Have You Thought About the Benefits of Joining a Beauty Industry Trade Association?

Have You Thought About the Benefits of Joining a Beauty Industry Trade Association?

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:

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.

Salons de Beauté is leasing mini salon suites in Lawton to stylists like you. Contact us today!

What it Takes to Run Your Own Salon Suite Business in Oklahoma

What it Takes to Run Your Own Salon Suite Business in Oklahoma

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.

Give Salons de Beauté a call to learn more about being your own boss by starting your own salon suites in Lawton. Contact us today and we’ll get you started!

Money Saving Secrets that will Help Your Salon Business Succeed

Money Saving Secrets that will Help Your Salon Business Succeed

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!

Little Management Tips that can make a Big Difference to Your Salon Business

Little Management Tips that can make a Big Difference to Your Salon Business

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!

The Client-Stylist Relationship isn’t the Only Relationship in Your Life

The Client-Stylist Relationship isn’t the Only Relationship in Your Life

As every stylist knows, this business is all about relationships. It’s a good thing for a stylist to be a “people person,” whether you’re cutting or coloring hair, doing nails, or waxing. It’s up to you to create a positive experience for your clients, after all… and no two are alike. Some will want to be pampered in silence; others will want to chat about TV shows and movies, their personal life, or even politics. Talking about Game of Thrones or who was eliminated from The Voice or the presidential primaries can be fun, but it can also be tricky. Stylists have to make sure they’re keeping their clients happy, after all, so to keep on good footing it’s a good idea to not only remember how your customers like their hair styled, but also to remember their names, what sort of pet they keep, their politics, and their media preferences… and remember to bite your tongue, even if those last few are markedly different from your own. Not only does this make for smoother sailing, it also builds the sort of relationships that can last for years.

But, when you become your own boss by leasing one of Salons de Beauté’s salon suites in Lawton, you’ll have even more relationships in your life. It won’t just be you and the person in the chair! You’ll be managing relationships with:

  • Other stylists. As we mentioned in our article “Leveraging the Power of Your Network,” building relationships with other professionals can be mutually beneficial! Recommending complementary services can be a great way to drum up additional business.
  • Your landlord. Naturally you’ll want to be friendly with the person who performs repairs to the shampoo bowls and keeps the Wi-Fi in service.
  • Your accountant. Even if you’ve never had one before, it might be time once you own your own mini salon. You’re a business owner now, after all, and that means business expenses. If you don’t enjoy bookkeeping, hire someone who does!
  • Your suppliers. Cultivating a good relationship with the businesses that provide you with your products can have benefits such as freebies, testers, samples, and discounts.

Once you become your own boss, you’ll also have to spend a bit more time on your relationships outside of your salon. Hourly workers get to go home at the end of their shifts, but being a business owner is a bit different. You may find yourself at work late in the evening, early in the morning, on weekends, or on holidays. You’re the one your clients will look to when they want and need to look beautiful, after all, so in order to preserve and honor those relationships, you may find your personal relationships strained. But you have to care for those, too—so remember to take the time you need for your friends and family. And for yourself, as well!

Salons de Beauté is ideal for stylists and other beauty pros who are ready to be their own boss. Contact us today!

Keeping Clients when Moving from One Salon to Another

Keeping Clients when Moving from One Salon to Another

One of the biggest concerns health and beauty professionals express when moving from one salon to another concerns their clientele—specifically, retaining their loyal clients after they’ve made a move. While there’s no way to be 100% certain your clients will follow you once you make a move into one of Salons de Beauté’s salon suites in Lawton, there are plenty of things you can do to encourage your existing clients to follow you to your new location.

The first thing you should do when planning a move is pretty common sense: tell your clients! If you’re moving, let them know as soon as you can. And of course, if you know exactly where you’re moving to, tell them. You may even wish to get some nice reminder cards printed with your new address and contact information—even a map!—as well as your new salon’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. There are plenty of sites like Zazzle and CafePress that will let you design your own custom-printed business or announcement cards with fun colors and prints. You can even have them printed with an offer—a 10% or even 20% discount on presentation of the card at your new location for a cut, color, mani-pedi, or massage can be a big incentive for your existing clients to follow you!

Speaking of your social media accounts, make sure your various social outlets are also updated with your new information—and keep them current with what’s going on with your new place, whether it’s a fun remodel, great cuts or services you’re offering, or specials for existing clients as we mentioned above.

If you can’t reveal your new location or details about your move, there are other ways to keep in touch with your clients—never fear! You can always ask if your clients would be comfortable providing you with their personal contact information, such as an email address, so you can get in touch when you’re set up. Just remember to let them know you’re keeping your move quiet for now. And, of course, if your clients ask why you’re moving, keep it professional: even if a specific person or a set of conditions has prompted your decision to leave, don’t badmouth your current salon, manager, or co-workers. For all anyone knows—or needs to know—your move is wholly because you’re moving up in the world and ready to make a positive change in your life because you’re so successful and talented!

