resources

Looking sharp on the job

Posted on January 13, 2009. Filed under: resources, startup | Tags: , , |


shear

What happens when a ‘mad genius’ type 4th generation German shear maker goes drinking with a well known tattoo artist?

Freebird Shears – where we believe the tool a stylist uses should represent their own personality and flair.

Freebird Shears is the brainchild of Maurice Stoll a fourth generation German Master Craftsman.

After immigrating to the United States he was faced with how he was to earn a living, he then fell back on the century old family business. Stoll got his start selling family shears “Made in Solingen, Germany” as well as sharpening services to salons and stylist across Texas and its surrounding states. As his business grew, he yearned for a young, fresh and updated twist to shears while still paying homage to his family’s history and roots.

It was his desire to develop a selection of shears that are as artistic and unique as the designers’ individual style. Although, professional styling shears are not a new concept, especially for a fourth generation craftsman, Stoll wanted something innovative so he revamped an old product for a new generation. Similar to what Google did for the Internet search and Starbucks for Coffee.

To fulfill his vision of the ‘perfect’ shear, he consulted leading master craftsmen, artisans and designers from Japan, Germany and the U.S.A. to leverage century old knowledge and fuse it with the latest ground-breaking production techniques known to man.

After perfecting the production process, Stoll met with Elvis Crocker a well-known tattoo artist in Arlington, Texas (formerly of NYHC Tattoos) and created shears inspired by Crocker’s designs. Each shear has a design intricately cut into the handle and these designs vary wildly from “Butterfly Kisses” to “Key to my Heart” and from “Iron Cross” to “Skulls and Crossbones”.

Stoll’s goal of developing a cutting instrument like no other in performance, design and uniqueness was in sight. After several years of planning, development and research, Freebird Shears was born and is proud to be one of the few companies to have their own production facility in which they incorporate the finest hammer-forged Japanese steel while fusing German and Japanese craftsmanship with American passion, design, ingenuity and technology.

Freebird Shears are not simply cut by a machine and finished but go through over 250 steps by hand to create a flawless shear before they are finished and perfectly balanced by a master craftsman during final inspection.

Stoll’s idea may have begun with shears but that is not where Freebird Shears has ended. They also offer thinning shears and razors with matching designs so the stylist has an option to use a trio of tools or give them the ability to create their own unique set. For the easiest use and most convenience; Freebird razors use standard premium shaper blades that are available in any beauty supply store.

301-scaled

Have an idea for a design you would like to see in a shear of your own? Freebird Shears is also able to take company logos and personal designs to create a custom shear. These can come in a variety of colors, including laser designs or special engravings.

Freebird Shears: Innovative Tools for Creative Minds

http://www.freebirdshears.com

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Affordable computing solution for independent contractors

Posted on December 8, 2008. Filed under: finance, management, resources | Tags: , , , , , |

asus

Hey all you leasers out there!  Looking for a cheap way to get (and keep) yourself organized?  Grab one of these netbooks.  They are small, so they are easy to grab and go between the salon and home, they connect to WiFi and run XP.  They even come in a handful of different colors.  All of the hairdressers at our salon have their own.  We went with the Acer Aspire One because they were on sale at Office DepotYou can pick one up for $399 or less.  You can use Gmail and Google Calendar and Mint (all free!) and keep your business world and personal life all tucked into a neat little package.  It has never been easier to be a solo salon owner!

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Who are My People?

Posted on June 11, 2008. Filed under: resources, small business | Tags: |

I scour the web for articles and conversations that can help My People.

Who are My People?

We are owners and managers of small salons.

But Aura, aren’t there already tons of sources of information for small businesses?

Sure.  There are.  But here is the problem.  Small Business is defined as any business with fewer than 100 employees.  A salon with 75 employees would be considered a LARGE salon!

Many of the articles I stumble across have nuggets of information that are helpful to us, but many are a bit out of our ballpark.

Here’s an example:

Business Week has a small business section (that often has really helpful information) and I was reading an article about positioning that held great promise until it got to the part about the marketing team doing the research for the project.  Here’s the part where my eyes started to glaze over:

From the above analysis you’ll be able to synthesize your opportunities and understand the value chains in your target markets. The result of combining these two outcomes will yield your differentiating attributes, which form your positioning strategy and positioning statement. You can determine the net-net of your positioning statement by filling in the blanks in the exercise below.

Read the entire article here.

Most salon owners did not go to business school.  Yes, I know some of them did, but they are not my target audience!

Much like how I have determined who is my target customer for my salon, I have a target audience for this blog.

The majority of salons worldwide are each staffed by only a handful people.  We have different needs than a business with 50-100 employees.  We are different people with a different perspective.

My goal is to speak to the smallest of us:

  • The little guys.
  • The heart and soul of the American economy.

When you are a little business, you feel like you are in it alone; like you have to struggle to learn everything.  It wears on a person!  If I can help My People feel like they have a friend who seriously cares about their success, I will feel like I have succeeded.

Everything I do: the workshops, the interviews, this blog, I do for My People.

Remember, there are many more of us than there are the big guys, and I am happy to be a voice in the wilderness when you feel lost.

