Posts by Anviti Chaurasiya

The writer girl! Does Sunday brunching with books. Lover of all things sweet and sugary. Trying to switch salads for cheesecakes everyday and failing.

Some brilliant advice to help you hire great staff for your salon!

A good team of professionals is fundamental to achieving your business goals…

…at whatever stage you may be with your salon business; just starting up, looking to expand, or trying to efficiently run your current setup.

Recruiting and retaining quality professionals is the most important managerial skill you’ll ever learn; whether you’re an artist trying to make it as a salon owner, or a business person testing the waters in the beauty industry.

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This blog focuses upon designing a recruitment process that helps you attract and choose high quality professionals for your salon. It includes thoughts and advice on:

  1. Is hiring really that important?
  2. How to attract good employees?
  3. How do you know someone’s the right choice?
  4. Things to keep in mind while designing a recruitment process

 

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Is hiring really that important?

We know you’re a busy salon owner. Reading about hiring is probably the last thing you want to do today. But let me tell you why you should do it anyway:

The industry has a 40% annual turnover.

Meaning you’ll need to recruit almost half of your team every year. Whether you like it or not, there’s a revolving door of stylists in the salon industry. And spending time on learning something that you need to do so often is actually an investment of time.

There’s a lot of competition out there

I recently heard a salon owner say that she soaks in all business information like sponge. People in the industry today are doing everything they can to get better at anything they can. Even if you don’t focus hard on recruiting the right team, the salon next door will.

Do you wanna fall behind?

It has everything to do with how much money you make

Your customers is where your revenues will come from. Whoever you hire is going to talk to and work with your customers. Someone who’s in direct contact with them need to be chosen carefully, or it might affect your numbers.

 

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How to attract good employees?

 

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You can hang up a “Help needed” sign in the evening and might get 12 people lined up the next morning.

But are they really the kind of people you need?

High quality professionals don’t come running at the first offer they get. They weigh their options, compare, and finally make an informed decision. So start thinking like them.

Give them what they actually want

And no, offering more money isn’t the answer. Commissions in the salon business are low. And people in the industry know the deal. So offer them something that they might value more.

  • Education

    The profession of a stylist or a cosmetologist is one that requires constant saw-sharpening. Professionals are always looking for better learning opportunities. So, promise them high-quality training, and good learning opportunities and watch the talent roll in.

  • Secondary Incentives

    Promise them a work-life balance. Give them a chance to perform in public and flaunt their skills. Allow them to assist you in organising and administrative matters.

    I know there’s always a possibility that all of this may empower them to leave and start a business of their own. But it’ll happen anyway. Sooner or later. There’s a fine line between promoting your staff and promoting your business. Strike the balance between the two and you should be fine.

Look in the right places

If you think putting a “Hiring now” tab on your website or a post on your Facebook page is enough, think again.

You might still get a lot of responses but you’ll end up rejecting most of them. Here are a few platforms where you can the word out and receive applications from quality professionals.

  • Local cosmetology schools

    Let them know you’re hiring. Find out if they’ll post your job description on their websites, blogs and social media pages, and in their email marketing newsletters. Ensure that they can send the communication to present and past students, especially if you’re searching for a stylist with years of experience.

  • Sign up as an employer on hiring sites

    This something that I’ve seen a lot of salon owners try on social media. Some popular ones are: Salon Employment, Behind the Chair, Salon Builder, Salon Gigs, All Salon Search, etc.

  • Ads in industry newsletters

    Put up ads in industry newspapers, online newsletters and stylists’ magazines. Stylists keep up with industry changes and trends by reading publications and websites. Consider your geographic location and place ads that will reach your target market.

  • Employee referrals

    Ask your current employees. Many stylists know others in the industry who may be unhappy at their place of work or who are recent graduates from beauty school and already have a loyal following.

 

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Choosing the right person

 

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Resumes and certifications matter. Certainly. But they’re just to figure out if a candidate is eligible for the job. They don’t tell you if the customers will like him, if he’ll click with your staff, or if he’ll be good at learning new things.

To determine these things, you need to look for the kind of person your candidate is. Here are the three most under-rated qualities to look out for in a potential employee.

The three most under-rated qualities of a good employee

1. A love for the profession

Hire someone who thinks that his profession is art. Someone who has a thirst for business knowledge like you do. Someone who believes in serving to make others look beautiful.

These are the best kind of people. They are happy, content, and generally have a good vibe. They can not only work with the rest of your team, but also inspire and get inspired by them.

2. The ability to understand people

You work in the beauty industry. Most of the time, your customers don’t know what they want but only that they want it. Even if they do, they’ll always struggle with explaining it to you. As a stylist or a cosmetologist, you need to have the ability to not only understand your customers but deliver something close to what they might want.

Having someone who understands what people want naturally can be a great employee. I agree, a part of it comes from practice, but sometimes people have a natural talent for it.

3. A general sense of upkeep

It’s the grooming industry that we’re talking about. Of course you’ve got to take care of your hair and makeup. Customers usually show inclination towards getting services from someone who has styled himself better than the others. It’s almost instinctive.

While it shouldn’t be a filter for candidate elimination, but the good ones mostly look stylish and are well-kept.

 

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Five tips to keep in mind while designing a hiring process

Now that you know where to put your ads and what kind of people to look for, I’ll wrap up this post by just mentioning five important tips you need to keep in mind while working out a hiring process for your business:

  • Have an elimination round

No matter how targeted your marketing is, a lot of redundant applications are bound to show up. Having a pre-examination of your applications helps to weed these out. Although, don’t spend too much time on it. In fact, if you can, ask someone else to do it for you and you can simply skim through the results later. Remember, it’s not a selection round but an elimination round.

