Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 32. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, this show is 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 you can join. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 32

For this episode, Killian and Zoe go through a recent interview between Phorest CEO Ronan Perceval and Waxperts owner Ellen Kavanagh, to find out more about what sets them apart in the salon industry. They share many tips you can use to help you get ahead and improve your business, which ties into Phorest Salon Software’s 30Days2Grow challenge.



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, Episode 32. I’m Killian Vigna.

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

Killian Vigna: This week we’re going to recap a Q & A session with the Phorest Salon Software CEO, Ronan Perceval, who interviewed Ellen Kavanagh, founder of Waxperts, for our 30 Days 2 Grow salon owners campaign.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And as always, we top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars.

Killian Vigna: This podcast is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off. Now let’s get into the show.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Hey, Killian.

Killian Vigna: Hey, Zoe. So a little bit of a change up on here today, yeah?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Normally it would have been our interview episode, but because our CEO actually went into Waxperts, we thought it would be a nice thing to do a little commentary on all the topics that they touch upon.

Killian Vigna: Oh, yeah. It’s not that we’re lazy and we’re just going to watch a video and talk about it. We’re actually just going to pick up on the best bits of the video.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly. Because you’ve probably seen it already, just maybe have a little twist on things and discuss topics further, I suppose.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so if you want to watch the full interview … and I believe it’s what? 20, 24, 25 minutes long. So it’s not too long.

  Belisle-Springer: It’s not too long. It’s very informative.

Killian Vigna: Very informative, yeah. You can go to the Phorest blog.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The Phorest blog. It’s on Phorest blog.

Killian Vigna: Phorest blog. I think I’ll say Phorest FM blog there.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And it’ll be on Facebook as well, so you can probably have a look there if need be.

Killian Vigna: Cool. Let’s get straight into it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Ronan Perceval: Hi. I’m Ronan, one of the founders of Phorest Salon Software, and I’m really excited to talk to you today about a new initiative that we’re running for the month of July called 30 Days to Grow. Basically what 30 Days to Grow is, is 30 steps –

Zoe Belisle-Springer: As you know, it’s on. It started on Saturday, but this is really exciting. It’s the third day already.

Killian Vigna: Three days in, yeah. So the first two tasks have been marked off on your calendar.

Ronan Perceval: Usually people think there’s one big thing that’s going to change everything in their business, and they’re always looking for that next big thing, when in reality it’s lots of small things done well lead to big results. And that’s what 30 Days 2 Grow is all about. I’m very excited to be here in Waxperts today with –

Killian Vigna: This is kind of on the back of the letter from Ronan, the CEO, isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, definitely.

Killian Vigna: It’s just talking about where the 30 Days 2 Grow campaign came … well, first off, where Phorest Salon Software came from, why he got involved, and … I think he spent like nine to 12 years working on that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I think he’s been working in the industry for 14 years if I’m correct.

Killian Vigna: 14 was when it kicked off, yeah.

Ellen Kavanagh: And we’re a waxing only salon, so we’ve never done anything except waxing. So we don’t do nails, tan, and so obviously –

Killian Vigna: So Ellen’s gone nine years herself.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Very long time, yeah.

Ellen Kavanagh: We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way on how to market the business and grow it through a recession on no money. And then in 2012, we expanded the company, and we became –

Zoe Belisle-Springer: She’s such an amazing speaker, to be honest.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. I love the emphasis on no money. If she can do it with no money, let’s see how she’s going to do it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Just like when we were talking with Louis on humanizing your brand and doing the behind-the-scenes. We were chatting about that, you don’t need to have money, you don’t need to have a marketing budget to actually push things out and promote your business.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. I suppose people are still kind of caught up in the whole advertising age, but you don’t need to budget anymore. Do the whole behind-the-scenes and stuff. Transparency, that’s what people really want.

Ellen Kavanagh: [crosstalk 00:03:38], the whole lot. So I think we’re a good ally for people.

Ronan Perceval: A good cover.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah.

Ronan Perceval: So hopefully that will be some really good insight into some of the things that we’re going to talk today for 30 Days 2 Grow. And I guess one of the big things about 30 Days 2 Grow is about increasing your average bill, or average ticket. Some people call it average ticket, some people call it average bill. I’ve been [crosstalk 00:04:01] now for 14 years –

Killian Vigna: That’s what it’s about.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. We also had that question come up yesterday. Is it all about increasing prices? And it’s not all about it.

