Archive for the ‘Business Basics’ Category
Consumer Trends to Grow Your Salon
by CurlStylist on Friday, June 21st, 2013
In this excerpt from The A-List Salon: Insider Secrets of How Profitable Salons Wow Their Clients Every Day, author Veronica Woods discusses how A-List salons plan for longer term growth by watching the trends in the industry.
The savvy A-List salon owner stays ahead of the trends and exploits opportunities for future revenue streams (with a new offering or even a new business). And she makes changes before troubling trends jeopardize current sales. Emerging fashion trends, new health care knowledge, lifestyle changes and the economy can change how consumers spend money on beauty.
Here are a few ways to spot key consumer trends:
1) Observe trends in your own shop. For example, note whether more clients ask questions about a particular health concern, want advice about an at-home beauty challenge or notice a celebrity hairstyle. Your sales reports also reveal new permanent shifts in the demand for your services.
2) Discover new trends beyond your salon. Watch what services are popular in salons outside of your city, as a client or as a part of an educational seminar. What is hot in one city today can be the rage in another a year later. Also, keep up with online beauty discussions, reflecting new concerns and needs of salon consumers across the country.
3) Pay attention to global beauty industry statistics. This includes sales volume and revenue for skin, hair, and cosmetics products and services. Although the beauty sector has been fairly consistent through economic booms and busts, you can learn from monitoring new product launches. A boom within a specific demographic group or a shift in category (i.e. color, relaxers, etc.) sales can speak volumes.
Here are a few salon trends that should be on your radar:
Trend #1: More DIY clients
“Back in the ’50s, women would come in every week for a roller set,” said Chelle Morrison of Urban Betty Salon (Austin, Texas). Today with access to instructional videos on YouTube, hair care technology advances, and the pinch of harder economic times, clients do more on their own. And with better products available at drugstores, consumers have more options to do so.
A-List Salon Opportunity:
Offer how-to classes to clients. Urban Betty offers a blowout class for clients who want to improve their at-home maintenance techniques. In this paid seminar, a stylist leads a small group of clients in a 90- minute session on techniques such as how to properly use a round brush.
Trend #2: Busier Schedules
Worn out from juggling family and work commitments, women more often view long full service hair salon appointments as time drains. At the same time, some women (non-DIYers) still prefer the “salon polished look” but in a shorter time.
A-List Salon Opportunities:
Launch of blowout only (no cuts or color) salons. Word of mouth buzz of this trend spread through beauty bloggers as well as coverage in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Shelley O’Neal, owner of The Hair Bar (Southlake and Dallas, Texas) visited a blowout salon in another city and saw dollar signs.
Trend #3: Clients want to embrace natural textures
For African-American and other curly-haired clients, relaxing and straightening treatments have been a staple for decades. Recently, this trend has dramatically declined right before stylists eyes. Today, the natural hair revolution has hit the mainstream with an explosion of new products from major manufacturers and relaxer sales continuing to drop.
Hire staff that can handle curly hair clients. Dickey of Hair Rules Salon has been a leader in this arena, helping to redefine women, by hair texture instead of ethnicity. He hires stylists capable of handling a wide range of curl patterns.
Trend #4: Men want upscale personal grooming, too.
Men are one of the fastest growing segments in beauty today. Global sales of male beauty products will grow from $19.7 billion in 2009 to $28 billion by 2014, according to Mindbranch research. Researchers explain this increase by the changing attitudes among men about grooming and a labor shift toward more white collar jobs.
A-List Salon Opportunity:
Create an upscale barbershop to cater to men. Chris Hurn and his partners saw these growth statistics and wanted to offer men an alternative to an estrogen-dominated environment. He built the Kennedy’s All American Barber Club franchise to capitalize on the demand of upwardly mobile men for fine a haircut and shave.
About the Author:
Veronica Woods, MBA, provides consulting, coaching and training services that enable beauty businesses to attract and retain more happy clients— and earn greater profits. To learn more about The A-List Salon book, go to www.alistsalonbook.com.