  • Meet candidates personally

It’s your business. The person you hire is going to meet and greet your customers. It’s your salon’s image that’s at stake. Hence, it should definitely be you who interviews the person. I know you’re a busy salon owner, but you need to take out time for this. You can delegate any other thing, but doing this yourself is non-negotiable.

  • Make the interview conversational.

Interviews are meant to get to know the person. See what they look like, how they talk, and know their personalities. They are not the time to make decision about whether to hire the person or not. So keep the interview casual. Don’t try to be intimidating and put the person in a lot of pressure.

Also, take two minutes after each interview to make notes about the person. Just mention the top 3-4 things you remember about the candidate after interview. It’ll help you make a decision later.

  • Always have the person do something practical.

Have the candidate perform a simple little task. This is the oldest trick in the book. When someone hires a programmer, they don’t ask them to write a complex code. They ask them to write the simplest one.

The logic is that asking them to do something easy will give you the opportunity to observe their technique. So don’t ask them to do a celebrity haircut. Just ask them to blow dry someone’s hair and see how they do it. If they do it wrong, you’ll have your answer.

  • Take references both before and after the interview

If the candidate and you have a mutual contact, always ask for that contact’s opinion on the person. This will help you have a neutral opinion from someone you know.

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And don’t just stop here. Remember, you’re creating a process. Something that you can use repeatedly and improve over time.

Once you recruit a great team, groom them properly, and build their trust so that they stay with you. They might have come in for the money and the incentives, but they’ll stay for loyalty.

Turn them into your brand ambassadors and during the next recruitment drive, you can show them off and inspire people with their stories.

Don’t just hire employees. Build a team. It’s another trait of a good business owner.

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…But more on that later. Right now, wrapping this post off. Let us know if you like any of this. Also, if you’ve anything that you think works better, do tell in the comments. 🙂

 

Happy fourth of July! 🎆

Travel, food, and entertainment take the spotlight on Independence day. For business owners, big and small,  it’s time to retire for a long weekend and be with friends and family.

This fourth of July, we are celebrating the fact that we bring people together with businesses from industries across the US on a daily basis.

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A hundred thousand businesses grow everyday with Appointy by giving their clients the freedom to choose when they want their services. With a significant presence in the American market, we would like to wish all our customers a very happy Fourth of July.

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We are hard at work so that as and when you get back from putting back the covers on your grill and bidding farewell to guests, you’ve no missed appointments or lost business. With Appointy, you’ll be able to return to your daily schedule, just like you left.

Just one more thing…

We know this isn’t really a gift-giving holiday, but we still have a little something for you.

For the past six months, our tech team has been busy in creating a new interface for Appointy that is faster, more intuitive, and looks fabulous. We’re in the final stage of development, and the update will be ready soon.

There’s a great story behind this update that we’re calling Appointy 9. Read it here!

As of now, just sit back and relax!

After all, it’s a time to take a break, be with family, enjoy barbecues, and get dazzled by fireworks.

Have a safe evening and a great Fourth of July.

🙂

 

Is there a good way to deal with a bad online review for your business? 😮

We all know that good customer reviews can take our business places. But just like everything else in this world, reviews also have a mean, devil-horned side: A negative review!

Whenever a negative review appears, you panic, you get angry, you try to not feel bad about it, but do you actually know how to deal with it?


*Interesting fact to set the background of the blog*

Do you know why some people choose your business while some don’t? Researchers from Harvard explained what’s at the back of their minds. I bet you won’t believe what they have to say!

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Your customer’s decision to pick or not pick you is influenced by these three things:

  • What they already know of your business.
  • What you tell them in ads and marketing.
  • What they learn from reviews.

It’s called the Influence Mix [New scientific term alert!] a situation where different factors balance each other’s effect. Think of it like this: If you’re wearing a fabulous dress to a party, it might be okay if you don’t have the perfect hair-do. The other guests might just miss your hair and still think that you look great! 

What does this mean for you?

While marketing your business and creating a brand value is important, having a good online reputation is equally important. So, even if you fall short on the other two factors, one way to easily make up for them is by having a lot of great online reviews about your business. 


1. Are reviews really that important? 🤔

Well, the stats from Moz say so:

  • They can get you business!

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  • They can take it from you too!

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I know what you’re thinking. Whooaaa! Are those numbers for real?

Absolutely. People will tell. They’ll tell others about their customer service experiences, both good and bad, with the bad news reaching more ears. It is famously known as the Multiplier Effect.

Americans say they tell an average of nine people about good experiences, and nearly twice as many (16 people) about poor ones — making every individual service interaction important for businesses. We might not be the ones to kiss and tell, but we’ll absolutely rant about a bad business.

  • Moreover, with the launch of Reserve with Google, an online search and book platform for services, reviews have become even more important. Customers can now search for a service and see business listings with their reviews and book a service right from Google search. Click here to learn more!

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But it’s okay. Getting a bad review isn’t the end of the world.

Don’t take it personally. Maybe the bad review was because the customer was simply having a bad day. Roger Gil, MAMFT, a behavioural scientist, suggests that one of the most common ways that stress in people manifests itself is displaced anger.

Or maybe your business wasn’t a good fit for the customer. In case it was, the bad review transforms into a very precious feedback. Learn from it and take it as constructive criticism. Try not to repeat the same mistake again. Customer satisfaction should be your preference.

