6 Habits of Stress-Free Salon Professionals

6 Habits of Stress-Free Salon Professionals

Let’s just face it—the modern world is a stressful place. For example, it’s almost impossible to do just one thing at a time. When you’re shopping you’re also sending texts and making phone calls. When you’re watching TV you’re also scanning social media. When you’re at work you’re mentally planning a girl’s night out or your kid’s next birthday party. And when you’re done for the day you’re thinking of all the little things you need to remember to do tomorrow for your salon in Lawton. Even with apps that claim to help us organize and stay focused, we’re still always pulled in a thousand different directions all at once.

Being a small-business owner means you always have something to do. But it’s like what they say about getting older: It’s better than the alternative! If you’re the kind of person who wants to own her own salon, you know the benefits: being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and answering only to yourself. The stress of business ownership is a price that’s worth paying.

That doesn’t mean you have to suffer, however. There are strategies you can use to keep your feet on the ground while experiencing the whirlwind of modern life in addition to small-business ownership. A chaotic, stressful work environment causes even the most serene among us to be unhappy, unhealthy, and make poor choices.

Charge What Your Health and Beauty Skills are Worth! If you take one thing away from this article, make it this! We’re putting it in here first because we think it’s the most important. Charge what you are worth! Nothing creates stress like being low on cash and feeling helpless to change anything.

Talking about money is tough, and talking to clients about money is tougher! In this economy, everyone is looking for the cheapest option around. But you’re not the cheapest option. You’re the best. Maybe you’re not the best in the world—there’s always room to grow—but you’re the best at what you do. Charge accordingly. Maybe it’s awkward to raise prices or to stop including a service you used to include, but in the end, being able to pay your bills month after month is what’s important.

Maybe it’s time to think about prices. What’s the bare minimum you can possibly charge for your time? What would you like to be paid for your time, realistically speaking? What are the average prices in your area? And don’t forget to factor in the cost of your products, including occasional expenses such as getting your scissors sharpened or replacing your massage headrests.

Stop Multitasking at Work. Running a business means needing to quickly switch gears sometimes, but the goal should actually be to only do one thing at a time. Studies have shown that for most people, multitasking actually reduces overall productivity. Multitasking often means that everything takes longer, and sometimes it means everything gets done in a slapdash or inattentive fashion.

Try not to bounce around from one little thing to another all day. Emergencies will always take precedence, sure, but the best way to do things is focusing on one task at a time.

Keep Track of Your Salon Clients. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.

Look, everyone has those clients who, for whatever reason, really take it out of you. Maybe it’s that client who grouses about everything. Maybe it’s that client who makes weird remarks that always catch you off guard. Working with people is hard! There are amazing things about it—we all agree on that—but sometimes a difficult client can really derail your day.

Know who’s coming through your door next. If you use any common calendar app to keep track of things, color-code difficult clients so they stand out. Write notes to yourself about what they like and dislike so you remember for next time, and so on and so forth!

There’s not a lot you can do with a difficult regular except be prepared. Even top salon professionals have clients they like more or less or keep for reasons of social status, et cetera. Grinning and bearing it is all part of the job, so why not end your workday by reviewing your appointments for the next day? Being prepared will reduce your stress!

Keep Your Cool. Salon work is creative work, which means people don’t always understand how stressful it is or why it can be so hard sometimes to keep your cool when things get tough. A national business magazine (that shall remain nameless) once stated that hairdressing was “one of the least stressful jobs in America.” Obviously, this is utter nonsense from someone who’s never worked in hairdressing or any other salon work, really. We provide personal experiences. Things can get personal. So when they do, remember to take a deep breath, use your reason, and think before you speak. Don’t take things personally. Be the bigger person and take it out on the floors later when you’re sweeping up!

Do Take Care of You. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Whatever sort of service you provide for your clients, you need to make sure you’re at the top of your game every single day.

Professional athletes eat right, exercise, and sleep to keep themselves in top condition. Well, you use your body every day, no matter what sort of mini salon in Lawton you’re running. You need to get your beauty rest, eat your protein and vegetables, get away from your desk and outside into the fresh air, or take in a yoga class. You have to do it for you. No one can afford to take time off for stress-related problems such as injuries or mood swings. Take care of yourself now so that you’re still doing what you love in the future!

Go Your Own Way. If you need to leave a stressful situation, follow the advice of the Fleetwood Mac song. Salons de Beauté is a great place to experience the freedom of having your own mini salon suite in Lawton. Salons de Beauté has everything you need, whether you’re making the leap from working in a salon to small-business ownership or you’re looking to downsize your salon to focus on what you love. Contact us today!

FIVE Things You May Be Doing That Harm Your Health and Beauty Business

FIVE Things You May Be Doing That Harm Your Health and Beauty Business

Let’s talk about bad habits. We all have things we do (or don’t do!) that might not seem like a big deal once in a while, but then once in a while becomes frequently, and then frequently becomes… well, you get the idea. Bad habits are just that, bad, but it’s easy to justify some more than others. The thing is, any bad habit, once it’s really a habit, can cause significant damage over time. That’s true of things like not flossing, avoiding the gym, or not changing the oil in your car, and it’s also true about the little things you let slide with your salon business, too. It may not be clear at first just how badly things can go when you leave the little things too long, so let’s take a look at a few common bad habits that health and beauty owners often fall prey to and why you should try to resist them.

Failing to stay in touch with salon clients. The health and beauty industry is all about contact, about connection. When you’re providing hair care, skin care, manicures, or massages, that personal touch is crucial. Building a real relationship with your clients turns them into regulars, but often that relationship doesn’t extend beyond the salon. No matter how intimate a conversation might get during a service, once that client walks out the door, we health and beauty industry professionals are often out of sight, out of mind. Staying in touch with clients when they’re not in the chair can fall by the wayside when your focus is on the clients who are in the chair. That’s understandable! At the same time, it’s not that hard to stay connected with your regulars. Try taking some time once a month to send a thank-you note through the mail or send a message over social media with an offer or information about a new product, service, or new hours. Those things make a big difference. If you’re in the business of creating regulars, staying in touch is a must, even if it’s tempting to use your time away from your clients for other purposes.

