Posts in Beyond the Technique
How to Get the Feedback You Really Want
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Everyone needs feedback in order to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, but sometimes it can be hard to ask for feedback. Perhaps it’s that we’re not asking the right questions. Maybe it’s that we’re really not as open to receiving feedback as we make ourselves out to be. 

There are so many factors at play when it comes to getting the feedback that you’re looking for, or maybe the problem is that you’re not actually looking. 

Whatever the case may be, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s standing in the way. Business Coach and Keynote Speaker Jay Williams is here today to share his favorite tips and tricks for getting the feedback that you deserve. 

If you aren’t already familiar, Jay is the author of the book, Leave Your Mark, which focuses on leadership and influence in the salon industry. Jay works directly with salon owners and beauty industry professionals to help them see the connection between emotional intelligence and the technical skills needed in order for them to thrive in their field.

Jay is passionate about the power of feedback, both positive and constructive, and today he shares his advice for both giving and getting the feedback you’ve been waiting for.

Why Is Getting Solid Feedback Such a Struggle?

While there could be many things standing in the way of your growth, getting the right feedback is crucial to your success. It’s called constructive criticism for a reason--it’s supposed to push you to be better, not keep you from chasing your dreams. 

So, why is getting the right feedback so tricky? Jay shares the top three things keeping us from asking for and embracing the feedback that we so desperately need to succeed. 

Receiving Feedback Can Be Scary

The first reason some people struggle to get solid feedback is that they’re afraid of what they might hear. This fear stems from anxiety around whether or not the feedback will be positive. Of course, we always hope it will be, but we also know that we have certain areas of improvement--are we ready to talk about them?

Sometimes We Don’t Think We Need It

The second reason people aren’t seeking out solid feedback is because they don’t think they need it. 

It can be difficult for some people to see past their own parameters and find room to grow. We are inherently narcissistic and we often have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we might actually benefit from a little constructive criticism once in a while.

Other Times, It Simply Doesn’t Cross Our Minds

The third reason someone might not be getting the feedback they really want is because they simply don’t know what they’re looking for. 

Sometimes we can chalk it up to the fact that the need for feedback hasn’t exactly crossed our minds. We don’t know what we don’t know, and so we haven’t thought to ask.

How Often Should You Be Offering Feedback?

As salon owners and managers, we often schedule out the times and dates we plan to deliver feedback to our teams--yes, I’m talking about reviews. But is this the only time we should be offering advice or praising our people?

It’s human nature to want to know where you stand at all times. That basic need feeds into emotional intelligence and the need to feel grounded. So, essentially, you should be sharing feedback every time the opportunity presents itself.

If we go back to those reviews, whether you choose to sit down with your team weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, the review should ultimately be a confirmation of what you’ve been sharing with your team all year long.

Jay says that if you’re able to share feedback with your team members on a daily basis, whether that be positive, negative, or constructive, nothing is going to come as a surprise come review day and thus there’s nothing to be anxious about. That’s how you tackle that initial fear.

It’s also important to remember that while “reviews” are often tied to monetary goals or incremental values, feedback can take many forms and shouldn’t always be tied directly to profit performance. Instead, “feedback” should simply be a part of your daily communication. Keep it constructive and don’t forget to sprinkle in a little positive affirmation once in a while. 

As Leaders, What Should We Be Giving Feedback On?

Do we only want to be offering advice specific to the technical aspects of things? Should we take our feedback beyond the technique

According to Jay, there are opportunities in both areas. The biggest benefit to giving feedback more frequently, whether it be related to those technical components or more in line with your general business values, is that it allows for real-time course correction. 

You can solicit feedback without following a specific format, but remember that the goal is always to improve performance. So, it’s important that no matter the tone of your feedback or the subject of your solicitation, you always make your intentions known. Not only does this help build trust between both parties, but it also eases the tension around accepting feedback in the first place.

What Are the Most Basic Dos and Don’ts of Soliciting Feedback?

Do say: “I want you to be successful.”

Don’t say: “You’re not meeting my expectations.”

Do say: “I want to give you some constructive feedback.” 

Don’t say: “Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong.”

Do say: “I want to help you.”

Don’t say: “Don’t be defensive.”

Giving feedback is a skill, and much like cutting or coloring hair, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Ultimately, if you want to improve someone’s performance, you’ve got to improve their thinking. 

And remember, when you praise, do it publicly. When you go about perfecting your communication and the experience with your people, do so in private. 

If you’d like to learn more about giving and getting feedback, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 182. Want to learn more about emotional intelligence? Check out our blog on why our EQ matters more than our IQ

Are you ready to leave your mark on the industry? It’s time to grab Jay’s book and get down to business!

Less is Definitely More
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We have convinced ourselves that the only way to get where we want to be is by working twelve hours a day, six days a week, but do we really need to sacrifice our work-life balance for the sake of financial freedom? 

Salon Owner and renown Hair Dresser, Ashley Toliver-Williams, will tell you no. Volume is no-longer the only marker of our success in this industry. Ashley is the owner of Fringe Salon and Color Bar in Houston, Texas and the National Chairman of the business team at Eufora International. Ashley is determined to inspire change and increased professionalism in the beauty industry.

When you get down to the basics of simple business behaviors, Ashley believes that there are so many opportunities to maximize our efforts with the clients we already have coming to us over the course of say, only three or four days a week, while still making great money. She devotes her time and energy to helping others in the industry create both the career and the life they want and today, she’s spilling all of her “less is more” lifestyle secrets. 

We’re More Than Just Hairdressers

In this industry, stylists do so much more than just hair. They’re skilled in chemistry, geometry, and biology. They know how to mix color formula, they can map out each and every different head shape, and they know to use products that will enhance the natural hair texture or relieve even the most sensitive of skin types.  

Today, stylists are the experts, they educate their clients on what haircut will look best with their face shape, what hair color will best compliment their skin tone, and what products they need to maintain their looks at home. They can fix a client’s dry scalp, offer solutions for their thinning hair, or recommend products that will bring the life back to their client’s dry, kinky curls.

So, why aren’t they living the luxurious lives that the experts in other industries are? Why aren’t they living like the doctors, the surgeons, or the accountants? Whether a stylist is simply looking to spend less time behind the chair or make even more money per client at each appointment, it’s time for the stylist to get back in control of their own career.  

Be Transparent With Your Guests

Over the years we’ve convinced our stylists that the only way they’ll make big bucks behind the chair is by opening up their schedules on Saturdays and working until 9:00pm every night.

We’ve also engrained in our clients that it’s acceptable to purchase shampoo and conditioner from the drug store or their local grocer.

Ashley acknowledges that it can be a challenge to change the relationship after establishing a routine with a client, especially for those that you’ve been seeing for a long time, but it’s so worth it. If your stylists are looking to up their financial freedom or take some of their time back, they had better maximize the time they do spend behind the chair and take control of the relationships they have with their clients.

Whether it’s a conversation about pre-booking or purchasing product, Ashley says you simply have to be transparent and forthcoming with your guests.

You might explain that you’re reducing your hours to spend more time with your kids and mention that your schedule is starting to book out further as you continue to take new clients. A simple segue into pre-booking, you might even be able to take a look at your schedule together while you have them in the chair. Then you could ask about your client’s at-home color maintenance routine and recommend some products that will help them prolong their highlight until that next appointment.  

In Turn, This Newfound Freedom Heightens Commitment

Providing your stylists with the roadmap to their own financial freedom along with the tools necessary to take control of their careers is the greatest gift you can give your team. And in return, they’ll be that much more committed to the work that they do because it’s all a part of their future growth.  

If you’d like to learn more about Ashley and her “less is more” mindset, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 177. And don’t forget to check out her incredible Fringe Salon in Houston, where she raises her team to reach for the stars.

Climbing the Ladder of Success With Adam Broderick
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Here at Beyond The Technique we love to highlight the success stories of the many influencers in our industry because they’re all so unique, and Adam Broderick’s is no exception. Although many of us stumbled our way into the beauty industry after admittedly struggling in school, how many of us can say that we started our haircutting careers by practicing on poodles?

From working as an animal groomer to opening up an award-winning salon, Adam has done it all. Adam shares his steps to success starting from the very beginning—you’re not going to want to miss this! 

Adam is the owner of the renown Adam Broderick Salon and Spa with two locations in Connecticut. Amongst other things, Adam is also a motivational speaker and business consultant to other salon owners. He is quite the entrepreneur and he’s one of the industry’s most respected figures.  

Adam walks us through how he started his own pet grooming business before the age of twenty, how this incredibly unique career choice ultimately led him to the beauty industry, and how he eventually opened his own salon and built up his business in order to become one of the great successes of our time.                                                                                                               

Taking the Not-So-Traditional Route

Adam is the self-proclaimed poster-child for extreme attention deficit disorder, but despite being labeled as lazy or having a lack of focus, Adam decided to find his own way by following his passion for animals. While at the time he wanted to be a veterinarian, he knew that the level of schooling required wasn’t really in the cards for him.

He got his first job working at a pet store, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to enroll in dog-grooming school at the age of sixteen. After he graduated he started his own grooming business which he ran until he turned twenty and decided to look for something a little less tedious.  

At the same time, the hair industry began to grow. Adam remembers Sassoon coming to town and thinking how cool it was to be a hairdresser. Shortly afterwards, Adam decided to sell his business and enroll in beauty school.

You’ll Never Get What You Don’t Ask For

There’s something to be said for putting yourself out there, and Adam was never afraid to ask for what he felt he deserved. Adam fondly reflects on his first job at Sassoon, which he earned after shamelessly offering his services up for free.  

