Halloween is nearly here! You’re probably putting the finishing touches on your costume or your kids’ outfits, you’ve broken into the candy for the trick-or-treaters, and you’re just putting up the last of the spooky decorations. And yet, the winter holidays loom. Halloween used to be a bulwark against the holiday season, but if you’re anything like us, you’ve started to see Christmas candy and holiday decorations in the stores.
It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa or all of them.
The preparation is pretty much the same. There are parties and gatherings to plan, gifts to buy, friends to connect with, decorations to bring out of the attic, dinner menus to plan, cards to write. And all of that is on top of running your salons in Lawton. You’re probably already seeing a rush of appointments for people who want to look their best for the holidays. Your personal time is already getting tight, isn’t it?
The good news is you have time. Everything you need to prepare for the coming holiday season is already in the stores at Central Mall Lawton, Target, Costco, and pretty much everywhere else. Here are a few ways you can make use of your time and make the actual holiday season a lot more stress-free for yourself and your salon in Lawton!
- Establish a holiday budget for yourself and the salon. Sit down and make a budget for what you can afford to spend this holiday season on your salon, your clients, and your family. And don’t forget to budget a little bit of money to spend on yourself! Be careful: Don’t blow your holiday shopping and preparations budget this year before the holidays even arrive. Even though most folks don’t bother to create a holiday budget, it’s one of the smartest things you can do for yourself and for your salon. Get out a piece of paper or open your accounting software and calculate it. Simply setting the intention will help you stick to the budget much better.
- Get your mailing list in order. No one likes to frantically rummage through their devices, address books, and desk drawers for a missing contact list or the addresses of their friends, family members, and clients. Before the holiday madness really sets in, why not take a little time to sketch out your mailing list for personal holiday cards, thank you cards, and those cards you will be sending to your salon clients this holiday season? If you’re not in the habit of collecting mailing addresses along with phone numbers and email addresses from your clients, that’s something you want to start doing immediately. This kind of contact information not only helps you stay connected with the people who sit in your chair, it also allows you to market your salon business more effectively. If you want to go a step further, order some printed return address labels for yourself and your salon business, buy all your holiday stamps in advance, and address your envelopes before you start writing the cards. Writing holiday cards is fun and easy. Nobody enjoys addressing envelopes!
- Get your events calendar ready. This is also a great time to start getting your life in order. Whether you enter calendar events into your phone or jot them down on a wall calendar or a physical planner, now is the time to block off dates and times for out-of-town trips to visit friends and family, time off for yourself, various parties, and special events you might be having at the salon. You should also add your personal appointments into the calendar, such as trips to the dentist, when you’ll need to get your car serviced, or when you’re having your furnace tuned up. Time budgeting will save your brain when things get really involved.
- Perform your annual holiday supplies audit. With many of the retail stores already ramping up their holiday displays, you’ll be able to find a great number of sales and deals on everything you need going into the holiday season. Remember your budget, but also remember that this is an excellent time to perform your pre-holiday supplies audit. This means you can get your holiday decorations, wrapping paper, holiday cards, gift bags, ribbons, bows, cookie tins, holiday craft supplies, decor, and so on and so forth early in the season when it’s cheap and available and the stores aren’t all thick with shoppers.
- Visit your print shop. This is the time of year when salon business traffic is likely to increase, and you may be running specials, discounts, promotions, or special events. You’re also going to be sending cards and putting together little gift bags for your clients. All of this means it’s a good idea to visit a print shop, local or online. Do it early in the season to make sure you have everything printed and ready for the holiday season. You might need copies of flyers, coupons, labels, cards, and more. Get it done early, and they’ll all be right there when the time comes to send them out!
- Shop for your salon clients. Although shopping for friends and family members can be difficult, putting together a little gift assortment for your clients is relatively easy. Gifts for friends and family are highly personal and take a good deal of thought. When it comes to your clients, the expectation is never high, but your salon clients will be surprised and pleased that you thought enough of them. Let’s face it, there’s always a chance that your clients, especially your longtime clients, will be giving you a little something special this holiday season. While you might choose to give something a little bit more personal to a few special, longtime clients, most of your clients won’t expect this. Why not put together little gift bags of salon products with a festive tag on top? It’s always a good idea to include your business card and a discount card or coupon for their next salon visit. You can even give them a coupon for their favorite salon. That can benefit you through the holiday season and well into the new year!
