As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful Service Business,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jen Brehm who has been in the aesthetics business for the last decade. Brehm brings strategic planning and deep cross-selling services expertise in her role as the Executive Vice President at LaserAway, the nation’s leader in Aesthetic Dermatology. She oversees millions of dollars of transactions across the United States with over 500 sales associates. LaserAway’s expansion initiatives have provided Jen with the foundation for her success, establishing new territories nationwide. Her ability to have a keen eye for talent plays a large part in a rapidly growing organization. Jen prides herself on building teams that foster the LaserAway culture and brand.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I gained my experience in sales, service and management when I was 20 years old, working in the fitness industry. I oversaw a flagship location of a well-known gym as the general manager. This was a very big role for me at such a young age, but through the tough lessons that I learned, I was able to grow and have a better understanding of people. I learned how to communicate with both employees and customers by incorporating everyone’s feedback into how I operated the business. This made me less rigid and placed a greater emphasis on listening to those inside and outside of the company. By putting this into practice, we set a record for new memberships sold from a construction trailer before the gym had even been built. This became the most successful location in the Western United States.
Next, I decided to utilize my experience in a field that I had always been drawn to — aesthetic dermatology. I was able to learn quickly and gain multi-unit management experience for a few years. After that, I received the opportunity to join LaserAway.
When I started at LaserAway, I was hired as a part-time sales associate, one day a week. We had 9 locations at the time. I worked out of our Scottsdale clinic in a small back room with a table, computer and phone next to a broom and medical supplies. There was something very special right from the moment I walked in through the front door. It was bright, beautiful and made my heart light up. I knew I just had to be a part of it even if that meant taking several steps backward in my career. From that moment on, my career has flourished with LaserAway. Going from a part-time sales associate to Executive Vice President has been a wonderful journey. I have been able to play a large part in growing our company from 9 to 62 locations across the country in seven states. We are the nation’s leader in laser hair removal and aesthetic dermatology. LaserAway has successfully completed over 1.5 million treatments. I am very proud of all of our accomplishments.
Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. What is your company’s vision, and what drew you to it?
When I was looking at different service businesses in the Aesthetics industry, there were a few national brands and many smaller fragmented companies, providing laser services. But the price, service quality and brand weren’t there. LaserAway differs from any aesthetic dermatology business. Our patients are the most important piece of our organization and we build every process with them in mind. Our core focus is to help patients ignite confidence from within and change their lives.
What do you do to articulate or demonstrate your company’s values to your employees and to your customers?
We have created a series of SOPs that outline our company’s values and priorities. The core of this is our people. People are the most important component to creating a successful organization. And our people are the ones that provide the customer experience unlike any other company in our industry. I make sure to have constant contact with everyone in our sales organization and that we interface across all other aspects of our business to make sure everything is operating like a well-oiled machine. Plus, we’re serious when it comes to data. We track every sale, interaction, review, treatment and stress test this against our core values to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
The number one principle that guides me through the ups and downs of business is maintaining constant communication with my team members. My door is always open. This builds rapport and understanding through the good and the bad.
So, how are things going today? How did your values lead to your eventual success?
Things are going very well. We were able to continue our growth efforts even during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have even opened three new locations since March of this year!
Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things someone should know in order to create a very successful service based business? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Maintain 100% focus on the customer
- Branding — Developing a brand that is consistent throughout your business is important. It is how consumers identify with your company.
- Location, Location, Location — It is key to understand your clientele and focus on locations that are convenient for them near places that they would frequently visit.
- Seamless communication across all aspects of the business — having an open door policy provides a space where feedback can be easily received from the ground level up.
- Invest resources in the best talent and marketing — everything in a service-based business stems from people. Invest in top-level talent that fits your culture and vision. Create marketing that connects with your audience and builds a sense of community with your brand.