Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 73. 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 73

It’s that time again where we wrap up the industry’s favourite 30-days challenge, #30Days 2Grow. After weeks of focusing on retail, customer service, staff and finally marketing, it’s time we did a little recap of all that was shared, learned and discussed. Tune in for this week’s Phorest FM episode and hear snippets from previous podcast interviews with Rowena Doyle (Visual Merchandising), Aaron Carroll (Nutrition and Work-Life Balance), Gavin Hoare (Customer Service) and David Barnett (Pricing, Charging What You’re Worth).


David Barnett is offering free 30-minute consultations for anyone looking for some advice or help with an aspect of their business. Pick a date and time that works for you – it’s fast and easy: https://meetme.so/DavidBarnett

Leave a Rating & Review: https://bit.ly/phorestfm


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 73. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. This week’s episode is our monthly round of bringing you all the best bits from the #30Days2Grow campaign. We’ll also have a few announcements around things to come in May.

Killian Vigna: 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. Can you believe it? It’s the end of #30Days2Grow, already.

Killian Vigna: I can’t believe how fast that month has gone. Doesn’t feel that long ago that I was sitting down, Sunday, stuffing my face with a load of chocolate Easter eggs… I was about to say chocolate Christmas eggs, and this whole thing just kicked off.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’m not gonna lie, I was still eating some Easter eggs just last week.

Killian Vigna: No, they don’t last that long for me.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Everything in moderation, Killian. This is what we learned on episode [inaudible 00:01:02]

Killian Vigna: By the time I head Aaron Carroll’s podcast, they were all gone. I’m a little piggy, but I’ve learnt know, I’ve got my app, I’m tracking. For anyone that doesn’t know what we’re talking about, we’ll cover that in a little bit. I was just scrolling through the Facebook group page last night, really good, a lot of people really engaging with each other. Not just with Phorest staff or on the tasks, but actually really getting involved with each other and helping each other out, which I thought was unbelievable.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Especially for people who are working alone, that didn’t necessarily have a team, some of those people felt a little overwhelmed by how much the tasks would take out of their time or their day, and stuff like that. There were a few comments around that, in the group, and literally, I was amazed by how many salon owners just jumped in… words of encouragement, all the time, and supportive. It was just really great to see.

Killian Vigna: That was the one thing that stood out to me straight away last night, scrolling through it, is how… kind of felt some of their pain before I clicked into the comment section, it was like, “Oh I’m on my own and I’ve only got to do three or four of the tasks this week, I haven’t got to do them all.” Then when you clicked on the comment section, there was just salon after salon, all jumping in going, “What can we help you on? Have you got all the tasks? Is there anything we can do?” It was incredible to see, it really was. That’s when it became a proper discussion forum, and it wasn’t just, “What’s the next task?” It was people helping each other and it was just so good to see.

Like that, where people were saying that they felt bogged down and they weren’t getting to do all the challenges every day; one thing to take from this is that, those challenges don’t have to be done every day. It’s done over time. We call it the 30Days2Grow challenge, but take those 30 challenges and do them in your own time. Maybe even do one a week, do it over 30 weeks. There’s what, 52 weeks in a year? If you could do one of those a week, you’re already onto something.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Definitely. That’s what we kind of stressed last year because we had a different way of sending the tasks. They were sent on the day, whereas now, we’re sending them the night before. That’s definitely something you can do, just save the emails in a folder in your inbox, and then just do them whenever you can, whenever you have a chance.

Killian Vigna: You don’t even need to save those emails because if you’re part of that 30Days2Grow salon challenge Facebook group, you can actually access them all through that anyway, can you?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, you can, of course. If you wanted to really have all the 30 days all in one spot, sometimes it can be a little long to flick through a Facebook group. They’re all there as well, so if anything… that group stays open all year. People who haven’t actually joined in April can still join later on throughout the year. It’s just less of everyone coming together at the same time, but you can still access all the challenges from 2018 until when we run it again next year and we change it up. That Facebook group never actually ceases to be active.

Killian Vigna: Use that as your own salon forum. We saw that throughout the year as well, there were a lot of people joining the group, and requesting challenges. They got the challenges, because I think they were still live from last year. People were joining the group, even though there wasn’t a whole lot of activity going on, but it meant they were ready for when we kicked it off, cause we kicked it off early this year, didn’t we.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Last year we ran it in July, and one of biggest pieces of feedback that we got, was that it would be handier either in March or in April.

