Keri Gorder, until recently the manager of a hair salon in Great Falls, Mont., said she was surprised last month by a document that her company wanted stylists to sign.

Ms. Gorder said the salon’s parent company, the Regis Corporation, had urged the four stylists at her salon, Cost Cutters, to sign a document that would seemingly nullify any future support they showed for unionization.

Labor leaders in Montana accuse the company of seeking to take away the stylists’ right to form a union. But Regis says the document merely seeks to ensure that workers choose unions through a secret-ballot election — at a time when unions are pushing legislation in Congress that would make it easy to bypass secret ballots.

The document the stylists at several Montana salons were urged to sign said they were agreeing to revoke any future signature they put on a pro-union card that could be counted as showing support for unionizing.

“I thought it was taking our right away before we ever exercised that right,” Ms. Gorder said.

She said her area supervisor had pressured the stylists to sign the cards. “The area supervisor said, ‘I would do what the company wants you to do,’ ” Ms. Gorder said, adding that she quit her job this month because of her dismay over the situation.

Soon she informed labor leaders about the document, and now they are threatening to picket the salon and hand out pro-union fliers.

“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Ole Stimac, president of the Central Montana Central Labor Council. “I’ve never seen anything where you sign away your rights for eternity to unionize.”

Regis executives said they had distributed the document out of concern that Congress would enact legislation backed by labor that would require employers to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed pro-union cards, without holding a secret-ballot election.

Paul Finkelstein, chief executive at Regis, the nation’s largest hair salon company, said many employees signed such pro-union cards without understanding that it could commit them to joining a union. Mr. Finkelstein said the company’s focus groups showed that employees overwhelmingly favored using secret ballots to decide whether to join a union.

The document the hair stylists were asked to sign, titled Protection of Secret Vote Agreement, said, “In order to preserve my right to a secret-ballot election, and for my own protection, I knowingly and without restraint and free from coercion sign this agreement revoking and nullifying any union authorization card I may execute in the future.”

Mr. Finkelstein said the document was intended to ensure that the employees’ cards were never counted to show majority support for a union — in case Congress someday enacted the union-card legislation.

“The sole issue is that our people want to use a secret ballot,” he said, asserting that union organizers often manipulate workers into signing pro-union cards, known as authorization cards.

Mr. Finkelstein added: “We’re not threatening people, ‘You’d better sign.’ It’s totally voluntary.”

William B. Gould IV, a Stanford law professor and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, said, “It seems like a modernized version of the old yellow dog contract,” a provision, now illegal, that many employers used to push workers to sign, pledging not to join a union as a condition of employment.

Assessing the salon document, Mr. Gould said, “I think it’s illegal because an authorization card is the principal vehicle unions use to organize the unorganized.”

Under current law, at least 30 percent of a workplace’s employees must sign cards to lead to a secret-ballot election. Mr. Gould said that under the Regis document, cards signed to seek a secret ballot would automatically be revoked.

Joseph Kellner Booth Rental Advice


As a booth renter the owner of the salon has no say as to how you run your business. The salon owner is mostly a landlord and you are the tenant. They should not provide you with phone, towels, products, training or tools, these should all be paid for and provided by yourself. Any repairs or improvements to your area or the salon are negotiable.

If your problem is with walk-ins, many salons do not allow renters to take any salon walk-ins at all. You are responsible for your own advertizing and furnishing your own clients. If you are being treated as an employee, where you are required to answer phones, required to be in the salon specific hours, then you have a problem. First, you should never rent a chair in a salon without having a rental agreement which spells out everything in detail. Get the salons rental agreement BEFORE starting work and sit down with the owner and make sure you understand everything. The major things that should be in any rental agreement are, how much is the rent, when its due and when it can be changed and what exactly is furnished in your rent, how are walk-ins handled, when is the salon available for your use, do you get a key, can you sell your own retail, what services are you allowed to perform, what are your specific cleaning duties. As a booth renter you have certain basic rights. You have the right to schedule your own appointments, determine your own work hours, within the guidelines you agreed upon in your lease and very important, the ability to come and go as you please. You have the right to set your own prices and determine what products you use to perform your services.

Get Referrals Every Time Using These 3 Easy Steps!!!


Establish rapport. Use language to meet your client or prospect at their current state of mind. You’ve done this to open the sales call by simply verifying several pieces of information with your client or prospect. Do the same thing here as well. If you are speaking to a past or returning client, use questions to get them to verify their experience. If you are speaking to a new prospect, use a cushion to acknowledge their current state, appeal to their nobler side and then reiterate some of the points about their industry that brought you to the prospect in the first place.

Describe the kind of referral that you are looking for. Describe your ideal client in as much detail as possible. When possible, use elements that are shared by the prospect or client that is sitting in front of you. And use descriptive language to create a person that your client will understand and relate to. Describing your ideal client as a young person with high energy, working in a creative hi-tech environment creating unique applications for the web will result in your prospect thinking about specific people with names that have done some of the work that you have outlined.

