Phorest FM Episode 120: Switching Salon Software, Insider Tips For A Seamless Transition

For many, opening a salon is a thrilling, yet scary experience. After a while though, once the wheels are in motion, habits start forming. After a couple years, the salon runs things a certain way, and the thought of changing that up by switching salon software, for instance, is likely to trigger some fear.

Fear for creating a short period of instability; that it won’t work out the way you imagined it would. Fear that you’ll lose data or that your staff won’t get it. Fear of leaving a comfort zone.

Our brains consider what is known to be far safer. The only way past this is to some research, plan things as best as you can and make educated decisions. Featuring Paul Kiersey (Phorest Onboarding Team Lead) and Will Hulihan (Phorest Brand Ambassador), this week’s episode focuses on insider tips for a seamless transition from one salon software company to another.


Will Hulihan

Will Hulihan joined the Phorest team early September of 2016 as a Salon Business Advisor after his return to NYC from San Francisco, where he was a BDM for Kerastase/Shu Uemura.

During his time at L’Oreal, he managed 55 luxury salons throughout the Bay Area, conducted product knowledge classes, business/marketing support and business development for these accounts. Will has a long history in the salon & beauty world with more than 20 years working directly with or alongside the industry.

In addition to his direct salon experience, Will worked in media for various start-ups and regional/national magazines such as Teen People, SPIN and 7×7 as their Fashion and Beauty Director. In 2009, he created a media company called CHADS Media, where they were best known to specialise in representing small to medium-sized businesses within the Fashion, Beauty and LGBTQ categories.

Paul Kiersey

Paul Kiersey is an Onboarding Lead and started working in Phorest in September 2017. Initially hired as an Onboarding Specialist, Paul was the first point of contact when a new salon signed up and trusted to orchestrate salons’ onboarding journeys, ensuring they each had a successful launch with Phorest in their business.

Later promoted to Onboarding Lead, he has focused on further developing and improving the initial customer onboarding journey to make sure that users of Phorest get the most out of the software from the get-go and subsequently see their business grow.


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 120. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle Springer. This week on the show, we’re joined by Phorest Onboarding Team Lead, Paul Kiersey, and Brand Ambassador, Will Hulihan, to discuss data migration and to ease the fear associated with switching salon software.

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! We haven’t done an episode with anyone in Phorest in a very long time.

Killian Vigna: No, we haven’t, and I’m actually excited because the two people we’re going to have on the show are probably the two people that a lot of people moving over to Phorest would talk to mostly.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, this is true actually.

Introducing Paul Kiersey & Will Hulihan [00:54]

Killian Vigna: And we’ve never had them on it! So for Will, it’s probably if you’re thinking about moving to Phorest, and then for Paul, it’s the whole kind of joyous client journey once you become onboarded.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so I guess we’ll need to do formal presentations here because for both Will and Paul it’s their very first time on Phorest FM, so welcome to the show guys, it’s a pleasure to have you on!

Paul Kiersey: Thank you!

Will Hulihan: Thank you very much!

Paul Kiersey: Long time listener, first-time podcaster?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Love it, yeah!

Killian Vigna: I can see him here just shaking with excitement, yeah! As we’ve already done, welcome to the show. You’re based in Dublin, you’re sitting here beside me, working at the Phorest HQ, and you’re on the Operations Team. Before we get you talking about kind of some of the more technical stuff, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself? Your background, how long have you been with Phorest, and what roles have you been involved in?

Paul Kiersey: So before Phorest, I suppose, I was a team lead in a telecommunications company that worked on more of the infrastructure side, rather than the kind of… it was more business to business. Similar enough I suppose, to Phorest, that it’s more of a kind of direct business to business level. I was over there for four years and moved, or started in Phorest in September 2017, and my role initially was an Onboarding Specialist. So after sales, we would be the first point of contact with a client in getting them set up on the journey to going live. And then I was promoted to Onboarding Team Lead.

Killian Vigna: I’ve just realized now; you started one year to the date after me, and I think the first time we met was in a tent at Oktoberfest. A typical Irish welcome!