Not actively selling beauty products. Of course you’re already stocking your favorite products for those customers who wish to use them at home, but are you really selling them? Getting lazy about moving your stock is another bad habit. The markup on salon products is a great source of revenue for everyone in the health and beauty industry, from big box stores to your salon in Lawton. Why not encourage your customers to buy from you? Take some time to organize your product shelf, spruce it up with some seasonal décor, or do whatever you need to move your stock. And a little talking-up would never hurt, either, especially if there’s some rad new product a regular would love to know about! After all, most of your clients are relying on you for beauty advice.

Ignoring salon client reviews. First things first: 90% of consumers read online reviews before deciding to visit a business. No pressure! Customers trust personal recommendations, but they’re more likely to spend money at a business that has positive reviews. Make sure you don’t develop the bad habit of failing to ask satisfied customers for a review. It can be awkward, we know, but you know if they’re happy or not at the end of a service. And when you know they’re happy, remind them that a positive review really helps you get the word out about your salon in Lawton. But that’s not the only bad habit you can fall into while running your own mini salon suite. You also don’t want to disregard negative reviews. Sure, sometimes bad reviews are just mean and you can blow them off, but if you see reviews that address legitimate issues, well, reach out to those clients, too, and try to resolve the complaints.

Not taking the time to clean up your salon space. Sweeping and mopping can be a drag, but nobody likes to walk into a messy salon. Take the time to clean up, wipe down, re-organize your merchandise, and get it together. Don’t get into the bad habit of putting off tomorrow’s dirty duties. If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean, as everyone’s awful old bosses used to say. Sad thing is, they were right.

Making it difficult for salon clients to pay you. While it can be annoying to keep up with every trend in payment (we’re still amazed by people who pay for things with their watches) there’s an old saying in business: never make it difficult for clients to give you their money. Best practice is to get a POS that accommodates everything. Take cash. Take checks. Take cards. Take Apple Pay. Take it however you can get it. Don’t know how? Talk to your banker and other salon owners.

Going into business for yourself can be scary. You may not know if you’re engaging in bad habits right away! But at Salons de Beauté in Lawton, you have a great opportunity to learn and grow as a small business owner without being overwhelmed by a huge salon. Contact us today!

Top 2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Salon Business

Top 2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Salon Business

When you’re a stylist, the winter holidays are a great time for making money, but they’re not a great time for much of anything else. You and everyone you know in the beauty industry will be working completely ridiculous hours. You’ll see all your regulars at least once, to say nothing of all the extra walk-in traffic. Everyone wants to look their best for that holiday party, after all!

Trying to fit in your own shopping and socializing can be a real struggle at the holidays, as can finding time to spend precious moments with your family or working on your salon business model. Please don’t take this article too much to heart for now. Come back in early January after you’ve finished off the eggnog and champagne and are ready to start those resolutions, because that’s what we’ve got for you here today: Salon Owners’ New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you have an enormous salon at the mall with many chairs or you’ve just made the jump to owning your own mini salon suite in Lawton, these will help you and your business thrive in the coming year!

Prioritize Work-Life Balance

They say to pay yourself first. It’s also good to make time for yourself first. (That’s why this one is the first on our list.) All work and no play sure is a recipe for failure over time, especially because the work day for a health or beauty industry professional doesn’t always start at 9 AM and end at 5 PM, nor does it always obey a Monday-Friday schedule. With odd hours, repetitive physical motion, and long stretches on your feet, you must make time for yourself if you regard salon work as a career, not just a job. Resolve to exercise and to recharge your batteries, whatever that means to you. Put a Zumba class in your planner, schedule drinks with friends, make time to sleep 8 hours. You cannot run the business if you’ve run yourself down. Make it a priority this year!

Make a Salon Business Development Plan

It’s true that we live in an electronic age. Even so, writing things down makes them, well, real. Business development experts across all industries are hammering the importance of making plans, setting goals, listing things you need to accomplish. The truth is, when you see everything in front of you, it’s a lot less overwhelming. When you have a plan, you’re acting instead of simply reacting. And when you can see where you’ve come from, you’ll know better where you’re going. Keep a written record of how your plans worked out or otherwise. Doing analysis will help you use your resources wisely in the future!

Communicate Better with Your Clients

When you work in the salon industry, you have to be a good communicator. That said, there are always ways to improve! All of your clients want to leave your space feeling their best, but the similarities end there. Do you know who wants to grow their bangs out, who is going through a divorce, or who is trying to graduate in the spring? The thing that turns clients into regulars is communication, so make communication one of your 2019 goals. Remember what your clients say about their personal lives as well as about their personal health and beauty goals. Build a relationship. See where it goes!

Promote Your Salon Business Regularly

While we’re talking about communication, here’s something that takes little effort and costs next to nothing but can earn you a lot of dollars in the long run: Promotion! People can’t walk in the door if they don’t know about you! We know how hard it is to make the time to promote your salon in Lawton. Those tasks always seem to get pushed to “the next day,” but this year, make promotion a priority. Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to use social media. It’s your easiest and cheapest option for marketing and promotion, so spend some time there tooting your own horn instead of retweeting or reposting someone else’s.

Learn Something New

It’s interesting how education is such a major part of our lives when we’re younger, and then it seems to taper off as we grow up, get jobs, and settle into adult life. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and it shouldn’t be, especially for people working in the health and beauty industry. There’s always something new to learn when you work in the beauty biz, whether it’s a new technique, a new style, or a new product. Figure out a way to stay up to date this year. You could subscribe to an industry periodical or even gather with other professionals to discuss new and exciting trends in a monthly coffee-and-conversation group. Or you could simply take a class!

