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You Can’t Dance with the Elephant in Your Business

Better Business

Neil Duco

It’s time to acknowledge that there is an elephant in your business. More importantly, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to dance with that elephant.

Reading this, you’re probably asking, “What’s up with Neil and this elephant stuff?” Well, this elephant stuff is all about that “thing” that’s been eating away at you and your business. The elephant is that big issue or problem you’ve been trying to ma- neuver around but not touch. It’s there, and no matter how hard you try to move around your elephant, it just won’t go away.

Still confused? Then you’re still refusing to acknowledge your elephant’s presence. So much so that you’ve gotten used to moving around it. Having your elephant in the way for so long feels almost normal. Yet, it’s a source of great stress. All that maneuvering wears you down and drains resources. The elephant needs to go away. And its removal falls squarely on your shoulders.

So what does this elephant look like?

  • Your company’s payroll is too high and

no longer sustainable: Maybe you moved around it by cutting your own pay. Maybe you put a payroll or two on your personal credit card. (Yes, these days, this desperate measure is more common than you think.) Removing this elephant may require imple- menting a new pay system. It may mean that you must lay off people. It may mean chang- ing your lifestyle. Stop dancing around your elephant.

  • Employees are not performing: If

they’re not performing, how long have you been suffering from a case of intolerable toleration? Are you afraid that key employees will quit if you start holding them account- able? The elephant is your fear of addressing behaviors that you enabled by not engaging. Be the leader that your company needs and have the conversations that you’ve been avoiding. If someone quits, so be it. If you need to give an employee a “career opportu- nity,” so be it. Get rid of the elephant.

  • You’re stuck in yesterday: If there’s any

lesson this recession is teaching leaders, it’s that the game of business has changed and will continue to change at a rapid pace. What brought you success yesterday probably won’t bring you success tomorrow. Yesterday’s manner of doing business is the elephant. It’s in your way and holding you back. Let go of yesterday. Try something crazy. Something fun. Something bold. Innovative action is the best eviction notice for an elephant.

These are times for no-compromise leaders to show their stuff. Be courageous. Recognize that dancing around your elephant is draining money and resources. More importantly, the stress and anxiety are a detriment to your personal wellbeing. Stop dancing and evict your elephant.

Neil Duco is the founder and CEO of Strategies, a business training and coaching salon specializing in the salon and spa industry. During his 38 years as a business trainer, coach, keynote speaker and author, Duco has gained respect as the guru of team-based compensation. Duco is the author of Fast Forward, the denitive business resource book for salons and spas. Duco’s new book, No-Compromise Leadership, is available at www. amazon.com. For a signed copy, go to www.strategies.com.You can email Neil at neil@strategies.com. READ IT! SAVE IT! PRINT IT! NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE! View this article and more at www.stylistnewspapers.com

Star Studded 2010 Line-Up at the Texas International Hair and Trade Show

The Texas International Hair and Trade Show will highlight star-studded education, empowerment, and entertainment on June 27-28, 2010 at the Dallas Convention Center.

The Texas International Hair and Trade Show, the largest multicultural hair, beauty and cosmetic exposition in the South Central United States, will feature world renowned educa- tors, motivational speakers, and fashion icons that will thrill and inspire the audience.

Hairstylists, barbers, students, cosmetology schools and the general public are invited to participate with hundreds of vendors and educators including, Nikita Smith, The Bia Team, Sharon Reams, King James Bridget H, Isis, Jimmie Sanders, Tarsha Woods, Adrian the Dreamweaver, Tomeka James, Michael Sterling, Madrid, Gary Gerard, Crysta McDonald, Eunice and the Big Bad D Styling Team. These educators will display the latest techniques.

The Texas International Hair and Trade Show signature competition “America’s Next Top Stylist” will feature the hottest competitors from the region. The program will also include the top cosmetology schools from the region battling for the title of “America’s Top Styling School”.

For more information visit www.texashairshows.com, call Vince Shelton at (214) 674- 1995 or email vince@dstyles.com.



MAY 010



Growing Business by Expanding Your Service Oerings

Blue Highways

Jerry Tyler

fighting the effects of aging, so any goods or services that promote longevity or maintain- ing their quality of life is of interest to them.

Are you spending the same way you did two or three years ago?

Or are you stopping before you write the check to make sounder decisions as to how and where you allocate your resources?

Many salons and spas have moved their treatments from the treatment room to the salon floor therefore cutting service costs with the long term benefits of convenience of mini services that highlight proper product usage and a higher service to retail percentage.

If you are doing this, then guess what? so are your clients and guests. For the “Generation X” 30-40 year olds, cutting edge technology in new services that enhances their lifestyle and self image is what is driving that service and product sector. Add a demand for convenience and perceived high With all the challenges of this ever evolv- ing economic reality we find ourselves in, one theme remains constant: those who are willing to adapt and seek new ho- rizons are gaining abundance while those who are still following the same past business formulas are strug- gling to stay alive. quality. Many suc- cessful salon business models have added the new services of Keratin Rebonding to control unwanted hair textures and the addition of hair enhancement in the forms of hair exten- sions for greater length and volume. Many salons are expanding their service offerings in the area of event services with the focus on fashion and the Red Carpet. Some salons offer event driven service packages for special events and weddings. Even networking with other professionals who provide services other than what the salon or spa may offer such as fashion stylists or make up artists on an outcall basis. This will take an investment to learn these techniques such as the long hair styles often only found in the editorial world of high fashion. Many weddings are now theme-oriented as to a particular era or fashion focus so staying current with these demands takes continual observation of trends. Beginning 10 years ago, the aver- age salon client was coming less often; many had gone from a monthly visit of four – six weeks to six -- nine weeks. This required a larger client list. We are seeing now that many clients who used to bundle services are spreading them out. So rather than a color and cut every visit they are prioritizing the most important service and putting the second services on an alternating basis. So with fewer overall visits and a smaller demand for regular service offerings how are we expected to grow in a declining market. Also, many weddings are now theme- oriented as to a particular era or fashion focus so staying current with these demands takes continual observation of trends. Many of the more progressive salons and spas are growing their businesses by expand- ing their “Service Offerings.”

With the expansion of new services and selling products to support them, new op- portunities are created. This takes some initial investment to research the demands of the customer base to find what motivates them as well as investing in your own education. It also takes courage.

By upgrading and expanding our service offerings, we can not only grow our busi- nesses financially, but grow creatively as well. And to remain empowered successful salon professionals is what should always be our goal and focus no matter what the current economics.

Unfortunately, the demands of our clients are always in flux and changing. Many salons are giving the same service offerings they always did. They may have been cutting edge years ago but those services now are far be- hind what their client base is looking for and what meets their current needs or desires.

JerryTyler’s column Blue Highways is his“Road LessTraveled” perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. JerryTyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director forVidal Sas- soon Academy and currently as Director of Education for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

The “Baby Boomer” customer base is concerned with long term wellness and

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