Making the Texture Switch
by CurlStylist on Friday, March 8th, 2013
The client comes in expecting a blowout. That’s what she’s always had, so that’s what she expects. But, deep down, that’s not always what she wants. What the client wants is to feel beautiful.And for curly clients, the road to feeling beautiful has, well, twists. Sometimes it’s a blowout or straightening service, while other times natural alternatives can give curlies a fresh look for a day or an entire season. Driven by celebrity and fashion trends, stylists across the country are taking curly clients by the hand and guiding them down the winding path that leads straight to the heart of who they are. The “true texture” benefits are obvious to the client—but also powerful and profitable for the salon and stylist, given the range of new curl-enhancing products and service opportunities that the professional beauty industry has created to help clients celebrate texture as well as tame it. “In the consultation, I ask about the client’s goals and get her hair history,” says Tracy Aaron, a stylist at 7 Salon in Bellevue, Washington. Many times, she finds that women want to embrace their curl but have not been taught any styling strategies except how to dry their hair straight. “Consultation is a huge part of the service even with clients you’ve had for a long time,” agrees Jessica McConnell, assistant manager at Frontenac Salon and Spa in St. Louis, Missouri. “Clients leave you because they can’t get something new. They may want something fresh or fun just for that day, so we help people discover their curls.” Some days, the weather impacts which style will fare best. In the Northwest, where it rains a lot, Aaron says a smooth, straight look can lose its “wow” factor when the client walks out into the drizzle. Mindi Umbrell, a stylist at Akada Salon in Columbus, Ohio, is an advocate for working with someone’s natural texture to “mix it up” and offer options. “If someone is flatironing or blowing it out every single day, I teach her how to wear her hair in a natural way instead of fighting it,” she explains. “But if I have a client who absolutely hates her curl and isn’t going to change, then I will teach her how to keep her hair healthy.” When you assume every curly client wants a straight look, you forfeit the opportunity to educate her about her options, adds Aaron. “I lose the chance to watch that client leave the salon with a big smile, thanking me for opening up her world to something she already had but didn’t know how to bring out,” she says. Thinking along the same lines is Wafaya Abdallah, owner of Oasis Salon in Rockville, Maryland. “We call it ‘setting them free,’” says Abdallah. “because they’re embracing who they are. When women see how beautiful their curly hair looks with no frizz and without taking off too much length, I’ve had women cry in my chair.” In Houston, independent stylist Geri Curtis says that women are so accustomed to straightening their hair that they can’t believe the curly look she fashions for them is their hair. “I’ve had clients tell me that I’ve changed their life—that it’s a miracle,” says Curtis, who plans an April opening for her new salon, aptly called Planet Curls. “And male clients come in with big frizz! I teach them how to manage it, and they go from being hippies to these dudes with beautiful curls!”
