Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 47. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, this show is a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, roundups of our most recent salon owners marketing tips & tricks, all the latest in and around Phorest and what upcoming webinars you can join. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.
Phorest FM Episode 47
This week on the show, Zoe takes over the hosting duty as Killian is off for the week. As it’s a mid-month blog episode, she will tackle these three topics and conveniently enough – it was planned – they all tie into each other. She’ll discuss iSalon Coach Rochard McCabe’s open letter on the mistake that is to cut corners, then moves on to discuss how to turn a night in watching tv shows into business growth and finally concludes this week’s show by laying out the hard truths of expanding with a second salon/spa location.
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Zoe Belisle-Springer: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 47. I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer, and this week on the show, we’ll discuss building a successful salon or spa, and how there are no shortcuts to doing such a thing; how watching Netflix can help you grow your salon business, and things to consider when thinking about opening a second location. As always, we top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars. This podcast is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off. Now, let’s get into the show.
Monday morning, as you probably have noticed, Killian is not on the show today. Don’t worry, he’ll be back next week. Yeah. I’ll be your main host for the day, I suppose. It’ll be a shorter episode. It is our blog episode anyways, so you’re not going to miss out on anything. Because there’s not going to be much of a conversation, I’m just going to go through the three main blogs that kind of stood out through the last two, three weeks. Since our monthly roundup, essentially. Then, we’ll top off the show with the Phorest Academy webinars.
Before we get into all that, I hope you tuned into last week’s episode with Sam Pearce from the Potting Shed Spa. Sam, on episode 46, was sharing her views on the causes behind the current recruitment crisis in the hair and beauty industry, as well as how businesses and graduating students are affected by it, and how she plans to work on changing this reality with her new training academy. So, if you’re very new to Phorest FM, episode 46, or last week’s episode, is definitely one you should listen to.
Essentially, this week is, like I was saying, our blog episode. Our three main blogs are, first of all, a guest article by Richard McCabe, coach at iSalon Coaching, and he says there are no shortcuts to building a successful salon or spa. I can’t agree more. There are no quick fixes in this industry. There’s no, like he says, fad diets. They just don’t support sustainable real growth.
Actually, not that long ago, our CEO, Ronan Perceval, CEO of Phorest, he was saying that basically, if you want to grow your business, there’s two things, two numbers that you should be thinking about and concentrating on – so your average client bill and the number of clients you get per week. But, I won’t be getting into that today, so I’ll link that article in the episode’s notes.
For those who don’t know Richard McCabe, he’s a highly motivated salon business coach, and he has a proven track record in levels of service to salons. He’s been in the industry for over 25 years. He’s built three salons from scratch in two different countries. He’s really passionate. We’ve actually had him on the show. If you want to go listen to that, that’s episode 39. He was talking about how to build a salon culture and systemise business operations. There’s loads of content there that you should definitely have a listen to because it does tie into the blog he wrote for us this month.
Basically, what he says is that growing your business, he compares it to human growth, so adolescence to maturity. He says it’s a no-brainer, but it has to be done well, and the problem is that many salon owners try to skip the hard work of building proper, successful salon systems and hiring staff that fit their culture. In this blog, basically, it’s a bit of a letter kind of format. I really encourage you to go and read the blog. It’s called, “There Are No Shortcuts To Build a Successful Salon or Spa”.
If I just do a little synopsis of it, take, for instance, staff. When your salon is moving through rapid growth, it can be tempting to skip the hard work, but you shouldn’t. It’s actually not the time to shy away from the things you don’t like, the things are you afraid of doing. There are things sometimes, in life, that you kind of just have to get into and try and just do it. It’s probably going to feel awkward in the beginning. I think about myself when I started the podcast with Killian. We were chatting about it. It was on the table for ages. He kind of just pushed it, and pushed it, and pushed it, and I was like, “Okay, well, fine. I’ll go on, and I’ll be your co-host, but I don’t feel comfortable talking to a microphone, and talking to a public.”
