Keynote speakers, panel discussions and management experts gave ISBN members food for thought on the future of their businesses.
THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY PANEL: L’Oréal Professionnel’s Tim Forbriger; JCPenney’s Paula Malloy; Benjamin Dessange of Jacques Dessange and Fantastic Sam’s; Cyrus Bulsara of Professional Consultants and Resources and moderator SALON TODAY’s Stacey Soble.
The International Salon/Spa Business Network (ISBN) held its annual Conference at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and one of the first highlights was the presentation of ISBN’s Legend Award to Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems.
“I’ve never thought of myself as a manufacturer,” said Shami when accepting the award. “I am a hairdresser. I was attracted to this profession by the art, the science and, yes, the money— and my commitment has remained to bettering education and the environment in the salon.”
Keynote speaker and social media guru Peter Shankman taught the audience a lesson about customer service. “Your number one goal should be to get your customers so thrilled with you, they go out and do your PR for you.”
ISBN President Gordon Logan of Sports Clips, JCPenney’s Paula Malloy, and BeautyFirst’s Pat Neville present Farouk’s Farouk Shami with the ISBN Legend Award. At the State of the Industry session, panelists explored industry challenges and opportunities including economic pressure, demand for natural products, appointment stretching, the informed client in the information age and product and environmental safety. “The world is changing and sometimes our industry doesn’t like to embrace change,” said panelist Paula Malloy of JCPenney Salons. “We have to be openminded.”
On the second day of the conference, economist Alan Beaulieu painted a rosy economic forecast for the next several years. “Now is the time you should borrow cash to grow your business,” he advised. “How much should you borrow? So much you can’t sleep at night.”
A governmental affairs panel updated attendees on legislation that could impact the industry, tackling topics such as gainful employment, school funding, tip tax legislation, deregulation, and streamlining state boards. “We need to demonstrate that this is a profession, and there is a career path— many people go on to sales, development, manufacturing, education and beyond,” said Anthony Fragomeni, director of governmental relations with Empire Education Group.