However, saying that you are looking for web designers will result in your prospect or client having an unfocused mind and they will most likely say, “I can’t think of anybody right now, but I’ll let you know when I do.” Remember, detailed descriptions will act as an anchor in your clients’ mind and produce concrete results. Vague descriptions of the type of referral you are asking for will produce vague results at best.

Lower the barrier to getting cooperation. Lower the barrier by reducing the risk associated with your client or prospect giving up their contacts’ information. Remember that if they are giving you their contacts, they are putting their reputation on the line. Make them look good by insuring that their contacts will get the best service or products possible. If you are getting referrals from a client that you’ve done business with before, this should be fairly easy to do. Tell your client that you will work to insure that these referrals will receive the same types of benefits that they received. You also can get creative here and offer incentives to your clients for supplying referrals that buy your stuff.



Joseph Kellner



NEVER try to prove that you are right. Learn to be diplomatic. If being “right” is so important to you-ask yourself: do you want to be right or do you want to make a sale? This is were the old addage of the “customer is always right” was born.


I’ve seen this happen alot with sales people. They talk and talk about their product or themselves. Then when it gets to the presentation of the product or service, the client is already worn out. I’ve also seen sales people also seen sales people talk so much about there product/service that they sell it and then sell it right back.


Show up to appointments on time. Focus entirely on your client when you are with them-this means not answering your cell phone or chatting with other employees/co-workers, etc.


Believe me, they don’t care. They only want YOU to focus on them. Watch your mood to mouth connection.

Joseph Kellner Haircolorist 10 Strategies to Grow Your Company During an Economic Downturn!


Most companies envision recession as a time to tighten belts and safeguard reserves. Any plans for acquisitions and mergers are often placed on hold until the economic turmoil blows over. But what many companies don’t know is a recession yields tremendous opportunities. Because while other companies are holding onto their cash tightly and shrinking their workforce, many opportunities are overlooked that can provide a huge competitive advantage.

Companies that learn how to take advantage of special opportunities that are unique to a recession will pull ahead of the competition. Because while the competition is struggling, successful companies are implementing growth strategies that will ramp up stock prices and grow revenue.

1. Ignore Conventional Wisdom

When creating strategies in times of recession, conventional wisdom should be thrown out the window. Instead of locking up your assets and stopping growth activities, you need to create new strategies that foster growth. Because finding the right opportunities during economic downturn can propel your company ahead of the market leader.

2. Reinvent Management Strategies

Some senior managers get stuck in the traditional way of accomplishing business. But management has to accept innovative growth strategies for a company to succeed. Everyone needs to understand that while a growth strategy during a recession isn’t traditional, there are huge gains to be made during this time. Having buy-in from all senior managers will promote success.

3. Keep All Options on the Table

Most companies clam up during hard times–tabling plans for acquisitions and mergers. Historically, successful companies have done the complete opposite. They seek opportunities to grow through acquisitions and mergers. And because other companies aren’t participating in these types of activities, there are special opportunities available.

4. Don’t Be Conservative

Getting ahead in tough economic times means not being conservative. Instead of hunkering down to weather the recession, look for opportunities to grow and acquire. In previous recessions those who were conservative didn’t come out ahead. Successful companies become market leaders by focusing on growth and taking over market share.

5. Loosen Up on Cash Reserves

It’s natural for companies to hold onto cash during a recession. But this strategy won’t get you anywhere with growing your business. Loosening up on your cash reserves will allow your company to participate in growth activities such as strategic acquisitions and mergers. The companies that thrived in previous recessions allowed their reserves to dip 41% lower than other companies.

6. Focus on Smaller Deals

Acquisitions and mergers are important to a company’s growth. These activities are advantageous because it’s much more expensive to grow a company organically then to acquire an established business. But during a recession, it’s important to focus on a large amount of small deals. Companies that implemented this strategy during previous recessions experienced the most impressive results.

7. Don’t Slash Your Operating Expenses

Many business owners are focused on cutting operating expenses during tough economic times. But companies that don’t cut these expenses do better then the competition. Because cutting operating expenses doesn’t support growth activity; it can actually limit your company’s ability to grow. Instead, focus on strategies that promote growth while maintaining the current level of spending.

8. Ramp Up Research and Development

Research and development is an area that often gets cut. But this area is essential in providing opportunities for growth. Ramping up research and development will enable a company to grow instead of lagging behind the competition.

9. Increase Advertising Expenditures

A company needs advertising to grow and expand. Yet some companies believe that trimming expenses in the advertising cost center will help them stay afloat. However, successful companies take the opposite approach to advertising. Industry leaders actually spend more money during a recession. Advertising is an important component to growing business. So don’t be afraid to ramp up your advertising budget.

