Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 45. 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 45

To quote Phorest Salon Software CEO Ronan Perceval in a recent blog of ours, “Most salon owners get brilliantly trained as therapists or hairdressers, but once they open their own place, their job completely changes to that of being a business owner. And yet, they get little or no training/coaching for that at all.” Unfortunately, it’s a fact, and he’s not the only one to have noticed this problem. That’s why we’re bringing Valerie Delforge on Phorest FM Episode 45 to get her to discuss the management journey she’s prepared for her collaboration with Phorest Academy.



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 45. I’m Killian Vigna.

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

Killian Vigna: This week we invite a regular guest collaborator to the show to announce some exciting new webinars for Phorest Academy. We’ll announce upcoming trade shows you can expect to see Phorest Salon Software at and we’ll announce our latest eBooks.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And as always we’ll 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. Morning, Zoe!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Morning.

Killian Vigna: So, this week… Oh, well sorry last week was our September roundup. This week now it’s a bit different because there was…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well there’s five Mondays in October, so usually we’d have, in a month, we’d have two interviews and two blog episodes – including the roundup and for this one we’re just going to do a little few announcements here and there, we’re going to chat with Valerie Delforge a guest contributor and she has a few announcements in collaboration with Phorest Academy. Then we’ll also announce different trade shows, eBooks and things like that. So, it’s kind of an “in the middle” episode, but very informative nonetheless.

Killian Vigna: Cool, so we have Valerie on the line and for those of you who don’t know we have had her on the show two or three times and she does a few blogs, but Valerie Delforge is a Commercial Trainer and Coach for the Spa, Beauty, and Hair Industry.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: She actually specialises in creating specific workshops to support managers. If you have read some of her blogs you’ll have noticed that she deals a lot with management issues and problems, SOP manuals and things like that.

Killian Vigna: That’s one thing that we definitely reference a lot, is the SOP – the salon owner’s procedure manual. So, without further ado, we have Valerie Delforge on the line. Welcome to the sho, Valerie. Welcome back to the show, sorry.

Valerie Deforge: Thank you very much. Yes.

Killian Vigna: You were actually one of our very…

Valerie Deforge: …thank you very much for having me.

Killian Vigna: No worries, you are actually one of our very first…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: …guests on the show. Yeah

Killian Vigna: Guests on the show, back then we were…

Valerie Deforge: Yes, I remember that!

Killian Vigna: …recording the phone with the phone. Now we have that a bit more organized with Skype and stuff like that.

Valerie Deforge: Yeah, it’s a lot easier. But no,  I remember that was quite a while ago wasn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah definitely.

Killian Vigna: That was 45 episodes ago, 45 weeks ago…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Almost.

Valerie Deforge: …wow been busy!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it’s amazing to see how fast that went because realistically, we’ll probably hit 100 by mid-year next year.

Valerie Deforge: Wow.

Killian Vigna: It’s funny because they couldn’t get us to talk on the show and they had to kind of get us to stop talking.

Valerie Deforge: That sounds positive.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Basically today we wanted to chat about the series of webinars that you’re going to be doing in collaboration with Phorest Academy. For anyone who is listening, we came about this whole idea because we did a survey with our clients, with people who subscribed to the blog, who come to the events, even. We’re asking people what would you like to see more on Phorest Academy, what could be beneficial for you guys. What came out a lot of it was management, and I mean you’re the best one to talk about management I suppose. You’ve came up with six different webinars.

Valerie Deforge: Yes, that’s right. I mean I’m super excited about this project. I think it’s always a question that I have as well with my clients; how do I manage? What do I do? In terms of management. So having kind of managed very large teams and big corporations, I understand what you need to focus on for the management. It’s one of my passions. I think the first webinar we decided, which was a good concept to talk about: How do you manage your staff? What do you do, what are the keys to manage your staff? Because we need to understand it’s a big question isn’t? How do I start? When do I start? How do I make it happen?

There’s also elements of managing that is difficult at the moment. The biggest issue we have is do I want to manage if that means that I’m going to create problems. If that means that I need to recruit for somebody that I know is a nightmare to recruit. There’s a huge issue at the moment where we’re scared to manage and we’re scared to become that leader. So this first webinar is focused on that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So yeah you’re going to tackle a lot of that in that first webinar. Then it leads into structure I believe.