It’s something that I kind of grew into. That’s the thing with growing a business. You’re not going to like every single thing you have to do to grow it, but you have to try and give it your best. If you need help, there’s nothing wrong with getting help from someone else. If you can’t do all of the accounting stuff, that’s fine. Hire an accountant. That’s their job.
The example Rich McCabe gives in this blog, he says take, for instance, staff. Say things get a bit crazy. Clients are arriving by the truckload. You find yourself thinking, “Oh, my god, I cannot wait for my apprentice. I need help right now.” So, you go out, and you qualified staff, you test them out, they’re good at what they do. So, you hire them, and the craziness kind of eases for a while. Things seem to be back under control, but unfortunately, a few months down the road, you realize that the staff member actually is not a good culture fit for your salon. You didn’t see what exactly that person was until the cracks started to appear just a few weeks ago.
The problem is, you know that if you let them go, you’ll be under pressure again, with loads of clients and not enough staff, or anything like that. So, you let it go, and you don’t say anything because it’s easier to keep the peace, right? But is it really? That’s what Rich McCabe is trying to explain in this blog. It’s like, you opened your salon for a reason. If you can’t take care, I suppose, of the core beliefs that made your salon so popular to begin with, and you just keep hiring people just because you’re filling gaps, and you’re trying to solve a problem by creating another problem, in the end it’s not going to work long term. It’s only going to get worse. You have all the clients under control, but you’re putting out fires. That’s not the way to build a sustainable and successful salon or spa.
The truth is, it’s impossible to grow your team at the same rate as your client base. You need to make compromises. Unfortunately, a lot of people will choose money and client option before their team, but Rich is a very strong believer in salon culture. Personally, that’s my opinion as well. I’ve never been so happy working in Phorest. We have an incredible team, an incredible culture. I think that’s what makes it all work, in the end. It’s really about making choices for the long term. Don’t try to solve a problem by creating another one. It’s only going to get worse, and worse, and worse down the road.
I really encourage you to go and read this sort of open letter from Rich McCabe. It’ll make you think about the choices you make for your business. I’d be curious to read any comments that you have on it. If you have any thoughts or even stories you want to share, we’re constantly looking for feedback from you guys, from our listeners. The only way we can improve on our episodes and on our topics is if you engage with us. So, feel free to share your stories, either through our email, <email@example.com>, with perhaps a subject line of Phorest FM. Or, even just leave a comment on this episode.
This brings me on to our second blog that caught most people’s attention. It was a blog by Chris Brennan: ‘How Watching Netflix Can Help You Grow Your Business’. Here’s how you do it. First of all, scheduling your social posts for the week. There’s loads of programs, especially if you’re on… Well, Facebook has the scheduling tool included in Facebook, so instead of just posting, you can just do “schedule post”. You can do that. You can even just create your content calendar on your phone. Say, “Okay, Monday, I’m going to post this on Facebook. I’m going to post this on Instagram.” Even if you just have the basic idea of what you’re going to post, that’s already a good start.
As for Instagram, if you go on Instagram, and you’re about to post a photo, if you decide to go back, it’ll ask you to save the draft. That’s one thing you can do. Then, it’ll save the caption, it’ll save the photo, your filter, everything. Then, when you’re ready to post it during the week, you just log back into Instagram, hit that photo, and there you go. You’re done. Everything’s pre-published.
Second, grow your Twitter and Instagram followers. Very simple. Bear in mind, here, when I’m listing all these things, it’s not something that you have to do all seven during that one-hour episode, your relaxing time. Nah. You can just pick one. If you want to, that one night, take half an hour, during the ads of your show. Grow your Twitter and Instagram followers, for instance. Couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is lie down on the couch, find a competitor’s social media account, and start following their followers, engaging with other accounts. If you don’t know exactly how to find potential clients, that’s one way of doing it.
It works for Twitter as well. The thing with social media is that it’s a conversation. It’s meant to be two ways. If you’re on your business page, and you constantly just post, but you never interact with anyone, you’re not really going to see exponential growth on your account. It is really about engaging, especially on Twitter and on Instagram.