Keep a Better Watch on Your Money

This isn’t as much fun as taking a new class or posting your greatest hits to Instagram, but it’s so crucial. Money in the bank is power. Money pays for rent, supplies, marketing, advertising, décor for your mini salon suite in Lawton, and the gas in your car. Resolve to keep a closer eye on your funds. Maybe download your bank’s app to your phone so you can bank and even deposit checks on the go. Maybe separate your personal and business banking accounts. Reach out to an accountant to handle your taxes and payroll.

Drop What’s Not Working

Some things aren’t worth the trouble. Some battles aren’t worth fighting. This year, make like Elsa and learn to “let it go.” Unreliable supplier? Find someone else. Client who won’t keep her appointments? Tell her you’re booked out for the foreseeable or implement a cancellation policy. Maybe your current marketing or advertising just isn’t returning on your investment. Try something new! Or maybe the problem is where you’re working. If you’ve been stagnating at a job in a salon where you can’t achieve your personal and professional goals, it may be time to start your own salon business in Lawton!

Start the new year off with a bang and open your own mini salon suite! Salons de Beauté in Lawton is a great way to transition from being a stylist in a chair to a small business owner. Contact us today!

Great Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Hair Stylist!

Great Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Hair Stylist!

The holiday season is upon us! Of course, it’s been upon us for a while, given how it’s easy enough to find Christmas décor lurking among the bats and pumpkins come Halloween, but now that the year’s turkeys have been made into turkey sandwiches and it’s the end of November, we all really have to start thinking about “the most wonderful time of the year.”

This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 2, and Christmastime seems to already be in full swing, given the musical selections in most stores and the number of red and green decorations all over the place. Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and lasts until New Year’s Day. Wintertime holidays are traditionally marked by the lighting of lights and the giving of gifts, as both brighten up the darkest months of the year. And don’t forget, while you’re bringing some warmth and light into the lives of your friends and your families, it’s nice to do the same for your professional acquaintances, such as your hair stylist at your favorite salon in Lawton.

Giving a little something to the people who provide you with crucial services such as great hair, professional-looking nails, or great massages is a holiday tradition. Whatever your faith, the end of the year is a time to make the people in your life feel appreciated, and a “little something” always goes a long way in that regard.

But it can be confusing to know what to give your hair stylist. You don’t want to give too much or too little. Let’s face it, unless your stylist is also a close friend outside the salon, you don’t want to give something too intimate. At the same time, you don’t want to give anything that seems too impersonal, like the holiday candle Janice from Accounting gave you last year at the office gift exchange.

Our gift to you today is a list of “stylist approved” seasonal gift ideas for that special someone who keeps you looking your very best all year long, but especially through the holidays. Just think of all those smart holiday parties, office gift exchanges, and family gatherings ahead of you. The person who makes you sparkle and shine deserves a little bit of appreciation, don’t you think?

Cash and Gift Cards

Everyone knows that it’s a tradition to tip your hair stylist a little extra during the holidays, but how much should you add? Most experts agree that doubling your usual, typical 15- to 20-percent tip is a good baseline for what might be seasonally appropriate. If nothing else you can hand your stylist a little envelope containing a nice holiday card and a little “fun money” stashed beside your usual tip.

If you want to go the extra mile, gift cards are also always warmly welcomed. If you know something about your stylist, such as what they like to eat or do, go for that! But you can always pick up a gift card for a nice local restaurant, a retail store, the movie theater, an online retailer, a book store, or a coffee house. If it’s in the area where your stylist works, that’s even better! It’ll be a convenient treat. But don’t fret over it. Pretty much everyone needs things from places like Target, so if you’re stumped, go for that! 

Booze and Food

The end of the year is the season of eating and drinking. Nobody will turn away gifts of food and drink. Tins of holiday cookies or chocolates? Sure. A bottle of wine or two? No problem. A cheese sampler? Girl, you know it. Jams and jellies? Happy to take ’em. Basically, anything someone will need to work off as part of their New Year’s resolutions is usually warmly welcomed. And if they’re homemade, so much the better! Homemade goodies always come with a bit of personal touch.

Handmade Items

If you know your stylist particularly well or have had an ongoing relationship for years, something handmade can be a really thoughtful and special gift. A hand-knitted scarf. Handmade soaps or bath bombs. Scented oils for the bath. Rosemary oil for her kitchen. Whatever you make, especially if it’s a hobby you’ve discussed with your stylist, makes a great gift!

Whimsical Gifts

Who doesn’t love an unusual décor item that immediately brings a smile to the face? Amusing mugs, clever tea towels, salon-friendly artwork, or humorous notepads are all nice gifts this time of year, especially if they relate back to something your stylist may have told you about himself or herself. Gifts like these may feel impersonal, but hey, if your stylist is always sipping on a cup of coffee, why not give her post-it notes that say something like, “This is one of those mornings where my coffee needs coffee.” While post-it notes aren’t the most intimate of gifts, they do show you’re thinking about her!

Personal Pampering Gifts

Even though your stylist may work in a full-service salon, he or she can still take the occasional “spa day” to de-stress and reset. You could get your stylist a gift certificate for a massage, a facial, a mani-pedi, or a whole-body treatment. Better yet, you can put together a basket of DIY at-home pampering gifts, including scented candles, lotions, bath salts, a mud mask, or those mitts you can heat up in the microwave. Those are perfect for tired hands!

Still Stumped?

If you’re not seeing anything that you think your stylist will like, turn to the gift pros. Google “gifts for stylists” or check Amazon. Amazon usually publishes numerous lists of gift ideas for everyone of every age. You can certainly find some suggestions there! And as we said before, letting people buy their own gifts is never a bad idea. A gift card or a little extra cash are things everyone appreciates this time of year!

Salons de Beauté is always cheery, but this time of year we’re ho-ho-hoping you choose to come in and look at our salon suites for stylists eager to be self-employed. Contact us today!

