Home » LINK Business News » Archives for Fred Carr

Author: Fred Carr


 “Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission,” so said Anne Mulcahy, the former CEO of Xerox. So how do you continue to make your employees a substantial part of a company’s success? The answer may surprise you.

Improving or increasing revenues, making sales, satisfying customer needs, all require more than merely describing the attributes of a product or service. The improvement of an employee’s performance is not merely improving product knowledge and not improving selling skills, of course those are important. It also means finding ways to critically assess your employee’s soft skills, and develop programs that will improve their performance, thereby improving revenue and, ultimately, the value of your business.

How then do we differentiate hard and soft skills? Hard skills are referring to skills defining the ability to do the job, and those competencies include the technical ability, the knowledge of the job and core attributes of the products or services, and the qualifications of that individual. Soft skills, on the other hand, are personality traits that are individual to the person and may include “skills” like motivation, communication, and other interpersonal skills.

Alison Doyle, a career and job search guru, in an internet published paper, stated: “soft skills is a term used by employers to refer to the most intangible and non-technical abilities that are sought from candidates.” Furthermore, she goes on to state, “soft skills are sometimes referred to as professional skills. These skills are skills are more aligned with the general disposition and personality of the individual.” These skills can be related to your own attitudes and instincts and other personality traits that influence behavior, day in and day out.

What are the key soft skills?  Various institutions and individuals have complied a list of those traits that are the most important soft skills and here is a combined list of significant soft skills. Please note that there are other important soft skills that can be added to this list.

  • Communication: the capability of speaking intelligently and understandably, listening, writing clearly and effectively presenting information.
  • Interpersonal Skills: courtesy, etiquette, being respectful, good business manners, professionalism, personable, empathetic, upbeat social skills.
  • Integrity: high morals, ethical behavior, honesty, treating others as one expects to be treated.
  • Flexibility: adaptability, the willingness and ability to accept and develop new skills and grow. The ability to accept new things and ideas, and change as the business changes.
  • Positive Attitude: confident, optimistic outlook, enthusiastic, passionate, excited about work and life.
  • Responsibility: gets the job done, resourceful, accountable for goals and objectives, self-disciplined, and the ability to accept training and grow personally.
  • Teamwork: gets along with others, compatible with others, supportive, can lead or follow depending on the goal and circumstance, gets things done through and with team members.
  • Work Ethic/Motivation: hard working, work well individually, desire to succeed, thrive in the work environment without outside supervision, demonstrates initiative.
  • Problem Solving: approaches problems analytically and critically, uses the team to assist, level headed approach to solutions, creative with solutions.

These soft skills are thought to be the most relevant and important in the work environment. Improving these skills, where and when appropriate, with individual employees can bring about positive changes to the success and value of a business or institution. The importance can be further substantiated in a statement from Carnegie Mellon foundation, which established that “75% of long term job success resulted from soft skills and only 25% from technical skills, hence soft skills are as important as technical skills.”

Why do soft skills matter? Careers, professions, and companies that focus on the soft skills, in addition to the hard skills, are more successful. Developing and improving soft skills can improve productivity, improving the total financial aspect of a company, not only the top line, but the bottom line as well.

Improving employee soft skills can have a significant positive effect on employee retention. Keeping employees for multiple years instead of rapid turnover reduces all of the costs associated with the hiring and training process. Employees who are satisfied with their long-term development will have improved self-worth, improved self-esteem, improved self-confidence, all of which contributes to the improved success of the company.

If you would like more information on this subject, or you would like a list of interview questions for potential new employees or current employees that help qualify soft skills, please contact me at fred.carr@linkbusiness.com or schedule a call with me at  https://calendly.com/fred-carr.


How not to lose Customers

“The easiest way to grow your customers is not to lose them”, so says Robert Clay of Marketing Wisdom. Businesses lose 10% to 20% of their customers each year for numerous reasons and the reasons may startle you. Inattentiveness, lack of communication, lack of extraordinary customer service or service negligence.   Whatever the reason, the consequences of the loss can be catastrophic to businesses of every nature.  However, while there is no magic answer, there are immediate resolutions to help you retain your clients.

Extraordinary Customer Service: Each and every employee should be dedicated to the idea of delivery of amazing and superlative service to each customer that walks in the door. This means knowing their names, their treatment history, their goals, and their priorities. Also, responding immediately to their needs, going above and beyond the norm, delivering service that you want personally. This is an attitude that needs to be instilled every day, in every way.

Reliable Products and Services: Very few things can turn a customer against your business than unreliability of a product or service. Ensure that what you offer has the stamp of approval of virtually every employee. This means that products and services must reassure customer satisfaction. What that means is satisfaction guaranteed…not just guaranteed but assured. Nothing says confidence like a product or service that the business and employees stand behind. Nothing can ruin customer confidence like a product or service that fails to deliver what is promised. Ensure that the staff is well versed in the value of a product and service and can relate that to the client and ensure that using a product or service is the norm.

Reconnect with the “drifters”: Those clients who have not kept appointments, who have not returned for months, who have not purchased must be reengaged. These clients must be reactivated buy using some basic communication skills that everyone can help with. Emails, phone calls, letters offering specific incentives, special deals and other enticements to return. Every week or month, a select group of drifters can be contacted by the staff and offered encouragement to come in and get a product or service. Minimally, these clients could be a source of dissatisfaction that can be dealt with internally. If there have been problems in the past assure the client that things have changed. These retention ideas are merely a few of the things that can be accomplished regularly that work to ensure that you won’t lose 10 to 20% of your hard won customers.

