Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stimulating Growth Starts With Stimulating How You Think!

As a business coach and trainer in the salon & day spa industry I talk and work with a ton of salon and spa owners. We all know the last 2 years has been challenging economically for the whole country and it has had an impact everywhere. In our industry, spa related services have seen a decline, however the most common setback I see and hear is that customers are stretching out their appointments a bit longer.

That being said, in my professional opinion the biggest obstacle we, as an industry face, is the mentality that this type of economic situation can bring. During these times people are more apt to tighten up the purse strings and conserve the best way possible. I am sure that all of you reading this have done so in your personal lives, whether it is brown bagging lunch to work, to cutting back on lattes or not taking that big vacation, all of us have been in a conservation mentality nationwide. When this way of thinking is embedded in our mentality it transfers over to our businesses and this is where a potential problem exists!

It is in these times that a salon & spa owner or manager needs to think and act aggressively, creatively and strategically to build and "stimulate" growth in their business. A great example is the stimulus package our government passed last year, the premise was to "stimulate" growth!

On a small business level our ability as business owners and leaders to look to "stimulate" growth is vital to our success during periods like this. Remember that there will be recession periods and boom markets, the cycles will also continue to evolve around us! The question you have to ask yourself is are you keeping your eyes on this and adapting and attacking or just allowing what is happening around you to dictate how you respond!

As a leader in your business, get on the attack this year, get your team together and get them fired up to grow and serve your clients and your community! Be a resource for the people that live in your area and serve and support them! After all, that is who we are and what we provide!

Remember, you can create your own economic stimulus package right inside your own four walls and it starts with you noticing how you think and relate to the situation!

Monday, January 25, 2010

11 Compelling Reasons To Use a Salon/Spa Coach

The coaching relationship is unique and powerful, and really can help you find fulfillment and prosperity in your life and business. Below are some important reasons to use a Salon/Spa Coach; any ONE of which is compelling enough to get your very own coach.

1. You Are Committed To Success -You are serious and intentional about having a rewarding life and business.

2. You Want Results - Working with a Salon/Spa Coach can move you farther and faster than you can on your own.

3. You Are Willing To Learn - You realize that you don’t know what you don’t know and your future success may depend upon access to new business skills and knowledge.

4. You Are Ready For Action - Using a Salon/Spa Coach can be the most effective means of translating knowledge into practice. One of the most indispensable roles of a Coach is to help you use what you already know to make effective choices and take the actions necessary to be successful.

5. You Want Fulfillment - You do not want to settle for less or risk preventable failure and you are willing to give yourself the gift of the support and technology needed to be successful.

6. You Want To Be True To Yourself - A Salon/Spa Coach helps keep you honest with yourself, helps neutralize any tendency you may have to settle for less than you really want, is good for providing “reality checks” and being a sounding board.

7. You Want To Be Proactive - A Salon/Spa Coach helps you solve problems while they are still small.

8. You Want To Go Beyond Your Limits - A Salon/Spa Coach holds you highest vision for you beyond your fears and limitations and helps you overcome your business and personal obstacles and challenges.

9. You Want To Take Responsibility - A Salon/Spa Coach helps you take responsibility for the quality of your business so that you can create it the way you want.

10. You Want Balance In Your Life - Your life is filled with opportunities and conflicting choices. You recognize the importance of creating and maintaining balance in relationships and business; including the one you have with yourself.

11. You Want New Possibilities For Your Business’ Growth - You recognize that a healthy and prosperous business is growing and dynamic. One of the worst things that can happen is to take the business for granted. Opening to new possibilities keeps a good business getting better with the passage of time. A Salon/Spa Coach helps you continually discover and implement new and more fulfilling possibilities for you life and business.

For more information on coaching write me your questions or fill out our contact form HERE

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Art Of Communication: What to say...When to say it...How to say it!

Have you ever been in a meeting or a one on one conversation and wished you could take back what you said?

Do you find that you tend to avoid ‘difficult’ conversations for fear of looking bad or not having the right answers?

Have you every said to yourself, “I wish I just had a script for what to say?”