2. The positives of a negative review 🌤

  • A negative review means not having a shining 5-star rating. But that’s actually a good thing. People don’t expect businesses to be perfect. They expect them to be real. And real things aren’t perfect!

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  • Businesses screw up. It happens. But when it happens, an interesting opportunity opens up: if you handle it well, you can actually build a stronger relationship with the customer than you had before.
  • Negative reviews evoke trust by making your business look more human. A few bad reviews among the good ones actually add a human element to your business. A bad review of your company is a little piece of honesty… and we all know what honesty leads to; Trust!

A few bad reviews in the mix are simply more realistic.

3. Addressing a negative review. The Absolute NOs. 🚫

  • Trying to take them down

Why? Because it seems a little, well, rude. Moreover, consider this: those who are savvy enough to write a Facebook review likely know of the myriad places where they can write a review online including your website, Twitter, and many others. If they wrote on the windows of your virtual storefront, you would quickly remove it. Your Facebook page is one of the windows of your virtual storefront. Apart from that, it’s actually unethical and illegal. Reputed platforms like Yelp are really sensitive about it.

“if we allowed companies to pay to hide their bad reviews, our users would catch on pretty quickly and eventually stop using the site.  They would wonder why the highest rated mechanic was ripping them off.  Or why the five-star dentist routinely bungled their insurance.  Or why the top restaurant had horrible service and even worse food.”

-Laurence Wilson, Deputy General Counsel at Yelp

  •  Ignoring them

On SiteJabber, businesses that respond to reviews have an 86% higher rating compared to those that ignore them. Also, negative reviews on social media can go viral pretty fast. This means that companies have to get on board fast or risk the wrath of their unhappy customers’ complaints and criticisms going viral. 

  •  Being rude or impolite:

The ‘I’ll show you!’ approach. You feel the complaint in the negative review is unjustified or, for whatever reason, it makes you angry and you can’t help but respond with an angry or defensive comment. Hold back. Don’t do that. It will only worsen the condition. For obvious reasons, enraging an already angered customer is a bad idea. 


The Hairdresser’s Rant Fiasco

After paying £360 for hair extensions and a cut and blow dry, Janice Khoo was unhappy with the result and posted a complaint on the salon’s Facebook page.

What happened next left her lost for words as the hairdresser, Drew Carlton, replied with a torrent of abuse.

Later, Mrs Khoo was offered an apology and full refund from the salon owner.

Read more here.


  • Responding right away

Shama Kabani, author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing and CEO of The Marketing Zen Group says this is a bad practice for one simple reason. Your immediate impulse is to return fire. Don’t do it. Back slowly away from the keyboard and collect your thoughts. Getting a negative review is a sensitive situation and has to be dealt with a lot of caution and strategy. There are more chances of getting things wrong if your customer thinks his review isn’t being acknowledged well.


4. Your step-by-step guide to addressing a negative review 📖

  • Keep yourself calm.

    Relax. Go back to the starting of this blog and remember why is it okay to get a negative review. Repeat. Don’t take it personally.

  • Don’t respond instantly.

    But be prompt. Plan your strategy. This probably sounds straightforward, but to avoid an emotional and less effective response, it’s helpful to create a plan before taking any action.

If possible, respond within 48 hours. When a business responds in this time frame and addresses the customer’s concerns, reviewers will often either delete their reviews or even bump you up to a 5-star rating if they are really happy with the outcome.

  • Reply publicly and professionally.

Show everyone your side of the story. You should respond publicly, whether on the review platform where your customer posted, or in a comment on their blog, or in response to their social media post. This will leave an impression on your other customers that you care. Also, highlight your opinion on the problem in the reply so that everyone can look at the review from a different perspective.

  • Apologise.

The customer might update their review. Sometimes all a customer needs to know to want to return to your place is that your business cares.


A Nail Lounge’s Apology Story 

Kréme de la Kréme Nail Lounge is the recipient of dozens of positive reviews on Yelp. Angela T., the business owner, takes the time out to thank Yelpers who put in these good words for her. Whenever a bad review comes along – like this one from a honeymooning reviewer – Angela T. responds, too, in a way that just shows how seriously she takes her customers’ comments and critiques.

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Here’s Angela’s reply:

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Be polite and don’t make excuses or defend. But that response should be an apology for how they feel, and a request for an opportunity to make things right. One of the examples of this as mentioned on the Groove blog,  is the way that Gary Vaynerchuk responds to nearly every negative review of his books on Amazon. Here’s a one-star review from a customer clearly unhappy about his purchase:

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And here’s Gary’s response (note the complete lack of defending himself or his book):

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  • Send a private message too.

    Many customers only want to communicate via private messages and will refuse to respond to you publicly, so it’s important to respond to them both privately and publicly. Your private message can elaborate on more details than you may want to discuss publicly, especially if your company deals with confidential information or services.


A Famous Walt Disney approach to handling bad reviews: H.E.A.R.D.

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This technique pioneered by the Walt Disney Company, a business that hosts 135 million people in their parks each year, many of them angry parents that have to answer to even angrier five-year-olds.

