Opening Doors for Two Hundred Doors
Two Hundred Doors’ story is framed, like so many Kiwi organisations now are, by the large-scale shock of COVID-19. As New Zealand’s distributors of Dermalogica and Clear Start products, and owners of Skintopia Skin Centres in Auckland and Wellington, being able to operate depends not just on the intimacy of beauty therapy – but also finding a purpose that could drive them forward.
Finding a path forward
“Our business relies on being able to connect with our customers in person,” explains Angie Montgomery, who alongside her Co-Director Natasha Bourke keenly felt the lockdown’s effects. “When COVID first hit, we were forecasting zero dollars and pulling back. We were looking at redundancies. It really was a Mike Tyson punch in the face.”
Angie and Natasha found themselves caught in ‘reacting mode’ – and, perhaps fairly, ‘panic mode’ too.
They had been working with their accountant and having monthly board meetings, but they felt they needed someone else to hold them accountable. Someone to sharpen the focus on their thinking and to help draw out the audacious goals that would see them take Two Hundred Doors to the next level. While they’d been in the process of discovery for some years now, it was through the process of working with Advisory.Works’ CEO Logan Wedgwood that they really nailed why they do what they do, cementing their strategy and their purpose.
While Angie and Logan had spoken briefly about high-level work for Two Hundred Doors, it was a critical phone call regarding business funding during the COVID-19 lockdown and government-subsidised support that Advisory.Works could offer that started their journey together. Angie describes that help as “a really crucial piece for us getting through 2020.”
“Our WHY, our BHAG, we realised,” says Angie, “was to ensure that every person we touch has the opportunity to empower women’s independence – and Advisory.Works helped us extract that. We work in a very female-oriented industry, in pharmacies and beauty therapy clinics – including our Skintopia skin centres – and in retail stores that aren’t necessarily run by women but are front-faced and led by women. When we empower them, we allow women to rise and be celebrated.”
“It’s so ingrained in both mine and Natasha’s stories, we saw: We’ve helped staff members go on to further their careers, but they’re still part of our lives; we’ve started putting our team through extra upskilling including financial literacy so that they can retain their independence, no matter what their journey brings. We encourage our retail owners to pay their staff a living, thriving wage. And we have now implemented a donation-at-checkout on our Dermalogica website that gives consumers the opportunity to support Women’s Refuge.”
Being able to articulate that was a real “a-ha!” moment for Angie and Natasha, and a “surprising thing to happen last year during COVID.”
Getting to where they needed to be
Working with Logan proved to be the push they needed. “He’s great at extracting information out of our brains and getting these ideas on paper, and he inspires you to get to where you want to be.”
“Sometimes you might dread your session with a business coach, but Logan’s really encouraging and open. He knows when to push; he can challenge you, yet he never comes across as harsh. He’s quick to pick up if you’re off in terms of mood or not in the right frame of mind, and he’ll change approach to get you where you need to be.”
Angie and Natasha have also taken the opportunity to utilise the learnings from Advisory.Works to help improve the Two Hundred Doors team’s management. “They’ve definitely helped us secure great KPIs and even get our best meeting cadences in place. We’ve still got work to do there, but we’re definitely on the right track.”
The proof of great work is there. Through a restructure, Two Hundred Doors’ refocused energies have seen them achieve a Net Promoter Score well into the +60’s (on a scale of -100 to +100), which was a significant win for the organisation. Despite difficult working conditions during lockdowns they channelled their purpose back into the team and delivered their best year yet.
Purpose and responsibility
“The BHAG was a big deal for us. We’ve got that unlocked, and now we’re measuring it. It’s more than dollars and cents, too; there’s something special about how we empower women that makes what we do feel meaningful. And it’s opened up our longer-term vision for future moves – and where we want to be.”
“Our responsibility comes back to our purpose. We want our direct reports and our wider team to get the opportunities they need. We’ve always got at the back of our minds: How can we do right by our teams and our customers – and what can we do to help them look after themselves mentally, physically, emotionally? That’s how we stand out from the crowd and have Two Hundred Doors – and the women who make what we do possible – really shine.”
The Two Hundred Doors team have ambitious plans for the next year, including seeing Skintopia continue its expansion while delivering on their purpose of empowering women. Their second branch, in Wellington, is an example of just that: Hayley Wilkin has gone from a sales rep to manager and shareholder, helping the people who make great things possible.
While there are still some challenges yet to overcome – including getting more people (back) into stores where they can get the physical experience, skin treatments and expert advice they deserve – the future looks open and inviting for Two Hundred Doors.
Natasha Bourke, Group CEO, Angie Montgomery, General Manager
Two Hundred Doors