Phorest FM Episode 118: May Monthly Round-Up

Did you miss an episode this month? Catch up on everything that’s happened in May with Killian and Zoe’s round-up. On the agenda: Phorest Salon Software’s new and free 6-week Salon Management Course in collaboration with Business Strategist Valerie Delforge, highlights from popular articles published on the Phorest Blog and snippets from previous interviews with Charlotte Bradshaw & Leslie Healy, Jay Williams and Emma Simmons.


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 118. 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. This week we’ll discuss popular blogs, latest Phorest FM episodes, product updates, and everything else in between.

Killian Vigna: Grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs. Isn’t that just so much fresher, Zoe?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I love this intro. We’ve spent about what? Close to half an hour on this. The joys of writing, right?

Killian Vigna: All because you didn’t want to say, “In this week’s episode,” and then when we wrote up the spiel, we wrote up the three lines and then halfway through it you turn around and go, “In this week’s episode… “

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I know, but it just sits better now there, where it is now. Anyways, how are you? I hear it’s been a busy weekend over in Ireland and in the UK?

Recent industry events in IRE, UK, USA [01:06]

Killian Vigna: Yeah, there’s been quite a few events going on. In Ireland, we had two alone. Just there this weekend we had the Irish Hairdressing Championships, which had a strong Phorest representation amongst the judges and competitors and that took place in Croke Park. For any GAA fans out there, that’s the Irish national sport, and it took place in that stadium. We had a representative, Daryll Notaro, who’s a field sales rep from Phorest who was presenting the Phorest Junior Team of the Year Award and I have to say that one sounded like great fun. The reason I say sounded like is because I live just across the road from Croke Park.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I was going to say, you could probably hear that!

Killian Vigna: I could. It was just like listening to an All-Ireland final. I was walking by on my way home, and I could hear the cheers coming out of the stadium. So yeah, definitely a good presence going on in there. Then the second event we had was a Beauty UK show in Birmingham, which was the Salon Owners Forum, and that had our very own Siobhan Copeland presenting. So, Siobhan, anyone who has spoken to Siobhan about the packages in our Grow department, that’s who she is. But you also had a bit going on yourself, Zoe?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, well myself personally, not so much because I’m based out of Canada. But in North America, especially in the US, it was quite eventful as well. There was Modern Salon’s Data Driven Salon Summit in Atlanta, and there was also the Santa Barbara Ember Retreat for hairstylists and makeup artists, which I mean the social media coverage of that, I’ve literally been going through my feed on Instagram and just been seeing that. We weren’t at the Ember Retreat, but we were at Data Driven and Connor Keppel, who is the VP of Marketing and Growth at Phorest, was speaking at it and he was speaking on how to discover your next VIP clients. How top salons can leverage data to attract and wow the best, and most importantly, the highest spending clients to your salon over the next three to five years.

Other people that we knew who were there were Steve Gomez, whom we’ve had on the show twice now. Gayle Fulbright and David Linde of Headlines The Salon, they were talking about managing your online reputation and playing nice with Yelp, specifically. David, whom most of you would know from listening to the very second episode this year on Phorest FM, our panel talk at Inside Phorest, and then also Stefanie Fox Jackson who we just were speaking to recently on Phorest FM and she was saying that she’d be at Data Driven speaking on the future of work, and that’s exactly what she was doing there. And so yeah, very eventful as well. I guess it is the start of summer, though. It’s kind of like when everybody gets out of their houses and their hibernation state.

Killian Vigna: Everyone gets out networking.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Killian Vigna: A lot of familiar names there. Am I right in saying that Connor did his presentation without a slide deck?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, I heard he did. I’m not exactly sure how that happened and the details of it, but yes, I did hear that has happened. And we also had two other people from Phorest, Enda Glacken and Rich Cullen also presenting at Data Driven, but they were more on the forward-thinking/innovation product side of things. So yeah, a very insightful weekend I think for everyone. Data Driven, we were at it last year as well, and it was great fun. Definitely a good one.

Killian Vigna: I believe the talk was a big success because of the amount of people that were coming up to their table afterwards. That’s always a good sign. Okay, let’s move on now from the events and the first one we have is the Salon Management Course.