Killian Vigna: Really looking forward to the feedback this year. Like you said, the two things that stood out most from the feedback last year was, it was kind of around the summertime, which was a very busy period for most people, but also the challenges went out in the morning, which didn’t give salon owners and their team enough time to come up with great ideas. Now we kicked off the campaign earlier, and we also started sending the messages out the night beforehand.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, with SMS reminders in the morning, for people who’d signed up with their phone numbers as well.

Killian Vigna: This episode is also going to be neatly placed into that Facebook group as well. You’ll be able to catch up on all our previous episodes as well, throughout the campaign, because we covered four episodes, four industry expert episodes ourselves this month.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The first one, episode 69, if you remember well, it was Rowena Doyle from Visual Sense, a visual merchandising company based in Dublin. She was all about, essentially, giving tips on how to place your products in your salon in order to increase your client’s product retail spend. She went through quite a bit of tips there. She even jumped into the Facebook group after the episode and gave a few specific tips to people who were posting in the group and were posting their photos and displays that they’d come up with.

Killian Vigna: She had a focus around three key areas. It was communication, repetition, and then it was senses, wasn’t it? She had some other tips there about cooperation… is it cooperating, I don’t even know… yeah, it would be cooperating… with a local business, kind of a local bakery or someone like that. She said senses is another big thing. You want to go in and you want to feel like you’re in a salon. What you see, what you hear, what you smell; everything like that. You think, if you were to go into a spa, you’ve got the oils, the aromatherapy kits, flowers, baked goods, fresh coffee. She said, try and collaborate with local business, or pop up shops. Any startup companies, get them to come in and have a little retail stand.

One thing I thought was really cool… this especially comes from what her skill is, visual merchandising, is themes. Do you remember the themes she talked about?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, that was really good. Speaking of which, what do you say we play a few snippets from that episode?

Snippet 1, Rowena Doyle: For me, number one in terms of a technique, would be repetition. I spoke a little bit about that at the Summit, in terms of having product that is repeated a couple of times with in different areas of the space. It tends to take people a little bit longer to process information, usually if they just see something once, they don’t remember it, but if they see it three times… that, for me, is always a really simple one, but actually always the most effective. From there, we would add on communication, which would be bigger now than it was a couple years ago. In terms of, having a unique voice around your products and what the value of them is, or what their benefits are… really clever signage as close to the display units as you can. Number three for is always your senses. Obviously very important in this industry. I’m always saying to clients, you’ve got to engage in people’s senses; their sight, their smell, and the sound. As much as your senses are heightened, the more likely you are to buy things.

Snippet 2, Rowena Doyle: I think there’s one big trend at the moment. I was at a conference last week and it was brought up again. I’m seeing it a lot, particularly in fashion retail … a lot of retailers, it’ll probably go across all retailers. That use of space, now being almost like, we want to break that rule book in retail. It’s not just for your main product that you sell, or service that you sell. What could you add on to that to make people come there for that? And then maybe buy your product or use it afterwards. Hospitality and retail is definitely merging.

Snippet 3, Rowena Doyle: I think this industry has one of the best content creations than a lot of other industries.

Snippet 4, Rowena Doyle: We’re not always the most creative and visual. I always urge people to get a big massive pin board and get images that they like or aspire too. Even if they can’t do right now, but they might do it in six months or a year, and pin them all up. That just keeps people thinking about it and motivated about it. It gives you aspiration.

Killian Vigna: The second episode of the month we had, was with Aaron Carroll. This is the one that came in just a little bit too late for me, cause I scuffed all those Easter eggs. This is Aaron Carroll from Aaron Carroll Health. He’s quite popular on Instagram, everyone here loves him.

He was talking us through the health and wellbeing, getting that balance between work life… that work-life balance basically. I found that one really interesting, because the fact he was talking about diets and stuff like those. Everyone says, “Oh, you can’t eat carbs and you have to have extra protein,” and stuff like those. He just debunked so many myths, so many myths.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: He even fit in the myths around McDonald’s and salads.

Killian Vigna: He lived off McDonald’s for how long? He said he actually lost weight.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It was a month-long challenge where he’d eat McDonald’s and also healthy foods. It was just to show that, essentially, it didn’t affect him in the way that the people who do those challenges and literally just eat McDonald’s every day, and that’s all they eat for 30 days… he didn’t have those effects. It was just to show that moderation was important.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. A lot of it does come back to calorie counting. Bear in mind, this is the same man that put up a video of himself doing a ten thousand calories challenge. He had to burn ten thousand calories in a day. I don’t know if you’ve seen that video, but he didn’t look good by the end of it.

