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Whether you want to renovate your current space or build out a new one, finding the perfect contractor for your beauty salon can be a challenging process. Simple changes like getting new styling stations or salon chairs are easy enough, but if you're in the market for a more in-depth remodel, you'll need to find a reliable contractor. Chances are you're spending a significant amount of money to transform your salon, and with that kind of investment you want to make sure you find a reliable contractor you can count on to do quality work. If you're in the market for a contractor for your beauty salon, review the tips below to help ensure you make the right choice:

1. Ask about their past experience.

Building out beauty salons comes with its own unique set of challenges, so it's a good idea to look for a contractor who has some experience working with salons. Ask about what kind of projects the contractor has worked on in the past, find out if they primarily work on large-scale projects or just small renovations, and see if they have a portfolio they can share with you.

2. Find out about insurance and licensing.

Before you hire any contractor, ask about their licensure and insurance. If the contractor cannot supply proof of both, do not move forward with them. Banks usually require the contractor to be licensed in order for you to secure a loan, and insurance will protect you if anything unexpected happens on the job.

3. Visit other salons they've worked on.

If a contractor stands behind their work, he or she shouldn't be afraid to show you their past jobs. If you can, visit some of the other salons and businesses the contractor has worked on to get a firsthand look at the quality of their work. Ask the business owners if the contractor hit their deadlines and stayed within budget.

4. Find out how long they've been in business.

A contractor who has been in business for at least five years most likely does quality work that satisfies clients. If the contractor you're considering hasn't been in business long, this shouldn't necessarily rule them out, but in general contractors who have been in business longer deliver results you can count on.

5. Make sure you understand their payment terms.

Before you sign any contracts, make sure you are crystal clear on the contractor's payment terms. You should know exactly when payments are due and what you're actually getting for your money. Also make sure the payment terms cover scenarios like what will happen if the contractor does not meet a deadline or goes over budget. Don't hesitate to ask as many questions as you need to in order to understand the payment terms. If the contractor seems hesitant to answer or doesn't explain things in a way that quite makes sense, this should raise some major red flags.

Renovating your beauty salon or moving into a new space can be an exciting time for any salon owner - once the task of finding the perfect contractor has been completed, that is. To ensure you find the perfect contractor for your salon, be sure to follow the tips above.

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Tips for Choosing the Right Beauty Salon Software

Monday, February 18, 2019 9:30 AM

The right computer software can be one of your beauty salon's most valuable assets. Beauty salon software can help you run the day-to-day operations of your salon, manage your salon more effectively and collect data that can provide insight into new marketing opportunities. Choosing the right software for your salon can be challenging, especially if you're not very IT-savvy. Here are some tips that can help even the most technologically challenged salon owner find the perfect salon software.

1. Don't make your decision based on cost alone.

Quality salon computer software is as essential to your business as salon chairs and styling stations, so this isn't an area in which you should cut costs. The upfront cost of the software and any recurring costs for ongoing services or subscriptions may seem high, but think about how much money good software can save you in the long run. Consider how much time and money you can save with quality computer software when making your decision.

2. Perform your due diligence.

Before you commit to a software option, take a little time to do some background research on the company. How long have they been in business? What kind of reviews or testimonials do they have? What kind of customer support do they offer, and how long are response times if you have questions or problems? These are all questions you should ask before deciding on a software option.

3. Decide if you want cloud or local.

With cloud computing, your software and data are stored online rather than on your physical computer. In other words, your client database and records are housed on an Internet server, not your local machine. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can access your software and data. This is beneficial because if anything were to happen to your computer you could still access your software and database online. When deciding what kind of salon software is best for you, weigh the pros and cons of cloud vs. local before you make your choice.

4. Read the small print.

In many cases, when you purchase salon software you pay an upfront fee and then sign a contract for ongoing support. Before you sign any contracts, though, be sure to read them thoroughly and check for the small print. Pay attention to things like the length of the contract, your options for canceling the service, and your costs and obligations regarding software licensing.

Choosing the right salon software may seem like a daunting task, but it pays off in the end. Quality software can make your salon more efficient and help you save both time and money. Before you choose software for your salon, be sure to review these tips for making the right choice.

