Red carpet events like the Oscars and monthly magazine spreads alike often feature amazing feats of hairstyling and coloring, inspiring nail art, new makeup application techniques, and the latest advances in skin care—as well as the results of them. It’s hard to keep up with it all, especially in this age of social media when the demand for a copycat hairstyle or nail job might arise on the basis of a random celebrity Instagram post!
While plenty of stylists, cosmetologists, and nail techs get by on what they already know, the most successful beauty industry professionals are the ones who are continually looking to build on their skills so they can stay relevant and serve their current and prospective clients. Just like any other profession, the true professionals are those who stay up to date on what’s hot (and take the time to brush up on standard techniques that serve their entire clientele—not just the most fashion-forward among them). And that’s why it’s so valuable to allocate some time every year to continuing education in your field so you can learn all about new products and the latest techniques.
While it may seem like “just another thing to do,” taking continuing education courses can actually revive your interest in your profession and bring you new energy! How? Well, not only will you come away from courses feeling like you’ve mastered some new technique or brushed up on core skill sets, but you’ll also meet other beauty pros who might be valuable resources or contacts—or new friends!
Let’s face it: cosmetology school is crucial for beauty industry professionals, but the wide array of skills you learn there may not be things you practice every day. If you’re like just about every other beauty pro, regardless of your field, you’ll have developed specialties over the years, especially when your “regulars” return time and again for what you do for them. So, brushing up on techniques less commonly practiced will only make you more valuable to new clients—and your old ones who might need a little change of pace. You may also need to take classes to maintain your license. Different states have different requirements, but when it comes to new techniques and standard safety procedures, you may need to become certified or maintain that certification over time.
Education for education’s sake is another great reason to keep up to date on your field! But here at Salons de Beauté, we think one of the best reasons to go back to school once in a while is that it primes you to own your very own business. As those who already own salons in Lawton can attest, opening your own salon isn’t easy. You need knowledge beyond how to give a great haircut, the intricacies of gel nails, or the best massage techniques. Taking classes can help not only to educate you in the ins and outs of small business ownership, but also to expand your skill set so that your mini salon suite at Salons de Beauté can really thrive!
We all know the stereotype of the salon being a ladies-only space. Whether it’s vintage photos from the fifties of the gals chatting up a storm while they get their hair blow-dried, movies like Steel Magnolias, or just that iconic image of a woman wrapped in a towel, a mud pack on her face and cucumbers on her eyes, grooming beyond a shave and a haircut has traditionally been something only women do.
These days, however, men’s grooming is a booming industry. A full 25% of salon customers in 2015 where men, and it was estimated that the men’s grooming industry would bring in $21 billion in revenue in 2016. Much of this revenue is generated via men’s grooming products, given that companies are wisely packaging hair care products, shave products, and even face care products like oils, lotions, toners, and scrubs, to appeal to men. At salons all over the world, haircuts and shaves remain the most popular services among men, but more and more men are also becoming interested in more advanced grooming, requesting facials, massages, and hair removal. This growing men’s grooming market is a golden opportunity for savvy health and beauty pros who want to attract—and retain—new clientele.
Let’s be clear—we’re not talking about barbershops here. We’re talking about salons like yours—salons in Lawton—offering services for men, as well as the typical services women enjoy. While barbershops these days cater to men’s interests by featuring cigar bars or sports themes, or by specializing in mustaches, beards, and “manly” manicures, there’s no reason a more standard salon can’t attract a male clientele.
A 2015 study revealed that 81% of salons don’t have a male-focused marketing program. That’s a huge opportunity for salon owners like you to explore. So, how do you tap into this? Well, men report that cost and convenience are two of the most important factors they consider when choosing a salon. Cleanliness and value are the other two top factors. That means that salon owners like you who are already in a convenient location can easily advertise and attract a male clientele. (Hint: use social media!)
There’s a strange old saying in men’s grooming that you should never go to your woman’s hair salon. Here at Salons de Beauté, we think that attitude is old-fashioned. There’s no reason men and women can’t enjoy the same salon, even if they’re dating. In fact, offering a couple’s discount might be just the way to get the significant others of your clients in the door. Just remember, men value frankness. Surveys have shown that 50% of men who are unhappy with a haircut tell their stylist on the spot. So, cultivate an open relationship with your male clients, whether they’re the significant other of a regular, or just walk through the door because you advertise men’s styles and male-oriented grooming products and treatments!
