Imagine a world where businesses thrive not on competition but on community and collaboration.
That's the reality we're painting in this illuminating discussion. As a veteran of the beauty industry, I've discovered firsthand how crucial it is to form professional connections and engage with our community. This synergy doesn't just drive business growth, but it elevates the entire industry standard, benefiting everyone in it. Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, this collective effort has helped many of us weather even the toughest of times, such as the recent pandemic shutdown.
Our conversation today is not merely theoretical; it's practical, with tangible strategies that you can implement in your business. The power of community is further discussed through my involvement with Sugar Tribe, an online community where members help each other progress in their careers while fostering a positive space to love our job. The importance of networking is also underscored through my experiences, where new relationships and referrals can be built.
So, join us as we navigate the power of community and collaboration in business, and let's create a rising tide together!
If you’ve connected with or been inspired by this episode in any way, leave us a review and let us know your biggest takeaway - I’d love to hear how you embrace Sugaring For All!! And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow us on Instagram @Love2Sugar.
If you are interested in learning more about Radeq Lab's Premium Prebiotic Sugar Line of products, you can find them at www.radeqlab.us.
Cheers to your Sweet Success!
Hello and welcome back to this episode of the Sugar Show. I always, always, always, always, love to talk about the sweet success in your business because, as most of you know, if you have been listening to my story for years, you know that really I have been at the bottom and I've been at the top and I've been a day spot owner. I have been a solo esthetician, I've been an employee, I've worked the front desk of a big beautiful spot in Las Vegas. I've pretty much done everything, and one of the things that I've noticed in the beauty industry is we need to really work on working with each other in order to create success for all. And really, you know we're no strangers to competition, right, like, we want to make sure that we have the best place, we get the best reviews. We get, you know, yelp or any of the online review sites that they're saying the best thing. Google reviews things like that. We want to be the best, have five stars, have everyone think of us first, and what I want to do is really talk about the community that you can create when you choose to work with people in your area instead of competing with people in your area. So I had the great honor of writing an article for Skin Inc Magazine and it was called the benefits of choosing community over competition. So I highly suggest that you read that article because it really does kind of dive into the intricacies. But I want to take that a step further and talk specifics, because you know it's one thing to say, oh yeah, I get along with everyone. But the actual question is, do you really get along with everyone? Now, not everyone's going to like you. Not everyone is going to want to work together and you're going to quickly find out there's plenty of people that don't want to work with you. But if you can work in your community together to build both of your businesses or all of your businesses, I am promising you that it is just better energy to put out, it is just a better vibe. You're going to love your job more because you're spending your time in a positive space instead of a negative space and wondering what everyone else is doing. If you can just release that from your heart and say to yourself you know what, if I just have some gratitude for the town that I'm in, for the clients that I have and I work together with some of these other companies, we actually might be able to work smarter and stronger and not as hard. So let's dive into that and really talk about what you can do in your community like tangible things that you can do to take your business to the next level by using your community. Welcome to this sugar show. I'm Shannon O'Brien, body sugaring expert and licensed esthetician, who's taken my own skincare business from zero to multiple six figures and has helped over 3000 students learn how to do the same. Now let me tell you it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the time, budget and knowledge needed to grow my small business as a body sugaring pro. If we were to press rewind, you'd see the many failed attempts and lessons learned that have helped me build the profitable business that I have today, one that runs on its own and gives me the lifestyle and freedom that I only used to dream of. I created the sugar show to hand you my secrets and give you the simple, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. So if you're a cosmetologist or esthetician or wax professional who's looking to fill your books, make more money in your business and enjoy greater balance between your work and home life, you are in the right place. Let's dive in. So let's talk about. I put a quote in that article and it says a rising tide lifts all boats, and that was by John F Kennedy. Oh, I loved him, but I'm dating myself. I didn't really. I wasn't really alive then, but I love really just everything about that era and about really working together to just rise everyone up. So what that means is if the tides rise, it will lift all