He does this, he puts his body into these situations, he tests it. One of the biggest ones for me, that I absolutely loved to hear, is that there is no myth around white bread. When you go into a deli and you ask for white bread or brown bread, “I’ll go for the brown bread cause it’s healthier.” The whole slow energy release. He said,π You could go in and have a big dirty chicken filet roll, but that’s about six, seven hundred calories. Just be careful later on. He actually had a pretty cool tool in the episode. He talks about an app to download and it should just keep you on track. That was the MyFitnessPal, wasn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. MyFitnessPal. It’s a free app. He was like, “I don’t understand how it’s free, but sure it is,” so happy days.

Killian Vigna: For anyone that wants to catch that episode, it’s about 50 minutes long, but my god, the man has so much energy. He just [crosstalk 00:12:01] it was just so much information.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You’ll get a few good laughs out of it as well.

Killian Vigna: Quite a few laughs. He’s got energy, he’s passionate about what he does. Actually, that whole thing of, when you’re standing up all day, and you’re saying you get the sore shoulders. He says, avoid sitting down. Walk around all day. I’m giving too much of the episode away. Zoe, play some snippets there.

Snippet 1, Aaron Carroll: A lot of people, especially people that own their own businesses, they don’t give themselves anything back. They’re constantly frustrated and stressed out thinking about the people that work for them, their rent, their mortgage, their other half, their partner. It’s output, output, output; but they’re not creating any input. Unless you give yourself something back, all the output is gonna be wishy washy. That will reflect in your business.

Snippet 2, Aaron Carroll: It’s like ripple effect. If someone comes to you or one of your staff, and you’re not in a good mood and you’re not feeling great about yourself; how is that gonna look when the staff meets a customer or a client, or even how they answer the phone? Creating that positive energy and giving yourself something back, especially if you’re in a place of ownership or management. If you’re not giving yourself that thing back, to look after … hour a day, that half an hour a day for you; nothing else will look after itself properly.

Snippet 3, Aaron Carroll: What I do in the middle of the day, is I would have some type of caffeine hit, definitely. I’m not talking like a caramel macchiato triple espresso, orange mocha frappuccino with a million calories in it. I just have a double espresso. That’ll give you that pick-me-up you need, without any added calories. If you’re gonna have something, keep those insulin levels steady. That in itself will give you that natural stimulation that’ll pick your energy up, without that slump.

Snippet 4, Aaron Carroll: In an ideal world, everyone should work, maybe four to six hours a day, and be able to live a nice balanced lifestyle and still do the things they love with the people they love. We’re not designed for today’s society, we haven’t evolved fast enough for it. We forced ourselves too. If you can give yourself something back, for example, that holiday. Find something you love, whether it’s drawing, whether it’s working out, whether it’s doing a little bit of yoga at home. Whether it’s Netflix, a movie, whatever it is that makes you separate your head from the things that will take away or add stress to you. That’s what you need to do, and you have to force yourself not to neglect it.

Snippet 5, Aaron Carroll: Add value to giving yourself, or doing something that you love. Don’t think of it as something that can wait for later. Think about it as something that’s extremely important, so everything else works better. That’s one thing people have to remember, is that you are the most important person in your life. Of course you love other people and of course you want to do the best thing you can for other people; but unless you love yourself and you do something for you and realize you are an important person, you are worth value, then the other things will fall like a domino effect.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: In the third episode of the month of our industry experts interviews, was with Gavin Hoare. A lot of people… what did he say? It was the most often question that he got was what exactly is a salon Maître D’?

Killian Vigna: The salon Maître D’. It was the first question I think we asked him before we even introduced him into the show, and he laughed. To be fair, that’s probably a great title to get, just for an icebreaker, isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, I suppose. Maître D’, it came from the restaurant industry, and essentially, it’s just cause he does a lot of…. he does essentially the tasks of a salon manager, but for him, with all the other extra things that he was doing at Richard Ward Hair and Metro Spa; it didn’t feel like salon manager fit him one hundred percent, so they came up with the title Maître D’.

At the Summit, he was explaining that clients have seven universal needs. One of them, was to feel welcome, another to be listened to and understood, being served by an expert, that expert having multiple solutions to their needs. Clients want to indulge themselves, be reassured on purchasing decisions, and being shown out and getting a nice follow-up.

We went from there and essentially asked him to go more in depth about stuff. You know how he was like, “We have the power to change how customer service is delivered.” How do you do that? How do you manage, say for instance, when a client’s walking in and everyone’s busy?

Killian Vigna: That’s also one life lesson that I learned from him was when we asked him, how do you deal with irate customers? What was his answer? His answer was, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” I want to be right, obviously, but no, check out the podcast to get the real answer.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’ll play a few snippets right here.