If you are like most salon and spa owners you’ve probably found yourself in one or all of the above situations at some point in your career. Many of us avoid those situations for reasons such as; fear of failing, not looking/being smart enough, feeling to vulnerable and the list could go on. Successfully navigating your way through conversations requires practice and patience.

I’ve outlined a process that we use when coaching our clients and it can be applied to every conversation. I call the process the REPEAT and FLIP game. This is a very useful tool in clarifying what the real problem is. It begins with a challenge and you repeat back what you heard them say and ask two key questions over and over until you get to the heart of the situation: “Why?” and “What’s stopping you?”

For example: A technician says, “I never get new clients, they always go to someone else on the team.”

Now follow the process…REPEAT back what you heard them say and then FLIP their question and ask it right back. It could go something like…

What I hear you saying is that you never get new clients because they are always going to other team members.

Why don’t you think you receive any new clients?
(Tech answers: Because you don’t like me)

Why else? (Because there are too many new people and not enough walkins)

What’s stopping you from going out to get your own business? (I’m uncomfortable and don’t want to sound pushy)

Why? (Because I don’t know what to say)

As an owner you’ve now gained insight into the real problem. There is a deeper issue and it relates to training. This technician doesn’t have the necessary tools to effectively and confidently build their business. Had you not asked enough questions you would not have gotten to the heart of the problem. Now you have an opportunity to coach and help them to succeed. Your job is to keep digging until you get to the heart of the problem. Ultimately people need to be heard and held accountable. Following this process can accomplish both.

In this example we used a challenge that is typical of team members.
For the sake of developing the skill set-up uncovering the “real” challenge, take a moment to identify one of the challenges that you face as an owner. Do the work for yourself as it will help to further develop the skill to enable you to walk team members through their own challenges when the time comes.

For more help on communicating effectively contact a Milady coach at 1-800-998-7498 x 2700.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wanted – LEADERS!

I attended a senior job fair recently at my children’s high school. Many local businesses were represented with attractive booths and flashy recruiting brochures. Everyone arrived with the same intention: to attract the best candidates to holiday and part-time positions. I watched the seniors file between the booths during their breaks between classes and eventually realized I could group all the students in one of three participant categories:

1. Grab and stuff: These seniors took material indiscriminately from every booth and stuffed it all in their back packs to read later.
2. Move in packs: These seniors moved together in groups, investigating one booth at a time until everyone in their group got a predetermined set of questions answered, including ‘Where are you located,’ and ‘What is entry level pay?’
3. Stalk and attack: These seniors may walk through the job fair two or three times before stopping at a few select booths.

Danielle was a stalker. She eyeballed my client’s booth three times before she finally stopped to learn about the part-time position available in a local day spa. She didn’t ask where we were or what the position paid. She asked, “What’s it like to work in your spa?” After a pleasant conversation about the culture of the company, training opportunities, services they provide clients, etc. I asked Danielle, “What made you stop at this booth and not the others?”
“Easy,” she said, “the way you were all talking to each other, I dunno, something about your body language told me you’re really into it.”

Cryptic as that answer sounds, Danielle nailed the difference between leadership and management – leaders are really “into it.” There was a moment in my client’s professional life when she came to me asking, “Why do my people leave me?” I told her to either improve her ability to manage the ‘grab and stuff’ and ‘move in packs’ laborers, or consider becoming the kind of leader who can attract the ‘stalk and attack’ team members that will follow her to all ends of the earth. It’s a personal choice.

Not everyone can be a leader. Some businesses remain operational for generations with owner managers who swing the employee revolving door themselves; never making the choice to evolve into the kind of leader Danielle will seek.

Let’s take a closer look at a few differences between leaders and managers.

Can you think of any other differences, now that you’ve found yourself in either column? Leadership is both a decision, and a set of competencies that can be learned and practiced. It takes a quality vision, and a desire to take risks to become the leader your people need now. A coach is best suited to bring you to the leadership decision, and engage you in activities designed to expand your abilities because they operate from a position of where you are today, as a person. Business ownership is only one aspect of your life. However, it cannot be addressed as separate from the rest of your being. Your family, your past, and your deepest fears – everything affects the way you lead or manage your team. Working in a space where a business coach can accommodate and eventually leverage all aspects of your character in your future success as a leader is both a unique challenge, and a mutual honor.

