The Two Areas You Must Master If You Want to Be Successful

We all want to be successful, but for each and every one of us that same success looks a little bit different. Some measure their success by the amount money they have in the bank. Others view success in terms of the number of achievements, awards or honors they have received over the course of their lifetime. And for many, success simply means having the flexibility to decide what will make us feel successful day by day. 

Regardless of what success means to you, there are two major areas of your life you must master if you want to be truly successful—and that is your time and your standards.

Industry expert Kati Whitledge shares her personal trials and tribulations when it comes to achieving her own version of success, and offers her best advice on mastering those two areas in our lives that we often take for granted. 

In addition to hosting the beloved Beyond The Technique podcast, Kati is the owner of the award-winning Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the creative brain behind Meet Your Stylist, an innovative salon software system that matches potential clients with salon professionals based on services, lifestyle preferences, and personality. Kati is passionate about helping others in the industry develop their own success stories, and wants to share her success with all of you by spilling her secrets to mastering her own time and standards, both personal and professional. 


Taking On Time

The first decision you have to make in figuring out your path to success is where you want to spend your time. Kati’s favorite social media gif says, “You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé.” And it’s so spot on. We all get twenty-four hours a day to maximize, and as Kati says, time is the one commodity we don’t get back. 

So, how are you going to maximize your time? Sure, we all have tremendous responsibilities, but we also all have the power to prioritize our time. It’s a choice, and how you choose to define success will ultimately determine how you choose to spend your time.

For Kati, this means getting up before her one-year-old so that she can have some quiet time. It also means checking emails and logging into work before her salon opens so that she can make it to her 4 p.m. yoga class and be home before her husband gets back from picking their son up from daycare.

Success is simply about making a few value-based decisions and managing those decisions each and every day. Kati makes sure to schedule no more than two in-person meetings per day and allows herself at least two totally uninterrupted days during the week to accomplish tasks. She’s mindful about only saying yes to one after-work event per week so as not to neglect her family time, and she’s especially intentional about getting enough sleep. Every choice is purposeful—so, what does that look like for you? 


Setting Your Standards

The second decision you have to make during your journey to success is determining what standards you intend to live by. Kati likes to set standards instead of goals because a lot of times goals turn into wishful thinking. So, why don’t we shift the mindset away from setting goals and move toward setting tangible and realistic standards for ourselves. 

The important piece here, is that unlike goals, these standards are non-negotiable. Outside of work, Kati’s non-negotiables are reading, writing, checking in with her managers, and doing one load of laundry per day. While to some these might seem like items we wouldn’t even include on our checklist, that sort of attitude is exactly how we wind up with six loads of laundry and two un-finished novels sitting by our bedside. 

If you need help determining your non-negotiables, Kati recommends that you think about your environment, your identity, and your values. First, your environment, all of the places and people you surround yourself with. You have to decide who fits into your environment. This is critical because you are who you spend time with, and that decision plays an active role in determining how you spend your time. Are the places and people around you challenging you or pushing you toward your version of success?

Second, your identity, who you are. Think about who you are right now, and then who you want to become. Are there areas in your life where you’re failing to take accountability? If you were the dream version of yourself, who would you be? What do you need to do in order to become the person you were meant to be?

Kati shares some insight from her friend, Dave Ramsey, who taught her about the concept of displacement. In his words, displacement is, “pouring in the good to remove the bad.” Instead of pinning your focus on ridding yourself of your bad habits, put your energy toward bringing new and positive behaviors into your life.

Finally, your values, the attributes and aspects of life that matter to you most. Simply put, your values are displayed by your actions. You may say that you value education, but when you’re asked to sign up for an amazing opportunity, you decide to pass because you’d rather use your lunch break to sit on Facebook. You may value reading books on salon marketing or personal growth, but when the rubber meets the road, you choose to turn on your favorite Netflix series.

As Kati says, you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. These words are here to encourage you to live by new standards and be wise with your time—all in order to get you to the level of success you truly desire. For Kati, all it took was hearing Brad Sugars say, “If you don’t know where you’ll be in five years, you’re already there.” What will it take for you? 

Use this as an opportunity to create the life and legacy you’ve always desired. 

To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 159, and if you’d like to learn a little bit more about our host, Kati, check out her website and don’t forget to subscribe to the Beyond The Technique podcast for more incredible industry insight. 




Emily Kelly
Getting Down to Business at Serious Business® 2019

Serious Business® is the beauty industry’s networking event of the year. The conference, put on by Neill Corporation, can be chalked up to a wonderful weekend gathering of like-minded individuals and industry leaders dedicated to personal development and bettering their business practices.

According to Neill, the purpose of Serious Business® is to expose, evoke, and evolve the thinking of its attendees in order to encourage business owners and all of their employees to reach their full potential. This year’s theme, “Get Out of Your Own Way,” well—it pretty much speaks for itself.

Here at Beyond The Technique, our team had the pleasure of attending the many educational and inspirational talks given by this year’s amazing keynote speakers and we were so proud to support our own incredible host and CEO, Kati Whitledge, along with the other 2019 breakout speakers during this year’s breakout sessions.  

After spending an incredible weekend in New Orleans networking with and learning from some of the best in the business, we compiled a list of the top 12 takeaways from the event. Salon owners—listen up!

A Change is A-Coming

Seth Mattison, author of The War at Work, opens our eyes to the massive change we’re experiencing in the workforce today. We’re slowly and steadily shifting from the age of the hierarchy to the age of the network—which promises to change the way we work.  

Ultimately, this shift will lead toward more freedom for stylists, and in return less security for salon owners—but this is a good thing. Seth encourages salon owners and managers to welcome this change, it’s a chance to prove your loyalty to your tribe by propelling your team forward.

If you work to provide your team of stylists with ample opportunities to develop their skills and educate their peers, in return you’ll begin to build an even stronger relationship, one based on mutual trust and respect instead of unstable top-down leadership.

Personal Growth is Professional Growth

Advancing in your career can’t happen without a little personal growth and development. If you’re looking to level up in your professional life, you should start by looking for those areas in your personal life that could use some improvement.  

The pioneers of Emergent Wisdom, Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles, stand by the idea that breaking down those personal barriers is what will ultimately lead to developing your best business practices.

As founders of the groundbreaking Bridge Method, Panos and Smiles encourage all of us to get outside of ourselves in order to leverage our potential both in and outside of our profession. They recently co-authored the trailblazing book, Now or Never, which fits in perfectly with this year’s Serious Business theme—if you don’t dig deep now in order to determine which of your own personal tendencies are holding you back today, you won’t be better tomorrow—the time is now.

Get Social With It

There’s something to be said for social media marketing, and Shama Hyder is here to give you the low down on the importance of having a digital presence in today’s technological world. Hyder is the CEO of the award-winning agency, Zen Media, and the best-selling author of two books, The Zen of Social Media Marketing and Momentum.

As a keynote speaker with vast knowledge of the world of marketing, Hyder encourages salon owners to really think about the benefits surrounding social media marketing. She says the best way to gain a following across any of the various platforms available today is to find your niche in the marketplace and milk it.

Hyder shares the three principles for gaining momentum on social media.

It’s About What We Can Do for You

It’s not about what your brand says about you or your business, it’s about what it says about the people who believe in it—your clients are your brand ambassadors.

Agility Is Based in Analytics

Numbers are your friend—use your data and analytics to tell a better story.  

The People Are Vying for Video

Video has three times more reach than any other content, heed Hyder’s advice and make 2019 the year your brand focuses on video content.

Business Is About Building Relationships

The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life—or, in this case—your business. Psychotherapist, Esther Perel, recognizes the unique advantage that stylists have when it comes to building real relationships with their clients and customers. 

In addition to the generous amount of time stylists are able to spend with their clients in the chair, the salon is one of the few havens where human touch is actually encouraged, and that alone lends itself to a great deal of trust between the two parties involved. Capitalize on this opportunity—make it a point to really connect with your clients.  

Communicate With Your Clients

It might sound simple, but the key to keeping your clients is solid communication. Joey Coleman, author of Never Lose a Customer Again, argues that most businesses lose that connection with their clients after the purchase. So, he’s challenging salon owners and stylists to keep that connection and communication alive well beyond the point of sale.

If you want to keep your clients coming back, let them know! In order to improve the client experience, you have to carry on the conversation long after your clients leave the salon. Get personal—show your clients you’re thinking about them, spread love—and you’ll never lose another client again.

Know Your Worth

As president of the Gene Juarez Salon and Spa group in Seattle, Washington, Scott Missad is all too familiar with the stress that comes with pricing your own services. He encourages stylists and salon owners to remember the difference between value and price.   

Your clients aren’t just paying for their cut and color, they’re paying for the time spent in your chair—the full salon experience. As a salon owner or stylist, it’s important to that you give yourself credit where credit is due. Understand your worth and promote yourself with confidence. In return, your prices will always reflect the value of the services you provide.


Surround Yourself With Success

As the owner of Be Inspired Salon in Madison, Wisconsin, Kati Whitledge knows how important it is to build a strong team of stylists. For many, the recruiting process is exhausting and can feel like a vicious cycle, but Kati encourages salon owners and stylists alike to get exciting about on-boarding by viewing it as an opportunity.  

Kati shares the three steps she always takes when it comes to recruiting.

You Must Master Thy Self

You can’t expect to successfully lead others without first conquering your own faults and flaws. Once you learn who you are, where you might fall short and where you often succeed, then you can begin to build your team with people who compliment you in those areas.

Be Tenacious When it Comes to Recruiting

You have to be relentless in the recruiting process. In fact, you should always be on the lookout for those people with potential, because regardless of whether or not you’re looking to add to your team in that moment, those personalities can be hard to come by and if you know they’re going to be a great fit, you can always find room.  

The Truth Is in the Technique: How Do You Hire?

Finally, it all comes down to the nuts and bolts of hiring. At the end of the day, your salon’s culture comes first. If you find that person with the strong personality who still needs time to develop their technical skills—hire them. Skills can be taught, but attitudes can’t always be changed.

Be Better Than the Best

Bad-Ass Business Coach, Lyn Christian, works with professionals in every industry in order to encourage them to take control of their lives and ultimately take charge of their careers.

Whether you’re looking to reinvent your career or you simply need help taking your business to that next level, Lyn believes the best way to close the gap between who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow is to find a fresh point of reference. Take the time periodically to sit down, look at your current situation and write down your goals. You might be surprised at how your objectives shift as you continue to develop your career.  

