Looking for the perfect salon manager? She might already be on your team… you just need to know how to spot her.
When Sandy Stipes wanted to expand her Speed of Light Tan chain, she knew she needed a dependable district manager to help manage the young staff. “I thought the answer was to hire someone older with management experience,” said Sandy, “so I looked for someone with those credentials. Unfortunately, the people I found struggled to understand, motivate and lead our younger staff.”
Sandy didn’t realize that the ideal district manager was someone she saw almost every day: 20-year-old Rachel Nelson. “She started as a bed cleaner
when she was 16 and always did a great job,” Sandy explained. “Rachel’s a natural-born leader, and there’s something about her that makes the staff want to do their best. I always got compliments on how mature and responsible she is.”
Sandy gave Rachel a chance to prove she was management material, and the young employee seized the opportunity. “She developed a sales game called TANGO, which is like BINGO,” Sandy said. “The TANGO cards feature pictures of different products or services in each of the squares, and each time a team member sold that product or service, they got a stamp toward earning a prize. This game made everyone’s job fun, and the staff got excited and sales increased.”
After the successful TANGO promotion, Sandy knew that Rachel was the district manager she’d been searching to find. Today, she urges other salon operators to recognize the gems they might already have in their midst. “Take the time to observe your team closely and give them a chance to make a difference,” she said. “You might be pleasantly surprised!”
Soon after Sandy Stipes opened her first Speed of Light Tanning in Knoxville, the business expanded into a four-store chain. Today, the salons offer six UV tanning levels, sunless tanning, teeth-whitening and body wrap services.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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