Snippet 1, Gavin Hoare: I think our businesses, our salon owners, our managers, our team; have to recognize that the customer service experience can never be a static one. Each delivery changes over time. Salons must always try and adapt to what ever changing client sensibilities there are, or indeed, different economic climates. I think that’s the thing that our industry… we don’t have a set of rules. We don’t have a guide to guide us. It’s very much down to the individual. We have to work within our own client demographic, our own teams to how we deliver that customer service.

Snippet 2, Gavin Hoare: We have to be looking outside the box and thinking, what else can we bring to this? I think it’s giving your team the empowerment to get professional. It’s time for our teams to start acting like the experts that we are, and talk the business of hair. Talk the business of beauty before we move onto anything else.

Snippet 3, Gavin Hoare: Today’s client’s, when they come in, have a much greater expectation of what they want from a salon visit. They’re more well informed, they’re better educated, and they really want to have a voice, feel valued, and have their loyalty rewarded.

Snippet 4, Gavin Hoare: I don’t have time to go around every client. I don’t have time to sit and listen in on every consultation. I have to have faith that my team is following our company ethos to deliver; but also, one of the simplest things… again, this has really only happened recently, is getting our reception team or whoever’s taking the money, to simply ask the client, “How was your visit today? Is there anything we could do better next time?” Two simple statements, two questions. You’re giving your client a voice, and you’re inviting direct feedback from.

Snippet 5, Gavin Hoare: Ultimately, it’s just really people taking ownership. It’s really giving the autonomy to any member of your staff, whether they be a first year apprentice or the most senior member staff; that they have to take ownership of their part in the client journey. Someone comes in the door, that’s stage one. How we meet and greet them can leave a lasting impression. I just think you have to give your team the autonomy to deliver. It’s quite simple, but they have to know that they can do it.

Killian Vigna: That leads us into the final episode, and it’s from another Phorest FM guest regular, David Barnett from the High Performance Stylist. David’s episode was more about charging what you’re worth, wasn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: One of the first questions I ask him is, “How do you know what you’re worth?” Which is a hard one, to be honest. How do you know that?

Killian Vigna: He had a great way of breaking that down, though.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: He did, absolutely. He has a proper formula to know also. When can you raise your prices as a stylist? How can you know that you’re ready to raise them? It’s not only knowing what you’re worth but how to go on from there as your experience increases.

Killian Vigna: I remember, he actually came in here to do that episode. When we were asking him, “How do you know if you can raise your prices?” We kind of expected a generic enough answer, and then he opens up his notebook and he’s got this formula completely broken down. I’m like, “Wow, that actually makes so much more sense.” Then he went through different strategies as well, to add value and stuff like that as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Any advice on how do deal with the feedback afterwards, once you raise your price.

Killian Vigna: Because there’s always going to be… your most loyal clients aren’t going to give up because they understand that overheads go up. As the years go on, things get more expensive. He had a good way of dealing with that, and it wasn’t just sending them a simple note going, we’re raising our prices. He actually had substance to it.

Snippet 1, David Barnett: First and foremost, is that a lot of salon owners and stylists are fearful of raising their prices. They are actually more fearful than the guests. They’ve got this thing in their head, that, if I raise my prices, nobody is gonna come in. Or, everyone’s gonna be so upset with me, and if I keep them low, I’m gonna be packed.

Snippet 2, David Barnett: So many hairdressers open their own business, and they don’t even know what their break-even is. It’s an easy thing to find out. What are your set charges that you’ve got every single month? What are the bills you’ve got coming in that you know you’ve got to pay? First of all and foremost, it should be what you want to pay yourself. What can you afford to live on. That has to come number one.

Snippet 3, David Barnett: You need to have that number, it’s so crucial. The majority of salon owners that I work with, when we first sit down and I say, “Okay, what’s the break-even to begin with?” They don’t know it. Not off the top of their head. We’ve got to know that number, you’ve got to have that intimate relationship with your business that you know exactly how much it is in order to keep the lights on.

Snippet 4, David Barnett: Everything gets more expensive. It’s more expensive to live every single year, and also you’re getting more experience. You deserve to be raising your prices. That is the bottom line, that you deserve to be doing it. I can’t stress more, that it’s all about the experience. Don’t think about the price, think about what else you can offer them.

Snippet 5, David Barnett: That just gives them something to aim for as well. It takes away that awkward conversation of one of your team members coming up to you, either they think they’ve caught you on a really good day, or maybe it’s after a couple of beers after work and they say, “Any chance of a pay raise?” Or you know, “I wish I was earning some more money,” or, “My prices should be going up.” My answer ends up being, “Oh my god, I completely agree with you. I would love to pay you more money. Let’s sit down and look at your numbers.” As soon as you do that, it tells you straight away… if they’re not on track, then you can say, “You know what? You’re just off on a couple of things, but we are so close. Let’s just make sure we focus on those areas. Yes, a hundred percent, let’s raise prices.”

