Posts tagged Salon
Easy to Manage Referral Programs for Salons
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Are your guests excited to spread the great news about your salon to everyone they know? When they do, are they being thanked? 

If your goal is to begin a program that is easy to manage, you’re in luck! 

Salon Owner and Industry Expert, Kati Whitledge, shares how her staff at Be Inspired Salon works to capture guest referrals and how they thank them for their advocacy when those referrals come through.

In addition to hosting the beloved Beyond The Technique podcast, Kati is the owner of the award-winning Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the creative brain behind Meet Your Stylist, an innovative salon software system that matches potential clients with salon professionals based on services, lifestyle preferences, and personality metrics. 

Kati is incredibly passionate about helping others in the industry develop their own success stories, and today she’s sharing her secrets for building an easy-to-manage referral program in order to help you capture those leads.

Capture Data with Client Intake Forms

An easy way to catch wind of a word-of-mouth referral is to ask every new guest how they heard about your salon. You can do this with your client intake form. 

At Be Inspired Salon, the client intake forms are digital. They made a non-public webpage that they have saved as an app on their iPads in the salon. When a guest visits for the first time, they give them the iPad and have them fill out their information. They include the question, “How did you hear about us?” Which prompts each guest to check all that apply.

The reasons they add the disclaimer, “please check all that apply”, is so that they can track their return on investment for all advertising platforms. This could include Google, Facebook, Instagram, Meet Your Stylist, a local magazine, radio, a partnering business, a friend, or other. When a guest selects “friend”, there is a drop down box which prompts them to fill in their friend’s name. 

Even if you’re not ready to go digital with your client intake forms, you can effectively apply these same principles in print.

Give the Gift of Added-Value

After you have an easy way to capture the names of guests who have referred you new guests, it’s so important to show your appreciation. 

That being said, Kati also stresses how important it is to make sure that how you choose to show your appreciation in turn adds value to their experiences at your salon. What she means by that is, you always want to give more, not offer them a lesser price. 

Many salons will promote offers such as, “Refer a friend and you’ll both receive 20% off your next visit”. But did you know that this devalues your services and products and in the mind of the buyer? It tells them that your services and products are actually worth less. 

Instead, Kati suggests that you use value-based propositions such as, “Every time you refer us a new guest, we will gift you with a $10 shopping pass to use at our salon!” In the verbiage alone, there is a huge difference in the value you’re offering.

Show Your Appreciation with a Hand-Written Thank You

Regardless of what value-added gift you give, consider a thank-you note as a touch point in your relationship. 

For example, at Be Inspired Salon Kati and her team sit down once per week with their list of guests who have given referrals. They write each guest a handwritten thank-you note and mail them out later that day. 

“Thank you” letters are a lost art and people love the special feeling of receiving a personal card in the mail. In the note, Kati and her team leave a simple message, such as, “Mary, thank you so much for referring Connie to us! We appreciate your advocacy and we appreciate you. Please enjoy this $10 shopping pass at your next visit!”

The lesson for today is if you employ a referral program, make sure it’s easy to manage so you never have to worry about dropping the ball. Add valuable gifts to show your appreciation, and think of a personalized way to thank each guest who is going out of their way to spread their love for your brand.

To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 189, and if you’d like to learn a little bit more about our host, Kati, check out her website and don’t forget to subscribe to the Beyond The Technique podcast for more incredible industry insight.

The Trick to Growing Your Tribe
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Starting your own salon isn’t easy, and growing your team is no small task either, but it’s perhaps the most important step in expanding. Besides, as a new salon owner, you’ve got nowhere to go but up.

Adam Broderick is no stranger to the struggles of starting your own salon. We introduced you to Adam on the Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed his previous interviews, we’ll give you a quick recap: Adam is the owner of the renowned Adam Broderick Salon and Spa with two locations in Connecticut.

Adam took a unique route into the industry. He actually started his career as an animal groomer and eventually decided to take on the challenge of human clients. 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.

Growth Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Like all good things, growing your tribe takes time. Sometimes it takes a long time, but when you find those people who just fit, you’ll know it was worth the wait.

With two salon locations, Adam employs over 200 people. You might be wondering how he found so many people who fit his brand so perfectly, he says he simply took it one coworker at a time.

How Do Your Hire That Many People?

The next question you might be asking is how does Adam have enough hours for his 200 some employees? Well, for Adam, this is kind of his secret sauce. Before starting his own salon he worked on 5th Avenue with what he says were some of the greatest stylists he’s ever known, and he recalls how difficult it was to get in with them. 

Sometimes clients would have to wait two or three weeks before they were able to get an appointment and Adam decided that he wanted to give his clients more availability and access. Adam believes that level of accessibility is the new luxury. So, over the years he built up a team with more stylists than he had chairs and moved his team into split shifts. 

