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Taking Control

Why Salon Tika desperately needed Tabatha Coffey's stern hand.

By Tabatha Coffey

There are no friends in business and to be successful you have to work hard. These were the first lessons Tara and Kristin needed to learn. I think that Ralph loves his daughters, and he was a successful businessman, so he bought the salon thinking he would be able to teach them the ropes. Unfortunately being diagnosed with MS and not being able to work threw a wrench into the plan. But even if Ralph could have continued working, his girls thought his ideas and methods were 'old school.' They would have continued to let Daddy run the business, and would not have stepped up to run it themselves. The problem wasn't that Kristen and Tara didn't love their father - they did. The problem was that they viewed the salon as a place they worked and hung out with their friends. They didn't grasp the fact that it was their salon and they needed to take control of it.

The staff wasn't a bad group - it was just that there was no line drawn between employee and employer. The staff got away with whatever they wanted, and felt that Tara and Kristin were great and fun, but not their bosses. The girls are really good hairdressers, and that is what has helped to keep the business going for so long. We worked on many business tools that were needed, including policy manuals, mission statements, and marketing strategies.

I also arranged for the girls to meet with a business consultant for follow through. Lauren and Allison are good girls - just young and inexperienced. Running a salon is a big responsibility, but with more education I know they will be fine. My week at Salon Tika started out rough, because I really wanted to help Ralph. It was a struggle getting through to his daughters, but when the girls finally got it and realized they needed to grow up and be strong women for themselves and for their business, the place changed instantly. I'm really proud of them, and so is their father. They will all be just fine.

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