The salon visit is an awakening, agrees Marie Sansom of Curly Cutz by Marie at New Images Salon in Georgetown, Texas. When you give clients the tools and the knowledge that they need for their hair type, you help them like their hair. “They see that they can achieve an even curl,” Sansom says. “By the time we’re finished, they’re amazed—and I’m amazed, too! It’s exciting to see how each head of hair will turn out!” Like Aaron, Sansom looks at every curly encounter as an opportunity to educate. Booking each new client into a two-hour slot, Sansom tells these clients, “I’m going to break down what you think you know about your hair, and then I’m going to build up new knowledge.” How They Started “Although cosmetology school did not teach us effective curly-hair techniques in school, I thought I knew about curly hair because I had curly hair,” says Sansom. “But I didn’t know anything; I had always straightened my hair.” Beginning in 2007, Sansom took three years off to stay at home with her children and spent that time researching the art and science of curly hair and experimenting on her own hair. For Aaron, who does not have curly hair, the curly cue clicked when 13 years ago a regular client told her, “I really like you. You’re a great person. But I hate the way you do my hair.” She wanted to wear her hair curly, not blown out, so Aaron made a deal: she’d do the client’s cuts for free if she could practice her skills on her. “It took some trial and error,” Aaron continues. “I asked the advice of other stylists, and I went online to learn about porosity, texture and curl patterns. But mostly I listened to my clients, learning what had and hadn’t worked for them. Even though I had a strong background in cutting, I’d approached cutting from a perspective of precision, so I had to readjust my thinking.” It took Aaron three years to develop the expertise, and by then she had so many curly clients that she could specialize. Now when clients ask for a blowout or flatironing, she refers them to other stylists in the salon. Umbrell has enjoyed exploring natural textures of all kinds ever since training in the Vidal Sassoon method. “I found that I agreed with the Sassoon philosophy of working with what the client naturally has,” Umbrell says. “It’s rare that you see Sassoon instructors pull out any kind of iron; they don’t even use round brushes. They’re all about giving someone an awesome cut for her natural texture.” Through advocating this approach and wearing her own curl in a natural style, Umbrell found herself attracting a large curly clientele and now thinks of herself as a curl expert while still enjoying all types of hair. “I’m an artist and love the diversity,” says Umbrell. A’Kiyia Kelly also entered the specialty through a preference for natural texture. “There was no dramatic turning point,” says Kelly, who’s been doing hair for 20 years and now has A’Kiyia’s Natural Twist & Hair Braiding in Kennesaw, Georgia. “I got tired of experiencing breakage from too many perms, too much heat. I educated myself about braiding and other natural styles, improving my skills by practicing on myself and my mom, talking to other stylists and watching styling videos.” Abdallah didn’t find the curly-hair specialty as much as the specialty found her—through retail. She’d been doing hair for 20 years when a salesperson wanted her to try a line of products targeted to curlies. “We put them on the shelf,” she recalls, “and all of a sudden clients started asking whether we were now doing naturally curly hair!” The timing was right. She and her stylists invested in training, and now the majority of the salon’s clients ask for a natural texture look. McConnell was drawn to curly hair because she and the salon’s owner both wanted to embrace her own texture. Eight years ago they took a class and, with their sharpened skills, their curly clients started looking better and that attracted more curly clients. “When we took that first class, we had no idea the impact it would have on our business,” McConnell says. “We weren’t trying to start a revolution. But within about a year we realized the effect we were having, so we sought out more education.” To promote their new expertise, the salon’s website is CallingAllCurls.com. The Money Follows Naming your salon or website something specific to curly hair is one way to market your expertise, confirms Michelle Breyer, president of Texture Media Inc. and co-founder of consumer web site NaturallyCurly.com. If you prefer not to make that much of a commitment, you can still develop natural texture business by presenting all the alternatives to every curly client. “Blowing out the client’s curls has become a revenue source that stylists and salons are used to,” Breyer says. “But a growing number of women want to know all their options with curly hair. By providing them with options, you will expand your market, not shrink it.” Curtis’ experience bears this out. “Now I have a wait list, which I never had,” she says. McConnell adds, “We think of ourselves as a family salon, so we do have straight-haired clients, but today about 70 percent are curly. It’s a niche market; if you spend the time to learn about curly hair, it will help your business. It’s kept us busy at a time when other salons weren’t.” Abdallah made the switch to primarily natural looks at what might have seemed the worst possible time—in 2008, just as the economy was sinking— and yet her salon thrived. “That first year the salon grew 20 percent,” she reports. “We’ve grown every year since, and we don’t advertise at all.” As Abdallah discovered, word-ofmouth tends to drive the natural texture business. At her salon with only five stylists, Abdallah counts 50 to 70 new referrals a month, increasing in summertime to 100 or even more. Every six to eight months, she’s had to add another stylist. Professionally crafted braids and twists are client magnets. “People with those looks attract attention,” says Kelly. “Women are always asking my clients for the name of the stylist who did their hair. I also get a lot of clients through YouTube; I demonstrate braiding on videos, and I have a lot of subscribers.” Agrees Breyer, “People walk up to curlies on the street if they like their look. Curly clients also are very loyal and will travel hours for the right stylist.” Curlies tend to be enthusiastic and are willing to write reviews for stylists who solve their hair issues, plus the specialty can earn attention from the press. “My initial curly client wrote the first review of me on NaturallyCurly.com,” says Aaron, “and then a local magazine wrote an article about me. That’s when my business really took off.” Some stylists charge a premium for the more complicated texture hair cut, and up-servicing can become a further revenue source. Umbrell builds her curly clients’ tickets with glossing to bring out the shine. “Glosses give the client versatility,” she says. “On curly hair, which is more porous, the glosses fade really nicely.” An increasingly popular way to generate curly business is to hold “curly night out” educational parties. It’s a great way to sell retail, which in itself boosts the curly ticket. As Curtis observes: “Curly girls buy a million products.” Read the digital version of Texture!
