Posts Tagged ‘business-building’

Curlformers Build Your Business Giveaway

by CurlStylist on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Professional stylists can now build their salon business with a Curlformers trade account in both the UK and the US! Curlformers are a heatless styling tool that can transform the curl pattern and create texture for girls who want curls without the damaging heat of flat or curling irons. They present a number of lucrative opportunities to build salon and retail business with in-salon styling services, in-salon permanent waving and retail.

In-salon styling services with Curlformers can be carried out by a junior stylist to create everyday curls, waves or special occasion styles on short, medium or long hair without subjecting it to heat. Simply apply Curlformers to sectioned, damp hair and allow to dry completely. Curlformers can also be used in conjunction with a permanent waving solution to create a long-lasting texture. You can also use Curlformers to grow your retail business with clients who want curls in between salon visits.

Register your trade account today to join the hair curling revolution and be entered in the Build Your Business Giveaway. You will be entered to win one of 30 Limited Edition Gift Styling Kits to showcase to your clients.

For Uniqueness, Brand Your Business

by Victoria Wurdinger on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Do you have the time, money and marketing expertise to completely brand your business so it’s like no other? If not, not to worry. Your main competitors are within a few miles, and in major cities, within 10 blocks. Ask yourself what they stand for, and how you can set yourself apart. Here’s how some salons did it—simply.

The Change Agent

beforeafter

Makeovers always get noticed. Hair by Liliana Chavez, makeup by Pici Caroli, for Yellow Strawberry Global Salon, Sarasota, FL

Every salon does makeovers, right? But how many are makeover specialists? If this is a niche you can dominate, expertise in image making is a must. To prove it, start photographing your before and after looks. That’s what Richard Weintraub did.

“For years, ‘One Cut, Many Styles,’ was our tagline,” says Weintraub, owner of Yellow Strawberry Global Salons in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, FL. “We are also the official salon for all local ABC newscasters—the station approached me. In addition to an ‘exclusive salon to ABC’ mention at the end of each newscast, we get some free airtime for ads, as well as a discount during major shows, like the Academy Awards.”

This gave Weintraub an idea: He already did lots of makeovers, why not launch a new emphasis on them with an ad that would run during the Oscars?

First, he held group sessions with clients to discover what they really wanted in a makeover.

“There are plenty of software programs that let consumers morph their photos with certain hairstyle and haircolor changes, but the results are mostly silly and look like wigs,” says Weintraub. “Clients told us they wanted to know all the realistic possibilities.”

As a long-time image consultant for corporations, he had expertise in many areas, including recommending eyeglasses and lipstick shades: “You can’t do haircolor if you can’t talk about makeup.” He’d also been educating his staff regularly, in order to raise their level of expertise in assessing skin tone and eye color, and determining the best features to bring forward, as well as the ones to diminish. His layered educational approach, he says, included presentations by his makeup artist, and discussions of what worked and what didn’t during televised award shows.

“Why read People magazine to discover their assessment of what you should have seen live?” asks Weintraub. “We are the expert assessors.”

Poised to embrace a new tagline, “Yellow Strawberry, The Makeover Specialists,” he then “put the cart before the horse.”

“If you say you’re the top makeover experts in town, you have to follow through,” says Weintraub, “So, we just put it out there. I knew we’d be hard pressed not to succeed—everyone loves an image change of some kind.”

Taking his existing photo shoots of befores and afters, he created an ad to run locally during the Academy Awards. Its opening line: “If your hair is not becoming to you, you should be coming to us.” You can see the ad here.

The ad ran Oscar Sunday, and by Tuesday, he had dozens of appointments and a solidified position as the place for change.

“If you don’t change your client, your client will change you,” stresses Weintraub. “Chat with clients before they are shampooed, and even if they love their look, tell them you can always improve on your own work and have an idea. When you introduce change that way, clients will evolve with every visit.”

5 Ways to Motivate Your Staff and Build Your Business

by Trash Talk with Anna Craig on Monday, February 28th, 2011

1. Retail contest

A monthly retail contest not only encourages stylists to compete with other stylists, but it helps your bottom line and increases retail sales. Encourage the stylists to give you ideas on the prizes they might want to win. Then post every week where everyone stands in the contest. This will light a fire under any stylists that might not being doing so well and want to win.