the boats up, instead of just one boat here and one boat there. If we can rise our standard of excellence, everyone benefits. And let's talk about that at a local level, because a powerful synergy can be unleashed, I promise. Great example is the pandemic when we were shut down. For all of those months, my shop is in California, we're here just outside of Sacramento, and when we shut down the community that I'm in the beauty industry, very quickly California especially very quickly realized that we were going to be shut down for a long time and we needed to work together in order to think of ideas that would really help us up and out of this pandemic. We were told to paper up, we were told to be outside, we were told to mask up and take temperatures and all the things that we had to do and we had to really work smarter together so that we could make sure that we weren't hurting each other. So there were some companies that went ahead and still did their skincare services and didn't really care and didn't mind if they get a fine. And then there were others that were very, very strict and it was really difficult to say, gosh, I don't want to lose my business if I don't open. So there was a lot of struggle there and in our community we actually got together via Zoom and we worked together to really really try to figure out a solution so that we were able to rise the tide together and open all at the same time and have a united front. And I can promise you that in the long, I think California was probably the longest shutdown. There's probably one other state was it Minnesota? But the shutdown was the longest in California, at least close to the longest and we all were able to come out the other side because we worked together to think about ways, for example, having to go boxes, doing online consultations, being able to have drop bags of skincare for folks, just giving people suggestions on how they could build their business and really encouraging each other along the way, because those were really, really tough times. So let's talk about what we can do now, because we're way out of the pandemic. We're not going to harbor on that, but if you can share your knowledge, your experience and your resources, it really opens up opportunities for growth for you and for other businesses. And what I mean by that is start networking together, start going to events or co-creating new products. Working together, for example, you can be super supportive of your fellow estheticians. We mostly do sugaring in here, right? Well, there's plenty of other estheticians that specialize in acne treatments, for example. We absolutely work with other estheticians in our area that specialize in the things that we don't specialize. We're working on the same clients, right? So if you're working on a client that it's very sensitive skin and she's getting sugared because of it, why not introduce her to another esthetician in your area that does beautiful facials on sensitive skin? Or if you do lashes, for example, why not learn how to sugar so that you can sugar people? And if you don't sugar, why don't you refer someone to a business like mine? I'm not going to do lashes, but we can absolutely code network that beauty space for your clients. For example, if you have a girl's night out, say, if I was to have one in the shop. I know that I don't do lashes. I'm not a Botox girl, but there are plenty of people that love to do it. I don't do spray tans. There's lots of things I don't do. We don't have time because all we do is sugar in here. But what would be wise is to invite all of their databases to come to your host, your girl's night out, right? So we might be demonstrating sugaring. Someone might be demonstrating microblading or lashing. Someone else might be talking about spray tans and how those work together. So now we can take our collective clients and work together to rise the tides. Do you see what I'm saying? So if you're going to be successful at this and you're going to achieve those goals that you've written down and elevate your business, it just creates that ripple effect throughout your local beauty community. If you can work together and support each other, I'm going to encourage the lash girl to strive for greatness. And if she's feeling down, you know, start to really talk her up and see if I can get her new clients. Same for sugaring. If that spray tang girl is spraying these folks, she's going to see that they need their hair removed and she can refer them to us. So, really, the overall growth of your business depends on how much you reach out to others. Now I will tell you that I have had moments in the sugaring industry where I've really tried to reach out and I've tried to be super supportive of other companies and when they were closed and really not open to wanting to work with me or work with other sugar companies, it really was just a detriment to them. Because the sugar industry wants to work together. We want to share ideas. They want to come on this podcast so that they can share their information with you and if they don't, it's just going to hurt their business. If we are in constant competition with each other, then how can we grow as an industry? But we are not in competition with each other. In the sugar industry we are. I don't think we're in competition with anyone, to be honest, but our competitor, for example, is a wax place, is a laser place, is a threading place. Our job together is not to fight each other, but to get the word out so that everyone wants to switch to sugar. In these times, it is