Archive for May, 2008

Prepping for the ABCH Energizing Summit

Posted on May 27, 2008. Filed under: management, marketing, small business | Tags: , , , , |

I haven’t posted much lately because Ihave been very busy putting together my presentation for the ABCH Energizing Summit this weekend.

The font I used for the headlines didn’t save well in compatibility mode (very annoyed at SlideShare for not accepting .pptx files!) but you should be able to get the gist of it.

Obviously you can’t get the full benefit of the presentation without hearing me speak.  This workshop is full of me talking and getting feedback from the participants.  We go over their branding and marketing materials to be sure that the are doing a good job of attracting the type of clients that are likely to be happy in their salon.

Here is the slide show (in case you can’t make it!)

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What kind of hair do clients want for formal events?

Posted on May 19, 2008. Filed under: customer service | Tags: |

I got all riled up about the devolution of formal hair dressing for formal events.

Read my post on my salon’s blog.

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First time being the boss?

Posted on May 16, 2008. Filed under: management, startup | Tags: , |

It is harder than you think to go from being one of the team to the coach.  Some people are inherently good at it and some need some help.  (I wasn’t naturally good at it and could have used some help!)

Ron @ The Wisdom Journal has put together a few things that he learned as a new manager that could save you some stress.

That first big promotion. What a rush! I held the keys, I made decisions, I made the schedule, I was in charge. Nothing beats the smug satisfaction of a career that’s on track. Add to that the bigger paycheck and the confidence that came from being called “boss,” and I felt like I was on top of the world. After all, I was in charge, right?

Read the rest of the article here.

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LLC or S-Corp – What is the proper business type for you?

Posted on May 14, 2008. Filed under: finance, small business, startup | Tags: , , , |

When you open your own salon, you have to decide whether to be a sloe proprietor, an S-Corp or an LLC.  your accountant can give you more details on which is best for you, but you can get a general idea of what the different choices are in this article from Small Biz Survival.

When NOT to be a Sole Proprietorship: Forming an LLC or S Corp

Sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business, but it also has some disadvantages. So for this installment of the Small Biz 100, I’ll talk about some of the situations where you don’t want to be a sole proprietorship and what types of business you might want to form.
Note: All of this discussion is specific to small businesses in the USA.
Note 2: More info on when TO be a sole proprietorship is in the Checklists for starting your first business post.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Word of mouth and women

Posted on May 13, 2008. Filed under: marketing, resources, small business | Tags: , , |

Let’s face facts.

Most salon customers are women.

Most of our new business comes from word of mouth.

So if we can learn more about what motivates women to talk about us, we can generate more new clients, yes?

Read this article, then go get the book.

5 things you need to know about women and word of mouth

Wondering how word of mouth works when marketing to women?

We asked Michele Miller, co-author of the new book “The Soccer Mom Myth: Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys” to share five tips for understanding word of mouth and women.

Do women and men differ in they way make recommendations or share information?
Women are three times more likely to share personal stories with a friend than men. Ask any woman how she found her hairdresser, doctor, or favorite wine, and she is likely to tell you that it was from a friend. Women are natural word of mouth spreaders. They are wired that way – with four times as many connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, women tap deeply into that area that is responsible for bonding and connecting with others.

Read the rest of the article here. (While you are there, read some of their other helpful posts!)

Buy the book here.

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How to pick a location for your business

Posted on May 10, 2008. Filed under: small business, startup | Tags: , , |

When I first opened my salon, I took over the lease of a salon that had bought it’s own building and moved down the street.  I did only basic research on the building and the neighborhood.  I got lucky.

When I moved my salon from the neighborhood we inhabited for 13 years and moved to another, I did more investigating.  I wish I had had this article to go by, as it offers very specific ways of checking out a location.  One thing Tim doesn’t mention that I think is a key for salons: take a look at the people coming and going around the prospective space.  Do they look like your customers?  If your average client shops exclusively from Eddie Bauer, and all the people you see milling about are pierced and tattooed, you might not have the right place!

Check it out.

It’s Not All About Location, Location, Location

by Tim Knox, author of
Everything I Know About Business I Learned from my Mama

No matter what your product or service the key to finding a great location is through good old fashioned legwork. You can use a commercial realtor to help identify potential locations, but you should take it upon yourself to visit each location at different times of the day, on different days of the week, to make sure it’s truly the best location for your particular business.

A location may look great in the morning, but not-so-great in the afternoon; or may have tons of traffic on Monday, but an empty parking lot on Friday. Never judge a location on a single visit. Go there at different times of the day and night, on different days of the week, and observe the flow of traffic. Trust me: you won’t know for sure how good a location is without going through this process.

Read the rest of the article here.