When you’re a salon worker, you get comfortable with your regular clients. It’s almost impossible not to. After all, you’re cutting their hair, waxing their upper lip, or giving them a massage. It’s personal, even if it’s not intimate. And as with every relationship, the more personal it becomes, the more comfortable it becomes, and there’s always the possibility that you’ll get too comfortable and step on someone’s toes.
As you get to know a client, it’s good to let them into your life in little ways similar to the way they let you into theirs. At the same time, some things are just too much for a professional relationship, even if it’s a long-standing one. Here, we’ll discuss some behaviors that are always inappropriate when you’re in a professional role at your salon in Lawton.
Be on time. Let’s start with the easiest one first. Don’t be late. Nothing says “I don’t value your time as much as I value my own” like showing up late for an appointment or making a client wait while you finish up a call or have a smoke break. Everyone messes up. You have car trouble or you find yourself stuck because of a train you didn’t expect or you need to take an emergency phone call. As often as you can, however, be on time—or better, early.
Be prepared. Related to the above topic, you never want to seem unprepared for an appointment, and you definitely never want to make excuses. We all have busy lives, and your clients are moving their schedules around to make time to see you for your specific services. Being prepared at the time of their appointments shows that you respect them and their time.
Keep it to yourself. Clients can be frustrating, but even if your least favorite person in the world just left your chair, you never want to speak negatively about any of your clients to another client. Similarly, you should never discuss anything a client has told you in private, for obvious reasons. Also, never complain about how little someone else tips you for your services. In fact, you probably shouldn’t talk about money, good or bad, in front of any of your clients. First of all, it’s none of their business, and it may also affect their impression of you. It may even negatively impact how they pay you or tip you. It’s better to just keep quiet about it. Additionally, you never want to insult the competition, especially if a current client has used them in the past. They might feel insulted by your insults!
It’s all about the client. Don’t stand there looking at your smart phone. We’ve all been cursed to live in interesting times, but whatever is happening on social media, YouTube, or in the news can wait until you have finished with your client. That’s not to say that a glance at your phone on the counter when you receive a text message is bad. You can always look to make sure that you’re not getting an emergency text from your kid’s school. That’s totally acceptable. But unless it’s truly an emergency, don’t be on your phone when your client is in the chair.
Keep your cool. We all have problems, and we all have bad days, and sometimes we have to deal with them on the phone. That’s something that can be done after hours on your own time. Don’t get into an angry conversation or a shouting match in front of your clients.
TMI. Sometimes you just need to keep it to yourself. Don’t talk about your finances with your clients, as we advised above. The same goes for your relationships, especially intimate details. Your clients don’t need to know about how you hooked up with your ex or about how your Tinder date went. The same goes for your medical history or any health problems you may have. You don’t need to share what you did at that wild party the night before, either. If it’s something you wouldn’t tell your kid’s elementary school teacher or your mother, you probably shouldn’t share it with your client.
Nod and listen. Speaking of TMI, let’s face it: When some folks sit down in the chair, they feel comfortable talking about whatever is going on in their life at that time. Let them talk. Interrupting somebody can be very frustrating for them. Your job is to listen. Remember, you’re not a psychologist, even if people treat you like one. But in the end, your clients aren’t really looking for answers. They’re just looking for a listening ear.
Don’t kindle the fires. As we said above, you’re not a psychologist. Your job isn’t to offer advice. People who sit down in your chair may have relationship problems. They may have problems at work or problems at home. They may be looking to talk through it with someone. You can listen and you can empathize or sympathize, but telling someone they should break off and engagement or walk off the job could lead to a real disaster for them and you. Just keep in mind that an hour-long haircut doesn’t give you enough time to know everything about someone’s life or their situation. They might not tell you everything. If you offer advice, it’s going to be you offering it without all the relevant information. And think about it this way: What if they take your advice and it doesn’t work out? Who will they blame? You could lose a client over something like that.
It’s not funny. Don’t repeat that questionable joke you heard from your uncle. Don’t share that off-color meme from Facebook. You don’t know your client’s politics, and you don’t know what will offend them. Limit your comedy act to your friends after working hours. The same goes double for politics.
Salons de Beauté is an ideal location for stylists and other beauty professionals looking to own their own mini salons in Lawton. To find out more about our reasonable leases and ideal location, contact us today!