Killian Vigna: It’s not all about … See, I suppose with that section, people are saying, “Oh, you’re increasing your average bill, so that means the price is up.” It doesn’t mean price is up. It’s how to get them to spend more. Like what we always say, it’s upselling, cross-promoting products, stuff like that.

Ronan Perceval: Yeah, adding value.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. It’s not necessarily increasing your prices.

Ronan Perceval: If you’re a big salon with maybe 10 or more staff, it could be 25, 30 grand if it’s just two pounds extra on your bill. And I think most salon owners in my experience are too busy to even think about that. Do you know what I mean? And I just wanted to ask you a bit about the average bill and how do you view something like that.

Ellen Kavanagh: I think knowing the numbers is crucial. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on your own or mobile, or if you have a team of 10 or 20. You’ve got to know your numbers. And sometimes people open up and they’re charging a price that they thought was maybe fair because they were only starting and that was all they were comfortable charging and didn’t really think about it. So it’s are you charging the correct price for the treatment you’re doing?

Killian Vigna: I just want to pause on that section because like Ronan said, it’s trying to find the time. So I suppose that’s where this challenge has come about. It’s only just a couple of minutes every morning because we know you don’t have the time, which is why we came up with the challenge of how can we help you identify certain areas of your salon that might have just slipped through the cracks or stuff like that. Let’s see what Ellen says.

Ellen Kavanagh: And you work that out on your cost per service. So it’s not what Mary across the road is charging or what everyone has decided is suddenly the price or the going rate. It needs to be on what product you’re using and how much time it’s taking you. So you need to know right, if we’re doing X amount of treatments that take this amount of time, we need to be charging X to cover that.

Ronan Perceval: Yeah. Did you do that from day one? Is that how you [crosstalk 00:06:02]?

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah. We’ve always known a Brazilian might take 30 or 40 minutes, and this is what we need to charge because we have not just wages. You have the cost of the product. You also have your rent, your rates, your electricity, every other cost that comes into it. So it’s a really interesting exercise to every year kind of write down every single [crosstalk 00:06:24].

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And we’re going to have John DiJulius on the podcast soon enough.

Killian Vigna: In about two weeks.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And if I’m not mistaken, he prides himself on being the most expensive salon in his area. It’s not about being ashamed of being expensive. It’s just, this is what it is. This is what my services are worth. And you have to cover your overheads as well, and all your costs and stuff.

Killian Vigna: We had an email come in yesterday from a client saying that their customers actually thanked them … not thanked them, but they were like, “What took you so long to increase your prices?” And another comment did come up in the 30 Days 2 Grow Facebook group. I’m going to mention it later, but it was about what do you do if everyone else in your town is on Groupon. I suppose, short and sweet, let them go onto Groupon because they are not going to last too long.

Ellen Kavanagh: … everyone is charging 20 for shellac, so will I. No, that’s not how it works. And don’t be afraid to be the most expensive. There’s nothing wrong with that, either, if you are giving the best.

Ronan Perceval: Yeah. And a lot of those things individually can be some of these steps in 30 Days 2 Grow…

Ellen Kavanagh: Absolutely. And I think if you break it down like that in the 30 days… nobody wants to come in on a Monday and think, “Right. I’m going to go through all the suppliers and ring them”. Nobody wants that job. But if you just took [crosstalk 00:07:41].

Killian Vigna: ‘Cause they could be buying cheap products.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Ellen Kavanagh: … we always get three quotes.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s exactly. There’s nothing wrong with being the most expensive, as long as you’re providing the best.

Killian Vigna: It’s like when you walk into a shop, you’re going to go for the luxury brand because you want to kind of treat yourself. And that’s even if it’s just food. Like little Aldi, they made a thing of it, of the whole value, middle, and then the luxury or the specialitiess. I’m willing to pay more if the product is better.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, absolutely. And who wouldn’t?

Ellen Kavanagh: … for the salon owner.

Ronan Perceval: And your team, yeah, for everyone.

Ellen Kavanagh: Delegate to your team. Yeah, absolutely.

Ronan Perceval: I mean, you obviously have a great team here, and whenever you meet people from Waxperts, they’re always so engaged about the business.

Ellen Kavanagh: That’s great to hear.

Ronan Perceval: Clearly, we saw you having your team meeting here earlier and everyone looked really engaged, which is fantastic.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and that’s so true. Just thinking back on Kristina’s interview that we had on the podcast just a few weeks ago, you could tell she is so passionate about the business.