Primping ain’t easy. You work in the beauty industry—you know it’s true. Salon workers, managers, and owners face a ton of challenges, including competition from others, and especially the discount cut and color place down the road or “home service products.” It’s also important for them to keep up to date with all of the latest trends, and to devise ways to remain afloat even during times of economic downturn. Recently, a salon management consulting agency in the United Kingdom conducted a survey of 250 salon owners and workers. They asked just what makes running a salon so difficult. The top concerns among workers and owners were losing clients, reduction in the number of services clients ask for, and lagging sales numbers. While each of these problems is unique, with its own unique solution, in the end the complaint comes down to the same thing. At the end of the week, month, and fiscal year, salons are seeing a downturn in sales. So, what’s a salon owner to do?
While here at Salons de Beaute we believe our stylists are artists, unique creators who use medium like nails, hair, skin, and more, the salon industry is a sales industry. While we may not be selling gadgets or gizmos, services are still sales. So, a tip that helps generate revenue for anyone in sales looking to grow their business is to increase your add-on sales.
Sometimes called “upselling” or “cross-selling,” these tactics are good ones for salon workers or owners like you to increase your revenue. As an experienced salon professional, your knowledge of your craft and your products makes you a valued health and beauty expert—someone your clients can rely on for good advice and quality services.
You can monetize that trust by upselling services. Examples of upselling would be adding a color to a cut, a brow waxing to a facial, or a foot massage to a mani/pedi. You don’t have to be aggressive about it; a good approach is urging your clients to take care of themselves—to treat themselves. They’re worth it, after all!
You can also cross-sell products that will match your services. Examples of cross-selling would be selling your clients color-protecting shampoo after you dye their hair, recommending a jar of cuticle cream after a manicure, or selling them a packaged mud mask to keep that facial looking fresh. Listening to your clients’ needs and recommending products and services that will serve those interests will make you seem responsive, rather than mercenary.
Successful sales like these won’t just move products off the shelf of your salon suite in Lawton—they’ll establish you as an authority among your clientele. Being a reliable source of health and beauty information will bring your clients back for more… and potentially increase your client base. Think about it: when your happy customers aren’t just raving about your amazing haircuts, but also about the great products they pick up at your salon, new people will have two motivations to walk in the door for a service!
Salons de Beauté is renting to self-motivated stylists and beauty professionals just like you. Our mini salon suites are ideal for small business-minded pros who are eager to be their own boss. Contact us today!
Most of us hold the idea of the “new year” in high regard. It’s a symbolic time, when we think about new beginnings and new opportunities. We have high hopes for just about everything—our health, our families, our love lives… and also our jobs.
One of the top resolutions people make come the start of the new year is to improve their employment situation. To take risks on new opportunities in the workplace. It can be scary enough to make the leap from one position to another—and if you want to make the jump from employee to small business owner, it can feel terrifying! But in the end, it can really be worth it… and when you have good resources like Salons de Beauté to help you, it’s more in reach than ever before!
Why do we say Salons de Beauté is a resource for self-motivated stylists looking to open a salon in Lawton? First, and most importantly, Salons de Beauté leases mini salon suites to stylists just like you, making it easier for you to open and run a salon. And our reasonable rates, great working space, and community of like-minded small business entrepreneurs will help to support your business even after you’ve signed on the bottom line. Our social media, as well as this very blog, is also intended to be a resource for our community—and by community, we mean the stylists at Salons de Beauté, and the broader community of stylists who work at salons in Lawton! We strive to be a valuable resource for stylists, colorists, nail techs, massage therapists, and aestheticians everywhere.
So, when is the best time to make the big change from employee to owner and start your own mini salon business? It’s not just about dreaming of setting your own hours, managing your own client list, and keeping more of your money—though those are all perks, to be sure. Business experts will say that striking out on your own is the best move when you no longer feel you’re growing or learning in your current position. That’s when you’re ready for a big change. It’s also crucial to be certain you’d rather work sixty hours a week for yourself, rather than forty for someone else. And if possible, it’s good to be in a stable place in your life, with the support of your family and friends!