  • Hear: Let the customer tell their entire story without interruption. Sometimes, we just want someone to listen.
  • Empathise: Convey that you deeply understand how the customer feels. Use phrases like “I’d be frustrated, too.”
  • Apologise: As long as it’s sincere, you can’t apologise enough. Even if you didn’t do whatever made them upset, you can still genuinely be apologetic for the way your customer feels (e.g., I’m always sorry that a customer feels upset).
  • Resolve: Resolve the issue quickly, or make sure that your employees are empowered to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask the customer: “what can I do to make this right?”
  • Diagnose: Get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred, without blaming anyone; focus on fixing the process so that it doesn’t happen.

    5. How to do damage control? 🔧

  • Drown the negative reviews in positive ones.

People at Groove believe in this approach. After a negative review is posted they immediately address the problem and work towards making their service better. This leads to more people writing better reviews for the business impressed by the good response. Every positive review will take the sting out of a negative one that you might have. Ten positive reviews and one negative review might give a customer pause, but with 100 positive reviews, even ten negative reviews aren’t such a big deal.

  • Leverage the power of other social media sites.

The idea is not to stop just at leveraging the power of just one social media site. Broaden your horizon from the site where the review was originally posted.


Cute Chef’s Awesome Youtube Idea

The chief of Seastar Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar, after getting a bad review is able to expand their reach and show not just Yelpers, but YouTubers too, just how much they value their customers’ comments and feedback.

Check it out by clicking the link below the screenshot

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Chef John Howie responds to Yelp reviews

By adding a video element to the responses, Seastar Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar is also able to humanise their brand and lend a face – a personality – that existing and prospecting customers can identify or at least engage with. Having the chef himself respond to the reviews, moreover, establishes the credibility and authority of the responses.


6. Conclusion

Being real is the key

People are not looking for perfection online. What they’re really looking for is humanity and a genuine response, so a negative review can be a great opportunity to respond in a positive and transparent manner. And that has a good impact on all your customers.

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Focus on the problem, not the result

Moreover, a negative review is nothing but an impact of the real problem. Rather than focussing on getting the review deleted or amended, take action to solve the underlying problem. This will help you deliver service that your customers will love.

☺️


Ever had such issues while handling negative reviews? Let us know in the comments below. We love a good talk.


References

3 tricks that pros are using to increase their salon sales this spring

Winters, especially for salons mean slow business. But spring can be your elixir. Post-surviving another midwest winter, people come to salons anxious to make a change and try on new spring colors for their hair and nails as they get ready for vacations, prom nights and graduations.

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This blog is the money-making guide to make your pedicure chairs and hair studio a happy spring destination for clients. It includes:

PART 1:

  • Why getting inspiration for a new season is important and where to get it?
  • The why and how of keeping up-to-date with industry trends.
  • How to keep your staff trained and high on energy?

PART 2:

  • Marketing tips for your business
  • Your money making guide before the prom season.
  • Free email templates for your email marketing campaign
  • Free text templates to send deals and discounts.

PART 3:

  • Where to get new customers this spring?
  • How to create a credible social media standing?

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PART 1:  Get you & your staff in the spring mood

  • Take inspiration

Why is this important?

Because you’re an artist! Redefining someone’s appearance is a piece of art and art requires inspiration. In order to keep new ideas coming in, you need to feed your creative cravings.

Where to get inspiration from?

Fashion events-big or small are the best way to bring back knowledge and get inspiration for the upcoming season. There are so many events lined up at this time of the year that they can keep your calendar packed for weeks. Here is a list of top events to attend before spring:

Beauty events in New York

Beauty events in San Francisco 

Beauty events in Los Angeles

Beauty events in Miami

Beauty events in Chicago

Beauty events in San Diego

Beauty events in Atlanta

Beauty events in Austin

Find the list of beauty events in your city here.

To fuel inspiration, all you need to do is look around you. Here’s what Alan Labos mentions in his blog,

“Street fashion, interior design, local musicians and artists, can be as much a source of inspiration as the latest collection from a major fashion house or a new product line from a beauty empire. Whether it is by reading the most recent issue of Vogue or taking time to notice fresh graffiti on the city streets, you never know where or when inspiration will strike!”

 What next?

You need to ensure that  your inspired styles look good on people in real life, i.e., on your customers. Runway looks often lead people into thinking “Who are they kidding? I’m never going to wear my hair or makeup like that.” People easily get intimidated by the way fashion is presented; with the model, the clothes and the lighting.

You need a real life example of how the inspired styles will look on your customers. You can try it on a staff or invite regular customers to come and experiment with their look on a discounted price. This will:

  • give you a better idea of how a certain trend looks on different face cuts, compleixions, with varied hair colors, and on people of different ages.
  • encourage other customers to try these styles on.

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  • Stay up-to-date

Why is this important?

Hairstyles, makeup, and nails change with every season. And you, as a professional need to be updated with them because:

  1.  Your customers always know what’s trending. They’ll hear it from a friend or see it on a celebrity and instantly want to try.
  2. It’s a position of trust. Your customers look up to you for expert opinion. To be able to give that, you need to know what’s going on in the industry around you.
  3. It helps you stay on the cutting edge of business.

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How to do it?

  1. Look out for what’s hot and who’s trending

“New trends come from an array of areas, which goes hand in hand with the latest technology. Public figures, stars, models, reality shows, magazines, in-house and distributor classes are some of the paths that have always worked. Recently, we added social networks like Facebook and Twitter to the list.”

MIKE O’NEILL
HAIR STUDIO 322
GLENMOORE, PENNSYLVANIA


2. Learn from your staff

“Several team members travel to Fashion Week, working backstage with various product lines. When they come back they share the top tips on hair, make-up and all the exciting stories with the rest of the team and our clients. This ensures that we are moving in front of trends and not behind them.”

