0

Breathe

breathe – (verb) – to take air, oxygen into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire. – to pause, as for breath; take rest.

Breathing. Something we do everyday. We inhale. We exhale. … but what about that pause and take rest part? From what I am seeing and hearing everyday, many of us, including yours truly, remember to breathe in and out but forget about pausing, and taking rest.

The shop opened at 9:30 a.m.. By 10 a.m. I had 6 phone calls, all of which were women looking for a certain product and before I could answer their questions all of them were either panicking, yelling at their kids in the background or speaking over me and telling me;

– why they couldn’t get in today because they had to get their kids to camp, the groceries, the dentist appointments…you name it.

– why they didn’t come by on the weekend – too busy, too much to do.

– that they were too busy to call any other time – too busy, too many other calls to make.

– that their family was over for a vacation and they had been too busy taking care of everyone else and forgot about their hairspray

– that they were too stupid to notice they were out of shampoo – yes…a woman with a shaky voice actually said those words to me.

My rep. was in the shop as all these calls were coming in. In between each ring of the phone, I would put my hand up, tell my rep.”Excuse me for a minute” and take a deep breath, in and out, and would tell myself, “Breathe Sara…it’s not about you.”. – a hard learned lesson for yours truly. Learning that it is not all about you may be the hardest lesson to learn – with the greatest reward. This past week was a hard one. Not going to get into the details for it is not all about me. I thought I was present, thought I was hearing what was being said, thought I had removed my head from my ass, seems I hadn’t. It is safe to say that it is now completely removed, and I learned a hard lesson – I may have been listening to those around me, but I wasn’t hearing them. I was too busy thinking of the next task at hand, or what my opinion was about what they were saying. I wasn’t completely present. I wasn’t taking a moment to pause.

“…the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.” – Brooks Hatlen, The Shawshank Redemption. I am not sure when it happened,  all of a sudden every moment became so dire. Everyday I meet women who are in a hurry. In a panic. I can’t tell you how many times their purchases, their keys or their kids are left at the front desk, or how many times I see;

– Sighing at the debit machine because it is too slow.

– Yelling at their child because they want to take a moment and look at the pretty nail polishes.

– Almost yanking their child’s arm out of it’s socket because they stopped to look at the candies in the candy dish and asked if they could please have one.

– Their lip starting to tremble as they are texting with one hand and entering their PIN with the other.

– Watching their worry about getting home in time for their favorite T.V. show.

– Demanding I tell them why their favorite product was discontinued and told “I don’t know why you are doing this to me! What am I going to do?”.

Ladies and gents…it’s time to take a breath. It’s time to take a moment to pause, to rest.

– When the debit machine is slow, take it as permission to take a little break in your day.

– When your child is looking at the pretty nail polishes, look with them. Ask them what they think is the prettiest color.

– When your child spies a candy dish and asks politely if they may have one – do not yank their little arm. Thank them for using their manners.

– When paying for a purchase, put down your phone. If the call cannot wait, ask the cashier if you could have a moment. Trying to do these two things at once, in my experience, in front of the counter and behind it…it never ends well.

– Worried about missing the next episode of The Real Housewives of where ever? – that is what on demand, PVR and Netflix is for.

– We all feel cheated when our favorite products are discontinued. Try to remember that stylists and sales people are only the messenger’s. Tell us what you liked about your beloved product and we may be able to find you a suitable replacement. … and trust me, it may feel personal – the company did not discontinue the product to ruin your life. They didn’t.

Take a breath. Take rest. Pay attention to those around you. Pay attention to your surroundings. Set your PVR and take a look at the pretty polishes. Take the time to really listen…it’s amazing what you will hear.

 

 

0

…it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

You read the title of today’s tale correctly. Yes, I know the calender states it is Sunday, August 1oth. No, I am not one of those people who begin their annual Christmas countdown on December 26th. As you know, I manage a Salon/Retail shop and although the sun is shining and others are making their trek to the beach and planning their strategy to avoid tan lines, your truly is sitting at the shop, planning her retail strategy for the holiday season. If you are a Salon owner or Salon manager, you should be as well. We all know, times flies when you are having fun. Before you know it, it will be November 1st. and your clients will be looking for gift idea’s and will be prepared to buy. Why not be sure they are buying from you.

When it comes to holiday retail, and retail in general, the following seem to be the most popular statements;

“That is a big investment.”.

“I can’t afford a big invoice all at once.”.

“I don’t like those products, so I know my clients won’t either.”.

“Why should I sell it if the other Salons in town sell it?”.

“Why would I spend the money to have something sit on my shelves?”.

For some, the above statements may hold some validity. In my experience, these statements and others are made out of fear and worry – two emotions that can prevent a Salon from the benefit of the additional revenue of retail and all around success.  Before you allow the fear and all the what if’s to creep into your mind, take a breath. Another. Being me, I have compiled a little list, a how to for holiday retail if you will;

– Yes, purchasing for the holiday season is a big investment. A big investment with even bigger rewards. Your salon revenue will increase, which in turn will increase profits and ease the financial strain you may be feeling. Retail sales can cover expenses, can cover payroll, even cover rent and utilities.

– As for the ever present invoice – speak to your Rep., many distributor’s can ship your order in two separate shipments, with two separate invoices. This will ease the financial strain and also helps keep your shelves from  looking cluttered with product. *By the time the second shipment arrives, you will have sold out of your first shipment = no frantic calls to your accountant.

– Only selling/stocking the product you like is a mistake, plain and simple. Thinking for your client/customer is the biggest sales mistake anyone can make. You may not agree that a firm hold hairspray is what your client needs …if your client wants a firm hold – that is what matters.

– It does not matter that other Salons in town may sell what you sell – your client is not at their Salon, they are at your Salon – that is why you need to retail product. If you do not sell to your client, trust me, another Salon will.

– As for the ever present “why would I spend the money to have something sit on my shelves?”. Your clients will be looking to purchase gifts for their loved ones, for their child’s teacher, for their co workers, even for their mailman. Your clients will buy their products from you…if you sell them the products. It really is that simple. Your client is already in your chair or they have driven over to your Salon. Your client likes you and trusts you and your opinion. Your client likes the way their hair feels and looks when they leave your Salon and wants to feel like that everyday, so help them to feel that way until they see you next. Sell them the product you use, and stock the products they like. Trust me, if you don’t do it, some other Salon will…it happens at least five times a week at our shop. I gain a new customer in the shop and many times, our Salon gains a new client.

Planning your retail strategy, not only for the holiday season, but for the whole year is the best gift you could give to your clients, your customers, your stylists and your Salon.