Cultivating relationships

David Schminke II
Co-owner, Salon Medusa Inc.
Industry: Cosmetology

David Schminke II is the co-owner of Salon Medusa Inc., a Brookfield salon with 18 employees that is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Business leaders can find success by focusing on relationships with both employees and customers, he says.

“Building and maintaining long-term relationships with both your employees and your customers are paramount for small business success.

“Build the foundation: Supporting your staff with competitive pay, retirement saving opportunities, health insurance options and ongoing education are central to developing this relationship. Flexibility and responsiveness to an employee’s individual needs are also important. Clients experiencing an engaged and consistent team will create rapport and build trust. Trust is the essential ingredient necessary for all healthy relationships and will keep them coming back.

“Be a mentor; find a mentor: Strive to hire talented people and trust them to do what they do best. Observe your team and learn from them. Your employees rely on you to share your knowledge and experience with them, but where do you turn for new ideas to improve yourself and strategies to grow your business? Mentor relationships will inspire change and provide you with the motivation to find those answers.

“Embrace technology: Our team has daily performance goals that are updated live and visible on their smartphones. Instead of monthly or quarterly performance reviews, they can see the direct impact their service and retail sales make toward their goals. Top performers are recognized and rewarded quarterly during team meetings. We stay in touch and deliver our best values to our clients with direct email marketing. Our clients trust that each email contains valuable information and offers.

“My best advice: Always keep one foot firmly planted in the present and the other a step ahead in the future.”

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