“Burnout” is one of those things we can’t really understand until we experience it for ourselves. On the outside it seems strange to think you’d ever need a break when things are going well. Why would you need a vacation just when your work is humming along smoothly? Why would you get bored just when things are getting interesting? Then when burnout hits, it suddenly makes sense. It’s possible to love what you do and get a little sick of doing it sometimes. After all, working in the health and beauty industry means working long hours, having lots of people drawing on your energies, and spending a lot of time on your feet.
Don’t feel ashamed if you experience burnout. Treat it like you would any other problem in your business: with care and attention. Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean you have to love doing it all the time, every minute of every day of every week. It’s okay to need a break or a change. In fact, you owe it to yourself. Take it from us: Take burnout seriously, before it’s too late! That might sound dramatic, but taking the time to nip feelings of exhaustion in the proverbial bud can have great payoff for you, your emotional well-being, and your business itself later on. But how do you tackle burnout, especially if you’ve not yet experienced it? Read on, and let us help you identify the signs and symptoms. We also have some helpful strategies for dealing with it, too.
First, understand burnout.
Burnout occurs when your work/life balance isn’t, well, balanced anymore. Don’t feel alone; it’s super common. Everyone struggles to balance living their lives with having to perform the work necessary to do that.
For people who work in the health and beauty industry, you’re constantly having to follow a schedule. If you work in a salon in Lawton (as opposed to leasing a mini salon suite), you have to abide by the salon’s rules, follow a dress code, and serve anyone who plops down in your chair. That would wear anyone down, even a person who loved providing haircuts, color jobs, manicures, or massages. Even if you have leased a mini salon suite from Salons de Beauté, being a small-business owner brings a lot of pressure to take every appointment, day or night, weekday or weekend, and holidays too. You’re always trying to grow your business, after all.
The biggest cause of on-the-job burnout is when your work takes over time you usually spend on yourself. How do you avoid it or fix it once it sets in?
Define your work/life balance.
Have you ever thought about what your ideal work/life balance would look like? Like, really thought about it? If not, take some time to imagine living your best life. In fact, you should write it down. If it seems goofy to do this, remember that you can’t work toward a goal you don’t fully understand. Think about it. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you like a day off here and there or do you always want a weekend with your kids? Do you see yourself working on holidays? How much vacation time do you need to feel whole? Do you want the comfort of keeping the same hours every week or the excitement of a different week every Monday?
Once you know what you can do while staying happy, healthy, and balanced, you’ll also know when you’re pushing too much. Everyone needs to work longer hours sometimes, whether it’s at the holidays or to make up for that summer vacation, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is letting those extra hours creep up and become normal. Know your limits so you can push when you need to and come back to balance afterward.
Once you know what you really want out of your work/life balance, you’ll be able to…
Understand what you’re capable of doing (and don’t be afraid to say “no.”)
Once you’ve clearly defined your ideal work/life balance, you’ll be able to see what you’re capable of doing and what you’re not able to handle. Don’t be embarrassed about this. Just be honest. It doesn’t matter if your friends and acquaintances work more hours or different hours. They’re not you. They don’t know your life or what you need. They might be secretly burning out as you watch them in envy. Be honest about who you are, what you want, and what you need, and you’ll be much more likely to succeed long-term. Say no when you need to. Even if you lose out on a bit of cash in the short term, you’ll be better off in the long term.
Start your day with priority items.
Do you check your phone when you get up? What if instead of getting sucked into Facebook, Instagram, text messages, ads, emails, and Twitter threads, you polished off your most important tasks? Wondering how? It’s easy, but it does mean using a pencil and paper. Before you go to bed at night, write down the next day’s most important tasks. If you forget to do this the night before, think about them before you pick up your phone or open your laptop in the morning. Then check them off one by one. It’s so satisfying; try it!
Make time for personal wellness.
Standing on your feet for eight, ten, even sometimes twelve hours a day is hard. Avoiding burnout means taking a break, whether it’s a fifteen-minute breather, an hour for lunch, or an impromptu spa day. Do whatever is small enough or large enough to get your balance back. And take your breaks away from your salon in Lawton, otherwise you may spend your break doing “little things” for the store, and that’s not really a break at all. Take it from us: Get out, find a relaxation space somewhere nearby, such as a park or a coffee shop, and go there. A gym for that hour lunch break is great too. A few reps and sets will keep you fit and on your feet!
Be open to change.