The Name Game, Texturrific Salon Names
by CurlStylist on Monday, March 4th, 2013
Salon owners have always used wordplay to find cute names for their businesses. Some salons that focus on curl are spinning that tradition, while others are proclaiming their specialty more directly. Check out these texturiffic names spotted on salon signage around North America.
Amazing Kinkz Natural Hair Studio, Detroit MI
Cally’s Curls & Co., Chicago, IL
Curl Lounge, Raleigh, NC
Curl Ambassadors, Toronto, ON
Curl Bar Beauty Salon, Toronto, ON
Curl Jam, Bethesda, MD
Twist, Philadelphia, PA
Curl Revolution, Frisco, TX
Curl Up & Dye, Carrboro, NC
Curlie Girlz Rock, Smyrna, GA
Curls & Co., Chicago, IL
Curls Gone Wild, Gilbert, AZ
Curls On Top, Laguna Beach, CA
Curltopia, Smyrna, GA
Curly Hair Institute, Toronto, ON
So Curly So Kinky So Straight, South Euclid, OH
Kinky Rootz, Nashville, TN
Coils, Curls and Waves, Freehold, NJ
Joyfully Curly, Charlotte, NC
The Kindred Locs Studio, Oxon Hill, MD
Fabulocs, Capitol Heights, MD
Knatty Headz, Houston, TX
Curly Hair Vancouver, Vancouver, BC
Salon Spirals, Tucson, AZ
Spiral Evolution, Colorado Springs, CO
Ringlets, Oakland, CA
Does your salon have a curl-crazy name? Let us know! Post it on MODERN SALON’s Facebook page, and you might find it in a future issue update!
Read the digital version of Texture!
Education Key to Building Curly Clientele
by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
For Paul Mitchell’s master associate, artistic director and stylist Stephanie Kocielski, a little education can go a long way toward helping a curly client learn to love their curls.
And clients who love their curls, love their stylist.
“Some people with curly hair hate their hair,” Kocielski says. “They think it’s the worst hair in the world. When you don’t know how to deal with what you have, it’s an issue. It’s our job as hairdressers to help them fall in love with what God gave them.”
This fall, Paul Mitchell launched “The Truth About Curls” campaign to “inspire people to embrace their natural texture and to inspire conversations about what life with curls is really like. The campaign is in conjunction with the launch of the Paul Mitchell Curls collection — products designed to be used the way curlies actually use products.
With the launch of the line, which adds to the tools available to stylists to help their curly clients, there is a great opportunity to teach their clients about how to work with their natural texture.
“Educating your ‘curly’ is a great opportunity for both you and your guest,” says Robert Cromeans, global artistic director for Paul Mitchell. “Education can help create trust between the stylist and the client. Never take for granted that your guest already knows how to take care of their curly hair.”
And the benefits go far beyond the chair, helping bring in new clients,” Cromeans says. When you show your client how to style their own hair so that they can duplicate the curly look by themselves, “they are a walking billboard for you.”
“Curly haired people are naturally drawn to other curly-haired people and when they see great curly hair that is colored beautifully, cut to perfection and styled well, they want to know who the hairdresser is,” he says.