Valerie Deforge: Yes, so the second webinar is you’re not going to be a manager without the structure. You’re not going to lead the team without very strong structure. So I think I did a blog at one point, it was all about the importance of the SOP manual isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh yeah, and Killian refers to it all the time.

Valerie Deforge: This is the first thing I do when I go into a business; it’s understanding the structure and understanding what you need in order for you to be very solid as a business because the more structured you are, the better the management. It helps you, it’s a lot of tools to help you to manage better. It’s an important one.

Killian Vigna: Like Zoe said we reference the SOP manual the whole time because you can have days where things can feel overwhelming and you’ve so many principles in place and stuff like that. I don’t know, you can just walk into work and go “Oh my head is about to blow up.” But when you have that Salon Owner’s Procedure Manual everything is in place and everything’s there at a glance and like we said it’s not even having, it’s not a massive book it’s just a couple of short notes on this manual or a couple of pages just to reference.

Valerie Deforge: Absolutely because also when you are away from the business, which you should be going out there to network to bring the business in, that’s what a good manager or owner would do, they don’t need to be in the business 24/7. People know your expectations they know what you need, what you want to happen in that business. So the procedures are crucial, crucial, crucial in such an environment. Salons, spa or beauty salons, any business isn’t it? It’s very important.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I like to think of the SOP manual as some sort of… your vision of the business but just put into words so that everybody can know what exactly you have in mind, really.

Valerie Deforge: Yes absolutely and I think we forget, a lot of my friends and I’m sure it’s valid for a lot of salon owners and managers, they think you just got to work and you go and cut hair or you just do a bit of body treatment and that’s that, but actually our business is so operational and every single detail matters. That’s what the SOP helps you, it helps everybody know if there’s a problem with a lock who are you going to contact. It’s easier to have this procedure in paper because then you don’t waste time, you know that it’s within the budget, they are not going to charge you too much, etc. It’s got a huge impact.

More than that, the SOP manual helps you manage people because of the expectations, because you know what you want and that’s what I really want to go for, the management aspect of it and how it’s going to help you manage.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That sounds like it’s going to be a really interesting one and the third one, I’m reading our blurb here, our email exchange and you were saying the third one will focus more on motivating yourself and your team. What exactly are you going to cover there?

Valerie Deforge: Well it’s always a huge question isn’t it? How do I motivate my team, what do I do?

Killian Vigna: We hear this one a lot, yeah.

Valerie Deforge: It is isn’t it? Teaching that as well – how do you motivate yourself because you need to go to work and suddenly you’ve got someone that [inaudible 00:08:32] something that’s gone wrong in the day or a customer has complained or anything like that. So you need to keep focus, that’s a very, very difficult aspect of our job because every day is the same. We are within the operation, every day is the same and then suddenly something goes wrong so how do I keep myself motivated and how do I keep my team motivated. It’s a big, big subject on this one. I’m excited to talk about this one actually. How do we juggle everything, how do we make it work? Keep those challenging days on the side, really, of our focus.

Killian Vigna: Like you said with the last one, you’re not just a beautician or a hairdresser or anything like that, you happen to wear so many different hats that how do you keep a level head and how do you stay consistent when you’re constantly changing between roles. Then having a team that’s supposed to look up to you as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s a challenge, yeah.

Valerie Deforge: Absolutely, I was with a client yesterday and we became electricians for an hour. We had to change a few things, no one else is going to do it, it’s not a huge operation where you can pick up a phone and say “Could you come and change the light bulb for me?” You have to do it yourself. That’s just one example, but it’s how do you keep the team as well constantly motivated so they can be productive. So it’s a lot [inaudible 00:10:02] if you looked on leadership really. A lot on your planning, your plan of action, your vision, how you are you going to keep focused?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And the fourth webinar actually tackles one of the biggest issues at the moment in the industry, which is recruitment and training.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, the HR recruitment and training. This is another area where we’re constantly trying to remind salon owners… training is such a massive thing. You need to keep moving, you can’t keep running and running in the same spot you need to keep moving with the times. The only way you can do that is to keep training your staff. Then you’ve got HR and then the touchy issue of recruitment. How do you become a recruiter as well!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well actually have

Valerie Deforge: So far every single subject is as important as the other. The difficulty is recruitment; it’s harder and harder to find good staff. That’s what we keep hearing. There’s a lot of conversation about the generation that, you know…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Millennials.

