Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 68. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, Phorest FM is a weekly show that puts forth a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, salon/spa marketing tips, company insights and information on attending Phorest Academy webinars. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 68

After a month of podcast interviews on GDPR, company culture, interior design tips and more, Killian and Zoe dedicate this week’s episode of Phorest FM to a round-up of everything that’s happened on the Phorest Blog in March. From the most popular blogs to new contests and upcoming Phorest Academy Webinars, you’re sure to get all the marketing advice you might have missed.



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM Podcast, episode 68, I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer.

Killian Vigna: This week’s episode is our monthly roundup, bringing you all the best bits from your favourite blogs and merch.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’ll discuss preparing for the worst with an extreme whether salon policy and how to get the most out of your salon vouchers. Stay tuned to hear all about the long-awaited #30Days2Grow campaign, which kicks off next week, and what you can expect from it.

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 a bit of a change of environment today, not in the studio, I’m actually remote as well, just like you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, how are you finding the remote situation?

Killian Vigna: Ah yes, it’s fun, it’s just weird, especially when there’s people around and they see you at home. They’re like “Ah, are you off work?” And you’re like “No, I’m actually working. Leave me alone!” But yeah, it’s more one of those novelty things, I think I’m the type of person that needs to be sat in an office annoying everyone else, rather than sitting at home being annoyed.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s a very good way of putting it, yeah.

Killian Vigna: I don’t know how you do it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Different kind of personality, what can I say?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, you’re a bit more chilled than me.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So this month; monthly roundup, we’re only going to go through two articles, in particular, this episode. One being the extreme weather situation, because I feel like everyone’s being hit by extreme weather these days. You guys in Ireland, in the UK, with the Beast from the East; New York with the bomb cyclones every second week. It just seems to never stop, and we’re still in March, but it’s just constantly there.

Killian Vigna: Considering we’re coming into spring, to wake up and see a foot of snow outside your garden, or outside your house, you’re thinking what is wrong, what is going on with the world at the moment?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And like more than that, I mean I don’t own a business personally, but if you wake up with that kind of situation and you’re thinking “Oh god, do I have to close again?” How do you deal with all that? And then you have all these other questions of well, like: “What if I open and staff doesn’t show up? What if I open and I have to send people home? What if we don’t open? Do we have to pay staff?” There’s so much more than just closing for the day or opening for the day, regardless of the weather.

Killian Vigna: And this is the side of it that people don’t realize, because the likes of me and you, we work in offices, we can work from home worst case scenario, so the business doesn’t shut down. But there was a lot of backlash with shops opening, people were giving out “Oh you’re forcing your staff members to come in.” But then when the shops did close, people were giving out saying “It’s not that bad, how are we supposed to get any bread?” Bread and milk were mayhem, they were like gold dust in Ireland. So it is that – people don’t actually think about well what about business owners who have a premises, what do you do?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. It’s a very tricky thing, and we’re very lucky to have a good collaboration with ESA Consultants. So you’ve probably heard that name from Michelle Bolger or Joe Bolger, they write blogs for us on anything employment law related. So when the Beast from the East happened, they got I think something over 1,200 calls on what do I need to do? What am I legally entitled to do, and what do I need to take care of?

So they put together a policy, and we’ve worked together with them to adapt it to the salon and spa industry. So this blog essentially is a policy that you can pretty much copy and paste, and change a few bits, adapt if you want. There’s even a link that if you wanted to adapt it fully, you can get in touch with ESA and really adapt it to your salon, or you could just do it on your own and add it to your SOP manual. It’s something like that that you don’t know when it’s going to happen, red weather warnings, you’re never prepared for them.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, especially when it is something that is so rare in the likes of Ireland, the UK. I’m sure you guys get it a bit more over there, and you’re more used to it. Or maybe you’re not, but maybe you’re not…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well Canada we are, but New York isn’t used to it at all.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. So what sort of procedures are Joe and Michelle talking about here now?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So there’s a lot of things in this, obviously I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of it, you are way better off reading the blog. But they’ve listed essentially the purpose of the policy, the definitions of what’s a red weather warning, what’s hazardous conditions, what are sudden weather changes. The warning codes, is it yellow, amber, red? What kind of action that you can take, and how do you define… What’s high risk, what’s medium risk, what’s low risk of coming into work and things like that?

What are you entitled to do, reporting to work for staff? Types of actions, decisions that you can make. How to plan things as well, and how to activate the policy.

So it’s a very dense blog, but it’s definitely something you want to add to your SOP, because like I said, red weather warnings, extreme weather temperatures, and stuff like that, you can never really plan for it. And if you don’t have a plan in place, then it makes it very, very difficult to manage everything on the day, and make sure that everyone’s safe, make sure that you’re covered business-wise, and that your customers are well informed at the same time.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so regardless of if nothing this bad happens for another couple of years, at least you’re always prepared, you have something in place.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah, 100%.