1. Get to Know Your Client
Education starts when the client first sits in your chair. You need to get to know them, asking them questions that aren’t necessarily related to their hair.
“It’s like speed dating,” says Kocielski. “When you get them into the chair, you need to understand who they are and what image they want.”
This helps you understand their lifestyle, their frustrations with their hair and can set the expectations of the cut and styling regimen you create for them.
2. Teach Your Client How to Cleanse and Detangle Their Curls
Then it’s time to cleanse their hair. She recommends the new Paul Mitchell Curl Spring Loaded Zero-Sulfate shampoo.
“Teach them how to tame the lion in one step,” she says of the shampoo, which also works as a detangler, softening their tendrils.
Make sure they’re using enough water pressure to get through the hair onto the scalp. After applying the shampoo, make sure they’re using enough pressure to thoroughly cleanse the scalp. Comb it through the hair with a wide-toothed comb.
“That’s where the magic comes,” she says. “By lightly combing it through, it enables you to detangle the hair.”
She stressed the importance of rinsing before cleansing, especially if the curls are dense. She shows her clients how to squeegee the water through their hair after rinsing.
3. Show the Client How to Apply Products
While the hair is wet, she applies the styling product. She stresses applying the product to wet hair because the curls are perfectly defined when the hair is wet. She pumps out some Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-in Treatment, emulsifying it between her hands and applies it to the edges first and then working it through. By showing them how to apply it, they can feel what’s enough and then can do it themselves at home.
Depending on the texture of the hair, she’ll apply either the Twirl Around Crunch-Free Definer or the Ultimate Wave Beachy Texture Cream-Gel. She starts at the bottom of their hair and works her way to the top, taking horizontal sections and placing it in the hair. To define the curls, she’ll show them how to take a section of hair and twirl it with product. Twist and twirl to the bottom of the strand and then move to the next section. Continue over the entire head.
“It’s a very repetitive motion, so guests get good at it quickly and it has a great end result,” Cromeans says.
“At my salon, the clients ask about the technique by name: ‘The Snake.’”
If the client wants a natural curly look, she’ll show them how to use a diffuser. If they want a more defined, consistent curl, she might use a curling iron on certain pieces.
“I ask them ‘What is the overall outcome you want to see.’” she says.
In addition to building business for the stylist, it also is very rewarding to know that you’re truly helping your clients feel better about themselves.
“You can help them conquer the world,” Kocielski says says. “It’s the best feeling. We can help spread empowerment.”
10 Things Your Clients Never Want to Hear
by Modern Salon on Saturday, September 1st, 2012
When your new client is a curly, peek behind her back. Are her fingers crossed? That’s because she’s hoping and wishing for a stylist who “gets” her. Be that stylist! To encourage that new client to become your permanent client, let her know that you love all hair textures and can offer her many options. Stay positive! You can be sure she’s already heard all of the negative comments:
1. “It’s so curly! Can I fix it for you?”
2. “I bet you wish you had straight hair.”
3. “This is going to take forever .”
4. “Your hair must be a nightmare for you to deal with on a daily basis.”
5. “Do you want me to use the thinning shears or the razor?”
6. “What race are you?”
7. “I had no idea your hair would shrink like that!”
8. “This is the only hair cut you can wear, because your hair is curly.”
9. “We don’t do ethnic hair.”
Maximizing Your Salon Business with Social Media
by Cassadie on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
One of the hottest sessions at this year’s annual Paul Mitchell Gathering was not about how to achieve an avant-garde style or speed cutting. This time, it was a lesson in social media for salons. Lead by Johnny Royal of inDELIBLE, the social media company that powered the 2008 Obama + Shepard Fairey viral campaign and the soon-to-be-launched Paul Mitchell Truth About Curls Campaign, salon owners and stylists learned the ins-and-outs of social media and how a prominent social presence can increase business. Here are some tips from the session:
• 94% of businesses have some sort of social media presence. Social media is now a key part of any marketing strategy so make sure you have a presence!