Valerie Deforge: …unmotivated, etc. I think it’s got to be tackled because it’s part of becoming the manager your want to, becoming how to manage the stuff, how to recruit. I’ve got a lot to say on that subject. I think you can, there are salon owners out there that recruit and do training, unfortunately when you struggle training is the first thing that goes. We don’t focus on training, which is a shame really because it’s what keeps the motivation in a way. Yeah, there’s rather a lot to talk about.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So for the next, the fifth webinar, then you tackle another touchy subject; handling difficult staff members. Every time you sent me a blog tackling some sort of issue, for instance two staff members are dating in my business how do I go about this, it was always so refreshing to see your point of view on things. I’m really excited to see what you have to say on this one.

Valerie Deforge: Yeah, I love this one. We all have been, right? Actually, I have a name, I created this [inaudible 00:12:20] called [inaudible 00:12:22]. Because I don’t want to say names when I mention them. They aren’t real scenarios, we’ve got a lot of [inaudible 00:12:31] around us. How do we manage [inaudible 00:12:36], how do we handle her? It can become that energy that actually zap your motivation and everyone else’s motivation. Yeah, I love this difficult staff member because we’ve got them, we’ve got them all the time. It’s procedures, it’s definitely procedures. But we need do need to be aware of, just like the one previously we’ll talk about the procedures we need to be aware of. It’s also having this leadership for your own things as well, things that are not going to effect you on the day-to-day basis, which most important.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So for the last the webinar for the series, it’s interesting because you say “From Management to Leadership.” Last year at the Salon Owners Summit there was a lot of talk about leadership. What exactly are you going to talk about in this webinar?

Valerie Deforge: I think it’s all well and good to say alright you’re going to become a manager with the six webinars. We’re all going through procedures and processes and understanding what to focus on. We have so much to focus on top of the marketing, on top of the networking, on top of everything else. These webinars are going to help you to structure and really manage all aspects of HR, whether it’s training or difficult staff members or recruitment, etc. But how do we become that leader and how do we take those things to achieve even more than what you want them to achieve. To be led to success. That is a skill, that to me can be taught, but I want to go for the fundamentals of leadership. There’s a lot of talk from leadership isn’t it?

It’s a lot of: how do I become a leader? I’ve read a lot of books, I listen to a lot of podcasts and everything else and how do I transfer it on the day-to-day operations with my team and become that leader. And succeed even better. Before I’m very passionate about [inaudible 00:14:50] actually, seeing that it’s essential and it can be taught. It’s a skill, definitely, but we can acquire it throughout the years, by understanding where to focus on.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, like anything, you’re not born a leader it takes practice, it’s over time.

Valerie Deforge: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s elements of leadership that you need to be aware. And because we deal for people with people it’s just everywhere around us, you know you’ve got to understand that leadership is what is going to motivate and focus your team, but how do we do that? I felt that it’s a subject that you can become that leader, you can have different people in your team, different characters, and it’s how you’re going to adapt to each of these characters. And lead them to success, because their success is your success.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly their working for you so it’s your brand you have to protect at the end of the day. So it’s making sure you get all these different varieties of people and skills and have everyone working together as one. That can be tricky, but like you said you’re going to covering that in the ‘From Management to Leader’ webinar.

Valerie Deforge: Yes, it’s come to the finality of the sixth webinar, because I feel like I’m going to take you on a journey with these webinars.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So speaking of which, these webinars essentially anyone can join in and just tune in for one here and there, but really if you really want to benefit from all of it from start to finish you should really tune in to the six.

