Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 42. 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 42
We often talk about increasing sales. In fact, our CEO Ronan Perceval even stated in a recent blog post how there were two crucial numbers you needed to focus on as a salon owner if you wanted your business to grow: your average bill and your number of clients per week. In this episode, Killian and Zoe discuss guest contributor Gloria Murray’s blog on how to save money in some key areas of your business. They’ll also touch upon phone etiquette, marketing and pr tips for a brand new salon to look established and will conclude Phorest FM episode 42 by announcing Phorest’s latest eBook, the Salon Owners Email Marketing Gameplan.
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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 42. I’m Killian Vigna.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer.
Killian Vigna: This week’s episode is a roundup of our mid-September posts from the Phorest Salon Software blog.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: In specifics, we’ll discuss How to Save Money In 6 Key Areas of Your Salon or Spa, The 7 Wonders of the Perfect Salon Phone Manner, 5 Ways a Brand New Salon or Spa Can Look Established, followed by the release of our new Phorest Salon Software ebook. As always, we top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars.
Killian Vigna: 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. Last week, we had Lilac Miller on the show…
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and it was-
Killian Vigna: For our #30Days2Grow.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. It was very insightful, in terms of how the campaign impacted her salon, yeah.
Killian Vigna: Yeah. It was good to see, like you said, how it helped her salon and her staff, but also, we learned a good bit about it as well, because-
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh definitely. Yeah.
Killian Vigna: …we learned how to, I suppose, make the campaign more accessible for anyone else that wants to try it throughout the year, or for next year, if we do it again. So, like we said, this was our first time to do the campaign. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t know what you guys would enjoy, what parts of it you’d like and didn’t like, and yes, it was just good feedback overall for both of us.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Exactly. This week, it leads us to our blog episode, our mid-month blog episode. Our first article that kind of stood out was the guest blog by Gloria Murray on how to save money in six key areas of your salon. She says it straight at the top, she’s like, “This is a strange one for me, because…” Well, she is all about increasing sales, to begin with, but-
Killian Vigna: I was just thinking that, because we’re always talking about how to increase your average revenue, and stuff like that, and there we’re telling you how to save money.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. But, I mean, do you remember in the #30Days2Grow campaign, when Ellen Kavanagh was saying there is something that you can cut, in terms of costs, that you don’t realize, because you’ve just been paying them for years, and you just forget that you’re doing it.
Killian Vigna: Well, it becomes routine. It becomes a habit. But people also think that they’ve built such a relationship with the provider at the time that they just couldn’t go back and ask. Realistically, they’re all increasing their average bill, so go. Find out.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: You can just go and ask around for quotes, and stuff like that.
Killian Vigna: And if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. So, yeah. She came up with six key areas, the first one being banking. Have a look at how much your bank charges you because it’s easier than ever to change business bank account now. If you are getting great service, but they’re also charging you loads, then you can have that great service somewhere else, where they’re charging you less. Why not make that switch?
Killian Vigna: Not only in a business sense, I just noticed my bank is charging me more for my quarterly fee, so I might have to go and check that out myself.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. The second point was the merchant service provider. If you take credit cards and things like that, you might be getting charged monthly for both the card machine and every client transaction. There’s, again, many alternatives out there, and you just kind of need to go around, get some quotes, see what is best for you in terms of good value and good service.
Killian Vigna: Yeah.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then, stock. It’s easy to end up with loads of stock, but at the end, it does tie up your money, and you could be using it for something else. So, just having a really good understanding of all your profit and loss, knowing your numbers, knowing what you can and can’t afford, in terms of having stock just laying there in your salon.
Killian Vigna: And I see here, she actually has a link to her Facebook page, which is Knowing Your Numbers. It’s a Facebook group, closed group, but I’m pretty sure anyone can join. Just click ‘Join’.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, there’s the link on the blog, and she invites anyone that wants more info on it, anyways, to join there for free.
Killian Vigna: Yeah, so check that out. Then, we’ve got-
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Product usage.
Killian Vigna: …a few more. This is an interesting one.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, she says, basically, that if you are just using, say, a tiny little bit of product on your client’s hair, for instance, when you’re washing it-
Killian Vigna: If you’re skimping.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Going to end up redoing your job, hence reusing that product, so might as well just use the right quantity straight from the beginning.
Killian Vigna: Yeah, and like you were saying, that’s almost as similar as using cheap product, because you’re using minimal of the product.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.
Killian Vigna: So, if you’re using expensive product, just use the right amount.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then, no shows. We’ve discussed that on the blog before, as well. No shows will really impact your figures overall in your business.
