Articles > Business > Unfiltered with Robert Cromeans: We Started a Business rEvolution!
Last updated: August 13, 2018

Unfiltered with Robert Cromeans: We Started a Business rEvolution!

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“As owners, we must evolve every single day,” declares Global Artistic and Business Director of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Robert Cromeans. He is the proud owner of A Robert Cromeans Salons and Walk-In Salons by Robert Cromeans. “So for our company’s first Business rEvolution event, I brought together the people who have influenced me as a business person and put them in front of our audience to put visibility on all types of business models and methods.”



Paul Mitchell Co-Founder and CEO John Paul DeJoria


The result? A rEvolution of education designed to redefine salon success. “Vidal taught an industry how to cut hair,” says Robert. “We’re going to teach them the business of hair.”


Here are some of Robert’s top takeaways from Business rEvolution.


Leadership – Reprimand with Love
“My boss, John Paul DeJoria, told us, ‘Being a loving, caring manager makes your people more efficient. At Paul Mitchell, we don’t have bosses, we have leaders. In 35 years of business, our turnover is only 50 people.’ Sometimes it’s necessary to reprimand an employee. Doing that in front of people creates hostility. Instead, there’s a way to do it so that they walk away with their head held high.” Here’s how:


1. State what they did or didn’t do. ‘Jessica, I notice that you’ve been coming in late in the
mornings. We really need you here on time.’


2. Provide an example of how to correct the problem. ‘Why don’t you try coming in 10 or 15 minutes early so that you’re sure to be on time? You can take that time to relax, have a cup of coffee and get ready for your shift.’


3. Praise them for what they do right! ‘Jessica, you’re the best reservationist we have and you’re so important to our business! Don’t change. You’re great! Just come in on time, OK?’


All work and no play? No way! Robert, Jason and John Paul lighten up!


Your Business Shouldn’t Be a “Part” of You, It Should be “Apart” from You
“As a salon owner, Salon Business Expert and Author Antony Whitaker has walked in our shoes. His advice really resonated with the audience. For example, he said that too many salon owners think they have to do it all. They do hair, payroll, purchasing, promotion, public relations, education, marketing, advertising and accounting. And that doesn’t work. ‘Your job is not to run your business, it’s to grow your business,’ he explained. ‘To do that, you have to create an organizational structure and put systems in place. McDonald’s isn’t successful because there’s one brilliant guy at the top doing everything. It’s because they have successful business management systems in place.’”


Marketing – Define Your Brand and Your Niche
“Our guest keynote speaker, BTC’s Mary Rector-Gable, shared insights into the importance of branding your business. What is branding? Simple. At Starbucks, coffee costs $4.00. It costs 25 cents to brew the coffee. The other $3.75 is your brand. Why is this important? Your brand is what connects people to your business. Mary also recommended specializing in order to stand out. She said, ‘Full service salons are a bit like a Greek diner menu—they serve everything and specialize in nothing. Consider all the blowout bars, Massage Envy, nail salons. They specialize and become great at one thing. To create specialization in full-service salons, consider creating separate menus—for your blowouts or your color services. Hand guests these specialty menus versus one, large Greek diner menu.’”


BTC’s Mary Rector-Gable shared insights into branding and marketing.


Service- It’s All About the F.O.V
“In my own salons, I’ve learned that increasing the frequency of guest visits is probably the most effective way to increase your business. Take a client from four visits a year to five and revenue increases 25 percent. Increase her visits (with blowouts, color, conditioning treatments) from four to six times a year and business increases 50 percent. These numbers tell the story:



Where Are You Going to Send Your Walk-Ins?
“My friend John Harms of Millennium made what I thought was a brilliant point! ‘We typically assign new guests to stylists who aren’t busy,’ said John. ‘But think about it. If you have one shot to capture this guest’s business, why would you send them to anyone but your best stylist? Watch your performance indicators and make sure you’re sending new guests to successful stylists. Never give a new guest to your weakest link.’”