D SCOTT BALL
THE CUT & COLOR ROOM
ORLANDO, FLORIDA


3. The Internet to the rescue!

Because we live in a small, relatively isolated town, the internet provides a huge amount of information regarding trends and new techniques as do trade magazines and DVDs, which can be purchased through stylist websites.”

KAREN ROBERTS
STUDIO K
LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO


4. Follow famous fashion blogs.

Blogs are produced by the most respected magazines which also have the biggest online presence in their countries so you usually get the latest and most up to date information for what is going on in the professional beauty industry through them.

Grant  Romundt

Founder, ScissorBoy.com


5. Keep an eye on your competitors.

Think you spotted a trend but aren’t sure if it’s anything that will catch on? By observing what your competitors are doing, you can capitalise on emerging news, trends, and opportunities. Sure, staying ahead of the competition is key, but knowing what they’re up to is one part of coming out on top.

  • Train staff

Your staff is your business’s workforce. These are the people who interact with clients behind the chair. They are your sales people, your culture, your service. Equip them with the current trends and hands-on tutorials before the season kicks in to ensure exceptional service for the clients every time. It is important they know how to greet clients, understand the treatments that are offered, and can suggest appropriate upgrade treatments when booking appointments.

You can either develop an in-salon training program or find one online.

Pro tip: Throw an office party to bond and get the excitement going:

Post-winter you might need to lift up your team’s spirits. Do that by throwing a staff party. Or simply invite them over for drinks. Right before you all set to work, it’d help you bond with your staff and be an energy boost for the next season.

Don’t worry. We know you’ve a lot going on. So here’s your cheat sheet to throw a fabulous salon party!

How to throw great salon parties: by Nailsmag.com

1000+ ideas for salon party on Pinterest

Throwing a salon party: by Salon Today

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PART 2: Market like a pro

  • Act in time: Offer occasion-specific deals

Timing is important. Always pay attention to what big event is due in the coming weeks and prepare for that.


Case Study: Money-making guide for Prom

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 Prom season is in full swing right now. That means stylists will be curling young ladies’ hair and putting on shimmery eyeshadows on them soon. Here is some crucial advice about prom preparation from Jenni Kanski, owner of Jenni’s Salon and Spa, 109 Wexford Court, Normal.
  • The afternoon slots go first. Getting a fancy up-do at 9 a.m. means a long time before the evening’s prom, and afternoon hours also fit better with teens’ busy schedules
  • Weekends can be busy. You might have to ask your staff to stay back on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Every year brings new trends for prom hair-dos. Encourage girls to bring a photo of what they want to be done with their hair.

Pro tip: Giving a combo facial and hair styling offer or a one-on-one free offer before prom can be a good idea to attract teens.


  • Reach out to your regulars

Why?

Your regulars are happy, satisfied people who trust your services and visit you regularly on a monthly or even weekly basis. These are the people to target first as you already have their trust.

How?

1. Start an email campaign:

Shoot an email to them announcing what’s new this season in business and inviting them over for a service.

Here’s a sample from mailget

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 2. Send out deals via texts:

Offer discounts and deals by sending texts to these clients.

Why?

Around 90% of text messages are read within three minutes. That’s because mobile devices are everywhere and people tend to keep them with them at all times and regularly check them. In fact, 90% of Millennials sleep with their phones within arm’s reach.

How?

Ready to use text templates:

  1. [Salon Name] – Today only! Get a FREE [service 1]  with any [service 2]
  2. Keep the feet happy this spring with [discount]% discounts on pedicures at the [salon name]
  3. Be the first to know about discounts and offers at [salon name]! Click here to subscribe: [link]

Find 42 more ready-to-use text templates here.

3. Offer referral discounts

Word of mouth publicity is huge. According to some studies, about 80 percent of salon owners say most of their clients are from referrals. Ask these satisfied clients for more referrals and reward them for the same.

Incentives for customers for referral program:

  1. Offer a discount on certain services or offering a free service after a fixed number of referrals.
  2. Give a small gift bag of salon products after fixed number of referrals or after their first referral.
  3.  Give the existing client a free salon product or service or a discount on their next visit, and you can give the new customer a discount on a certain service or product.

4. Learn from the best

Following successful industry leaders and learning from them can go a long way. They must be doing something right that you can put to use for your business too.

Here’s Vogue’s list of best salons for 2016. Watch the pros at work and learn.

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PART 3: Get new customers

  1. Get listed on Online directories:

    Getting more customers directly peaks up your salon’s revenue. And which salon owner doesn’t like more profits and revenue. Stay up to date with ways that different salons are employing to get new customers. Recently salons have started getting listed on Reserve with Google to grow their business in their neighbourhood. It is a new search and book platform by Google that allows your customers to book your services directly from Google search. To know more, click here.

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2. Increase reach via Social media

  • On social media, your FB page or twitter profile or Pinterest board represents your business. Make sure these profiles are killer. Ask customers to post before after pictures, reviews, etc. on these pages to create a good impression of your salon on other customers.
  • Start a blog. Provide your customers with valuable and intriguing content. They’re sure to come back for more.
  • Engage with them online. Start discussions. Provide deals and interact with your customers. Social media is where customers share their true viewpoints. You can get reviews, honest feedback and complaints.

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Next read: Want to increase sales this spring by getting more customers? Get listed on Reserve with Google now! 