Killian Vigna: Think about it. Someone has booked an hour out. They haven’t paid a deposit or anything like that on it, and then they don’t turn up. You’re at loss. For anyone that’s a Phorest Salon Software client, you can easily check that out. What is it? Manager Reports, No Shows and Cancellations? You can generate that. Just keep an eye on your no show reports there. Make sure it’s not costing you, because you are entitled, especially if someone books online, you are entitled to charge them the full fee if they don’t turn up.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly.
Killian Vigna: Just be aware of that.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Given you have that policy in place, obviously.
Killian Vigna: Yeah.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then, final point, vouchers. She says many accountants wouldn’t necessarily know how your vouchers work, so it’s important that you explain everything that has to do with your vouchers, especially in terms of VAT, because the way she’s explaining it here, there’s no VAT on say, for instance, the Phorest Salon Software vouchers until they are redeemed. So, they shouldn’t be part of your sales figures until someone has their service, but many accountants wouldn’t understand this, and it could save you loads of VAT throughout the year, and tax at your year end.
Killian Vigna: So, basically, just because I’ve bought a 50, or a gift card, or a gift voucher off you, that doesn’t mean the VAT should come on that. I have to actually redeem that card.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. Yeah.
Killian Vigna: Okay.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So, those are six key areas in your salon that you could cut down on certain costs without, obviously, hurting your business or hurting the running of your business, and your staff as well.
Killian Vigna: Or, more importantly, affecting your clients.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Exactly, yeah.
Killian Vigna: That brings us onto the 7 Wonders of the Perfect Salon Phone Manner.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.
Killian Vigna: I find this one very interesting, because I’ve actually just spent the last week sitting in amongst a training team, and yeah, there’s-
Zoe Belisle-Springer: What have you learned?
Killian Vigna: What have I learned? I don’t think it’s actually on this blog, but there is one key area where I’ve noticed a lot of salon owners … So, when the trainers ring, a salon owner will answer the phone, and they either won’t mention their salon name… Now, that’s just… Obviously, I know who you are, because I’m ringing you, but it’s just in terms of branding, again, marketing, stuff like that. Mention who your salon’s name is. Always say what your name is. If I answer the phone, a lot of them are just, “Hello?” I’m like, “Hi. Who am I talking to?”, nearly So, “Hi. This is Killian’s Salon. This is Killian speaking. How may I help you?”
Then, the second one that is quite frustrating is to say, “Hello, do you mind holding?” Now, that’s no problem at all if I’m only holding for ten seconds, but I had one of the trainers there, two days ago, they were on hold for ten minutes. For ten minutes.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Without ever getting a little-
Killian Vigna: Nothing.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: …“Oh, we’ll be back in two seconds. Thanks for your patience.”
Killian Vigna: Nothing. I could not believe this, because the trainer was talking away to me, and it kind of dawned on me. It’s like, “Are you on the phone?” They’re like, “Yeah. I’ve been on hold for ten minutes now.” But that salon owner didn’t realize that that was a trainer. That could’ve been a customer.
So, just that little thing could be, “Hi. Killian’s Salon here. This is Killian speaking. I’m sorry, I’m very busy at the moment, but can I just take your number down, and I’ll give you a call back as soon as possible?” We completely understand you’re busy. This isn’t the issue. Your clients know you’re busy. That’s why they’re coming to you, because you’re in demand.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.
Killian Vigna: Just a simple, “Can I take your name and number, and I’ll contact you as soon as possible?”
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.
Killian Vigna: Just do not leave on hold for any longer than ten seconds. Sorry, Zoe, yeah.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, no, I mean-
Killian Vigna: Just to jump back into yours.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s really interesting, and it does tie in back to this, because one of the points of these seven rules of salon phone manner is, in fact, to get all of your client’s details. That’s why we move around from different departments, to get feedback from all sorts of places.
Killian Vigna: We work in marketing, but we try and see every area of our business to see every area of our business affects your business or helps your business.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. In those seven rules that are on the blog… I won’t go through all of them, because they’re pretty self explanatory anyways, and if you want more information you can definitely go onto the blog and read it yourself. But, smile and breathe, because it does make a huge difference. I remember when we had Chrissy, our intern on the marketing team, and she was recording some blogs for us, and the first one she did, she felt kind of awkward during it, and the first thing I told her was, “Go back down, and the next one you record, smile, like you’re smiling to someone. There’s no one in the room, but just smile, because it will impact your voice.” She instantly saw the difference. It’s mad, but it does work.
Killian Vigna: Even going back to our first few episodes, I know sometimes I still get excited, and talk really fast, and stuff like that, but the first few episodes, you could hear us literally running out of breath, because we were forgetting to breathe. We were just like… We were nervous.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Yeah.
