Phorest FM Episode 127: July Monthly Round-Up

Did you miss an episode this month? Catch up on everything that's happened in July with Killian and Zoe's round-up. On the agenda: a look into the new Salon Branded Apps with Phorest Product Manager Enda Glacken, upcoming webinars you can join and snippets from previous interviews with David Linde & Gayle Fulbright, Rachel Ringwood and Billy Rickman.


Enda Glacken

Enda Glacken is a Product Manager at Phorest, responsible for developing and improving our branded booking apps for salons. He was previously the frontend designer and developer of Channelship and a senior UI Developer at Bamboo Digital.

Enda has a passion for building tools to help salon owners supercharge their marketing. He has spoken at various industry events, including the Scottish Hair & Beauty Show and the Data Driven Salon Summit in Atlanta, where he gave tips on how to take your salon marketing to the next level. Enda has also written for the Sunday Business Post on getting the most out of Twitter for small businesses.


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 127. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. It’s that time of the month again, where you can catch up on anything you’ve missed recently. We’ll discuss some of the latest Phorest FM episodes, product updates, webinars and events coming up soon and of course everything else in between.

Killian Vigna: So grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs. Good morning, Zoe.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good morning, Killian!

Killian Vigna: So that time of the month, books. Have we…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’ve finished one! You know how I was saying I was trying to finish “Turn The Ship Around”? It wasn’t that hard to read, but I was just like trying to get back into my routine after coming back from travels and stuff.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it’s only a small little book. It’s a nice read, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah! What I do, I don’t know if anyone relates to this, but I have a little morning ritual. I wake up in the morning about 6:00, 6:30 usually. I open up a book, I read a chapter or two, or three depending and then I do a bit of meditation, and a bit of yoga. Then I start my day off. But, I hadn’t picked up a book in about a week and a half after I came back from holidays and stuff. Just a bit hard to get back into a routine after that.

Killian Vigna: Yeah and also it’s just really hard to set some time aside to sit down and read a book. I was actually reading a blog recently on how to speed read and stuff and they were saying you only need to do a few pages, or 15 minutes or whatever in the evening, you don’t need to physically sit down and read a full book but I suppose I’m just kind of lazy and I prefer the audio and blogs options. But come on, let’s get straight back into this book. So you finished it, how did you get on with it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I actually really, really enjoyed it and I don’t know if you remember when I first started it, I was like, “I’m usually not into like war and navy stuff and all that.” This is probably one of my favourite business books. So it’s all about intent-based leadership, you know this obviously, but for anyone listening, it was published in 2013, it’s actually a true story of turning followers into leaders.

It was written by now-retired US navy captain, L. David Marquet. He actually has a website as well, where you can get leadership nudges. So you get videos through emails. I think it’s every week or something, once a week, something like that. It’s just like a quick little tip video and a few questions, like food for thought kind of thing, on how you can implement intent-based leadership in your own business.

Killian Vigna: He seems to be quite active on Twitter too because he retweeted one of your posts.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: He did, yeah! I was really surprised by that. I’m no-one on Twitter, really. But yeah, he did. Yeah, there’s like three big lessons in the book. So the idea was obviously it’s a submarine, right? So everything has to be really tight and has to function well.

Killian Vigna: A nuclear submarine.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, on top of that! Right?! Everything has to be, I suppose, managed with control and you can’t fail. You really can’t. So the three main lessons in there, there was one about control, one about competence and the third one was about clarity. The second two, so competence and clarity are pillars for control. His idea, when he took on the submarine he took on, it was one of the worst-performing submarines, and he had tried an experiment with a previous submarine team on intent-based leadership. It kind of failed. He didn’t push through it all that much but this time around he really, really had the support from his managers and leaders to run with the experiment.

