November 2009

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Is it Time for a Tune Up?

As we are turning toward the last quarter of the year, how can we increase the value of our brand, both individually and as a business?

This is good time to consider a personal and professional upgrade. Whether in our technical, customer service or development skills it may be time for a “Tune Up.”

Some say, “If it’s not broke don’t fix it,” or “Don’t mess with the formula,” but this is the voice of status quo, which can often be the greatest barrier to growth.

Usually a good first step in this evaluation is taking a look at our brand and what we are offering. Are there areas to expand in the way of services or products? Are there new technologies or products we need to bring on board to increase the perceived value of what we offer?

Have we lost focus along the way and deviated from our core values/ mission? Do we need to bring ourselves back in alignment with our original purpose? Is our current reality on track with where we want to wind up at the end of the journey? Are we perceived in away that is reflected in the image we want to create? In reality, while we may desire to move forward, are we indeed stuck in a comfort zone?

All of these questions while at the time may seem hard to face, when answered and acted on in a positive way provide the solutions for continued progress. The Law of Attraction which is a powerful universal law states, “Like attracts like.” What are we as a person or business attracting? Is the image of our brand in sync with our desired client base?

How do we look? Whether it’s a new wardrobe or a fresh coat of paint in the salon, our image should reflect our purpose. After all, what you see is what you get . If we desire a Mercedes clientele, does every facet of our brand reflect and meet the needs of that customer and assure their satisfaction.

We are dealing with a very knowledgeable and savvy populace that knows what they want and have high expectations. Are we prepared to upgrade to meet their demands?

Over the course of the last few months, I have had the experience of being in the presence of individuals, companies and organizations that are in the very process of what we are addressing here.

While attending the annual conference of the National Interstate Council of Cosmetology Boards, (NIC) the whole focus of the convention was on growth and positive change. The member states and attendees were constantly challenged on ways to create meaningful regulation to protect their consumer base.

NIC pledged to continue to maintain and even raise the standards of their national exams by staying ahead of the curve with exams that address new license category types and attract industry leaders as “subject matter experts” to craft meaningful and relevant exams. Their leadership pledged to not only stay true to the original vision of NIC but also continue to seek change where necessary in either new processes or new protocols. It was recognized that now was not the time for personal agendas of the past and that positive growth only comes from positive change.

The two major providers of educational materials, Sandra Bruce of Milady and Robert Passage of Pivot Point were “In the House”.

Sandra Bruce challenged the conference in a focused and powerful way to embrace new technologies. She also challenged them to consider the potential of distance learning where it could apply in educating our future industry beauty professionals. Not only expanding the brand of education but also embracing new systems of training delivery.

Robert Passage , President of Pivot Point unveiled a new textbook program, “Cosmetology Fundamentals” which takes their training program to a higher level employing materials that will reach the newer generations that are entering our industry and is presented in ways they can embrace to assure their future success.

Lastly I had the pleasure of viewing the documentary film “ September Issue.” It is the story focused on Anna Wintour, Senior Editor for Vogue Magazine and how they produce the September issue of the magazine which sets the fashion trends for the next year. In my salon we refer to it as the September phone book because every major design house releases their collections through massive ads in addition to the Vogue editorial pages thus the size of a phone book.

So what makes Anna Wintour the most powerful persona in the fashion industry? During the course of the film, you see her focused attention to detail and demand for excellence where there is no room for compromise. She continually challenges herself and her team of creative leaders to do better. She never hesitates to remove any facet of her product that doesn’t meet the standard she is looked upon to uphold.

If we continually challenge ourselves to expand and improve our brand, growth in our personal and financial abundance will be assured now and in the future.

Jerry Tyler’s column Blue Highways is his “Road Less Traveled” perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon 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.