also really, really important to get wise with your business as far as marketing and physical location. So I hear lots of estheticians that are working smarter by combining forces in, for example, in a salon space. So maybe someone will pack their days three days a week, someone else will pack the days four days a week. Someone works in the morning, someone else works in the evenings. The other thing is various boutiques, for example, my shop. We have a 1600 square foot space. We have just really gotten tight with less treatment rooms. I actually reduced the treatment rooms and we packed them tight six days a week and then I leased the other space after the pandemic to a big, beautiful boutique. So that's another great way that we can really identify new avenues to be smart with our expenses, our overhead, and really make sure that we are adapting and not having so much expense that we just can't afford it and we're not able to pay ourselves and make a profit. So, thinking about joint marketing initiatives, you can absolutely work together to do tanning and sugar lashes and brows. We have a brew house that's next door and we do brows and brews. Work together. We don't have to be a beauty industry company, but work together to have a fun girls night. We do Girls Nights all the time. In fact, over at Out of Bounds Brewhouse that's next door they actually have the Sugar Mama drink, which is really fun. It's almost like a Cosmo, but it's fresh blackberries and raspberries and then like a lemon drop, so it's kind of a berry lemon drop kind of thing with a sugared rim. It's the number one selling product of there because they love the name Sugar Mamas. So what we do is when they talk about the Sugar Mamas on the menu it says go visit Sugar Mamas and get 10% off your services over there. And when they are in here we say, hey, go visit Out of Bounds and try the Sugar Mamas and they'll give you a little extra, something special over there and they'll give them a little extra appetizers or 10% off their bill or whatever it is. At the moment it depends on the manager and who's there, but it's a way to cross brand what you're doing. So people love the name Sugar Mamas. They're going over and getting a Sugar Mamas drink and coming back and after their meal and saying, my gosh, that drink was so great, I loved it. They buy a dress, they book their sugaring appointment and everyone wins. So three businesses there the boutique, my Sugar Space and the brew house. That actually really, really benefit. It really helps to get strategic in those ways. You're seeing now lots of boutiques that are just doing pop-ups. Right, you can have people do pop-ups for beauty in your space. For example, behind me you'll see a mirror and we actually will take that table and create it into a makeup station and offer our clients Brow Sugar and makeup lessons. Great for the makeup artist, great for us, brings traffic in and what's wonderful is all of those people that are on her mailing list or her email list to get marketing from her will also now come into my Space, the out of bounds brew house. When I tag them on socials, as you know, they're gonna promote me. Now all of the women that have been out of bounds but maybe haven't come into Sugar Mamas can get a little sneak peek inside. So cross promotion, cross promotion, cross promotion. It just raises us all up and really helps our clients to not have to go from place to place to place. So, just like a pop-up for retail that sells earrings or maybe dresses or cowboy boots or whatever, why don't you invite someone in the area to come in and do a special night or a special day all day for you. Have them invite their clients in, or vice versa. Go to a salon that's in your area. If you don't have enough clients, go to a salon that's in your area and ask them if you can do some sugaring demos. Maybe you sugar in trade, you sugar the owner in exchange for doing that and have her advertise that you're teaching people about sugar in their space. Really, it's about working smarter together and not putting yourself on an island, cause if I sat in this space and didn't get the word out, this place would be empty all the time. Now sugaring, as you know, does a lot of the work for you, because as soon as you sugar someone and the results are amazing. You know the word of mouth is crazy with what we do, but really it's about working together to make sure that not just the hundred clients that you have come in every month, but you can get someone else's hundred clients to come in as well, and now you're jam-packed and you're really making the money that is going to help you with that, that life that you have been hoping for, and hopefully you can grab some work-life balance, because once they come in and get sugared, they're hooked, as you know. The last thing I will say is about the strategies is get to know the people in your chamber of commerce. Get to know the other businesses that are like yours in the beauty industry. Get to know the real owners in the area. They like often give gifts when people come into town that are new and they wanna you know they'll put you on their list of preferred vendors. Get to know the bankers in the area and the insurance brokers. Those people all have hair and they all need you to service them. So don't be shy. Go to a chamber mixer, put the name of your business on there and if you're an employee, go to the chamber mixer as well. Ask your boss if you can go and say, hey, I'd really like to drum up some business. All of those people can be clients, right? So you'll have