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Does your business have a personality disorder?

Posted on June 10, 2008. Filed under: education, marketing, resources, small business | Tags: , |

Don’t you love it when you read something that someone else wrote that so strongly resonates with your beliefs that it’s like they read your mind?

I believe job #1 for any business, particularly small businesses, is to find a way to stand out, to be different. Doing so in a meaningful way (meaningful to a market segment that cares) is the secret to long term success, word or mouth buzz and ultimately more profit.

This is from a post on Duct Tape Marketing with an interview of the author of a business book that looks right up our alley.  One of the things I nag at you about is defining and embracing your business personality.  It’s something they write about quite a bit at Duct Tape Marketing, too.  (Why don’t you go over and subscribe to their feed?)

Listen to what the author has to say, and if you get the book before I do, let me know what you think.

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Microsoft can help you get your business online for free – yes, I said free

Posted on June 5, 2008. Filed under: marketing, resources, small business | Tags: , |

Is it time to take your business online? Margie's Travel
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My sildes for 2008 ABCH Energizing Summit

Posted on June 3, 2008. Filed under: education, management, marketing, resources, small business | Tags: , , , |

Welcome to all of you who I met at the Summit!

I am back from the event. Tired, but excited about how things went and about the people I met. I love interacting with my peers and getting revitalized to face another year with my clients.

I was talking to Roy Peters who is a hairdresser and educator. He is 65 and still at it. I mentioned that I wondered if I could make it another 25 years. His response: “I tried to quit once, but after a few months, I started calling clients and asking them how they were. Did you mother have her surgery? Did your daughter graduate from college? I missed them. I missed the salon.” That’s inspiring to me. We’ll see how long I can stay motivated!

I would love to hear from all of you (in the comments section) about what kind of information would be the most helpful to you here.

If you would like to email (or mail: Aura Mae 1944 Pacific Ave Suite 210 Tacoma, WA 98402) me your business card, we can scan it in here and talk about how we can make it better.

Let me know how I can help you be the successful salon owner you know you can be!
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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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Still don’t have a website for your salon?

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: marketing, resources, small business | Tags: , , |

There’s a better way to get your message out there.

It’s time to reach customers where they’re already looking for you – online.

Microsoft® Office Live Small Business can get your business on the Web for FREE.

It’s the professional way to get your message out there. Now there’s no stopping you.

Learn more

Sign up FREE

Tell a friend about this great offer >

Microsoft Office Live Small Business

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An Internet service provider account is required for Internet and e-mail access and is not included with Microsoft Office Live Small Business services.

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Salon Service Central – Have someone else answer your phones

Posted on April 28, 2008. Filed under: customer service, management, marketing, resources, small business | Tags: , , , |

salon central
MONTHLY SERVICE FEES $250  *90-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL Premium Add-on Services Available □Additional people—1 additional appointment book ($100/mo) □Custom Call Tree—includes custom greeting, recordings and music-on-hold ($50/mo) □e-mail Monitoring - ($50/mo) $100/chair) MONTHLY SERVICE FEES $250  This package is designed for booth renters and small salons that do not require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection and e-mail address you can manage your business.
MONTHLY SERVICE FEES $250  *90-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL Premium Add-on Services Available □Additional people—1 additional appointment book ($100/mo) □Custom Call Tree—includes custom greeting, recordings and music-on-hold ($50/mo) □e-mail Monitoring - ($50/mo) This package is designed for booth renters and small salons that do not require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection and e-mail address you can manage your business. This package is designed for medium to large salons that require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection & e-mail address you can manage your business and have full access to all software Live Receptionist Call Handling 1 Voicemail Boxes (extension) Phones covered 7am-9pm CST Monday-Saturday 1 Customized Appointment Book Daily Appointment Confirmation Daily, Monthly & Quarterly Reports Basic Internet Access 1 Year Contract w/90 Day Trial Period This package is designed for booth renters and small salons that do not require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection and e-mail address you can manage your business. This package is designed for medium to large salons that require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection & e-mail address you can manage your business and have full access to all software
$2,500)  Premium Add-on Services Available □Additional people—1 additional appointment book ($100/mo) □Custom Call Tree—includes custom greeting, recordings and music-on-hold ($50/mo) □e-mail Monitoring - ($50/mo) This package is designed for medium to large salons that require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection & e-mail address you can manage your business and have full access to all software Live Receptionist Call Handling 1 Voicemail Boxes (extension) Phones covered 7am-9pm CST Monday-Saturday 1 Customized Appointment Book Daily Appointment Confirmation Daily, Monthly & Quarterly Reports Basic Internet Access 1 Year Contract w/90 Day Trial Period This package is designed for medium to large salons that require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection & e-mail address you can manage your business and have full access to all software
$2,500)  Premium Add-on Services Available □Additional people—1 additional appointment book ($100/mo) □Custom Call Tree—includes custom greeting, recordings and music-on-hold ($50/mo) □e-mail Monitoring - ($50/mo) This package is designed for medium to large salons that require a workstation on site. With a simple internet connection & e-mail address you can manage your business and have full access to all software