In the end, however, it’s mostly about when you have the drive and determination to make your own small business happen. No one ever has all their ducks in a row, no one is ever 100% ready for something. Waiting for the stars to align may keep you from pursuing your dreams indefinitely. So if you’re interested, make a New Year’s resolution to come to Salons de Beauté and talk to us about what it would take to open your very own salon in Lawton!
The holiday season is a busy time for salon owners, hair stylists, nail techs, and aestheticians. People have a lot of parties to attend between Thanksgiving and the New Year, and they want to look their best for them. That means getting haircuts and fresh color, festive nails, facials, and brow waxing. So if you work in one of our local salons in Lawton, or have just opened your own mini salon suite with Salons de Beauté, get ready for a big rush—and get excited for the extra income opportunities the holiday season provides small business owners just like you.
If you really want to earn a few extra bucks around the holidays, consider doing some easy holiday marketing both online and in-store. That’s right! You should absolutely deck the halls of your salon with boughs of holly, festive lights, and other odds and ends that put people in the mind of giving (and spending). Some people like to go all out with that sort of thing, using tinsel and even Christmas music to put people in the right frame of mind. Others like a subtler touch—a few holiday decorations, but no Christmas music, to make their spa an oasis from the holiday hustle and bustle. Embrace your individual style! But while you’re decorating your salon, don’t forget that your social network is also a great place for holiday marketing.
That’s right—your social network! You can really use it to your advantage this time of year. First and foremost, let your social media followers know you’re open (and eager!) for business during the holidays. Make sure to note any changes in your days or hours, but also let them know your schedule is already filling up fast. That sort of information will inspire your clients to give you a call and make sure their spot is reserved.
The holidays are also a great time to move your stock. Try pushing your retail salon products to the maximum. Put everything you have out in a nice holiday display, and run two-for-one specials that will have your clients buying what they need, but also considering their friends and family. A sign in-store or a subtle hint while they’re in the chair can be great motivators for clients to open their pocketbooks, but again, don’t forget your all-important social media. An exclusive online coupon can get people in the door. Salon products are just the sort of thing people like to have on hand to give to friends, both as a main gift or a last-minute present, so there’s no harm in suggesting how nice it is to find a luxury conditioner or sparkly nail polish under the tree.
Remember that the holidays are a time for joy and giving and family—and here at Salons de Beauté, we consider all our clients family. So, happy holidays from us to you!
Tipping is one of those issues that comes up time and again for anyone who works in, or patronizes, the service industry. So, in other words, just about everyone! Whether you’re for tipping or against it in principle, tipping people who serve you is a part of life here in the U.S., so it’s good to be acquainted with why tipping is so important, and how to tip appropriately.
The question of how much to tip is a difficult one. People have different philosophies of tipping all over the country, and around the world, too. So, what’s the best rule of thumb when it comes to tipping?
In the end, tipping is up to the discretion of the patron, and should be proportionate to how good the service received was. Typically, a 15-20% tip is considered to be a reflection of good service. At a salon, tipping a stylist 15% if you just come in for a cut or another sort of service as a one-time thing is perfectly fine. As a relationship develops between you and your stylist, however, it’s suggested you bump that tip to 20%, or even 25% or 30%. While that may seem like a large tip, remember how hard your stylist works to keep you and all of his or her clients looking their best! It’s not easy, standing all day, using your hands and forearms and shoulders and fingers. A nice tip shows your stylist you appreciate what they’re doing for you. It’s also great, if you’re shampooed by someone else, to tip them three to five dollars for the service.
Why is tipping so crucial? Many people who work in the service industry need those tips to supplement their income. If you’ve never worked in the service industry, or did so as a first job when you were still living at home, it’s easy to forget how much an extra bit of cash can help. Yep—cash! It’s always best to tip in cash, or at least be prepared to do so. Even today, some salons in Lawton aren’t equipped to handle tips paid via credit or debit card—so if you don’t carry a bit of cash, you risk stiffing your stylist. When enough people do that in a day, or a week, it can really throw budgets out of whack, since stylists and other service industry professionals often plan their budgets to account for the tips they expect to receive.
If you’re lucky enough to have a relationship with your stylist, it’s a good idea to consider giving them a holiday gift, too, in the form of a bit of extra cash. The holiday season is one where you as a client are likely going to a lot of parties where you’ll need to look sharp. Your stylist is undoubtedly working longer hours than normal, and feeling the holiday pinch in regards to gifts and other holiday expenses, just like the rest of us.