Introducing the Salon Management Course, hosted by Valerie Delforge [04:44]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, I just wanted to drop this one in before we got into any further blog topics and Phorest FM episodes. We have a new learning opportunity that is open to everyone. You know how like #30Days2Grow, Salon Retail Week, you don’t need software; you don’t need to be a Phorest client to participate. This is the same concept. It’s a six-week free program hosted by business strategist, Valerie Delforge, and it’s designed to help you develop your managerial and leadership skills. It’s a six-week thing all through email. Each week you’ll receive an hour-long presentation that you can watch on your own time, and you also get a workbook that will help you put new ideas and plans into place. You have to think about this course in sort of a practical step-by-step game plan, I suppose. To review what you’re currently doing, identify what’s not doing so well, and how to take action.

Killian Vigna: Okay, so we’ve got a six-week step-by-step course. What can we expect each week?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Sure. The first week, how to manage your staff. The second week, we’re looking at salons’ operations; how to run them successfully. Are they running at the best of their capacity, to begin with? Week three is on motivation, so how to motivate your salon team. Week four we’re talking about HR, recruitment, training. Five, we’re talking about how to handle difficult staff or how Valerie calls them, how to handle your Flossies. And week six transcending management. We’re looking at how to become an exceptional salon leader. Like I said, the course is powered by Phorest, but you don’t need our software or any other software. In fact, to take part, the course is entirely hosted online, so anyone with a laptop and an internet connection can sign up for it. The link is up in the episode’s show notes, so you simply have to click on register, and you’ll get your welcome email, and then you’ll be able to follow through for the six weeks, and you’ll be certified at the end of it.

Killian Vigna: Oh, wow. Everyone loves a certificate. Otherwise, how do I have proof I’ve finished something?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Right? Yeah. It’s like an accomplishment, that sense of accomplishment. But hey, listen, speaking of leadership, I was thinking about you this morning because I’m currently reading one of your favourite personal development books, which is “Turn the Ship Around” by L. David Marquet.

Killian Vigna: That’s a great book. A really small book, but a really good book. I just think he writes it so well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: He does. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of war or Navy or Army kind of stories.

Killian Vigna: See, I love that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: See, I’m not a big fan of that. I love boats and sailing and that kind of stories, but if you get me into the Army side of things, you lose me often because it’s just too technical.

Killian Vigna: But I think it’s not so much militarised as opposed to… he’s just showing you how in the military you’re so restricted in what you can do.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And that’s what I like about it. It’s so well written in the sense that he’s not just giving you information about how things technically run in the military. It’s just like on the leadership side of things, this is how we do things, and this is how I implemented change. Anyways, I’m happy I picked it up because honestly, I was looking for something not too heavy but not too light either. I’ve just finished “The Obstacle is the Way,” which was one that I fled through. It was so easy to read, but it was actually really, really good too.

Killian Vigna: That’s the book I listened to during my first half marathon, and it really got me through those last few kilometres.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’d say so. Yeah. I love how he splits things into three disciplines. The perception, the action, and then the will. It just makes so much sense and listen, I think the one thing that struck me the most throughout the entire book, I’m going to have to read it out because I don’t think I’ll ever have better words than he has had to describe this, but he says, “If persistence is attempting to solve difficult problems with dogged determination and hammering until the break occurs, then plenty of people can be said to be persistent, but perseverance is something larger. It’s the long game. It’s about what happens, not in just round one, but in round two and every round after and then the fight after that until the end. Persistence is an action. Perseverance is a matter of will. One is energy. The other endurance. I just thought it was brilliant and it just sums up the book so well.

Killian Vigna: It is mad. It’s like I suppose when you’re kind of young, when you come out of college or if you’ve gone into a trade or whatever, you’re young, and you’ve got an appetite for something and I suppose especially for our generation where we see all these people on Instagram, there are influencers, there are bloggers, and you’re kind of looking at them going, “Oh, wow. they’re doing keynote speaking when they’re like 22 years of age.” Or, “They’ve got their own multimillion-euro company when they’re 24 years of age.” And you kind of feel like, “What can I do now?” You feel like you’re constantly in a rush, but I suppose a bit older you get, you realise it is about the long game. It’s not like, “What can I do now to change tomorrow?” It’s, “What can I do now have that will benefit me in five years time?” It’s like a game of golf I suppose, but it’s like creating a flywheel, that’s in “Good To Great,” as well. It’s about little things that you do every day that will eventually build, and build, and build and the wheel will just turn itself as opposed to trying to do big chunks of stuff now in a short time. You could inevitably burnout if you keep trying to live that way.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Listen, so many people do. So many people do burn out. We know this for a fact, but yeah, it’s an interesting perspective. If you haven’t read “The Obstacle is the Way” yet, I strongly recommend putting it on your reading list. It’s by Ryan Holiday, whom we had an interview with on Phorest FM, the very first Phorest FM episode this year, episode 100.