Killian Vigna: Oh, yeah. It’s evident. When someone is passionate about their business, it’s just a whole different attitude. And it’s usually not about the money, which means you can look at the business differently. You’re not just looking at the figures and the stock count and every single piece of number.

Ellen Kavanagh: Everyone knows how much they need, what the target is each week, each month, and what they need to bring in in their column, so we’re open with that. So I don’t think keeping all the financial detail to the owner or to the manager is a great idea, either, because people don’t know. And if they don’t know, they are not going to realize that if I overuse a load of facial product that that actually is a huge cost to the business. I’m not talking about scrimping on things, either, but it’s just that knowledge gives people that little bit of responsibility to work maybe cleverly. And people want to be praised. If they can get in that extra eyebrow wax when somebody is getting another treatment done, there’s that sense of achievement as a team.

Killian Vigna: I know it’s gone a bit past it, but I just wanted to pause it. The whole being open to your staff with the financials, within reason. But like Ellen said there about certain products, your staff aren’t going to be sure how much that product cost. And we’ve heard this from our own trainers and stuff from working in the industry, that they were saying someone might get halfway through a bottle and be like, “Oh, empty. Next. Throw it out.” How much money did that bottle cost? So if you’re more transparent or open to your staff of this is how much this, this, and that costs, all of a sudden they’re going to think different.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then people are going to be more responsible.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. They’re going to wait for that bottle to finish before they throw it out, or they might actually come over to you and go, “Listen, we’re halfway through. We might need to start…” So if you’ve got a vision or, I suppose, a purpose, share it with your staff so they can get on-board that. Don’t just come up with your own vision and expect them to do that, because they don’t know.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly. They’re not in your head. If you don’t show them the way, they won’t be able to get on board.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. Yeah, be open.

Ronan Perceval: There’s another kind of task. Like today, let’s see if we can just get one extra little service in, just today. And just try it one day.

Ellen Kavanagh: Absolutely. And the biggest thing with trying to add on treatments is just asking the client and talking to the client. They’re coming in anyway, so no matter what client has come into your salon, they’ve committed in their head they’re spending money. So whether they are spending it on their manicure, it’s likely they would [crosstalk 00:11:13].

Killian Vigna: But you’re also paying that little bit extra for the expert advice. I could go into Boots and just ask what sort of hair product or whatever, but when I’m going into a barber, the barber can tell me … I mean, I’m a man, and I don’t really know a whole lot about my hair. But the last time I went into a barber’s who are down the road here, there was three different gels, and I’ve tried all three of them throughout the years, but this was the first time he actually went through being like, “You know what? Don’t use the …” I think it was the wet looks, the solid ones. It was the matte gel that he said, because I’ve got whatever thickness my hair is. It’s quite thick. But he was saying this is the one I should be using. I suppose it just works best.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s important. Yeah.

Killian Vigna: And every time I go in there to get my hair done, I pick up that product because it was the expert review. I’m not buying the wrong stuff anymore.

Ellen Kavanagh: So it’s just about approaching the client and asking them.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: But that’s another thing. People working in the salon, you need not to be shy to give that expert advice. People are coming in for it anyways. I’ve been in loads of, as well, barbers because obviously my hair is very short, if you haven’t seen my picture anywhere. But most times, I won’t get any kind of information on the products. You were really lucky, I suppose. Most times I have to ask for the advice.

Killian Vigna: They’re hesitant. Now, to be fair, this was a branch one I went to. The first time I went to them was around Christmas, and the woman was very, I suppose, hesitant about promoting the product. And I thought it was very weird because I was willing to buy it. But again, at this stage, I didn’t know which gel I was buying. I was just like, “Oh, I’ll buy that while I’m here.” And it was almost as if, “Oh, are you sure you want to buy the product?” But then I went to one of their other ones two months down the line, and he then started going, “Oh, no, this one, this one.” And I was so grateful for the advice of the right product, the hair gel to buy, that I did end up leaving him a tip as well. So it’s going to increase your tip. If you’re worried that you’re going to lose your tip for upselling a product, don’t be.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly. Don’t be.

Ellen Kavanagh: … business as you were saying. It’s a huge financial gain for the salon, especially hair salons. They have so much retail that they can be selling, and people need the product to maintain… whatever treatment they come in for, they will need something that you have to maintain it.

Ronan Perceval: Yeah, so you need the education and everything around that. So there will be lots of things on that.