Be Nice, or Else!

The founder and dean of Paul Mitchell’s educational division, Winn Claybaugh, is here with one simple snippet of advice—be nice, or else. Being kind to others is the one behavioral practice that is guaranteed to guide you toward a life of love and leadership. Not to mention, it’s unbelievably easy and the rewards are immeasurable.

If you can create, train and sustain a “be nice” community in your workplace, potential hires will be dying to work with you, clients and customers will be determined to do business with you, and your team will thank you. 

Double Down on Your Salon Culture

As the owner of the Nutur Salon and Spa group in Columbus, Ohio, Patrick Thompson is all too familiar with the importance of forming a solid salon culture. Your culture should never be overlooked, it’s the energy that fuels the relationships that your business relies on.  

The two most important assets to any salon business are your teammates and your clients—and the one tried and true way to preserve those relationships is to provide an environment that both parties want to be a part of.  

Find Partners With Potential

As the Founder and CEO of Qnity and the 2 to 10 Project with a background in salon ownership, Tom Kuhn is uniquely qualified to see all angles that go into successful partnering. He believes that the secret to forming these relationships and ultimately finding a partner with potential is to keep competition out of the conversation.

Whether you’re looking to leverage your business or you’re hoping to hand over some of your responsibilities, building relationships through partnerships can be a great way to add value to your business while also providing a potential exit strategy for salon owners who are ready for their next career move. Partnerships are all about possibility—so, keep your eyes peeled for that next promising opportunity.   

Put Yourself First

Health and Wellness Expert, Ben Greenfield, reminds us that our professional performance relies on our personal health and longevity. Life is a delicate balance, and as busy industry professionals, many of us forget to take care of ourselves at that most basic level.

We all aspire to some level of health, wealth and happiness, but it’s important to keep up the effort in each of these categories. At the end of the day, a lavish life has little meaning without people to share it with. Take time for yourself, put energy toward maintaining your relationships, both personal and professional, and relish in the little things.

How to Craft Your Culture and Ultimately Shape Salon Operations

Culture is the spirit that lives in your salon. Your salon’s culture is what ignites your employees. It drives the decision making within your business, and ultimately, your culture dictates how your salon operates—so, if you want to have some control over your operations, you have to first understand how to craft your culture. 

The queens of culture keeping, Keri Davis and Karla Lopez-Martinez from Beauty Backbone, are here to share their secrets for crafting a positive culture in order to shape your salon operations. 

We introduced you to Keri and Karla on the Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed their previous interviews, we’ll give you a quick recap: Keri is the owner and founder of the reputeGila Rut Salon group in Southern California where Karla actually began her journey as an assistant. Karla quickly moved up the ranks at Gila Rut to eventually become the co-owner of their second location. 

With the help of Gila Rut’s educational director, Jonatan Rizo, Keri and Karla founded Beauty Backbone, a digital education platform for owners by owners. Beauty Backbone teaches salon owners the secrets to educating, directing operations, managing finances, and instilling leadership skills in your team. Keri and Karla have had years of experience in crafting their own salon culture, and now they’re here to help you do the same. 


Communicating Your Business Mission is a Must

The most important step in crafting your culture is creating that one common goal. If you want your team to come to work feeling motivated each and every day, they need to have a tangible mission to work towards. 

Keri believes the best way to decide on your salon’s business mission, is to ask yourself one question, “What are my three core values?”. Of course, very few of us can recite our top three right here on the spot, so—let’s break it down even further.

Who Are You?

Now is the time to dig deep in order to determine who you are at your core and ultimately what matters the most to you as a business owner, both personally and professionally. 

What Do You Believe In?

After you’re able to pinpoint exactly who you are at your roots, it’s time to dig into your most basic and fundamental beliefs in order to determine what kind of culture you’re going to build within your salon. 

What Are Your Non-Negotiables?

Everyone has them, and as a business owner you need to clearly communicate your non-negotiables with your team from the get-go. Honesty is key in crafting your ideal culture. You have to set those ground rules and clearly lay down your expectations before you can watch your team soar. 


The Formula for Guiding Operations

Keri and Karla approach their salon operations as a formula of behaviors and actions that produce results. So, if you want to master this formula, you have to first differentiate between your individual operations and determine which ones might require your attention.  

If you want to have more control over, let’s say, your salon’s customer service, you have to clearly communicate the kind of attitudes and behaviors you expect of your team in order to see those results. This boils down to the specific verbiage your front desk team is using over the phone or when checking in your guests to the exact route you expect your stylists to use when taking new clients on a tour of your salon. 

The more specific you are in your instructions, the more precise your results will be. Your team is your vehicle for maintaining your culture and really seeing your salon operations through. If your team knows what’s expected of them, they’ll quickly fall into their groove, and your culture will surely follow suit.


The Cultural Commandments

Many of you, as salon owners, likely already have a mission statement in place, but now it’s time to figure out where that mission exists. To be clear, we’re not referring to where it’s written out on the “About Us” page on your website, or how it’s buried deep in the paperwork you use for hiring. We’re referring to where this mission exists within your salon. 

Someone somewhere along the way told us that we needed to have a mission statement in order to build a business, but no one told us how that mission statement becomes this living, breathing thing within our business—and that is where your salon culture comes in. 

Culture is this buzzword now and suddenly everyone is scrambling to figure out what their culture is or if they even have any sort of culture in place at all, but if you really think about it—

this is nothing new. Every salon has established its own “vibe.” It’s an inevitable component of running a business and building a team. Keri and Karla both emphasize that it’s really not about finding your culture, but that instead, it’s about nurturing that energy and keeping your culture alive. 

If you’d like to learn more about this beauty business phenomenon, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 157, and don’t forget to check out Keri and Karla’s digital platform, Beauty Backbone, for the ultimate in-depth guide to crafting your salon culture.  

Emily Kelly
How to Become a Hair Boss

The best thing about working in the beauty industry is that none of us are here by accident. We all followed our passion and, regardless of our own individual interests or skill sets, our paths have all lead us here, and that alone is pretty rad.

So, we know that we all have this innate desire to be the best in the business, which is why we show up each and every day with such great enthusiasm for our work, but what does it take to become a true Hair Bossin the beauty industry today?

Industry expert and the original Hair Boss herself, Jamie Wiley, is here to walk us through exactly what it takes to reach that next level. Jamie works behind the chair in between her appointments as a session stylist. She has a degree in technical communications as well as an associate’s degree in the science of cosmetology and she’s the author of the book, Hair Boss, a hairstylist’s guide to owning their career. 

Before finding her stride in the beauty industry, Jamie served five years in the United States Army, which taught her everything from discipline, to loyalty, to selfless service—qualities that have taken her far in her life, both in the beauty industry and beyond. Jamie offers her best advice for hairstylists who are totally committed to owning their career and taking it to the next level.


Learning the Business of Hair

Ask yourself one question, “What is it that I want out of my career?”

For all of us in the beauty industry, our answers go far beyond financial stability, we want to be successful, we want to build relationships, we want to grow and prosper in the art of pampering our people. We all have aspirations, but we also all take time to get there. 

Jamie knows firsthand that if you want to make the most out of your career, you have to be the one to take the reins and steer yourself in the direction that you want to go, nobody else can do it for you. Oftentimes, we leave cosmetology school with vast knowledge on how to cut, color and style, but with little to no knowledge on how to actually build our business or direct our brand. 

Jamie says that the key to becoming a Hair Boss is to learn the business of hair. If you want to catapult yourself into your dream career, it’s imperative that you dig deep and find the drive to push yourself beyond your boundaries when it comes to learning how to do business—so, let’s get started. 


Building Your Clientele From the Ground Up

Jamie is an army wife, and with her family’s constant relocation she has become all too familiar with the daunting task that is building your clientele from scratch.

Jamie believes the secret to building a solid book when you’re just starting out is really in your communication. First, you have to find clients to market yourself to. You have to put yourself out there, whether that be on social media, over an email marketing campaign or live and in person at events where potential clients might be lingering.  

The most effective way to gain a solid clientele is to simply be true to yourself. If you brand yourself authentically and are honest about your skill set and your passions, you’re going to attract your ideal clients and your book will quickly begin to fill itself. 


Offering Solutions Not Making Sales

Let’s be clear about something—when we’re talking about recommending retail, we’re not focused on making the sale. Our goal is to provide a solid, long-term solution to our client’s haircare needs.

Jamie is incredibly passionate about pushing stylists beyond their fear of making sales. She encourages everyone in the beauty industry to remember one thing—that we are in the customer service business. Recommending retail isn’t about sales, but instead, it’s about creating satisfied customers by providing them with the products and tools needed to recreate their looks at home. 

In her book, Hair Boss, Jamie offers word for word scripts for selling products so that you can feel confident in making that sale, and she does so in a way that prompts your clients to understand the true intentions behind each product recommendation. 


Uncovering Your Full Potential

Not only is it important to understand your worth when it comes to building confidence in your career, but it’s a crucial piece in setting your prices. 

You have to attack your career with confidence and live out your passions intentionally each and every day. You deserve to be where you are, you have earned each step, and your prices should reflect your journey. 

Whether you’re closing in on your greatest achievement or you’re just setting sail, Jamie offers step-by-step advice for how to reach your biggest business goals. If you want to learn more about Jamie’s personal journey through the industry, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 155, and be sure to check out her book, Hair Boss, for all of her insider tips for truly owning your career.

Emily Kelly
The Backbone of Your Beauty Business Has Arrived

Whether you’re the head of a large empire or you’re just beginning to grow your business, each member of your team plays a significant part in running the show, and it’s absolutely crucial that everyone be on the same page when the curtains rise. 

As the owner or manager of a salon, you can’t always be there to train new stylists, and it can be difficult to know where to begin when trying to teach your master stylists how to educate new hires. The goal is always to put the passion for the craft at the center of your educational training, but how do you do that while simultaneously running a successful business, communicating your company culture, and clearly defining your expectations? This is where Beauty Backbone comes in. Beauty Backbone is your digital training assistant, created to help your established stylists become solid educators all while maintaining your desired salon culture. 