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Common Mistakes for Beauty Salon Owners to Avoid

Monday, January 7, 2019 9:30 AM

Opening a beauty salon can be demanding enough, but staying open and growing your business present their own set of challenges for salon owners. New or inexperienced salon owners (and sometimes even seasoned veterans) often end up making a few common mistakes that can be detrimental to their business. Here are some of the most common mistakes beauty owners make that you should avoid.

1. Ineffective marketing campaigns.

Many salon owners make the mistake of running ineffective marketing campaigns. The Internet and smart devices have forever changed the way businesses market to consumers, and salon owners need to incorporate integrated marketing strategies in order to reach their target market. In addition to running effective marketing campaigns, it's also crucial to measure your results. This helps you identify what's working and what isn't, as well as where to spend more money and where to cut costs. Effective marketing can help you get bodies in your salon chairs and turn first-time visitors into repeat customers.

2. Poor cash flow and money management.

One of the biggest problems beauty salon owners face is effective cash flow and money management. Seeing money coming in from clients each day is great, but in order to stay in business and grow your salon you need to understand where your money goes. Remember, there's a difference between revenue and profit, and a solid financial plan is a must for any successful business. If you aren't really the accounting type, be sure to hire a bookkeeper who can help you manage your money.

3. Too many "special offers."

It can be extremely tempting to run special offers in your salon when times are tight or business is slow, but tread carefully. For one thing, running too many specials without taking into account how it will affect profit can seriously hurt your business. You may be getting more clients at your styling stations but still end up losing money or barely breaking even. Another potential problem is becoming known as the "discount salon." If you run huge specials all the time, it can decrease the perceived value of your services in the eyes of your clients and hurt your brand image.

4. Insufficient employee training.

Your stylists are some of your most valuable assets at your beauty salon, so it's important to invest in their education. Training employees both on beauty techniques and effective communication with clients will ensure that each person who ends up in your salon chair has an exceptional customer experience.

Owning a beauty salon can be rewarding, exciting and profitable, but it can also challenging. As a beauty salon owner, you can help avoid sleepless nights and undue stress by learning from the mistakes of others and avoiding these four problem-causing situations.

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Three Ways to Sell More Retail Products

Friday, January 4, 2019 9:00 AM

Selling retail products at your salon is a great way to supplement your business's income. Not only do retail products offer high profit margins, but studies show that clients are significantly more likely to return if they purchase a salon product at the end of their appointment. Not all stylists are salespeople, however, so as the salon owner it's important to encourage your staff to sell, sell, sell! Here are three simple ways you can help motivate your salon employees to sell more retail.

1. Offer employee discounts and free samples.

In order to sell a product, you need to know it inside and out. One of the best ways to help your salon employees feel more comfortable selling salon products is to make it easy for them to use the products themselves, which you can do by offering an employee discount or by giving away free samples. This way, your employees can familiarize themselves with the products and give compelling, firsthand testimonials to clients about their use and efficiency. Actually using the products they're promoting is one of the strongest endorsements your employees can give.

2. Incentivize your team.

Another effective way to motivate your team members to sell more retail is to incentivize your staff. For example, you could create a monthly contest that rewards whoever sells the most retail products, or consider giving your employees a small percentage of their sales revenue as a commission. In addition, some salon product manufacturers offer incentives to salon owners who sell a lot of retail. Consider reaching out to your vendors to find out if there are any incentive programs you can take advantage of, and be sure to pass the benefits on to your staff!

3. Throw a party.

Product parties are a fun way to motivate your employees and give your retail sales a nice boost. Simply invite your salon staff and their clients and friends to the salon for a cocktail hour and use the time to debut your products and demonstrate their use. You can also hand out special coupons for party-goers to receive a discount on their service next time they're in your styling chair. Throwing a product party is the perfect opportunity to drum up interest about your retail products and let clients try them out for themselves. It's also a fun team-building activity for your salon staff that can help motivate them to sell more during business hours.

Try out these simple tips for motivating your salon staff, and watch as your retail sales begin to soar!

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5 Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your Salon

Monday, December 3, 2018 8:30 AM

5 Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your Salon

The holidays tend to draw an array of emotions - joyfulness, happiness, anticipation. As a business of allure, relaxation and style, it's vital that your salon remains a place of cheer and pamper for your clients during this whirlwind season. Don't let any client leave your salon with a bah humbug outlook. Here are five easy ways to add holiday cheer to your salon and clientele:

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