How to Make Client Experience More Meaningful and Receive More Referrals

How to Make Client Experience More Meaningful and Receive More Referrals

Remember when the only “viral” things we had to deal with were diseases? Well, in the age of social media, any event or experience has the potential to spread across the internet like, well, a virus. Sometimes that’s good, because it means we see more cats getting into hilarious scrapes or memes featuring those American Chopper guys, but it can also mean that any client interaction that goes disastrously wrong can become extremely public extremely quickly. Think of how many times you’ve seen social media stories relating to incidents at airlines, restaurants, or hotels. You can probably even think of a few juicy incidents involving small businesses!

While those accounts and the ensuing “epic” reviews can be good for a giggle, it’s important to remember that the same thing could very easily happen to anyone with a salon in Lawton, or to anyone who owns a small business of any type. And it’s also important to remember that there are often two sides to every story, and real people suffer when things go public. If you’ve ever had a referral or seen a review that affected your shopping and buying decisions, you’ll understand.

We’ve talked a lot about social media and direct advertising to get the word out about your beauty industry business, but the truth is, word of mouth is still the most effective form of advertising, good or bad. And that’s why this month we’re talking about client experiences and getting those crucial referrals!

First, Why You Should Be Seeking More Referrals

Do you think of referrals as being “word-of-mouth” advertising? Well, they are! People trust referrals from their friends and family. We all know that beauty industry services such as haircuts, hair coloring, manicures, or massages can all be great or not so great. People trust referrals because they wish to have a good experience and minimize risk.

The same impulse leads us to check online ratings on products we buy from Amazon or to read Yelp reviews of restaurants. People trust personal reviews, and they trust individual experience. Statistics bear this out. People are four times more likely to choose a service such as your salon in Lawton when referred there by a friend. And those referrals, if you impress them, are valuable. The lifetime value for a client referred to your salon is close to 20% higher than the lifetime value of a client who wasn’t referred by a friend. And if that’s not enough to convince you, 83% of clients are willing to refer others after they’ve had a positive experience. Simply by providing the best service possible and encouraging referrals (we’ll get to that later) you can really make your business grow!

Define Your Salon Client Experience

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of a little brand called Apple, once said, “We have to start with the customer experience we want to provide and then work our way back.” While he was talking about technology and not the salon and beauty industry, the idea is a sound one for all businesses and has proven to be true. After all, you probably have or have owned an Apple product or two, right?

While the adage “the customer is always right” came about long before the visible nature of internet review culture, customer service is a priority for all businesses, your salon in Lawton included. Client experience is where the real battles are fought, for better or for worse. Because of the ease of checking personal reviews on sites such as Yelp, providing good service isn’t enough. Everyone’s trying to provide good service! You need to figure out the distinct and unique experience you want your clients to have at your salon.

You want your salon to be the place clients come when they want professional beauty services, but what else do you want to focus on? Perhaps it’s sales of additional products and services, a listening ear, or gentle hands? Think of it this way: How do you want your clients to rave to their friends about you? “Oh, so-and-so is the best. Her cuts are solid, and her recommendations for hair care products are always on point.” “She’s so good not just at doing nail art, but at really listening and giving advice.” Work backwards from the experience you want them to have, and make it happen! The referrals will come in, trust us. And they’ll be the sorts of referrals you want. 

Simplify Things for Your Salon Clients

It’s the internet age. We all know how frustrating it can be when a consumer experience has way too many hoops to jump through. Make it easy on your clients. Think about it this way: How busy are you as a small business owner? We bet you use a ton of apps to keep organized and keep things simple. Think about the touch screen device in your fridge that allows you to order through Amazon Prime. That is probably one of the best examples of how a service provider and retailer has simplified a process for customers. Need more laundry detergent? Punch the button. It shows up from Amazon on your doorstep in two days. When you’re considering ways to define and improve your clients’ salon experience, reflect on how to make it easy for them to come to you. Since we’re talking about old sayings, here’s another one: “Never make it difficult for customers to give you their money.” What are the things you can do to simplify your clients’ lives, as well as give them superior service?

Turning Bad Experiences into Future Wins

Things don’t always go right, whether you’re a veteran health and beauty pro or if you’re new to salon life. It doesn’t matter if you’re renting a chair at a salon in the mall or leasing a mini salon suite. Every day will teach you something about customer service. Keep in mind that failures are not necessarily losses. Your most unhappy customers can provide a fantastic learning opportunity. When you receive complaints about your services or your salon in Lawton, turn them into action items and seek to redress them when defining your client experience!

Salons de Beauté is a great place for your salon in Lawton to thrive. Contact us today and talk to us about our leasing opportunities and reasonable rates!

FIVE Tips on How to Handle Unreasonable Salon Client Requests

FIVE Tips on How to Handle Unreasonable Salon Client Requests

Anyone in customer service knows all too well what it’s like when a client comes in with unreasonable demands and expectations. They usually have an attitude to match. Dealing with difficult people is all just part of the business, but even the most seasoned veteran can find certain people or situations very challenging. Whether it’s a walk-in you hope never darkens your door again or a zany regular who is just one of those facts of life, we all must deal with a client who wants us to do the impossible. At the end of the day, their hair is in your care. If they want a breakup makeover that you know will leave them in tears or a chemical treatment that will damage their hair, you owe it to them to encourage better choices. And if what they want is for you to treat them like they’re royalty and you’re a peasant, well, you can’t let that happen, either.

Even at times like those, however, it’s important to be professional and do your best to meet their needs, especially in the era of social media and online business review sites. But it can be hard to walk the line of giving people what they want when they want the moon and still providing customer service that satisfies them and leaves you with your self-respect.

A little preparation for those sorts of situations can really help, however, so check out our list of five tips for handling unreasonable clients below. Once you’re prepared for the worst, you can keep your cool when the worst shows up. Once you’ve handled it, you’ll have a great story you can tell over drinks with your friends who also work in salons in Lawton!