Beauty Backbone is the brainchild of three renown hairdressers who are very familiar with the struggles that come with owning and operating a business. Salon owner, Keri Davis, and her team of educators, Karla Lopez-Martinez, and Jonatan Rizo, came together to develop this digital education tool in order to help align their passion for beauty with the business side of things, and to effectively communicate that relationship with their entire tribe. 

These three industry leaders found their stride while working together to build fresh experiences into their educational program at Gila Rut, a group of luxury salons in greater San Diego. Keri and her team came up with an extensive in-salon training program built around the five fundamentals of running a successful business—education, culture, aspirations, financial stability, and leadership. Their program was so successful for their own team at Gila Rut that they decided to share it with the entire industry in order to empower other salon owners and brilliant educators to become true industry leaders. 


Consistency in Education is Key

Education is the cornerstone of every salon’s culture. It’s how your stylists master technical skills, and how they absorb the systems and practices that make your salon exceptional. The right educational platform allows you to retain amazing stylists and managers and continually grow your business.

Train U is Beauty Backbone’s built-in education tool. Jonatan developed this digital training platform shortly after joining the Gila Rut team because he wanted to find a way to make sure that all of the salon’s educators were receiving the same training, and thus delivering the same results.

This customizable training program includes everything from class guides and lesson plans to video tutorials for when you just need to see the lesson in action. The Train U program begins with instructive tools for your master stylists and top educators and trickles down to your newest employees and assistants in training. This top down approach is the perfect way to ensure that all of your stylists understand their role in maintaining the salon’s culture while still providing fun and engaging learning experiences.  


Teams That Grow Together, Stay Together

Employee retention is even more important than client retention. At the end of the day, your clients are choosing your salon because of the stylists on your team. Once you’ve managed to build a strong and unified team, you want to keep them around, so you have to keep them engaged. 

Beauty Backbone and the Train U program are also great tools for retaining stylists. This program has a specific timeline for stylists to follow, with check points along the way to keep them on track. This timeline makes it easy for new hires to know exactly when they’ll be out on the floor, and it puts the pressure on them to complete their training in order to get the ball rolling. 

This program also provides additional engagement for your established stylists by providing opportunities to continue their technical training and advance their career with the goal of becoming educators themselves.


Sustainable Education Cycles Back

Beauty Backbone’s top-down approach to training creates an educational cycle within your salon team. Salon’s that use Beauty Backbone are encouraged to have all team members, regardless of their level of experience in the industry, go through the Train U program. Higher level stylists are then often selected to become educators for new members of the team.

This mentorship piece is a really valuable aspect to Beauty Backbone and the Train U program because it ensures that none of the students, assistants or trainees are being left behind. It can be hard to adjust to a new salon and learn the culture, but when you have your own people filling in as educators for your new hires, these connections grow organically and you’re able to build a really strong, cohesive team. 

This top-down approach creates a truly sustainable cycle for education within your salon. As your stylists progress through their training, certain personalities will rise to the top and your next group of educators will begin to show themselves as they grow within the program. 

If you want to learn more about the founders of Beauty Backbone and Train U, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 149. If you want more in depth information on each step in this powerful training program check out the Beauty Backbone website and watch their public webinars to learn just how this tool could truly service your team.  

Emily Kelly
How to Help Your Stylists Find Their Niche

It’s no secret that stylists have a flare for the creative, but any hairstylist will tell you that finding their niche was no small task. 

As a salon owner or manager, we want to help all of our stylists be as successful as they can be in their careers. We push them to advance their education and climb the ladders in cutting and coloring, but perhaps the best thing we can do for our stylists is to help them figure out their very own niche in the marketplace. 

It’s better to be great at one thing than it is to be average at all of the things. Every stylist is going to have his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and nestled somewhere deep within all of those trials and tribulations they will find their niche, or their specialty. Salon owner and industry expert Kati Whitledge shares her best advice for salon owners who want to help their stylists figure out their domain and drop the FOMO, or fear of missing out, for good

In addition to hosting the beloved Beyond The Technique podcast, Kati is the owner of the award-winning Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the creative brain behind Meet Your Stylist, an innovative salon software system that matches potential clients with salon professionals based on services, lifestyle preferences, and personality. Kati is passionate about helping her stylists find their stride, and wants to teach other salon owners how to do the same. Kati offers her tips and tricks for helping your stylists choose their specialty. 


What Sets Your Stylists Apart?

Kati believes that, as an owner, the first step in finding the perfect niche for your stylists is figuring out what sets them apart from the competition. 

Think about it this way—if you’re looking to make dinner reservations on a Friday night, are you going to choose the average restaurant that offers a little bit of literally everything, from pancakes to potato bakes, or are you going to pick the place that does that one thing really well? You’re probably going to go for the ladder, because those are the places with rave reviews and lines out the door—the same goes for salon services. 

Of course, in this industry, everyone wants to do it all, but if we’re looking at the behavior of our buyers, we know that quality trumps quantity, and people want to know that they’re going to the best of the best for the services they’re looking to have done. Most of your new hires won’t feel like they know what sets them apart if you ask them fresh out of beauty school. Giving your stylists time to embrace all of the things your salon offers is one of the easiest ways to find out what they’re actually good at. 

Kati encourages salon owners to work with their stylists during their first few years, and to really push them through technical challenges, because you never know, those skills might become one of their biggest strengths. 


Imagine Your Stylist in Their Ideal Work Environment 

As salon owners, we’re aware of the importance of developing relationships with our clients, but we have to remember to put that same energy into getting to know our stylists. 

Instead of focusing on the services your stylists perform, it can be helpful to think about which kinds of clients your stylists enjoy working with the most. Each stylist has his or her own personality, skillset, and ideal work environment, all of which contribute to finding their niche within your salon. Once you form a solid foundational relationship with your stylists, you’ll start to pick up on which clients fit their personality and aesthetic the most. 

In order to help your stylists find their specialty, Kati recommends that you think about which kinds of clients energize and excite them, which services tend to drain them, and to really think through the situations that prompt other team members to turn to them for advice. These questions will help you, as a salon owner, find what works best for your stylists over time. 


Finding Their Niche Creates a Law of Attraction

Once your stylist finds their niche, they’ll really hit their stride. This doesn’t mean that they’ll lose touch with the other skills and services they’re required to perform, but they’ll begin to really build on the skills and services that excite them the most.  

Of course, nature always plays its course, and as your stylists start to hone in on the specific skill sets that set them apart, they’ll begin to attract clientele seeking those very services. This is what Kati refers to as the law of attraction

Once your stylist gets in their groove, everything falls right into place—but finding that niche involves much more than just thinking about which services each stylist performs the best. While technique and skill set play a significant part, emotional intelligence is perhaps the number one contributing factor in determining each stylists’ niche. Kati is very familiar with the power of emotional intelligence and the laws of attraction, which is why she built Meet Your Stylist. 

Meet Your Stylist is a salon software that operates as matchmaking service for clients and stylists. Meet Your Stylist goes above and beyond matching clients with salon professionals on the basis services, it thinks about personality type, availability, and of course, required skills, in order to determine which stylists would be the right fit for each individual client.

Specializing in specific services is a win-win for everyone. Your stylists can continue to build on the skills they’re most passionate about learning, allowing them to truly feel fulfilled in the workplace, and your clients will feel that much more confident in the services they’re receiving. 

To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 153. Don’t forget to check out the Meet Your Stylist website in order to learn more about just how this tool can benefit your salon, build your clientele, and transform your tribe for the better. 








Emily Kelly
Overcoming Major Beauty Industry Disruption

Disruption is inevitable no matter what industry you’re in—and that’s agoodthing. The beauty industry beckons a consistent wave of innovation, and in order to survive in the face of the rising tide we must embrace change as it crashes onto the shoreline. 

Industry giant Scott Missad has worked in almost every aspect of beauty. From his humble beginnings working in a beauty warehouse, to becoming the Senior Vice President of Sales at L’Oreal, to eventually becoming the CEO of a group of luxury salons and then elected as President of the International SalonSpa Business Network, Scott has seen it all. So, what brought about such an incredibly transformative career? The answer is simple—major disruptions in the industry, each one pushing him to dive further in. 

Scott walks us through a few of the significant disruptions that he’s lived through during his thirty years in the beauty industry. He shares how he has managed not only to survive, but to truly thrive in his career by welcoming these challenges and facing the competition headstrong in order to come out on top. 


Technology Has Changed the Beauty Industry Forever 

The many advancements in technology that have come about over the last few years have caused an uproar in our industry, and it’s not slowing down. Before the advent of the Internet, clients would simply put their trust into the hands of their stylists. Stylists were the experts, and our clients would never know any better if our stylists were misinformed in their practice. 

Of course, all of that has changed. Technology has put the power into the hands of the consumer, and honestly—it’s about time. Today, our clients can hold us accountable for the services we provide because in our digital world they have all of our industry knowledge right at their fingertips. While at first it may have seemed like an unsettling shift in power, in the end, those who have managed to keep up with these changes are now producing better results, giving better recommendations, and really advancing in their careers. 


Don’t Be Afraid of Industry Disruption

Scott warns against holding onto the idea that these waves will ever change course. The truth of the matter is, each upsurge of change headed toward our industry almost always follows its trajectory, often striking the shoreline harder than expected. 

Scott’s best advice is quite simple: don’t play by the rules. Rules are arbitrary, and as the industry changes, so should you. The major disruptors in our field aren’t following the rules, and they’re doing great things while simultaneously changing the way we work. Look at Amazon, or the new wave of retail in the beauty industry, like Ulta, these companies are paving the way for some really neat things. So, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, in fact, we encourage it. 

Scott says the key is to remain optimistic, these challenges are what make the beauty industry so exciting. Welcoming change is half of the battle, but if you can find the opportunity lurking in the tide, you’re already ahead of the storm. 


Get Your Head in the Game

If you want to dominate in this industry, you can’t sit on the sidelines. Competition is all around us, there are thousands of salons in each city vying for everyone’s time and loyalty. So, if you want to thrive in this business, you have to play to win. 

If we compare ourselves to Amazon, or even these other beauty stores that are retailing our salon products, we have to think about how we can compete. Today, nobody wants to get in their vehicles to drive out to their salon when they run out of shampoo. And can you blame them, when somebody else could fulfill their needs with the click of a button? So, it begs the question, how can we measure up?

Ride the wave. If you haven’t already instituted an ecommerce program within your salon, Scott says now’s the time. If you really want to dominate in this industry, you have to give your clients the convenience they’re looking for. 