Killian Vigna: But he wasn’t just given the opportunity to go and do this or the support, he was still on a really… I suppose a tight ship. He was still on a tight deadline to do this.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Because they had to deploy.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, yeah, this was a completely new experiment, and he was testing something new.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Testing something new in the kind of industry where everything is just done because it’s done this way for the past, I don’t know, 40, 50 years.

Killian Vigna: And the chain of command becomes quite relevant to just how annoying it is to get change done.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So in the first lesson he talked about control, so deconstructing decision authority, push it down where the information lived. So for instance, let’s relate it to the salon and spa industry, so if you’re looking at your holiday rosters. If you’re the one as the salon owner doing this and you’re doing it for your managers, but also the people that they manage, why not give that responsibility to your manager, for them to manage the holidays of the people that they manage. It just makes more sense. That’s where the information lives. So that’s one thing obviously, but there’s loads of mechanisms he explains, for control to allow this to happen in your business.

It’s not easy and obviously he relates every experience to what happened on the submarine, but you can easily… He images it a lot so you can easily relate that to your own organisation, which is why I think the book is so interesting.

Like I said, the favourite things in that lesson for me were to have short and early conversations on anything because that makes efficient work. So, if you’re working on a project, for instance, and I relate to this a lot because obviously, I create content, and so do you Killian. If you start a project, and you think you’re going in the right direction and your manager says, “Right, well you run with it.” And in a month’s time, you’ve done all this work, but you realise that yourself and the manager aren’t aligned on what you thought that project was going to be. Now you have a full month’s work that’s already done. It’s kind of hard to backtrack and redo the whole thing, so you have very, very little opportunity to change track. Whereas if you have short and early conversations on everything, it’s super easy to adjust and reiterate whatever has to be reiterated.

Killian Vigna: Couldn’t agree more, because with me it’s creating the training content, even just doing a week’s worth of work… If I’ve gone in the wrong direction of what my team have assumed, it’s a weeks worth of work absolutely wasted. So now we set up regular reviews and we’re not talking like it’s a meeting to sit down and go through everything. It’s literally a 15-minute chat. We power through and it’s like, “Right, looks like it’s all on the right track. Keep going.” So it’s like top-level reviewing.

That kind of comes back to what my favourite bit on the lesson one control that you’re talking about there, is something as simple as changing the language of how people… I suppose like that mind shift or their mindset to instead of, “Can I,” or “Will I,” it’s “I intend to.”

It’s like instead of asking your team leader or your manager, “Can you do X, Y, and Z?” It’s instilling enough confidence in them that they’ll turn around and say, “I intend to,” or, “I’m going to do X, Y, and Z.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, 100% but for that to happen, and that’s what the two other big sections of the book look at, you need competence. So to make sure that people are actually technically competent to make the decisions that they’re making and also clarity, so that everyone in the salon, or your organisation clearly and completely understands what your organisation is about and what it stands for. When you have both of those things, that’s when you can delegate more control to other people in your team.

Some of my favourite things in each of those two lessons, the first one around competence was the statement… the creed for the ship. It’s just like a series of questions. What do we do? Why do we do this? How do we serve the navy? It just highlights the whole philosophy of the ship and the team and why they’re doing what they’re doing in a way that it could be shared around to top-level navy officers. It could be shared around to people coming in and applying to be on the crew or whatever and everybody has a really clear understanding of what they’re doing and why.

Killian Vigna: It’s keeping everyone on the same journey.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, 100%.

Killian Vigna: It goes with our values. It’s like every time we want to implement something new or make a change, we have to refer back to our values and go, is this what we stand for? Is this aligned with that?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s funny you say that because this book is one of the Rob-

Killian Vigna: Head of Operations.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, Head of Operations. We had him on the show with Ronan around December, late December. It’s one of his favourite books, and I think it does resonate quite a bit with what we do in Phorest. You know how I said there were two things that I took from those two lessons? The other thing was to achieve excellence; don’t just avoid mistakes or errors. It’s so easy when you have procedures in place and-

Killian Vigna: Clarity.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, clarity, but it’s just so easy when you have those procedures to go on autopilot and try to avoid any errors. Then when that’s your focus in your head or your team’s focus in their head to avoid like, “Oh, I won’t do this because I don’t want to possibly make a mistake here.” You are never going to reach excellence because you’re not evaluating what you could do better. You’re just trying to go through the day and exactly that, avoid any error.