Paul Kiersey: What a beautiful start to a beautiful friendship!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I suppose to follow up on that, Will, as many of you would know, especially in the US I suppose, you’re Phorest’s brand ambassador. Before we get into the heart of this episode, saying here a bit about yourself, your background, how long you’ve been with Phorest, and as a brand ambassador, what is your role specifically when you’re on the road going to visit clients and non-clients.

Will Hulihan: So, my background, I originally I went to hair school when I was in high school, and through my journey and my career I’ve actually gone from salon to being a fashion beauty director for magazines, and then after that, I had a two-year stint with the L’Oréal Kerastase team. From there, when I decided to move back to New York and give up my partnership at a salon in San Francisco, I out of the blue got a call from Phorest, and it was just one of those things that I didn’t really fully understand, and I took it from there and I felt that Phorest was a really good fit.

I’ve now been with Phorest for nearly three years. As my role as Brand Ambassador, I am provided with a list when I go to a different city and basically make that personal connection with the salon owners because as many people know, most of the software companies out there do not have somebody that’s on the ground to make that personal connection. So many times I hear this is the first time I’ve ever met a software person. So it’s really great to walk in the door, talk the language, and get them excited about the brand.

Killian Vigna: And it can be such an investment of time researching new software that it’s great to see a face to take you through those first steps.

Will Hulihan: Exactly, exactly. I mean it’s great because I can answer the questions, I hear the challenges that they’ve had, and I take it further from there.

Killian Vigna: And what a face to see, we’ll put some pictures of Will up later to share with everyone. A face coming to your salon soon!

Paul Kiersey: You’re looking at me on the screen there, Killian, not him [crosstalk 00:04:43].

What makes switching to another salon software provider so scary [04:42]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, I suppose, more and more we’re adding audio snippets to these episodes, and I hope people enjoy it anyways – let us know if you don’t – but today we’ve prepared a few snippets from video testimonials we’ve got about why people were either scared or wanted to switch software but what held them back, and I’m going to gather your thoughts after this little segment here.

Various Audio Snippets:

1 So we were using a software for 14 years, and we were ready for a change, we had heard the most amazing things about Phorest and we finally- 

2 Made the switch, very scary.

3 But it was so seamless that I still can’t believe we’re using a new software after using something like that for that long.

4 We joined Phorest because our previous software supplier was actually outdated and couldn’t give us what we needed with the modern sites.

5 One of the reasons I put off changing to Phorest was I was quite terrified of the upheaval and you know, worrying that the staff wouldn’t get it, and worrying about the training, worried that it was such a busy salon and we’d lose appointments.

6 We wanted something that was going to be updated regularly, that would have the cloud-based, I guess, technology that Phorest had.

7 I needed more from what I had. We’d had a computer system for 25, 26, 27 years and I loved it, but it wasn’t doing enough for me. I’ve got three salons, and that’s where I was struggling. It was just a lot of hard work, really.

Killian Vigna: Thousands of clients, and I bet both of you could probably recognise who was talking there.

Will Hulihan: I could hear some of those people, for sure.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I wouldn’t be as client-facing, and there were definitely two voices there that I recognise. So do any of those questions sound familiar to both of you?

Will Hulihan: Absolutely, I mean, I hear a lot of that on a day-to-day basis. Can I get rid of my server, are you guys cloud-based, we’re multi-site how do we connect, do we have to have a VPN and connect through a… I’m not sure what it’s call at this point.. an outside source to be able to connect to my server, to be able to have data security. There’s a lot of those questions that I heard, for sure.

Paul Kiersey: Yeah, and less questions I suppose, but one of the more common things that you’d heard from a lot of salons is that the kind of nervousness or the natural kind of daunting scenario of moving from something that you may have been using, potentially in some situations, from 10 to 15 years over to a completely new software. Very, very common feeling that we get from, I would argue, the higher percentage of clients that move from another software. Just because naturally it’s scary to try new things and use new software that you’re not familiar with, really.

Killian Vigna: Absolutely.

