Shear Business: Can the divorced founders of Hair Cuttery run their salon chain together?
By Ylan Q. Mui
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Great article in the July 11th Washington Post magazine on Dennis and Ann Ratner, who started Hair Cuttery in the 70s as husband and wife. Then a little while after divorce happened but they still continued working together on the business. And, at least by the impression of this article, it seems things are going well.
Takeaways from this article are not just about working with family but business in general. There’s a discussion on how they started (looking to McDonald’s as a model) and agreement to the model of convenience, price, and consistency. Also on how they saw opportunities from their work in the industry (ex. Ann was convinced future was for blow drying). And Division of duties is also covered.
But the best lessons are the ones regarding business and family including: how the headquarters is referred to (family office), resisting temptation to go public, going with a veteran marketer instead who introduced new consumer analytics, and having a mediator at the “Family business meetings” held 4 or 5 times a year.