Salons de Beauté in Lawton is a great place for stylists to start their career as a salon owner by leasing their own mini salon suite. Contact us today to see how we can help you own your own salon business!
One of the most common pieces of advice given to new or aspiring business owners is also the best: join a trade organization. Joining a trade organization is a tried and true method of increasing your understanding of your business, providing you with ideas for how to grow it, as well as for getting ahead in the industry.
For aspiring stylists looking to open salons in Lawton, joining a trade organization is a great way to get to know your future business by acquiring information and advice from people who have been where you are. Trade organizations usually offer advice on things like marketing, as well as providing opportunities to network and attend workshops, seminars, and conferences on special topics within your industry. There are usually even mentorship opportunities! So, if you’re standing behind a salon chair today but see yourself leasing a space and running your own business tomorrow, you should definitely consider joining an organization full of members who can give you advice on how to make the leap. And even if you already own your own salon in Lawton, or one of the mini salon suites we have here at Salons de Beauté, there’s no time like the present to expand your horizons by joining a trade organization!
There are other compelling reasons to join a trade organization. Many have online forums for their members to discuss topics related to business, including those that might not otherwise be on your radar. Sometimes legislation can be introduced that might affect your business in strange ways—trade organizations stay on top of such matters. They’ll also be up-to-date on what sorts of charitable organizations you can donate your time to in order to gain exposure and even tax benefits. They’re also often the best resource for locating ongoing education and training opportunities.
The Beauty School Directory is a great resource for stylists. The linked page will provide you with basic information and a huge list of organizations for stylists just like you. Here are a few you could consider:
- The Professional Beauty Association provides industry content helpful to salon owners and those who hope to own their own salon or mini salon suite one day.
- There’s also the Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals. Their mission is to promote and support professionalism in the cosmetology, esthetics, and nail industries.
- For Colorists, there’s the American Board of Certified Hair Colorists.
- Those who do cuts and colors may find a good resource in the Hair Artist Association.
These are only a few of the many great trade organizations that exist to support salon professionals just like you. Joining a beauty or salon trade organization can be a great first step in achieving your dream of being a salon owner, or a fantastic move to make if you’re already established in your own salon in Lawton but want to grow your business.
So! You’re ready to start your own mini salon. Congratulations! Starting a small business is a big step, but for self-motivated people like you who want to be their own boss, it’s a step in the right direction.
For a certain kind of person, nothing is more fulfilling than working for yourself—so if that’s what you see in your future, why not give Salons de Beauté a call? Our mini salon suites in Lawton are great for stylists and other beauty professionals who are ready to make the jump to small business ownership. And, after all, having a business location is an essential early step for small business owners, so why not set up shop in Salons de Beauté, which offers mini salon suites to all sorts of beauty professionals just like you? It’s like having a bunch of potential referrals just around the corner!
Once you figure out where you want to be, you’ll need a license. The Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering offers many licenses. You can look them over and see what you need for your new business!
You also need to learn to think like a businessperson. You don’t necessarily need to go to business school to run your own successful small business, but learning some common sense small business sense will only help you. For example, consider things like:
- Your Operating Budget. This could include not only things like how much cash you’ll need for your business, in terms of rent, supplies, advertising, an emergency fund, insurance, and so on and so forth, but also how much you need for your own monthly expenses. And of course, don’t forget taxes! Hiring a CPA to handle that side of things would definitely be a part of your budget.
- What You’ll Charge. Once you know how much money you need to make each month you can calculate what you’ll charge your customers, and how many customers you’d need at that rate to break even, and also turn a profit.
- If You Need a Loan. A loan officer at your local bank can help you figure out the process of getting a small business loan. It’s good to go in with a write-up of your vision for your business, so definitely do that!
Thinking like a businessperson doesn’t just mean the above sorts of “nuts and bolts” mentality, however. It also means thinking practically about things like… maintaining a client base when you move from your old salon location. It means thinking about promotion. It means taking into account things like cleanliness, and representing yourself with a professional attitude toward everyone from your clients to your suppliers.
Owning your own salon can also mean working on developing a thick skin and a cool head. It’s not an easy life, owning your own business, but we think you’ll find it rewarding! After all, you’ll be free—and your business will be your own.