Killian Vigna: So while everyone else is freaking out, you can stay calm.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so there’s loads of things in there, I recommend you read the blog, so, again, it’s called Preparing For The Worst With An Extreme Weather Salon Policy. In there, there’s also a free downloadable piece of content, so ESA put together some Health and Safety Recommendations, and we turned it into a lovely little visual reminder that you can keep in your salon. So that’s free to download, it’s on the blog, under the management section.

Killian Vigna: Cool, yeah. Moving into our second blog now, looking at this blog it’s a bit of an accountant’s speak one here. Basically, it’s a question that we’ve got in quite a bit, “How do we do the tax and the vats of salon gift cards and gift vouchers?”

So, I suppose me and you aren’t exactly accountants or experts at this, this was a guest blog, but we’re going to give I suppose the gist of the blog because there is actually a link at the end of it, isn’t there Zoe?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes there is, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so what we recommend is take a look at the blog, and you have the gist anyway, you’ll give it a quick run through. But then scroll down to the bottom and join that group. So this is a guest article by Gloria Murray.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so essentially the whole idea behind this is that a lot of accountants don’t really know how to treat gift cards. And this is not something I’m saying, but it is something that she’s noticed even from talking to her clients, or clients coming to her after being with other accountants, and she realized that this is something that not a lot of people know.

Where essentially, gift vouchers, like when you do the sale at first. If say you bought a voucher, the VAT and taxes should be only applied when the voucher is redeemed, not when you buy it off the salon.

Killian Vigna: That is the common misconception isn’t it, is that once the purchase is made, that’s when you start doing your tax on it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so it’s a very tricky situation, and like you said, we’re both not accountants, and it’s definitely better than you check out this blog for yourself. I mean there is obviously UK-based examples, because she is based in Glasgow, but she has a Facebook group there, linked at the bottom, it’s called Knowing Your Numbers. It’s a free and open public group on Facebook, and it’s run by her.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, and it’s not like we’re trying to skip past this blog, Gloria actually says herself that the rules on VAT and vouchers are due to change in 2019, which is why this blog it’s recommended that you do just join her group, and then you can keep up to date when those changes kick in next year, because 2019, realistically…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s not that far.

Killian Vigna: Nine months away, that’s going to fly by, especially when you’re coming up to Christmas, which is your hottest time of the year for gift vouchers.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, 100%. You need at least to have a good sit down chat, either with your personal accountant or if you have a few questions and you want to stay behind the scenes with it, you can go on that Facebook group and ask her your questions there.

Killian Vigna: Cool, so let’s move over to our announcement, and I’m going to let you do it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So we’re very excited about this, I’ve been working day in day out on this, #30Days2Grow is kicking off on April 1st, and we’re very excited to launch our second edition which is entirely different from last year. The same concept, but the challenges have all changed.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so, I remember working with you guys on that last year, and it was a really cool, fun project to put together. But I’ve taken a step back this year, so I know you got lots of feedback and stuff last year, is there anything different, or anyone that did it last year and are going to do it again this year? Is there anything they can expect that might be different, or things have changed?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, a few little things here and there, nothing major. So last year we sent the emails out on the day of, and when we gathered feedback from the first edition in July last year, a lot of people were saying that they’d prefer getting the task the night before so that they could chat with the team and mentally prepare for what they had to do the next day. Which makes 100% sense.

Killian Vigna: Makes complete sense, because you’re trying to get your team together with these ideas, but you’re also trying to deal with clients at the same time. So it’s too late, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it’s 100% fair. So this year, that’s what we’re doing. So you’re going to be receiving the email at 5 PM your time the night before, and that will leave you… And we’ve done a poll on this actually, we get new members on that Facebook group every single day, and we did a poll, and I want to say 95% of the people, if not more, said they’d prefer getting it at 5 PM. And we had three options, 5, 7, or 9 PM, and 5 PM was a winner by a lot.

So that’s what time we’re going to send it at if you’re based in Australia, if you’re based in the US, if you’re based in the UK or Ireland, you will still get it at 5 PM your time. We can tailor for that. And then if you signed up with a mobile phone number, you’ll be getting that SMS on the day of, as a reminder that you received that email yesterday essentially.

Killian Vigna: So you’ve been working hard on the challenges, as well as the rest of the marketing team. I suppose, without giving too much away, is there any cool challenges in there that have stood out to you, that you’re looking forward to seeing how salon owners get on with?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s a good question!

Killian Vigna: Basically you’re telling me no, don’t ask!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, do ask, do ask. No, there are a few ones that are really, really fun. The ones that performed best last year we’ve tweaked this year to even give you a little twist on it again. But there is the whole GDPR thing that we’ve managed to put into there, and it’s, again, if you’re based in the EU you’ll be receiving those emails, but if you’re based in the US, GDPR doesn’t apply to you, so you’ll be getting different emails for that.

We’ve really tried to tailor the content to where you’re based, and make it the most relevant 30-day challenge to you.

Now, one of my favourite ones, to answer your question, I think it has to be the treat your clients with freshly baked things. And this is a challenge that you could either do yourself, or you can try and do a collaboration with a local business, or a local café. There’s loads of different angles you can take with it, but I mean, I come from a family where my mom used to cook little cupcakes and muffins and stuff. Like I’d always have something on the weekend. And it’s just such a nice touch, I think it’s going to be really cool to see all the photos coming out of it as well. It’s a very visual task at the end of the day.