2. Photo Shoot

Do a photo shoot to put creativity back into your stylists. Sometimes, days in the salon become monotonous and stylists need a pick-me-up. A photo shoot is perfect. Let your stylists choose their themes and let them go crazy. Leave it up to them to choose what they want to do and you’ll see their ideas flourish. This helps the stylists build a portfolio and allows clients to see what’s going on at your salon that is creative and new—they love it! You could even create an advertising contest; whoever’s photo turns out best, you could use in your next advertising campaign.

3. Education

Offer different classes in your salon. Talk to your product line representatives to see who can offer different styling classes, apart from regular product-knowledge classes. This is great to amp up the atmosphere in the salon. Stylists learn new techniques and how to use new tools. Prom and wedding season is coming soon, so get an updo/couture styling class in your salon. All of a sudden your updo/styling business will double.

4. Upgrade/Remodel

This is a harder one and not everyone can do this, but if you can, everyone benefits. Upgrade or remodel something in your salon, not the whole place—just one thing. Especially if you have something that is driving your stylists crazy. If your waiting area is an eyesore, then change it up a little. Clients will love that you did something new in the salon, especially if it enhances their experience. Stylists will love it because it betters their work environment and it shows that their thoughts matter, too. If this is too hard due to financial reasons, then do something little like deep cleaning and de-cluttering the salon on a day that the salon is closed. This will show your passion for your business.

5. New Client contest

Have a contest to see which stylist can bring in the most new clients in one month. This not only benefits the salon but also the stylist, because they will be making more money. Encourage your stylists to upsell extra services when the new clients come in and to give the clients a tour of the salon so the new clients can see all the services your salon offers. You could even turn this contest into a referral program; refer 3 clients and receive a FREE haircut.

New Year’s Business-Building Secrets to Help Your Clients

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, January 10th, 2011

shiny curly hair

Follow these 5 great tips and your clients will thank you.

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’s.com, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

As we move into the new year, I’d like to share with you some business-building secrets in an effort to help improve your curly-haired clientele. With the change in the economy and salons closing across America (even here in New York), the idea that our industry is recession-proof has been proven wrong. Today, every hairstylist must pay closer attention to his or her own business, implementing different strategies to secure a loyal clientele. As a hairstylist, I don’t expect my old ways of business building to necessarily work in today’s economy. Here’s what I am doing differently.

1) Research

Knowing what products for curly hair are on the market—be they professional or drugstore-level brands—is a great way to know what’s being sold to our clients between salon visits. I have decided to grow my hair so I can act as my own guinea pig, sampling many products in an effort to verify their claims. I feel very empowered when a client inquires about a product that I myself have tested: It’s the only way to give a client an optimally useful judgment. If I haven’t tried it, how can I have an honest opinion about it?

2) Personal Styling Techniques

Create new methods for styling your own hair. This way you can personally have an impact on your clients’ opinion of your work. Clients appreciate relating to us when it comes to our hair, so personalizing your own styling techniques also gives you some leverage for originality when it comes your gaining your clients’ trust. Keeping it fresh is highly recommended.

3) Overselling

Keep track of your clients’ purchases as the seasons change. It may be that they can still use some of the products they already have in their cabinets at home, occasionally adding a few new ones every year. Keeping track of their favorite products can also help in minimizing the confusion of too many products… I’ve seen this lead to resentment often. No one likes the feeling of “buying what they don’t need.” It really may not be your intention, but it can often seem that way to the client after you’ve suggested they purchase a number of products.

4) Personalized Concoctions

We know that some salons carry several lines, and some just a few. If you are limited to a select number of in-store brands, be creative and utilize what you have. Recommend to your clients a special mixture or layering of products in your salon that might work best for their specific situation. This way, you strengthen the client/stylist relationship, as this shows that you care about their spending habits and want them to spend wisely. My clients do not need every new product on the market. I’m a hairstylist, not a product distributor. That’s what I like about Orlo (the salon where I work). We keep it very simple when it comes to our products, never overwhelming the client with too many options.