• Facebook is a great way to promote your salon and leverage the social networks of your clients. For as little as $10 a day, you can also distribute Facebook ads.
• If your following is less than 10,000, make sure to manually post to Facebook and Twitter, rather than using an automatic service like Hootsuite. This will ensure that Facebook’s algorithms don’t skip over your posts and keep them fresh in the feed.
• Use Pinterest to humanize your business and show clients your aesthetics and unique brand personality.
Win Big with Matrix Curly Girl Blow-Out Challenge
by Alicia Ward on Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Matrix Curly Girl is challenging six salons to throw down their best blow-out techniques to see whose smooth style reigns supreme. Cast your vote by June 30th for the salon you think will give our Curly Girl the best & longest lasting blow-out. If your salon wins, you will be entered to win one of 50 gift baskets filled with the products the winning salon used on our Curly Girl (a $100 value)!
Enter on Facebook.
Check out the full details:
Our Matrix Curly Girl is challenging six area salons to throw down their best blow-out techniques and see whose smooth styling reigns supreme! Six salons, six weeks, ONE WINNER!
What do you win?
Bragging rights as the MATRIX CURLY GIRL BLOW-OUT CHALLENGE WINNER! (plus some great online advertising and exposure)
A trip for your WHOLE SALON to New York City for dinner and drinks with your Matrix Family!
What do you have to do?
Our Curly Girl will book an appointment at your salon for a wash and blow-out.
During the appointment we will be taking video:
You must tell us a little bit about your salon and why you love Matrix.
During the blow-out, share your secret style technique that will make YOUR blow-out the best.
You must tell us what Matrix products you used to wash & style PLUS what special instructions and products our Curly Girl must use to keep up her new smooth style (must include NEW Design Pulse Clean Remix Dry Shampoo).
Then what happens?
Our Curly Girl MUST follow your post-style instructions TO THE LETTER and try to last as long as she can without washing her hair!
Your Matrix Family will be watching closely to make sure she follows ALL the rules and will take a photo each day after to see how she’s doing!
After all six appointments, a winner will be chosen based on whose blow-out lasted the LONGEST and still looked good!
How will I know if my salon won?
In early June, we will launch the Blow-Out Challenge on Facebook!
All six salon videos will be posted online and we will ask our fans to vote for the salon THEY think should win the contest. We will advertise on consumer websites PLUS you will get free goodies to pass out to your clients to encourage them to vote for you online!
After the votes are in, we’ll upload the “after” photos one day at a time and then announce the winning salon. The fans who voted for the winning salon will get free samples of the products the salon used to give our Curly Girl the Best Blow-out!
The curly girl:
MUST follow the salon’s instructions exactly to make her style last as long as possible!
Can NOT seek professional help in maintaining her style.
MUST wear a full-coverage plastic shower cap when bathing during the life of the style.
MUST wear a plastic rain hoodie in the event of weather.
Can only use Matrix products in the care, style and follow-up regimen! Each salon MUST share the style secret that sets their blow-out apart.
The best blow-out can only be achieved through traditional tools and styling products — no Keratin or chemical straightening allowed!
Each salon must be have a Matrix Facebook tab and be in our salon locator. Each salon must sign the contest waiver.
Ready To Take The Blow-Out Challenge? Enter now!
Reach Out to Curly Clients at “Texture on the Runway”
by CurlStylist on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Ever find it hard to follow a Twitter conversation, or wonder how many textured-hair women are talking about curly or natural hair? (Hint: it’s more than 14,000 a week!) Join the Texture Revolution and connect with the textured community at TextureOnTheRunway.com.
TextureMedia is bringing “Texture on the Runway,” an industry-exclusive textured hair as fashion show ONLINE! With the help of Mass Relevance, an engagement and curation platform, you can reach out to clients with wavy, curly and kinky hair, answer their questions and get the inside scoop on their wants and needs by tweeting with hashtag #texturerunway.
Post photos, watch interviews and read content LIVE from the event while sharing textured hair advice, tips & tricks with the community.