Quick Tip: Find ways to add additional value to your ecommerce experience. In order to differentiate yourself from Amazon even further, you could extend your rewards program to include these digital purchases and orders. Your clients won’t think twice before deciding to order through you! 


What Do You Have That They Don’t?

Although the beauty industry has expanded beyond salon visits, the one thing that we’ll always have over all of the cosmetic retailers and specialized service providers is that special one-on-one time with our clients. 

That uninterrupted time is our strategic advantage in the marketplace. I mean, just imagine what Amazon would give to have their shoppers spend nearly two hours on their site at a time, perusing products completely uninterrupted. That value is simply unmatched. Not to mention the ability to build strong, treasured relationships with those clients is so important. 

A typical visit to a salon could take anywhere from thirty minutes to up to three hours, which is incredibly valuable time spent in the chair—time where your clients are able to relax and focus all of their energy on the salon experience. These routine visits encourage your clients to build strong connections with your brand, and that loyalty is an absolutely invaluable aspect to the experience we offer. 

Our industry will inevitably continue to grow and evolve, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re going to ride the wave. If you want to learn more about Scott’s many achievements, and hear his advice for how to stay ahead of the game, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 154. Be sure to check out the International SalonSpa Business Network for updates on the many innovative ideas coming from our industry today.


Emily Kelly
The Secrets Behind Search Engine Optimization

If you have a question you need answered, where do you turn? Gone are the days of hauling out our dictionaries, encyclopedias, and directories in order to find what we’re looking for. With the world at our fingertips—we simply turn to the internet. As people grow to rely more and more on Google or other search engines for answering their immediate questions, discoverability becomes that much more important for businesses like ours who want to service those needs. This is where SEO or Search Engine Optimization comes in. 

Search Engine Optimization is exactly that, a way to optimize or enhance your searchability. Essentially, this is an attempt to get Google to notice you, which then determines the likelihood that a potential client will stumble upon your business or website when surfing the web. SEO is becoming much more prominent online, so as business owners, you need to stay on the up and up with your SEO in order to maintain a searchable status and help potential clients find your salon. SEO expert Joey Donovan Guido has a few tips and tricks for getting found. 

Joey owns his own online marketing business, Cuppa SEO, in which he helps businesses improve their searchability. He uses SEO to drive traffic to their websites, making it that much easier to turn visitors into customers. Joey offers his best advice for enhancing SEO in-house, so that you can get on Google’s “nice” list too.


Meet Your Matchmaker

How often do you search through even the second or third page of suggestions or “hits” Google computes for you? Most of us don’t even scroll all the way to the bottom of the first page.

Perhaps a potential client is searching for a specific product recommendation or seeking out a stylish salon in their area—their first instinct is to pull out their phones for a quick answer. They’ll sift through the first few hits until they land on a product or service that fits their needs. SEO helps ensure than your business is among those top hits.

Let’s go back to the online-dating analogy from our blog on the benefits of in-house branding—there are millions of people registered on dating sites, but only a few will actually make successful matches. SEO is comparable to using keywords to leverage your profile. These keywords are used to promote your best attributes and values, making it easier for potential matches to find you when searching through the site. 

Similarly, when someone is searching for a new salon for their cut and color services, a lot goes in to finding the right match. They might leverage specifics like price, or products, maybe they really value that luxury experience, or they might have super curly hair and are hoping to find a place that specializes in catering to their hair-type and texture. Whatever it may be, the goal is always to find a perfect match, one that fits their most basic needs, and in this scenario Google plays matchmaker.


Carefully Craft Your Website Content

As business owners, most of us strive to have clean, beautiful and easy-to-navigate websites, but have you considered how the content on your site influences your searchability?

Joey suggests reinventing your web content first, simply because it’s the easiest place to begin. Your web content refers to everything on your website that potential clients and visitors actually see, read, and interact with—otherwise known as your copy. Joey highlights the importance of writing rich, relevant copy in order to attract people who will fully benefit from the products and services you offer. 

Joey recommends filtering all of your copy through three important questions before uploading it onto your website:  

1.     What is this for? 

It might sound silly, but seriously, you need to think about what each word on your website is for. Is your copy informative? Does it have a purpose?  

2.     What does it do?

Now it’s time to think about verbiage and what each word is actively doing on your site. Are you using calls to action? Are you prompting potential clients to actually interact with your page? With your brand? 


3.     How does it help me? 

Finally, you should consider the actual influence these words have over your business. Your calls to action could prompt people to book appointments, follow your business on social, and sign up for email lists or membership services, all of which can boost your business and bring in extra revenue.

With rich, relevant copy your website can be both sophisticated and totally searchable. 


The Key Is Finding Useful Keywords

The trick is to figure out which keywords and phrases your potential clients are using when searching for services online. When people turn to Google for answers they rarely type out their entire question, instead they use a few keywords that they assume will help them filter some of the results to match their specific needs.  

Let’s say a potential client with super curly hair is looking to find a salon in her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin that specializes in curly cuts and gets good reviews. She’s probably not going to type all of that into Google—instead it might read something like “Curly hair salon Madison, WI”. Well, if you specialize in curly hair and you know that you make a great fit for this potential client, you would want to make sure that your salon is the first suggestion on the list. 

So, how do you let Google know that you deserve that spot? Simple, use keywords. Keywords can be written into just about every aspect of your salon website and social media. 

Quick Tip: The best way to figure out which keywords are the most relevant to your business is to ask! Joey says it can be as simple as asking friends, family, and customers about how they found your website. What did they search for? And why? 

Do you have pictures on your website? Picture titles have uses far beyond locating them in your folders. Although they’re invisible to the eye once they’re embedded into your webpage, you can use SEO in the titles to improve your searchability. 

Instead of titling your headshot “Kati Whitledge Headshot” you should use keywords like, “Kati-Whitledge-Beyond-The-Technique-Podcast-Madison-WI-Beauty-Industry-Blog”. It’s the perfect way to embed some keywords into your site without word-vomiting all over your webpage. The same can be said for posts on social media—and never doubt the power of hashtags! 

To learn more about SEO and searchability, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 152. Be sure to also check out Cuppa SEO’s websitefor an in-depth look at the many benefits of SEO and digital marketing—while you’re there, see if you can infer what keywords Joey’s using to get Google’s attention. 

Emily Kelly
Running Your Business by The Book
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Regardless of your religious background, we can all agree that entrepreneurial pursuits almost always require a bit of faith. Faith in ourselves, faith in the business, and faith in faith itself for getting us through. Salon ownership is no exception, it’s tricky business to run a salon and sometimes you just have to step back and let your faith guide your journey.

It can be a challenge to build a business that aligns with your values, but if you can incorporate those core beliefs into your work in small ways every day, you can create a prosperous and truly fulfilling career. A career that not only benefits you, as an owner, but one that imbues meaning into the lives of all those you employ and all of the clients you serve. 

There are few more passionate about running their business by the book—that is, the Bible—than Mike and Gayle Reuling, owners and operators of the Air Salon & Blow Dry Bar, with three locations in Louisiana. The Reulings are steadfast believers in the power of sticking to your values and they’re excited to share their best advice for encompassing your spirituality in your business model with a special focus on servant leadership. 

Gayle is the founder of Air Salon & Blow Dry Bar, she started her salon in the attic of her home and has grown substantially in her last 30 years. She thinks of her time behind the chair as both her passion and her ministry. 

Mike, on the other hand, is still relatively new to the industry. After 31 years in corporate America, Mike decided to retire with the expectation that he would help Gayle run her business on the side. Little did he know this hobby would quickly turn into an incredibly successful and rewarding second career. Mike primarily takes on the role of CFO and “CSO” or Chief Spiritual Officer. Together the Reulings run a successful salon business, guided by their faith in the work they do. With their expert industry insight and their prevailing passion for God’s work, the Reulings offer their best advice for keeping the faith while pursuing your greatest career goals. 


The Bigger Impact of Your Business

Owning and operating a salon is about so much more than just doing business. It’s about all of the people that give your business value. It’s about the people you employ who make your salon a home. It’s about the people you serve, the clients you touch and the customers that keep coming back to be a part of what you offer. 

Gayle reflects on the beginning of her career and the disapproval she initially received from her family after choosing to enter into the beauty industry. However, once they saw the great work she was doing and the value she was creating for her clients, they couldn’t be prouder. For Gayle, moments like these are fuel to her fire. They feed her passion and push her to create an environment in which all of her stylists can be proud of the work they do. 

Mike also remembers a moment during the early stages of building their first salon when he and Gayle decided to stop by the site to check on the progress. While they were touring the interior, one of their new trainees stopped by to show her family where she would be working. She was beaming with pride, and it was evident to Mike and Gayle that to her, this was so much more than a job—it was an opportunity. It’s small moments like these that help us realize how much of an impact our business has on the lives of those we open our doors to. 

No matter how you choose to run your salon, it’s important to realize that not only are you setting out to build a successful business, but you’re also responsible for creating a business that is sustainable, one that will fuel the livelihood of your employees for as long as you’re in the industry.


Be Transparent with Your Values

In order to run your business by the book you have to be completely transparent with your values. 

For the Reulings, this is just another part of the discussion. When interviewing new stylists, Mike and Gayle make sure to talk about how important their faith is, both to them, and to their business. As long as you’re open about your beliefs and sincere in how you present yourself, you’re sure to attract employees that share similar values. 

Although this honest approach might turn a few potential employees away, at the end of the day you’ll be left with the applicants best suited to work in your salon. The Ruelings recognize a big difference between approval and acceptance, and they embrace anyone who chooses to work with them with open arms. They aim to treat all of their staff like family, and to incorporate their faith into their business through their actions. 

Your values are a huge part of your company culture. Transparency allows you to find and hire stylists and staff members that are not only well-versed on a technical level, but that also fit into your salon culture and value system.  


The Beauty Industry Is About Giving Back

In so many ways, the beauty industry is about giving back to your community. Gayle says that one of the most rewarding aspects of running her business is the opportunity to make people feel beautiful inside and out. Gayle remains humble in her role because she knows she’s doing God’s work, and simply hopes to represent him every day. 

Gayle and Mike really emphasize the importance of service and leadership skills in their salon. Each year, the Reulings host an award ceremony for all of their employees; the servant leader award is the highest honor their staff can attain. Their mission is to encourage selflessness, and they recognize the most helpful and dutiful leaders on their team in this way. 