How the Phorest team helps ease migration concerns [07:35]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Will, how do you, in your role, obviously you’re on the road you talk to people a lot, how do you help ease those concerns, because as the first point of contact for most, you would need to address some of those concerns or worries.

Will Hulihan: Absolutely, I mean a lot of the times the number one question is how does the data convert? So I, of course, have to talk about the ability for Phorest to actually do it for them. And once you tell them that we actually do a lot of the work for them, that immediately disarms and calms them down. Because a lot of times with other software, from what we’ve heard, is that they kind of give you the nuts and the bolts and the pieces, and they expect you to put it together. Whereas we come in, we have the dedicated team of Onboarding Specialists, and we have the Data Specialists that do the migration for them. So those conversations really help to ease them, and then when I show them the ease to using the system, that also, once again, disarms them and makes them feel a little bit more comfortable, especially having that personal connection.

Killian Vigna: Paul, we heard a few things there about kind of cloud-based software and stuff. For anyone who isn’t as familiar with the technical terms, can you define just the differences between cloud-based and on-premise software?

Paul Kiersey: You can kind of look at it two different ways, and one is where the data is stored and also whether the actual software itself is a web-based platform or a kind of locally stored platform on a computer. So, if the data… typically most data nowadays in software would be stored on a cloud, which is just on the internet rather than saved on the computer itself, and locally stored would mean on the computer directly. And then the two differences between the softwares themselves, a web-based platform, you would typically open up your web browser and log directly in, whereas your local based or desktop-based software would be directly on the computer.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So that would be like Facebook would be the web-based, and if you downloaded the WhatsApp app on the desktop of your computer, that would be-

Paul Kiersey: Yeah, exactly.

Killian Vigna: So how long does the migration process usually take then, if you’re coming from an on-premise to moving over to Phorest?

Paul Kiersey: The actual process of capturing and exporting the data is quite quick. Our Data Migrations Specialists, depending on whether you’re web-based or if it’s local-based software, the two situations kind of vary, so with a web-based platform you just need login details and you can access it instantly from anywhere, essentially. With a local-based software, we would set up or establish a remote connection to the salon’s computer and grab the data that way. But typically, grabbing the data, first we would do them in two batches, so the first batch of data would be more static information that isn’t going to change over time, so staff information, service menus, all that kind of stuff, and on the final go-live day, we would do a final batch of data import which would be their clients and appointments.

But the first data grab, once we’ve established a connection, typically, two to five minutes, if even. We would then take that data, work on it, make sure it’s suitable to the software, make sure all the data is correct, and then on the final day when we do the import of the clients and appointments, depending on the quantity of clients and the amount of service history, all that kind of stuff, obviously makes things take longer. Typically, it can range from a 10-minute final import up to 30 minutes, I would say, on the actual Go-Live day.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s really not all that bad, yeah.

Paul Kiersey: Yeah, and we would tend to do it outside of salon business hours where we can. Just to make sure when the salon actually opens their doors or closes their doors, if it’s at the end of the day, they can start using the software right away. We’d like to train it up with the clients actual onboarding experiences and their journey whether they want to do their training and then immediately go in… some salons would like to do their training and go immediately into using the software, in which case we would time the imports to happen as they’re getting trained, and then once they’re done with their training, they’re just ready to go for the day.

Killian Vigna: So is it tailored down to the business themselves? What phase they want it?

Paul Kiersey: Yeah, yeah, it’s very much tailored to… all of our onboarding experiences are typically tailored to the client and what they want and what they want to get out of the software as well.

Killian Vigna: So Will, how do you, because just listening to the audiotapes there, that is probably one of the biggest concerns is that in migrating I’m going to lose my appointments like someone said. How do you make the salon owner feel at ease about that process?

Will Hulihan: A lot of times, I utilise other salon owners that have done the migration that can actually speak as a first-person experience and share that experience. And then other times it’s really just knowing the software that they’re currently using and understanding how that data does convert and then telling them each one of the steps — going from the site survey to pulling up the initial data-grab, staging it, and then from there, doing the adjustments to fix it for them.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So when you’re on the road and chatting to people, would you say that Paul has obviously just mentioned there, that grabbing data from a cloud-based software versus and on-premise software is a bit different, would you have a lot more worries and concerns that you have come across that are used to say, 10 years on-premise software? Do they feel a bit more worried about switching over to something entirely new?