Get in on the action of a movement created and run by a community and hear what textured women have to say! Join NaturallyCurly.com and other texture influencers in changing the conversation and empowering the texture community, and by extension, the textured sylist!
Visit TextureOnTheRunway.com on February 11 to participate in this revolutionary, invite-only, New York event celebrating the ultimate fashion accessory and statement – beautiful hair. Your tweet could even be streamed live on stage at the event! Influential leading hair care brands sponsoring the event include Arrojo, Matrix, Curls Unleashed by Organic Root Stimulator, Hair Rules, CURLS, Minardi Luxury Color Care, Modern Salon and CosmoProf, operation of Beauty System Group LLC!
Salon Marketing with Schedulicity
by CurlStylist on Thursday, November 17th, 2011
There are hair stylists, and there are hair stylists. Tiffany Taylor specializes in management of the sort of hair that can ruin the effect of wearing a skimpy bathing suit, not to mention the effect of removing one. In industry lingo, Ms. Taylor is an “esthetician,” running her own two-person “waxing studio,” called ME Beauty, in Rochester, Mich.
Ms. Taylor once worked in her grandmother’s hair salon and went on to work as a freelance esthetician out of other salons and at clients’ homes. This year, Ms. Taylor opened her own place, hired an employee and set out to build her customer base. Word of mouth was all it took in her grandmother’s day, but Ms. Taylor wanted to take a more modern salon marketing approach by connecting with potential customers through Twitter, Facebook and e-mail, and by running Groupon promotions.
But Ms. Taylor ran into some hitches. She was having trouble converting customer interest into actual appointments. She gave out the studio’s phone number, but she and her employee weren’t always free to handle calls, and using an outside reception service was expensive. She tried some online scheduling services, but customers found them too much trouble to use. Meanwhile, Ms. Taylor’s social media marketing left her baffled about which efforts on which networks were yielding the best returns. And finally, she worried that Groupon promotions would result in a flurry of heavily discounted appointments all in the same week, wreaking havoc with cash flow. “I went to a marketing seminar where they said Groupon will crush your business by inundating you with customers who aren’t paying much,” said Ms. Taylor. “I was afraid of it.”
The concerns about scheduling, social networks and Groupon left Ms. Taylor thinking she had three separate salon marketing problems, but that was before she sent out a tweet asking if anyone knew of a good online scheduling solution. She got a tweet back from a manager at a company called Schedulicity suggesting that its service could help — and in more ways than one. Schedulicity’s specialty, as it turns out, is integrating online scheduling with social-network promotional campaigns. Appointy and Genbook are two similar services, offering roughly comparable features at roughly comparable prices.
For just $19 a month, Ms. Taylor runs all her campaigns with Schedulicity, allowing her to send out e-mail blasts, Facebook posts and tweets for each new promotion. The e-mail blasts can be limited to a specific subset of clients, which she defines by adding tags to her clients’ contact data. Hence, for example, a “teacher appreciation month” e-mail blast, offering a discount on a waxing and a free apple-scented candle.
Every e-mail note, post or tweet goes out with a Schedulicity appointment-making URL that’s unique to each medium and each promotion. That allows Ms. Taylor to call up a report detailing which service brought in which appointments — so far, Facebook is beating out Twitter and e-mail. About a third of her appointments are still coming in by phone, and she enters those into Schedulicity manually, but she has cut down on them by putting up a mobile Web site that does a better job of funneling cellphone customers to Schedulicity.
As for Groupon, Schedulicity offered Ms. Taylor a way to lower her risk of using the promotion, which brings in customers by offering a steep discount. She can specify the maximum number of Groupon customers who can book appointments on any given day — Ms. Taylor limits it to five — and since Groupon customers get a specific Schedulicity URL for booking, Schedulicity can direct all customers beyond that maximum to try a different day. “That means I can still have room every day to see clients who pay full price,” she said. She has sold 110 Groupon deals so far, offering a two-for-the-price-of-one bikini waxing.