Killian Vigna: Four great episodes there. I’d say, if you were to listen to them all through, you’re talking, not even three and a half hours. You’ll get it done over a cup of coffee, no bother. You have those four episodes, you have the 30 days challenges in the 30Days2Grow salon challenge Facebook page. There’s also that website as well, isn’t there?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The 30days2grow.com absolutely, that’s still there.

Killian Vigna: That’s three zero Days, number two, Grow dot com. For anyone out there who did feel like it was overwhelming, who did feel like they got bogged down in it; do not worry, because you can do one a week, you can do two a week. You can do as many as you like. Just try and implement one every couple of days. This whole process isn’t to make you feel overwhelmed or feel like, “Oh no, I’m not doing this, this and that.” It’s just simple, everyday tips to see what you’re not doing.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Definitely, areas that you can improve on, areas that you mightn’t have thought about even, or that slip through a crack over time. That’s okay, it happens to everyone. Congratulations to every one of you who participated, you did an amazing job. We’re very, very proud and delighted that you’re actually getting results out of this. We saw all the results on the Facebook group where people were saying, “I shared a contest, I’m getting more views than I’ve ever gotten. I did a before and after photo, I’m getting new clients in.” It’s absolutely amazing how well that went, and we can’t be proud enough of you.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. You’re doing this on top of what you’re already doing, so if anything, this is extra work that you’ve just done, so big fair play.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Before we end this episode, I have a few announcements, because we have, obviously now it’s coming back to the regular program. We have a new marketing toolkit, out since last week. That’s for May, if you want new ideas, new campaigns that you can run around… There’s stuff in there for Mother’s Day, there’s stuff in there for the wedding season that’s coming up. Warm weather and… there’s a few other things there. There’s a free toolkit download. All you have to do is go onto the Phorest Blog, find that May marketing ideas blog, and download the toolkit from there.

Other than that, we are bringing back the Instagram Masterclass on Phorest Academy. That’ll be on May 21st, from 3 pm to 4 pm UK Ireland time, 10 am to 11 am US Eastern time. That’s with Chris Brennan, it’s an hour-long masterclass on Instagram, the in’s and out’s of how you can market your business on that platform. To sign up for that, it’s in the events section of the Phorest Salon Software page. You go to buy tickets; it’s free, obviously as usual, you just save your spot and your details and get a link to join the webinar on the day.

Other than then that, we also have a new giveaway running, and that’s until May 7th.

Killian Vigna: I love a bit of competition time. What’s the prize this time?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: This time, it’s a StarQ wireless phone charger. Essentially, you know those little pods that you plug into the wall, and the pod is there, and you can put it in your reception area, you can put it at your front desk. The way I see this was, essentially for your clients. Everyone’s on their phones nowadays, and I don’t know about you, but I’m on an iPhone. By the end of the day, for sure my phone is dead.

Killian Vigna: That’s cause you’re on an iPhone.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That is because I am on an iPhone, absolutely. Those little pods, it’s just really handy. It’s an extra little tiny service that you can offer your clients, to have that pod. They put their phone there while they’re waiting for their appointment, charge a bit, and then go off to their treatment, their service. Go back, head back home, and at least they have a working phone.

Killian Vigna: Starbucks might offer wifi, but you’re gonna offer power, phone power.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: There you go.

Killian Vigna: Probably pretty cool though, it’d be a nice, handy little gadget to have. How do you enter for that?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’ve put up .. the link is up on Facebook, it’s also up on the link in bio in our Instagram account. If you’re following Phorest on Instagram, it’s @phorestsalonsoftware. That’s in the link in the bio there. Other than that it’s on the blog, you can literally get it everywhere. We’ll also put it in the description of this episode. All you have to do is enter your details and that’s it.

Killian Vigna: Cool. Just to keep in the flow of the 30Days2Grow, next week, we’re actually gonna have a 30Days2Grow candidate. Just like where we had Lilac Miller on last year, it’s gonna be the very same this year. We’re just gonna have a chat and see how they got on. Was there anything that they liked, that they didn’t like? What were their most fun projects or challenges, and what did they find hardest to implement? Most importantly, how did the team get on as well?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Listen, that’s it for us today. If you have any feedback, as usual, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes, or on Stitcher. We’re always looking for suggestions on how to improve the show. Otherwise, have a wonderful week. Next week is a bank holiday so there won’t be any episodes. We’ll see you on May 14th.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


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