Keep Calm

It may seem obvious, but it can be hard to remember to keep your cool when you’re in the moment. When a customer is being truly irrational, remind yourself to remain calm and professional at all times. Breathe in, breathe out and keep the conversation going. Use whatever techniques you need to keep yourself from wigging out at your client.

Appeal to their reason with your expertise if they’re demanding a style or treatment that won’t work for their hair. Don’t forget that you can appeal to their higher sense of decency, too, if they’re just being rude or arbitrary. Staying in control of yourself and refusing to show your anger means you’ll be coming from a position of strength when dealing with customers.

They say “the customer is always right” but we all know that’s not true. And remember, while that saying might have been the policy at the place you used to work, you now own your own mini salon suite in Lawton. You make the rules, and you can decide exactly how much you care to put up with in a client! 

Understand Your Client’s Point of View

Let’s say you’re dealing with an unreasonable request. A client with really curly hair wants a shaggy short cut that won’t look anything like she’s imagining or a man with thin hair wants a style he can’t sustain. We’re all familiar with tons of examples like these. It can be hard to dash their dreams in the cold water of reality, but as a salon professional, part of your job is helping your clients make good choices. The best possible way to handle this situation is to understand your client’s point of view. Go on a “customer needs discovery” with them. Ask questions. Get to the bottom of what they’re trying to achieve, stylistically speaking. This will help you give them a haircut they love, even if it’s not the haircut they demanded when they first walked in the door.

Help Them Understand the Consequences

When a client comes in with some gonzo request, take a few minutes to talk them through the reality of their decision, as we discussed above. Most times you’ll be able to get them to see reason, but when nothing else will do, you can try one final thing: telling them in no uncertain terms what the results of their choice will be. Maybe your customer doesn’t realize the gravity of the situation, but with your help, she may be able to understand better what will happen if she demands you carry out her requests. Just remember, if you find the right way to say things, people will be more inclined to listen. “I hate to disappoint you, but in my professional opinion,” when said in a calm but firm tone, can really turn the tide of a conversation with a difficult client. 

Try Exploring the Alternatives

As we mentioned above, offering alternatives can be a good solution to serving a client who wants an impossible cut, color, or style. We live in a golden age of fashion and of technology. Apps can help you show a client what a different hairstyle might look on him or her. A temporary product can offer a preview of a bold color change without the commitment. Find a way to help them visualize what they want before committing fully to a radical style departure!

… or Refuse Politely

Sometimes you just know that the style, cut, or color your customer is demanding going to be a complete and total disaster. Whether it’s something that’s beyond the skill or scope of your talents or if you just know it’ll be hideous or unsafe and they’ll be disappointed or angry, the only thing you can do is be honest and then refuse if the client won’t change her mind. Doing something terrible to your client won’t help them any, and frankly, it won’t work out well for you, either. Don’t invite the conflict. It’s better to send away a customer who’s angry with you personally for denying them a service than to perform a service on a customer who’s angry with you for destroying her hair.

Cut Them Loose?

No one wants to send away a client, but in some very rare cases it may be worth your sanity to do so. Regular readers of this blog will know that every single one of your clients can be estimated to bring in about $1,500 in annual revenue, so it’s good in some cases to just grin and bear it. But in other cases, you’ll be happier if you make room in your schedule for new clients who appreciate you and listen to your expertise.

Salons de Beauté is a great place for salon workers who want to determine who they want to work with and what they do. Contact us today and enjoy the freedom that comes with determining your hours, clients, and services!

Reduce the Challenges of Working at a Beauty Salon by Leasing a Salon Suite

Reduce the Challenges of Working at a Beauty Salon by Leasing a Salon Suite

Being a small-business owner is not for the faint of heart. The buck stops with you, which is enough responsibility to make most people decide business ownership just isn’t for them. But you’re different. You want to run your own place, build your own brand, and run your own business! Your heart is not faint; your heart is bold!

But that doesn’t mean you’re not smart. You’re going into this with your eyes open. You know the risks. You know the challenges. You know what to expect (or at least you know to always expect the unexpected). While it’s true that every business owner’s business is different, there are always areas of overlap, especially among those in the same industry.

Salon owners are faced with unique challenges on a day-to-day basis. That’s not news to anyone who works in the salon industry, either as an owner, a manager, or a worker. The good news is, in spite of what you might think, the work doesn’t triple when you become an owner. In fact, a good number of problems and challenges disappear or become easier to cope with once you’re in control of every part of your business.

For first-time salon business owners, it can really feel overwhelming to get the ball rolling and start your own place. A smaller space can be a big benefit to anyone just starting out, but whether you’re opening a giant salon with sixteen chairs or your own mini salon suite in Lawton, forewarned is forearmed. Let’s take a look at a handful of the top challenges faced by salon industry professionals and discuss how to address them effectively and easily.

Letting the Day-to-Day Fees Get You Down

Fees. Any business owner knows just how quickly fees add up. As time goes on, it seems like every bit of money you earn goes right back into the business to pay for something. There’s a reason the phrase “that’s just the cost of doing business” exists. It costs money to do business!

Salon owners who run their salons out of a mini salon suite have a bit of an easier time in that regard. Think about business maintenance, for example. Just the cost of doing regular, important maintenance on your chairs can really add up, no matter how large your salon is. But you won’t have those costs if you lease a mini salon suite from Salons de Beauté. With Salons de Beauté, maintenance is included! It’s the same with having state-of-the-art equipment. Leasing equipment can add up over time, but at Salons de Beauté, we’ve already bought everything you need, including top-of-the-line laundry facilities. With all that included in your monthly costs, you know what to expect when you lease a mini salon suite. There’s no after-the-fact sticker shock to worry about! 

Letting the Work Schedule Own You 

Flexible scheduling is something every salon worker wants. In larger salons, salon owners are constantly scrambling to create schedules that meet the needs of those who work for them. It’s also good for clients when salon owners are flexible. Flexibility lets workers build a better following by letting them schedule return customers when they need it. It can be a hassle, however, to always keep everyone’s schedules in mind when you’re filling up weeks!