With his employees only working half of the day each day, he was able to extend his hours. He opens his salon up at 7:30am sharp and keeps his doors open until 10:00pm so that everyone can get in no matter their schedule.

Hiring New Talent Is One Thing, Keeping Them Is Another

Adam is proud to say that he has many stylists on his team who have been with him for 10, 15, even 20 years. While Adam believes that the longevity of a stylist is variable based on work environment and lifestyle preferences, he says that when he does experience turnover, it usually happens within the first six months to a year of their start date. 

Adam and his team always aim to create a really strong culture. He says that although they’re always growing and changing, his team strives to maintain a safe and accepting work environment. He wants Adam Broderick Salon to be a safe and dynamic place to work, and he works hard to give all of his stylists the career path they’re looking for. 

Adam loves this industry and he’s so proud of his team and how far they’ve come. Adam says the key to becoming a successful salon owner and growing your team is ultimately to give yourself permission to work differently. Don’t be afraid to change the industry for the better.

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 184. And don’t forget to check out his salon website to follow his movement on his own industry blog,Insights from Adam.

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.

Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future
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No salon owner should have to go it alone—which is exactly why it’s so important to develop and nurture a leadership team within your salon to help you take over the beauty industry one task at a time.

Heather Yurko is the brain behind Lay the Foundation, a digital course that helps salon owners grow their team of leaders right from within the salon. We’ve introduced you to Heather on the Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed her previous interviews, we’ll give you a quick recap: Heather is the owner of the renown NeatBeat Salon in Louisville, Kentucky. She is also the founder of PIP University, which stands for Positively Impacting People, the salon owners platform for authentic and inspiring development.

Heather is constantly seeking out educational opportunities. She’s so passionate about sharing what she has learned in her trade with the other beauty industry professionals out there that she put together her own leadership course, Lay the Foundation, which is a three-week digital course dedicated to growing your leadership team.

So, Why a Leadership Team?

There isn’t a salon owner out there that can successfully run their business all by themselves, and truthfully, they shouldn’t have to. This is where growing a leadership team within your salon comes into play.

As an owner, you have so many things on your plate, from managing your stylists to marketing your services, and if you try to do it all yourself, you’ll inevitably burn out. Not to mention, having your hands in so many aspects of the business could be the very thing keeping you and your salon from moving up to that next level.

There are so many reasons to put time toward nurturing your leadership team from sharing the workload to building a stronger salon culture, but perhaps the most important is simply that your team is a direct reflection of your own leadership style. You owe it to yourself and to your team to invest in your leaders, allowing them to become the developers of their own future and in turn granting you the freedom and the mobility to be the best leader you can be.

Your Leaders Will Show Themselves to You

The first step in developing your leadership team is deciding who those leaders are going to be. Of course, you can’t give everyone on your team a leadership role, twenty people in power is just as dysfunctional as leaving it all in the hands of one.

Heather believes that the sweet spot is somewhere in between two and five strong leaders depending on the size of your team. The good news—these leaders will show themselves to you.

I mean, how many of you already have a couple of specific team members that come to mind? Your leaders naturally rise to the top. They’re the ones that always go the extra mile, the ones that step up to the plate when needed. Your leaders are the ones you can trust to help you manage the team and run the business, and they’re more than happy to take on that role.

Your Leaders Are Hungry—Feed Them

Building a structured leadership team is also about allowing your leaders to take that next step in their own career. Your natural born leaders are ready for the added responsibility. They deserve your trust and they have worked hard to prove it.

For your front-runners, having a structured system of leadership will be the next step in their professional development and they’ll be able to take on somewhat of a managerial role within the salon. Not only does this relieve some of the salon owner’s stress, but perhaps more importantly, it truly empowers those stylists on the team that are hungry for some additional responsibility.

We’re Stronger Together

Heather also emphasizes the importance of building a community and encouraging your team to make use of their resources, which is why PIP University has a private Facebook page created to connect leadership teams from salons all across the country.  

Heather believes that creating a network like this is a crucial step in laying the foundation for a bright future. On this platform stylists, managers and salon owners are all able to collaborate with one another on issues both big and small. That’s the beautiful thing about the beauty industry—we’re all in this together.

As Heather says, there’s nothing holding you back other than yourself. There are resources out there that will help you achieve your definition of work life balance, but at the end of the day, it really comes down to having a support system and having other leaders around you who will help you run the village.

 If you’d like to learn more about PIP University and Heather’s Lay the Foundation philosophy, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 174. And don’t forget to join the Facebook community to expand your network with the best in the business!

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.