Salon Business Expert and Author Antony Whitaker shared lessons he learned as a salon owner.


Prime Time
“Your salon may be open too many hours, believes Terri Cowen, who has been one of my most influential teachers. Some are open up to 72 hours a week. Take it down to prime time:


Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday—noon to 8 p.m.


Friday and Saturday—8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Dedicate Mondays to offsite education. ‘It’s better to be hopping and energetic for 40 hours a week than killing time for 72,’ says Terri.”


Take-Home Sales – Product Sales Should be 20 Percent of Your Business
“The presentation on service versus Take-Home from Visible Changes’ Johnny McCormick was a game-changer. He talked about the 80/20 rule—Take-HomeSM sales must be 20 percent of your profit;
service is 80 percent. I found that to be profound because we put all of our backs into service and so little into Take-HomeSM. But that 20 percent gives me the resources to squeeze a profit out of my business and to be a generous boss. Johnny said, ‘Take-Home is so important to salon profit. If we go under 20 percent in Take-Home, we’re out of business because we lose money on service. We call our retail area The Solution Bar. Guests have issues with their hair and we can fix them. We educate guests on the solutions they need.’”



Because, Because, Because
My friend and colleague VP of Education, Shows and Events, Stephanie Kocielski told us ‘Because’ is the most effective word you can use when recommending Take-HomeSM products. ‘Because your scalp is dry, I recommend Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner.’ ‘Because you told me you like to wear your hair curly, I recommend Paul Mitchell Twirl Around Curl Definer.’ And don’t stop with Take-HomeSM recommendations! How about, ‘Because you are always complaining that your roots are showing, I recommend that we bump up your color retouches to every four weeks instead of six.’”


Finance- Master Your Top Four Financial Documents
“Profit and loss statements may not be sexy, but they’re essential for measuring the ongoing health of your business. One of my mentors, Paul Mitchell President Luke Jacobellis, advised us to master these four financial documents to track the essential data:


1. Statement of Cash Flow. Identifies money coming in and money
going out. Assess this daily.


2. Balance Sheet. Tracks your assets and liabilities. Assess monthly and quarterly.


3. Statement of Operations or Profit and Loss. Reports income and expenses.


4. Tax Returns. You must pay all tax agencies—federal, state, etc.— so treat this as a normal operating expense. Take advantage of all allowable deductions and credits…and not a penny more!”


Left, VP of Education, Shows & Events, Stephanie Koclielski addressed the langue of Take-Home. Right, Vice Chairman Michaeline DeJoria shared leadership insights.


Social Media – Pick Your Platform
“Social media is NOT going away—plain and simple. It is essential for any business today. My associate, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jason Yates, advised before you dive in, take the time to pick the platforms that ‘speak’ to your guests and support your mission. For example:


Facebook—builds a long-term sense of community.


Instagram—revolves around candid moments and images that capture an audience.


Twitter—is an instantaneous network that lets people and businesses share information in real time.


Pinterest—influences behavior by presenting the essence of what you do and how you do it.”


Luke Jacobellis participates in a massage break to alleviate everyday stressors.


Don’t Forget the “Before” Shot
“Not long ago, Cassandra McGlaughlin and Dominique Limone were students at a Paul Mitchell School. Today they both have booming businesses at Salon Platinum in Florida…and they give all the credit to posting their work on social media. They stole the show! Rule number one is to always take a before shot, the girls say. Before and afters give you maximum drama and impact. They demonstrate the skill of the artist and what’s possible for the guest. Before guests check out, Cassandra and Dominique put together their before and after and present it to them as added value. They post once or twice a day, and when they post, they always get a new guest. Guests are driving five hours to be with them. You
can’t afford NOT to be active on social media!”


Visual Merchandising – Windows to Walls
Merchandising expert Zoe Vears reminded us that we have to think about how our business appears to passers-by from 30 feet away. We think about how cute we are inside, but not from the outside. Window and merchandising displays have to keep changing and the message has to come through loud and clear—one brand, one theme, one clear message.”


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