or performance.

The problem with dreaded conversations has very little to do with the conversation itself. It has everything to do with how long it takes for that conversation to take place.... Read More

We don’t go into business or a leadership position because we want to have those dreaded conversations with employees. A dreaded (or fierce, or crucial, or difficult) conversation is about addressing and fixing a problem. It could be a problem with the salon/spa business that can only be fixed by implementing change, so significant, that it requires buy-in from all team members. Because there will always be certain team members…
Read More

Categories: Information Flow

A New Coach’s Fresh Perspective on Her Business

May 20, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 3 Comments

We recently graduated four new Certified Strategies Coaches. To graduate, they had to complete a rigorous training program and demonstrate mastery of Strategies Team-Based Pay Business Model and the systems that drive it.

One of our new coaches is Alayne White, who is the owner of the two Alayne White Spas in Rhode Island.

Alayne, who is a prolific writer, decided to write the following blog post that describes how her Strategies Coach Training changed the way she looks at her company and her employees.

There are so many insightful takeaways, that I decided to share it in my blog post.

A Fresh Perspective

I walked into my first training with an extra bounce in my step. I was excited to start my new alternate career path of becoming a Certified Coach for a company I had been born and raised with called Strategies. Because I have been a recipient of their wisdom and business strategies since I opened my business over seventeen years ago, I considered myself already a member of the team.... Read More

We recently graduated four new Certified Strategies Coaches. To graduate, they had to complete a rigorous training program and demonstrate mastery of Strategies Team-Based Pay Business Model and the systems that drive it. One of our new coaches is Alayne White, who is the owner of the two Alayne White Spas in Rhode Island. Alayne, who is a prolific writer, decided to write the following blog post that describes how…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

Team-Based Pay: What It Is — Why It Works

May 13, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

The pay method you choose for your salon, spa, medspa or barbershop is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business, as it has a HUGE impact on everyone’s financial well-being, your culture and more.

In this blog post, we’re going to breakdown one of the powerful (yet occasionally misunderstood) salon/spa compensation systems: Team-Based Pay.

And who better to explain it to you than the person who literally invented Team-Based Pay for the beauty industry, Strategies Founder & CEO, Neil Ducoff.

Let’s dig in!

Team-Based Pay (TBP) is not just a pay method

To understand the true power of Team-Based Pay, it’s important to understand that it is much more than just a pay method. It’s a comprehensive business model based on proven systems, best business practices and applied leadership. The Team-Based Pay method creates the foundation that supports all the systems that make Team-Based Pay such an effective business model.... Read More

The pay method you choose for your salon, spa, medspa or barbershop is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business, as it has a HUGE impact on everyone’s financial well-being, your culture and more. In this blog post, we’re going to breakdown one of the powerful (yet occasionally misunderstood) salon/spa compensation systems: Team-Based Pay. And who better to explain it to you than the person…
Read More

Categories: Compensation

10 Reasons to Celebrate Being a Salon/Spa Owner

May 12, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

As a salon/spa owner, it’s pretty easy to list all the stuff that stresses you out.

  • Employees can drive you crazy
  • Cash-flow challenges can keep you awake at night
  • Fighting fires and problem solving can wear you down

Too often, the very things that feed our passion, and sense of pride as owners, get overshadowed by the daily stress of business.

We tend to forget why we became owners in the first place. And if we forget why for too long, stress can lead to resentment.

FACT: You can’t be the leader your salon/spa needs, or build a culture that rivals all others, when you feel resentment for all that you’re responsible for.

So let’s step away from the daily stress and focus on the positives and the possibilities that bring pride and fulfillment as an owner.

Here are my ten No-Compromise Leadership reasons to celebrate being a salon/spa owner:

  1. You lead employees to achieve their full potential: As a leader and business owner, this is your prime responsibility. More importantly, it is the one aspect of ownership that delivers priceless pride. Without question, you will hire your fair share of unmotivated duds, but there will be many employees that will become more than they ever dreamed possible under your leadership. It’s a gift of knowledge, drive, passion and performance that you pass on to a new generation. This alone is truly a reason worthy of celebration.
  2. You create livelihoods for employees and their families: Business ownership is so much more than generating profit and money. Employees help you grow a viable and sustainable company. As the company grows, incomes grow, benefits improve. Financial sustainability flows from your company to your employees and their families in the form of livelihoods. You will help many buy their first car and their first home. It’s all part of the culture of shared success and how your company provides for the wellbeing of those that make it work.
  3. What you envision, you can create: Damn, what more can any entrepreneur ask for than the opportunity to envision an idea and to bring that idea to life? You are the artist, engineer, builder, trainer, coach, pitch person, financier and head of maintenance for anything you can envision. You are the captain of your own ship and in control of your own destiny. Envision your business journey and go for it. This level of freedom of expression is truly worthy of celebration.
  4. You are the decision maker: The keys to launch ignition are in your possession. The “GO” button sits on your desk. Within the financial reality of your company, you can decide where and how to spend and invest. You can give raises to those that earned it and stop giving paychecks to those that didn’t. You can promote key employees and take them to their next level. You can expand your company or shrink it. You can cut expenses to protect profit. You can build cash reserves or live on the financial edge. Your company and your employees depend on your business sense and good judgement. Through it all, you are the decision maker which is truly a reason worthy of celebration.
  5. Sharing control and responsibility enables growth: Control freaks will always struggle to grow their companies. Why? Because they can’t let go of the controls. Because people can’t grow when they’re surrounded by roadblocks. The best teams are comprised of key players in key positions. These players possess the level of authority to control their area of responsibility. All share absolute clarity on the vision and the goals and the timelines. Empowered teams move and grow companies farther and faster. What an honor it is to lead such a team and truly a reason for celebration.
  6. If you don’t like it, you can change it: As the leader and owner, you can choose to complain about what you don’t like and point the finger of blame in all directions. Or, you can change what you don’t like and fix what isn’t working. OMG! Why waste time, money and drama tolerating what’s not working? Why identify a problem and not fix it? It’s your company. It’s your investment. It’s your personal guarantee on the lease and loans. Making tough decisions that may rock the boat may not sound like a reason to celebrate, but it sure as hell is. When you’re the owner, there is no “they” to fix it. You’re the owner. You are “they.” And that’s a reason to celebrate.
  7. The tighter your culture, the faster you grow: Culture is the collective thinking and behavior of your salon/spa. Cultures are made. More importantly, cultures must be carefully crafted (vision), systemized (structured), empowered (trust) and protected (leadership). Ultimately, your company’s culture reflects your leadership. There is no autopilot for culture building and maintenance. Culture building and maintenance is a daily responsibility that is nurtured by information flow and teamwork. Being able to build a culture that reflects your vision, values and work ethic is a massive reason for celebration.
  8. It’s never as bad as you think: Please reread reason number six. Things get bad when owners don’t pay attention. Things get bad when known problems go unchecked and manifest into major problems. If it looks like it has the potential to get bad, be the No-Compromise Leader your company needs and take action. If it already is bad, there is almost always time to fix it and heal your company. This “it’s never as bad as you think” reason to celebrate being an owner, means that you have the power to prevent or fix what’s broken.
  9. You can design your ideal job: The proceeding reasons to celebrate all lead to the simple fact that you can design your ideal job. This is your reward for doing the work and sharing control and responsibility. It’s your reward for all those years of giving your blood, sweat and tears to your company. Now you get to choose the work that you do best. To do the work that fulfills you. This is truly a reason for celebration.
  10. Profit is your reward: This reason is the most special of all. True, profit is simply a measurement of how well your company performed over a specific period of time. To me, profit is special because profit reflects something deeply personal. Sustainable profit symbolizes the many hard-fought victories and sleepless nights. Sustainable profit also means having the ability to build the cash reserves that provide a level of security for my company. Achieving and maintaining profitability represents so much more than money. It represents a very personal reason to celebrate, appreciate and give thanks.

Here’s my challenge to you: Take time to reflect on each of the ten reasons to celebrate being an owner. If your current reality for any one or more reasons wants you to do anything but celebrate, what are YOU going to do about it?... Read More

As a salon/spa owner, it’s pretty easy to list all the stuff that stresses you out. Employees can drive you crazy Cash-flow challenges can keep you awake at night Fighting fires and problem solving can wear you down Too often, the very things that feed our passion, and sense of pride as owners, get overshadowed by the daily stress of business. We tend to forget why we became owners in…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

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