Tactics for navigating an unfamiliar path

Change is meant to be exciting and exhilarating. It’s a time to blaze a trail forward, improve and set out on a new path. It takes courage to let go of the familiar and embrace the new. No matter the business or line of work, it’s what we all must do to stay on top of the game.

We’re on the brink of incredible change. We’re building a new salon concept. It will replace our 26-year-old Grand Salon — the most innovative salon and spa concept the world had seen at that time. While we’ve gladly served the Columbus community for over two and a half decades, we’re the first to admit that this change has been a long time coming.

We’ve steadily navigated this exciting time to bring our guests and team members along on our journey. Change isn’t always easy, but we’ve implemented and learned a few tactics along the way that will help any business navigating an unfamiliar path.


Thoughtful planning has gone into each aspect of the new salon. We began by hosting intimate interviews with existing guests to understand their interests. We also conducted a survey with our entire email database on their preferences related to salon and spa experiences, evaluating the amenities we currently offer and those we’re considering.

This feedback has been considered every step of the way.


A strategic communication plan ensured our team members and guests felt informed. We shared our building rendering with our team members and guests and coined the phrase “DubLeaks,” which is used in conjunction with our blog and social media channels. We’ve utilized these channels as our main source of communication with guests.

In order to reach all of our team members, we’ve used several different avenues. We’ve held team huddles, posted on our internal Facebook page and implemented a texting service everyone can opt into.

With both audiences, we realize that communication is key. In order for our key groups to get comfortable with what’s to come, they need to be informed. That’s where thorough communication comes in.


Through our communication plan, we can include team members and guests in this journey. Where possible, we have and will continue to share exciting news and relevant information. When all of this is said and done, as we welcome everyone into the new space, we’re hopeful that our team members’ and guests’ enthusiasm will mirror ours. We cannot wait.

As Socrates so smartly said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Our approach has been exactly that.

Our energy for this industry has been reignited with this opportunity to reinvent the salon and spa experience now and for decades to come. We’re going to keep working at managing the big changes that are coming our way. And, we’re hopeful that at the end of this new path, we’ll be greeted by something beautiful. We hope you’ll find the same at the end of your journey.


Debra Penzone is the President and CEO of The Charles Penzone Salons. Debra’s expertise as a business leader, hair professional and her avid philanthropy have earned her the respect of the salon industry and the nonprofit community.