Nailing a job at a big-name salon was a bit of a leap for a kid fresh out of beauty school, and of course they couldn’t legally allow Adam to work at Sassoon for free, but ultimately it was his energy and enthusiasm that won Adam the job.

How to Know When It’s Time to Open Your Own Studio

Although Adam had been in business before, opening his own salon wasn’t really on his radar. Yet after spending some time working in the city, he decided he was looking for something different.

With plans to move to California, Adam packed his bags and headed to Connecticut to visit his sister before his travels out west. Of course, as the tale goes, this is where Adam met his partner Pete and as Adam likes to joke, it seems California is carrying on just fine without him.

Although there were a handful of salons in Warrern, Connecticut, where the pair decided to settle down, none of them were operating at quite the same caliber as those in the city and Adam was craving that familiar and exciting environment. So, he decided to open his own small color studio, and because he specialized in color, so began his hunt for cutting specialists to collaborate with.

Creating a Solid Culture Through Collaboration

Because Adam built his business around his need for a cutting specialist who could compliment his skills as a colorist, the business itself was less owner-centric, fueled on mutual respect for each other’s craft. To this day, Adam truly believes that it was that initial collaboration that set the tone for his incredibly successful business model.

After thirty-two years, Adam’s business model has certainly evolved but his carefully crafted salon culture has remained strong. Adam believes that the secret to success starts with humility. He always says that, as a leader, it’s less about being the star of the show and more about how you can shine a light on the success of your stylists.  

If you’d like to learn more about Adam and his incredible journey in the beauty industry including how he has managed to grow his salon, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 169. And don’t forget to check out his salon website to follow his movement on his own industry blog, Insights from Adam.

The Key to Nailing the Consultation Is Open Communication
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The consultation is the single most important step in securing a potential client. This introduction sets the stage for all future interactions between your client, their stylist, and ultimately, your salon. And the key to nailing the consultation? Open communication and conversation.  

Bespoke Beauty Bar Owners, Alicia and Christian Blazevich, know exactly what it takes to seal the deal during the consultation. In fact, their knack for client communication is what makes them a Salon Today Top 200 Salon. After putting in their time at a four-year college, Alicia and Christian found themselves longing for something different, so they decided to switch courses and that’s how Bespoke beauty bar was born.

Ironically, both Alicia and Christian grew up with a soft spot for the salon environment. As a child, Alicia spent most weekends at the salon with her grandmother perfecting her perm, and Christian fondly remembers visits to the barbershop with his grandfather. The Blazevich’s both grew up with a deep appreciation for the community atmosphere that salons provide, which played a significant role in their beauty bar for their own salon.

Alicia and Christian opened Bespoke Beauty Bar with the intentions of highlighting each client’s individuality. They knew that the same old cookie cutter formulas simply wouldn’t cut it in their studio, which is why they put an extra emphasis on the consultation. By getting to know each of their clients and their own intimate relationship with their hair, the Blazevich’s and their team are able to tailor their services to meet each client’s unique needs. Alicia and Christian ask all of the right questions during the consultation—and you can too!

Put it in Writing

Contrary to popular belief, the Blazevich’s know that doing everything digitally doesn’t always mean it’s going to be done better.  Alicia emphasizes the impact of using a hand-written client intake form during the consultation. While a digital form might speed up the process, there’s a level of thoughtfulness that comes with writing something down by hand.

I mean seriously, how often are we asked to jot down our thoughts and feelings anymore? Alicia encourages salon owners to hand their clients a pen and paper during their first visit in order to prompt them to really process the questions and fill out the form authentically.

Make it Positively Personal

While the consultation should still ultimately be about the technical services your client is seeking, it’s important to include some personal questions when getting to know them and their individual needs. Not only does this help you match each client with their perfect stylist, but it also shows that you care about the person underneath each head of hair.

Alicia and Christian also suggest spinning the consultation in a positive light. During the first visit, we often focus on what the client is looking to change, what they don’t like about their hair. Alicia emphasizes how impactful it can be to shift the focus to what they do like, what about their hair makes them feel good.

Of course, we’re still there to tend to that unwanted outgrowth or make those color corrections, but by asking these questions and getting to the bottom of their wants and needs you’re letting each client know that they’re valued, and that you care about their feelings.  

Alicia also suggests that you ask each client about what they look forward to when coming to the salon. Make yourself aware of their favorite part of the salon experience and linger there during their service. For some, coming to the salon is a chore in and of itself, so don’t add the extra frills. For others, they might say they love the shampoo or simply being pampered, so give them an extra rinse or add some essential oils to amplify the experience.

Ask the Tough Questions

It can be tempting to wrap up the consultation after the more enjoyable “get-to-know-you” questions, but it can’t end there. The most important questions are the ones regarding maintenance and budget.

As a salon owner or stylist, the goal is always to send clients off with a new wave of confidence and incredible hair, but the key to keeping your clients is giving them the ability to recreate that same look and feeling at home. Alicia and Christian know that hair maintenance looks a little bit different for every client, which is why they take the time to ask the tough questions.

At Bespoke, they really break it down to understand each client’s level of ability when it comes to maintaining their color, their biggest challenges when it comes to styling, and their current product regimen. Alicia suggests that you start with the basics and work your way up. Ask your clients, “How much time do you spend on your hair in the morning?” And go from there.

Break Down the Budget

Finally, it’s time to talk about the budget. At Bespoke, the last page of their client intake form is the personalized Bespoke Beauty Plan, where they cover the cost down to the dollar.

Again, Alicia says it’s important to break the cost down by service. Does your color require an additional glaze or bonding treatment? How many times will you need to process? While this level of disclosure might sound daunting at first, Alicia and Christian argue that this kind of transparency helps build trust with your clients. Not to mention, it’s tremendous for bridging the gap between the client’s expectations and what’s actually realistic for their budget and level of ability. 

To learn more about Bespoke Beauty Bar and the Blazevich’s knack for client communication, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 162. If you’re interested in more step-by-step advice on perfecting the consultation conversation, read our previous blog post on the Six Steps to a Winning Consultation.

 

Insider Tips on Big Time Blogging
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Blogging has grown substantially over the years—and although blogs are no longer the hot new form of communication per say, they have picked up some serious speed with the rise of social media. 

If you haven’t already launched a blog for your business, it’s time to get started! Blogs are one of the most valuable tools business owners have in their toolbox. A blog essentially acts a publishing platform for your business, and it creates the perfect avenue to market directly to your prospective clients at little to no cost. 

If you still need convincing, you’re in luck because digital marketing expert Joey Donovan Guido is here to sell you on the concept of blogging and to offer his best tips and tricks for taking your business blog and running with it big time. 

We introduced you to Joey on our Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed his previous interviews we’ll give you a quick recap: Joey owns his own online marketing business, Cuppa SEO, in which he helps businesses improve their searchability and master all aspects of digital marketing. 

Before this major business venture, Joey dipped his toes into the world of blogging and was the writer behind “Daddy Brain,” a blog that gave its readers a peak into the thoughts, feelings and struggles of being a modern-day dad. Although he has retired his popular “dad blog,” he’s still very active in the blogging scene. He publishes content under his business name, Cuppa SEO, and works to help other businesses get their blogs up and running as well. With his expert industry insight, Joey spills his best blogging secrets to get you excited about creating content for your business.

Blogging: Good for Business in More Ways Than One

There is much to be said for publishing a blog under your business name because, regardless of what your business is, does, or sells, a blog is a great way to build a network of customers before they even walk through your door. 

Joey reminds us that blogging is not for the purpose of selling or pushing a specific product onto our readers, instead, a business blog should be used to build relationships with your clients. For salon owners, blogs can be the perfect way to preview some of your services for new clients, and to continue that candid conversation long after their time in your chair. 

 

Google Loves a Good Business Blog

On the marketing side of things, what a blog does for your business is absolutely invaluable. It’s a way to connect with clients. It’s a useful tool in helping them find your business and it could wind up being the cherry on top that really seals the deal in their decision to seek out your services.

This is where SEO comes into play. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is Joey’s jam. It’s exactly what it sounds like, it is the science behind enhancing or optimizing your searchability—or essentially an attempt to get the big dogs, like Google, to notice you. 

SEO is so important to your business because in today’s digital world everyone turns to Google for recommendations, and if you provide the services that a potential client is searching for, you want to ensure that your business is listed among those top hits. 

Well, we have good news—Google loves a good business blog. If you’re pushing out content, even just once per week, Google takes notice. After a few weeks, you start to build up some credibility and suddenly your blog alone has bumped you up from the third page of hits to the first recommendation.

 

Boasting About Your Business? Put It in Writing

A lot of the fear around publishing a blog comes from business owners who are afraid of the writing component. Joey encourages his clients to change their thinking—don’t view blogging as a writing assignment, think of it as another platform for communicating about your business.

At the end of the day, you know more about your business and your industry than anyone else. If you’re a salon owner, you likely can’t help but get excited about the services you specialize in and you could gush about your team or your best clients all day long. Take that same energy and put it down into words—it’s as simple as that. 

You don’t have to be an amazing writer to produce a popular blog, you just have to be pushing out content that you’re passionate about, and the writing will come naturally as a result. 

 

Get Crafty with Content Creation

When it comes to writing a blog for your beauty business, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many beauty blogs out there, you could easily look to other savvy salon blogs for some ideas and find fun ways to spin them to fit your salon. 

