Giving Someone That Special Look for Vacation

Thursday, May 31, 2018 11:00 AM

Holidays are the best occasions for freshening up a hair look or revitalizing an entire presentation. Whether it's a family reunion, time with friends, or an exclusive romantic getaway, people often want to look their best when they're traveling for fun, especially if the destination is outdoors. Even more, beach vacations practically require people to manufacture the best versions of their bodies ("the beach bod"). Think about it: Beach vacationers want to display themselves to a scantily clad world of party-goers, which means a vital role for any salon.

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| Posted in Salon Marketing

Scheduling Tips for Stylists

Monday, May 21, 2018 10:00 AM

As a stylist, one of your biggest challenges could be scheduling. How do you know if you should squeeze a client in for a blowout at your styling station while another client is waiting at the shampoo stations? How many clients should you plan for in one workday, and what should your hours should be? Here are some tips to help you stay organized and keep everyone satisfied, including yourself.

Know how long tasks take you.

Go over your recent history and pay close attention to how long each type of appointment generally takes you. There will always be variations, of course, but if you're able to confidently estimate how long a simple cut will take you versus a color, you'll be ahead of the curve. You'll know how many clients to plan for in a day and what types of appointments you have time for. Be honest with yourself in this step. It won't benefit anyone if you think you're faster than you really are and end up with a backlog of clients in the waiting room.

Know when to say no.

It's perfectly fine to add in last-minute client appointments if you know there's open space in your schedule for the day. In fact, if you're able to accommodate these last-minute requests, you'll probably gain the loyalty of your client base because they'll know they can trust you to come through for them when needed. However, you need to have a life outside of work too. Have regular work hours and stick to them as much as possible. Don't squeeze in a client who you legitimately don't have time for. You could end up rushing through their style or even being late or less careful with clients who already booked an appointment ahead of time, which is the worst-case scenario for everyone.

Dealing with no-shows.

The thorn in every stylist's side is the no-show client. We've all been there; you've done everything you could to create the perfect schedule, and now you're sitting around waiting for someone who clearly isn't coming. While you can't avoid every no-show situation, you can do your best to prepare for and prevent these issues. Have a policy for no-shows and make it clear to your clients. This could mean charging them for their missed appointment or refusing service to them after a certain number of missed appointments. In order for this to work, you have to follow through, so make sure your policy is one you're comfortable enforcing.

One of the most effective ways to prevent no-shows is to call for confirmation of every appointment. Your clients have busy lives too, and if they've forgotten to write down their haircut appointment with you, there's a good chance it could slip their minds altogether. A confirmation call saves you the lost revenue and time and also saves your client the embarrassment of being the no-show. That two-minute phone call could be what continues your positive relationship with that client, so be sure to plan for these calls at some point throughout your day.

Finally, allow for some fluidity in your schedule. Be aware that plans change, and be flexible where you can. This will reduce your scheduling headaches and make you more relaxed and confident in your work.

| Posted in Salon Marketing

Have you recently moved to a new city and are wondering how to establish a client base in your new salon as extensive and amazing as the one you had in your old home? Or perhaps you haven't relocated but are setting up shop in a different salon and a non-compete clause in your contract prohibits you from directly inviting your current clients to follow you. You've already set up all the spa and salon equipment you'll need at your new location. Now here are some marketing ideas to help you reach out and attract new customers to your business.

First, make sure you have your old-fashioned bases covered. Take out an ad in your local yellow pages and newspaper classifieds. Many people looking for stylist services are still actively utilizing these resources. It doesn't have to be extensive, but it does need to get your name and service offerings out to the community.

Next, use all forms of social media that you're comfortable with (and consider familiarizing yourself with new ones!). Facebook may be the most effective in this case. You can create a business page that is separate from your personal page if you have one. Fill in all sections as completely as you can, especially the "About" page. You want to provide the public with as much information about your expertise as possible. What are your hours and location? Exactly what kinds of services can you provide, and what is your experience level? Ask your friends to share your new page on their own profiles to get the word out.

If you are legally able to do so, solicit testimonials from your favorite clients and post them as well. Did your oldest client's sister love the styles you did for her wedding last summer? Ask her to write up a brief description of her experience for you. Did another client appreciate you fixing up her daughter's botched home haircut attempt? See if she will explain how you salvaged it in a few short sentences. Personal recommendations like these will make all the difference in attracting new clients to your business.

Finally, don't be shy about promoting yourself in person wherever possible. Make sure other parents at your child's new school know what you do; mention it to new friends in any organizations or religious groups you belong to. Have a positive attitude and be honest and friendly, and before you know it, your styling chair will be booked to capacity!

| Posted in Salon Marketing

Prom season is right around the corner, which means your salon will be flooded with young women relying on you to give them the perfect hairstyle for their big night. Getting ready for prom is fun and exciting, but picking out just the right hairstyle can be a major challenge and you don't want to disappoint. An up-do may look great on some of your clients, but not on others. Similarly, some of your clients may love the curly, flowing locks look, while others can't stand having their hair down. So, how do you help your clients decide on the best prom hairstyle? Here are some tips to help you find the most flattering hairstyle for each of your clients this prom season. 

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| Posted in Salon Marketing

One of the biggest roadblocks to a happy and productive client/stylist relationship is lack of effective communication. It's the stylist's responsibility to be up front with the client about the types of work involved with requested styles and to rein in expectations to be more realistic. The stylist should also be willing to listen, intuit, and learn from clients so that misunderstandings don't occur. Here are some suggestions of what to discuss with your stylists to open the door to quality communication.

When a client asks for an easy wash-and-go kind of style, make sure your stylists know to dig deeper and discover what that really means for each client. To a stylist who is used to working with hair all day can mean something very different for a client who is unskilled in styling. Your stylists should know not to do a cut that will take an hour of work every day in order to look presentable in this situation. They should ask questions and pay attention to the client's responses and also be realistic with the client about which styles will take a lot of work and which won't.

Similarly, when a client brings in a photo of celebrity hair and asks the stylist to mimic it, the stylist should be sure to remind the client that those celebrities have a team of makeup artists and stylists at their beck and call and that their hairstyle may not look the same without such intensive resources. Stylists should be sure to be sensitive when breaking this news, but still firm. The last thing you want to do is allow unrealistic ideas to continue and then create disappointment when the look isn't exactly what the client hoped for.

While the salon is a busy and hectic environment, your stylists should learn to pause and take notice of the signals their clients are sending them. If you've suggested a certain cut and the client is hesitant, take note of this hesitation. Is the client nervous about a shorter length? Does she feel the style won't be flattering on her? It's important that your stylists are able to pick up on body language and facial expressions to avoid miscommunication and hurt feelings if a client is too uncomfortable or timid to disagree at first.

Finally, demonstrating styling and product usage to clients will go a long way toward creating a return customer. Stylists shouldn't just cut and run; clients will greatly appreciate being shown how to handle their new hairdo before they leave the salon chair. Taking this extra minute to show them what to do will foster a sense of trust and increase their comfort level with the stylist.

If you can get your stylists following this simple advice, your salon will be well on its way to being a relaxed environment where clients feel respected and keep returning often to your styling stations.

| Posted in Salon Marketing

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