Just This Once

I'm writing this column just this once. That's because I'm not the kind of publishing executive who feels the need to preach insights and observations if I don't have them. But alas, I am a publishing executive. In fact, I'm the new group publisher for our company's Beauty Group, which includes American Salon, American Spa, Medical Spa Report, Green Book and a host of interesting live events on the show side. And while I don't have an overflow of compelling opinions just yet about our business, I know I will. You're safe for now—but when I get them, look out.

Jim Alkon
Jim Alkon

Actually, the strength of any magazine is the quality of its people. American Salon is blessed with a superb editorial team and a publisher who together serve as the face of our product. Just as you have come to learn from them every month, I too plan to earn my stripes digesting as much as I can as fast as I can from their bank of knowledge and experience.

Change is the lifeblood of any marketplace that shifts strategic gears sometimes as quickly as the trendiest hairstyle. For the many salon owners who compete in our industry, running businesses and doing jobs the same way it was done only a few years ago can be a dangerous approach. Staying on top of the latest customer preferences and business hot buttons is the only way to stay prosperous.

The same is true for media and publishing organizations. That's why every so often you'll see magazines come out with a new look, a new section or even a new product—all in the spirit of delivering to you a publication you find relevant, entertaining and easy to process.

It hasn't taken me long to start to digest the driving issues relative to this business. The word "diversion" seems to slip into many discussions and at a number of levels. We want to be your source of information that educates you on the realities and helps bring about change. It's gratifying to see our Beauty Group recently completed comprehensive research on the state of the industry, which profiles hair professionals like yourselves to help you determine whether you are working and operating like other professionals of similar shape and size. We've also polled you to see how your attitudes on key issues stack up with others. We'll keep you posted as we start to share these findings.

As always, we open the door to continued communication and dialogue with you. Let us know how we're doing and what we can be doing to further spur your creative juices and your business needs. And while my intent is to write a column just this once, I welcome constant feedback, opinions and ideas from you. In fact, I need them. And who knows, if your input sparks an idea of my own, then maybe you'll be hearing from me just once more—so stay tuned, and thanks for reading us.

Jim Alkon
Group Publisher of American Salon and American Spa
E-mail Jim at [email protected]