Gentle reminder: no one is expecting you to produce Pulitzer prize-winning blog posts. Your efforts should simply be put toward adding value for your readers. Focus in on a few topics that you know are relevant to your client base and run with them. 

Quick Tip: Sometimes the best blog posts are the ones that focus in on just one micro-topic. This could be a piece on your salon’s specific technique for cutting curly hair or a product review of your new beard oil, and just really cover that topic in full. These posts are super easy for your readers to digest and they’re just short enough to leave them wanting more!

 

When It Comes to Blog Titles: Clarity Over Creativity

Perhaps the most important element to each blog post is the title. You could be publishing some incredible must-read content, but if that title doesn’t scream “click on me!” your readers won’t think twice before scrolling on until something else catches their eye.

Titles are your attention grabbers, they are the primary vehicles driving traffic to your blog posts, but at the end of the day—clarity always trumps creativity when it comes to titling your published pieces. 

Again, this has everything to do with SEO. If you want your blog post to pop up on Google during a relevant search, Joey says you had better throw the dog a bone and insert a few keywords into the title to increase your chances of being found. Think about the content of your blog post and dig deep to determine the main topic. Once you’re able to pinpoint the true premise of your blog post, you can begin to build off of that theme in order to brainstorm a more creative title.  

The best thing you can do when launching a blog is to simply put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Think about your target audience, all of your clients, past and potential, in order to determine what kind of content will be the most relevant to them. As long as you include your clients in the conversation and have a little fun with it, you’re going to benefit from publishing a blog under your business.     

For more insider tips on starting your business blog, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 158. Be sure to also check out Cuppa SEO’s website and business blog for more expert advice on all things digital marketing.

Getting Down to Business at Serious Business® 2019
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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.

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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.

Success Starts with Self-Mastery: The Financial
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Today I’ll return to the topic of success through self-mastery, but I’ll be focusing on the financial aspect.

How do you master the financial part of your life? Do you have financial goals each month? Do you have long term goals? In this post I’ll share three strategies to help you become a master of your financial future.

Strategy One: Budget

For years I refused to use a budget. I was in denial, and having a budget felt so restrictive. I didn’t want restrictions because I had the mindset that money was mine for the taking. I felt like a budget would be unnecessarily limiting myself. But that isn’t the truth.

A budget gives you power over your money, it tells your money where to go, and allocates your funds. So, instead of looking at a budget as a restrictive, rigid thing, think of it as allowing you the option to allocate your money where you want and need it to go.

My recommendation, which comes from something that I learned at the Dave Ramsey SMART conference, was to budget your money down to zero. Take all of your income and literally break it down so it comes out to zero. You take your total monthly income and subtract all of your expenses, then decide what you want to do with the overage. Or, you may also need to decide how to handle a deficit, which could be a wake-up call to help you realize how important a budget really is.

In my case, I ended up saying, “Okay, I  need to decide how much more I’m going to put into each category.” So if I do less shopping, and have an excess in the budget, I would have more that could:

  1. Go into savings
  2. Go into my retirement
  3. Go into tithing for my church
  4. Go to vacation or gift savings accounts

You have all of this extra money that you could save for future entrepreneurial investments. When you’re in charge of your own money, it’s really cool to see what you can do when you have extra.

If there is a deficit, it should be the wake-up call. You have to clearly see that eating out every day for lunch and dinner is sucking the life out of your funds. Do you really want your money to be working for you in that way? For those of us who are really busy, it could be actually more cost effective to hire someone who does your food preparation for you. They’d go to the grocery store, prep, and cook the food, which would actually save you money from eating out every day, and it would also save you a lot of time and effort. You just outsourced a need in your life. So just think creatively like that about how to potentially avoid adding more work to your life, while still directing your money where it needs to be.

For me, shopping was a major issue. It’s hard for me to resist going to a nice outdoor mall, looking around, and finding so many adorable things that I want. I actually ended up owning many things that were extremely similar to things I already owned. I’m sure some of you do that too. How many of you go out and buy shoes, or shirts, or jewelry that actually all looks the same? I always buy similar things because they fit my style, but I end up wearing literally ten to twenty percent of what’s in my closet.

This just proves my point that your money could be going towards things that aren’t actually serving you or your long-term goals.

What are your long-term goals? After you set up your budget for what you’re currently working with, I want to challenge you to take some time to create your “Someday Budget.” These are the things you want to do with your money “someday” when you have extra income or profit. You can make a someday budget for your business and for yourself. I would encourage you to do both.

If you’re currently operating on $2,000 per month, what is it going to look like if you’re operating at $4,000? 6,000? 12,000? Or even higher? How are you going to budget your money to work for you? I think that if you have the vision for what’s going to come, the work and effort you put in now is going to propel you exponentially. You’ve heard of the people who win the lottery and then have their entire lives fall apart because they didn’t know how to manage what they suddenly gained. If you can manage your money today and then set up your future goal, it will be freeing for you. It’s very exciting working towards that goal and freedom.
 

Strategy Two: Goal Setting

I recommend that as soon as possible, you sit down and set personal goals for yourself as well as your business goals. The key is to simplify.

Here’s an example. If you’re currently bringing in $4,000 a month but your goal is to bring in $6,000 a month, you’re looking for a $2,000 increase. How are you going to increase your monthly income by $2,000?

There are a few ways to start making your money. The first is by increasing the number of customers that walk through your door. How can you increase the number of customers, the average ticket of each customer, and the number of transactions each month? Those are three components to think about. You can do something promotional that doesn’t devalue your business, meaning discounts aren’t the answer. When I talk about promotions I’m suggesting that you think outside of the box.

How can you increase the number of transactions per month? Think about what would make your clients come in more often. What about a waxing promotion, where clients would get a complimentary wax of their choice when they do a brow wax? Instead of devaluing yourself with a discounted service, you’re offering an ad-on deal. Or what if you said, “If you come in for a treatment, you’ll receive a $10 gift card to use towards products.” That’s another great promotion that does not devalue what you’re offering. It’s giving a gift, something of value, which will encourage an increase in the number of transactions during the promoted time period.

To increase the number of customers coming in, there is a phenomenal marketing tool called Meet Your Stylist. This tool gives your salon a unique marketing survey that potential clients can use to get matched with stylists  that are the best fit for them. The tool is a great way to encourage more visitors to your salon!

The final possible method is to increase the average ticket. Is it time for you to increase your prices? If you have a goal of reaching an additional $2,000 a month, it definitely might be time. If you’ve been very busy and you think you have loyal clientele, consider raising your prices. You have to think outside of the box, ask yourself, “How do I start working smarter, rather than working harder?” You can definitely increase your income by putting in more hours, because the one thing you can leverage is your time. But how can you think outside of the box so that you’re making other things work on your behalf?

Do you hire so that you can divide and multiply your business? These are all really fun things to think about. I don't expect that you’re going to implement this tomorrow or the next month, but having that clear goal in front of you will keep you more focused and more likely to work towards that goal.

Strategy Three: Review
 

Once you do any of these other steps and strategies, you need to come back and review your progress. My husband and I have a monthly financial budget meeting. We actually sit down and schedule it in our calendars just like a business meeting. We look at what we did last month with our spending and whether we stayed in budget. We decide if we have excess to work with, or if we spent too much. So each month we do this check-in to review our budgeting, spending and finances, and make sure to communicate with each other about everything.

With your business, you’ll want to review each month by looking at your profit and law statements, and checking your balance sheet. You’ll also want to have bi-annual meetings. Twice a year, sit down and ask yourself if you’re reaching your goals for your business. Then decide what you have to do to get there. If you’re already there, that’s great! Revise and set a new goal. It’s really a matter of mastering the management of your money.

At the end of the day,  this is only a piece of the puzzle that is your life. You need a budget that tells your money what to do so that you’re in control of your own finances. Set goals so that you’re not restricted. The goals are what free you up to do the bigger things you want to do in your life. Maybe you desire to make more, live more, or make less and live off of less. Everybody has a different plan and that’s okay, as long as you have goals.

But make time for the review aspect. Set up an appointment for yourself, at your business, maybe even with your business coach. Confirm that the budget is in place and that your goals are underway. If you do these things, I believe you will be successful in your financial life.

 

 

One Way To Empower Your Stylists
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Does your salon encourage—actually encourage—stylists to say no to clients? If you’re lucky enough to be in a leadership position at your salon, you need to start encouraging your stylists to say no to performing services that just don’t feel right. I’m going to share with you when saying no is appropriate, a strategy for avoiding this situation, and how to say no confidently and kindly.

When To Say No

At my salon, Be Inspired Salon in Madison, WI, we teach our stylists that if a consultation takes more than 5-10 minutes, it is not the day for this service. At this point, the stylist should say no, and I’ll explain how to do this shortly. You’ve probably seen this situation happen when a client who has unrealistic expectations takes control of the consultation, and your compassionate stylist is too timid to say no and explain why this can’t happen today. Basically, the stylist is left feeling uneasy about the consultation, and there is no way that she is going to make the client happy. More often than not, the clients who have a shaky consultation will be the ones who call back to complain. Although receiving a handful of complaints is unavoidable, we could save ourselves a lot of heartache if we just say no from the beginning.

