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More Face to Face: Bonnie Waters' Interview Transcripts

Posted: February 26, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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What area do you think you have excelled in as a business owner?

I’ve realized that the arena of compensation is one that still mystifies many in the industry. I used to operate a program that I thought was the best of all worlds and allowed staff members to grow and become their own bosses within my operation, but learned that it wasn’t the end all and be all. A lot of people like to be part of something that is bigger than themselves, and the opportunity to be their own boss is often not at the top of their list. We’ve had our compensation scale for 22 years, and it’s an hourly plus bonus plus benefit program, nobody was doing that and even today, it does take a strong management presence to make that fly because it’s about coaching and working together as a team. When Nordstrom opened down the street from us, we saw the level of customer service that they delivered and we knew we had to work more as a team. Unlike a commissioned environment, if we were going to compete with the mentality, our clients’ expectations were going up. If we were going to survive and thrive, we needed to be in that genre; we compensated so it was no longer a commission-based pay and you were expected to do things that moved the team forward. That has allowed the business to grow and the focus to be on exceeding the client’s expectations.

Do you still work on the technical side of things?

I took my technician hat off 17 years ago when I had my daughter. I went to more of a 40-hour schedule that focused on building the business. I’ve been in business for 33 years, so about half the time technician and half business.

So you’re daughter is the same age now as you were when you started your business. Is she interested in going down a similar path?