Take our advice. Use visualization to take charge of your work/life balance to avoid burnout. And don’t be afraid to visualize big. Maybe, just maybe, if you’re working for someone else, your burnout might be remedied by looking into going into business for yourself with a salon suite of your own.
August is one of the busiest months of the year. There’s not one big holiday to keep everyone on the move, but there are a million little things going on, such as barbeques, back-to-school shopping, last-minute camping trips, pool parties, waterpark visits, and so on and so forth. If you’re a small-business owner, you also have to keep marketing and developing your business while everything else is going on. Summer fun is no excuse for letting things slip at your salon in Lawton. It’s important to take a few days off here and there, but keep in mind that big businesses don’t take summer vacations, so little ones can’t, either.
It’s good to take your cues from big businesses in a few ways, actually. Maybe you’ve seen articles about the ways that companies such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Netflix handle their marketing, advertising, and customer care. Do you read them? Sure, it can seem pointless to see what the biggest companies do to market themselves. They have scads of money to throw into customer and marketing programs, after all. But the truth is, small businesses such as salons in Lawton can gain a lot from applying the same kinds of strategies used by the big kids. Here are a few marketing and development strategies culled from some of the top-performing businesses in America that are easily applied to your mini salon suite in Lawton!
Make It About Them: Clients love it when you remember their personal preferences. Big companies have lots of software for tracking that, but owners of salons in Lawton could simply keep a journal or a spreadsheet containing notes from client sessions. Just jot down any interesting tidbits you pick up about clients’ lives. Asking clients questions like, “So how did the big meeting go?” or “Did you like that different cut we tried?” will make them feel like you really value their business. Try to take note of family members’ names, clients’ birthdays, those sorts of things. In reality, a small business can create a personalized experience in the way big businesses just can’t. Use that as an incentive to have your clients come back again and again!
Follow Up: It’s great to jot down notes after an appointment so you can prep before your next, but it’s also important to use the data you acquire. Saying, “Happy birthday!” is great, but sending your clients birthday emails that include a coupon or a free service is even better. It’s also nice to jot down the date of a client’s first salon service with you, and then somehow celebrate every “client anniversary,” perhaps again with a coupon or free service. Your clients will feel that their business really matters to you.
Respond Quickly. Response time is one of the most important aspects of the service industry, according to countless client surveys. It’s human nature to hate to be kept waiting, so make sure you get back to your clients quickly about appointments and services. Respond as soon as possible to texts, phone calls, and email messages. We know it’s hard! Big businesses have tons of people answering their phones and responding to emails around the clock. There’s no way an independent salon owner can compete with that, and most people don’t expect you to. Just do your best to get back to people on the same day or the next day at the very latest, and you’ll do great!
Be Prepared. This is one of our favorite pieces of advice: Make sure you have an “Oops Package” ready to go just in case you make a mistake that upsets a customer. Everyone makes mistakes. A small gift and a short note will show a disgruntled customer that you genuinely care about making things right. Sometimes just saying “I’m sorry” is not enough, so preparing a little package, nicely presented and filled with desirable items, can really mend fences when things have gone wrong.
Anticipate Their Needs. Maybe this seems like a no-brainer, but many people in the customer service industry forget it. Our clients often look to us for what they should be doing with their hair, nails, or whatever else. When you run a small business, you often get to know your clients better than you could if you were working for a big company. Maybe you see a nail color you know a client will love or a style that’s a fresher redux of a valued customer’s favorite ‘do. Taking the time to talk to clients about things that remind you of them or even just workshopping their hair ennui or nail envy into a positive change gives them the biggest reason to come to you. That’s the boutique experience they want from a small business. Plus it will show your clients that you care enough to keep track of things and stay at the top of your game!
Use Your Resources. A big company has many resources: time, money, a huge staff. You don’t have those things, but you do have other resources. That includes your customers! Think about it: The more you talk to your customers, the more you learn about them. They come to you for style and health advice, and you might be able to turn to them, too. While they’re in the chair, talking about the things that go on in their lives, you can ask them questions. Maybe you have a good plumber – or a tax preparer or a lawyer – sitting in your chair. If you ever need someone like that, building that relationship can be a great two-way street. If they’re an independent crafter, get some of their candles, picture frames, or essential oils to spruce up the store, or use them as holiday gifts for your friends. Referrals are great, too, so maybe they have a friend of a friend who might be of use. You simply need to ask them! And then they can do the same with you.