Ellen Kavanagh: And the clients that are coming in … The retail starts the second the client comes in. Your consultation is part of your treatment, and that goes, again, for all the different salons that we’re talking about. That few minutes of a consultation at the start, that’s when your treatment starts, not when you start doing the nail paint, the massage, the haircut, whatever. So within that, you are going to be confirming what the person is getting done, managing the expectation, and then saying, “I’m going to show you how you are going to maintain…”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Providing for the afters.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I love this one because again, every time I go and get my hair done, they do an amazing job. I go home, have a shower, and I’m thinking, “What did they just do?” I can never replicate what the barber or stylist has done for my hair. But if they could just tell me how to … because they do all this stuff with the hair dryer, the comb. They flick their hands, and it happens so fast, I haven’t been able to take it in. So now I’ve gone home and I’m stuck with the whole quick sweep to the right with my hand. Give us that advice. How do you maintain your hair? Or whatever the service is.

Ellen Kavanagh: … how you’re treating that client’s skin, hair, whatever it is, and the products you’re using, and then how they can maintain it, because that’s … and when they need to come back. The rebooking is key as well. That’s another revenue thing, because it lines it up.  And we’re quite strong on our rebooking, but it does give you I think a little [crosstalk 00:15:01].

Ronan Perceval: Just on rebooking, actually. Let’s touch on rebooking because that’s a great one. We’d love to talk to you about that specifically, because I know we’ve been looking at all the salons that use Phorest, and one of the things that came out was that 80% of bookings made in Phorest aren’t rebooked on the day. So only 20% are rebooked, right?

Ellen Kavanagh: Right.

Killian Vigna: Yeah it is very low, it’s something like 20, 22%.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And they looked really surprised by that, but it is very surprising when you think about it.

Killian Vigna: When you think about it, you’re busy Saturday. You’re getting the client in, doing the service quick, at the till, and I suppose it’s almost like a production line. You’re just trying to get through it quick. So like sending an ol’ follow-up SMS or something like that because I suppose, they want to rebook. They’re just… I suppose when you’re in the salon, you’re not really thinking about it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well, they don’t know. And like Ellen says, she’ll tell … “So you’re due to come back in four to six weeks. Well, I have space on that day. You usually like to come in in the afternoon. Do you want to book it now?” You don’t really give the option. It’s just this is what you need to maintain how the treatment went, and if you want that result again going forward, this is when you should come back. Are you ready to book it?

Killian Vigna: There’s several ways… I’m just going to pause it because Ronan is talking about increasing prices now. But yeah, there are several ways you can do that. I suppose the first one is, would you like to rebook, which yes, it can be awkward because it’s coming out of nowhere. There’s no real build-up or flow to it. But if you’re doing the consultation that Ellen’s talking about, and you’re talking about the afters and how to take care of your hair, then it literally just … it’s like yoga. It just flows right into the next move. All right, the next move is …

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and you tell them this is when you’re due.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. To take care of your hair, you’re due in six weeks’ time. So would you like me to book you in for six weeks? Or if you are really busy where you don’t have that much time to talk to them, just send an SMS or something out to remind them to rebook. But don’t do it straight away. Give it a day, maybe 24 hours, because everyone feels like a million quid when they walk out. Let them get as many compliments. That 24 hour period for the complements is crucial because they are going to be on cloud nine, and then they see your message and all of a sudden they’re going, “Yeah, I want to keep this feeling”.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And if you are using Phorest, there is a feature, the rebooking SMS, that you can use and turn that on.

Killian Vigna: And that one actually is 24 hours. But yeah, you can use SMS, you can use email, anything. Verbal at the point of sale should be your first spot anyway, though.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Definitely.

Killian Vigna: Let’s see what the craic is with prices.

Ronan Perceval: Prices. This is another thing, and we would feel … and I don’t know if you guys agree because obviously, you meet lots of salon owners, like you were saying, all different types, big and small, rural, city. That a lot of salon owners, they’re fantastic, and they have great businesses, and they do such a good job, and it’s like they don’t have enough confidence in themselves to price themselves at [crosstalk 00:18:02].

Killian Vigna: And they’re cutting themselves every time.

Ronan Perceval: … and they’re afraid … Lots of salon owners I know haven’t put their prices up for years. I’m not saying you should have to put your prices up, but if all your other costs have gone up and you’re doing a great job and your clients really love you, you should be able to at least go up to the same rate as inflation. Do you know what I mean? So what’s your kind of…?