Try to Avoid It

Simply saying no is a great option when a consultation isn’t going smoothly, but there are other ways that you can avoid this situation altogether. For example, clients often bring in pictures of how they want their hair colored, and sometimes the stylist can’t do exactly what is pictured for various reasons. You know what I’m talking about, right? So, the stylist uses the client’s photo as inspiration and explains what she can actually perform during this appointment. While it’s great that the stylist is saying yes to what can happen while saying no to what can’t happen, the stylist often forgets to show the client a new photo. This is the fail. The only image in the client’s head is the photo that they brought in, so the stylist needs to show the client a new, inspiring, and beautiful picture of what will be performed today. If the client still isn’t understanding, even with the additional pictures, this is when you need to say no.

Another strategy to avoid saying no is by using the award-winning marketing tool: Meet Your Stylist. Meet Your Stylist is a customized tool that matches clients with hair stylists at your salon who are the best fit for them based on their personality, lifestyle, and relationship preferences. Above all, Meet Your Stylist gets the connection right the first time. When clients are uniquely matched with their stylist, the client has respect for you and your expertise because they have been prequalified to work with you. How great is that?

How to Say No

Now that we’ve tried several strategies to avoid saying no and decided when it’s appropriate to actually say no, how exactly does a stylist do this? Here’s your basic script, just add your own personality: “You know what, I just don’t think today is the right day. I really want us to firm up where we are headed with this look before we start. My fear is that I’m going to start working on your color, we put all this time and energy into it, and you might not be happy with the result. I don’t want that for either of us.” At this point, you can do what is right for you and your salon. You may want to refer the client to a different stylist, explain that you’ll be in contact via email with some new pictures, or even refer her to a different salon. It might seem scary at first, but you won’t regret saying no to a service that just doesn’t feel right.

If you’re a salon owner or manager, you need to train your stylists on when and how to say no. Then (and most importantly), you have to have their back when they come to you and explain why they didn’t perform a service on a particular client. The truth is, if you take care of your team first, they will take care of the clients. This is a win-win situation, so hopefully this has encouraged you to empower your stylists and build a fabulous team of professionals!


Do you have other tips about saying no, or want to share a troubling situation with other professionals? Share your thoughts on our private Facebook group; we all rise when we lift each other! To get more industry advice, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to the weekly podcast, including this topic: Episode 104.

4 Ways to Overcome Hairstylist Anxiety
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Guess who’s back? Our top contributor and industry expert, Shana Dee! Shana has already shared countless industry tips with our followers ranging from consultation advice to Instagram tricks, and she is back again to discuss four ways to overcome hairstylist anxiety. Even better, this is a topic that one of our followers requested, and we’re excited to offer our help!

What is Hairstylist Anxiety?

To start, Shana Dee wants to make sure we are all on the same page about what hairstylist anxiety actually is, so we can work together to overcome it. Let’s start with a stressful situation that we can all relate to: the moment you realize that your client doesn’t like her hair, and you’re thinking “Oh man…this isn’t good.” Sometimes, your client doesn’t even have to say anything, but you can feel it, and you start to feel deflated. Can you relate to that? How about the situation when you have a new client who is booked for a fifteen minute color retouch, but needs a full color correction? You’re magically supposed to fit an hour service into fifteen minutes while winning this client over. There’s no way that this can turn out well, so here comes the anxiety (and maybe even some tears)!

Shana Dee wants to reassure our readers that she experiences these problems too—we promise that you are not alone! Even as a seventeen-year industry veteran, Shana has days when she drives home and thinks about starting a second career as a neurosurgeon! So, maybe you haven’t considered becoming a neurosurgeon, but hairstylist anxiety is a real problem that we all experience. Many hairstylists live in fear about receiving a bad review, having their reputation ruined, and losing their paycheck. This is not healthy, so Shana wants to open the conversation up and share four ways to overcome the unique stressors that hairstylists experience!

Strategy #1: Eliminate The Problem Before It Starts

Here’s another situation that Shana is sure you can relate to: you check your schedule for the day, you see a name that you don’t recognize, your heart skips a beat, and anxiety rears its ugly head! You run to the receptionist, ask a million questions about this new client, but you end up feeling unprepared and anxious about the unknown. Of course, this new client expects you to solve all her past hairstylist transgressions in one appointment. No wonder we feel so much pressure!

Well, Shana was so tired of feeling this stress that she decided to eliminate this problem before it could even become a problem! To do this, Shana received approval from her boss to implement a new requirement that all new clients had to have an email consultation with Shana before they could be added to her books. Basically, any new client had to talk with Shana before they could have an appointment with her. By taking charge of how new clients were being scheduled, Shana no longer felt anxiety when looking at her schedule. Now, she knows exactly what type of client she is seeing, what they are expecting of her, and knows that they are scheduled for the proper service time. What’s even better is that Shana’s clients are often so appreciative that she has taken this extra step that they feel even more comfortable with her! That’s a win-win!

Shana Dee understands that this system might not work at every salon, but there is a tool that can work at (almost) every salon! This tool is Meet Your Stylist! Meet Your Stylist is a unique survey that matches clients with the hairstylist at your salon who is the best fit for them based on their service, personality, and lifestyle. Again, this eliminates the fear of the unknown for both the client and the stylist. If you can use Meet Your Stylist and implement email consultations, you can say bye-bye to this type of anxiety for good!

Strategy #2: Let It Go!

When clients complain, it sucks. There is no way to sugar coat it. Shana Dee admits that there is nothing that can deflate your confidence as quickly as a complaining customer. Just one complaint can haunt you for days while you replay that appointment over and over in your head. In that moment, you are expected to fix the problem while totally shutting out your own emotions and trying not to get flustered. Who can’t handle that, right? Wrong! This is totally overwhelming, and we often find ourselves alone and crying in our car—Shana is not afraid to be honest and say that this has happened to her! We give our energy, love, and talent to each guest, so when it doesn’t turn out right, it really hurts us emotionally.

While Shana wishes that she had a magic wand and could make all the hardworking stylists feel better after a complaint, she just can’t do it. But, she does have a few suggestions to build your confidence back up! First, Shana Dee recommends going home and eating a really nice dinner! Whether you pick up your favorite takeout or make a bowl of mac and cheese, take some time for yourself and eat dinner. You’re probably jacked up on caffeine from working all day and haven’t eaten lunch, so a relaxing dinner is a must! Then, go to bed. Just close your eyes and leave the day behind—just let it go! When you wake up in the morning, scroll through your Instagram and remember all the clients who have left your chair with huge smiles and loving their hair!

Shana reassures you that it might take a few days to heal, and that is okay! But, one of the worst things that you can do is start telling everyone about the incident. Just don’t do it! It’s understandable to tell a few trusted friends, but Shana Dee has heard colleagues talk about bad experiences over and over again and suddenly this one incident has been dragged on for two weeks. If you are still talking about it, it has power over you; once you stop talking about it, you can move on. At the end of the day, you just have to take out the emotional trash, and let it go!

Strategy #3: Fake Being Ok

We’ve all heard the saying “Fake It ‘Til You Make It.” Well, Shana Dee is here to tell us that there is some truth to that! Have you ever heard of the concept of cognitive dissonance? Shana explains that cognitive dissonance is the scientific explanation of fake it ‘til you make it. Essentially, if you act like you’re confident and happy, even if you genuinely aren’t, you can start to actually feel these positive emotions. Shana recommends that when you’re feeling hairstylist anxiety, just take a few minutes and pretend that you’re okay. That’s right, just pretend that you’re feeling terrific. This one simple activity can help alleviate so much of your anxiety!

On days when the struggle is extra real, Shana suggests repeating to yourself “I’m the best hairstylist in my city. I am smart and this will not break me.” If you keep repeating this in your head, you will start to believe it, and you’ll get a huge confidence boost! While this might sound silly, Shana Dee assures us that these are techniques that she has used and have worked!

Strategy #4: Education is Key!

One of the biggest culprits of hairstylist anxiety is feeling like we can’t get the results we want, or wondering why a service turned out so badly. Shana is here to remind us that hair color and cutting is a science. Once you understand the laws of hair color, you will know how to do all color corrections, and it is no longer a guessing game! You will know with certainty how to perform every single service, and you will feel so confident!

With the fabulous invention of YouTube, Shana explains that you have no excuses for not learning something new every day. You don’t even have to leave your house or spend any money to learn something new! Start doing this today, and not only will you learn so much, but you will be so inspired by others. Shana Dee also encourages you to not limit yourself to learning about cutting and coloring, but start reading books about marketing, business, communications, and so much more! Educating yourself is all about gaining confidence which will definitely reduce your anxiety!

To recap, Shana Dee recommends four ways to reduce your hairstylist anxiety: #1: Eliminate The Problem Before It Starts, #2: Let It Go!, #3 Fake Being Ok, and #4: Education Is Key. Shana would love to hear about other situations that produce anxiety, so we can work together to overcome them! Please remember that you are not alone in experiencing these feelings, and we are all here to support each other. If you have other instances to share, or tips to overcome anxiety, please share them on our sister company's private Facebook group! We can’t wait to meet you!

The Big 5 of an "A" Player
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I recently heard Keith Cunningham speak at the Business Excellence Forum in Houston, TX, and I was so inspired by his presentation that I’m sharing his insights with you! Keith shared with us The big 5 of “A players" - and they couldn’t be more applicable to the salon industry. These characteristics are a great tool to identify the "A Players" on your team, but also to think about whether or not you’re an A Player. Let’s see! 

The Big 5

  1. A Players love the outcome. In other words, they love the “scorecard,” whether that's a quarterly report, commissions on payroll, or an annual goal. A Players love the result and want to know that they’re winners.
     
  2. A Players have a high internal need to succeed. Again, A Players love to win! But, they don’t need to be constantly motivated and monitored by others, because they want to win for themselves. A Players don’t need external motivation; they have all they need inside themselves.
     