Then, number three, working on your SOP manual. A client journey, in a salon, is essential, and a SOP manual is basically your salon operation procedures manual. We’ve talked about it loads with Valerie Delforge, even just two weeks ago on the podcast. It contains every single procedure, every little thing that ensures that your business’s vision is respected, and applied to any kind of scenario that could potentially happen in your salon, whether you’re there or not.
You could take a few minutes, again, during the ads, to just do it on the couch, revise that. Maybe add a few things. Something that happened this week wasn’t in the SOP manual? Just type it down there. Takes five minutes of your time. Realistically, it’s going to help you further down the road. It’s worth it.
Four, comment on blogs by industry leaders. Again, it’s engaging with your community, engaging with the industry. Don’t harass them, obviously, but show that you’re listening. Show that what they’re saying interests you, and perhaps bring your ideas into play and start a conversation.
Five, creating your to-do list. Personally, I am a big fan of to-do lists, but again, if that’s not kind of your thing, there’s another technique that is called the rule of three. It helps you make more achievable goals. If you’re kind of like me, I tend to put a lot of things on my to-do list, and I can’t really seem to get through it all, at the end of the day. So, the rule of three, basically, what it does is you identify three things that you need to get done over the course of the week, and every day you pick out three goals you’d like to accomplish by the time you go to sleep.
Take five minutes of the ads time, again, and just write down, “Okay, this week, this is what I want to accomplish. One, two, three,” and then, “Okay. Tomorrow, to accomplish, I don’t know, say, thing number one, I’m picking out three goals,” or even just the first three goals to accomplish, a bit of what you want to accomplish during the week. It’s very simple, but it makes it more achievable in the end.
There’s another thing you can do: researching salon software. If you don’t currently use salon software, or you’re feeling like you’re not exactly getting everything you want with your current software provider, you’ve got your phone in your hands, probably, so you can have a browse online, and see if there’s anything else. A different alternative.
Number seven, and the last point of this blog, is read past articles. If you have a magazine subscription, read blogs about the industry. If you enjoy the Phorest blog, for instance, go back and read some other things that we’ve written back in the past. We do release three blogs a week, so Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. If you’re looking for ideas, there’s so many resources out there, whether it be, like I said, the Phorest blog, or even industry magazines online. There’s so many things out there to give you ideas and to help you out. Don’t be afraid to just even have one research a night.
For example, for myself, I personally find it hard to read business books. It’s something I really want to get into. What I’m doing at the moment, and obviously, that’s what works for me, but I wake up in the morning, about an hour earlier than I usually would, and I try to read half a chapter, depending on if it’s a really long one, to a chapter, and take notes on what I’m reading, and think about how I can apply it in my day-to-day life in my personal, and work life. So, it’s really just about finding what works for you in the end. Chilling out on the couch for an hour at night, you’re going to… No one likes ads, but when you’re watching TV, you have to watch them, so might as well make the most of it, and grow your business at the same time.
So once you have that growth, and you’re kind of at the stage where you’re thinking about expanding, you’re thinking about a second location, and it’s a really tempting idea, and then maybe friends, or close family, or maybe your salon manager is telling you, “Yeah, it’s a really good idea. Let’s do this,” hold that thought. Ask yourself a few questions. This was a guest article by Gloria Murray, Accountant and Director at Murray Associates Accountants. Basically, what she says is that a lot of people come to her, and they think, “All right. Should I open a second location, Gloria?” and she says, “Well, no.” She says no because most likely, there’s not enough thought that has gone into it. It involves way more than what meets the eye. It’s easy to get wrapped up, and excited, and not evaluating if your salon is truly ready to expand.
So, there’s five questions that will help you determine this. Now, I am going to go through them, but I really encourage you to go have a look at the Phorest Blog and find this article: “Expanding With A Second Location: Is Your Salon Truly Ready?” Because if you think you are ready to take that step, and you haven’t asked yourself those five questions, it could be a very slippery slope kind of move.