Ellen Kavanagh: I think first you have to make sure starting off that you are charging the correct price initially, and you know, to really do put that value on yourself and the qualifications you have, the extra training you go to, and the experience and the skill. And don’t be afraid to shout about that. Have up your certificates on the wall to show all the experience that you have. Most suppliers that you’re buying from will have a cost per service. You’ll know exactly how much it’s costing you. And they’ll also be able to give you maybe a recommended price for doing the treatments, and that’s what you should be sticking to, in and around, just because you’re in maybe a rural location, that’s irrelevant. You’re still the same skill or better than somebody in the middle of a big city.

Killian Vigna: I came across a really good analogy of what Ellen was saying there in a book recently. It’s basically, if Picasso was sitting in a coffee shop drawing a little doodle, and someone goes after him, goes, “Oh, can you draw me a quick portrait?” He does it in a couple of minutes, and she goes, “Oh, brilliant. How much is that?” And he names some ridiculous price, and she goes, “But it only took you two minutes to do.” But it took him 60 years to develop that skill, so you’re paying for his 60 years of skill. And that’s what we’re doing here. We’re paying for all the years and courses and qualifications you’ve had to go through and get to be able to give me the service.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That treatment, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So evaluate yourself, essentially.

Ellen Kavanagh: I know with ourselves, we’re not in the middle of Dublin City or anything like that. We’re in the suburbs. But our prices are correct for what we do, the treatment we give, the service we give, and it’s a fair price as well. It’s not like being…

Ronan Perceval: It’s not about jacking the prices for the sake of it [crosstalk 00:20:05].

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah, exactly. It has to be fair.

Ronan Perceval: It’s about being what it’s worth, what you’re worth.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah, absolutely. You need to be able to have that confidence. And if you lose some clients, that’s okay as well. You will always get people who just want to go to the cheapest, and that’s fine, but they are not going to be clients… they’re not going to be repeat clients. They’re not going to be long-term, you’ll be seeing them 10 years’ time.

Killian Vigna: No loyalty.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well, that’s kind of the Groupon clients again.

Killian Vigna: That is the Groupon. That was the question. I knew it would come back up. That was the question that dropped into the 30 Days 2 Grow Facebook group. Brilliant question, absolutely great question, because it’s a big issue that all salon owners are having to fight against in their town. But you think about it. Do you want to keep taking 60% off your services every time and just having a massive client turnover? There’s no loyalty there. It’s just people coming in for cheap services. And if I’ve got a cheap service off you once, I’m not going to pay for that… if I’ve got 60% off it this week, why would I pay for it in full next time, then? Different if it was free because then I’m trying it out, but like these discounts… So people that are competing against guys who are on Groupon or…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: On any kind of marketplace.

Killian Vigna: … any sort of marketplace in your town, do not be scared because you’re going to have client retention. You’re going to have loyal clients who are over time going to spend more with you, especially if you do these 30 Days 2 Grow challenges. But yeah, I suppose basically, if you want to live in a discount culture, that’s fine, but don’t expect your clients to be loyal. And I suppose your staff might not be too at ease working there either because I suppose they have no relationship with their clients now.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it changes the whole dynamic.

Killian Vigna: The turnover kills everything.

Ellen Kavanagh: Anyone can put a discount out and get new clients. This is all about maintaining business. That’s by the work you do and how good it is, and don’t be afraid to charge accordingly and be confident in that. Be confident in your skills.

Ronan Perceval: Is there any steps you think, Ellen, that you can take to be more confident? When you don’t have confidence, someone says, “Be more confident.”

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah, it’s tough.

Ronan Perceval: It’s tough.

Ellen Kavanagh: Especially if you’re on your own or in a small [crosstalk 00:22:15].

Killian Vigna: Easily said, isn’t it?

Ronan Perceval: People keep saying you’re great and give you that confidence.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah.

Ronan Perceval: What steps do you think you could do toward that?

Ellen Kavanagh: I think it’s important to try and build a network of peers, whether it’s coming to the Phorest event that you have every year, or whether it’s going to additional training that some of your suppliers have, or if they have open days, or I know there’s different forums that you can go on. So try and build up a network of peers if you are on your own because it’s a way of getting confident, but having somebody to talk to as well and figure things out.