10. Don’t Avoid Risk

Some business owners are steering clear of potential risks, afraid it will put their company in danger. But not taking risks during a recession may cause your company to fall behind. Because with the untapped growth opportunities available during this economic downturn, those who fall behind may not have an opportunity to recover. And for those willing to take risks, the payoffs are huge with the potential to take over market share and become an industry leader.

If your company is willing to change its approach to handling a recession, the rewards can be well worth the effort. Creating a strong growth strategy can change your businesses’ course in a very positive direction. Because historically market leaders have emerged during these tough economic times.

Business Ideas!


Recession rewards those who are nimble, not those who analyze and ponder until the opportunity passes them by.

If your organization is drifting into these bad practices, you need to make changes right now.

Delivery of new products and new services to existing customers.

Creation of the perception of increased value and worth.

Strong public and community image.

Strategic initiative to plan for inevitable upturn, no matter when it occurs.

Daily efforts to build trust, confidence, and interaction with CUSTOMERS.

Development of new markets for existing products and services, including global markets, even for smaller businesses.

Paying local and smaller suppliers first, to help keep them in business and become their priority customer.

Creation of banking relationships, credit lines, and financial reserves.

Industry/professional leadership, assuming a visible and assertive role and becoming leaders in discussing conditions and solutions.

Constant presence in the customers’ eyes through all available media which are relevant.
Yes, local businesses are up against tough odds this year. The good news is that Wall Street and the government seem to be committed to getting the economy back on track. In the meantime, stay positive! Here are a few quick ideas for making the best of tough times.

Increase your personal presence in the community. Personal contact and prompt follow-ups are key to winning your customers’ hearts – and business. Follow-up that holiday card with a phone call, a simple email or an e-newsletter. Get active in your local Chamber of Commerce, area franchise association or civic organizations.

Almost every major employer invites people from the community in to speak at staff meetings, “learning lunches,” or benefits fairs. Call to find out when these events take place and ask to be included. There is generally a fee or donation-in-kind required to participate, but the face time you receive with potential clients is invaluable. To find likely organizations, scour local chamber websites and member listings.

Toot your own horn. Did your staff attend a seminar or convention to further their education? Did you become certified in a new field of expertise? Send a short press release to your local newspaper with a photo. Worst case, they will ignore you or hit you up for an ad. Best case, they’ll do an article on you and your business.
You know local search is important. But research just released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows how essential Internet marketing is – particularly for attracting young adults.

This rising group of shoppers – Millennials now aged 17-24 – was born with keyboards in their hands. Over 90% use the Internet and 86% rate mobile phones and the Internet as their preferred way to get information and communicate. They hardly use local phones and cable and satellite TV rank as “preferred” among less than 5% of those surveyed.

What’s great for local businesses is that their constant desire to be in touch and openly share experiences has dramatically changed how they shop: Millennials start by “pre-shopping” on the Internet, but actual shopping is done locally as a social activity. That’s because this group needs constant validation from peers and is always in touch with friends!

Price increase >>>> “Buy now” incentive. If you need to charge more, let customers know in advance. Be honest and specific about the reason. And sweeten the increase by offering core customers an early-bird deal. Sample messaging: “Out of necessity, our rates have increased slightly this year. However, if you (come in, contact us, call me) by January 10th, we can still honor 2008 prices. We are also happy to extend this offer to anyone you might refer to us …”

Downsizing >>>> Better service. Cutting staff, hours, or services can help you keep your business healthy unless it sends the wrong signal to customers. That’s why you need to nip negative perceptions in the bud. To do it, bring your downsizing out into the light. Be honest about what you’re doing and why, but keep it positive. Example: “… this has given us the opportunity to get back to our roots, to what we have always loved the most and done the best. So yes, our (services, staff, offices, etc.) may be a little smaller, but our quality, value and commitment to customers is bigger than ever.”
Joseph Kellner

Quality – Consistency – Service

These are all the words, traits, and goals business’s should follow now. In this recession it is very important to be on top of your profession, and service to the client is at its utmost. You know something crazy happened to me when depositing money at the bank, “Thank You Mr Kellner”. I heard that today and I almost had a heart attack. When you go to 7-11 they are starting to say “Thank You”. This should have never been forgotten. But in the world today the idea of customer service has dwindled, and now we all have to relearn. It is the most fundemental approach in letting a client, customer know how important they are. They pay our bills, they let us live our passion. Few to many time do we really earnestly approach our client’s, and say “THANK YOU”. We are all guilty of this and taking the time to make a phone call, write a quick note,or send a email will do wonders for your client retention. And the consumer will take this as a very professional individual. Lets all get on the band wagon and polish up on our manners.


Follow what I follow you will be amazed in the client retention you will achieve.
Joseph Kellner