Sunday, September 16, 2007

Out of Panic Palace

So I don't want to come off crazier than I actually am. After my slight brain explosion the other day, I got my ass in gear and things are going good. It's stressful, but like the kind of stress you put on your body when you are working out, and it hurts, and you want to stop... but you know you won't get the results you want if you do stop.

I hope you aren't sick of hearing about this, but if you are... don't read :) because this is what I want to talk about. Today I submitted a small portion of the "concept" section of my business plan, just to check in. Here is a copy of my email :)

Well I have been quite busy with my research. I want my package to be as complete and polished as possible, I was wondering exactly what kind of time frame should I be working within. I do know my boss, John Giammanco, has been in contact with you and has shown interest in opening in East Garrison as well. Should I act on the presumption that the sooner I submit the better, in order to gain an edge? I think I have another solid week and a half of work.

Here is my other question. A large part of my concept comes from the idea that as society becomes more educated about the risks and damages of UV light, tanning is met with the same guilt as smoking and drinking. Although this is already the trend (I have some clients that live in fear of someone they know seeing them walk into the salon!), and is completely unnecessary as technology improves, I have yet to find a salon within Monterey County that is ready to let go of the technology that is "so five minutes ago," as much of my 20 something clientele would say. I was wondering if it is tactless to use concrete examples from our area in my report? I know the salons in the area very well, and I know that most of the clientele I am in contact with (which is a lot) is only choosing one salon over another based on mere convenience, and are in fact unhappy with the quality of what is offered in Monterey County. They are all very similar and lack innovation.

Here is a short passage from my "concept" area, I need to do another local salon "tour" as total bed numbers may be slightly off.

"As society becomes more health conscious that ever, people are increasingly more concerned about the damages UV light inflict on the skin. When I entered the industry, I was sure that as information on these risks became more readily available, commercial tanning would die out. Many clients walked into the salon with the same guilt as picking up a cigarette or pouring another glass of wine, knowing they would pay tomorrow for the pleasure of today. However, fear lingers in the unknown, and I have discovered that educating clients on the mechanics behind tanning and the importance of tanning slow and smart, lends to a dramatic shift in the climate of the salon.

Tanning technology is developing further with each passing day. Clients can tan for a shorter amount of time, less often, and still maintain that sun-kissed glow with minimum exposure. The technology is high UVA tanning. Many salons are catching on to this trend, but are reluctant to give up their older beds, despite the fact that they are far less efficient, more damaging, and less comfortable. Sun You Buns (Salinas, Ca) runs 13 beds, and offers 1 high UVA bed. Sahara Sun Tanning (Monterey and Salinas, Ca) runs 15 beds and offers only 1 UVA bed. Janika Tanning (Salinas, Ca) runs 12 beds and offers 2 high UVA beds.

I would love to report that today's salon is not the same salon it was 10 years ago, but despite vast improvements in tanning technology, it is."

I then go on to explain what I intend to offer, and the difference between a "conveyor belt" salon and a modern salon. I've completed a chart of what local salons offer versus what is available and I will offer. Now I was a humanities, not a business major, so I can write a compelling piece, but am not sure if it has the professional business edge. From what you see, if I can offer this kind of information in this manner, plus a financial plan, will I be on the right track? Shall I bore you with details on tanning tech or just represent that the concepts ARE there.

Thank you for your time and I hope you are enjoying this sunshine we have been having! It's been such a gloomy summer!

Cori Lynn

That was fairly scary because I was finally showing my cards a little more, you know? So I sent that like 6:30am today, and after I got back from aerobics this is what waited in my inbox.

Hey Cori,

Thanks for your email. Your are on the right track for sure! First of all, in terms of time frame, I would shoot for having something ready by mid-September. I think that your analysis of your competition is great and should be included in your plan. I also think that your "understanding" of your customer (fears, safety concerns, choices of product..) is a meaningful element of your plan as it demonstrates your experience and knowledge not only of the industry but also of your customer base. Any sketches, designs, ideas, facts can only help your plan be complete which will demonstrate your entrepreneurship and skill set.

Keep it up, let me know if you need any further information from me....By the way, I have never spoken to or heard from a John Giammanco...maybe it's another development?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ryan Bloom

Yay! But don't get why Gina said they had spoken... hmmm...

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