Trying some new ways to increase salon sales this spring? Do share in the comments below. 🙂


References:

  1. http://www.mikal-salon-software.com/apps/blog/show/43812300
  2. http://www.singleplatform.com/blog/2016/3/11/spring-your-salon-spa-into-success
  3. https://www.paulhylandsalon.com/there-s-something-magical-about-spring
  4. http://www.nailsmag.com/article/95728/how-to-throw-great-salon-parties
  5. http://www.salontoday.com/article/22926/how-does-your-staff-translate-trends-into-new-services-for-your-clientele
  6. http://www.lydiasarfati.com/the-importance-of-in-salon-training.php
  7. http://www.pantagraph.com/business/local/prom-season-a-busy-time-for-twin-city-hair-salons/article_6039ae62-57d1-11df-8e21-001cc4c03286.html
  8. https://simpletexting.com/industry-guide/sms-marketing-for-spas-and-salons/
  9. https://www.signs.com/blog/implementing-referral-program-increasing-referrals-salon/
  10. http://ironworksartscentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/pagebreak.png
  11. https://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/CardDigital/13550641/chop_it_like_it_s_hot_printable_art_funny_salon_wall_decor_printable_d
  12. http://www.youbeauty.com/beauty/the-reality-of-runway-hair/

The impact of Trump’s immigrant policies on Salon-Spa industry in the USA: and steps you need to take NOW!

Disclaimer: So this isn’t a political blog. No matter which side of the fence you sit, there can be no denying that we are in a time when there are some pretty extreme views. And some very strong emotions. yoda-2As business owners, we all need to think about what Donald Trump’s immigrant policies mean for our business. The challenges, the opportunities, the emotions. All of it. In this blog, we discuss:

  1. Can Donald Trump’s immigration policies really impact the US beauty & wellness industry
  2. What challenges can a small business owner face?
  3. How to verify the immigration status of your employees?
  4. Can this be an opportunity to grow your business?

Can there really be a major impact?

Think beyond the luxury beauty chains, hotel spas, and resorts. Think hair braiding shops, beauty salons, nail salons, barbers, and massage parlors.

 

These local businesses commonly employ immigrants and the ethnic specialization dominates: nail salons draw on Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian women, and increasingly Latina women; African women specialize in hair braiding; South Asian women specialize in eyebrow threading, and Chinese and Russian workers specialize in massage.

Here are some statistics:

  • 21% of businesses in the salon/spa industry are African-American owned.

  • 17% of salon businesses are owned by Asians.

  • 9% of salon businesses are owned by people of Hispanic origins.

  • Nails magazine estimates that Vietnamese hold 40% of the nail spa licenses nationally.

Evidently, these businesses make a big chunk of the industry and are doing quite well indeed. In fact, some of Appointy’s most successful clients are businesses that are run by first/ second generation immigrants.

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We took this picture in the summer of 2016. This picture is with the owner of LEK Spa along with the founders of Appointy. LEK Spa is on a roll in NY and with our latest integration, Reserve with Google, their business can now be directly booked from Google search.

What challenges might a small business owner face?

Labour shortage: An acute shortage of untrained workers can arise. Most U.S. citizens are unwilling to perform the sorts of manual labor that immigrants actively seek out. 

“If I was to put an ad in the paper looking for a manager or accountant, I’d have a hundred replies. But if I put out an ad for a manual laborer or a pool cleaner, I’d only get about five.”

-John Tortorella, president of J. Tortorella Swimming Pools Inc. in Southampton, N.Y.

Loss of highly specialized workers: The cast of manicurists, aestheticians, waxers, and massage therapists vary in their experience and background but their skills have become the invisible engine of the US beauty and wellness industry. If they go down, the industry goes down with them.

An increase in wages leading to an increase in service cost: The shortage of labor in the industry will increase the labor wage in the long run. This will mean a sudden peak in the cost of personal services. The current industry average of $10 nail manicures will cease to exist.

What does this mean for you?

Well, here’s the thing. The root of the problem isn’t all immigrants. The government is selectively trying to deal with the illegal and undocumented immigrants.

Being a salon or spa owner, you need to be extra cautious that your current or future employees have the required work authorization to take up paid work in the US.

What can you do now?

Step 1. Understand the difference between Legal and Illegal Immigrants

Illegal Immigrants: Someone who is living in the United States without the correct legal documentation or by violating the terms of documentation, such as overstaying the time period specified on a tourist or student visa. 

Legal Immigrants: Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant is called a Legal Immigrant. They’re also known as “Permanent Resident Alien,” “Resident Alien Permit Holder,” and “Green Card Holder.”

Step 2. Make sure you are aware of the immigrant status of your current employees and be cautious while hiring new employees

Here’s your complete guide to finding out whether someone is entitled to work in the US legally.

When you hire a new employee, ask them to fill out the employee’s section of USCIS Form I-9 by the end of their first day on the job. Then they have three business days to present you with documents proving that:

  • they are who they say they are, and
  • they are legally authorized to work in the United States.
  1. The Proof of Work in the United States:

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS) periodically updates the list of documents sufficient to prove both identity and eligibility to be employed in the United States. Any one of the following documents is sufficient, on its own, to meet the requirements:

  • an unexpired United States passport
  • an unexpired foreign passport with an I-551 stamp
  • an alien registration receipt card or permanent resident card
  • an unexpired employment authorization card
  • an unexpired employment authorization document, issued by USCIS, which contains a photograph, or
  • an unexpired foreign passport with Form I-94 containing an endorsement of nonimmigrant status.