  3. A Players love measurement and accountability. If you set goals for your A Players, they love it! A Players like to track progress and be accountable to others. They don’t shy away from a tough challenge, but will meet the requirements to get to the next level.
     
  4. A Players have the technical chops. Basically, A Players know what they’re doing, and they’re amazing behind the chair. They get it, they got it, and they’re good! Not only do they want to succeed, but they have the technical skills to make it happen.
     
  5. A Players love coaching. This one is my personal favorite. A Players always want to know how they can become better. Even when you give them a compliment, they’re asking for your advice to take it one step further.

Are You an A Player? 

I was once told that A Players don’t want to work for B Players, and I couldn’t agree more! If you have A Players on your team who aren’t inspired by leaders who are also A Players, you’re going to struggle to keep them on your team. A Players want a leader who motivates them, coaches them to become better, and holds them accountable. 

If you’re in a situation where you’re struggling to keep A Players, you need to ask yourself,  “How do I become an A Player for my team?” Reading this article is a great place to start, and the team at Beyond the Technique is ready to help you take it even further! We encourage you to check out our other services including our Mastermind Group and Business Coaching (remember, A Players love coaching!) This could be your first step towards kicking it into A Player level--there’s no limit on your success! 

Are you looking for some more accountability on your road to becoming an A Player? Or, do you want some advice on mentoring the A Players on your team? Then, check in with us on Instagram and our sister company’s private Facebook group! We will see you there!

Profits Are Yours for the Taking
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Do you have a mindset of scarcity or abundance? If you’ve heard my previous podcast on struggling with food addiction, I used to have the mindset that I had to eat the last four brownies that were left. I did this because I was scared that if I didn’t do it now, that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to have that taste, that feeling, that experience again, and I’d regret missing out on it. That is the scarcity mentality, where you constantly fear that the thing you really want will be gone tomorrow. 

Now, I want to translate that fear mentality into profits. I believe that some of us are discounting what we have to offer because we are scared that if we don’t offer the best deal, someone else is going to offer a better deal, and we’ll lose out on business. Or, we are afraid to charge what we believe we’re worth because we’re afraid to lose a client because of it.

But I want to tell you that profits are yours for the taking. You don’t have to be afraid of the “what-ifs.” I think sometimes we make things up in our minds that don’t even exist. We create these irrational fears. That’s natural. But, how can we train ourselves to think differently? And, how do we adjust to have an abundance mentality instead?

What is money?

Money is an idea backed by confidence in its exchangeability. I’ll say it again: we’re in business together. We’re entrepreneurs. There is a difference between rich people and wealthy people. Rich people have money. Wealthy people have time and money. What would you do if you had unlimited time? If money wasn’t an issue?

Don’t you want to get to that point? You can create that type of life for yourself if you have an abundance mentality.

Here’s the truth of it: historically we’ve proven that we don’t run out of resources. We won’t ever run out. When we’ve lost our way or we’ve come to a crossroads and needed to find a new path, historically we have always figured it out.

An author I recommend is Paul Zane Pilzner who wrote a book called Unlimited Wealth. In it, he explains that the essence of economics is alchemy. In our history, we’ve figured out how to create something from nothing. We can look at Benjamin Franklin and his discovery of electricity, or Thomas Edison creating the light bulb. We can look at Andrew Carnegie figuring out how to manufacture steel for skyscrapers using an efficient process with an affordable cost. There’s Rockefeller, converting crude oil into kerosene and then kerosene into gasoline. If we fast-forward to more recent times we could talk about artificial insemination or cloning. We have a legacy of figuring things out. Why? Because we are innovative problem solvers.

Innovation as a Means for Success

Confrontation leads to innovation. When you’re searching for a method or solution, establish a group of people who don’t necessarily agree with each other, but have a common goal. That’s the beauty of creating a team. You have a problem and you figure it out, through innovation and teamwork, with differing insights available.

What are the reoccurring themes of your own self-talk? Are you worried? Fear is just false expectations appearing as real. The first step is to recognize whether you have a scarcity mentality or an abundance mentality. If you lean more to the scarcity side, that’s okay. But consider adjusting your viewpoint to see the potential and abundance all around you. Money is everywhere and it’s available for the taking.  It all comes down to how you choose to look at it.

If I could leave you with one other resource today, I’d recommend a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It asks questions about how you grew up looking at money, viewing money, and how you can recognize and acknowledge these aspects.

How will you change or expand your current beliefs so that you aren’t sitting back and worrying about making profits, but that you recognize that profits are all around you? There are so many creative ways to have profits come to you… they are yours for the taking.

Do you have more tips for developing an abundance mentality? Or, do you want some more help leaving behind your scarcity mentality? Share with us on our Instagram and in our sister company's private Facebook group! We will see you there! 

How to Use Guerilla Marketing to Grow Your Salon Business
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What Is Guerilla Marketing?

Are you familiar with guerilla marketing? If you’re not, you should be. Entrepreneur defines guerilla marketing as an unconventional way of performing marketing activities on a very low budget. It can be a great business strategy for salons, especially new ones! In this post, I’m going to tell you how I used guerilla marketing to grow my business, and provide you with five simple steps to help you start a guerilla marketing program for your own salon.

First things first – why try guerilla marketing? One good reason is that it can be done on a shoe-string budget. Money can be tight for many new salon owners, and guerilla marketing (if done right) can be efficient and cost-effective. And due to the nature of guerilla marketing, it’s a great way to build brand awareness in your community AND build local partnerships, which can be another powerful tool.

So, with those benefits in mind, I decided to try it out for my own salon! When I started Be Inspired Salon no one in my community knew about us. So, my team and I started to go around to neighboring businesses and talk to members of the community. We gave away brochures and gift cards, NOT discounts (you all know how I feel about discounts). It was a risk to give away gift cards, but we knew that if we could get them in the door it would be a game changer.

That tactic worked, but we needed to step it up a notch. We decided to attend local networking events with the goal of building relationships, not selling services. But here’s the thing, we got a little bold with our new strategy. We attended these events dressed like cocktail waitresses. We had on nice Be Inspired Salon branded shirts and professional name tags, and we carried around trays with free product samples and whiskey glasses to collect business cards. (I said we were bold!)

We definitely drew attention, but in a good way! And don’t worry, we didn’t get in trouble. The hosts of the events thought it was a very clever idea. Anyways, it was a great way to start conversations and get to know the people in our community. We would tell them about the salon, offer a product and ask them to enter their business card for a chance to win a prize. We would alter the prize based on the audience, but usually it switched between a free hair cut or a product bundle.

Take a guess as to who won? Everyone! That’s right. When I first started guerilla marketing, I made everyone a winner. We were new, and we had plenty of openings. And it turned out to be a great success! We started getting new, paying clientele in the door.

Five Steps to Guerilla Marketing

But there’s a little more detail to how I made it happen. Here are the five simple steps you can follow to repeat what I did for your business.

1. Find events. I’m very lucky to live in a professionally driven community. There are always networking events going on. But if you are looking for ideas, check your local business chamber or search for local organizations on LinkedIn. It’s also a good idea to check out Business Networking International (BNI) – they have chapters across the US.

2. Set a strategy. Networking can be intimidating, so it’s a good idea to have a plan before you go to events. First, set a goal of how many people you want to meet and/or cards you want to collect at each event. I started out with 10. Then, decide what you are giving away, and like I mentioned before, personalize it to the crowd. Finally, brand the heck out of everything you give away! I had little stickers made that included my salon logo, address, and website and put them on everything my team gave away. It’s a simple and affordable way to grow brand awareness.

3. Follow-up. This is the most important step to make your program successful. How many times have you had a conversation that ended with, “We should meet up sometime!” Only to never have that happen? The same goes with business networking. After my events, I like to find them on social channels, usually LinkedIn, and I send them a quick note. Something like, “Hey! It was nice to meet you last night. I want to connect.” And if you don’t feel comfortable using a social platform, email is another great option.

4. Set a schedule. Frequency is another key to success. When I first started, my team and I were going once a week. And if you’re thinking I’m crazy, you’re not wrong. It was a lot, but it did lead to results. But I know that everyone doesn’t have that kind of time, so at a minimum, I would suggest going once a month.

Once business picked up, I thought I didn’t need guerilla marketing anymore. I was wrong. I rode the first great wave of new business, and after about six months of no networking, business slowed down. I couldn’t figure out why. I talked to my business coach, and he pointed out that the only thing I stopped doing was guerilla marketing. So, the lesson here is that even when business picks up, you can’t stop networking. You need to keep a consistent frequency, even if it’s once a month.

5. Get your team involved. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. I recruited my Stylists to help for several reasons. First, it can be scary to go to an event by yourself, so the buddy system is never a bad way to go! Second, I wanted them to be more invested in the business. I started to notice that if I met someone at an event, and they came to my salon, they expected to see or work with me. As I got busier, that wasn’t possible, so it was important to have my Stylists at events as well.

We have an event sign-up at the salon with the expectation that at least two people have to go to ONE event per month. This way you don’t have to go every month, but your salon is still being represented in the community.


If done well and done consistently, guerilla marketing can help you grow your salon business! If you’re looking for more detail on how to get your program started, check out “Episode #74  - Have You Been Guerilla Marketing?” on the Beyond The Technique podcast!

How to Manage Stress: Part 3
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The Third Way to Manage Stress: Find Your Breath

We breathe all day, every day, but never really take the time to think about it. Spend a moment now breathing deeply and make note of your body’s reaction.