5) Healthier Alternatives

With so many products on the market for fighting frizz, some clients are leaning toward a little help from the big “C”—chemicals. Some clients have become obsessed with having celebrity hair without realizing that most celebrities wear extensions of some sort, and have hairstylists at their disposal on a daily basis. Even women with curly hair will express a desire for picture-perfect, straight and shiny hair they see in a magazine. Sadly, this isn’t an option for some women! Perfect hair on a daily basis takes a level of commitment and time that most women simply don’t have. Working with your clients on embracing their natural beauty can be a new addition to your routine. Talk about their skin, facial structure, and (as the case may be) how their natural curly hair complements the package. Clients need to be reminded that they are beautiful and that originality is sexy.

I hope this article inspires you to implement some business-building skills of your own. In 2011, I invite you to research every aspect of our industry as you experience it: past, present and a very inspired future.

Antonio Gonzales: Building Your Business

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, July 12th, 2010

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’s.com, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

See Antonio’s blog here.

I have a question for all hairstylists and salon owners: What do you think of when you hear the term “building your business”? Acquiring more clients? Increased product sales? Expanding your salon? Or simply developing your skill? Following a very humble start in this industry and having grown my career in two cities (Los Angeles and New York) that have salons on every corner, I’m here to share skills—from my cutting, coloring and management experience—that helped build my business to what it is today. I will address this topic in a two-part article: the first for salon management and the second (appearing in two weeks) for the hairstylist. So no matter what your price point or what state you live in, I present valuable tips to help you be the best at what you do. Please keep in mind that I’m not going to mention the obvious, like regular staff meetings and how to sell more products.

The Basic Rule

There is a myth in our industry that giving free services is good for business and encourages loyalty and appreciation. But consider this: When was the last time you went to your doctor, dentist or attorney and were given anything for free? For these professions, time equals money, and ours is no different. And the fact that your salon rents chairs or is commission-based (as the case may be) is irrelevant. The time and service that’s being given away will cost your business part of its profit. What’s more, not only are you losing money, but also respect. If your services are worth their cost, why would you need to give it away? Whether your business model entails a $20 or s $200 cut, the service you’re providing should be worth every penny you decide to charge, and it’s important that you stand firmly behind your worth. Remember that the idea is to build your business, not shortchange it. Consider that if you find yourself granting free services occasionally, perhaps you’re charging too much to begin with and should instead lower your rates, which brings me to…

Your Team’s Value

Your staff’s talent is key to building your business; the better they are, the more worth they have. Consider this scenario: You enable your key hairstylist to focus on his or her education for one year, allowing him or her a new depth of perspective on their skill. Stipulate that after each course they complete, they then must pass on their enhanced skills to your other stylists. It’s a win-win, on multiple levels: By doing so you will not only have made your key stylist better at his or her skill, but also afforded him or her the opportunity to realize their own worth. Meanwhile, your entire team will benefit from a skill-building process that, in the end, only cost you a single student’s tuition.

When your stylists are open to the idea that becoming more skilled means more clients (and more profit) for all, then they too can participate in the process as you see fit; rotate your personnel’s course attendance; each member of your team can have the chance to attend classes and share with their coworkers. It’s a collaborative process that all will enjoy, and from which all can, and will, benefit.

A hairstylist’s worth is not how much attitude they have, how meticulous they are at their job, or even how much product they sell or how many clients they bring in, but rather the degree to which he or she is willing to better themselves. Their capacity to grow, to perform noticeably better each, is truly the most important factor.

So now that you have the staff’s enthusiastic participation, let’s begin.

Team Building

From my personal experience, as hairstylists see each others’ skills improve, it makes them feel less threatened and the sense of a true “team” is born. But keep in mind that the weaker stylists are there for a reason: to be your future stars… so who better to train them but your current shining stars. Another way to set a strong foundation for a team relates to their trust in you as their manager. Never—I repeat, NEVER—break an employee’s trust. Even if they come to you with a smallest complaint about another staff member, keep it to yourself and figure out a way to deal with the issue. Remember, if they have shared a concern, it’s now your responsibility, and this information should be guarded with the utmost respect. If their trust is broken, chances are you will never get it back again.

