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BEYOND COMMON BUSINESS SECRETS WITH TRACEY WATTS CIRINO LAUNCHES ITS DEBUT SEASON
Guest Blog Post By: Tony Viola
After months of planning and extensive preparation, Beyond Common Business Secrets with Tracey Watts-Cirino has launched this Podcast, with a mission to help business owners obtain clarity and focus in their business and professional lives.
The initial show details Tracey’s business career, lessons she learned along the way, how she built a successful company, why she wrote her book – and how she overcame challenges in business.
Tracey started attending cosmetology school at the age of 16, saying she refused to be a starving broke college kid, and planning to make enough money to pay for school. She never planned on a career in the cosmetology or hair stylist industry. Early on, however, she was inspired when she attended her first hair show and was exposed to the top talent in the hair world. After being around successful career minded women who believed in education, Tracey eagerly joined industry leaders at shows across the country, oftentimes even paying her own way to volunteer at national and international events. “I didn’t have a personal network of my own,” she explains, “so I reached outside my personal sphere to spend time with the best most successful people I could find.”
At age 22, Tracey was a partner in her 1st hair salon business and, even then, her commitment to training and personal development became a hallmark of her business career. “Many salons were good at the technical aspects of the business, but I was also interested in personal development and the success of the people who worked in the business.” But Tracey was often disappointed that others in the industry didn’t share her commitment to training, or weren’t serious about creating a business model focused on growth and excellence.
“Diamonds are formed under pressure,” Tracey explains, describing some of her early career setbacks as better than a “Harvard MBA.” She also shared another important lesson – “Numbers don’t lie, but people do.” The beauty industry is filled with creative and thoughtful individuals, but many don’t devote enough time on the financial aspects of the operation as an actual business. Finally, Tracey decided to sell her interest in her initial salon business and vowed never to own a salon ever again. Instead, she decided to work for someone while focusing primarily on what she liked best: teaching and developing training systems for other salon owners. But, almost every day for nearly five years, colleagues in the industry, clients, strangers on the street, her bosses at her current salon, and vendors all told Tracey she should open her own salon. She thought long and hard about the decision. And, over time, she finally realized that no one was running a salon business with an intense focus on color and personal & professional training and development. If she wanted to be a part of a business that was progressive, innovative, offered profit sharing, a focus on training and a commitment to help each team member achieve personal success, she would simply have to create it herself.
After finding a location and investing her life savings into her new latest business venture, another obstacle hit: the economy tanked and the Great Recession was underway. “We just turned off the news,” Tracey explained, “and decided to focus on making people look and feel their best. We even gave our clients the distraction they were looking for as well.” Against all odds, annual revenues went from zero to over $750,000 in just two years, proving the viability of Tracey’s business model.
As CEO, however, Tracey faced a series of new – and often unexpected – challenges. With a larger team in place, there were more chances that customers would be unhappy with their service experience. While mistakes could be corrected, Tracey saw how dissatisfied clients often were as the result of a bad consultation – customers with expectations that weren’t properly managed, or a client who saw a photo of someone on Pinterest or Instagram who wanted that same look. “Oftentimes, we could do it, but it would take several sessions,” Tracey explains. “Or sometimes, people don’t realize all the work and effort that goes into a specific look and they would not want to pay for what they really wanted.” The initial consultation is such a vital part of the business that Tracey devotes a large amount of her salon training course teaching others how to create systems to insure successful consultations and how to manage customer expectations on the front end.
Another challenge was also unexpected. “Once you’re the boss, and you sign the paycheck, everyone treats you differently.” Tracey was used to working collaboratively in a group setting but had to adjust to her new role – and adjust to the new ways people interacted with her, sometimes saying what she wanted to hear, but not necessarily what they actually felt.
During these exceptionally busy times, Tracey thought back to one of her earlier childhood dreams when she was just 9 years old about – being a New York Times bestselling author. And Tracey had some important thoughts to share – the importance of being a true professional. The result was her recently published book, Beyond Common, 12 Essentials for Success in Life and the Workplace. Written as a guidebook for newer professionals and business owners who are starving for the honest truth about what it really takes to be successful and how professionalism can actually be sexy. Beyond Common has proven to be a valuable resource for business owners to offer to new hires, the book is now available on the TraceyWattsCirino.com website. Barnes and Noble, amazon, and everywhere books are sold.
Her new book was part of a larger mission: to promote training that helps people achieve extraordinary results. While some businesses think of training as an expense that could backfire if employees quit, Tracey takes the contrary view: “What if they stay? Do you want a company filled with people who aren’t exceptionally trained and that is why they stay?”
Tracey’s training systems provide important tools for businesses to focus on critical tasks that must be completed by team members. “You just can’t assume people know the basics,” Tracey explains, “so we have learned to always focus first on this is what we do here.” “Sense is not common and there is no need to pretend that it is.”
Finally, Tracey describes the launch of this Podcast and how she wants to help business owners get clarity and focus in their lives and businesses.
The Podcast, like Tracey’s training courses, are designed to convey helpful information in a way that makes learning simple, convenient and appealing to the on-the-go entrepreneur.