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Gay Deer in Headlights

"I think I might have scared the gay right out of these boys!"

When I walked in to Chicago Male they were like gay deer in headlights—in fact, I think I might have scared the gay right out of these boys! It was a good team but they had absolutely no leadership as Scott the owner was never there, and Ric wasn't an effective manager. Scott's 30 minute $30 men's only business model wasn't working especially when the salon was only booked to 25% capacity. The only way a biz can be successful is when you have butts in chairs and Scott was being a little too precious about his strategy. So I had to give him a wake up call.

The fact that Scott wanted to say that the staff eating, texting, gossiping and overall lack of professionalism was due to the laid-back-keep-it-casual-boys-in-boys-town was BS. Let's face it, who demands better service than "The Boys?" It was due to Scott being MIA and the drive thru business model. Scott claimed he wanted to give clients a high end experience but how can a stylist do that when they are rushing to meet the timer? Scott had no understanding of this because he is not a stylist and didn’t spend anytime in his business.

The thing that became clear to me was that all the staff felt that the quality of their work was being sacrificed by doing 30 minute haircuts. Their men’s buzz cuts were even a disaster. Despite the fact that Scott didn’t allow female clients in his business model, all the stylists were all open to doing female clients because they felt it would make them more money, offer better service to everyone in the community and stimulate them creatively. The only one I had a hard time convincing was Scott. I appreciated his idea but as he kept saying he wanted to service his community and improve thef inancial's of his business it made no sense. I think my sit down tough love conversation with him and the trip to Paul Mitchell finally helped him see the light because he really changed.

Everyone in the salon was experienced in doing both male and female clients and they all seemed to enjoy the challenge. The only one that was struggling was Drew and that was due to his lack of experience. A young stylist like Drew needs education and mentoring and Scott was not providing it. Paul Mitchell and my guidance helped Drew realize he needed to stop being babied and built up his confidence. Everyone seemed genuinely changed when I went back to visit. Scott has stepped up and is running his business everyday, Drew is getting education and feeling more confident, and the whole team is doing female clients and taking more than 30 minutes where needed. I am proud of my gay deer for stepping up and turning it around.

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