For more information on our Salon & Spa Coaching CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Which Do You Need For Your Salon: a Teacher, a Consultant, or a Coach?

Educators deliver the “What?” Trainers deliver the “How?” Coaches inspire the “Why?”

What an excellent question! The answer depends on whether you need help with management or leadership. Typically, a consultant is called in to diagnose difficulties, propose solutions, create the fix, and apply the fix. They aren’t necessarily trainers or educators, so when they leave, the expertise goes with them. The next time you have a similar issue; guess who you get to pay again?

I know this is a bit of a generalization. But I’ve noticed the terms “consultant” and “coach” are interchanged all too often today, confusing the true mission and focus of a good business coach.

A coaching practice, whether it focuses on life or business, is built around a strong competency to ask the right questions, not necessarily to diagnose problems, though that is one of the outcomes. A good coach will raise your awareness to a level of understanding so you can evolve into a higher level of understanding, and continue that evolution after your business relationship has ended. You get to keep all the tools the coach has transferred to you.

Coaching sounds a bit like teaching, or training. However, the information a teacher delivers is really one way, and they aren’t necessarily vested in your using the new information to your highest ability. Similarly, a trainer focuses more on making sure you can mimic the same process, without really taking its purpose into consideration. Coaching is about the client’s business model, not the consultant’s.

Think of it this way: Educators deliver the “What?”; Trainers deliver the “How?”; and Coaches inspire the “Why?” If you’ve had employees or children, you know that when you’ve inspired someone to ask “Why?”, they will soon discover the “What?” and “How?” on their own.

Join me again next week when I’ll examine the difference between managing and leading. Until then, you can receive a free business analysis to see if you could benefit from working with a coach.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Unlock Your Salon's Future: Visualize It!

Here we are entering into a new calendar year! This is always a time of reflection, a time of renewal, of making commitments!

As we move into this New Year, it is incumbent upon us to shift where we need shifting and look to grow where we need growing. As a leader, it is even more vital for this because you have to be a step ahead of your team and you have to guide them in the right direction to support them to grow.

At this time of year we all look forward and set new goals or resolutions. Setting goals takes on lots of different forms, writing them down, putting them in a journal, sharing them with someone, etc.

A great way to make this happen is by taking the following steps:

Schedule a year end planning meeting! Make it a whole afternoon. Take time in the meeting to celebrate successes from the past year, review results and compare goals set versus achieved. Move into setting personal and professional goals for both the individuals and the business to support growth.

Visualize it! During your meeting I recommend that you support the goals being set by creating something visual that represents it. In the past, I have been a member of teams where we creating our own goal or dream board for the year using a poster board, magazine cut-outs, markers, glitter glue, etc. This is highly effective and allows everyone to get creative and visualize what there year will be like for them!

Live it! Once you have set these goals and created a visual reminder of them most people stop there. There is another very powerful step you can take to support these goals to become reality and that is to live them! This means go out and taste, touch, smell, feel them. For example, let’s say that one of your employees wants to move into their very first apartment this year. This is a big step in anyone’s life and you, as the salon or spa owner play a huge part in supporting this dream to be realized. A great thing to do is schedule a few hours on an off day with this employee, have them meet you at the salon or spa and then take them apartment hunting! Get them out there touching and feeling their dream. Put it right in front of them. How inspired will they be to keep working towards making this happen!

Follow through! Once the goals are in place you have to lead your team and follow through with people. Supporting them to hold themselves accountable when they are having a bad day or are struggling through challenges that could take their eyes off of their goals. Be sure to get permission from them at the very beginning of the process to do this, and when you see it happening, go there with them!

At the end of the day, any goal can be accomplished! Take the time to help people think about what they really want, write it down, visualize it and help them make it real in 2010!