Killian Vigna: That’s it, or you’re busy, and yeah. At the end of the day, take a deep breath, smile, and that smiles comes through. It comes through the phone.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh, it absolutely does. The other thing that will really make an impact is using your client’s name in your conversation. “Hi, Mary. Oh, yes, would you like to get that blow dry again, Mary?”
Killian Vigna: Well, their name is the sweetest thing to anyone’s ears.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.
Killian Vigna: It’s like no matter how zoned out or dazed out I am, the minute someone says, “Killian,” I’ll perk up. “What? What? What?”
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. It’s funny, because I was actually watching a thing this week, completely irrelevant to the salon industry, but the guy was a salesman for a caps company, New Era, and he was saying, “The one thing that I do-“
Killian Vigna: When you say caps, you’re talking about hats.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Hats.
Killian Vigna: Okay. Yeah.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, the one thing he was saying was, “The one thing I do on the phone, every single time, that makes an impact, and guarantees me a call back is that I use that person’s name all the time.”
Killian Vigna: Always.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. It is really across any kind of industry, and it’s really fascinating how that works so well.
Killian Vigna: On a side note, if you use their name straightaway, it’s harder for you to forget their name.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. The other thing here, being consistent with your face-to-face manner. If you’re bubbly and sparkly on the phone, and then, say, I come into your salon and you’re completely different, there’s a discrepancy there, and it will show, and it will impact me, in terms of my impressions of the overall salon.
Killian Vigna: If I’m talking to Mary on the phone, she’s bright and bubbly, I walk into the salon and I meet Mary, I don’t realise and she’s not as happy anymore, I’m thinking, “Where’s Mary? Where’s the lovely lady I was talking to on the phone?”
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Exactly. Now, the other thing that come down into this blog is basically understanding when angry clients call you, understanding why they’re angry and where they’re coming from. They’re probably not angry at you. They’re probably angry at a situation. If you listen to them, and make them feel like you understand them, it will calm them down, or at least… So, there’s a few down there, other than that. Understanding styles and treatments, I mean, if everyone’s busy-
Killian Vigna: Straightforward.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. You need to be able to answer a few questions. Getting the client seated. We were chatting about that earlier. Most importantly, don’t take things personally. Again, when people feel like they need to be angry to get a point across, it’s not personal. They don’t know you, necessarily.
Killian Vigna: Yeah.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, yeah.
Killian Vigna: Anything could’ve happened to them that day.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Exactly. You don’t know. Yeah. When you walk down the street, anyone could have the worst day of their life, and you wouldn’t even know it, so it’s the same on the phone. You don’t even have their face to be able to read that.
Killian Vigna: Yeah. Exactly.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Next up, 5 Ways a Brand New Salon Can Look Established.
Killian Vigna: This is a good one, because we’ve been getting a lot of these questions lately.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Thank you. Thank you. I love that one.
Killian Vigna: This is the only one you’ve wrote, is it?
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Of the three that were published and made the cut here, yeah!
Killian Vigna: I’d actually listed first. Yeah.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.
Killian Vigna: So, finally, we have one from Zoe. No, we have been getting this question a lot lately, of how to make a new salon look attractive, because we’re all about client retention, but now people are going… We’re getting new salons coming onboard, as in brand new salons.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. When you’re about to open your doors, you’ve done all your market research, you know that this is what you’re going to do… have you defined your brand identity? Do you have a mission statement? Do you have a logo design? Do you have a visual identity that you’ll use on social media, or colors to represent you? Do you have a motto to keep you focused? Another really important point that Valerie Delforge wrote about was the SOP manual, your policies.
Killian Vigna: Your salon owner’s procedures manual.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. Yeah. All of that’s really, really important, and will make you seem established to an outsider’s point of view. Now, the other thing; websites, social media channels, get them up and running before you open. If your website is still in construction, it doesn’t really appeal to someone.
Killian Vigna: Remember Louis [Grenier] was saying back, identify the channels that work for you, like your website.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Try one, for instance.
Killian Vigna: Yeah. Make sure your website has the whole… Do not have your website as being built. Make sure it is up and running. For your social media channels, it’s not quite the same. Get those handled.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: You can pick one, say, Facebook, or Instagram to begin with, and then make sure that that one is fully built and laid out, all your information about your business is there, and then you can build on that after.
Killian Vigna: You don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to be where your clients or your customers are going to be.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Next up, Claiming Your Business Online.
Killian Vigna: Very important.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: [crosstalk 00:14:04] business, Yelp. That will help with your online reputation. The sooner you get onto it, the better.
Killian Vigna: Yeah, because if you’re new, and someone Googles, they’re not going to Google your salon name, because they don’t know who you are. They’re just going to Google-
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Say, “salon Dublin.”