Throwback to some of the latest Phorest FM episodes [10:35]

Killian Vigna: Now it’s our most recent Phorest FM episodes. We have three of them. Well, I say it as if we only did three. I suppose we could only fit three in a month because then we have this episode. I’ll learn to start introducing that a bit differently.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The first one was with Charlotte Bradshaw and Leslie Healy, and it was on the power of networking. So that was episode 115. Networking, it’s been long recognized for its many benefits in any industry. It has the power to help you build awareness, learn about people you might have never known otherwise, and you can also meet potential future employers or employees. Knowing more people tends to be an advantage just generally speaking. So anyway, this episode discussed how networking has a strong impact in the hair and beauty industry specifically. And it featured two women with years of experience in the trade, Salon Network Founders. Like I said, Charlotte Bradshaw, who has worked in the industry for the past ten years and Leslie Healey who hails from a 12-year background in the corporate world. So without further ado, we’ll play a few snippets here.

Charlotte Bradshaw: “When you go on your own, you kind of have to walk in so I just kind of go over to the person who I’m most frightened of looking at in the room and I go over, put my hand out and go, ‘Hi. I’m Charlotte, and this is what I do. Who are you?’ I break the ice that way. And I think sometimes when you come across quite confident like that, even though I have imposter syndrome myself, I think sometimes you come across quite confident when you walk into a room, put your hand out to shake them. People are very nice, especially because they’re all in the same boat. I’ve met the most amazing people at networking events. People that you wouldn’t meet in your everyday life. People invest in people, and you can’t get your personality across online all of the time. When you meet somebody face-to-face, people get a different understanding of who you are than you are when you’re online.

Leslie Healy: “Come out of your comfort zone and make your opinion known and show people that you’re there and you want to be involved because the more you put yourself out there, the more people are going to approach you.”

Killian Vigna: And then the next episode we had was episode 116 with Jay Williams who has already been on the show. And this episode came from a video series that he’s doing himself, but you’ll also find on the Phorest Blog, it’s titled “Eat This, Not That… A Leader’s List Of Ingredients To Create Better Communication.” So what we learned in this episode was not only does he have two glasses in his fridge, which is essentially a game of Russian roulette… Two carafes, sorry. Where one is water and the other is vodka and also how to make a Moscow Mule. But this episode was all about the difference between satisfied and loyal clients and why it matters. And he had some really good points. He was asking us questions throughout the show. I’m not going to do this episode just as talking about it, so I think we’re just going to go straight into the clips here.

Jay Williams: “Satisfaction and loyalty. If you looked at the two, the difference is that loyalty has an emotional component to it where satisfaction is missing that element. Eight out of ten clients leave for non-technical reasons. It has nothing to do with the cut or the colour. The haircut can be subjective. What’s not subjective is the way a person feels. As I talk to stylists and manufacturers and distributors, and we have this conversation, the majority of people will say 70%, 80%, 90% of their success comes from their non-technical skills. This psychology, this emotional intelligence. When you look at their education over the last 12 months, it’s reverse 70%, 80%, 90% is cutting, colouring and styling. Yet the number one thing that salons, from a business perspective, want, is increased retention, referral, rebooking. You may have your people’s mental, physical, and financial commitment, but not their emotional commitment. And you don’t find out until you need it most. And if you have 63% retention, not all 100% of that retention is loyalty. Your opportunity after this is one, to ask yourself, “Where do I need to build trust with the other 37%?” And to look at that 63% and ask yourself, ‘Are they satisfied, or are they loyal?'”

Killian Vigna: And then the most recent episode that we had was with Emma Simmons on teamwork as a key factor for success in Salon 54’s #30Days2Grow results. What that episode was about was that’s Emma Simmons, who’s the salon owner of Salon 54 and she was a participant in the #30Days2Grow. She was quite engaged, very interactive throughout the whole campaign. We just taught, “We have to get her on the show.” And I’m so glad we did because the amount that we learned from, so this wasn’t Emma’s first rodeo with #30Days2Grow, she did it last year, did it on her own, then not so much got her team involved, but kind of went through the tasks and I suppose delegated them out. This year it was all focused on teamwork, and she got her team involved. So much so that her team started taking ownership and coming to her outside of work with ideas and she even had one staff member who drastically increased her retail sales, and I don’t want to give too much away because take a listen to this episode here. You’ll be blown away by how well Salon 54 did just by involving everyone in the team.