Killian Vigna: I suppose people are so afraid of failure that when failure happens, they end up beating themselves up and that’s a situation they don’t want to go through. Which is funny because I was actually talking to someone from our engineering department about a blog that was put up recently about… It’s not so much about the failure, but it’s how you react to that failure. What are you going to do from there on? How do you prevent that from happening the next time? Or what have you learned from it? How did your team deal with that there and then? Did everyone start beating each other up, or blaming each other, or passing the book or did you all gel together and find a solution?

I think it’s time we probably moved away from the book because we’ve covered so much of it now that people probably think they don’t need to get the book anymore, but I would still recommend they do. I was at you for ages to read that book!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I know, I know!

Phorest’s Salon Branded Apps get a complete redesign [10:17]

Killian Vigna: So the next stage of this episode, we’re going to talk about our latest feature or product development. As our newest feature’s more than just a feature, it’s nearly a whole product in itself, we’ve decided to bring in one of our product managers here at Phorest, Enda Glacken, to discuss the latest feature or product. So welcome to the show, Enda!

Enda Glacken: Thanks, Killian.

Killian Vigna: It’s your first time on Phorest FM, isn’t it?

Enda Glacken: It’s my first time, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. We were talking there earlier about how you need to get your headshot, and how we have to jazz this all up for Instagram, get a little bio going for you. The first of many for you!

Enda Glacken: Absolutely! Well, finally, I was waiting for the invitation for months.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We get that a lot! So Enda, what do you have for us today? First and foremost, for our listeners that don’t yet necessarily have the Branded App or aren’t Phorest clients, what are we talking about here?

Enda Glacken: Yeah, the Salon Branded App is an app that sits on your clients’ phone. So it could be an Android, could be Apple, and it is customised to look like it’s from your salon. They sit on your clients’ phones and allows them to make a booking in your salon very easily. It has a few other features, such as you can view their staff, you can view their profiles, and you can look at your appointment history — little add-ons like that. The main thing is it allows your clients to book in with your salon easily.

Killian Vigna: Enda, we’re talking about the Salon Branded App, but we’ve had the Salon Branded App for quite a few years. So why are we discussing it today?

Enda Glacken: Sure. So we’re just about to relaunch the new Salon Branded App, and the reason we are relaunching it is that it’s about four years old at this point. So it’s a little bit outdated maybe, design-wise. We wanted to refresh it, look at areas we could improve on and release something a little bit more cutting-edge and up to standards.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So you know how Phorest is always keen to get feedback from clients – like we have the UserVoice section on the Phorest product. What does the redesign, or the feature design process look like for the app? Is it the same kind of idea? Did you go and visit clients or did you guys lock yourself in a room and just come up with the best design?

Enda Glacken: Yeah, it’s really interesting actually. So the main thing is to talk to clients as much as possible for feedback. What we did was we looked on User Voice, we saw what the common issues that our clients, salon owners, were reporting about the apps and were taking that into account. Then we’d mock some new designs up, and then we would visit salons and get some feedback on those new designs. Sometimes we’d miss, where the salon owner would say, “Well, that’s not actually going to solve it.” We’d go back, and we’d iterate and iterate, and we’d try and get it right. Then we’d continually kind of improve on designs with feedback from salon owners.

That’s more or less in terms of getting feedback, but another part of that is using data. We have access to the data on the current apps so we could dig in and find some insights to use in the new design process. One example that jumps to mind is with the new calendar. So when a client is booking in on the app, and they go to their calendar, we know with the data that 55% of them book in the next seven days. With the calendar, this means that we could prioritise showing a week view over a month view. So that’s an example of using data in design for the new Salon Branded Apps.