Will Hulihan: A lot of times to me that is a very big concern because one of the things, even at the trade show this weekend I heard a lot of people saying I have 15 years or 20 years of data, how are you going to be able to get all of that over and migrated in? I tell them that quite honestly, that we actually do the site survey at the beginning to set that up so that we can check their hardware, we can check the data, and then from there once we do the staging, we are able to give them the verified information and what information to transfer.

Now one of the best things about our team is that we do spend a lot of time understanding what the data conversions are for each one of the software systems that out there. So if we are going to have challenges, we do let them know ahead of time so that they’re prepared and that they understand what the steps are and what we’re going to have to do, whether that’s sometimes they’re going to have to do some things manually, but for 90% of the times, we are able to get quite a bit of the data and move it over, and convert it into the usable data within Phorest.

Going from pen & paper to a cloud-based system [14:22]

Killian Vigna: So a lot of what we’re talking about, then, is about the on-premise, and I think it’s pretty much safe to say that there are a lot of procedures put in place to ensure that you get the most seamless migration over to cloud-based or Phorest if that’s whom you go for. But what about pen and paper clients? Because surely we’re still getting clients moving over from pen and paper.

Will Hulihan: I can tell you from my perspective, one of the things just as an example this weekend, one of my clients came up to me and she was like, “I need to change my pricing for my top-tiered stylists,” and I said, “Well do you have it all written out for me?” She said yeah, so I just took a picture of it, sent it over to the ops specialist and they just took that and added it in for them. So that’s one of the benefits of working with Phorest is that we do the work for them. So even with pen and paper clients, we actually hand-hold and work through the process. If they have a list of their clients, let’s say they’re on a spreadsheet, we can take that, convert that in into it. If they have their pricing sheet or a menu card or give us the resources of looking on their website, if they have a website, we can take that information from there as well. So, we go above and beyond just to ensure that we get that information and set it up correctly for them.

Killian Vigna: So does this take regular communication between… because you’re operation specialist, Paul, or do you just need kind of the initial contact and then you’re ready to go?

Paul Kiersey: It varies, depending on the client, depending on the software they’re coming from, as Will was saying, we would have our own documentation on what we can and can’t export or what isn’t exportable from different software and how that migrates over. So, as Will was saying, as soon as a new salon or client signs up to Phorest, an Onboarding Specialist is assigned to their account. That person immediately contacts them after they sign up, plans out a journey with them, explains, kind of goes over the detail of what we can and can’t guess. The client would fill out a set-up questionnaire, is what we call it, so they fill out their information on a questionnaire and that also gives them an easy way to provide the additional data that they need to send over to us.

But it’s not uncommon for us to have to kind of dig a little bit deeper in some situations to get that bit of extra information, but as Will was saying, there is an incredible team on our side that put a massive amount of effort into making sure that all of that data is exactly as it should be, and making sure also that they’re communicating with each salon owner that signs up to let them know that we need these particular things and here’s how you can provide it to us. Whether it is, as Will was saying, just a photograph of the service menu can be one way. Some clients would prefer to provide the information on spreadsheets. There are a million and one different ways that you can provide that information, and we just make sure we’re as clear as possible with the client to explain what we can’t extract from a software, and what we need them to provide, I suppose, from a manual perspective.

Phorest Onboarding, Go-Live & training [17:24]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So Paul, you alluded to this a little earlier when you said sometimes you would link the go-live date to the training. Killian, you’re in the Training and Education department, how do you two work together, then, with the clients that are migrating?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so in Education, we actually offer a range of training modules, so if you’re based in Ireland, the minute you start getting set up with your Phorest system, we have in-house, what we call Go-Live days, which is where a salon owner would bring their whole team up to Phorest and they’d do a full day of training in house, go through the system and they’ll also get their own demo practice versions to play around with, which means you’re not going to mess up anything in your own Phorest system before you’ve finally gotten the hang of it. And then on the Wednesdays, we do what’s called a management and growth session, and that’s usually the salon owner and the manager, and that just goes into the more, I suppose, intricate sides of the business, more marketing, reports, things like those.