Ronan Perceval: To run ideas past, yeah.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah. And then your clients…

Zoe Belisle- : We’ve seen that happen in the Facebook group with the 30 Days 2 Grow. People are just starting to connect and trying to see who’s where and what they can chat about.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, like there was someone that did a shout out from … was it Surrey, or …

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I think it was Surrey, yeah.

Killian Vigna: … Essex or somewhere like that. They were doing a shout out, anyone else from town. I think there was like three or four salons in that town were all on board, which all of a sudden brings strength in this campaign, because you know you’re not the only one in the town doing this competing against everyone else that’s going to stick with their pricing. You’re all in it together. And that means if you ever do come up against a difficult client or anything like that, you’ve got those guys to go back to. So it’s a community. It’s a support group. So yeah, use the channel for help.

Ellen Kavanagh: You’re not on your own there, either.

Ronan Perceval: So that could be a step, go and book in some more training for yourself. That’s an action that’s going to lead to more.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah, or there could be a local enterprise office. There could be local different events on. There’s loads of women in business ones. I do have to hold my hand up and go, we’re pretty spoiled now with the women in businesses. You don’t ever hear about the men in business ones being shouted about as much. But there is a lot of events like that.

Ronan Perceval: It’s great, though. Yeah.

Ellen Kavanagh: And that’s worth it, and it’s a legitimate business expense, and [crosstalk 00:24:13].

Killian Vigna: They are actually very good. I was there for work purposes, but those women in business groups are brilliant.

Ronan Perceval: They’re everywhere now. Every town has one. Yeah, it’s brilliant.

Ellen Kavanagh: Absolutely. Yeah.

Ronan Perceval: So just a couple of other random questions here that are related to 30 Days 2 Grow. There’s a lot of discounting generally, right? We’ve come out of a period of deep discounting, right? And there’s still a lot of it around. Funny enough, I know people in the city sometimes have more confidence, but then there’s people in the cities that actually because of the competition, they discount even more. Sometimes you see that. Some clients say, some salons say they never discount. Do you discount in your salon, and if you do, is there a way you do? Is there a positive way to do it?

Ellen Kavanagh: I feel doing discounts like that is just going to be a race to the bottom because someone will do a discount local to you, and then you will feel you have to match it, and then they never go back up. So now everybody is losing out. I think there’s clever ways to do it, and I think you need to figure out why you’re discounting. Is it because you’re feeling pressure from competition, or is it because you have nothing in your books and you need to get bodies in the door?

Ronan Perceval: You’re desperate. Yeah.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah. So there’s two different things. If you’re feeling pressure from the competition, you need to up your game. You need to look at, well why are they going there.  And be really critical.

Ronan Perceval: Discounting should be the last thing you do.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah. Open the door of your salon and go through it, looking at everything. Is it dusty? Is the place… does it need paint? Does it need to be spruced up? Are the flowers nice? Are you giving it every bit of detail, and are you looking at everything you can be? Are your treatments great? Are your staff great? You really need to look at your own business, then maybe go to somewhere that you know is fantastic and see what they’re doing so you can get inspired again. If it’s a case where you have nobody coming in the doors, I think there are other ways to do it maybe than just discounting, so maybe putting packages together where people might be able to try something else. I know with the loyalty, it’s a similar kind of idea.

Ronan Perceval: Concept, yeah.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah. So that’s a good way. So somebody who definitely comes in to get…

Killian Vigna: Provide value, a little extra.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. It keeps coming back, but it’s just so true.

Killian Vigna: Oh, yeah. We say it in pretty much every single show, but that is it. That’s what you have to do if you don’t want to discount, if you don’t want to be caught in that loop.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And 30 Days 2 Grow will help you with that. It’s different tasks on different … It’s not just about pricing. You can have customer service tasks, retail, moments of magic, loyalty. There’s loads of different things.

Killian Vigna: It’s like what Ellen said, again, the whole point of the challenge is letting you sit back and evaluate you, your salon, your staff, your services. But also let your staff do the evaluation, too, and let them be brutally honest. Don’t take anything to heart, because they are going to see things differently to you. It’s your business, after all, and nothing can go wrong with your business. It’s your …

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s your baby!

Killian Vigna: It’s your baby. It is your baby. Where your staff are going to have a different approach, so let them do an evaluation, too, and take everything on board. You have to be open-minded here.

Ellen Kavanagh: It’s nothing to them, whereas when it’s maybe a gift or it’s a party discount or there’s something special about it, you feel a bit like, “Oh, wow. Okay.”