A recent study asked more than 200 health, beauty, hair salon, and spa owners across the world to list the biggest challenges they’d experienced while running a health and beauty salon. We know you’ve probably already read that article. For a while there, it went viral, and everyone was reposting it. But just in case you missed it, are new to the salon business, or prefer an “executive summary” of long articles, we’re here to talk over the highlights with you!
The results of the survey weren’t particularly surprising if you’ve worked in the health and beauty industry for any length of time. What’s surprising is that most of the problems listed in the survey are easily managed, if not completely eliminated, by considering the mini salon path instead of working in or trying to own and operate a big salon. We all know that owning and operating your own salon suite in Lawton allows you to keep more of the money you make while setting your own hours, but those are the topics of a different blog. For now, let’s focus on the five biggest challenges faced by health and beauty salon owners and discuss how they can easily be overcome!
Managing and motivating staff. Salon and beauty industry owners agree that staff issues are the number-one challenge faced by health and beauty salon owners. Nearly 50% of respondents said that managing and motivating staff was the hardest part of their jobs, a statistic that’s no surprise to anyone who has ever worked in a managerial position. We all know how hard it is to stay motivated for work, much less motivate others, especially when you’ve had a few long, hard days or you’re tired from your own responsibilities. The fact is, staff will rarely share the same enthusiasm for their workplace that an owner or manager does. And absentee workers are just a fact of life in business, causing both disruptions to your schedule and a hit to your establishment’s reputation. It’s also difficult to get your employees to sell products if there isn’t a benefit to them to doing so.
Of course, when you run your own mini salon suite in Lawton, you don’t need staff. You power your shop with your own dedication and enthusiasm. You won’t ever get a call that someone hasn’t shown up to work, that someone broke something, or whatever else. You won’t have to deal with payroll, and you keep your sizeable markup on product sales.
Finding New Clients. The second biggest difficulty that salon professionals experienced in their field was finding new clients. Now, finding new clients is a big challenge for anyone, from freelance writers to tattoo artists to salon professionals. Regular readers of this blog know we’ve written about this topic more than once, because there’s a great deal of value in using social media and other ways of promoting your business to get the word out about your salon, its services, and its products. In this interconnected world, we can easily reach out to others. Asking your clients to tell others is another great way to build your list. Nothing builds your client base better than positive word of mouth. Always remember, people love to share positive experiences and excellent resources! They’ll likely prioritize it, too, if you ask.
Retaining Your Clients. The flipside of that is that people also love to share negative experiences, maybe even more than they love to share the positive. Think about it this way: There are two important aspects to retaining clients. Positive experiences will keep your clients coming back; negative ones will drive them away. But even the best salon experience in the world may not result in a repeat client if you don’t stay in touch. Stay in contact with your clients via social media and individual messages, such as an emailed newsletter or text with an offer. There are a ton of great options when it comes to bulk messaging about appointments, specials, and products. A free moment spent contacting clients about a special or open appointments can really result in a big paycheck.
Salon Maintenance. Maintenance is a huge problem faced by all business owners. A shabby or dirty salon will drive away walk-in traffic and make regulars think things aren’t going too well. Broken equipment, old décor, unswept hair, or unclean bowls are signs of something going wrong. The good thing is, it’s so much easier to keep a mini salon suite tidy, bright, and fun than it is to manage that at a larger salon. A small space is clean and neat in a jiffy, and you’ll save on expenses by doing it yourself. You won’t need to hire a janitorial service for one of our mini salon suites, and given that it’s your space, you can decorate it to create any atmosphere you like.
Product Sales. The last of the big concerns for salon owners and managers was moving product. Product sales can be an easy way to generate revenue for salon owners. There’s a big markup on styling products and other items, but many people won’t be automatically interested in buying from you. Amazon exists, as do other stores, so it can be hard to get that sweet extra revenue. Employees often won’t step up to the plate when it comes to sales, especially if there’s nothing in it for them. But when you’re the boss of your mini salon suite, it’s in your best interest to always talk to your clients about your exciting, unique products.
It’s true that small-business ownership is no cakewalk—even if you run a bakery. There are pitfalls and sticking points, but here at Salons de Beauté we believe that education is empowerment. Now that you know the biggest challenges out there, you can meet them head-on as you run your mini salon suite!
Salons de Beauté is renting mini salon suites to stylists and other health and beauty industry workers who want to be their own boss. Contact us today and find out about our reasonable rates and other benefits!