As the team slowly starts working together, think about ways for members to be excited to learn more, which brings me to…

Incentives

Having a staff member set an example by learning, sharing and becoming busier is often enough of an incentive for the rest of the team. But we all respond differently. Luckily, there are countless ways to create a buzz in the salon. I have taken part in so many incentive-building exercises to help build moral and sales that I could write a book on the subject! Here are a couple of the ones that worked best for me, and a couple to avoid at all costs.

Good idea: Get your product distributors involved. Have them offer more than just points; urge them to offer gift cards on a monthly basis to the stylist that sells the most treatments and/or products.

Bad idea: Don’t put that chart on the wall showing who’s selling the most. All this accomplishes is to create resentment and unhealthy, mean-spirited competition that undermines the idea of teamwork you’re trying to cultivate. The idea is to help promote a desire to do something that is part of their job. You don’t want to rub it into anyone’s face that their sales are low.

Good idea: We know that most companies now offer points for purchases that can go toward education. I’m a firm believer that the strongest producers and most talented individuals should be first on the list for education. Keep in mind that your strongest sellers may not be your busiest stylists. The idea is that they will learn faster and be stronger at teaching (hopefully).

Bad idea: If you hire a new stylist who is not as strong as your key stylist, don’t take points to send the new hire for education. Keep those points for your existing stylists and have them train the new hire. The new member of staff should prove herself through client retention, punctuality and sales.

All this talk of sales brings me to the next topic…

Product Sales

If you are basing your profit on product sales, then you are in the wrong business. Clients return for quality of work that improves over time. They can get products at a beauty-supply store. Furthermore, not every stylist is adept at selling. You may have a very talented stylist who can’t give away glitter dust to a drag queen! That’s OK—not everyone’s a salesperson. Early in my career, when my skills were not up to par, I was still the strongest at selling products. And today, as I have grown and can dish out a fierce cut, I’m still the strongest at sales … in other words, I can sell nuts to a man with no teeth! If you have a talented stylist that is weak at sales, that’s just the way it is. Trying to get them to sell is like trying to get blood from a stone—it’s not going to happen. Once they do their job, that’s all that matters; it’s about building your business, not trying to pimp products. I recommend having the super-creative stylists create, and the stylists that have the ability to sell products do that, while working on their talent.

Keep in mind that the worst feeling for a client is that they are feeling taken for granted and are being forced to buy products. It’s not worth losing a client over a bottle of shampoo.

My next article will address hairstylists directly, so get ready for some super-helpful tips to make you a star.

Re-Book Your Client With Celeb-Worthy Hair Accessories!

by Megan Dorcey on Monday, June 21st, 2010

The mercury is rising and we all know what that means: less is more in the clothing department.  Coping with the heat can take a client’s wardrobe choices and cut it in half.  So what should you suggest to add some glitz and glam without adding unwanted layers and heavy jewelery?  Hair accessories.

The days of stick straight hair are long gone.  Everyone from that gorgeous model on the runway, to your favorite celebrity, to the girl next door is sporting something pretty in her wavy ‘do.  Sparkly brooch-inspired clips, glitzy headbands, and simple up-do tools are popping up all over the hair scene.

This is a very quick and simple way to offer an option to your client and they will be so happy with her style that she won’t hesitate to re-book her next appointment before walking out the door.  Simply suggest she bring her favorite hair accessory along to her cut or color and offer to style it in a fun way that they may not have thought of.  This will only take a few extra minutes and ensure a returning client.  If your client doesn’t have a favorite accessory, stock up on a few trendy and inexpensive pieces that she can take home.  Making your client feel special when she walks out the door will mean the world to her, and don’t worry-she will tell her friends how much fun they had with you!

Is your client hesitant to add an accessory?  Try a summer-friend celeb craze such as the messy braid or face-framing braids that are a simple way to transform their look.

Need some hair accessory inspiration?  Pictured are a couple of my favorites that work perfect in waves, curls, kinks, and coils.

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