Taking a few deep breaths should be your immediate reaction to stress, anxiety, anger, or worry in your day-to-day life. In those moments, taking the time to step away briefly and breathe can be highly beneficial when you’re ready to return to the situation and resolve the issues you’re facing.

Many of us are in stress mode all day and never give ourselves the chance to slow down and breathe. If you’re looking in the mirror and trying to breathe properly, it should look like your stomach is blowing up into a balloon, rather than your shoulders are lifting up towards your ears. Keep your shoulders relaxed and neutral. Instead, expand and contract your stomach as you breathe deeply.

This style of breathing works your diaphragm properly. It’s also the way that musicians breathe in order to effectively support the dynamics of their song. This strategy is so important to implement because it can offer immediate stress relief!

Yoga is also an incredible way to learn about breathing! I used to be against yoga, because I thought it would be boring. But once I found the right yoga studio for me, I discovered how much I loved it, and now my body needs yoga. Sometimes the things we don’t want to do are actually things we need the most. For me, that was yoga.

Yogis call yoga a “practice” because it really does takes time to master, and you won’t be amazing at it on your first attempt. I try to attend one yoga class per week, but the breathing part of the class is still one of my greatest challenges. It’s not the moves I struggle with, but making sure I’m not always holding my breath and keeping all the tension in is challenging.

The bottom line is that breathing will help to alleviate your stress! Your main goal should be to find easy ways to manage stress, because it’s not just going to stop being a part of your life. Instead of wishing stress away, you need to become more resilient to it, and find ways to cope with it. If you find positive outlets for stress, I believe you’ll be less likely to make decisions that will harm you in the long run.

I used to look to food as a source of stress relief--something that would make me feel good immediately. I also used to have wine every night after the salon closed. I was at the salon all day working like a crazy person, and I’d be so busy that I wouldn’t eat much throughout the day. Then I would go home and drink about a bottle of wine every night to relax and unwind from the day. That type of habit didn’t set me up for long term success. Yes, it was instant gratification, but those negative choices will eventually catch up with you. If you have positive outlets instead for when you’re stressed, tired, or anxious, you’re setting yourself up for much greater success!

Do you want to share your stress-relief tips with other industry professionals? Check out our sister company’s private Facebook group to interact with like-minded professionals! We can’t wait to see you there!

Three Hairdresser Money Mind Shifts, Featuring Industry Expert Shana Dee
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As beauty industry professionals, it’s so important for us to think in ways that give us the outcomes we desire. When you’ve been standing on your feet for eight hours, working with numerous personality types, and taking the last walk-in appointment, you definitely need to put mind over matter and focus on positive thoughts! Today, Shana Dee—Master Stylist based in DC with over 16 years of beauty industry experience—is sharing three mind shifts that will put you in control of your own life and your money!

#1 Eliminate Competition

Shana’s first tip is to eliminate competition. You might be thinking: how do I get rid of competition when there is a salon on every other corner? Friends, Shana Dee reminds us that your only competitor is your own mind.

Let’s start with a short story to show you what we’re talking about and how you can eliminate competition! There is a successful salon in the Midwest that has been passed down through four generations. It is a strong community staple, but then a chain salon opened and started offering $6 haircuts. When this chain salon opened, the owner got nervous and approached his son worried, “What are we going to do? Our ‘competition’ is offering $6 haircuts. We can’t compete with that! We’re going to go out of business!”

Instead of panicking, the son said to his dad, “What would it take for us to make more money than last year? Let’s each write down three ideas that can help our business succeed.”

Guess what they came up with? They developed a new slogan: We Fix $6 Haircuts. How perfect, right? In that year, not only did they thrive, but they made more money in that year than any year prior!

Shana Dee explains that when you start viewing other salons and even your coworkers as competition, you kill your creativity. You may be wondering, where does this scarcity thinking even come from? As kids, we were taught that you can’t have another piece of the cake because that means someone else won’t have a piece. But, we live in an environment where you can create an even bigger cake, and eat it too! Instead of thinking about what you lack, think in abundance.

How do you change your mindset to one of abundance? Shana suggests that you start with gratitude. For instance, say something like, “I’m so grateful that I have a full schedule and I’m always attracting new clients.” Or try, “I work with so many talented hair stylists, and I receive a lot of inspiration from them. I love that we collaborate and are always lifting each other up!” Positive affirmations and expressing gratitude are the quickest ways to bring creativity and abundance to your life.

#2 Be an Expert

Shana Dee reminds us that in every industry, the expert is always paid the most. A CEO is paid more than the intern and a lawyer is paid more than a paralegal. So, why do so few people become experts in their chosen field? It’s all about what you know and what you do.

When you go home from work, what are you doing to increase your knowledge about being a hair stylist? The opportunities to increase your knowledge are truly endless! You can learn how to edit videos, use Photoshop, take advanced color and cutting classes, read business books, and listen to podcasts! Shana stresses that becoming an expert separates you from the herd and makes you stand out!

How do you separate the expert from a novice? Shana Dee uses one simple question: are you confident or certain? Let’s say that you absolutely love hair color, and you’ve decided to become an expert. When you’re in the middle of a color correction appointment, are you confident that you know how to fix it, or are you certain? Are you running to the back to ask another stylist for advice or do you know every required step to get from A to B? There is a big difference between being confident and being certain—this is the difference that will make you an expert. Pick a craft that really lights you up and become an expert!

#3 Mind Over Money

We’ve all been there before when we look at our schedule and our jaw hits the floor! You think, “OMG, I have no clients!” Then the stress hits you and you start worrying about money. It’s easy for you to start blaming your surroundings and think, “If only I were at a different salon, I would have more clients.” Shana Dee explains that these thoughts place you in a state of desperation and jealousy. Trust us, money will not come from these thoughts!

The difference between stylists who are booked with a steady stream of clients and the ones who are worrying about money is how they are thinking. The more successful stylist is thinking different thoughts; she is thinking, “I love being so busy!” and “I am so grateful that clients choose me to be their stylist—I’m providing them a great service!” Shana emphasizes that these positive thoughts also spill into other aspects of your life, and you go home pumped up and ready to become an expert! You start spending more time mastering your craft and building your following. Start thinking positive thoughts and the money will follow!

What’s Next?

Now that you know the three money mind shifts, you need to set some goals for yourself. Your goal could be to post one Instagram picture or video every day, or you plan to get five new clients in a week. Whatever your goals are, Shana reminds us that you really have to set clear goals and go for it! You don’t have to know every single step along the way, you just have to take the first step—you will get closer every day!

Do you want to share your goals with other industry pros who can keep you accountable and give you confidence? Check out our sister company’s private Facebook group! We can’t wait to see you there!

Top 5 Things Every Successful Salon Has in Common
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Are you a salon owner or manager looking to improve your business? From my experience as an owner and salon business coach, I’ve come to realize that truly successful salons have five things in common. And today I’m going to share those with you!

#1: Opportunities for Growth

Successful salons offer their employees ample opportunities for professional growth. For example, a level system, or a way for a Stylist fresh out of school to get from where they are now to a master level. Having programs in place provides your team with benchmarks they need to hit to continually move up the ladder at your establishment.

#2: Offers Education

Education is key. The most successful salons have training and education built into their culture. And it should be offered to your Stylists at every level. When a new Stylist starts at your salon, do you have a program in place to help them become more developed? What about your seasoned pros? Do you have programs in place to help drive their continued success? It’s important to provide educational opportunities that will empower and inspire your Stylists to become better!

#3: Provides Structure

Deep down, most humans desire structure. While you may have some employees that will always want to do their own thing, this shouldn’t stop you from providing structure at your salon. Structure encompasses a lot of different things including boundaries, expectations and accountability.

An easy way to implement more structure into your work environment is to provide your employees with a handbook or “playbook.” This would include the rules your Stylists needs to play by to be a part of your team. This could also include important information around boundaries. For example, what are your vacation and compensation programs? Are there rules around whether your Stylists can purchase equipment? Or do you provide equipment? Topics like these can be outlined, and boundaries can be set with clear communication and a tool such as a playbook.

You can also use that playbook as a good starting point for setting expectations and accountability. This ties in well with providing opportunities for growth. A successful salon will outline what is expected from a Stylist fresh out of school versus someone who’s been at the salon for a few years. This can include things such as the skill level you expect them to be at, to the attitude and behavior you expect them to bring into your salon. And when you have your structure documented, it helps everyone stay accountable.

#4: Strong Collaborative Marketing

This is a great tactic and one that is a win-win. Successful salons take a collaborative approach to promote not only their amazing salon, but their talented Stylists. It’s a strong effort to help build your Stylists’ clientele while building your business.

Meet Your Stylist is a great customer retention tool to help you do just that, but with little effort and big return. This tool helps you match new clients with the Stylist at your salon that is the best fit for them! And the best part is, you are empowering your Stylists by providing them the opportunity to work with clients that fit in their wheel house of expertise.

If you aren’t using a tool or you don’t have a strong collaborative marketing program in place – you need to make sure you are getting the word out about your Stylists’ talent and help build their clientele! Your business will benefit from the collaboration.

#5: Creates a Team Environment

A strong team environment means there is a strong team effort. There is a parallel between working in a salon and being on a basketball team. When you have a team mentality, your goal is to make sure the team wins – it doesn’t mean you’re the point guard who scores all the points. A great team has a common goal in mind they are all working towards. It’s not about “me and my clients,” it’s about “US and OUR clientele” as a salon. Successful salons don’t compete internally, they work together to compete against other local salons! Successful salons have a team effort that’s constantly trying to build each other up to get to that next level and achieve the bigger vision.