So that’s just if you’re in Ireland. We do call outs in the US and the UK, but the biggest form of training that we offer is online training, and this is free online training with a live instructor. So they’re usually groups, but we offer a range of modules. Again, you’ve got your hour-long Go-Live, we’ve got your text and email marketing, we’ve got your essential management, we’ve got loads of different modules that you can learn bite-size of Phorest within half an hour to an hour. It takes no time at all, really. And you can do that at home, in the salon, you don’t even need to have your Phorest system at this point, because all our trainers use, again, a demo training system, and they’ll give the learners at the end of the conference call access to the mouse, as well. So while our trainers will demonstrate how to make a booking, something as simple as making a booking, then they’ll be able to share the mouse over, and the learners can take it in turns to do it as well.

And we’re also starting to introduce – moving further again – we’re starting to introduce self-taught training modules, and these are courses now through Phorest Academy, which we’re still kind of in testing and anyone can sign up, I’ll do my little sales pitch at the end of this-

Paul Kiersey: Super exciting!

Killian Vigna: Paul is one of our biggest course testers, he loves it! We work very closely with Paul in the sense of does this course make sense? But yeah, a lot of training there. And you have our support guys, and they’re just wizards again from there.

Paul Kiersey: Yeah, phenomenal.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so anything you’re stuck on, whether you’re on training, you’ll come to Education department or if you just want instant help, you can call up, email, or log a call with our Support department. And then there’s always Paul who’s happy to answer everything! And Will, when he stops by.

Will Hulihan: Yeah.

What if something goes wrong with the setup? [20:12]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So recently enough there was an article published in Salon Today about some of our clients that switched software saying that it was scary, but they actually thought it was the best thing they’ve ever done. Now, one of these clients of ours is Heather Yurko from Neatbeat Salon in Kentucky, and she says “I may not have realised the work involved, but that the team was there every step of the way, the training and support were phenomenal,” that when they did have hiccups, that we had their backs.

When stuff goes wrong, because you made the process seem really, really easy and seamless, but we all know that we don’t live in a utopian world either, some things can go wrong sometimes, so what’s the process then. So she mentioned that you guys were very reactive and had the teams back straight away, what does it look like?

Paul Kiersey: I actually onboarded Heather. [crosstalk 00:21:06]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Perfect guy to ask then!

Will Hulihan: And Heather was my client-

Paul Kiersey: Yeah, that’s crazy. That was November 2017, I think it was?

Will Hulihan: Yeah it was November 30th she started, yeah.

Killian Vigna: November 30th did you say?

Paul Kiersey: 2017.

Will Hulihan: 2017 November 30th she actually officially signed on.

Killian Vigna: This wasn’t even planned, we just know our clients that well.

Will Hulihan: That’s it.

Paul Kiersey: Heather’s great as well. But yeah, things do go wrong. It happens, the best thing that we have, I suppose, is just a team of people who are incredibly dedicated to fixing up things that can go wrong, will go wrong eventually in some scenarios. The guys on my team, and the guys over in the US as well, are incredibly, incredibly experienced with the software. They know every corner, they know everything that could potentially go wrong in some situations, and when it does, they’re incredibly quick to get it fixed. 

It’s also important to be open and honest about that kind of stuff. If something does go wrong with the setup itself, or if a piece of information was missed, or anything like that, first of all, obviously being as open and honest with the salon owner, making sure they’re aware of it, letting them know how you’re going to actually fix it, and then getting to that point where the issue is resolved before it’s kind of snowballed into catastrophe.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So I guess you guys do a lot of preempting a bit like John Doran was explaining on the dev side in one of our episodes last year.

Killian Vigna: Server outages, yeah it happens.