Marketing on a budget is something everyone does, whether he or she is the sole proprietor of a mini salon in Lawton or the head of a huge multinational corporation with a team of accountants, lawyers, and marketing/publicity people. Budgets are set—and sometimes blown—but having one is something everyone does at every level of business ownership. Most small businesses don’t have an annual marketing budget with a fixed number or percentage of revenues dedicated to advertising and marketing, but smaller businesses need to see what they can afford when the need arises. The good news is advertising your small business has never been easier now that practically every electronic device we own has access to the internet. Promoting your mini salon has been simplified by our cultural love of social media and just being online in general. You can use that to your advantage! Pair inexpensive online marketing with a few other wallet-friendly advertising methods and you’ll see results.
Create Listings for Your Salon Business in Search Engine Directories. Maybe you’re tired of hearing it, but there’s a reason we keep saying it. Making sure your salon in Lawton can be found on Google and the other major search engines is the most important thing you can do to get your name out there. And it doesn’t cost a dime. Google and Bing both offer free listings for any business. To get listed on Google, go to Google My Business. To get listed on Bing, go to Bing Places for Business. All you have to do is fill out some information about your mini salon suite, such as your operating hours and contact information, upload a few cute pictures, and that’s it. You’re done. You never have to do it again. It would behoove you to update your pictures as you add flavor to your mini salon, but after you register your business, you’re done with the crucial part: making sure prospective clients can find you.
Already Posting Pics? Have You Tried Video? People love to post pictures to social media, but video is the newer craze. Videos are all over the place. It doesn’t matter if they’re posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, or Snapchat, videos get attention. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 10-second video is worth a dozen still images. If you’re not an amateur videographer, don’t worry! You already have a smartphone in your back pocket or purse, and that’s all the equipment you’ll need to create a video for your business. Just use it to shoot some video of your place when you hang a few new items on the walls, or have someone shoot video of you while you’re doing what you do best. And if you can shoot an educational or instructional video, that’s even better. Ask yourself how many of those “nail your winged eyeliner every time” videos you’ve watched on YouTube. Or what about those cooking videos on Facebook? You know you’ve watched someone show you how to make baked spinach artichoke dip ravioli or some such. Chances are, you know what we’re talking about, so leverage that for your business! Show viewers how to do a cute updo, some sort of nail technique, or a best stretch for people who work at a computer.
Guerrilla Marketing in the Streets. Foot traffic is real. While it seems like everything is online these days, it’s still true that an eye-catching sandwich board or poster in your salon window can bring people in the door. Window art and window displays bring people in the door, especially if you’re locally focused, and a sandwich board can reveal specials, boutique services you alone offer, and more. Bring your flavor to the sidewalk in front of your shop, and as we head into the summer months, why not put a dog bowl with water there, too? It’s a nice service to offer people, and you never know whose curiosity you might pique as they stop to read what you have to offer.
Offer Bonus (Discount) Points for Sharing. These days it’s surprising when a company doesn’t offer a rewards program. Coffee shops, hardware stores, grocery chains, shoe shops, cell phone companies: Everyone seems to have their own card or app that lets you earn rewards by using the service. While giving away your time for free is no one’s dream, inspiring loyalty in your customers boosts your revenue over time. Picking rewards that don’t cut too deeply into your bottom line can be a process of trial and error, but in the end it’s worth figuring out how to further incentivize your customers to choose you.
If you’ve done any online shopping, you’ve also likely encountered referral bonuses. Many sites will give you a discount code to share with your friends that will then bestow upon you a discount or bonus. Giving your customers a financial reason to tell their friends about you helps everyone!
Text Messaging for Openings and Specials. The vast majority of Americans walk around all day with a smartphone of some kind. Even if your clients are those holdouts who have traditional cell phones, they can still usually send and receive text messages. If you already have your clients’ mobile numbers for appointments and reminders, they’re perfectly okay with you sending them messages. Why not use their number to get in touch about last-minute cancellations, discounts, and more?
Go BIG on Client Reviews and Testimonials. They used to say the proof was in the pudding, but these days, the proof is in your reviews and testimonials across the internet. Review sites such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp can encourage business or drive it away. (If you get a negative review, know how to deal with it: we wrote an article about that too!). Start asking for reviews, and don’t let up. Customers definitely notice when reviews are old, and they wonder about your business when there are no new ones, so encourage your clients to post them. You can always give an incentive to post a review as part of your rewards program, as we mentioned above!
