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Todd Beckman took The Tan Co. to the next level Featured

3:14pm EDT July 5, 2011

Todd Beckman wants his employees at The Tan Co. to think of really big things and really big goals that they want to accomplish in their lives. If for some reason they’re not sure how to proceed with these lavish wish lists, they need only step into Beckman’s office for guidance.

On his desk, they’ll find a picture of the house Beckman wants to build some day and a model of the car he’d like to eventually own.

“I just always try to keep myself moving forward,” says Beckman, founder, president and CEO at the 400-employee chain of tanning salons. “Usually, I do that not only with the business or family, but with some sort of a toy. A car, a boat, a house. I have that in front of me at all times. I just do things like that to keep my head in the game. We have to constantly be hitting on all cylinders to hit those goals.”

The growth of The Tan Co. from a small two-salon operation in 1994 to more than 70 locations across 13 states today can be tied directly to ambition, Beckman says. The trick is to get your people to share the passion and energy that you possess as leader of the company. You’re going to need it if you want your business to grow.

“I have goals that I want to achieve for the year and we work toward achieving those on a weekly basis,” Beckman says. “Everything has to work. Otherwise I don’t achieve my goals. So I have to come in and be excited and positive about where we are going and what we are trying to do so everyone wants to follow that.”

There is a board at the corporate office of The Tan Co. and Beckman has employees post their dreams and aspirations on the board for all to see.

“It can be anything,” Beckman says. “It can be anything from a purse to a car to a house. Whatever they think they want to achieve. Even to be higher up in the company.”

The goal is to get your people to adopt an attitude of continuous improvement that will hopefully come through in their work.

“That’s the whole trick of it,” Beckman says. “I have to make sure that everybody is working hard and that I am leading them as hard as I can to make sure we can achieve our goals. It’s impossible to do it on your own.”

On the business side, you need to work with your people to set goals that they can pursue and not just blindly assign them without any dialogue.

“They feel like they are part of the company and that they’ve helped to make those decisions,” Beckman says. “They come into the office on a weekly basis and we go over where their store is at and what kind of numbers they are doing. Then they talk about their numbers in front of their peers. A mix of all of that is what motivates our people to want to work here.”

You need to demonstrate that you are working hard, that you have goals that you’re pursuing and numbers you need to meet and that you’re part of the team if you want to get support. Your belief and confidence in your ability to achieve those goals can make a huge difference.

You can’t let yourself get down when challenges arise.

“You just can’t allow that to happen,” Beckman says. “Even in the worst of times and the worst of days, you just have to figure out a way to not go into the office with that attitude. That’s what I try to do. It’s not easy, but at the same time, if you’re going to be leading, you’d better be on your game.”

How to reach: The Tan Co., (866) 668-2626 or www.thetanco.com

Learn to unwind

Todd Beckman starts each day at the gym with a workout and a three-mile run. It’s a crucial step in his ability to be an effective leader at The Tan Co.

“If it wasn’t for that, it would probably be a lot harder of a struggle for me,” says Beckman, founder, president and CEO at the 400-employee chain of tanning salons.

“You just relieve a lot of stress and anxiety when you’re at the gym running. I run three miles a day and then just do a workout. That helps me.”

It also puts Beckman in a better position to deal with employees who are going through a tough time and get to the root cause of what is bothering them.

“We’ll sit down and talk to them about it,” Beckman says. “It’s just really going over the whole wheel again and starting from scratch. What is it you’re not happy about? Where is it that you want to go? What is it you are trying to achieve? Why aren’t you achieving it? It’s just going through the steps. That’s what all of our training is all about. We’re constantly helping people to be better.”

How to reach: The Tan Co., (866) 668-2626 or www.thetanco.com