When you own your own business in a mini salon suite at Salons de Beauté, you don’t have to worry about all that. You set your hours, and you schedule who you want, when you want them. Are you a night owl? Schedule clients as late as you’d like! More of a morning person? You can be done in time for a glass of wine at 5 o’clock every day of your life. Do you always need Wednesday mornings or Sunday afternoons off? You’ll never battle for your personal time ever again when you schedule yourself! You’ll also set your own holiday hours!

Struggling with Competition and Client Management Problems 

Everyone in the beauty industry knows it’s all about competition. There are a million massage therapists, hair stylists, expert colorists, nail techs, and aromatherapists out there. You have to make yourself distinctive. Even the best stylist can get lost when she’s working in a big salon with dozens of stylists and chairs. The same is true if you’re one of many massage therapists.

But when you own your own mini salon suite, you shine on your own. You’ll have no politics with the front desk, no issues with the management about the direction of the salon, and no competition for the best chair. You manage your bookings for your regulars and all their friends. Happy clients, happy salon suite owner, happy bank account!

Having to Help Build a Business for Someone Else

In real estate, they say it’s better to buy than to rent because you’re paying yourself. The same goes for business. Working for someone else means you’re building their brand, their business. Their interests are at stake. And sure, the buck stops with them, but you’re pouring your heart and soul into something that at the end of the day isn’t yours.

When you take the plunge and go into business for yourself, however, you’ll be in charge. You won’t have to upsell your clients on services you think aren’t great or products you think are sub-par. You’ll build your own brand, do what you love, and sell what you believe in.

Feeling Unsure if You Can Be a Creative Professional and a Businessperson 

Sure, if you’ve only ever worked in a salon, taking the leap to being a business owner seems huge. But the jump isn’t so big if you’re looking at a mini salon suite. It’s still your chair, your table, or your studio space. You’re not only a creative person; you’re a creative professional. You’ll make it work. You know how to combine artistry with professionalism. And hey, if there’s some aspect of business ownership that terrifies you such as bookkeeping or a certain kind of service, well, that’s okay! You can find a solution to any problem. And once you do, you’ll be so happy! Most of the biggest problems in the salon and beauty industry will just evaporate!

Salons de Beauté is the answer to many questions salon workers just like you ask themselves on a daily basis. Contact us today and find out how we can solve the problem of getting you into your first mini salon suite!

How to Begin Creating a Salon Business Marketing Plan

How to Begin Creating a Salon Business Marketing Plan

What comes to mind when you think about creating a marketing plan for your salon in Lawton? Do you have an idea of how best to market your salon and yourself, or do you break out in a cold sweat at the idea of “marketing” yourself and have no idea why you might even need to?

Whether you’re at one extreme or the other or somewhere in the middle, there’s no time like the present to work on your marketing plan. Whether you’re starting from scratch or fine-tuning a plan you’ve had for a while, implementing and using a marketing plan is essential. Without a marketing plan, you’re not growing your clientele or your business.

Every salon professional knows that clients come and go. Very few clients stay year after year, decade after decade. Therefore, if you’re not doing things to attract new clients, new business, new opportunities, you may see your business shrinking instead of growing. No one wants that!

When you’re first starting out, a marketing plan may seem like something that will require spreadsheets and graphs and money. Maybe you think about movies where a bunch of men and women in suits angrily shout at one another in a board meeting. But that’s not the case. We’re talking about a list of ideas, a calendar, and, most important, a marketing budget. Other than that, even marketing pros can’t agree on what’s really best. For example, some experienced marketing professionals will suggest dedicating a portion of your gross revenue every month or quarter to marketing; others think it’s okay to just do what feels right (up to a point). First things first: Figure out what your annual marketing efforts will cost and budget for them in the same way you budget for other expenses associated with running your mini salon suite in Lawton.

Tools You’ll Need to Create a Salon Marketing Plan

Put away the hammers and screwdriver (unless you’re one of those super-crafty HGTV types). Creating a marketing plan and a marketing budget doesn’t take much. If you’re comfortable with Excel or other spreadsheet technologies, go for it—otherwise, a notebook and a pen will do just fine. Whatever medium you choose, make a list of all your marketing ideas. Then, price them out, and sum up the costs. Look at the whole year first—most salons have busy seasons and slumps, so make sure to take that into account. Then you can break those activities and related costs into months, quarters, or whatever fits your needs best!

Auditing Your Salon Marketing Work

What are you already doing to market yourself? Don’t sell yourself short. If you’re a regular reader of the Salons de Beauté blog, you probably already have a social media following, based on our advice to promote your salon in Lawton via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and elsewhere. Those sites are free, sure, but promoted posts can really help your marketing—and those cost money. You have to factor in the economic impact of offering coupons or incentives, as well. List everything out, and estimate the costs. Did you get business cards? Put that down! Flyers? Mark down that receipt! And if you order several times a year, make sure that’s the number you put down at the bottom of your “annual costs” column. Software, subscriptions, consulting fees… heck, did you get t-shirts printed? What about the art on the T-shirt that you commissioned from your artist friend?

Maybe you don’t think you have a plan, but you’ve definitely done things to promote your business. Don’t sell yourself short—just document it all and make it into a plan. You’ll never know what your efforts are costing you in money (or time) until you’ve written it all down!

Identify Your Salon Marketing Goals

So often we only think about what customers want from a salon—but what does your salon want in terms of customers? Is your clientele what you wish it was, in terms of demographic? Keep that in mind as you target your audience via marketing. Do you want to serve hip, trendy women or older men, with a focus on veterans? Do you like doing cuts and colors? Do you like selling salon products? If you’re a different sort of pro, what sorts of mani/pedis do you like giving? What sorts of massages? Attracting your ideal clientele should be the point of your marketing. And trust your gut: If you know your future salon prospects will be online, on Facebook or Twitter, well, focus your efforts there! If you think it’d be better to put an ad in the newspaper, then maybe that should be your focus.