The beauty of working in this industry is that there are so many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. At the end of the day, if you can remain true to your values while running your business, you and your staff are sure to be both incredibly successful and fulfilled in the workplace—you just have to let your faith guide the way. 

To hear more about Mike and Gayle’s journey through the industry, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 146. And don’t forget to check out their salon website to learn more about their business model and their dedication to servant leadership.

Emily Kelly
Creating a Referral Program for Your Salon That Really Works

Word-of-mouth is a business’ best friend. Why? Because it’s perfectly targeted and incredibly trustworthy. A potential client is going to be much more excited about a raving review from a close friend than they will be about an ad they scroll past online.

Of course, some clients might be more motivated to spread the word if they were offered a little incentive. This is where referral programs come into play. Referrals are everywhere, but they’re especially effective in health and beauty, because new clients want to be sure they’re putting their trust into the hands of someone they know is worthy. 

Whether you’re looking to implement your first referral program, or you’d simply like to make a few improvements to your current system, salon owner and industry expert Stacey Coronado has a few tips and tricks for creating a referral program that really works.  

We introduced you to Stacy in our Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed her previous interviews we’ll give you a quick recap: Stacey is the owner of the incredibly successful Aveda Lifestyle Salon, 20 Volume. She attributes her success to her paperless business modeland her passion for the industry. She is also the Education Director of her very own New Talent Academy for training new stylists, and at 20 Volume she has mastered a referral program that helps her newbies begin to build their clientele fresh out of training. With expert industry insight, Stacey is excited to share her best advice for building a successful referral program. 


Back to Basics

Referral programs are just that, programs that invite referrals. Many of you might remember the three R’s we learned back in beauty school—referrals, rebooking and retail. While they can be often overlooked, sometimes the fundamentals are the most important. Your program doesn’t need to be fancy or elaborate to be successful. 

Referral programs, at their most basic level, aim to encourage satisfied clients to share their salon experience with friends, family, and anyone else interested in our services. Our goal as salon owners is to attract new guests, and the best way to advertise our talent is with our previous work.


Referrals Are All About Reciprocity

While referrals are mostly about recommendations for the sake of attracting new clients, there needs to be incentive for both parties, giving and receiving, in order for it to be truly successful. 

Referrals are all about reciprocity and creating a two-way exchange of value. A referral program that rewards the sender of the referral as well as the receiver, or potential client is going to produce the best results. At 20 Volume, Stacey’s team hands out referral cards that offer potential clients twenty dollars toward their new services. When those cards are redeemed the original client, the one who gave out the referral, is then rewarded with a gift voucher for $25 toward any products of their choice. This system encourages customers to spread the word about their services, and it gives additional incentive for new clients coming in.

Quick Tip: Traceability is key when it comes to referrals. If you decide to implement a referral program in your salon, you need to make sure you have a way to keep track of the referrals as they go out. Keeping a spreadsheet of client emails makes it easy to trace those referrals as they come in. This way you can assure that you’re rewarding the right guests for their recommendations.


Get Your Stylists On Board

The number one thing to be sure of when attempting to implement a referral program in your salon is to make sure that your team is committed. At 20 Volume, a lot of the responsibility falls on the stylists who fill out the referral cards for their customers at the end of their visit.  

Stacey has found that having her stylists fill out the cards for her clients is the most effective way to go about it. This way her clients leave the salon with cards that are ready-to-go and Stacey can be sure that no mistakes are being made in the process. Stacey requires her stylists to hand out a minimum of 25 referral cards a month and they are responsible for uploading the details into the database. This way, when referrals begin making their way back into the salon, receptionists can easily look up the client who gave out the recommendation in order to send them their reward.

With your salon team on board, your referral program will quite literally speak for itself. Referrals are a great way to attract new clients, and they reward your most loyal clients for their recommendations—boosting overall retention rates. It’s a win-win! 

To learn more about Stacey Coronado and the many things that20 Volumehas in the works for 2019, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 145. If you’d like to read up on her incredibly innovative, paperless business model check out our previous blog post, “A Game Changing Remodel: Go Beyond Going Paperless” or listen to podcast episode 131

Emily Kelly
Tips for Recruiting and Retaining Stylists
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A salon is nothing without its stylists. One of the most challenging aspects of owning a salon is hiring and retaining good employees. For many this can be a daunting task, not only is the beauty industry subject to a high degree of turnover, but there’s a lot riding on the talent and ability of your staff.

So, the goal is to recruit talented and loyal stylists who come bearing positive energy and good work ethic—simple right? Well Brandon Hensley is here to tell you that it’s easier than you think.  

You might remember Brandon from our previous podcast episode featuring his best tips for boosting your salon business through your website, in which he actually discusses ways you can use your website for recruiting. If you missed it, we’ll give you a quick recap: Brandon, and his wife and business partner Janet, own and operate the Tangerine Salon Group, a collection of renowned luxury salons with quite the reputation in the beauty industry. Among their many accomplishments they recently became the exclusive salon for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

Having just opened their fifth branch of Tangerine Salon, Brandon is all too familiar with the motions of recruiting and retaining employees. Whether you’re struggling to find fresh talent or suffering from constant turnover, Brandon argues that you can win this battle by following these
simple recruiting and retention practices.


Sell New Stylists on Your Salon

You have to appeal to the best of the up and coming stylists before you can attempt to attract new clients. Of course, in order to entice new staff to join your team, you have to have your business in order, so these two go hand-in-hand. 

It’s even more important to set your salon above the rest in bigger cities where there is simply more competition. So, you have to start by creating a salon environment that everybody wants to work in. If your salon is able to staff the top new talent, your clientele will grow naturally. 


Create an Apprenticeship Program

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re only hiring the cream of the crop when it comes to new stylists is to raise them yourself. By creating your own apprenticeship program within your salon, you can take brand new talent, students just out of beauty school, and shape them into your top preforming master stylists. 

New employees are always looking for ways to further develop their skills. An apprenticeship program gives recent graduates the advanced education opportunities they’re looking for. Not to mention, it also ensures that you are protecting your salon culture and brand by setting certain standards for your employees and the work they produce. 


Make Use of Social Media

The next step is getting your employment opportunities in front of the right people. Brandon suggests using Instagram as your main marketing tool for attracting new stylists. Today, everyone is on Instagram. Students and recent graduates rely heavily on this platform to showcase their work. As an employer, you won’t want to be the last ones up to bat.

For the Tangerine Salon Group this means curating a tasteful and cohesive salon Instagrampage with high quality pictures of their best work. You want your Instagram page to be representative of your brand, just like your website. Think of it as simply another way for students and potential staff members to find you, and then make sure they’ll like what they see.

Brandon also encourages salon owners to take advantage of the opportunities for two-way communication over these various platforms. Don’t shy away from reaching out to students that catch your eye. If you stumble upon a talented young hair artist’s social media page and you’re
impressed with what you see—let them know! 


Communicate Your Culture Every Day

The number one way to retain employees is to communicate your culture every single day. Your salon staff want to know that they work in a place that they can be proud of. In order to keep your employees feeling happy and fulfilled in the workplace you have to reiterate your purpose and make clear your collective mission every chance you get.  

It’s good to give your staff a pat on the back every once in a while. Retaining staff is easy when you practice positive reinforcement. Remind your stylists that they are appreciated. Remind them that they belong to a team, a team that you hold to high standards because you know they can reach them, and one that you are honored to represent.

When you run a great business, and are able to create an environment that people want to work in, fresh young talent will naturally gravitate toward your salon. This will in turn spur a new wave of clientele to come in and see what you’re all about—it’s a promising cycle. 

If you want to hear more of Brandon’s best tips for boosting your business, listen to his first podcast appearance, episode 132. If you want to listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 144.

Emily Kelly
Expand Your Salon by Adding a MedSpa

Are you looking for new and innovative ways to expand your salon business? Perhaps you’ve already undergone a few expansions, or you’ve made the move to a bigger space, maybe you’ve even opened other locations, and now you’re searching for the next exciting salon development. 

Instead of moving toward another physical expansion, why not attempt to grow your service list? While growing in your physical space tends to be a game of time and money, expanding on your services involves quite a bit of thought, and it has to be timed just right. 

In today’s fast-paced salon environment, the hottest expansion that every salon should be considering is that of becoming a MedSpa. We’re at the height of anti-aging technology, and non-surgical aesthetic skincare and medical spa treatments are quickly growing in popularity. 

Ginny Eramo, owner of Interlocks Salon and MedSpa, was one of several early adopters to this strategic salon trend. She’s had great success with her latest expansion, and with her expert industry insight and years of salon experience she offers her best tips for taking the leap into MedSpa territory.


Putting the Medic in Cosmetic

It doesn’t matter where your stylists or beauticians earned their license, medical cosmetology procedures and treatments are not to be performed by cosmetologists, period. So, many of you are probably wondering where to begin when transitioning into MedSpa terrain. 

First thing’s first, if you’re thinking about becoming a MedSpa, you’ll need to hire on a new team of medical professionals to perform these services. At Interlocks, Ginny partnered with a team of nurses that now handle all of her MedSpa patients under the direction of a medical director, specializing in everything from Botox to laser hair removal. 

With the rise of this new trend there are many medical professionals seeking out opportunities in salon and spa settings, you just have to know where to look.

This Is Not an Inexpensive Expansion

 Adding a MedSpa to your salon can be an expensive endeavor. Although the treatments and services pay for themselves in no time, you have to be prepared to shell out some serious cash in order to purchase all of the necessary medical equipment. 

Of course, physical space does play a role in this expansion in that you have to think about where you’re going to keep your equipment. Depending on the state you operate out of you might be able to have some overlap, but some state laws require you to build a completely separate space dedicated to your medical practice. 

Don’t forget, there are additional expenses beyond acquiring this high-end technology, think warranties, maintenance and repairs. Ginny suggests minimizing overhead by leasing or financing your equipment, it’s good to keep costs down any way you can! 

Know Your Market

Do your research. There’s no other way to be absolutely sure that adding a MedSpa to your salon is the right move. 

For Ginny, her clients were already asking for these services, so for Interlocks it was a sensible expansion. Think about your clientele: What’s your primary demographic? Are your clients interested in anti-aging treatments and technologies? If these services are already available at other salons or specialty locations in your marketplace, are those locations having success? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, and you’re prepared for the additional expenses, adding a MedSpa to your salon might be the perfect way to expand your service offerings. 