An employee who does not have one of the documents listed above must produce two documents: one establishing that he or she is authorized to work in the United States and another verifying identity.

To prove employment authorization, USCIS will accept:

  • a Social Security card
  • a U.S. birth or birth abroad certificate
  • a Native American tribal document
  • a U.S. citizen ID card
  • a resident citizen ID card, or
  • unexpired employment authorization documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

As proof of identity, USCIS will accept:

  • a current U.S. or Canadian driver’s license that contains a photograph or description of personal characteristics
  • a federal, state, or local identification card with a photograph on it
  • a school ID card with a photograph
  • a voter’s registration card
  • a U.S. military card or draft record
  • a military dependent’s ID card
  • a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card, or
  • a Native American tribal document.

For workers age 16 and younger, USCIS considers a school report card, daycare or nursery school record, or a hospital record (such as a birth certificate) acceptable as proof of identity.

*Caution: Always make a copy and keep the forms. Note the type of documents produced and any expiration dates on Form I-9. Although you are not required to photocopy such documents, you have the right to do so. If you do, the copies must be kept on file with Form I-9.

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2. E-verify

  • Visit the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and sign up for E-Verify. This service is the easiest and most effective way to verify the legal working status of a potential employee, which is done through the Department of Homeland Security. To use E-Verify, you will have to enroll your company in the program; however, there is no charge to do so.
  • Enroll your company in E-Verify. To do this, you will have to answer a few simple questions about your business and why you will be verifying your employees’ information.
  • Post a notice at your business site to advise your employees of your participation in E-Verify before you use the program. You may not utilize the program unless your employees are aware of the fact that you are verifying their legal status.
  • Check the legal status of the person in question. Doing this through E-Verify means the individual’s social security number is first run through the Social Security Administration to verify the accuracy of the number provided. Then, the Department of Homeland Security provides the employment eligibility of the individual.
  • Review the preliminary report within seconds of the inquiry. A more detailed report is provided within three days by the Department of Homeland Security.

Step 3. Consider alternatives for work where you outsource

You might be employing some third party vendors like cleaning and maintenance contractors who further outsource work. In this case, if you have the slightest doubt, start considering alternatives already.

Can this be an opportunity to grow your business?

I know this blog post is quite taxing. But this is the best part. Are you still with me?

Well, emotions are high, and many people are highly motivated. This definitely throws up some opportunities for your business. All you need to do is think like a businessman.

OK, we know this might be slightly controversial. You don’t want to be seen as profiting on the back of what many consider a very emotional topic. But just maybe, there can be a way for you to get many new customers to try your service without ruffling any feathers.

1. Want to build relationships with your customers? Here’s your chance.

Nurturing healthy relationships with your customers can go a long way. We’ve all heard about it, read about it and want to do it. So here’s an opportunity to do that. Right now you can easily understand what your customers believe in and act accordingly. Here’s how:

  • You might choose to do it at cost (or free), and make no money but you can get many first time customers, who can be repeat customers or spread the good word: 

Example: Spas can offer free foot massages to people participating in rallies. Or just wear your business Tee while doing a good gesture for people like distributing water bottles in protest marathons.

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  • You may even be able to use social media to amplify the impact (with due caution to people’s sensitivities)

Social media marketing is the best way to go about because:

1. It’s easy: Anyone can do it

2. It doesn’t require much time: Publish posts even while having your morning Latte

3. It has immense reach: Every post you put up will reach thousands of members who are part of the group.

Here’s how to find target groups on social media channels:

  1. Facebook: Join relevant Facebook groups and like similar pages. Offer relevant discounts to the members and promote a healthy image of your business using pictures and videos.
  2. Twitter: Find trending hashtags and follow relevant Twitter handles. Use the same hashtags while posting an offer or retweet a popular tweet and start a discussion in the comments.
  3. Reddit: Join discussion forums. Follow the most shared threads regularly and comment to promote your business whenever you find it appropriate.
  • You can create means for people to make a contribution.

Put up a link to donate online on your site. Or maybe build a donation box? Be ready to answer any questions about how the money reaches to those in need. Using authentic documents conveys that the money is being put to right use.

2. Create a positive image of your business 

Putting up friendly banners, wearing badges to work or simply hanging a poster that says you care will create a warm and welcoming image. People who believe in it will see you as a tolerant and progressive business. I’d like to stress here again whatever your personal political inclination is, it’s important that you’re sensitive to everyone’s beliefs.

You need to decide what is good for you and your potential customers. 🙂


Agree or disagree with the impacts of immigration policies on the Salon & Spa industry? Shoot your answers in the comments below. We love exciting discussions.

What next?

Do you know what else might have a big impact on the Spa-Salon industry? Reserve with Google is the new IN thing by Google. Read more about it here: Appointy + Google = More Customers!

References & External links:

Reserve with Google expert guide: How to get listed?

There is one thing that lies at the heart of any new or fast-growing business: Getting new customers. In order to achieve that, it is crucial to get discovered among the right people.

Fortunately, Google has just launched Reserve with Google (RwG in short 😁); a new service that will allow your customers to find (and hopefully book) local services like yours.

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Google has over 1.2 billion unique users per month and is an amazing marketing opportunity for small businesses like yours. Getting set up used to be a pain, but with RwG, it will become much easier to connect with customers online.

Here’s something you should know before Getting Listed.

If you want to get listed on RwG, you need to have an account with one of RwG’s scheduling partners (like Appointy). Scheduling partners are third-party online scheduling software that help your customers book your services.