Define Your Salon Marketing Reach… And Then Reach Further

So you’re reaching out to the channels you think will be most effective for attracting your most desired clientele using what you have available to you. Great! But if you want to extend that reach, look at what you’re not doing. Can you do a little more? If you’re on Facebook, should you be using Twitter, too? If you’re on Pinterest, have you considered Instagram? What about other online resources, such as pay-per-click ads or a blog that uses targeted keywords to attract local clients? And look beyond the internet: What about local newspapers, industry periodicals, or media mail? A newsletter could also bring in new customers—you never know until you try!

Going Forward

Great job! You’ve come up with a list and a budget. Now you can move on to creating a calendar of marketing efforts for yourself! If that sounds too easy, that’s because it is easy. Look at everything you want to do and spread it out across the year. Prioritize based on cost and your estimated effectiveness of the campaign. (For example, shirts are swell and may sell great, but that’s a lot of money to put into a marketing item that may not provide a return on your investment. But this calendar can help you in other ways, too. You can use it to track costs as well as successes and failures! That way, you’ll be prepared when it comes time to make next year’s budget!

Salons de Beauté is here for people like you, who want to open their own salon in Lawton. Contact us today for information about our mini salon suites and reasonable rates!

How to Respond to Negative Reviews about Your Salon Business and Come Out a Winner

How to Respond to Negative Reviews about Your Salon Business and Come Out a Winner

It’s sad but true: No matter how hard you work to make people happy and satisfied with the services you provide in your mini salon suite, at some point you’re going to get a negative review. Most likely, you’ll hear about it secondhand. Studies have shown that only 1 in 25 unhappy clients will complain directly to a professional who displeased them. Whether you hear from someone directly, a customer leaves a negative review online, or someone starts spreading negative word-of-mouth to their friends and family, sooner or later you’ll have to deal with it.

What do you do? Well, there are a few tried-and-true strategies for dealing with negativity toward your services or your salon. We’ll walk you through them below, but the first thing you should do is be prepared, especially if you’re new to business ownership. Part of owning a business these days is monitoring the social media pages you’ve set up for your salon, but you won’t just find opinions there. That’s why it’s best to set up a Google Alert for your business or your name. If that seems a bit self-absorbed, don’t worry—it’s not! You can’t respond to complaints and reviews you don’t see.

Once you’ve set up your Google Alert, gird up your loins! It’s time to talk about how to deal with negativity in realistic, meaningful ways.

How to Approach the Response to Negative Reviews

Speaking of girding your loins, you have to know how to pick your battles. Some reviews won’t be worth a response because they’ll obviously be from people who have personal problems or who are looking to pick fights. We guarantee you’ll know these reviews when you see them, and the best thing to do when you recognize them is to leave them be. Laugh about them, cry about them, do what you gotta do, but don’t interact with them.

When you come across negative reviews that are genuine, however, the first thing to do is to take a deep breath. Your ability to keep your cool and act (rather than react) is crucial. Don’t go on the defensive or attack the credibility of the reviewer. Wait until you’re calm to respond, but you’ll need to respond… and quickly. You can’t just ignore negative reviews hoping they’ll go away or go unnoticed. The truth is, neither of those things will happen, because… 

Negative Reviews on Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. And not only is it staying, it’s extremely public.

As much as you might want to fire back at a negative review, social media is where you need to be your most professional. Don’t panic, and don’t get angry—at least not publicly so. If you’ve done the work of courting good reviews on social media from your regulars and your satisfied customers, the majority will be positive. Remember that one or two negative reviews won’t break you financially, but there’s something to be said for showing how you deal with customers who leave less than satisfied. It can be hard to keep your cool, but follow these steps every time and you’ll do just fine:

  • Apologize sincerely that the person left unhappy.
  • Get the conversation private. Ask them to message you directly, in private, to resolve the complaint.
  • Ask for a second chance. You can offer them a coupon, voucher, replacement product, or service, but do keep in mind that free stuff shouldn’t be your default response. Use it when appropriate, but remember that people will try to take advantage of you. It’s sad but true.

Review Sites and Negative Reviews

Yelp, Google Local, City Search… you’ve seen them before, and likely you’ve used them to see if that hip new restaurant or concert venue is living up to the hype. Review sites allow customers to see what people think of you, which can be good and bad. They’re powerful ways to attract or repel customers, so if you get a review on Google Local or Yelp, the two most frequented review sites, the best thing to do is issue a quick response before too many people can see it go unaddressed.

While you can control your personal and professional social media feeds to a point, it’s almost impossible to get negative reviews taken off of review sites. Unless it’s indisputably obvious that the reviewer has a personal vendetta against you, it’ll stay up once it goes up. Don’t panic: About a third of bad reviews on review sites can be turned positive if you respond to the customer and make him or her feel heard. You can deal with these negative reviews just as you would with the ones on your social feed: connect, ask for a second chance, and offer to make it worth their while.

Negative Word of Mouth

As we said above, a small percentage of unhappy clients will talk to you about it face-to-face. When it happens, try not to take it personally! That’s easier said than done, we know. It can be very hard to hear a negative comment that’s made to your face. And if you hear it through a third party, that can sometimes be even harder! You’ll want to defend yourself, we know, but it’s better to swallow your pride, gather all the facts, and respond exactly how you would online.

Taking Ownership of Negative Reviews When It’s Warranted

It’s hard to take criticism, and it’s even harder when the criticism is valid. Some negative reviews can be a scary reflection of yourself, your business, and your general practices. At those times, it’s important to take a long look in the mirror and decide if you truly like what you see. If you can understand the merits of what someone has said to you, respond with integrity. Acknowledge the issue and apologize. Be genuine and sincere. Most people who have had a disappointing experience at a salon just want to feel heard and be taken seriously. When you get negative feedback, use it as a teachable moment and find a solution that pleases both you and the customer, and follow up with him or her after. As we stated last month, every one of your clients can be said to be worth $1,500 in annual revenue, so making things right will be worth your time.