Killian Vigna: So it’s essentially monitoring how people use it now, and adapting to that.

Enda Glacken: Yeah, that’s right. You want to be continuously looking at how people are using the apps and catering to that use in the new designs. You’re optimising.

Killian Vigna: I think one really interesting example of how you did the feedback that stood out was, didn’t someone from our data team and our design team literally walk out onto a street to get feedback?

Enda Glacken: They did, that’s correct. So our Designer, Rich and our UX Researcher Verna, they took some mockups and instead of going to salon owners, we went to end-users. In other words, trying to get regular people who would use salon on apps out on the streets and they went down to the boardwalk in Dublin, and they just approached random people, I think about ten people and asked them for their feedback on mockups. Surprisingly, it got a very good reception, and people were more than happy to give us great feedback. So it’s another tool in the arsenal for design feedback.

Killian Vigna: Guerilla feedback they called it.

Enda Glacken: Absolutely. Yeah, guerilla feedback. So basically the Salon Branded Apps are interesting because you need to get feedback from salon owners and salon staff, and then you also need to get feedback from the salon end users. Another example of this, is when we went to visit a salon in Dublin. We were able to talk with the salon staff and owner, but also bring the app mockup to people sitting in the stylist’s chairs. While they were getting their hair done, we were able to get their feedback on the new design. So that was killing two birds with one stone, and we’re able to get both sides of the fence in terms of feedback. Very, very useful.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Very useful, indeed. So what changes can we see in the new app compared to the old one? I know the Phorest product in whole is moving more toward web-based, and we can launch new features way faster. Is this going to be the same kind of idea with the app?

Enda Glacken: Absolutely. So there are two major changes: design and development. For development, we’ve chosen a brand new tech stack called React Native, and this will allow us to release features much, much quicker and much, much easier. That was the first priority. The second priority is a redesign where, as we mentioned before, we would look to improve and learn from the existing apps and apply that to a new app. So the main focus for these new Salon Branded Apps was to get the same kind of features on the existing apps, on a new design, new technology. Then from the launch of the new apps, we’ll be able to release features much, much faster and much, much better than before.

Killian Vigna: So other than design layout features, stuff like those, does this integrate with Phorest at all or is it a standalone product?

Enda Glacken: One of the common pieces of feedback we got from salon owners was that they’d like to have a little bit more control over the apps. On top of that, when they did request any changes, there was a little bit of a process involved. So what we’ve done is tried to make this as easy as possible and integrated the new apps into Phorest itself. There will be an app section in the Phorest software where a salon owner or manager can go in and change the branding or styling of the app, and we look to build a lot more into that section.

Killian Vigna: The salon owners will have more control over how their app will look and feel essentially?

Enda Glacken: Absolutely.

Killian Vigna: The same with image libraries. Is that pretty straight forward then to upload?

Enda Glacken: Absolutely. So you can upload an image, and it will update immediately on the apps. You can change your colour. One thing we’re looking to release in the coming months is a choice of themes or brands, where you’ll go into the app section and be able to change the layout or theme of your app. So you’ll have huge control over how it looks and feels.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Obviously, that’s a massive benefit of using the Salon Branded App. If you had to convince a salon owner of the importance of getting an app for their clients, what would you say would be the three main things?

Enda Glacken: First one by far is just having branded real estate on your clients’ phone. That’s your salon icon and your salon branding right there on your clients’ phones is just invaluable. That’s the number one for me. The second one is the clients can easily make a booking or rebook a previous appointment with three taps. That’s incredible, incredibly easy to book back into your salon. The last one is it allows you to bring a sense of the salon branding experience into your clients’ daily lives. You can bring to life your staff, update their staff bios and images, notify them of special offers, these kinds of value-adds. I think those probably are the top three.

