Manufacturers & Distributors

Order the Sign

Ivan Zoot | September 12, 2014 | 1:48 PM
Ivan Zoot

I got to thinking about naming a business as my most recent employment relationship came to an end and the decision was made NOT to look for a job, but to take me, my ideas, programming and energies out on my own. I am launching my own freelance educational business. I will share more on this in an upcoming post.

When I was opening my salon one of the greatest challenges was coming up with the right name. We explored all the popular puns and catchy phrases as we crossed ideas off of a huge list.

The process of opening a business is a daunting endeavor for a cosmetology or barber school graduate. It is one of the reasons many go to school in the first. The idea of going into business for one’s self is the foundation of many beauty business dreams. That does not make it any easier.

I had worked for Supercuts prior to opening my shop. I was (and still am) a huge fan of that sector of the haircut marketplace. I learned a lot from my Supercuts experience and was eager to leverage that knowledge out on my own. One of the cornerstones of the business model was simplicity. Do one thing. Do it well. Keep it simple. Even the same was simple. One word, easy to pronounce. Easy to understand what they do.

We wanted to model our name and business concept off of the simplicity of this successful example.

No name seemed right. No name fit who we wanted to be and the message we hoped to project.

Our family gathered for Sunday dinners and frequently round-tabled ideas we were working on. Naming the shop became one of these collaborative efforts. My mother-in-law came up with “Zootcuts”. I shot down that name in an instant. My argument was… “You cannot name a shop after yourself when you were a newbie, a rookie, a nobody. You have to be somebody in the hair business before you can put your name over the door”. My father-in law disagreed. He stated simply, “you become somebody in the hair business the instant you hang the sign over the door”. I thought about that for less than three seconds before I replied, “Order the sign!”. The rest is history. Hanging the sign put my name on the map. The business and the credibility in the market followed quickly.

The moral to the story is…”Order the sign!” Have a hope and a dream and a plan. Most importantly, ACT on the plan. Ordering and hanging the outdoor sing on the front of the building was a concrete “sign” that my business was real. It was happening and I was making it happen. Your “order the sign” moment might look a bit different. It might be signing the lease. It might be signing off on the loan. It might be just rollering the fresh coat of paint on your space. If you are setting up to open a business what will be the “order the sign” moment for you? If you have your own business, thinking back, what was that “order the sign” moment when it all became real? Really real?

Happy Clippering.

Ivan Zoot


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