Stick with It. You don’t need a million-dollar budget to promote your salon in Lawton. No matter what you do or where you do it, when you’re actively promoting your salon suite business, you’re slowly building your brand—and your client list!
It’s one thing to dream of leaving your day job at the mall salon or corporate massage studio in the strip mall, and it’s another thing entirely to do it. We understand that. It’s intimidating! Starting your own salon in Lawton is a huge step to take. But while there’s no way around that, you don’t have to do it alone. There are people who will help you on your journey, people to whom you can turn in order to have a better chance of success. This month, everyone is flocking to theaters to see the Avengers assemble for the last time, so it’s a great time to talk about assembling your own team of superheroes to support you on the way to founding a small business and being the owner of your very own mini salon suite!
An Accountant to Help You with the Books and Taxes
Did you ever wonder who the Avengers’ accountant was? No? Well, think about it! Who made sure Tony Stark could pay for all the planes and weapons and super suits used by the team? Without all that stuff, many of the movie superheroes we know and love would be just pretty-okay heroes—if that. That’s why we put an accountant at the top of this list.
All businesses need money to survive and eventually thrive. If money matters seem dizzying, hire an accountant to help you make a budget, handle your various taxes, and take a look at your business plan to ensure you’ve got the best chance for success. If computers aren’t your thing, your accountant will help you set up software to keep track of your day-to-day and month-to-month finances. Tax season will be annoying but not painful with an accountant helping you out. While you might only see your accountant a few times a year, their role in your life as a small-business owner is nothing short of indispensable.
A Mentor to Show You the Ropes
Sure, Thor may be the god of thunder, and the Hulk a genius scientist who transforms into an enormous ultra-powerful monster man, but they both still need Nick Fury to guide them and help them be part of the greatest superhero team of all time. Mentoring is crucial to the success of any venture, from running successful salons in Lawton to saving the universe. When you’re ready to get serious about starting your own business, talk to people who have been there. Get some experienced advice, and make sure it’s from someone who’s not out for your money. It’s not a bad idea to hire a paid consultant, but that’s not what a mentor is. You’re looking for someone who is independent from you, someone who doesn’t want to see anything except your success, and someone who can give you advice for years to come. Talking over your business plans with your friend who just started her own salon business is great, and her fresh eyes are going to be a wonderful resource, but you also need to discuss things with someone who has years more experience than yourself. You want someone who’s “been there” and who can give you advice on how to weather the storms of small-business ownership.
Your Banker to Help You with the Accounts
The creative side of salon ownership is what attracts many of us to small-business ownership in the first place, but we also need to consider the financial side. Most small-business start-ups, including salons in Lawton, require obtaining a small-business loan through a bank or credit union. Borrowing money is a stressful process for most of us, so if you plan to apply for a loan, make sure you have a banker you trust on your side. Your mentor might have a good recommendation, or you could ask other local business professionals you know. Seriously consider a credit union instead of a national bank, even if your personal account is with a national bank. Local or even regional moneylenders are often better at serving small, local businesses because they know the area and the local market. Your banker at a credit union may well be more interested in finding you the best ways to do what you want, including finding the best interest rates, and will often move more quickly than a national bank.
Your Significant Other for Everything Else
What is a significant other? Maybe it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or domestic partner. Maybe it’s your best friend who’s always there for you. Whoever this person is, don’t forget to consider him or her a part of your team. Your significant other is your champion, your confidant, your cheerleader, your go-to source of support, your sounding board. He or she might even be your first customer.
But remember, while you should be able to rely on your significant other, you need to make it clear that he or she is not just all these roles to you. Make sure that you’re providing mutual support and that you’re there for him or her when you’re needed, too. At the same time, be open and honest about what you need so that your significant other understands what a big deal it is to start up a health and beauty business, whether it’s a mini salon suite in Lawton or a full-service day spa in Oklahoma City.
Are There Other People You Should Know?
Avengers: Endgame has every superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe coming together to save the world. There are a lot of surprises: call-backs to characters you may have forgotten who perform a crucial role at the right time. Is there anyone like this in your life? Think about other people who can help when you take the plunge into small-business ownership. It will be handy to know someone who has marketing experience, especially using social media. Product reps will be a great resource, as will an attorney to help you answer any legal questions that may come up, secure licenses and permits, and help you with contracts. Lastly, you might want a good relationship with the property manager who helps operate the facility in which you’re setting up your health or beauty salon. Here at Salons de Beauté you can rest assured knowing we understand your needs and your situation. We’re here to help you!
