- Created on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:51
Amanda Marsden, owner and Company Director of Totnes-based Lifestyle Salon and Spa, will be the guest speaker at the next Managers Club on Wednesday 4 July at 5.30pm at South Devon College in Paignton.
The free Managers Club usually attracts over 40 people for networking before hearing a short presentation and Amanda will be talking about her business journey, including her ‘Marmite Moment’ – returning to learning to benefit both her business and herself. Since devising a new marketing strategy during her CMI level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership at the College, Amanda has seen almost a 5% growth in the company.
Amanda leads a 26-strong team of hairdressers, beauticians and retail staff, providing Aveda™ plant-based hair care, skin care, makeup and lifestyle products to around 350 weekly clients across Torbay and South Hams.
With Britain in the depths of recession, Amanda knew she needed an extraordinary business strategy to ensure she maintained a competitive offering, whilst at the same time continuing to grow her customer base. With no formal business qualification to her name, she researched local education establishments and to her surprise discovered that her local College, South Devon College, offered a CMI level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership.
“The theoretical side of the qualification really helped me to identify who the company’s key stakeholders were and made me realise that I’d totally neglected a whole sector of the market,” she says. “As a result, I was able to devise a whole new marketing strategy, providing an affordable product offering to students in higher education.”
Amanda adds, ““Before, I never really knew how to market a business, but thanks to my CMI qualification, I’ve fallen in love with my job all over again and I’ve reached a place where I know what I’m doing and where I’m going! It’s given me and my company a whole new lease of life.”
Unsurprisingly, the strategy has seen the business grow 4.6 per cent in the past year alone with customers and staff alike becoming more involved in its development. In today’s challenging financial climate, large salons are largely a thing of the past. However, Lifestyle Salon and Spa is clearly bucking the trend. Amanda’s tutor is in no doubt about the benefits of the qualification:
“Providing the perfect marriage of theory and practice, enabling students to understand the entire business lifecycle, this year-long qualification seemed to be the perfect solution for Amanda, and one year on her CMI qualification is still paying dividends, both professionally and personally,” said Wayne Thomas, Amanda’s lecturer at South Devon College, ““It’s about personal development and the organisational context and practices of people within it. I like to think of it as developing a tool bag of different processes and procedures that can be put to use in a wide range of situations. It’s great for anyone that likes to grasp concepts and relate them to their own environment,”
Amanda has since embarked on a Masters Degree in leadership, a move in part prompted by achieving ‘foundation level entry’ for a degree course, provided by the CMI qualification.