Don’t shy away from this opportunity just because you hear that your clients are already receiving these services someplace else. Your customers have already placed their trust in you, if you were to offer similar treatments and amenities with the added convenience of location, your clients will support you all the way. 


The Payoff: Expanding and Strengthening Your Business

While in comparison to your salon, a MedSpa might seem like somewhat of a separate entity, Ginny and a handful of other salon owners have proven that these two service-based businesses can really complement one another if the marketplace allows.

Adding a MedSpa is just one of many possible ways to expand in your salon setting, but this fast-growing trend has proven itself to be a worthwhile addition. By expanding into MedSpa treatments and services, you’re adding to your customer’s salon experience and increasing the amount of time they spend in your facilities, which in turn lends itself to creating a very loyal client. 

To learn more about Interlocks Salon and the other aspects of their transition into MedSpa territory, listen to our earlier podcast with Interlocks Marketing Team Members Jordan Becker and Amy Pirro. In episode 133, in they discuss their re-branding strategies after the switch. 

If you’d like to learn more about Ginny and the new MedSpa trend, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog post, episode 142.

Emily Kelly
Becoming a Strong Leader: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What You Ask

It can be easy to make comparisons between salon owners and coaches. As a salon owner, you are the one your team looks to when things get complicated or when the salon has seemed to have lost its sense of direction. What many salon owners find difficulty with is telling their team to do something and then having their team not follow through on the request. We partnered with one of our favorite Beyond The Technique podcast guests, psycosmetologist and author Jay Williams, to help salon owners find better ways to communicate with their team. 

Jay believes the secret to good communication is not telling your team what you want as a salon owner, but rather asking your team to work with you on achieving the goals for your salon, as it will benefit everyone. If this sounds like advice you could use, keep on reading! 


Shift Your Thinking

The first step to becoming your team’s coach – and being mindful of how you speak to your team – is by shifting your mindset. Jay believes the first place to start the shift is by changing your behavior. But in order to do that, you need to  find out what drives your behavior and emotions, and how can you make them better. As a salon owner, by changing  your performance and behavior, you can shift the thinking of your team by leading by example. This will help make it more of a collaborative unit.

One way to accomplish this is to sit with your team and ask them what their goals are instead of telling them. Ask them things like, what services they would like to start offering (or stop offering)? What their goals are for retail, or do they even have a goal for retail? By asking your team to help you set your salon’s goals, you will start to create a collaborative process with your team. And by doing so, your stylists will be more committed because they had buy-in from the beginning. 

Jay believes that people will commit to what they help create. So if you take the time to ask your team what they’re thinking and feeling, you will have overall better communication. 


Practice Patience with Your Team 

While having the ability to shift your personal thinking as a salon owner will help you better communicate with your team, practicing patience with team members who may not have the same goals as you is an important step in making the transition from dictator to coach. Jay shares that many salon owners will run into issues with their team when they don’t share the same goals as their stylists, or the owner has the perception their stylists are content operating alone more than as a team. 

Jay encourages salon owners to take a step back and assess the situation. Are you helping your team become better by getting upset? Or can you be a better leader with some patience? Does your team not care? Or do you need to take the time to help them reach their goals? 

Practicing patience will take integrity, compassion and detachment from the situation, not your team. 


Thinking, Listening and Speaking

Jay believes a key task for a salon owner who wants to improve the way they communicate with their team is to practice how you think, how you listen to your team, and, most importantly, how you speak to them. 

Jay shares that, “It’s not what you’re saying, but what you get them to say. You want to ask for permission and placement because the brain likes permission and placement, it doesn’t like anything forced on it.”

By allowing your team to know you are listening to their needs and finding the best solutions for what they find to be problems, you will see a tremendous change in your business. 

“You have to adopt it and integrate it into everything that you do,” Jay said. “The only way to build these things is to ask questions and nothing will happen by telling people what to do. What happens after self-accountability and self-awareness is self-belief.”

To listen to the full episode of that inspired this blog, click here. Also, be sure to check out Jay’s previous episodes 122 and 130.

Emily Kelly
How to Build Your Own Bridal Business for Your Salon

One of the exciting things about being a hairstylist are the skills you acquire to style hair for special occasions. Weddings are one of those special occasions where hairstylists shine, and many brides want the best hairstylists around for their special day. In fact, the wedding industry has become so huge that many salons and hairstylists have built their careers around bridal hair only! But, how do you build up a bridal business of your own?

We recently answered that question on the Beyond The Technique podcast with the help of our guest, Renee Feldman. Renee knows the importance of creating a bridal hair business on both sides of beauty and finances. She is one the most sought-after hairstylists in Chicago and has been featured in multiple magazines such as Bride’s Chicago Style, and has worked with celebrities like Sharon Stone and Gloria Steinem during the span of her 20-year career. Through her intuitiveness and determination, Renee has turned her creativity into her career, and she was kind enough to share with our followers tips to finding success in the bridal hair industry. 

Make Connections as Much as You Can

Before she had her own bridal business, Renee credits the connections she built as an important step in building her clientele. She said going to a local salon after beauty school in the gold coast of Chicago helped her see what kind of work she wanted to be doing. 

“I remember seeing all of the shops and I was like, ‘this is exactly where I want to be,’’’ Renee said, “The salon’s training program was in the same building as the Four Seasons and all of the celebrities at the time would go to the Four Seasons when they would visit Chicago. So, I built a nice relationship with the concierge at the front desk.”

Renee said that connection led her to being invited to the hotel when celebrities were in town and soon she was doing their hair for them in their hotel rooms! She continued to get booked for future events and soon had an extensive clientele list before going out on her own. Renee encourages hairstylists who want to go into the bridal industry to make connections with the bridal or event coordinator. Brides will hire event coordinators to help them through the stress of planning a wedding. They often look to their coordinator for recommendations and opinions, so if you have the “in” with a few wedding coordinators, you will have an easier time booking bridal hair appointments! 

The lesson here is to take time to use the networks you have! Working your connections will lead to an even bigger network of clients and will help you take your bridal business to new heights. 


Give Yourself Time to Know Your Bride

Working with a bride is a different experience than working with other clients. As a bridal hairstylist, it’s your mission to ensure the bride both feels and looks her best. Renee stresses the importance of having a comfortable work experience between the stylist and the bride. 

“About 12 or 14 months before the wedding, I usually begin my services with a blow dry service,” Renee shares, “This creates an opportunity for the bride to come in and meet me. It’s a great way to make sure our personalities match and helps me start earning their trust.” 

Renee also recommends that her brides go through a 90-minute trial period for the look they want for their big day to ensure Renee achieves the right hairstyle. Renee suggests starting with a small style for the bride during each session so they can work their way up to the final style they desire. Building a strong relationship with your bride is just as important as building connections with others in the industry, such as the event coordinator. If you do a great job with one bride, she will tell her friends, which will result in more referrals and bookings for your business in the future! 


Always Search for New Ways to Grow Your Business

Once you’ve made a solid network of connections and you’ve created a process with your brides, finding new ways to grow after you have found success is a great way to continue being excited about your business. 

Experiment with different ways to promote your bridal business, whether that’s taking out an ad in a bridal magazine or attending a bridal show – it’s a good idea to invest some of your success into expanding your business. Another option for growth to consider is hiring new talent. Many times a bride will want her stylist to help with the other members of the bridal party, which can be a tall order for one person! If your bridal business is taking off, consider hiring additional team members! 


Final Words of Wisdom for New Hairstylists 

While Renee is most passionate about bridal hairstyling, she encourages stylists who are new to the industry to learn as many niches as they can in the beginning.

“My advice to a young hairdresser just coming out of school would be to explore all aspects of the business,” she said, “Really get experience with everything and when you find your passion, and when you find what you’re naturally good at, then specialize in that area.”

To listen to the  full interview with Renee Feldman click here. If you are in the Chicago area, be sure to check out Renee Feldman salon

Emily Kelly
4 Mistakes to Avoid to Lead Your Team in a Positive Way
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There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a salon owner. As an owner, you automatically take on the role of the team leader. Because of this, your team looks to you for guidance on a daily basis, especially with the chaotic moments that can happen in a salon. But no matter how stressful it gets as the leader, it’s important to keep your salon environment positive. In episode 137 of the Beyond The Technique podcast, we spoke with Heather Yurko, owner of the NeatBeat Salon in Louisville, Kentucky. Heather shares with us the four mistakes every salon owner needs to avoid to ensure their team is moving in a positive direction. 


Mistake #1: Creating a Team of Followers and Not Leaders 

Heather believes one mistake she has made since starting NeatBeat salon in 2013 has been forming a team of people who are solely dependent on her. Avoiding hiring leaders to your team can be detrimental to your team’s success because it forces the salon leader to always monitor what is happening on a daily basis. It can also cause you to want to fix everything yourself or, as Heather describes it, take the monkeys off the backs for your team members when you have your own monkeys to deal with. To combat this behavior, find team members who will step up and help you form a team that will take the work off of you. Also, communicating with your team is a great way to find ways they can fix problems without you there. This will cause a shift in your salon and create the leaders you need. While it can be difficult for a salon leader to feel less needed by their team, Heather believes creating leaders doesn’t mean you’re not wanted anymore, it just gives you space to take time for what you want, and to work with your team members individually. As a salon leader, it’s not about creating great hair stylists, it’s about creating great humans. Heather believes your team will become much better if you push them to a level of greatness that no one else has done before.


Mistake #2: Unnecessary Spending

Anothermistake newer salons tend to make is spending their earnings on unnecessary items for the salon. Heather shared that in order to save money for her salon, she would complete tasks on her own that many salon owners would typically hire out, such as building shelves for products. By alleviating unnecessary costs, Heather believes you will find less stress in your salon because the money problems won’t be as prevalent. Being thoughtful about how you spend the money that your salon earns will help you become a debt-free salon, like NeatBeat! 


Mistake #3: Putting Your Guests Before Your Team

This is a customer service mistake many salon owners are known for making. Even though your customers are a large part of your salon’s success, Heather believes we should put the needs of your team first instead of primarily focusing on your customers. She believes that if our teams are fed and loved first, by using customer service techniques, they will then use those tools with their customers more authentically. This cycle of service will create a more positive and happy experience for everyone involved in the salon process. As a leader, Heather believes it’s also important to not use the “customer is always right” attitude with your team. You should support your team first, and if needed, find coaching opportunities when they do something different from what you wanted. 