Paul Kiersey: Yeah, and again to avoid all of that, that’s the reason why we tend to work very, very close with salon owners or any of the clients that sign up because we know all of the steps that need to be done, and we just need to make sure we’re as clear as possible, and that the salon owner understand all of the steps that need to be done in between the process of signing up to the software all the way up to the date that they go live.

Will Hulihan: Yeah and one of the very important things to also point out, is what Paul was saying, when we recognise that there’s an issue, it’s being accountable and stepping up and talking to the salon owner or the manager right away. Not letting it sit and wait for them to go live and then have everything fall apart with them and not have anybody there to support. One thing that’s really special and that stands out about Phorest is our incredible Support team, our Onboarding Specialists are right there, ready to help, and everybody kind of jumps in and gets it done.

How to be best prepared for the data migration process [23:36]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Thinking about your salon visits, what would be three things that you would recommend owners do that would help them get best prepared for a switch?

Will Hulihan: One thing that’s really important is to make sure that your team has all of their up to date information in the system. So whether it’s your timing durations, your pricing, your services and make sure that you communicate with us how you want that conversion to happen.  So if you want your gap times to be a specific way, let us know so in advance we’re prepared for that.

Secondly, I think that things they could do, is their past financial information they’ll definitely want to make sure that they export that into Excel or a CSV spreadsheet they can at least reference back to it, but then again, with our partnership with ZeeZor, if they were to set up with ZeeZor, they’re able to keep that past financial information and have it connected directly into their current data. And lastly, is just talk to other salon owners, really understand what they’ve done, how their experience has been with Phorest, to help to relieve some of that fear that they have. Because I think at the end of the day, letting go of the control and letting them just trust in, and know that Phorest and our team is there to support them, and that we’ve got their back and we’re going to make sure that everything is done correctly, and that everything is done.

But other than that, I mean, I think it’s pretty much pretty straight forward. Once we do the site survey, we get everything going; the journey process is pretty seamless.

Killian Vigna: It’s always going to seem scary when you’re looking at online, and actually I’ve just realised we’ve started the show with this, and now we’re ending it with it, but once you start talking to people in Phorest, things just become a lot more relaxed, a lot more easier. Is there anything you’d add to that, Paul, being as you’ve now started talking to them from a client perspective?

Paul Kiersey: I’d say naturally, as you were saying, it’s only human to be nervous about things that are this daunting. Especially for a business owner that has owned a salon for ten years.  You’re asking them to put a lot of trust in what… they’ve grown this baby that’s turned into this massive business, and you’re asking them to essentially trust in you to make sure that transition is seamless from whether they’re using an existing software or they’re pen and paper or whichever. My advice on top of essentially what Will has already said, would be to accept that it’s natural and it’s normal to feel nervous about that move. I think a lot of salon owners that I’ve spoken to in the past, it’s almost the first thing I would typically try to gauge how somebody obviously is feeling about the transition, and the two words that you hear is first that they’re excited and then second that they’re nervous about it.

Almost every single client will say it, and there’s a reason why they do, and I think the people that try to fight that nervousness too much will kind of scare themselves a little bit too much as well. The other thing would be for anybody that is just after going through an onboarding experience, and they’re starting to use the software, I’m a big advocate of telling people just to use the system as much as you can. Click wherever you can, you’re not going to click a button that’s going to make the software or your computer explode.

There’s no reason to pay for something and buy something and not get absolutely everything out of it. I would be a big advocate of getting as many people to click anywhere, try out new features, do as many online trainings, the Onboarding Specialist will typically speak to any salon owner about what kind of journey they want to have, what expectations they have. They’ll make sure they’re booked into those trainings to ease those nerves a little bit at the start. I would definitely be a massive advocate of just click everywhere in the software and just see what happens.

Killian Vigna: Guys, I think you have done a brilliant job making the transition from other software or pen and paper to our software, and I have to say if I had a salon I’d be ready to move over myself now. I just think it can be a scary experience and I think you have broken it down quite well of just how we do onboarding here.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And for anyone curious to read more about those three salon owners who did do the switch from that Salon Today article, it’ll be in this episodes show notes. You can have a read there and check out the video testimonials that we put out on YouTube as well.