Productivity. It’s practically the defining word of our age. Everything must be “productive” in 2019, from our main lines of income to our side-hustles to even our leisure time. It’s gotten to the point that now when we’re having a fight with a loved one, we call the conversation “unproductive” when it gets out of hand. Because of this, countless books, articles, and listicles have been written on the subject of productivity, more than you could ever read and still be “productive” in any area of your life, much less all of them. Don’t worry, though—here at Salons de Beauté, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. We’ve read the articles, we’ve perused the books, and we’ve put together the top five ways to make your workdays at your salon suite in Lawton more productive than you could possibly imagine. Read on!
Plan Your Day the Night Before
It’s not easy, but planning out your days the night before is one of the most often recommended tactics for increased productivity. We know, we know. Most of the time when you get done with your day at your salon in Lawton, you just want to clean up, close up, and go home to chill on the couch with a glass of wine and the next episode of your current favorite Netflix Original. But if productivity is on your mind, try taking just 15 minutes at the end of the day, after you’ve turned the OPEN sign to CLOSED and locked up, to think about what you need to do the next day. Open up your planner or your calendar app, read over your appointments, make a little list of any errands you need to do that you shouldn’t forget about, such as ordering or sales tax, and then head home, knowing you’re prepared for whatever tomorrow brings. Preparing yourself the night before also makes it easier for you to stick to healthy goals, such as hitting the gym or eating breakfast, instead of using your morning time scrambling to play catch-up.
Leverage the Power of the To-Do List
It might sound pretty basic, but the to-do list is one of the most powerful tools of highly productive people. It’s simple, specific, and effective because it not only helps you keep track, it helps you prioritize by moving things up and down the list. It also helps you keep your mind where it needs to be. By updating tomorrow’s list at the end of your day—just like we were saying above—you allow your mind to leave work where it belongs and enjoy your much-needed personal time. It’s also fun and satisfying to cross things off!
Commit to a to-do list. You can do it on paper, or you can use a to-do list app on your smartphone. It doesn’t matter how you do it; just do it, and do it every day. If that sounds excessive, think about it this way: Isn’t it easier to get to the gym when you do it every day? It’s when your schedule becomes irregular that it suddenly seems so much harder to pull on the gym tights and hit the elliptical runner for half an hour. Make to-do lists a daily practice, continuing it even on calm days. That way you’ll be in the habit of it when things get hectic, as they always do.
And really, if a to-do list is basic, then why is it so hard for most of us to remember to write things down?
Work Two Hours Before the Start of Each Week
This one you may not have heard before, but as crazy as it may sound, it has real value. Scheduling two hours into your day at the start of each week to take care of some piece of onerous busy work that needs to be completed is one of the best habits you can get into to up your productivity. Why? Well, we all know how easy it is to put off things such as writing all your social media posts for the week, balancing your checkbook, ordering product into your salon, or sending reminder emails or thank you cards to your clients. In fact, we’ve talked about that here on this blog before! By reserving 8-10 AM on Monday morning (or whenever) for completing some specific, unpleasant task, you’ll get it out of the way first thing, and it’ll be in your rear-view mirror all week. You’ll feel good about having it done rather than letting it loom over you. And it’ll free up your mental space to devote to other things!
Give Yourself Permission to Disappear
Your time is precious, so remember that during the workday, you need to be focusing on business and clients. Even if you have a free hour from a no-show, devote that time to your business. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t check your personal email. Don’t put something off to go have lunch with a friend. And stay off social media, especially your personal social media! FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real, but so is the fact that there are only 24 hours in the day. Use them wisely.
LEAVE IT AT WORK!
If there’s a more popular buzzword for 2019 than productivity it’s boundaries. But really, boundaries are so important. Set them and guard them. And while this is great advice for your personal life, especially as it regards that one friend or that former lover, it’s also great advice for your business. Balance is key for those who own their own mini salon suite. You have to be able to leave your work at work. After you close up shop, that’s your time—time for you, your friends, your family, whatever. You must give yourself time off in your hours off. You’ll be more productive in the long run if you allow yourself to be unproductive sometimes!
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!
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!