But moving forward from here, what do we do? Our national "Hair Expo" is coming up. Many owners in this industry look to Hair Expo as the source of all things business improvement. We aren't going. The reason? Everything business-wise at this expo is more than 2 years behind other industries. The only person I have found so far who is ahead is Paul Serville from Servilles.com. This guy is ahead because he has looked outside the industry. The business maturity of this industry was made painfully obvious to us when our entry in Excellence in Marketing Awards for Hair Expo didn't even make the finals even though we had a evidence-based submission that highlighted that the platform we had created now had a monthly circulation of more than half that of Marie Claire. As one judge put it; "You didn't have enough pretty pictures and haven't entered enough times". A good signal to us that we won't enter again and that we won't listen to the "industry experts". Instead, we will look to other industries to win.
If you truly want to be ahead of your industry, your industry is not the place to look. You'll just find stuff that everyone else is doing or have rejected. You won't be the lead dog this way.