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Handling the Business of Change

David Suzuki September 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Handling the Business of Change

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From second to second, day to day and year to year, one thing that is known for certain is that time has an uncanny way of moving in only one direction. However, there are never any two seconds, days or years that are the same. Life itself is perpetual, constantly moving and ever-changing. Although this is basic intuitive logic, most—both personally and in business—do not accept change and, as a result, do not plan for it. Instead, they cling to rigid systems and concepts that they feel comfortable with, regardless of whether or not they work. Most people have a tendency to choose predictability instead of change—even if this predictability results in failure.

The mystery of control

Think about this on a basic personal level for a moment. By a certain age, people know what foods and drinks work with their bodies. They are so cognizant of these facts that diet and food are one of the most common topics of conversation. At the same time, most opt to continue with a diet that simply does not work. Instead of changing it, some people spend time proactively mitigating the consequences with antacids, rigorous exercise and extreme starvation diets. How can something so simple and completely within control go so wrong?

Businesses, more so than not, function in much the same way. Usually at one point or another a business plan is developed, and it serves as the basis or architecture of a business. This is not always a sophisticated plan, but at least it outlines the basic fundamentals. Although business owners inherently know what is good and not good for the business, if they are not operating proactively, the business, like the diet, takes on a life of its own and becomes arbitrary. This is the tipping point that makes the difference between a person or company working defensively or offensively, and is directly related to their ability to realize and act upon change. Those in defensive mode spend their time and energy putting out fires. Those in offensive mode never let the fires begin, and spend their energy moving forward and achieving their objectives.

Forced change

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Retail Tips: Handling the Business of Change

When thinking about changing your retail offerings, consider the following details.

  • How intense is the demand for the retail line you currently offer and the one you are considering?
  • What is the minimum purchase buy-in and for ongoing orders?
  • What is the minimum SKU purchase buy-in and for ongoing orders?
  • What is the type and quality of product education and training offered by the supplier?
  • How good is the supplier’s customer service?
  • How complete and cutting-edge are the marketing tools offered by the supplier?

In today’s world, spa professionals need to work with manufacturers who don’t have minimum buy-in and ordering requirements, and unreasonable purchasing policies. Some manufacturers may have put forth these demands historically; however, they will quickly find their numbers sinking like bricks if they do not adapt to the reality of today’s economy and today’s consumer.

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