Killian Vigna: I think, while it has loads of cool features and it’s integrated with Phorest, I have to agree with you. If you go to book flights, you probably have Skyscanner, or for getting food, you usually use UberEats or JustEat. Taxis, My Taxi, which is now Free Now. It’s that kind of association where you just… I want to get my hair done, or I want to get my tan, and the app is there front and centre.

Enda Glacken: It’s very important for salons to have branding and control their brand, and you can’t get better than… Everyone is on smartphones these days and to have a piece of real estate on some of your clients’ phones is huge. It’s absolutely huge.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Enda, thanks so much for taking the time to walk us through this. When can Phorest users see this released? Do you have any dates just yet?

Enda Glacken: Yeah, absolutely. At the moment, the whole team is focused on getting this into our salon owners’ hands. So we’re busy preparing for the rollout. We’ll be rolling out from August and September. So over the coming months, you should have the new app. You’ll get a notification that we’ve updated your app, and we’ll probably provide you with some materials so you can promote the app on your social media or email.

Killian Vigna: Great stuff. Well, listen, thanks so much for joining us on the show and can’t wait to hear about new developments you have in a couple of months.

Enda Glacken: Thanks, guys.

Throwback to some of the latest Phorest FM episodes [20:40]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You guys are used to this. Our next segment is all about the previous Phorest FM episodes – the episodes that have aired in July. This time around we have more than usual because July had five Mondays instead of just four.

Killian Vigna: So I suppose just on that note then, do you want to kick it off with the first episode we had this one Zoe?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Sure, so the first episode we aired was with a guest that we had on the show back in January, David Linde and also Gayle Fulbright, both from Headlines, The Salon in California. They were talking about online reputation management and playing nice with Yelp.

The subject came from the talk that they had done at Data Driven in Atlanta recently, and the episode really highlights their experiences with online rep, outlines tips on how to attract new clients, but also getting existing clients to leave more reviews. To give you a bit of a taster for the episode, we’ll play a few snippets here.

Gayle Fulbright: “Responding to bad reviews and turning them around is kind of like a game for me. If you really listen to what they’re saying and you can make a positive change in your business and then have them come back and write a positive review, that’s golden. You as a consumer reading that, it says this business cares. Your reviews, so to speak, your page on Instagram better match up with what the public says with Google and Yelp! or else who do you believe?”

David Linde: “I think it’s like a social media tool as well because you can talk back and forth.”

Gayle Fulbright: “Right now, millennials and Gen-Z’s are big for the hair industry. The last, I’m going to say last three interviews that I just had, I said, I always ask, ‘How did you hear about us?’ They go, ‘Oh, well I saw you on Instagram, I checked out your Yelp!, and then I checked out your website. After I checked out the website, I went deeper and checked out a stylist.’ You almost need to have all three connect and speak the same language, but it has been huge with us attracting new talent.”

Killian Vigna: The next episode we had was episode 124 with Rachel Ringwood on breaking the barrier of mental, physical, and spiritual health as a hairstylist. This was a really interesting episode because Rachel opened up about her experience and why she was talking about this topic, and it rings true. In the last few years, we would’ve heard of this term of hustling. Gary Vaynerchuck’s infamous for this hustle, hustle, hustle, and I think everyone has been so wrapped up in that they have to be hustling 24/7 that they nearly forget… Which is kind of funny because then on the flip side, we’ve got everyone else talking about mindfulness.

But with this hustle thing, we forget to take a step back and take care of ourselves. I suppose everyone feels like they’re in a race against time to learn as much as they can and do as much as they can before they hit 30. I remember my parents, that whole attitude of; you have to have everything organised by the time you’re 30. You got to be at the top of your career path, house, family everything. Now I’m 28, and I’m looking at it going, “No, I’m so far away from it.”