Mistake #4: Having No Brand for Your Company

In any business, effective marketing is extremely vital to your salon’s success. Heather shares that many salons fall short in marketing ventures, which can make it difficult for consumers to know what their brand is about. Here are some questions every salon owner must consider when thinking about their brand.

·      What’s the personality of your business? 

·      What story does it tell? 

·      How does it make people feel? 

·      Is it attractive to your ideal guest? 

Your marketing should speak to the customers you want to serve. It should create an experience that will make them keep coming back to you. Heather believes poor marketing is a missed opportunity in the industry and can be a way to create direct revenue for your salon. Some examples of bad marketing tools can be the font of your logo, the colors you use, and making sure your graphics are consistent with the audience you want to reach. 

Avoiding these four major mistakes will create a more positive and exciting environment for you as a salon leader, your team, and your guests. Heather believes no matter who you are, where you are located, what your company has looked like in the past, or what it looks like now – anything is possible. So many of us don’t chase after our dreams out of fear, but even if you haven’t done something before, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it. Whatever you want, you can have. 

To listen to the full episode that inspired this blog, click here.  Make sure to subscribe to the podcast if you don’t already! 

Emily Kelly
How to Become the Official Salon of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

We’re excited to welcome Brandon Hensley to Beyond The Technique to share how his salon, Tangerine Salon, became the official salon of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC)! Of course, your salon won’t be able to become the DCC salon because Brandon’s salon already is, but you will learn how Brandon made this happen and how you can make your own massive deal with a high-profile brand!

Marketing and Advertising

Before we dive into how Brandon made the deal with the DCC, we need to get clear about some basics that will help you do the same. Let’s start with the difference between marketing and advertising. According to Brandon, the difference between marketing and advertising is where you’re at with your salon business. Brandon explains that after you reach a certain level of brand awareness and success, you stop advertising and start marketing. Advertising is crucial when you first open your salon business, and your salon needs to start attracting clients. Advertising includes mailers, ads in magazines, coupons, radio ads, or anything else that you’re purchasing to get the word out about your business. On the other hand, marketing is about a strategy.

Brandon explains that salon competition in Dallas can be fierce, so developing a marketing strategy to stand out from the pack was crucial to their success! For Brandon, standing out meant having multiple salon locations in high-profile, high-rent areas, and that is exactly what he did! Within about 18 months of opening their first location, Brandon signed a lease on their second location. With the second location, the reputation of their brand was enhanced; in Brandon’s opinion, customers started thinking, “Wow! They have two locations, they must be doing something right!” In addition to adding a second location, Brandon was committed to having the best service providers and the highest quality products to make sure their word-of-mouth was always positive!

With multiple locations and such great success, you might be wondering what the marketing budget for Tangerine Salon is, and I certainly was, too! Brandon explained that they have both a corporate marketing budget and a local salon budget. The corporate budget is for propelling the entire brand forward, while the local budget is for local-specific strategies. For instance, one of Tangerine Salon’s hallmark marketing strategies is giving gift cards to local PTAs, charities, and fundraising events. Each salon has autonomy in making some of their own marketing decisions with their local budgets.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Now, the story that you’ve all been waiting for! How did Tangerine Salon become the official salon of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?! Brandon shares that he had written on his own vision sheet years and years ago that he wanted to be the DCC’s salon, and eventually they came calling! Brandon attributes the salon’s marketing, brand awareness, and being in several luxury districts as the reasons why they were approached to be the salon of the DCC.

Brandon shared that Kelli Finglass, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders’ director, had visited a Tangerine Salon in the past and when it came time for the team to change from their previous salon, she approached Brandon and of course he said yes! That is when the Dallas Cowboys’ corporate machine came in to make the deal happen.

The contract between Tangerine Salon and the DCC is for five years and grants the cheerleaders unlimited, complimentary access to services at Tangerine Salon. In return, Tangerine Salon receives all kinds of benefits including: advertising (the cheerleaders are constantly Tweeting and posting on Instagram when they are in the salon), the ability to say they are the official salon of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, advertising at AT&T Stadium, and an entire episode on the cheerleaders’ show, Making the Team. In addition to that, they get all kinds of perks like tickets to the game and access to the top-notch suites. Brandon admits that the cheerleaders are in the salon a lot, so having multiple locations and lots of staff is the only way that they could make this partnership work. Nonetheless, Brandon admits that it is well worth the payoff!

Overall, all the small decisions that Brandon made—from writing his goals on his vision board to opening several locations in high-end districts—positioned Tangerine Salon to become the official salon of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders! I hope Brandon’s story inspires you to set big goals and take steps every day to achieve those goals! To learn more about Brandon, Tangerine Salon, and their relationship with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, listen to Episode 138 of the Beyond The Technique podcast.

If you don’t already follow the podcast, make sure to subscribe!

Emily Kelly
How to Properly Develop a Salon Education Program

Education is the heartbeat of the hairdresser. Stylists in this industry are drawn to salons that provide ample opportunities for growth and development in their practice. Of course, building a successful salon training program is no small feat, but it has become a necessary component for establishing a strong salon in today’s competitive marketplace.

Whether you’re looking to improve your current salon education program or you’re interested in developing a new one, industry experts Lenore and Kenny Gibson share their best practices for raising the stakes via educational training.

You might remember Lenore and Kenny from our Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed the previous episodes we’ll give you a quick recap: The Gibsons are both former Tony and Guy U.S. Creative Team Members who have since started their own education-based business, Collectiv Academy. Collectiv Academy is an enrollment based formal training program for students and stylists looking to hone their craft in order to create a prosperous and fulfilling career in the beauty industry. With their adept educational insight, these two offer their best advice for implementing a similar program into your own salon.

Why Investing in Education is Worth It

Educational programs have become a critical component for stylists in choosing which salon environment they want to work in. In today’s fast-paced climate, in which beauty trends are constantly changing, stylists stay motivated by the continuous opportunity to learn the new skills and techniques necessary in order to keep up and advance their career.

New and transitioning stylists are drawn to salons that offer quality educational programs with room for growth, so as a salon owner or manager, you don’t want to be behind in providing your
employees with these tools for advancement.

Determine Your Area of Focus

You have to first determine your salon’s specialty, or area of focus. Whether it’s mastering hair color or creating gorgeous updos, you have to decide what you want to be known for so that you have something to build your educational program around. If you don’t want to be limited to just one domain, you can combine a few of your best skills, offering a small handful of specialty services—but don’t stray too far from your niche.

Having an area of focus is good for both you and your stylists, you don’t want to spend time developing an expansive training program. There’s no need to go over all of the basics, your employees have already been through beauty school. Stick to what you know, and teach it well.

This will make it easier for stylists to decide whether or not your salon is the right fit for their skill base and interests, and it will lend itself to creating an extensive and in-depth training program tailored to your specialty services, ensuring that all of your employees live up to your salon standards.

Ditch the Ambiguity

 Be straight up when discussing your educational program with a potential new stylist. Lenore and Kenny urge salon owners to go into as much detail as possible, tell your stylists exactly how many weeks it will take them to complete their training and be specific about which skills they’re going to learn.

You also need to provide a final objective. Once they finish their training, are your stylists able to increase their prices? Do they level up or gain more status in the salon? Whatever objective you decide on, make sure the end goal is clear to all of your employees before they begin their training. Making these objectives known helps in building team unity and strength, and it continues to push your brand forward.

Choose Your Educators Wisely

From the salon point of view, how can you help your stylists be successful during their training? It’s likely that that you’ll need to hire several educators to teach your stylists these new skills and techniques, especially if you choose to specialize in more than one area. That being said, it’s absolutely critical that your educators are all on the same page in their practice to avoid contradicting one another.

Quick Tip: Becoming an educator could be an objective in one of your training programs. Salon owners often allow for advancement in a structured manner in which stylists work their way up from new talent, to intermediate, to advanced. Once your stylists have climbed the ladder, having completed all of their formal training, they could move into a teaching role, turning the page to the next chapter.

The Risk is Worth the Reward

The constant turnover that is natural to the beauty industry discourages many salon owners from taking the time to develop a proper training program. Lenore and Kenny flip this idea on its head by arguing that instead, you should let the fear of turnover be your motivation for this kind of training.

If you can create a solid educational foundation upon which your stylists can continue to build, you’re actually more likely to hold onto your employees. Not to mention, your well established, loyal stylists also appreciate some stimulation, and additional training will keep them feeling engaged and fulfilled in their current work environment.

Lenore and Kenny note that while building a cohesive and successful training program does require a substantial investment of time and energy on behalf of the salon and the educators, the outcome is well worth it. The unification of the quality of the type of hair going out of the salon will raise to new heights and your brand will continue to grow stronger.

To learn more about Lenore and Kenny and their focus on salon education, listen to their first podcast on choosing a valuable training class, episode 125. To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 139.

Emily Kelly
Tips for Building a Better Website to Boost Your Salon Business

If you’re interested in building on your brand, you must first build a better website for your business. Whether you’re a salon owner, manager or stylist, you’ve probably contributed to your company’s website in some way. Perhaps you built the webpage from the ground up, having done all of the coding yourself, or maybe you simply posed for a headshot that now sits on the stylists’ page for new clients to see. Regardless of your level of technical knowledge or involvement—your contribution matters—perhaps more than you know.

Branding is everything, and in today’s technological times, a great deal of brand promotion needs to take place online in order to draw attention to your business. If you’re online, your potential clients are likely to find you before you even know they exist, via the web. This is fabulous news for savvy salons with up-to-date websites, but it has other connotations for the digitally challenged among us.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply need to update an existing site, digital business expert, Brandon Hensley, has some advice on how to use your webpage to connect with your clients.

Brandon and his wife, Janet, own and operate Tangerine Salon Group, a group of luxury salons in the Dallas, Texas area. Brandon is also the creative brain behind Collective Office, a shared workspace for co-working and collaboration, he developed a consulting agency as an extension of Tangerine Salons, and he is one of the co-founders of HelloBooth.Co, a social media tool that allows customers and guests to promote your business on their own platforms and profiles with the click of a button. With his specialized industry insight and a knack for web development, Brandon offers his best advice for creating a website that will allow you to better connect with your clients.