Killian Vigna: Great stuff, thanks very much guys.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Thank you so much, guys!

Paul Kiersey: Thanks so much for having us.

Will Hulihan: Thank you!

Inside Phorest: reflections, upcoming events & final words [28:29]

Killian Vigna: So that was Paul and Will, hopefully easing anyone’s concerns about moving from one software to another, especially if you’ve gone from pen and paper on-premises where I suppose you’ve done it for so long that you’re kind of, not suck in your way, but it’s just what you’re used to, and you naturally are going to have that fear that you’re going to lose everything by moving everything over to somewhere new. So I really hope the guys have done a great job explaining that because I feel like they did a good job of it, it’s not the easiest thing to talk about.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, definitely not, but I do think mixed again with people who have done the transition before, their experiences mixed with this episode from an insider point of view, I think that it does ease a bit of the fear, or the concerns I suppose about all of that.

Killian Vigna: And now I think it’s time to give that little sales plug that I did mention when I was talking about education: The Phorest Academy. So as we’ve mentioned the last few times, we’re delighted to announce the early access launch of Phorest Academy, your one-stop education shop.

So what is Phorest Academy? It’s an online learning portal full of fun, interactive, and bite-size self-taught training courses covering every area of your Phorest system. So this is limited to clients only, the reason it’s limited to clients only is because it’s about getting the most out of your Phorest system while you’re in that learning stage, whether you’re a salon owner new coming over to Phorest, you’re a new manager, or you’re just looking for a bit more upskilling, or hey even you have a new hire and you just can’t commit time for them to sit down and do some live training.

So what can you expect from Phorest Academy? You can get interactive online and on-demand training, learning on the go with the app, so you don’t even need to sit down with a laptop or desktop, you don’t have to sit down behind the salon counter. You get a library of regularly added and updated courses. So we have three full courses there at the moment, we are adding more each month. There are interactive Phorest systems, which are those Phorest demos that we were talking about where we give you a scenario, and you have to replicate that, and you can’t break anything, or like Paul said, “blow it up,” which is great.

And lastly, but not least, you can finally get Phorest Academy certified. The most exciting thing, I think, about it is that people will now have certificates to say they have completed their training, that they’re sufficient in using Phorest. And speaking of courses then, Zoe you actually have a course as well yourself.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so we on the marketing team, have announced just a couple of weeks ago the Salon Management Course, which is a free six-week program hosted by business strategist Valerie Delforge, and is designed to help develop your managerial and leadership skills. It works this way: it’s all online first of all, you do not need to be a Phorest client to avail of this opportunity, you don’t even need software at all, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to sign up, really. So each week you’ll receive, by email, an hour-long presentation that you can watch in your own time, you’ll also get a workbook that goes along with that presentation, and it will help you put new ideas and plans into place. So I suppose you can think about this course as a practical step-by-step game plan to review what you’re currently doing, identify things that you could possibly be doing better and then, of course, set the plans up so that you can take action.

The link to sign up to this Salon Management Course is in this episode’s show notes. You can register there, you’ll get your welcome email, and then we’ll guide you through the six weeks.

Last but not least, we also have the Salon Mentorship Hub, which is a place to connect. So whatever you’re struggling with in the salon if you’re in a rut, you’re feeling stuck, you’re having an issue with, I don’t know, customer service, social media, you want more information on something that isn’t really feeling right in finance, or whatever it is really, we’ve teamed up with industry coaches and consultants so if you head over to you can book yourself in for free 15 to 30 minute consultation on a topic of your choosing with one of those mentors. Currently working with us on the Salon Mentorship Hub are 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. So again, to book your free consultation, head over to and no, you do not need to be a Phorest client to avail of this as well. And well, I suppose that’s all we’ve got for this week, guys. As always, if you want to share your thoughts on this episode, or have any suggestions, please 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

Switching Software, Salon Today Article

Phorest Studios, Salons Discuss Switching Software

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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