But I’ve kind of learned to take that step back, where a lot of other people… and this is what happened to Rachel – just constantly on it, the fire is always burning. Unfortunately, the candles ended up burning on both sides for Rachel. So I don’t want to get too much into this episode because it is actually quite uplifting and inspirational how Rachel flipped her life upside down, essentially for the better. So yeah, without giving any more information on this, I think it’s best left to Rachel to talk about, so here are just a few snippets of that episode.

Rachel Ringwood: “Nowadays, we can work from home. We can work 24 hours, and we don’t give ourselves a break because we’re the hustler mentality. There are ways to preserve your body, preserve your strength, your mentality, your energy. How do we figure that out? That’s when I realised. I was like, ‘Okay. Nobody’s really talking about this.’ And then I just started doing it more for myself, and then realised how important all of it comes together. Your mental, your emotional, your physical, and spiritual or whatever, you have to be in tune with yourself before you give everything to your client.

I always say we do not want our body to burn out before our passion does because I would be heartbroken. And it made me heartbroken when I couldn’t do hair for a few months. I feel like this movement or whatever I’m trying to do, I want to just share my story. And I want other people to be comfortable sharing their stories, and for all of us to kind of come together and bring this unity together of… that hairstylists are powerful people. We have the ability to make people feel beautiful outside. But why aren’t we trying to educate them on the inside health too?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then on the back of that, we had episode 125 with Professor Denise Baden on sustainability and motivating eco-friendly behaviours in the salon industry. So in 2012, Professor Denise Baden was awarded funds and got to work on a sustainability project. Following the success of that, she has now been working with organisations to further embed sustainability into the industry’s practices. On this episode, she’ll be talking about ways to motivate eco-friendly behaviours, like I said, that whole idea… You’ve brought that up in that episode of, it’s a cool thing that you start with, and then a couple of weeks down the line, everybody stops taking those good habits. So how to motivate and get staff to keep on going with these habits and even yourself if you have a hard time, keeping at it and include more sustainable solutions in the industry altogether.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. I enjoyed doing that episode because my bathroom has essentially completely changed since doing that episode, and I did not expect to get that result.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Did you get your roommates to listen to the episode and everybody changed their habits?

Killian Vigna: Well, they haven’t listened to it yet, but we have cut down on bottles. I have removed all the bottles, and I’m doing the bars of soap. I have the talcum powder, they seem like really, really small changes, but I feel like if everyone did that, then it would be such a big impact. But I think I just thought it was interesting that this episode is for salon owners and then here’s me, a non-salon owner, making these changes in the house. Even doing the washes on the 30 degrees instead of the 60 and the 90 degrees and hanging more clothes outside. Now, that’s more because we’ve got a lovely heatwave in Ireland here at the moment. But yeah, I think it’s just now I’m conscious of everything in the house. It’s great.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s great! So, guys, this one is a topic that I hold very close to heart. So a few snippets here and hopefully, you do listen to the full episode.

Denise Baden: Hairdressers probably use more electricity, and chemicals, and waste than most other industries, and they also talk to more people than probably most other occupations, so they’re really well-placed to make substantial savings in their carbon footprint, but also, advise their clients on how they can make savings.

Heating water is the most energy-intensive thing that goes on in hairdressing salons. Reducing the amount of hot water reduced energy bills, reduced water bills, it’s better for clients hair because neither the planet nor your bills, nor your hair, actually like an awful lot of hot water or chemicals going through them. There’s a silent demand from clients. Not many will openly say, ‘I want you to be more environmentally friendly with my hair care.’

You go to your hairdresser to be pampered, but you can also go to be educated. One of the pieces of research I’ve done found that one of the main motivations for hairdressers getting engaged in this was they want to feel like professionals. I think it’s a misunderstanding that to be eco-friendly, you have to spend more money. In fact, usually, it’s the reverse. I think if you’re not on top of it, you’re not going to be in tune with your customers.