Make an Impact on Every Salon Client

As the owner (or future owner!) of a mini salon suite in Lawton, every aspect of your business should deliver that extra special touch that can’t be achieved through big corporate experiences. That holds true whether it’s during the service or afterward, when you’re hearing feedback. Keep that in mind when dealing with negative reviews, and you can’t go wrong!

Salons de Beauté is a place for Lawton, Oklahoma salon owners to make their clients feel special and offer a unique experience. Contact us today to hear about our reasonably priced opportunities to lease your own mini salon suite in Lawton!

How to Successfully Relocate Your Salon Clients and Business

How to Successfully Relocate Your Salon Clients and Business

Moving is never easy, whether you’re moving house or moving jobs. Any time you’re relocating your private living space or your professional life, there’s so much to be done, and it can be extremely stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. It also can be unavoidable. These days, health and beauty professionals change jobs and/or locations every few years. Sometimes it’s for better pay. Sometimes it’s because a better location opens up, with a better clientele. Sometimes you just need a fresh start due to poor management or a rent increase. And sometimes it’s because you’re ready to make the jump from salon employee to salon business owner at your own mini salon suite in Lawton.

Whatever your reason for moving, moves happen, and you’re not the first health or beauty professional to do so! When you choose to move, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure the move doesn’t negatively affect your business. There’s no way to eliminate the stress of actually picking up and moving, but with a little foresight and planning you can move without the stress of worrying you’ll see a downturn in your income.

Maintaining Your Business During a Move

We’ve all lost things during a move (and we’ve also “lost” things, like those ugly curtain rods you got three Christmases ago from your aunt). While (sometimes) it’s regrettable when an item goes missing, things are easily replaced.

But when you work in the health and beauty industry, your business is about people, not things. You can’t pack your clients into a box like you can your hair dryers, shears, razors, massage lotions, or samples of great beauty products. Customers are hard to replace, but the thing is… you’re a rock star. You give great cuts, massages, or facials. You’re on time, personally motivated, and you’re fun and engaging and talented. Along with great service you give great advice for all the weird life problems your clients tell you about. People love you and your treasure trove of hair color and styling products. Your clients will stick with you—well, most of them will. But you’ll have to work for it.

It’s said by salon industry experts that you can expect to lose twenty to thirty percent of your clients when you shift locations. Some loss is inevitable, but you’re more likely to keep that number on the low side if you manage your move well. 

Give Verbal Notice. Like, a LOT of Notice.

While it’s understandable to want to keep a move quiet while you’re still in the planning stages, you will have to give your clients quite a bit of notice if you want to retain them as you move. Did you know that salespeople say you have to tell a person something three times to get it to sink in? Whether or not you can see your clients three times before you move, telling them as early and as often as possible that you’re relocating will help as many of your customers make the jump with you. Drop them a line on social media as well as telling them in person. And when it’s really happening, try to get them to pre-book at your new location. That way, they’ll be in the door almost as quickly as you’ll be! People need the services you provide, so the sooner you’re up and running and getting them in the chair, the better.

Flood Them with Notifications…

Telling your clients in person is great, but you also have other options—especially if you’re in a difficult situation leaving your old location and starting at a new one, and you don’t want to advertise your move until it’s time to make it. Try some of the following…

  • The US Mail: Send cards or letters to their home addresses, if you have them.
  • Social Media Updates: If your clients follow you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can lock down your profiles so that only certain people can see them. Then you’re free to post alerts to your clients.
  • Emails: A targeted email blast can do wonders for your client retention rate when you move.
  • Text/Phone Call/Voice Mail: You have their phone numbers. Use them! 

Maybe this seems like a lot of work, but it’s more work to build a new clientele from nothing. Every client you have is probably worth $1,500 or thereabouts in annual revenue (a number we based on a client getting a cut and color ten times a year). Add to that the occasional $25 bottle of shampoo, conditioner, or other styling products and the value goes up. And this number might be even higher once you start running your own mini salon suite in Lawton and can retain more of your money and keep more of the markup on product sales. When you add in 20% in tips, your hard work will pay off in the end.

It might help to offer a discount to clients who follow you to your new place, and it’s often worth it to ask your existing clients to tell their friends. But don’t overdo it! Not all of your clients will follow you, and you’ll have to let them go or risk seeming obnoxious or spammy.

Host a New Salon Launch Event

Launch parties are fun—and hosting one can generate some additional buzz for your new location. You can hand out gift certificates for discounts and show off your killer décor. Most of all, it’ll show them all where you are. Get a few snacks and a few drinks and people will come.

And Maybe Don’t Talk About the Old Salon

Your clients will ask what happened. While it’s acceptable to cite differences of opinion or a rent increase, it’s important not to badmouth your old location and more importantly, the people there. The salon industry is a tightly-knit group; word gets around. Stay positive, talk about how much you’re loving your new space or business, and leave out any bad feelings you might have.

You Know You’re Going to Make the Move…

The only constant in the universe is change. You have to be prepared! You’ll move, for better or for worse. Why not be proactive about your dreams? Make lemonade out of the lemons of life! As painful as it might be to cut ties or as inconvenient as moving might be, you’ll love working for yourself in your own mini salon suite in Lawton!

Salons de Beauté in Lawton is leasing mini salon suites to stylists looking to move into a great, upscale location where they can be their own bosses. Contact us today and find out about our reasonable rates and great location!

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2310 East Gore Blvd.
Lawton, OK 73501

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About Us

Salons de Beauté features 26 individual mini salon suites for hair stylists, nail techs, aestheticians, and massage and aroma therapists, located in the Junction Shopping Center on E. Gore Boulevard, near Storage 'R' Us, and across from the Apache Casino Hotel.