With that being said, do you have a bigger vision for your salon? Have you shared this goal with your team? Before you can create a team environment, you need to make sure everyone at your salon is on board!

So, how do you start implementing these five things? The first step is putting it out there to your team. Call a team meeting and go over your vision, your new playbook, or your new education program - whatever it may be. Make sure to listen to your team’s feedback, they might have an awesome idea for collaborative marketing or a conference they think would be useful to attend. There might also be some resistance, but that’s okay. Don’t let that fear stop you from implementing new things, because in the end, having these five tactics in place will help you become a more successful salon!

If you are looking for more business tips and beauty industry advice, make sure to follow Beyond The Technique, listen to our weekly podcast, and join our private Facebook group.

Three Ways to Increase Your Salon's Instagram Following
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I’m going to be honest: there are actually seven ways. I have seven secrets to help you increase your Instagram followers by 500%. To give credit where it’s due, our sister company: Meet Your Stylist has this amazing guide called Seven Secrets on How to Increase Your Instagram Following by Over 500%. That’s where I got the ideas for this post. But I’m going to focus in on three of those ways in particular.

First, I want to ask: why do you want to do this? Why increase your Instagram followers? Here’s one good reason: in 2015 only 27.6% of the U.S. population used it. Now, in 2016, we have 89.4 million users a month in the United States, and worldwide there are 300 million users per day. To put it plainly, Instagram is blowing up! Because millennials are the main users of social media, particularly Instagram, it’s essential to consider that demographic when trying to increase your Insta following.

Step 1: Define Your Unique Selling Proposition

What does that mean? It means asking yourself what sets your salon apart from others in your area. Let’s imagine that you specialize in crazy hair color; blues, greens, pinks, reds, orange. If that’s your specialty, create an Instagram stream around that, and you’ll start attracting individuals who are drawn to that type of service. Defining your salon’s unique selling proposition will differentiate your Instagram posts from those of other salons. It will increase interest from your target market.

Are there services or products that you provide that others don’t? Do you specialize in certain haircuts or hair coloring services? Maybe you offer a guarantee that no one else does.

Your Instagram shouldn’t cover every single aspect of your salon, but should hone in on some of your top unique attributes and services, and use those to gain a community of interested followers.

Step 2: Frequency and Consistency

Frequency is important, but consistency matters even more. If you don’t have time to start an Instagram page for your salon, wait until you know you can commit to it. If you’re not ready for it, who could potentially help you? If you do choose to have someone else run your account, however, I would choose someone who already works at your salon and has a knack for Instagram.

Frequency matters. You don’t want your current followers and potential audience to miss the opportunity to engage with you. I recommend posting consistently each day, but that can vary between each salon. You may post morning, afternoon, and evening every day or you may start with just once per day at first. Just be consistent! To make it easier, I would highly recommend using a social media scheduling program. A couple that we’ve used are Mass Planner and Hootsuite (which is cloud based and can be accessed anywhere). With these options you can spend some time one day of the week and schedule your Instagram posts for the entire week and then get right back to work.

Step 3: Use Hashtags

There are a ton of people searching specific hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. It’s definitely in your best interest to use them on every post. Hashtags are essentially keywords that Instagram users can search to find related and interesting posts and pages. Therefore, it’s important to include hashtags that are relatable to your target market in every single post. The more hashtags you use, the greater chance of increasing your followers. You’ll also want to have some specific branded hashtags just for your salon.

These are just three of the ways to increase your Instagram followers, but the rest of the list can be found by entering your email at MeetYourStylist.com. I know these steps work, because they definitely worked for us. When we implemented these seven strategies we actually did increase our following by over 500%. There are four other secrets left that I didn’t cover in this post, but they’re all equally as helpful, so I certainly recommend checking out the link to the full strategy list.

Being actively present on social media, giving value to your followers, and creating a community is an extremely cool and important part of owning your salon. Even if your followers don’t become clients, they are becoming your advocates, and in a social presence that is a huge asset for the positive reputation of your business.

Share your Instagram ideas with other industry professionals by joining our sister company's private Facebook group. We all work together to empower others and build one another! We can't wait to meet you!

How To Manage Stress: Part 2

I love exercise--it’s definitely my favorite way to manage stress. It’s incredible to notice exercise boosting your endorphins. For example, you’ve probably heard that people who are avid runners can get a runner’s high each time they work out. This is because there are neurotransmitters in your brain that pump out good feelings when you work out.

Exercise can also be a great escape. A great workout takes your mind off of whatever might be happening this week or morning, because your body is focusing on movement rather than stress. Additionally, exercise helps you sleep better, which is a proven stress reducer. Sleep is incredibly important for the body, because it helps increase your mood and self-confidence, and lowers symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

However, there are also a few rules I have for great, productive exercise.

#1 It should be challenging

I’m not saying every workout needs to be extremely challenging, because going for a walk or doing some yoga is also very beneficial for your body. Not all exercise has to be challenging, but most should be. You’ve heard the saying, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” and that is very true for me. Your heart has to be pumping, and you have to put some effort in for your most successful workout.

#2 It should be fun

If you don’t have fun, you probably won’t stick with it. You’ve all probably tried exercises and activities before that you thought were awful. For me, this was swimming. As much as I would love to pretend by buying a Speedo suit and putting swimming into my exercise plan, I just don’t have fun with it. I’ll lay on a raft and get some sun, but swimming is not personally enjoyable for me as cardio exercise. The most important thing is to find what’s fun for you, and try lots of new things until you do.

#3) It should be regular

In my opinion, you should exercise a minimum of four days per week. Typically, I do five or six days each week, because I really do love it and love the benefits. You have seven days a week to work with and I think four days is a good middle ground, and a realistic option for most of us. Not only will you feel better and be less stressed, but you’ll look better too. But if you don’t exercise regularly, those benefits also won’t happen regularly.

#4) It should become your lifestyle

I know some of us tend to give up after we start, but it’s important that you become an active and healthy person. You need to be able to look in the mirror and say, “I’m active and healthy” without your mind disagreeing with you. Start by saying that you’re in the process of becoming active and healthy so your mind believes you, and you’re able to achieve it. Once you have 30 successful days under your belt you can change up your verbiage and say, “I am active and healthy!” It takes a long time for anything to become a habit. It needs to be a lifestyle for it to really stick and become real. You can’t stop after the thirty days; you just have to keep going. In order to avoid having an “end date” to your fitness, you need to make it a part of your everyday lifestyle.

Do you have any fun exercise ideas or other stress management advice?  Share your tips with us on our Instagram and in our sister company's private Facebook group! We will see you there! 

Three Things You Need to Say No To If You Want to Grow

Do you remember your best, “Aha!” moments in life? One of mine came while watching the Oprah Winfrey Show a few years back. I will never forget this, she said, (and I’m paraphrasing here) “When you say no to others, you are saying yes to yourself.” I’m a bit of an overachiever in life, and I’m completely guilty of biting off more than I can chew, but I’ve come to realize that success isn’t what you do, it’s what you don’t do. I’ve learned that it’s OKAY to say no. Especially if you have specific career or life goals. It can be difficult to make progress when your time and energy is pulled in a lot of different directions.

Unfortunately, you can’t start saying no to everything. It’s important to make sure you are saying no to the right things that will give you back time and energy to focus on your goals, whether that be growing your salon business, going back to school, or simply living a happier life with a little less stress. Lucky for you, I’ve narrowed down three important things you need to start saying no to.

#1: Say No to Actives/Events/Tasks That Drain Your Energy

The first you need to say no to are any activities, events or tasks that DRAIN your energy. There are a lot of great things you can be a part of, but if it drains your energy to be there, then you are hurting the people you aren’t giving 100 percent to. Also, you’re hurting yourself by not spending that energy on things that could really use your attention.

For example, maybe you are a part of a local professional organization or chapter. You joined a few years back to network and learn, but you really aren’t getting anything out of it anymore. Maybe the meetings are farther away than you would like, or maybe they run too long, but you have been involved for so long you feel super guilty leaving. I’m here to tell you – it’s okay to walk away, it might involve a difficult conversation, but if it will take a little stress off you and give you back some time to focus on your business or personal life – start saying no.

#2: Say No to Actives/Events/Tasks That Aren’t Important to You

It doesn’t make you a bad person if you don’t want to donate to every charity you come across, or even if you don’t want to volunteer at your church’s bake sale. We all cannot be a part of every single charity organization that’s out there. Even if you could, your time, money, and effort wouldn’t be as impactful as it would be if you put all your effort into one thing that was very important to you. I give you permission to say no to book club and spend your time listening to business podcasts that will help your salon grow or book another client to fill that time.

#3 Say No to Actives/Events/Tasks That You Won’t Be 100% Present

I talked about this earlier, but if you aren’t giving it your all when you participate in an event, you’re not helping anyone out. You need to show up to what’s important to you or find a way to make those activities or tasks more enjoyable, so you do give it 100 percent. Say you find it hard to focus on bills and answering emails when you are at the office, because of this you procrastinate on the task. Then, when you are forced to do it, you dread it even more. Now you can’t avoid paying your bills, but you could take a day to go work at a coffee shop or library. That way it shakes up your routine, gets you in a new place, and makes you more excited to take on the task. The key is to be mindful of what and how you choose to spend your time.

How to Start Saying No

Of course, all of this is easier said than done – but it’s not impossible. So here is how I’m going to help you learn to say no to those three things.

