They call it "Neff-itude."
It is the attitude and business philosophy created by Cape Coral resident Matthew Neff for Neff Studio Salon, his business that sits on Del Prado Extension, near the border of North Fort Myers and Cape Coral.
At the salon, his stylists, including some from North Fort Myers, buy into his unique business plan, particularly one unusual practice - foregoing tips to help build the business. Instead of taking tips, they give cards and some gifts to clients, asking them instead to refer someone to the salon.
Neff Studio Salon owner Matthew Neff and stylist Jade Tiner.
"Instead of accepting gratuities, we offer our guests coupons or gifts to pass out to their friends because having more business is the best gratuity you can receive," said Neff.
One North Fort Myers resident and stylist is Jade Tiner. A graduate of North Fort Myers High she said she has lived here "all my life" and loves working at the salon.
"I knew about it (not taking tips) before hand and basically loved the system they already had in place," she said. "In the first week I was working here, I tripled my paycheck. And I find the atmosphere enjoyable and relaxing."
And in one month this year, she said she doubled what she made last year.
She said she had known Neff for several years around the styling circuit and he has many great business ideas.
One is their Customer Appreciation Days.
"We do them every six months," he said. "It is wine and food all day - and we offer free blow dries all day, discounts on future services, discounts on gift cards and products.
"We also host fund-raisers a couple of times a year, this year it is school supplies for Franklin Park Elementary, and we raffle off free haircuts every year for Breast Cancer Research for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in October.
In December we did Harry Chapin Food Bank. In April we do Gulf Restoration Network for Earth Month to help preserve the Everglades and the Gulf."
"The salon also provides continuing education opportunities for stylists," Tiner said, something that is important to her.
"We take people right out of school and intern them until they are ready, with technical skills and their "Neff-itude" - like attitude - is up to par," Neff added. "We have an over 80 percentage guest retention; the national average is below 60."
He said they opened in 2008, and have always had the same business model. He went to the Aveda Institute for Cosmetology, and then went to college for business management, devising his own strategy.
"Something important we do is we call guests to see how hair cuts went, and we give complementary hand and arm massaging, and an aromatherapy scalp massage hot towel treatment. People really like it. That's included with any service you come in for," Tiner said.
"I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the last few years," Neff said. "We opened at the beginning of the worst economic recession with four co-workers being open 51 hours a week, and now we have 14 co-workers and are open 72 hours per week."
The salon is the area's only Aveda product user.
"All of our products are 97 percent naturally derived, all the manufacturing and packaging leaves a zero carbon impact on the environment, all of the packing is post consumer recycled and the manufacturing is done with wind power."
Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Neff has been a Cape Coral resident for the last seven years, and said he is proud to be a member of the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.
Neff Studio Salon is at 2481 Del Prado Boulevard N and the phone number is 574-1790.