The above strategies will certainly help you retain your clientele when you move into your own mini salon suite at Salons de Beauté. But, sometimes, your move will just be prohibitive to an existing client, whether it’s due to location or distance or some other concern. In that case, it’s a good idea to set your client up with someone you know and trust to take care of them after you’re gone. Your friend will appreciate it—and who knows, they might just send a new client your way in return!

Salons de Beauté is a great move for self-motivated stylists, colorists, nail techs, and other beauty pros who want to be their own boss. Contact us today and see what we have to offer self-motivated, visionary beauty professionals like you!

An Outdated Salon Might Be Costing You New Client Opportunities

An Outdated Salon Might Be Costing You New Client Opportunities

While there’s a certain appealing Steel Magnolias kitsch to old beauty parlors with pink walls, dusty fake ivy everywhere, glamorous soft-focus photos of women with haircuts fifteen years out of style, and white wicker accents, if you’re a hair stylist with fresh ideas and an interest in cutting-edge hairstyles, working in a salon like that might be costing you clients. The established clientele will likely want different cuts and styles than those that necessarily inspire you, and people who walk in the door for the first time will assume you’re the place to go for perms, big hairdos, and gossip… but maybe not shaggy bangs, sharp a-lines, and color straight out of InStyle magazine.

The truth of the matter is that first impressions last a lifetime. When a new client walks into a salon and doesn’t feel a connection, they might walk right out again… or just not come back after their first experience, no matter how good a cut you gave them. If you’re working in a salon and the owner refuses to refresh the color, décor, or furnishings—the “look” of the place—it can lead to feelings of frustration. You and your colleagues can be all too aware that something newer and more modern will draw fresh interest from first-time clients, but convincing your salon owner of this can be an uphill battle. And sometimes salons simply outgrow their space, leaving beauty professionals jockeying for the styling chairs, shampoo bowls, storage, and so on and so forth. This can lead to lines that decrease the number of clients you can see in a day, or cause frustrating wait times for your valued customers.

If you’re frustrated with your current situation as a stylist, it may be time to consider renting one of the salon suites in Lawton offered by Salons de Beauté.

Salons de Beauté has twenty-six mini salon suites available for leasing in Lawton, OK. When you lease your own mini salon suite, you’re your own boss. You work for yourself, and you’re free to style it as you see fit. Hate beige? Go with black, or shocking pink, or wild acid green. Want to decorate with something a bit more modern? No one will object to you sprucing the place up with cool bamboo, your old collection of Rainbow Brite dolls, sugar skulls… or maybe you just want an ultra-slick environment with only the essentials. It’s your call!

Salons de Beauté is the ideal location for updated, upscale, modern salons in the Lawton area. Whether you’re a hair stylist, colorist, nail technician, massage therapist, or other specialized beauty professional, Salons de Beauté is the ideal place to locate your new business. Contact us today and see what we have to offer self-motivated, visionary beauty professionals like you!

Leveraging the Power of Your Network to Grow Your Salon Business

Leveraging the Power of Your Network to Grow Your Salon Business

Here at the Salons de Beauté blog we’ve talked about using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to grow your client base. We’ve also discussed the importance of encouraging your clients to leave positive reviews of your mini salon suites in Lawton on Yelp, FourSquare, and other review sites. But today we’re going to talk about possibly the most powerful tool you have to grow your client base—the power of personal referrals.

Social networks are great, don’t get us wrong, but your face-to-face network is even more valuable, if studies are any indication. It’s been claimed that 80% of salon owners say most of their business comes through referrals. And that makes a lot of sense! Think about it this way: sure, you may see a preview for a cool-looking new movie, but even the best preview doesn’t necessarily make people take the leap from saying “That looks great…” to “I’m going right now!” But, when a friend tells you enthusiastically about how great that same movie is, after seeing it first… well, that has been shown to motivate people to get in the car and get to the theatre more than any other form of marketing.

The same principle applies to salon services. It’s said in business that the easiest sale to make is a referral sale. That’s right—existing clients who love you will do your work for you, and better than you could ever do yourself. And best of all, it costs you nothing—not time, not money, and no extra effort.

But, how do you make referral sales? Well, perhaps the easiest way is to draw on your existing friends in the health and beauty industry. If you’re a colorist looking for new clients, and your friend is a nail tech or massage therapist, it’s very possible they know people who are looking for the service you offer. So let them know—if they think you’re booked up, they may not refer people to you! And of course, you can set up a sort of exchange where you refer your clients with tight necks or shabby nails to their place of business!

This sort of community support is even easier at a mini salon suites setup like Salons de Beauté. When you own your own mini salon suite, in the midst of many other mini salon suite owners, you’re all in the same boat. You’re all looking to grow your new business by making new contacts. Setting up a system of referral exchange with your new community-members is just the thing to get the door opening again and again. And best of all, you’re all right there—so if a client mentions they have a spare hour, you can just send them down the hall to your friend for a facial, cut, nail appointment, or whatever they need.

The Salons de Beauté blog is your one-stop source for articles with helpful tips for growing your new mini salon suite business.