Selling Your Medical Spa in the Phoenix Area?

What Sellers Need to Know

Arizona is a popular winter destination for people who live in chilly climates, and spa visits deliver the pampering experience people enjoy during vacations or regular life. When selling medical spas in the Phoenix area, prepare to discuss the flow of money that comes in from the snowbird and tourist crowd with potential buyers. A plan to demonstrate what sets your spa apart from the competition is also a good idea.

Tips for Getting Ready to Sell Your Arizona Spa

There are also some other things you can do to make your business practically irresistible to buyers. Be ready with answers to some common buyer’s concerns, and plan to show the buyer how easy it will be to take over the business.

Know Why Are You Selling the Business

Very few people want to buy a business that’s failing, so why you’re selling is one of the first things you need to be ready to explain, as noted by Investopedia. Plan to talk about things like being ready for a different challenge, looking forward to retirement or whatever detail is true for your situation.

Things That Make a Business Look Good to a Buyer

If you’re selling because the business isn’t producing as much income as you expected, it’s best to tell the truth. The buyer is going to want to see the books anyway. However, lead with the positive things about your business. This gets the buyer emotionally invested and excited about the idea of running a spa. Here are some things buyers might look for.

Positive Cash Flow

Money is a powerful motivator, so if your business shows positive cash flow, that’s a selling point you need to leverage. Have tax information and accounting records prepared and organized. This lets buyers quickly scan the information and feel good about buying. Understand that what a potential buyer considers a good income might be different than the amount you consider a good income.


The physical amenities at your facility are strong selling points. Buyers want to know what permanent and semi-permanent features come with the deal. Things like a steam room, wet room and elegant design elements make the venue more inviting for guests. An inviting setting offers the type of pampering tourists want when spending winter in the Phoenix area. So, let buyers see that the spa is or can become a sought after destination.

Special Services

What are the most popular services at your spa? Be ready to tell buyers which services attract the most customers and bring in the most money. If your spa is known for its hot stone massage or aromatherapy treatments, let buyers know that. Share testimonials from clients who enjoy your services if possible. This helps buyers who want to add their own touches to the business get a clear view of which services to keep.

Well-Trained Staff

An entrepreneur new to the spa business might hesitate to jump into it from scratch. If your well-trained employees are willing to stay on, that eases the transition to business ownership for the buyer. You may even want to offer your own services if you’re willing to stay on to train the new owner or stay on as an employee as part of a phase out plan.

Selling your business is a big decision, and there are a lot of things you can do to close the sale quickly. Have all the information ready and available. Then, ask potential buyers up front what they are looking for in a business. This is the easiest way to find out which facets of your company to point out first. The selling points a buyer values may be different from the ones that appeal most to you.

SPA Trends For 2018

Medical Aesthetics and the art of providing therapeutic anti-aging treatments and skin care is one of the industries that is considered high growth and potential, so much so, that everyone wants a piece of the revenue pie. According to The National Laser Institute, “Americans spent over $16 billion on cosmetic procedures last year.” The whole marketplace is moving into new markets resulting in increased revenue, more jobs, innovative treatments, and substantial business opportunities.

In 2016, the top 4 minimally invasive in-office procedures were – no real surprise here –  Botox injections, fillers, chemical peels, and laser hair removal. The growth of these procedures in the last decade are staggering. The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) stated that the growth of procedures from 2015 to 2016 was 3% but that translates into a total of 17.1 million procedures.

So what should we look forward to in 2018 and beyond?  The American Spa Association, during a recent seminar, highlighted a number of beauty trends that Spa/Salons, Day Spas, and Medical Spas should be aware of. The biggest beauty trends (and these may not be new) include the continued search of long, lush lashes; the search for foundations that best match a wide range of skin tones individually, and not the thought that “one size fits all”; moving away from heavily made-up lips but looking for a more natural looking lip dressing. Also, the use of facial rollers to enhance skin therapies. Also on the product front, masks will continue to make inroads into the skin care regimens. The main points are for total customization of makeup regimens and a more natural makeup look.

What about the trends in the medical directed spas? Some of the trends involve minimally invasive procedures but it is important to know what is happening. Dermal fillers, particularly bendable filers, will remain high on the list of cosmetic procedures requested and used in medical aesthetics. Some Day Spas and Salon/Spas are adding a Nurse injector one day a week to add the services to the menu. A qualified dermal filler provider will be the best option for providing the procedure. The key is that the filler is customized to the patient and to the site. Three additional, more invasive cosmetic procedures, are high on the list for 2018. Vaginal rejuvenation, injectable rhinoplasty, and transgender/feminization procedures are all sought after and will make major advances during this year.

What about business trends? One major business direction is pursuing the millennials in full force. They are not completely tagged for marketing campaigns, so go after them with programs designed to bring them into your shops. As a subset of this group, are the programs designed for “mantainence” and keying in on the hardest group to touch, the male population. You will see a greater emphasis on this target group throughout 2018 and beyond. Also, the use of the term “Prejuvenation” as a new popular buzzword for the future. Use this term rather than rejuvenation (which can still be used with certain demographics) for the idea of being proactive with treatment regimens, proactive to start non-invasive beauty and skin treatments early to prevent aging skin rather than correct or repair.

2018 will be dynamic with many opportunities to add clients, patients, treatment modalities, and in the end revenue to your business.