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Old 07-17-2013, 12:07 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

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Originally Posted by peach View Post
Not if your costs go up as much or more than you sales. You also are not working in a static environment. salons will open and close and improve or not right along with you. New competition can hurt you badly, whether they are good or not, regardless of your "marketing strategy".
This particular salon had no advertising money. She spent $150 on some printing and the rest was done with restructuring. If she had more advertising money we could have done even better. No one in her market closed.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:24 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

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Stating such numbers is utter nonsense. Its impossible to grow 160% on a reasonable salon unless competition closed. Its shear BS to the nth degree.

As far as consultants we have quite a bit of experience in our people and we dont actually charge for member assistance. I myself have helped many and given many the harsh reality. Sometimes things can be done sometimes they cant to fix a business.

Overall if u have no money to spend for growth u have no shot. Which is why so many businesses of all types fail and continue to fail in this non lending banking environment.
These are real numbers no BS. the real issue is that many salons have so much room for improvement that these increases are real. Another of my new clients went from $29K to $39K in may over 2012 numbers. That is over 30% increase, simply by making pricing and marketing adjustments.

If you are not able to make these kinds of increases with clients you are assisting, you are not giving good advice. Visit my web site and read the testimonials of my clients. Reach out to the person that started this thread, these numbers are real. Everyone is not struggling, those that are can improve their situation.

What is wrong with you people! It is like you need to be told there is no hope and it is not your fault. The truth is that it is your fault and you can fix it.

If you believe you can't be helped, the truth is you can't. You must first realize you need help and be open to change and be willing to put in the effort that is needed to succeed.

It is not just restructuring salons. I just completed the negotiation for the purchase of 2 salons that were listed at $269K and we purchased them both for $62K. I also renegotiated leases for both salons saving over $85K over the term of 5 years and required the landlord to add lighting to the parking lot. These are things that a qualified Consultant does.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:30 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

I just received this at 3:00 yesterday

Hey Stephen!

Here is my testimonial:

I opened my salon about ten years ago with Stephen's marketing plan. The salon was a success, but the industry had changed over the past decade. I asked Stephen for his thoughts on my marketing plan and it was clear that it had to be updated. He analyzed my current plan, considered the current industry trends and recommended a new plan. I've implemented the changes and just in one month we were up 30% compared to the previous year. He also helped me with advertising allocation and frequency. We started working together during a time of management change as well in which Stephen was able to assist in the process. He's always available and has a great wealth of knowledge and passion for the tanning industry. I thought I knew quite a bit about the tanning industry after ten years of operation, but I'm learning at a rate like never before. I look forward to his continual support and counsel.

Matt Kohler
President
Baja Tan
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

I have been in the indoor tanning biz for 21 years. I have also been a consultant in US manufacturing for almost as long. As hard as it is for many to understand, there is a place for consultants in Tanning and other industries. The reason that consultants often help when other internal methods of improvement fail, is the "human nature" factor. That is that humans tend to look at those around them as part of the problem, and not part of the solution, so that when internal suggestions are given, they are quickly rejected and no improvement occurs.

When you reach out and PAY someone for advise, this is an acknowledgement that internal generated ideas cannot help and the mental "door" has been opened for new ideas to be accepted. It isn't so much what the consultant does or says, but your willingness to accept and put into practice what they are saying, without finding an excuse to reject it.

I personally do not think that there are many real "tricks" to the tanning business, that you cannot find out for yourself if you are open to it. But many times, we are not open to it until we pay someone for it; and for that reason alone, a consultant could be worth every penny you pay them.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:35 AM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

Knowledge and advise are important! A consultant may be your only option. Certainly it's a valid tool that needs research.

However my post was in reaction to self aggrandizing statements about what might happen using consulting services.

Any consulting fee or end billing should be based on results and have a trigger based on achieved increases. Sadly there are far more bad results than good because we are in a declining industry being phased out by larger companies that use tanning as an add-on service thus reducing their cost basis to levels most salons can't compete.

We can get a demo, comp report, biz structure, etc from a salon owner and in a few minutes tell what is achievable. We consult others if I don't know an answer and I have never charged for services like this.

Sometimes folks simply do not know what their competition is doing and are not competitive or some other thing is causing their lower performance.

If I had a list I would go with the following things

1) Check your competition regularly and get detailed pricing and level analysis to ensure you are inline with the market

2) Go to your salon with a "fresh eye" every day and look for ways to improve flow, cleanliness, retail counter, price ease, etc... "the basics"

3) Keep your salons equipment and lamps at the level that means the client will be happy with what they paid for

4) Never stop reevaluating

5) All staff should be fire-able and every staff has someone worthy of being fired always

If you follow these simple steps you will be a good way there.

When I speak to owners that are struggling the first item above is never known and it's a project they feel uncomfortable doing. If you can't do any step above ask staff and pay for the tans they get doing research. Ask clients what they would like or what issues they see and if they tell you something take it and act don't fester on it.

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Old 07-18-2013, 09:38 AM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

I agree with everything that you said, especially the promising of levels of profitability and increased sales. But with consultants, the improvement must be measurable in these areas or you will soon be out of a job and client leads. However, paying someone 10k to get a 10k yearly increase in sales would not be a great investment but maybe worth the risk to some salon owners.

I have an extensive list of references that potential clients can refer if needed and I am sure that Steve does as well.

All consultants have to balance their advise with the cold hard truth. There will be times when the clients cost structure will make them non-competitive; other times market saturation will make investing more money an unwise choice. As a consultant, you must be willing to give that advise when the evidence and data dictates, which may mean losing a client or 2 along the way.

Your best bullet point was- "do not let your tanning salon become stale" constantly change it even if you are happy with your profitability. Keeping your store interesting is the most important thing an established store can do.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

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What is wrong with you people!
Most are just burnt out. They thought it would be easy and it was not. They lost money and faith and lastly hope. Now they are beat down and have no fight left, even if given all the best info in the world.

Dave: Great points

I will add:

Throughput, Gross margins, Inventory reduction

A $100k salon or a $1mm salon can both benefit from improving any or all of the 3 core basics of profitability.

30% swings are not uncommon when you improve flow and reduce inventory.

If the info is good, it does not matter where you get it, what matters is actually using it.

If you find it for freeÖ great!

If you donít want to waste time or potentially money (bad executions) and you have the bucks to invest, find a good consultant.

All the pieces of the puzzle are out there, I just think some people need the assembled puzzle handed to them.

The question is: What type of person are you and how much time do you have to figure it all out?
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:24 AM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

No one ever gets "burnt out" on running a successful, profitable business. When a tanning salon is successful, there are very few
businesses that are more fun to own or operate.

It is only when you face an onslaught of negative issues that results in losses over an extended period of time that one gets burnt out.

For the old timers, this is where they are at. Even with running a successful salon, you get worn down with the constant media and medical lies that are told about the industry that you work in that are never rebutted by the industry, lotion manufacturers and distributors selling products to internet marketers at 70-80% discounts while selling to salon owners at 50%, some even entering the salon market themselves AND the ridiculous business plans employed by some competitors in this industry simply designed to put competition out of business, it can get depressing. This industry is it's own worst enemy.

As long as I have been in this industry and love it, I cannot blame anyone for being discouraged right now.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:44 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

Peach

So are you, or are you not burnt out. You sound defeated.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Re: CONSULTANTS??? Do you use

Nope. Not burnt out. Run a profitable salon. Not optimistic about the future of indoor tanning tho.
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