Killian Vigna: …”salon Dublin,” and any salon that has claimed the business page in that area will pop up, so you have a much better chance at being found without anyone knowing your name.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: What I also suggest is getting reviews, say, for instance, if you have a soft launch. A soft launch would be, I don’t know, say, having a VIP event, or just an opening night event kind of vibe, and you have a few clients in, you have just a very few services that you provide on that first day. Ask these people that have come in for a review, because when you will officially be opened, then you will at least have a few reviews giving you that credibility, that you’re not just new and nobody knows you. Some people have been there and got services done.
Killian Vigna: Yeah, because like we said, Google, it’ll just show all the salons in that area. It’s the very same with Yelp, as well. I know Yelp is a lot bigger in America, but… Not bigger than Google, but it’s bigger in America than Ireland and the UK. The whole idea is it shows salons in your area, so if you have reviews, you’re looking better than the other ones in your area. It’s not ranking them, it’s just showing you who has more reviews near you, because it’ll always show your competitors if they’re in your area too, so you need to get those reviews in.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Following up on that soft launch idea, another cool thing that you could do is partner up with a local business, an already established local business, because say, for instance, I don’t know, you partner up with a local café or something, and on that launch night, or soft launch night, you have a few treats to eat, you have coffee, or whatever, well, at least you have that brand name that’s supporting you in your event.
Killian Vigna: You could have your coffee supplied by the local barista, and they’re entitled to have their name in your salon, just at their little desk. The flowers, they’re coming from your local florist. It’s cross promotion. It works.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Exactly.
Killian Vigna: It does work.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Especially when you’re very, very new, it’s sometimes easier to leverage their name to get you off the ground, literally.
Killian Vigna: Exactly. Yeah. Cool. That’s actually that blog wrapped up. Well done, Zoe. Good blog.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Thank you very much. Now, on to your honours, the email marketing ebook. Our brand new ebook.
Killian Vigna: Yeah. It’s the latest Phorest Salon Software ebook. Now, we say Phorest Salon Software ebook, it’s just written by us. It’s for everyone. It’s just all about the benefits of email. What do we talk about? It’s a 34-page guide. Sounds serious, but it’s mostly graphical because I don’t like words. Highlight the benefits of email marketing for your salon. It identifies the anatomy of a successful email campaign. Now, when we say the anatomy, how to structure your email. It doesn’t have to be these big, long, massive newsletters, or these big, visual pages, or anything like that.
It identifies different styles. Your automated emails that are kind of like your reminders, your confirmations. Your marketing emails. You don’t need tons of images, because not everyone’s email box will support images, so sometimes just the bare bones, like-
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Phil Jackson, on episode 26, was talking about that.
Killian Vigna: Exactly. Sometimes just text works. Then we go to learn how to structure and create an email campaign. Then, at the end of the book, for anyone who is a Phorest Salon Software client, we’ll show you how to activate the free monthly email templates that you get. There’s newsletter templates there, there’s occasional, like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, even gift card launches. If you’ve got online booking, there’s an email template for that. If you have the salon branded app, there’s an email launch of that. So, yeah. It’s all there.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: You pretty much cover everything.
Killian Vigna: Pretty much covered it all, yeah. Like I said, even if you’re not a client, you can still take that template and just rewrite it yourself.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. It’s available for free. If you go onto the Phorest blog and search for “email marketing ebook,” you’ll find the blog straight away. You just click on ‘Download Your Copy Here’, and it’ll bring you to a landing page. Fill in your details, and download the ebook.
Killian Vigna: Cool. Then, to close the show off, we have our webinar section.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes.
Killian Vigna: What have we got, Zoe?
Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, the next one… We don’t have one this week. The next one will be on September 18th, and that’s the Salon Instagram Masterclass. It’s led by Chris Brennan, and it’s an hour-long master class, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, UK/Ireland time, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, US Eastern time. We’ll chat about it more anyways next week. Yeah.
Killian Vigna: Cool. Then, for Phorest Salon Software clients, our next webinar is Tuesday, September the 19th, which is 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Irish/UK time, or 10:00 AM US Eastern time. What we cover there is we’re identifying your highest converting strategy. What si the best marketing strategy you can use that will get you up to 22 times your marketing investment back. You can sign up for both of those through the Facebook event page, as always.
Yeah, so that’s the show wrapped up in a nutshell. Did you enjoy the show? Did you enjoy those blogs? Were they on par with what you want to hear? Let us know. Give us feedback.
Zoe Belisle-Springer: You can leave a review on iTunes, or even just comment on whichever post that you see on social media about Phorest FM. If we can get anyone on the show for you, we will. On this note, we wish you a wonderful week, and we’ll catch you next Monday.
Killian Vigna: All the best.
Thanks for reading!