There can be many secrets to success in the beauty industry, an area that can be extremely challenging and unpredictable. The executives I interviewed all gave different recipes for success, insisting that beauty industry can challenge one to apply the maximum effort but also bring out the full potential of an individual.
Jane McCoy, the marketing manager at L’Oreale, Brussels, says that the main secret is to move quickly along with consumer tastes. All over the world, consumers can change their tastes quickly as new trends emerge and women and men turn to new ways to improve their appearance. The company, be it large or small, should adopt a proactive approach, seeking out innovations and implementing it as soon as the tide changes. The constant forward movement should be among the leading priorities.
Besides, Jane states, it is essential to be customer-oriented. The beauty industry is working with the client, addressing one of the most fundamental human needs – the need to appeal to others through appearance. This is why professionals in this sphere should be sensitive to clients trying to find the best solution for them.
The third secret, in Jane’s mind, is to foster good employee relationships. Employees are the most important asset of the company, and cooperatively working with them is always a priority.
Employees will through their work bring about the success of the whole organization, and in this way promote the overall strategy.
Felicia Brown, the owner of the beauty parlor in Bridgeport, Conn., says that good taste is always an asset in this industry and ultimately the secret of success. The person who can provide the best solution is the one who can apply taste and understanding of the clients’ need to produce the best result. She says that whatever training one can apply, an inborn talent is as important as ever.
The second thing, she says, is the real passion for what one is doing. It is relevant in any case, be it a big or small company, but most important in smaller ones where the professional faces real interactions with the client. Investing effort is difficult if the person does not emanate enthusiasm. It is especially important in the managerial position in which a person should share the interest with the rest of the team, igniting in them the zest for work. Those who have a passion for what they are doing can easily maximise their contribution to the organization, leveraging their abilities and compensating for lack of those if they suffer from it.
Finally, Felicia states that basis of any good business is good planning. She remembers that in the first years of her business she had to plan for contingencies and was not always very good at that. As a result, she ran through several cash crises that she had a difficult time surviving. Planning is the basis for sound operations and safe cash flow, in Felicia’s mind.
Another person I interviewed was Herbert Cotter, Vice-President of Finance of the International Executive Service Corps, a USAID-affiliated agency located in Stamford, Conn. Although he does not come from the beauty industry, he is an able professional with years of expertise in finance and business in general as he worked for IBM’s finance department most of his life. His first secret to success echoes Felicia’s: one should plan carefully and research the opportunities. It is good to have a road mapped out in detail before you set on a journey. Planning should allow for emergencies, including Plan B and even Plan C if possible.
The second thing is a careful and effective implementation of the original plan. In Herbert’s mind, too many professionals plan everything with double care only to allow slack to creep in later on. When you do a project or try to bring the business to an end, there is no room for relaxation. One should not spare effort and make others do the same.
The third secret, in Herbert’s opinion, is motivation. In every endeavor, it is important how you motivate those who follow you. They should realize not only where they are going, but why they are heading there, and what they will gain from it, either financially or regarding enriching their lives.
There can be a good measure of coercion, too, it is just important that it should not be the only way to stimulate. Each manager should have a personal recipe for motivation. However, this recipe should be effective and include many measures that can be applied to different people with effective outcomes.
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