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How America Shops (or not) – Modern Salon

Posted on May 9, 2008. Filed under: finance, small business | Tags: , |

Not much time on a Friday morning to post, but I am passing on this article.  I know we are all nervous about consumer spending and how it will impact salons, so enjoy this from Modern

Published: May 08, 2008
By Victoria Wurdinger

At the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual convention, held recently in New York, Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail, NY, NY, presented her company’s most recent study, How America Shops 2008.

According to Liebmann, shoppers’ confusion is resulting in fewer weekly trips to stores and a lot of belt-tightening. The middle class is super-crunched, with its members now shopping like lower-income consumers. As a result, middle-market supermarkets and department stores are being squeezed: shoppers can get a lot more for less at big-box stores. Smaller, well-edited stores are easier to shop, which makes them popular, too.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Controlling your inner control freak – Wells Fargo Small Business

Posted on May 8, 2008. Filed under: management, small business, staff | Tags: , |

Control isn’t a bad thing.  But you throw in the work “freak” and now maybe we have a problem.

It’s your business, and I know that no one will care as passionately about it as you do.  The goal, however is to achieve a Zen-like state of balance where you are controlling the way the business runs, but not making yourself and the staff crazy with your hovering and micro-management.

The more people in the business, the more important it is to have set systems (this is how we do things).  You can’t be everywhere at once.  But if you have trained everyone one the best practices, they should be able to follow without you hovering.

And the people fighting you for control?  Get rid of them.  If they are so certain that they can run the salon better than you can, perhaps they should go start their own.  You have enough to worry about running the business without having to worry about a manager acting like they own the joint.

Controlling the “Inner” Control Freak

It’s your company and you’re in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, that control can sometimes become overwhelming, actually working to slow or even stop your growth. “When you wear every hat, you’re juggling a lot of different balls,” observes Mark Gorkin, speaker and founder of Stress Doc Enterprises. “Multi-tasking is fine, but it’s hard to sustain that unwieldy number of balls, and it can lead to control issues and the setting of rigid boundaries.”

While being the person ultimately responsible for your business can cause control issues to emerge, your “Type A” personality can lead to another type of A. “It can stand for arrogance,” Gorkin says, “as in ‘I’m the only one who truly knows how to do what I’m doing, so I’m controlling the show. Period.'”

Read the rest of the article here.

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Proving You’re Unique – Wells Fargo Small Business

Posted on May 7, 2008. Filed under: marketing, small business | Tags: , , , |

If there is one thing you can do to increase your chances of being a successful salon, it is finding a way to be unique.  Today’s search of DexKnows show 566 salons in my city.  How is a potential customer going to be able to get enough of a feel for my salon to choose us?  That, my dear folks, is what they call a Unique Selling Position.  We are not just another salon.  We’re the salon where you can wear your pajamas and cuss.  What is your USP?  Remember: every business has a personality.  Some have a personality disorder.  Figure it out and market the hell out of it!

Proving You’re Unique

“Even while you creatively imitate others, remember that it’s also important to be different,” says Jay Abraham, author of Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform and Out-Earn the Competition. “You need to make your enterprise special in the eyes of your customer or prospect. So how do you do it? By creating a USP, or Unique Selling Proposition.”

In developing a USP, the point is to focus on the one niche, need or gap that is most sorely lacking among your competitors, provided you can keep the promise you make. Whenever a customer needs the type of product or service you sell, Abraham says, your USP should bring your company immediately to mind.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Changing the salon decor keeps clients on their toes

Posted on May 6, 2008. Filed under: customer service, small business | Tags: , , |

I have a decorating rule in my salon.

If it isn’t nailed down, it can (and will) be moved!

About 3 times a year I re-merchandise the retail area, moving different products to different shelves.

Why, you ask?  Because clients get numb to their surroundings.  You have to shake them up a little so they get the impression that you are always moving and growing.  Salons that don’t stay fresh find themselves losing clients to other, more interesting salons.  Not necessarily because your salon was bad, but because it got boring.

Now, don’t start arguing with me and say that all your customers would walk over broken glass in bare feet to get to you and that how things look doesn’t matter to them.  Of course some clients are that way.  And some are not.  The ones who don’t care if things are old and stogy also won’t care if it is new and different.

Like most salon, we have a small operating budget and there isn’t money to do a huge remodel all at once.  Last spring I replaced our traditional “stations” with Craftsman toolboxes.  Last month we got new shampoo chairs.  We move the reception area stuff (customer seating and front desk) around whenever the mood strikes.  (We just went through a big spring cleaning/purge of lots of crap in the salon last week.)

Reasons to change the salon decor:

  1. You get a chance to clean behind things (and you know how filthy it gets!)
  2. You get to talk to the customers about what is new (and they understand why you charge the prices you do!)
  3. Customers get to know that you are trying to keep things fresh for them and they aren’t being taken for granted.
  4. A cleaning project gets the staff motivated and improves their outlook on the salon and gives them pride in their workplace.

My salon may not have marble floors and a water fountain, but that doesn’t mean I have to let it go to pot.

What can you do for little or no money to freshen up your space?

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