As we said last month, business owners have to spend money to make money. Reasonable expenditures on promotional materials and upgrading your space can help your business grow, bur frivolous spending can eat away at your bottom line. It’s good to trust your instincts when it comes to figuring out what your business needs, but it’s also good to shop around and see what sorts of options are out there. A quick Google search may yield surprising low-cost alternatives when it comes to getting something you know you need.
For example, let’s look at candles. Candles are a great way to perk up the interior of any salon suite in Lawton. Flickering candlelight makes your clients feel relaxed; it’s an easy, instant signal that they’ve stepped into a spa and are about to be pampered. But the thing is, candles aren’t reusable. Burning candles means you need to buy more candles, and that’s basically money down the drain.
What’s the solution? Well, how about those new electric candles? These days, you can find electric candles that flicker and glow just like the real thing—and they run on batteries, which you can get for cheap in bulk. Even better, they’re usually unscented, so the aroma won’t bother your clients who are sensitive to scents, making them the superior option for your wallet and your customers.
Another good example is business cards, flyers, or other printed promotional materials. There are plenty of boutique printers out there that make lovely cards with foil, embossing, and all that fancy stuff… but that can get really expensive. When you’re just starting out and establishing your brand, it may not be wise to invest so much in something like that. You can get cute business cards at around $30 for a count of 500 from some of the online shops, and while you’re still figuring out the image you want to present that can be a great, lower-cost option.
It’s also good to reconsider your notions of traditional marketing. An ad in the yellow pages can cost a bundle… but when was the last time you looked in the yellow pages for anything? People tend to Google information these days, so a simple website (that looks decent on a mobile device) and social media presence can be worth a lot more in terms of cost-to-benefit ratio.
You have to spend money to make money, but you also have to save money to have money. It’s a good idea to have as much cushion as you can manage when you’re just starting out, so saving where you can is just as important as giving yourself permission to spend money. Remember, free advertising such as word-of-mouth can really help alongside things you have to pay for, like websites and business cards, so strike a balance! And Salons de Beauté’s mini salon suites in Lawton, OK are also a great balance for those trying to start their own salon suite business!
Salons de Beauté is a great idea for stylists and all sorts of beauty pros who are interested in running their own mini salon. Contact us today and find out how we can make your little salon a big deal!
We all know a bad day can be perked up by a thoughtful text, note, or email. A good dress can become a great look with accessories. Heck, as stylists, we know that attention to detail can be the difference between a haircut that makes your client come back, and one that makes them start looking for a new stylist. Little things make a big difference all the time—and that’s doubly true when you own your own mini salon business. Read on for some little things stylists who have leased salon suites in Lawton can do to make their small business a big success!
Build relationships. As we’ve said before, relationships will promote your success as a small business owner. Being friendly and professional with your landlord, your suppliers, your accountant, and other stylists will make people eager to work with you—and eager to go the extra distance to help you thrive!
Value Yourself. Your time is your money. If your clients ask for after-hours appointments, emergency scheduling, or off-site services, charge them accordingly for the premium services. Don’t be afraid to price yourself competitively, either! It’s important to make sure you’re earning what you’re worth if you want your business to stay in the black.
Spend money to make money. It can be tempting to “DIY” your business, but hiring an accountant may actually save you money in the end. Accountants know how to make money matters work for small businesses—and not only that, they bring their customers peace of mind. It’s one less thing for you to worry about, after all, and it lets you focus your energies where they’re most needed.
As for referrals. Remember when we told you to leverage the power of your social network? Do it! Satisfied customers are often happy to share their thoughts. That’s free advertising for you!
Mark up your products. It’s industry standard to mark salon products up 50%. If that seems like a lot, remember that your clients are paying for your advice on how to use what they’re buying as well as the product itself!
Ask for payment in full at time of service. Hold everyone to this policy, even your friends. A promise to pay later is just an excuse not to pay at all.
Ask for advice. Salon professionals are some of the friendliest, nicest people around. We love to share tips and advice—just look at this blog! If you’re feeling confused, or stuck in a rut, ask a mentor or someone in your professional network what they might do.
Dress and act the part. Looking sharp, showing up on time, being professional, and going the extra mile for your clients will keep them coming back for more.
Want to learn more? Salons de Beauté is an ideal solution for stylists and other beauty professionals who want to make a small salon business work. Contact us today and find out how we can make your little salon a big deal!