a room of a hundred different people and I promise you the icebreaker of saying well, actually I do body sugaring and they kind of look at you and think it's body scrub, right. I know some of you that have been sugaring for a long time know that and it really is kind of fun to talk about what you do and I kind of end up holding court in having. You know, I start with one or two people that I'm talking with about sugaring and next thing you know, other people are coming and wanting to talk to me about sugaring and they always want to book. And if they aren't necessarily going to book with you maybe there's a guy who doesn't get sugared or a woman who doesn't get sugared Honestly, think about ways that you can work together. There's, if you go to a chamber mixer, there's probably 50 people in the room that can all work with you in some way. Even if it's just to feature you in a newsletter. Make sure that the chamber is featuring you as a small business. Make sure you do the ribbon cutting. If you have a business, if you are an employee, encourage your boss to be a part of the chamber. It's, I think I pay $250 a year and it's some of the best marketing that I have ever been wise enough to do. Obviously, they're socials, but really having that local hand in hand mentality is going to do nothing but great things for your business. So really, my loves, please, please, please, think about ways that you can get out of your four walls. Think about ways that you can support other people in business and I promise you it will come back to you in spades. And if you're someone who, like I've got Michelle out in the Carolinas and she is killing it, she is packed in her business. But wouldn't it be lovely if she, like, assisted another someone in her solar salons to her independent salons and help them build their business, or she had someone to refer for brows or tanning? It really only helps your business if you are that resource for people and they will want to do more with you as well. So I find that people that get sugared by me if I say, oh, you can tan over here, but let's make sure that you're exfoliated first. Let's give you this scrub, right? You know, hey, you want to get your lashes done, no problem. But when we have a lash growth serum that you'll really love, that's great for sensitive skin and then get your lashes done and they'll be nice and strong. So there's ways that you can retail before your person goes to another company to do their services and the appreciation will, like I said, it will come back to you tenfold. And really the goal is to make sure that socials are fine. Socials are great. Love, socials, love, hate socials, to be honest. But honestly, it's getting your boots on the ground and holding the hands of the people inside your community, getting to understand who is around you and how you can benefit them and they can just synergistically benefit you In our industry. When you are at a trade show, please, please, please, introduce yourself. When you're sitting at the lunch table you know sometimes you'll share a table, there'll be a giant round and you're just sitting down for a sandwich Introduce yourself to everyone at the table. Find out ways that you can send them clients or what they do. It's fascinating to see and hear all the different folks that are in our beauty community that are just right in your area that you can work with. Maybe someone specializes in oncology aesthetics and you don't, so, a, you can learn from them and, b if you have anyone that needs to get a facial with someone who's oncology certified oncology aesthetic certified then you can have those people in your back pocket and that's how I've met some of my most wonderful friends. Shout out to SpaBiz board girls, because back in the day we were from all over the country and we, before Facebook, had threads together where we really just helped each other and it did nothing but benefit not only my business, but my heart and my career and it helped me to not have burnout is to just have my sisters and brothers around me. That really could help me take my business to the next level. So I hope that was of interest to you. I hope that you understand that this isn't just like yeah, yeah, yeah, maybe I'll do this. This is absolutely critical for your business. Your mentality, your work-life balance is to make sure that you are a part of a community in your personal life and in your business life. So surround yourself with people that help you raise the bar. Surround yourself with other people, like the Sugar Tribe, that can answer questions and you can. I'm telling you when you can be a part of that community and help raise people as well. If you can be in the Sugar Tribe and say hey, tribers, I'm gonna help you with a technique that I use that might be something different than they're used to. If we help the rest of the tribe out, we will only benefit. So I want you to let me know some of the things, jump in the community, the Facebook community, and let us know some of the ways that this has worked for you and really engage with each other inside that Facebook community and work together to just rise all of us to the sweetest level of success possible. I look forward to seeing you live sometime soon. We will be in your city very soon, if not. I look forward to seeing you inside the business coaching or the. If you're learning how to sugar inside the perfection classes. We have lots to offer and everything is down in the show notes. So have a beautiful, beautiful day, and I look forward to seeing you in class sometime soon.