Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat

Holidaze

I know the calendar reads September. For yours truly, it’s read December since about May. My final Christmas orders have been placed, shipping dates have been strategically chosen, requests have been approved to have invoicing split into separate months for larger orders. Plans are being made on how products will be displayed and what shelves will be moved where. The shop’s holiday draws are being planned and packaged. Advertising idea’s are in the works. Parties are being planned.

Today’s tale is for Salon owners, Managers and Stylists. The holiday season is upon us and we are entering crunch time for ensuring that the next few months are as profitable as possible. When planned and executed properly, the potential profits from retail during the October – December months can reach the thousands, even the tens of thousands. Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, it is possible. I know it is possible because I have done it. Think of what that could do for your staff, yourself and your business. I’ll give you a minute to visualize.

Before the panic sets in once you realize it’s October in a few days, take a breath, and another. You still have time to make this your Salon’s best holiday retail season ever. (until next year). For many Salon owners, Managers and Stylists that aren’t used to retailing products, it can seem overwhelming and you may feel like you are in a daze and have no idea how to begin your adventures in Holiday/Christmas retail. Being me, I have compiled a little list for you, a “how to holiday” for your Salon if you will. You’re welcome.

  • Call your Sales Rep’s. They all have copies of their distributor’s Christmas/Holiday flyers containing all the deals available
  • Request an email of all sales and deals available – in case a deal in no longer available or a change needs to be added, it can be done A.S.A.P. from wherever you may be, at any time. As the holiday season approaches, and product availability starts to dwindle – it is first come, first serve.
  • Speak to your Sales Rep. about splitting up larger orders into two shipments, one for October and one November. With two shipments comes two invoices = larger orders aren’t such a hit to your pocket book. *If retailing is done properly, once November’s order arrives, you have sold out of October’s shipment which will now pay for November’s.
  • All distributor’s offer net 30 days for payment. Many will change payment terms to net 60 days – another way to give yourself some breathing room and give you the ability to bring in more product.
  • Ask for samples of products that you can add to all your customer’s and client’s bags. A foil sample of a shampoo or a conditioner goes a long way.
  • Request retail bags with every order. Distributor’s will add them to your order at little or no cost to you. It’s a win/win – your clients and customers get a pretty bag for their purchase and the distributor and your Sales Rep. get free advertising for their products.
  • Offer free gift wrapping with every retail purchase. With the free bags you’ve received from the distributor’s and your Sales Rep., all it will cost is a few dollars of tissue paper and ribbon from the dollar store.
  • Check your reward points! Matrix, Joico and Goldwell/KMS, to name a few, have an excellent rewards program. You can redeem your reward points for free products that you can in turn use as daily/weekly holiday draws. Psstt…you can redeem points for FAB! full size products, curling irons, purses, jewelry and electronics.
  • Get your Salon on Facebook. Keep your page professional – only post new product arrivals, new sales or Salon specials. Post pictures of before and after pictures of your client’s new colour’s and cuts (with their permission). Start a Facebook contest – once a certain amount of likes have been reached, a gift card/gift certificate will be awarded to a lucky Facebook page “liker”. In my personal experience, our shop’s Facebook page has brought in new retail customers and new clients for the salon. Our Facebook page has also introduced me to new community organizations that we have donated to and local businesses that I now cross promote with. Pssst….a Facebook page = free advertising!
  • To keep your shelves looking full, separate some of your holiday packs to use as open stock. Sell them for $1.00 – $1.50 less than suggested retail – your clients/customers get a deal and you make a profit, again, its a win/win. *Many holiday packs come with a complimentary product – do not sell the complimentary product, put it aside to give as a free gift with large purchases, or to brighten someone’s day.
  • Many hand cream’s come with a complimentary tester. Keep the tester at the front counter, right by the register, or while your client’s color is processing -ask her if she likes the scent, then offer for her to try some. 8 out of 10 times, she will be purchasing some on her way out. Again, I know because I see it happen everyday. Yes. Everyday.
Retail is vital for the success of a  Salon. Not only does it add revenue to your Salon, it adds integrity to your Salon’s reputation and adds to every client and customer experience. It adds integrity to your Salon’s reputation because it shows you stand behind and are confident in the products your Salon uses. Selling the product you use on your client ensures that their new color will stay vibrant and that your client can achieve their style on their own. 9 out of 10 times, taking the time to teach your client about the products being used and how to apply them will guarantee the sale. Once you see the rewards to your Salon, your clientele and your customers of adding retail to your Salon during the Holiday/Christmas season, I can guarantee that retail will become a year ’round event.

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Picasso and the Art of the Consultation

Over the past weeks, many women have come into the shop in despair. Sure some of them were fretting over getting the exact shade of red polish that would go perfectly with their holiday attire. The women I am speaking of were the women that had hair styles they couldn’t style on their own or a new cut they couldn’t manage. When I asked them why they chose the style/cut, they all had the same answer, “the stylist told me it would be what was best for me.”. …alright now stylists, before you get all worked up, I know, trust me, that people can tend to over exaggerate  and that wires can be crossed during a conversation. This being said, when a proper consultation has been given, your client will walk out with an agreed upon style/cut and should have the tools and products with them as they leave the Salon, so that they can achieve the same look in between salon visits. Unfortunately, from the looks on the faces of the women I spoke to and by their hair resembling a Picasso, a proper consultation had not happened and the maintenance of their new look had not been explained.

This is a point I cannot stress enough to all educator’s, stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners – the client consultation is a VITAL part of the appointment/Salon visit. I have seen and heard the stylist’s at our Salon spend up to 30 minutes discussing their client’s hair and the look they are hoping to achieve. It’s amazing what you can find out with a simple consultation.

