$60 Billion Cosmetology Industry
Recession or Not


By: Diane Dutton, CEO of CK Systemz, LLC


     In the next few days Las Vegas will host two of the best: “IBS Las Vegas” and “IECSC Conference” in the Beauty Industry. Professionals in the World of Beauty will gather to look at new and innovative technique, artistry, product and fashion in the Cosmetology World. They will also aspire to learn from the best, both in technical and business skills. IECSC says they “… provide superior education and dynamic show floors featuring the largest display of professional spa and medical spa products for spa owners, managers, estheticians, cosmeticians, massage therapists, makeup artists and medical estheticians looking to enhance their business and professional services.” IBS says “IBS Las Vegas is a calendar event for beauty professionals who want to learn the latest skills, techniques & trends in hair, nails and beauty. IBS Las Vegas offers more than 125 top-notch classes, included in your exhibit hall ticket fee. Also available are comprehensive Hands-On and Post-Conference Workshops.”

     The interesting thing about these shows is the relationship that the show has to the real world, daily life of a beauty professional. I spend some of my time reading the day to day questions, concerns, frustrations, stresses and bewilderment of the individual beauty professional from Main Street, Kansas to Upper East Side, Manhattan to South Beach, Miami. The issues they discuss are the same even though the climate and culture may change with the geography. Each of these individuals would like some small piece of the grand picture. They would like to feel the impact of a $60 Billion industry that favors the large salon names like Tony & Guy and Regis, Redken and Milady. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could see the profits in their daily lives?

     So I offer this question to all salon owners and major corporations in the salon and spa industry: How does the little guy or gal get ahead? Do they have to aspire to own their own salon someday? Do they go to booth rental and then find themselves in a shop that feels like a place to rent a station instead of a great salon environment for their clients? Where is the happy medium?

     I do know one place, here in Las Vegas that has blended great client service with promoting success in business skills for the beauty professional, just one salon and spa. The reason for such success is the salon owner. It is amazing that it still comes down to the salon owner. Great salon owner – abundance mentality – creates great beauty and business professionals and you will have financial abundance for all. Poor salon owner, scarcity mentality, I own the clients, you work only for me, commission is all that is and what you get is a scarcity results, serious turnover, no loyalty, no great culture for professional or client.

     In the large cities where the big names are gospel, if you want to be somebody someday – you will play the game. In the world that lives on Main Street, its not such a great game and the being somebody, well, that’s about making the rent payment every month.

     So as we view in awe of the wonderful magic that is the Beauty Show of today, those in the industry need to find ways to lift up the individual beauty professional, teach them all business skills, budgeting, marketing, self-confidence in business and technical skills, customer service skills, hygiene, dress for success and so much more.

     I think this industry is ready for a breakthrough, a break from “the salon owner rules the world” mode. It’s about to happen, in this generation, in this time.

     It will be similar to the REALTOR® vs. Broker model of the 80’s. Anyone familiar with history of REMAX, Century21, Coldwell Banker and Prudential will tell you that in the Real Estate Industry of yesterday the Realtors® worked for Brokers and received a 50/50 commission on all the Realtor’s® hard work. Today, the Realtor® owns the model and makes sometimes over 90% of their full commission while the Brokers are stuck with monthly fee models and creative in –house programs to survive. The Realtor® came of age, knowledge of business skills created self-confidence across geographic lines in the USA. When they came of age, they became financially successful in their personal professional life.

     It’s time for the Beauty Professional to come of age. It’s time for the Beauty Professional to control their income and financial success. From Booth Renter to Commissioned Technician, from Solo Professional to Salary Professional, the Beauty Professional will become a Business Professional. The big question is who will teach them, what tools will they use and can you provide great product to them. IBS Las Vegas and IECSC Conference teams need to be the ones to show the way – this week I hope they will do just that!


Diane Dutton, CEO
CK Systemz, LLC
Client Keeper for the Beauty Professional
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Diane Dutton
June 2007
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