Killian Vigna: Finally, we have episode 126 with Billy Rickman on the mindset of the new age salonpreneur. The new age salonpreneur is such a catchy title. So this came off the back of an eBook that we got off Billy, really interested eBook. If I was to put this down into two terms because I think it’s an episode that… Well, I think all of our episodes should be listened to, but this was a cool episode. If it was to boil down to two things, it’s essentially: spend less time behind the chair and spend more time on the business.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s where you can create a sustainable future for your business, like create a legacy. Otherwise, you’re going to spread yourself thin; you’re going to be constantly stressed, tired, frustrated, maybe all of those things together and flat out anyway, just to stay ahead of the curve.

Killian Vigna: Well, I mean, it’s not easy running any business by all means, let alone running your business and also being one of the key, I suppose, skillsets as well, so actually providing services and treatments. How do you manage your marketing? How do you manage your books, your staff rosters, everything on top of also providing services and treatments, it’s just… That kind of ties it back to the episode with Rachel where you’re essentially going to burn out or like really struggle to scale your salon.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So featuring Australia-based business coach Billy Rickman, who’s also the founder of Salon Growth Con. Anyone based in Australia may probably have heard of this, this June. Here are the few snippets from this episode and a disclaimer, be ready for a pinch of tough love a bit, a shift in mindset.

Killian Vigna: It’s a good kicking.

Billy Rickman: Salonpreneurs are people who fundamentally see their business as a business first, and they see the technical side of it second. As a business owner, as a salonpreneur, you should be focusing all of your time firstly on the business, and the business development. And then secondly, if you have time, then keep up to date with the technical side. We live in an era where we’re connecting more to more devices, and more platforms than any other time in human history. Yet we feel more disconnected and disenfranchised with society than ever before in history. And so how do you bridge that gap? Well, you have to be vulnerable. You have to show that you are a human being. You have to show that you’re not perfect. You have to show that you do things wrong. And so having a personal brand that people can connect to will allow people to want to do business with you more. You can’t have a finger in both pies. You either commit to being what we discussed here, like a salonpreneur, and you go right: ‘I’m all in as a business owner now and I work on the business’ or you say, ‘No, I love cutting hair. I don’t want to get out from behind the chair. I’m going to go all-in and stay as a hairdresser.’ But either way, you have to have someone who fills the other role.”

Killian Vigna: Okay. So so far we’ve covered the new feature development with Enda, we’ve just discussed our Phorest FM episodes, and usually, we talk about blogs here, but you’ve got something a little different for us.

Upcoming Phorest Academy webinars [31:53]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes I do, actually. We are reworking the way that we produce blog content. We’re going to be looking into way more localised content. So say, for example, if you’ve been on the blog recently, you might have seen an online reputation article. Instead of having this one article, you have now localised versions of it. So in Australia, you have a version for that with maybe an extra case study on how someone in the salon industry has dealt with online reputation, how it’s worked really well for them. Then you’ll have the same structure of the blog but with something a little different for the US, and the same for our different markets that Phorest is in. The idea is to give you more valuable content.

We’re reworking this whole process, and we’ll have a bit more of a structured way of doing this. So for this monthly roundup, I am going to be talking about webinars instead, because we have three and they’re all very new.

The first one we have is about finances, and it’s for the UK and Ireland, The Numbers That Matter The Most. So this webinar is with salon accountant, Gloria Murray. You would know her from the blog, and she’s going to be going through the most impactful places of salon growth. Over the course of this webinar, it’s an hour-long, you’ll be creating a one-page financial document, and that’ll detail exactly where your key expenses, profits and opportunities lie. It’s not to miss, it’s on Monday, August 5th at 11:00 AM UK, Ireland time. Before I go any further with any of these webinars, all the links will be in the show’s notes.