Ronan Perceval: Brilliant. There’s probably more than 30 things just from this talk alone. Final question, Ellen, is just about the industry generally, because this is about the industry kind of getting together to work on themselves. You know what I mean? Us, salons, yourselves, everybody. If there’s one thing that you would change about the industry, what would it be?

Ellen Kavanagh: Oh, my gosh. You have me on the spot there, now. I think it would be to try and have some kind of standardization, I suppose, and some level that everybody is aiming towards and is … Maybe in the U.S. it’s easier because each state has a license, and you need to … everybody goes by the same rules, whereas in the U.K. and Ireland, Ireland especially, there isn’t really anything. So I think if we could agree on a few …

Ronan Perceval: Standards.

Ellen Kavanagh: Standards, yeah. That would be …

Ronan Perceval: It’s good for everybody.

Ellen Kavanagh: Yeah, because of course, it’s upping the ante and you’re raising the bar, but that’s good for everybody.

Ronan Perceval: Yeah. That raises the value of what you’re providing as well.

Ellen Kavanagh: Absolutely, yeah. It’ll help with prices. It helps the great salons stand out. And I think maybe if people have gotten a little bit lazy, it helps them kind of get spurred on again. And it’s good for people coming up through the industry that they know that they’re trying to do the absolute best and that there’s [crosstalk 00:29:18].

Killian Vigna: You got into this because you love what you do. Now help each other, essentially.

Ronan Perceval: That’s brilliant. Well, thanks a million, Ellen. That was fantastic, and we will be talking to you again very soon about some other stuff for 30 Days 2 Grow.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That was a brilliant interview, and I can’t wait to see how the John DiJulius interview is going to go. We also have an interview coming up with Susan Rutledge as well, who is also doing the challenge, actually.

Killian Vigna: They’re all doing the challenge, yeah. They’re all on board, and that’s why we’re bringing them in to talk about how they are getting on as well. So I suppose any advice that they can give you, or if you have any advice you can give them.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Again, it’s just like this whole support…

Killian Vigna: No one knows it all. Yeah. A support group, we’ve got a hashtag, hashtag 30 Days 2 Grow. That’s 3, 0 days, number 2, grow. Or you can use the Facebook group. But yeah, if you have anything about the challenge, use that hashtag and either we’ll pick it up or one of your peers will pick it up, or one of our Q & A guests.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and as Killian is saying, tag us anywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. If you want to send us Snapchats, we can do that, too. Instagram. We’re going to be looking out on every social network.

Killian Vigna: Give myself and Zoe something to do. If you want to send us a Snapchat, we’ll send you a Snapchat back.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: There you go. In terms of the Phorest Academy webinars, we have one today, actually, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. U.K. Ireland time, and that’s the salon retailing master class.

Killian Vigna: And that fits in perfect with the 30 Days 2 Grow challenge.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, yeah. So if you’re based in the U.S., actually, U.S. Eastern time, that’s 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. You can register through Facebook. There’s a Facebook event, and there’s a link there in the “Buy the tickets”. It’s actually free, but you just register through there, and I hope to see you on that webinar this afternoon. Other than that, if anyone’s actually on the challenge at the moment and on day three, I hope you’re getting on well. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to message us through email, like I said, social media, anywhere.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, you can tweet us @thephorestword, or like we said, hit us up on … There’s tons of platforms, emails. Give us a shout. And if you’re enjoying these podcasts, let us know what you think. Leave a review or a rating on iTunes because like we said, we’re making this show for you, but how can we know if you’re enjoying it if you’re not telling us or if you’re not giving us feedback? Are we talking about the right things or the wrong things?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And if you have people that you want us to interview as well, just drop us some names, and we’ll do our best to get them on the show, obviously. Also, before we just head off on today’s episode, we have a contest running still until July 6th. So if you want to sign up for winning a salon print to decorate, have a little fresh art print in your salon, you can go on Facebook. There’s a tab saying giveaway June/July, so you just click on that, enter the contest, and hopefully win.

Killian Vigna: What’s the prize?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: A salon print.

Killian Vigna: A salon print.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so you get a print. The frame is not included, unfortunately. We’re going to roll them up to actually protect the art. There are six prints to choose from. There’s going to be three winners. So if your name is drawn, then you can choose from the six prints that we offer and we will send that over to you.

Killian Vigna: That’s pretty cool.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I hope you have an amazing week. I hope you get on well with the challenges, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


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