Ms. Taylor reports that her bookings have nearly quadrupled in the several months she has been using Schedulicity, to an average of more than 30 a week. That has left her with just one more salon marketing problem: last-minute cancellations that result in open, hard-to-fill slots, waxing not being much of a walk-in business. But Schedulicity ended up providing a solution here, too, through a “pop-up offer” that lets Ms. Taylor send a discount deal over all of her marketing channels the minute someone cancels.
“I usually offer a ‘female Brazilian’ for $68,” she said. That’s 15 percent off a very thorough waxing. And yes, “male Brazilians” are popular, too. If you want to learn more about all this — perhaps a bit more than you’ll wish you had — you can visit Ms. Taylor’s candid FAQ page.
Schedulicity even helps her fine-tune her appointment schedule on the fly. The service sends her a text message and e-mail listing the details of the next appointment, and if she is finishing with her current customer ahead of time, she can just click on the next customer’s phone number and try to get him or her to come in early, so she has no down time. If she’s running late, she can call customers to alert them that they can take their time getting there.
And as a small bonus, Schedulicity provides Ms. Taylor with a little nighttime music. It turns out some people make the decision in the wee hours of the morning to book a waxing, and so Ms. Taylor’s cellphone often buzzes in the middle of the night with notification of a new appointment — something that doesn’t bother Ms. Taylor at all:
“I hear that and think, ‘Ha! It’s going to be another busy day.’”
ISSE Long Beach 2012 to Host New Hair Competitions & Tryouts
by CurlStylist on Thursday, November 17th, 2011
The 2012 International Salon & Spa Expo Long Beach (ISSE Long Beach) show has added all new hair competitions to complement its already prestigious nail competitions and further enhance the overall attendee experience.
Sponsored by Sally Beauty Supply and Pivot Point, the hair competitions are open to students and licensed cosmetology professionals. The ISSE Long Beach hair competitions offer a variety of categories to enter and will include an array of cash and prizes for winners.
For licensed cosmetology professionals (seniors), the hair competitions will also serve as tryouts to be a part of Team USA for the 2012 OMC HairWorld competition in Milan, Italy. Largely considered the Olympics of the international professional hair community, being a part of Team USA is a highly coveted honor.
Students – (Juniors) / Sunday, January 29, 2012
Entrants must be currently enrolled and not hold a cosmetology license at time of competition. All competitions are performed on mannequins. Categories include:
- Ladies Trend Cut, Color & Style – Perform a cut, style, and color representing current mainstream consumer fashion trends oriented to the younger consumer.
- Long Bridal Hair – Create a fashionable long-hair bridal look that represents a consumer bridal focused look appropriate for a fashionable wedding.
- Fantasy Inspired by Nature - Competitors choice of one male/female mannequin representing the competitor’s vision for a nature-inspired, fantasy-themed hairstyle.
Licensed Professionals – (Seniors) / Monday, January 30, 2012
Open to all licensed professionals who are not currently enrolled in cosmetology school, top scorers will be invited to join Team USA for the 2012 OMC HairWorld competition. To be considered for Team USA, entrants must participate in either BOTH of the Fashion or BOTH of the Technical competitions. All competitions are performed on mannequins. Categories include:
- Technical: Creative - Competitors will perform a Creative Hairstyle showing their creative skills on wet hair.
- Technical: Hair by Night – Competitors will create a technical evening-appropriate hairstyle.
- Fashion on Long Hair: Day Style - Competitors will create a fashionable hairstyle on long hair suitable for day wear.
- Fashion on Long Hair: Evening Style - Competitors will create a fashionable evening hairstyle on long hair with a total look in mind.
Prizes & Rules
Entry prices vary by level and range from $99 to $129 if registered by January 6, 2012, and $129 to $149 from January 7 to 22, 2012.
ISSE Long Beach is open to licensed salon/spa professionals, cosmetology students and instructors only. To maintain a professional atmosphere, attendees must present proof of license and a valid photo ID. Follow the link for more information on ISSE Long Beach along with official entry details for the hair and nail competitions.
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