MONTHLY SERVICE FEES

· $500

Live Receptionist Call Handling 1 Voicemail Box  Phones covered 7am-9pm CST Monday-Saturday Custom Call Tree—custom greeting, recordings and music-on-hold  1 Customized Appointment Book per chair Daily Appointment Confirmation Daily, Monthly & Quarterly Reports Full Access Terminal Services (1 workstation connection) 1 Year Contract  Premium Add-on Services Available
*90-DAY LOW-RISK TRIAL *90-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL—If you’re not completely satisfied within the first 90 days, you can terminate your contract. Studio user’s pay for only the time they have used. Full Access user’s are required to pay a one month termination fee. □Additional people—1 additional appointment book ($100/mo) □Additional Workstation Connection ($50/mo) □e-mail Monitoring ($50/mo) □Automated Reporting ($50/mo) Premium Add-on Services Available ADDITIONAL SERVICES OFFERED TO OUR CUSTOMERS In addition to our quality reception services, Salon Service Central customers can take advantage of our additional business building services listed below. These services are offered exclusively to our reception customers at rock bottom prices. Partner with us, a one-stop shop for all your business needs.
*90-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL—If you’re not completely satisfied within the first 90 days, you can terminate your contract. Studio user’s pay for only the time they have used. Full Access user’s are required to pay a one month termination fee. □Additional people—1 additional appointment book ($100/mo) □Additional Workstation Connection ($50/mo) □e-mail Monitoring ($50/mo) □Automated Reporting ($50/mo) Premium Add-on Services Available ADDITIONAL SERVICES OFFERED TO OUR CUSTOMERS In addition to our quality reception services, Salon Service Central customers can take advantage of our additional business building services listed below. These services are offered exclusively to our reception customers at rock bottom prices. Partner with us, a one-stop shop for all your business needs.
*90-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL—If you’re not completely satisfied within the first 90 days, you can terminate your contract. Studio user’s pay for only the time they have used. Full Access user’s are required to pay a one month termination fee. □Additional people—1 additional appointment book ($100/mo) □Additional Workstation Connection ($50/mo) □e-mail Monitoring ($50/mo) □Automated Reporting ($50/mo)
*90-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL—If you’re not completely satisfied within the first 90 days, you can terminate your contract. Studio user’s pay for only the time they have used. Full Access user’s are required to pay a one month termination fee.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES OFFERED TO OUR CUSTOMERS In addition to our quality reception services, Salon Service Central customers can take advantage of our additional business building services listed below. These services are offered exclusively to our reception customers at rock bottom prices. Partner with us, a one-stop shop for all your business needs.
In addition to our quality reception services, Salon Service Central customers can take advantage of our additional business building services listed below. These services are offered exclusively to our reception customers at rock bottom prices. Partner with us, a one-stop shop for all your business needs.
info@salonservicecentral.com MARKETING & MAIL SERVICES eBlast				10¢/each Letter				$1/each Postcard/Greeting Card	$1.50/each Brochure/Multi-Page		$2/each     Custom Mailings		$ per bid  Whether you’re mailing information to your client list or sending out promotional material to perspective clients, we will implement your ideas from beginning to end. Our “Per Use” fees include printing of the material, assembly, addressing and postage.
info@salonservicecentral.com BUSINESS COACHING SERVICES Business Coaching		$100/hr Need a great idea or just want to bounce your ideas off someone in the know? Our coach will assist you in deciding what is important, analyze the results, set goals and implement programs to grow your business. Our coach can also assist you in developing policy & procedure, employee, and training manuals.
info@salonservicecentral.com info@salonservicecentral.com
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Get your own damn blog – part 2

Posted on April 15, 2008. Filed under: marketing, resources, small business | Tags: , , , |

I want to tell you all about blogging and how it can help you and your business, but hey, if I can give you a link to someone who has literally written the book (82 pages, thank you very much!) on it, wouldn’t that make more sense?

Who wrote it:

Remarkablogger is Michael Martine, a long-time web designer, blogger, software trainer, internet entrepreneur, and strategist. Remarkablogger is the name of my one-man consulting company. I offer blog consulting and coaching for individuals and companies.
I help you wade through the blizzard of options and choices when it comes to planning, setting up, and managing a business blog. If you’re new to blogging or your blog has stalled or not delivered the expected results, I can help you start your blog right or take it to the next level, and help it fulfill its intended purpose.

Some excerpts:

Why You Should Have a Blog
Why should you have a blog? Because everybody else does, and you want to be cool, right?
Just kidding.
Many more people are blogging now than ever before, because there are real benefits to blogging. By this time, the benefits of having a website are undeniable. As a platform for websites, blogs magnify those benefits tremendously, delivering on them better than a non-blog website can. How? Better search engine optimization, better communications with your customers, better marketing all around, and better positioning and branding for you in the marketplace.

What are you going to offer your new readers that will impress them and convert them into RSS subscribers and long-term readers? Many other great bloggers have written plenty of excellent material on creating initial content for a blog. Yaro Starak calls it pillar articles, Chris Garrett calls it flagship content. Whatever you want to call it, it needs to be written before the blog launches.

Now, hurry up and go read the whole thing! What are you waiting for?

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