– you may find out that your client is taking medication, which can affect the outcome of the color process.

– you may find out that your client hates how dry her hair is because of all the perms she has had because someone told her that was the only way to get volume at the roots. While offering to add a conditioning treatment to her service this would be a great time to introduce her to a root lift like Big Sexy Root Pump Plus

-you may find out that your client has arthritis, so maybe that straight edge bob that requires a flat iron  everyday may not be the best cut for her.

– you may find out that your client is in the midst of a chemo regime and her hair is more fragile, so maybe a perm isn’t the best option, today.

– you may find out that your client is the caregiver to a loved one who is ill, so she doesn’t have much time to fuss with her hair. Introduce her to a Dry Shampoo, like Quantum’s Refresher Spray. A powder free spray that makes the hair look freshly washed for those days that become too much.

– you may find out that your client has skin sensitivities or allergies, which in turn can help you make sure to use a gentler shampoo and a styling product that has less fragrance. * A great option is KMS Head Remedy Sensitive Shampoo.

– you may find out that your client is recently separated and unsure of herself and her looks, so maybe chopping off her shoulder length hair into a pixie cut may not be her best option, today.

– you may find out that your client has a severe gluten sensitivity, so you need to be careful which products you use. *Alterna Bamboo is a gluten free line

– you may find out that your client’s kids have just gotten over a lice outbreak, a perfect time to teach her about preventive measures, for herself and the kids. * Tea Tree is a natural lice repellent – Paul Mitchell has a lovely Tea Tree line including styling products.

– you may find out that your client has been losing her hair because of illness or stress, and feels that cutting it off is her only option. What a great opportunity to educate her on hair loss and to give her hope and a style that makes her feels beautiful. * NIOXIN – a great product line to stop hair loss in it’s tracks – in my opinion, a must have product for any Salon

A consultation is a great way to find out what styling tools your client already owns, what products they currently use, if your client is capable of achieving the same look at home and the consultation is a great way to add retail to the service. With a proper consultation, you know what your client wants, your client will know what they are getting and how much effort or how little effort will need to be applied to their new style, and you, the stylist, get to feel like Picasso…you have just made someone’s world a little more beautiful.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Help Wanted

Today’s tale is one for all the up and comers in our beloved industry. We are in the business of Beauty. Our customers and clients come to us because they want to look better and in turn feel better about themselves. They look to us for helpful hints and tips on how to care for their hair and to style their new ‘do.

Over the past year I have had many young ladies and gents come through my door asking if I was hiring for the shop or if our Salon would take an apprentice under our wing. For the most part, I had to say no – and not for the reasons you think. I didn’t say no because of lack of business, lack of clientele, lack of budget or because the economy is slow. I had to say no because as I saw it, if they were not able to brush their own hair, how were they able to help our clients and customers with their hair care needs. One young lady still stands out in my mind.

I hear the chirp of the shop’s door chime and look up to see a young woman wearing jogging pants, an over sized jacket, no makeup applied and her hair in a messy ponytail. “I just finished school and I need my hours…do you guys take apprentices?”. It was at this moment I decided that I was gonna change her life.I took a breath, put a smile on my face and crossed my fingers that the demo flat iron beside her would not become air born. I asked her where she went to school and I asked her if part of the curriculum focused on how to apply for a position in a salon. “Not really” she answered. I let her know that we were  not looking for an apprentice at the moment, but I would take her resume. I also asked her if she had a minute to chat. She said yes. I asked her if she loved doing hair or just liked it. “I LOVE IT!” she exclaimed. I told her I was happy to hear it, because it is a lot of hard work and long hours, but if you love it, it’s all worth it. I then asked her if I could give her a few tips. I let her know that our industry is a visual industry, that being said, she must always look like she is ready to cut/color someone’s hair. I let her know that she needs to have her hair done and a little make up applied – even if it’s just lip gloss. I let her know of Salon’s in town that I had heard were looking for apprentices and told her to go home an do the following;

– call the Salon you are interested in and ask to speak to the manager and ask to make an appointment to come and see them. * Shows professionalism and shows you understand their time, as yours, is important.

– have a shower, do your hair and apply a little makeup. You need to look good and smell good. *think about it, would you want to get your hair done by someone who’s hair was not tidy and they smelled like the gym?

– dress appropriately. Put on a nice pair of pants and a nice shirt – preferably black. (black compliments the client – puts the attention on them). *make sure the pants are clean and the shirt is pressed

– bring your tools along. You never know, you may be asked to give a cut so they can see your technique and composure around their clients.

I let her know you only get one chance to make a first impression, and that most people wouldn’t attempt to see past the jogging pants and wouldn’t give her the time of day. I then told her one of my favorite sayings “when you know better, you do better. So now, you will do better”. She laughed. (whew…thank you Maya Angelou and the powers that be that left the flat iron in it’s place).

After she left I found myself thinking about how we are not educating the up and comers. Sure they are learning cutting and coloring techniques, but these alone do not a stylist make. Students need to be taught customer service skills, interpersonal skills, how to communicate with their potential boss and coworker, how to sell retail product to their client sitting in their chair – they need to be told how to dress for their interviews and in turn for their career. Listen, I am a mother of a teenage daughter so I know you cannot guarantee what you have said has been heard nor can you guarantee what you have taught has been learned. What I do know is this; not educating students and giving them all the tools they will need if they choose to get ahead is, well, cruel and setting them up to fail. Plain and simple. Starting out in this industry is hard enough, and brings out it’s own road blocks, emotionally, physically and mentally. How about instead off adding another roadblock we give them the green light.