Killian Vigna: I love that idea, that’s really kicked it up a notch from last year, from the provide the moments of magic, because exactly like my dad is a pastry chef, so at home, we always got the smell of the cakes late at night. But also my housemate now, she’s mad into baking, so I come home after work and every night I just smell chocolate and stuff like that. So it’s just those smells the minute you walk into a salon and get the smell of fresh baked [goods].

I’m really looking forward to that one, because even some of the photos from last year that were put up into the #30Days2Grow Facebook page, some people were really, really getting on board this, like really enjoying it. But not just the owners and the managers, their whole team were involved in this, and there was just excitement all around. So, yeah, that will be a really cool one to see actually. But like you said with the collaboration, do not miss out on collaborating with a local bakery, that’s just genius.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And to be honest, you won’t be left alone in this. We’ve put together so many content pieces that can help you achieve these tasks. It could be articles, it could be eBooks, it could be webinars. We have pieces of content that you can download that are literally just tailored to that task, that have never been published anywhere else before.

And so, you know, you really will be covered, and if you join our Facebook group, the #30Days2Grow Facebook group, it’s a networking community essentially and you can help each other out with how do I achieve this task? I’m kind of stuck, I don’t have any ideas. What are you guys doing? It’s a very interactive group, so you shouldn’t feel shy to participate in it.

It’s a very open community there, and again, we’ve kind of, compared to last year where we did tasks every day and there wasn’t necessarily a theme per week, this year there actually is a theme per week, so you can have a better idea, okay this week we’re going to be focusing on, for instance, retail, so get your team together and you get that mindset. And then every night you get that email for the next day.

That’s also something we took from the feedback from last year, to help you guys organize and plan in advance.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, and like you were saying earlier, you’re going to get loads of support with this. I’m actually just scrolling through, so this is the same Facebook page as last year, isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, same Facebook group, except there’s new members.

Killian Vigna: New members, yeah. Because you were saying about the support, and I remember from last year, and I’m just scrolling down here trying to find it, there was actually a lady in this group who she was the only person in her town doing it, or she was the only salon in her town, and she actually managed to create a community of salon owners through the #30Days2Grow, where they were all helping each other come up with ideas that they were stuck on. So I think that’s one of the early ones, if you scroll down you’ll find that there. But we’ll also be doing a lot of support throughout the month, won’t we?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh yeah, 100%. Like last year, we’ll be doing Facebook lives, we’ll hop on Instagram as well, on Instagram live. And oh, before I forget actually – if you participated last year and you want to do the challenge again this year, it’s really important that you go sign up using the #30Days2Grow website, so there’s the form there, it’s the same as last year, you fill in your details. If you want the challenges also by SMS you leave your phone number there. It literally takes two seconds, but it’s really important to sign up again, otherwise, you won’t be getting the emails automatically.

Killian Vigna: Cool, yeah. So that’s the big announcement today, the #30Days2Grow, really looking forward to that. I’m going to be taking an eye on the #30Days2Grow salon challenge Facebook page, and also be looking at the website, so it’s www.30days2grow.com, that’s 3, 0, and the number 2 as well. Can’t wait to see all those coming in, can’t wait to see who’s getting on board, and cannot wait to see the pictures being put up.

The marketing team with loads of kids, I remember coming in each morning, every morning [inaudible 00:16:22] message going “Has anyone put anything up yet? What have they put up yet?” It was like we got excited seeing you guys being excited.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I know, that was the best part of last year’s challenge. Other than that, the last section of our show, the Phorest Academy Webinars, we have one coming up on April 11th, with Valerie Delforge, it’s her last installment of the Salon Management Development series, and in this one she will teach you how to become an inspirational and motivational leader to your team. So, like I said, Wednesday, April 11th, from 2 PM to 3 PM UK/Ireland time, or 9 AM to 10 AM US/Eastern time.

If you want to sign up for this webinar, all you have to do – as always it is free – you go onto our Facebook page, into the events section, and you click get tickets. Fill in your details, and you’re in.

Killian Vigna: And you actually have one more thing as well, don’t you have a competition going?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Very true, thank you for reminding me, that would’ve slipped through a crack I think. We have, as always, a monthly social media giveaway going on, and this month we’re giving away two essential oil diffusers along with fragrant oil starter packs. That’s all available on Facebook as well, on the little tab giveaway, or you can go on the Phorest blog and enter there as well.

Killian Vigna: Cool, and I suppose just some closing remarks for anyone that’s enjoying the show, we’d really appreciate if you could give us some feedback, rate us, review us on iTunes, you can do it on PodBean. What else do you want to hear about? So, for all of April we’ll be doing #30Days2Grow specials, but then from May on, what do you want to hear about? Hit us up, let us know.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So that’s it for us today, hope you have a wonderful week and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best!

Thanks for reading!


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