Making The Cut

By Scott and Jennifer Fontana

Making The Cut

Making the Cut: Innovation

Last year saw growth for many of us. As the economy continues to improve, so do our bottom lines. But that’s not enough to stand out in a marketplace still facing financial challenges. What are you going to do this year that makes you better than last? What are you going to do that keeps your clients coming back to you and not shopping around for alternatives? What will you do to keep working toward achieving your vision?

To make each year better than the last, you have to constantly innovate. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Listen to your clients. Just by listening to what your clients are telling you, you’ll learn a lot about their needs, as well as how to better run your business. Are your prices forcing your clients to visit your business less frequently? Is your product inventory too limited, forcing clients to go to your competitors? Are you in tune with what clients want and need today, not last year? Are you educating your team to keep them at the top of your industry? Don’t be afraid to talk to your clients, ask for feedback, and most importantly, talk to your team. Your team members have an ear to the ground and tend to be your best resources for clients’ need and want. Keep yourself in check and ensure that you’re constantly meeting the evolving needs of your clients.

Branch out. Yes, you heard right. While most businesses want to mitigate risk and do just enough to get by, consider what you can do to branch out and get your brand out there in new and better ways. For example, Cristophe Salon Newport Beach is hosting our first live hair competition next month. We’ve invited stylists throughout Orange County to enter the competition, and we’ll be narrowing down the contestants to five who will compete live for $1,500 cash and other prizes. This live hair competition aligns with who we are – hair experts – and allows us to broaden our reach with a fun industry and community-oriented event that’s open to the public. Now what can your business do a little differently this year that still aligns with who you are and what you know, but that challenges you to take strategic risks to be better, to be innovative?

Remain committed. It’s true, the last few years have not been among the easiest for business owners. We’re all adapting to an ever-changing economy and ever-evolving consumer needs. But with a clear vision of where you truly want to go, you are unstoppable. While your tactics to reach your vision may change along the way, your vision should not. Keep your eye on where you want to be and you’ll find that you’re making decisions to get you there. And those decisions will include innovating to overcome business hurdles. You started your business for a reason. You have worked through the tough times without giving up for a reason. Remain committed to your vision and you will not only continue to survive, you will thrive.

What’s the result of our innovation and commitment? Our salon continues to grow by leaps and bounds, so much so that we’ve expanded our upstairs area to accommodate even more clients.

How has your business continued to thrive? Share your stories of innovation success below.


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