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Trends from ISBN 2014

Posted on 5th June 2014 by Paul Tate

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Every year I look forward to when tradeshow season heats up – from the end of January when ISSE Long Beach kicks off through Cosmoprof in July, there is a stream of events where I get to meet up with familiar faces. There is just nothing like a face-to-face in the age of technology!

One of my favorite events is the International SalonSpa Business Network (ISBN), which is the only conference for the head office managers to meet with other franchise or chain salon owners and share ideas. Over the course of the event, there were a few key 'big ideas' that really struck a chord with me.   

#1 - Personalizing your services
    One of the speakers this year was Chris Brogan, who talked a lot about the guest experience. Chris used an example of one of his friends who was a chef in Upstate NY.  Instead of posting a menu, his friend would walk out to each table and ask them what they wanted to eat that day.  Now, instantly I’m wondering how a kitchen would be able to accommodate a wild variety of requests, but then I realized this process no different than how a (good) stylist conducts a consultation – sculpting and guiding the client towards a positive outcome.  
#2 - Knowledge is good, action is great
    One of the features most of our clients are enthused about when they convert over to Shortcuts Enterprise is their ability to centralize their reporting. Getting the numbers in one place and having access to group-wide reports is one of the best things you can do to yourselves, and your organization. But ultimately, numbers are meaningless if you aren’t learning about your business and turning that knowledge into action. 
#3 – Building employees for life
    There was an all-star panel this year – Patrick Neville (Beauty First), Pat Parenty (President, L’Oréal USA Professional Products Division and SalonCentric), Jason Yates (John Paul Mitchell Systems, VP of Marketing), Jennifer Parks (Sexy Hair VP) and Marty Flaherty (SVP GM Revlon) – and they all had a similar theme to their comments: the stylist is key to the entire business.  Without talented, passionate and dedicated stylists that are servicing your clients, your business will rot from under you.  This begs several questions for those managing from the top:

    • How are you empowering your employees?
    • Do you have a career path that retains employees for life?
    • Are you auditing your client feedback for issues as well as praise?
    • Would your employees describe your business positively? 
    • Is your talent communicating the right message to clients and their peers?

We spend so much time focusing on education, education, education, but what about self-fulfillment and career validation?

What key trends do you see impacting the industry over the next few years?


Paul Tate

about the author

Paul Tate is the CEO and resident sales guru of Shortcuts North America - leading the team renowned for bringing smart technology to the salon, spa, school and walkin business industries.

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