Appointy excited to be an initial launch partner for Reserve with Google

Now, one of the following questions might pop in your head.

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What if:

  1. I don’t have an account with any scheduling partner?

  2. I use an online scheduling software but it is not one of RwG’s partners?

Let’s answer these questions one by one.


  1. You don’t have an account with any scheduling partner? Get listed for free now!

Congratulations.. You are ready to start from scratch. All you need to do is make an account with one of RwG’s scheduling partners like Appointy and you’ll be listed automatically.

Appointy has a free plan, hence don’t hesitate about having to pay any ‘hidden costs’ whatsoever. If you feel a paid plan suits your business needs better, you can upgrade. However, RwG integration is available in all our plans, and at no extra charge

Click here to know about the various plans we have to offer

2. You use an online scheduling software but it is not one of RwG’s partners: Switch to the easiest option.

Don’t worry. We’ve got your back!

If the scheduler you use isn’t one of RwG’s partners, a simple and secure data migration program is available with Appointy.  You can switch easily. You can opt for a free plan or choose from a variety of paid plans available according to what works best for you.

The last word:

We believe, that RwG can create significant value (more customers in plain speak) for small business owners such as yours, simply because of the reach that Google enjoys. Google has access to Google Search, Google Maps, Google Now and many other products that together probably help them touch almost every potential customer that has access to the internet/ a smartphone. If they can’t do it, maybe no one can!

Getting listed is free. Getting booked is free too. What do you have to lose? Sign-up now!


Related blog posts:

Five foolproof ways in which Reserve with Google can “make you money”

Everything you wanted to know about Reserve with Google: ANSWERED

Five foolproof ways in which Reserve with Google can “make you money”

If you’re a spa, studio or gym owner, chances are you might have already heard of Reserve with Google. But is it just another search-and-book service? It’s not. In fact for small businesses like you, it’s no less than a money-making machine. Let us tell you why.

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FIRST THINGS FIRST. Reserve with Google: A clearer picture

Reserve with Google is a new service from Google that will allow your customers to find (and hopefully book) local services like yours.

RwG (Short for Reserve with Google 😁) allows your customers to search and browse through nearby service providers, compare and book an appointment from Google search, Google Maps or the Reserve with Google website. These appointments are automatically and instantly reflected in your booking software (such as Appointy).

Google is creating an online marketplace for services, similar to what Uber did for cabs, Airbnb did for homestays, and Expedia did for travel bookings.

THE BIG QUESTION: Can it really make you money?

Yes, it can. To start with, RwG is only available for spas, studios, and gyms (more industries will be added shortly, starting with salons, beauty salons and Barbers). RwG is also initially only being launched in three cities (San Francisco, LA, and New York), with a nationwide launch round the corner.

In the next section, we’ve tried to put together a little insight into how Reserve with Google can make money for your business. After all, as a launch partner for RwG, we have been working on this for the best part of a year.

#1. It puts you on the map! (Well, on Google Maps too)

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85% of people use the Internet to search for local businesses like you. If most of your customers are looking for you online, you have to get listed online.

And what better platform to get listed online, other than Google, which accounts for more than 75% of the total searches on the Internet in the US. Getting listed on Reserve with Google will get you visibility among all these people. It’s a chance to make use of the power and credibility of Google to get discovered among your local customers.

#2. It gives you a chance to attract new customers with good reviews.

Reserve with Google lets your customers compare you with your local competitors right in the search window. This can be your chance to get an edge over others by getting your good reviews in front of your potential customers just before they’re about to make a decision. This could be a game changer.

In fact, research shows that if a business has a 3-star rating, then 57% of consumers will use that business. On the other hand, if a business has a 4-star rating, then there’s a chance that 94% of consumers will use that business.

Yeah, that’s right. Your reviews speak for themselves.

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#3. The ability to run your business in real-time

Imagine the power of running your business with your customers knowing what is happening when it happens. For example, as soon as someone posts a good review, it gets displayed against your business listing. Or if you launch a new service, people would know instantly as your name starts appearing in the Google search when they look for that service. Skeptical about whether to raise your prices or not? Try raising them for a week; if your customer count goes down, change it again next week with as much as a click on your phone.

Reserve with Google gives you great control over your business by allowing your services, pricing, reviews, and other details to be updated in real time.

 #4. It is the only thing your customers will ever need: The end-to-end solution.

Your customers wouldn’t need to go anywhere else. Right from searching for services to making payments-Reserve with Google will take care of your customer’s every need.

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#5. Fulfils customers’ needs instantly. Hence, they’re more likely to use it.

Research says that 45.5% people use their smartphones to search on Google.

Getting listed on RwG will mean being a part of a discovery platform that is always available, and accessible through a smartphone/ tablet whenever your customer feels the need.

Conclusion: Be a part of a wave

Ok, so this is a bit abstract. But here goes nothing.

We believe that the technology, business environment and consumer behavior are ripe for a change in the way customers discover and consume services. This view is probably shared by stalwarts such as Google and Microsoft, as evidenced by their entry into this market.

History has shown that when the time is ripe, adoption is rapid and can be considered akin to a wave. The wave itself carries all participants and disproportionately benefits the early adopters. We believe that we are at the start of a wave, a wave that will see the digital discovery, and consumption of services. If that turns out to be true, you can not afford to miss the bus. If this is the next big thing, you need to act NOW.


Have questions about the blog or Reserve with Google? Leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you asap. 🙂