First, look back at the last six months of your calendar and make a list of any activity, event or task you had to do that was draining to your energy and took away time to focus on your goals and dreams. This could be something as futile as doing laundry. I know that sounds crazy, everyone must do laundry – but do you really?

I’ve talked with a lot of business owners about farming tasks out. If there is a task that drains you, that’s taking up time you could be using to write your first book or take on an extra client—it’s worth asking if it’s possible to not do it. For me, it was worth paying someone $10 or $15 to do my laundry so that I could go to the salon and earn an extra $40/hour – I’m still coming out on top. This is just an example, but if you really evaluate where you spend your time, you’d be surprised how you can rearrange your life to make room for things that will help you reach your goals.

Once you’ve decided what you are going to give up, you need to stick to your decision. Even if that means you are going to have to have some uncomfortable conversions – it will be worth it.

Next, hone in on your goals! You will have more time and energy – so don’t waste it. And don’t refill your time with things that don’t matter. As humans, we tend to fill up our time as soon as we have it. Be picky with things you choose to do with your time. Remember, when you say no to others, you are saying yes to yourself.

Are you still struggling with saying no? Share your struggles and ideas with other industry professionals by joining our sister company's private Facebook group. We all work together to empower others and build one another! We can't wait to meet you!

How to Fire a Client

This topic is a bit touchy. Many of us may have fired clients before, or have always wanted to, but struggle with having that uncomfortable conversation and don’t know how to begin or what to say.

What makes a bad client?

First, it may be time to fire a client if they are consistently disrespectful. Everyone has bad days from time to time, but you know there are also the clients that seem to be having a bad day every day. It’s a little difficult for me to think of a personal example, and I think that’s because I have a very strong personality and people know not to treat me poorly. But I have had other Stylists who are more timid and loving, whom clients seem to consistently take advantage of and be disrespectful to.

They might say rude things about the stylist when others are around. For example, “The last time was just awful, my hair did not look good.” They go out of their way to put others down. Besides the attitude, they’re often the people who don’t really respect your time. For example, the clients who are always canceling or rescheduling and who assume that you’ll automatically come in whenever they need you. You might also have clients that don’t reschedule regularly, but get upset with you when you can’t schedule around their very particular schedule. I know plenty of Stylists who will do anything for their clients, but that is not a good give and take relationship. You deserve respect just as much as they do.

There are also the clients who consistently return the products you recommended. We had a woman who came to our salon, who would always buy products, try them out, and then return them. It was getting to the point where she’d try to return products she’d been using for five months, which was ridiculous. Eventually, I looked at her purchasing history and noticed her pattern and told her that since the products didn’t seem to be a good fit for her, my team didn’t feel comfortable selling her products any longer and we discontinued that service for her. She replied angrily, and it was definitely not a comfortable conversation.

But you really need to decide if it’s worth the effort to continue with a frustrating client when you could be focusing on all of your other amazing clients. There are just some clients who may need to be fired, because they’re never satisfied or they have a bad attitude.

Most of this can be prevented if your consultations are precise and confident. Consider having consultations as an entire salon, so that you’ll all be on the same page and there is no lack of clarity for the expectations of each visit.

But if you’re really struggling, it may be time to break up with the clients who are disrespectful, always canceling, always returning products, and never happy with their results.

Identify and Categorize Types of Clients

I’ll use A, B, C, and D as our example clients. “A” clients are the ones who totally love you, the experience, everyone there, and your products, and they’re probably the ones that set up a full year of appointments in advance. They trust you and get you tons of referrals.

Your “B” clients are consistent. They continually re-book and buy products here and there. They’re awesome to work with and you’re always excited to see them. They’re cordial and easy to get along with. They may not be buying as often, but they’re still involved and they’re generally great clients.

The “C” clients are the ones that visit two or three times per year and don’t often buy products from you. They don’t usually rebook, but they probably tell you that they might book again. They’re the clients who you enjoy during their appointments, but you haven’t really been able to build an intimate relationship with. You’re not thinking about them all the time, but they do fill in the blanks of your schedule.

Finally, your “D” clients are the ones who are never on time, always reschedule, return products, are never happy, aren’t friendly, and make everyone unhappy when they’re around.

What if you were to completely let go of all the D clients? What would happen? I believe you’d then have more time and energy to give to your A, B, and C clients. I’d recommend putting 80% of your time and energy into your A clients, because they buy everything and refer everyone. They are the best possible clients, so they deserve the majority of your time. B clients should also get your time because you may be able to turn them into A clients. Therefore, 15% of your time should go to B clients, and that last 5% should go into your C clients.

But that really means you have to get rid of the D clients, because they take away the opportunity for you to book more A and B clients.  

Be Assertive and Make the Tough Decisions

Try making a list and categorizing all of your clients. Then communicate with your D clients, via email, on the phone, or face to face. It’s always nice to meet in person, but they might not respect your time enough for that to be a good option for you.

You have the right to be assertive. I strongly suggest that you stand up for your rights without infringing on the rights of others. I realize that some of you put up with the D clients because you need the customers and don’t have enough. I encourage you to make the right decision for you, whatever that may be.

But ideally, you want to have a solid clientele, so you can avoid putting up with the people who aren’t making you feel great about your job.

Remember that you may lose a little bit of money by getting rid of your D clients, but you should focus on how you’ll be able to replace those clients--with better clients, or other productive work.

When it’s time to let them go, an email could say something like this, “Hi [name here], I’m writing to let you know that I am no longer going to be able to take care of your services. I wish you the very best. Take care.”

It doesn’t have to be a big defensive argument. Just be honest and let them know that you don’t think it’s the right fit. Some clients might get angry, but at least you won’t have to deal with their consistent negativity in your business anymore.

Your best clients deserve more of your time. I understand that this can be uncomfortable, but think of it this way: you’re saying “no” to the bad clients, so that you can say “yes” to the amazing clients!

Are you struggling with letting go of some clients? Share your struggles and ideas with other industry professionals by joining our sister company's private Facebook group. We all work together to empower others and build one another! We can't wait to meet you!

Is It Time To Join a Mastermind Group?

If you are a salon owner, manager, aspiring business person or entrepreneur, then you need to consider joining a mastermind group. What exactly is a mastermind group? Great question! A mastermind group is a group of professionals who come together to help each other improve their business skills by sharing ideas and challenges and then brainstorming solutions.

There are many benefits that come from being involved in a mastermind group, but only if you are a part of a group set up to succeed. So today, I’m going to walk you through the benefits of being a part of a mastermind group and how to find one that will be worth your time.

Benefits of Joining a Mastermind Group

People who join mastermind groups are serious about their careers. It’s a great way to connect with other success-driven professionals to share ideas and challenges. I’ve personally been a part of mastermind groups for years. I find them to be invaluable. Other members have gone through challenges I haven’t and can help shed light on new ideas I have, or problems I’m facing with my business. It’s a wonderful resource when you have a new idea - you can bring it to the table and other successful people can add to it, give feedback, and basically help you learn to work smarter, not harder. So with that, here are my top five benefits from joining a mastermind group.

  • You will have a group of people to share new ideas, strategies and challenges with. These people will help you think through your business problems and brainstorm viable solutions.
  • You will become part of a community of supportive colleagues who will keep you accountable to your professional goals.
  • You don’t just get, you give. You will get to help other people through their business (or personal) journey. It’s a great way to help others out – you have insight and wisdom to share!
  • You will learn so many new things! You don’t know what you don’t know. Being a part of a mastermind group has saved me money. I’ve had great ideas (or I thought they were) and I’ve brought them to the group only to discover many have tried these great ideas with not so great results. But I wasn’t made to feel discouraged, I was able to learn from others’ mistakes and take away new ideas that have proven results.
  • You will grow your professional network. Now, mastermind groups aren’t meant to be your typical “networking” event, in fact, most groups don’t allow self-promotional talk. However, you will meet new people, most likely in your industry, and you will establish strong relationships, which will be useful in the future outside of the group.

What Makes a Good Mastermind Group?

As with many things in life, you are only going to get back what you put in. Mastermind groups only work if people are serious and committed. You need the members of the group to participate, because it’s the open, raw dialogue that will provide the great insight. If you’re new to a group, you don’t need to share your life story at the first meeting, you can definitely ease in. But if you have no intention of truly participating, then a mastermind group might not be for you. Other than group participation, I’ve outlined the three things you should look for in a mastermind group.

Size. Size does matter when it comes to mastermind groups. Make sure it’s a relatively small group, 8-12 people is usually a good size. Too many people can lead to less productive meetings. You want enough people to share advice, but not too many where people don’t get the chance to participate at a deep level.

Structure. Find a group that’s organized. Everyone is busy and no one wants to have their time wasted. Join a group with a set agenda for each meeting. This will help keep the group focused and on schedule. In addition to an agenda, you want a group that requires action items at the end of each session. This will keep the group accountable.

Commitment. To really get the most out of a mastermind group, you want members that are committed. Committed to showing up (and showing up prepared) and committed to participating.

Are you interested in joining a mastermind group for salon owners and professionals? Good news! Beyond The Technique has a mastermind group! Our groups meet monthly for a 90-minute video conference with open dialogue focused on growth and development for your salon business. To learn more, visit our Group Mastermind Sessions page.

If you aren’t ready to commit to a mastermind group yet, but you still want to connect with other professionals to share ideas and tips, send a request to join our sister company’s private Facebook group. You can also follow our weekly podcast for more professional and beauty industry advice!