Emma Simmons: “I saw that it was going to be much more team orientated and I wanted to do it again this year because just dipping my toe in last year we got some great results. So it was like great, we can get the team on board at the beginning of the year and start as we mean to go on. Now they’re all really interested in looking at their columns as their own little businesses, and they want to learn how to improve themselves, how to improve all their KPI’s, like rebooking figures, retail figures and things. I think it’s really helped with actually one of our lowest retailers who was consistently very, very low. Last week her retail was 33%, and she has come from about 2%. The week before she’d done 29%, so it’s not just a fluke one week, she’s consistently up there as one of the top retailers now. Obviously, with the rebooking, I think during that month we went up 6.5% just that month alone. I think as a salon, the retail at the moment after April is about 28%.”

Review of some the latest Phorest Blog articles [17:25]

Killian Vigna: That was a roundup of the episode. Zoe, it’s your turn to hit us with some blogs.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so two of the most popular ones this month. The first one’s an old one, but it’s a very popular one. Ever since we’ve released it and it stemmed from an idea you had when you were still in the marketing team. I think you might’ve been still in the marketing team. Anyways, it’s the “3 Tips That Will Make Your Salon Employee Bios Standout.” Based on our data, we know that one of the most popular features of our salon branded app is the staff profile section. But we also know, and especially me coming from a writing perspective, biographies are one of the hardest things to write. It’s notorious.

Killian Vigna: Every time they ask us for a little blurb about yourself, you go, “My name is Killian. I work… “

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s like what do you put in it? How long should it be? You don’t want to sound too boastful, but then you don’t also want to underplay yourself. It’s so hard to navigate.

Killian Vigna: I just have so much great stuff to talk about myself. That’s the problem! It’s really hard.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So essentially this blog, and I’m not going to get into too much details because I want you to read it and have it on your side while you write your bio. But we have three tips for this, and they’re pretty simple. The first one is to highlight your professional qualifications. The second is to keep it short, make it personal. And the third one, especially in the hair and beauty industry, indicate what services people can be booked for. This is super important because people can go to anyone at any salon. Why should they go to this staff member in particular? And also if I’m looking for say, a head of highlights, I don’t want to be matched up with the wrong stylist who doesn’t do highlights. It just makes sense. You need to highlight these things. Like I said, on the blog itself, you’ll have way more details into all of these different tips. But again, if you’re struggling to write your employee bios, write a first version, get someone, especially if it’s one of your employees as well, get them to write their take on it. Come together with what you both have, try to mix it and make the perfect version. It’s a good exercise to do because you need to be concise in the whole process, but you can navigate it. Don’t get frustrated with it, ask for feedback, and just keep chipping away at it.

Killian Vigna: Well, at the end of the day, it’s your sales pitch. You want people to book in with you. You want to utilise your time as much as possible. How do you sell yourself? What are your skills? Why would I pick you over someone else? Some clients of ours have really good examples of it by getting quite creative. I’d love to see… I don’t know… If people sent us their online booking link to show us the different ways that they do these bios because we have seen some really creative ones. I just want to see how far can you get with being creative, but people still understand what you do. I think that could be a really good blog for you too.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That could be really good. Yes. If you have… You’ve heard Killian, if you have anything for us, send us an email at with those links, we’ll check them out. The second blog that was quite popular this month, we’re tackling with Valerie Delforge, “The Beast of Beauty, Diversifying Your Salon Service Offerings.” A pretty familiar context around here, as a business strategist, it’s not uncommon for Valerie to work with hairdressers who first either offer beauty services within their business or they want to introduce it into their menu or their offering. And while many people expect it to be an easy process like, “Well I have space for a therapist to come in so if they can use it, I’ll rent a room, easy peasy.” It’s actually never that smooth. And so she writes about different things you need to take into consideration because actually, the beauty industry in itself is a whole different way of working, thinking, and managing.

So you need to, first of all, understand your customers and their habits. If you’re a hair salon, to begin with, people might have their habits already settled in for beauty, and they probably go somewhere else if you don’t offer beauty treatments in your salon at the moment. So you need to consider your customers and their current habits. Define your marketing strategy. And she also discussed that just, generally speaking, beauty therapists can’t be treated the same as hairdressers just for the sake that it’s not the same type of work. Beauty has established breaks more often than not. It’s just a different way of thinking about how you run your schedule throughout the day, really. She talks about the dangers of renting out a room. She also talks about how to work with brands and how important it is to do your research before you start introducing those treatments into your offerings.