Building Your Brand

If you own and operate your own business, you are responsible for growing it, which means you need to build your brand. This can be a daunting task for many as you navigate just how you’re going to expand your reach to your diverse clientele, but in today’s digital world the best place to start is online.

You can always hire out and bring digital designers in to build your website for you, but contracting a media team can be expensive, and as long as you’re up for the challenge—building your own brand allows you to better control the narrative.

Building a website has become much easier over the years. If you aren’t interested in memorizing coding or HTML, Brandon suggests finding a host site, or a site that will allow you to use their domain. There are a number of great hosts with different templates and many customizable options to best fit your needs and the needs of your business.

Think Mobile First

When building his own websites Brandon always looks at the mobile version first. Although there’s nothing more satisfying than designing a fresh web page for a desktop, no matter how clean and organized it looks on the big screen, it will always fall apart when you transition into mobile. People don’t have the patience for poorly designed mobile pages anymore. Your clients are always on the go and if they can’t access your website during their morning commute or on their walk to lunch, they’ll quickly move on to something more convenient and accommodating.

Brandon says his goal is always to make it as easy as possible for his clients to schedule their next appointment. On every single page, the header should include a clickable phone number and a link to your online booking agency so that no matter where your clients are on your site, they never have to backtrack to look for ways to contact the salon and get themselves on the schedule.

Stay Updated

Many of you are use to constant updates and remodels with regards to your physical space, but you need to be consistent in updating your online space as well. The worst thing you can do after building a web page is allow it to become stagnant. Brandon recommends remodeling your website every two years.

Sticking to this schedule is beneficial for many reasons. First, it keeps your site clean, fresh and up-to-date for clients and users. Second, it helps your business website stay relevant on search engines. Google and Bing want to see that things are changing on your site, they want proof of activity and action, and in return they keep you higher in the ranks, which makes it much easier for potential customers to find you.

No Such Thing as Information Overload

For some businesses, a crisp, clean and visually appealing website is all you need, but in the beauty industry potential clients rely on your website as their main source of information. Trusting somebody with your hair is serious business, so it’s imperative that you provide details as to what kind of training your staff has in order to help your clients find a suitable stylist.

Quick Tip: Don’t forget pictures! Professional photographs are so important in creating an appealing site. People connect with people, so be sure to include photos of each of your stylists along with their bio. It also never hurts to post pictures of your interior; your clients will appreciate being able to get the lay of the land before their first visit.

So yes, you should still maintain a clean and easy to navigate website, but don’t let design interfere with functionality. You should aim to build a business site that allows your potential clients to have every detail of the company, the stylists and the services your offer right at their fingertips.

Create a Separate Site for Recruiting

If you own a salon, and you already have a salon website, you likely have a “careers” page for recruiting new staff. This page usually gives potential employees the lowdown on your business, your values, and maybe even a link to an application or contact information.

While for some, one page dedicated to careers is plenty, Brandon suggests creating a completely separate site for employees both present and potential. This site can hold links to applications, training videos, schedules, product lists, manuals, anything you want your employees to be able to reference at their own convenience.

The benefit to keeping this site separate from your salon webpage is simple—information that doesn’t pertain to your clients will never get in their way.

First Impressions Matter

If you know the story you want to tell through your site, you’re already halfway there. Whether you decide to hire help or take the plunge and proceed to build your website on your own is up to you, but you always want to make sure your voice is being heard loud and clear.

As long as your online presence successfully communicates your values, your potential clients are sure to connect with your brand. A thoughtfully crafted website will never go unnoticed. First impressions matter, and your website is often the first contact potential clients will have with your salon—so impress them.

To learn more about Brandon Hensley and his many digitally savvy salon innovations, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 132. And be sure to check out the Tangerine Salon website for a little industrial inspiration.  

Emily Kelly
A Game-Changing Remodel: Go Beyond Going Paperless

Today’s trendiest salons are always looking for new and innovative ways to up their game. For some salon owners, this has been about efforts to open a new location or grow in size, but for many of you this involves becoming more efficient in your current setting. Salon owner and industry expert Stacey Coronado has some advice for the latter.

Stacey has been in the beauty industry for sixteen years. She’s a master stylist, salon owner, and educator. She started her career by joining Sexy Hair right out of beauty school and eventually grew into her own by partnering with Aveda and opening her own salon, 20 Volume. Among Stacey’s many accomplishments she has created and mastered her own new talent training program and she is recognized as a true industry disruptor with her many groundbreaking ideas for salon-wide improvements.  

One of Stacey’s biggest, new-age ideas is that of her revolutionary salon remodel. Her salon, 20 Volume, is a paperless salon—which likely has many of you saying, “Sure, I could go paperless.” But Stacey took this business-wide renovation one step further by going completely desk-less. With her expert industry insight, Stacey will walk you through how she managed to pull off this impressive transformation, and how it has been a game changer for her salons ever since. 


Doing Something Different.

In 2009 Stacey bought a salon location that had just gone out of business, and decided to open up her own Aveda Concept Salon. She did the bare minimum, painted the walls and bought new chairs, in order to open herself up to new clients. Stacey was very successful in her first location, and Aveda noticed her rapid growth and quickly made her a Lifestyle Salon, meaning 20 Volume became co-branded with Aveda, a national salon brand with greater recognition. 

Fast forward to 2017, Stacey and her husband purchase their second location and Stacey decides they need to do something different. She envisioned a desk-less salon in which clients could simply walk through the front doors and be greeted right away. 

Stacey wanted her guests to feel connected from the moment they walked in, which is something many salons are struggling to perfect right now. She was inspired by the Apple Store’s open concept and wanted to imbue her salon with a similar exposed and welcoming aesthetic. 

With the common salon layout guests are required to make the first move—they don’t know where to go and there’s no one there to greet them, so they make their way to the desk to seek help or check-in. Stacey wanted to take the guessing game out of the equation, and the easiest way to do it? Go desk-less!


No Desk. No Problem.

In Stacey’s salon, her clients are always in good hands. Upon arrival, her guests are greeted by the stylists, invited for a tour of the space, offered a beverage of their choice—and if their stylist still needs a little more time—guests are then escorted to a small waiting area. 

Stacey believes that it’s more about the retail connection, and like all salon owners, she wants to keep her clients, so she aims to keep them engaged throughout the entirety of their visit. Even her waiting area is an engaging space— a communal table where her guests can sit down with one another and be treated to hand rituals, aroma therapy sessions, anything to keep them from feeling ignored. 

More Receptive Without A Receptionist.

No desk means no desktop computer, which is often the biggest hurdle salon owners have to overcome when attempting to go desk-less. Stacey has found her way around having a receptionist by keeping things portable. Her stylists are always on the move, so the technology must mesh accordingly.  

Stacey says the secret to her success is stashing tablets at each station. She does admit to providing one PC, which has a more permanent home at the community table, but she tries to use it as little as possible. While technology is great, there will always be hiccups, but at 20 Volume Stacey focuses on trying to make the salon experience as seamless as she can.

Quick Tip: Doing away with the receptionist doesn’t mean you can operate without phones! If you’re considering going desk-less you’ll need to create another space for receiving phone calls, and even more importantly, you’ll have to get the whole team on board because everyone will share in the responsibility of answering the salon’s incoming calls. It’s all about teamwork!

Stacey proudly makes note of just how receptive her clients have truly been to all of the changes she’s made to the salon. Her guests are loving the team-oriented atmosphere and they’re excited by her many innovative ideas for improving the overall salon experience. She prides herself on her new desk-less model and it’s evident that she has made her mark in the industry.

At 20 Volume, Stacey and her team live by their mission to create an extraordinary experience for every guest, every time. Whether that means completely abolishing your front desk, or simply focusing more energy on greeting and engaging your clients, Stacey says that as long as you treat each guest like it’s their first time in your salon, you’ll keep them coming back. 

To learn more about Stacey Coronado and her many salon innovations, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 131, or subscribe to podcast!  And be sure to check out her salon website to view her desk-less space and get a feel for this new-age open concept idea.  

Emily Kelly
The Best Salon Marketing Tool You Haven’t Tried
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When you were in beauty school or just starting your career, how were you taught to build your clientele? Do any of these sound familiar: word of mouth, handing out business cards, talking to your friends, advertising in the newspaper, offering free services or discounts, posting pictures on Facebook, etc.? Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a better, more effective, and more innovative way to build your clientele with Meet Your Stylist!

Time for an Update

Just like hairstyles, marketing techniques change and need to be updated as technology improves and new information is learned about your clientele. As stylists, we take pride in continuing to update our hair coloring and cutting techniques, and we should take the same approach to our marketing strategies. We certainly wouldn’t give a client a haircut from the 90’s, so we shouldn’t use marketing plans from the last two decades, either!

If that isn’t a good enough reason for you to consider a new marketing strategy, think about this –  only 30 percent of new hair clients will come back a second time. That’s right, out of every ten new clients who you see, only three of them will come back. Now, think about all the effort that you’re putting into attracting just three new clients. Chances are that your return on investment (ROI) isn’t that great! This is exactly why you need to try a new strategy, and Meet Your Stylist is the perfect solution!

How Does It Work?

Meet Your Stylist is a smart survey that matches clients with stylists at your salon who are the best fit for them! The Meet Your Stylist survey lives on your salon’s website, clients fill out the short survey, and they are matched with three stylists at your salon who are the best fit for them based on their personality, lifestyle, and relationship preferences. The real secret to Meet Your Stylist’s success is that you—the stylist—choose the clients who you do your best work with, and those are the clients who you will be matched with!

Remember how low the new client retention rate is, just 30 percent. Well, the surest way to improve that number is to ensure your clients have a fabulous first visit, and this goes beyond receiving a great haircut. Clients need to have a connection with their hairstylist; after all, we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The only marketing tool that offers this type of individualized connection is Meet Your Stylist! Think about how your business would change if every client who sat in your chair was a great fit for you, and you instantly clicked! I’m sure you would love coming to work every day and your books would be packed!

I could go on and on about all the benefits of becoming a Meet Your Stylist salon, but I encourage you to check it out for yourself! To learn even more about this tool, visit and request a demo. There is a reason Meet Your Stylist won Best Marketing Campaign of 2017; you don’t want to be the last salon in your area to sign up for Meet Your Stylist, so sign up today!  

Emily Kelly