The Job of a Salon Worker can be Physically Challenging

The Job of a Salon Worker can be Physically Challenging

As a salon worker, you know there’s much to consider once you’ve decided to build your own salon suite business: you have your new business model to think about, the interior of your suite to design, clients to attract via personal connection or by using social media for your salon marketing… but in all the hustle and bustle that surrounds deciding to open your own salon suite, you may forget to think about the most crucial aspect of your new business: yourself.

Just like financial advisors suggest paying yourself first, as a new business owner you should also take care of yourself first. After all, you already know that being a salon worker is tough on the body! You work with your hands all day long, whether you’re giving massages, styling hair, or helping people take care of their skin. You’re on your feet from the moment you get up to the moment you sit down at night. Health and beauty care is a rewarding industry, but it’s a physically challenging one—and now that you’ve decided to be your own boss, more than ever you need to keep yourself in excellent working condition so that the demands don’t take so much of a toll that you miss work because of them.

There’s plenty of simple things you can do to keep yourself feeling good on a daily basis. By investing a little money into and spending a little bit of time every day on your most important tools—your own feet, legs, back, shoulders, and hands—you can stave off injuries and keep yourself feeling great.

For example, every hair stylist should invest in a good pair of scissors that feels good in their hands. Try out a lot, to make sure you love the pair you’ll be working with every day. Likewise, get combs and brushes with large handles, they’re easier on your grip—and try to keep your wrists in a neutral or straight position while working to keep carpal tunnel syndrome at bay. Also, take the time to raise and lower your client so that you’re not cutting hair with your hands raised, with your shoulders too high.

You should also invest in an excellent pair of shoes to keep plantar fasciitis out of your life. There are plenty of cute styles out there these days that have arch support and shock absorbing soles—choose them over high heels or sandals that won’t pamper the feet that support you all day. You should also consider getting a shock absorbing mat for your new salon suite, which will reduce strain on your heels and soles.

Finally, take breaks. Whether it’s staggering clients so that you don’t have two huge jobs back to back, allowing yourself a full hour for lunch every day, or taking your days off mid-week, you must give yourself enough time to rest. Time is money, as they say, but a few ten-minute breaks here and there to stretch between clients and loosen your wrists, fingers, and shoulders may save you hours off to go to the doctor or a full day off when you strain something.

You’re in the business of pampering, so make sure to pamper yourself! Trust us—you’ll thank us in the long run.

Keep reading the Salons de Beauté blog for articles like this one with great tips for managing your new mini salon suite business. Salons de Beauté exists to help artists like you achieve your dreams—and self-care is absolutely a part of that!

How Salon Suite Owners Can Better Maintain Contact with Clients

How Salon Suite Owners Can Better Maintain Contact with Clients

It’s a big decision, but deciding you’re ready to be your own boss can be one of the most exciting moments in a health and wellness professional’s career. We’re 100% confident that our mini salon suites here at Salons de Beauté are the ideal location to begin your new journey… but, of course, building a salon suite business isn’t just renting a space, decorating it, and telling your current clients where to find you. You have to market yourself—be proactive—do all the “stuff” that your former workplace did for you, basically, and likely not with the same budget or resources. But, never fear—we have some great ideas for maintaining contact with your clients and gathering new ones, so read on!

One of the best pieces of advice we can give our new salon suites owners is: be professional. You own your own business now, and while you don’t have to put on a suit or nylons every day (unless you want to, of course!) it does help to take a professional attitude when you’re in charge. You should look the part, whatever “the part” is, based on your vision—but swagger and style is only part of the deal. You also have to be on time, keep your interactions with your clients professional in nature, treat everyone with respect (even when they’re in the wrong), and make sure to create excellent client experiences. Trust us… you can leverage that sort of professionalism to expand your business and use word of mouth—one of the most powerful marketing tools, and one that money can’t buy—to your advantage.

Social media is another thing you should be relying on, when you’re coming up with low-cost salon marketing ideas. Make sure you at least have a Pinterest or Instagram account with fabulous pictures of your work and your salon environment, and a Facebook page (for your business, not a personal Facebook) with all your contact information. Don’t hesitate to promote it, too—you should encourage people to follow in order to get coupons or learn about specials. Keep it updated, because regular and current content lets clients know you’re in business. And also: be patient! Self-promotion takes time. You may not see results immediately, but you will see them over time.

Speaking of deals and coupons, you could also consider a referral program. Everyone’s doing it these days, from online styling services like Stitch Fix to local businesses like your new mini salon suite in Lawton, Oklahoma. Offering your current clients discounts and rewards if they bring you new business is a great way to grow your clientele while building loyalty with your existing customers. You can also offer “thank you” rewards for those who leave positive reviews on Yelp, Foursquare, Google Local, and other review sites!

You should also keep up with our Salons de Beauté blog for more articles like this on how to manage your new mini salon suite business. We want Salons de Beauté to help artists like you achieve your dreams—and self-promotion is absolutely part of the process!