Next, we have another financial webinar. However, this time it’s with US business coach Steve Gomez. He spoke at the Summit, and he’s all about financial fitness. This webinar is titled Six Ways To Increase Profitability. So, every salon and spa owner opens their business with the goal of being financially free, but for many, achieving and maintaining that profitability can be quite difficult, even elusive. This hour-long webinar is going to help you better understand, track, improve upon nuances of cashflow management and also managing KPIs, so key performance indicators, which will eventually support you and help you increase your bottom line profit.

This webinar is taking place a little earlier, so it’s a Wednesday, July 31st. It’s at 2:30 PM East coast US, so Eastern Time. If you’re looking for a bit more of an insight into Steve Gomez coaching style or who he is, he’s on episode 107 and 112 talking about interdependent leadership but also listening to what your salon’s numbers are telling you and coaching accordingly.

Finally, for our third webinar, because I did say there were three, this one is taking place specifically for Australia, and it’s all about salon stock and budget. So here’s the idea. Often, you can feel like there’s a hole in your stock and your retail game. Like you’re looking to stop your inventory budget from pouring down the drain. This is what we’re going to be tackling in this session with Carl Keeley, educator and creative director of the multi-award-winning Chumba Concepts, hair salon. You’ll be looking at stock management and budgets, so how to take control of your inventory, how to smash your retail targets. This is definitely not one to miss if you’re struggling with retail. Carl is very well known for this side of the business, and this webinar is taking place… Again, it’s an hour long. It’s taking place on Monday, August 12th at 11:00 AM and this time it’s Melbourne time.

So again, for any information, or to sign-up to any of three webinars, they’re all free by the way, you don’t have to be a Phorest client to sign up for them. You go into our show’s episodes notes, and you can have the links there to sign up. Then you’ll get an email confirmation with the link to join on the day.

Inside Phorest: reflections, upcoming events & final words [36:17]

Killian Vigna: Then finally, we have our Inside Phorest segment. So, let’s kick it off with the Phorest Academy, which is our new online one-stop education shop. Phorest Academy is an online learning portal full of fun, interactive and bite-sized, self-taught training courses covering every area of your Phorest system. So we have courses up there for getting started with Phorest. So if you’ve got a new staff member and they’ve never even heard of Phorest, or never looked at the screen, they can do their training modules through that without needing an online instructor. They can download courses on their phone and learn in their own time. We’ve Products and Inventory, and then we have a series on Phorest Pay, Phorest Go and Growing Your Business, so things like how to take bookings online and, I suppose, retain clients, so customer loyalty.

Most importantly, you can get the Phorest Academy certificate for each course. So if you are interested in getting set up on Phorest Academy email

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then quick reminder before we wrap up this episode, the Salon Owners Summit 2020, the flagship event in Dublin. The tickets are still on sale, and you can request a call back for that.

Of course, we will finish it off with the Salon Mentorship Hub, which is a place to connect, as you know. Whatever you’re struggling with in the salon, if you want a different perspective on that matter, on that issue, whatever it is, we’ve teamed up with industry coaches and consultants, and you can book yourself in for a free 15 to 30-minute consultation on a topic of your choosing. All you have to do is head over to, fill out your details and you’ll get an email explaining how to go about it next.

Well, that’s all we got for this week guys. So as always, if you want to share your thoughts on this episode or have any suggestions, send us an email at or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We genuinely love feedback and are always looking for ways to improve the show.

Otherwise, have a wonderful week and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Related links

Access the UK/IRE Financial Success Webinar with award-winning accountant Gloria Murray

Access the US Financial Fitness Webinar with business coach Steve Gomez

Watch the AUS Stock Management & Budget Webinar with Carl Keeley (Chumba Concepts Hair Salon)

Request a callback for Salon Owners Summit 2020 tickets!

This episode was edited and mixed by Audio Z: Great music makes great moments. Montreal’s cutting-edge post-production studio for creative minds looking to have their vision professionally produced and mixed. Tune in every Monday for 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 or events you can join.

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