First question: Is it the right time? She explains she had a client who wanted to open a new beauty salon in January, but December was going to be super busy with clients, and she’d had the extra stress of dealing with workmen and making decisions about the work. Then, all of a sudden, “Oh, yeah. I’ll have to pay extra expenses.” Then, the first few months of that new salon is going to be really quiet, so maybe it isn’t the best time to do it. It’s things to consider, like is it the right time, first of all, for your business, but is it the right time in the year, also?
Second: Is your salon running like clockwork? Are there any current problems in your salon? Because if there are, you can be sure that they will be made worse by opening a second location. Say, for instance, she gives this example, if your team isn’t working well together, it’ll only get worse when you’ve got a second location to look after. Your staff in the first location will feel like you’re always spending time in the second location, and vice versa. So, you need to really consider, is my salon running at the best of its capacity? Is there any problems that I need to address before moving on and expanding to a second location?
Number three: Do you know the important numbers in your business? Think about it. If your current salon staff utilisation rate is only 50%, do you think you’re going to make more money by opening a second location? You got to think about these things. You got to know your numbers. You have to have a clear picture of what’s going on currently in your salon, both on paper, in your team. Is there any problems at all, anywhere?
Four: Do you have a plan? It might take you six to nine months to find the dream business space. While you’re looking, get yourself a plan. There’s nothing to stop you from planning ahead, so that when you’re ready to open at the best time for you, when you have the resources, and the staff, and the cash to do it, everything is just ready. You can then just move along smoothly.
Think about it. The fifth one is, do you have a plan B? Usually in life, plan As don’t really work all the time. Certain things will do, of course, but realistically, you’re going to hit roadblocks, things you hadn’t planned, things you hadn’t even thought of. So, because things usually take a little longer than you expect, make sure that you have a plan B. She ends the blog on saying, “So I return the question. Is your salon truly ready for expansion?”
Let us know if you have any stories of expanding into a second location. We’d be happy to get you on the show because this is a topic that we haven’t really discussed much before. If you have any sort of stories at all, any success stories, or any things that went a little wrong, but you got back on your feet somehow, and you want to share that story with us, email us at either <firstname.lastname@example.org> or <email@example.com>. We’d be really happy to share your story on the Phorest FM podcast. So, get in touch with us.
This basically concludes our blog roundup, which means we’re now down to the Phorest Academy webinars. This week we have one tomorrow, and it’s the Salon Growth Series: Get More Bookings And Work Less. Essentially, what we talk about on this hour-long webinar is increasing your salon’s bookings and revenue, eliminating no-shows and last minute cancellations, and getting up to seven hours of your life back a week. That’s a promise.
So, sign up for that. It’s on Tuesday, so tomorrow, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM UK/Ireland time, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM US Eastern time. If you can’t make that one, and you’d prefer, actually, something around staff, we have a brand new, once off webinar with Valerie Delforge on how to manage your staff. What she’ll go through in this webinar is how to create a vision and mission to lead your team. She’ll give you tips and tricks on time management, planning, to keep your staff focused and motivated; how to generate loyalty from your staff, to create a winning team; managing your team to deliver a five star customer journey at all times.
If you don’t know Valerie Delforge, again, she’s a regular guest contributor on the blog. She’s also been on our podcast quite a few times. She’s been in the industry for many, many years now. She’s dedicated her time and passion to the industry, and she’s worked with some of the world’s leading brands. She’s also created Delforge & Co with the vision that anyone can run a successful business. So, if you’re interested in this particular webinar, it is also on at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM UK/Ireland time, or 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM US Eastern time. That’s on Wednesday, this week, this Wednesday, October 18th, 2017.
To save your spot on any of these two webinars, all you have to do is go onto our Phorest Salon Software Facebook page, go to the Event section, find which webinar you want to attend, click into that one, and click ‘Ticket Information’ at the top. It’ll bring you to a registration page. Both of these webinars are free. All you need is, first of all, to save your spot, and you need a computer and a working Internet connection.
This concludes episode 47 of Phorest FM. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on iTunes. On this note, I wish you a wonderful week, and we’ll catch you next Monday.
Thanks for reading!