And then she says if you’re taking the leap, there are at least five things you need to put on your checklist. You have to look at your treatment menu, your investment, HR, your procedures and everything that is going to involve the change with your team. All in all, the beast of beauty, like she says, it has to be thought about strategically. If you’re going in thinking hair and beauty are cut out of the same cloth, you’re going to be in for a shock.

Killian Vigna: A big shock.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh, yeah. And she also mentioned that before making any decision, you should define a budget, although the margins can be higher in beauty from the customer journey to the duration of the treatments, it’s the small details that matter. Be well prepared, in control. If you do that, then diversifying your salon services will add a powerful and lucrative dimension to your business.

Final mention about the Phorest blog before I pass it over to you, Killian, with Phorest Academy, is Jay Williams’ “Eat This, Not That… A Leader’s List of Ingredients to Create Better Communication.” His video series is still ongoing on the Phorest Blog. We recently released episode four, which was titled “Satisfied vs Loyal.” And we talked about that in-depth in an episode on Phorest FM, but we still have two more upcoming episodes, and they’re released every second week. So look out for that on the Phorest Blog.

Inside Phorest: reflections, upcoming events & final words [23:27]

Killian Vigna: Phorest Academy, you probably have heard me talk about this for the last few weeks, and you know what? I’m probably going to talk about this for the next few weeks because this is a cool new project that we’ve been working on. Phorest Academy is, it’s early access launched out that we’ve done.

So, anyone that is a Phorest client, it’s your one-stop education shop. Do you like what I did there? Basically, it’s your online learning portal full of fun, interactive, and bite-sized self-taught training courses that cover each area of your Phorest system. And we’ve included a brand new course as well. It’s the “Getting Started with Phorest” course. For anyone out there that’s a Phorest client that has just taken on a new staff member, and they’ve never had any experience of Phorest, now you won’t need to get them booked into live training, which kind of involves trying to work out a schedule that works for you and us. 

We have the self-taught course, and if you email us at and say, “Killian, I want to book in for training or Phorest Academy.” I can get your new staff members set up for that. Or for yourself, we have a module on the Phorest Go app. We have an introduction course on that, and we have a course on the products and inventory. So we have three courses up there now. What can you expect from Phorest Academy? Like I said, interactive online and on-demand training, learning on the go. So we have a downloadable app that you can access this learning portal from. We have a library of regularly added and updated courses.

We have three courses up there, and you can expect to see more being added every month, interactive Phorest systems. For your new staff member, if they’ve never used Phorest, they can use our test systems before using your Phorest system to build up their confidence, do some booking scenarios, paying through cash, doing end of day cashouts, anything like that. And last but not least, you also get Phorest Academy certified as well now. Every course you complete, you’ll get a certificate from us so you can hang that up in your wall in the back room.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: All about those accomplishments!

Killian Vigna: Yeah, like gamification, badges, awards, achievements. It’s exciting!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It does, though. It does. It makes a massive difference. Again, if you want to get set up for that, you can email us at and before we sign off this week, one last announcement. It’s a common one, the Salon Mentorship Hub. It’s the place to connect whatever you’re struggling within the salon, from customer service to social media, finance, whatever it is. We’ve teamed up with industry coaches and consultants, and if you head over to the link is also in the episode’s show notes, and you can book yourself in for a free 15 to 30-minute consultation on a topic of your choosing. Currently working with us on this element issue pub are coaches, Valerie Delforge, Susan Routledge, Danielle Boucher, Richard McCabe, Phil Jackson, Jennifer Swaine, Gloria Murray, David & Nicole Barnett, Stefania Rossi, Katie Lowndes, Susie K. Brooks, and Ryan Power. Again, to book your free consultation, head over to and no, you do not need to be a Phorest client either, to avail of this opportunity.

And well that’s all we got for this guys. So as always, if you want to share your thoughts on this episode or have any suggestions, send us an email or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We genuinely love feedback, and we’re 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

3 Tips That Will Make Your Salon Employee Bios Stand Out

The Beast Of Beauty: Diversifying Your Salon Service Offerings

Eat This Not That: Satisfied vs Loyal

Register for the 6-Week Salon Management Course hosted by Business Strategist Valerie Delforge

Book a free 15-30 minute consultation on The Salon Mentorship Hub


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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