Killian Vigna: Well even just looking at the layout here from How to Manage Your Staff, Structure, Motivation, HR and Recruitment. It’s stepping stones, so even though you could only tune into one or two here or there, you’re going to get the most benefit by doing all six in a row.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And our structure is going to be one a month basically. You’ve set up a time with Chris our content manager for doing them in the afternoon I think, is that correct?

Valerie Deforge: Yes, that’s right. Kind of lunch time, afternoon, early afternoon. Varying times, but I think at the end of the day if you really want to understand how to manage, all of these subjects to me, I said to Chris, I don’t want to do a subject just for the sake of it. I want to take you on a journey where this is what I’m focused on when I go into a business… when I want to manage, when I want to bring the business back to life in a way and leave that business. So you could just come onto the leadership one if you wanted but have you done all the steps before having been able to listen to that webinar. So, in an ideal world you want to do six webinars [inaudible 00:17:39] to go on that journey.

Killian Vigna: Yeah because they eventually all come together so they’ll all make sense when you do all six.

Valerie Deforge: I think so, I think that was my key point you want to do one webinar or four, just like that it has to be a journey which is what we all do as managers right? We’re all on a journey some how.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so just to wrap up I highly recommend that any salon owners out there it’s one hour a month, that’s all it is over the next six months. If you can find that one hour in your day…

Valerie Deforge: That’s it.

Killian Vigna: … I highly recommend that you jump on this because like we said Valerie Delforge, you’re a regular collaborator with us for a reason. Your blogs always make our most read list when we do the mid-monthly and monthly roundup. Valerie Delforge…

Valerie Deforge: Oh that’s nice. I think it’s because we’ve not been taught how to manage. That’s probably why I’m so busy with what I’m doing. There’s not been a school to say “Right, you’re going to do the management school” because really we learn on the job. We’re hairdressers and then we move on to management or we start to own a place or we are a beauty therapist and we can count the stocks so here we go here’s so more stuff you can do. So we’re not really being taught that management and that leadership. I do think there’s a huge issue with recruitment at the moment so we’re scared to manage. We’re scared and the employees have a huge a power above what we do. It can be taught and it can be a journey and I’d like to give that back, so I’m very excited.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’re very excited too and I mean that you so much for taking the time to collaborate with us on Phorest Academy, it’s a pleasure to have you on board.

Valerie Deforge: Thank you so much, that’s great.

Killian Vigna: Valerie, thanks a million for joining us on the show today and we’re looking forward to those webinars. We’re going to announce after this show then how people can access those webinars and when they’ll be taking place.

Valerie Deforge: Amazing, thank you very much, thanks for having me.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Thanks so much.

Killian Vigna: Cool, so, this usually where we announce the webinars but we’re going to jump into…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Trade shows.

Killian Vigna: …Trade shows.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So we’re just back from ProBeauty Ireland where Connor gave a talk on Christmas wishlists and marketing.

Killian Vigna: And he had a social media panel as well on the Phorest Stage.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly, and Ronan our CEO was in Ideologue in the US just last weekend as well. There’s loads of things going on at the moment. So the next trade show that Phorest Salon Software is going to be at is Olympia Beauty London which actually started just yesterday. It goes on until today 5PM, the guys are there on stand C70. If you can’t make that one in London, the next one is Salon International at Excel London, that one is from October 14th to the 16th and we’ll be on stand H170. Then the last one that we’ll be at until a little while is going to be October 22nd to October 23rd and that’s ProBeauty North in Manchester on stand E49. Obviously, I’ve just said this all very quickly so if you need any additional information, it’s all in our events section in the Facebook page so you can go there, check out, RSVP. For some of those events that have registration links that are free we’ve also linked that in the events section on Facebook, so make sure you go have a look at that there.

Killian Vigna: Yeah then just to wrap it up we only have on webinar this week and it’s the first of our third Salon Growth series.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah and we’ve got a lot of registrants on that one.

Killian Vigna: Yeah a lot, so basically what that one is about, now, this one is another mostly client focused one but anyone can jump on board really. It’s the Salon Growth Series: Get More Bookings and Work Less. Things we’re going to talk about in that is how we’re going to increase your salon’s bookings and revenue, eliminate no-shows and last minute cancellations and the best bit of all, get up to seven hours of your work life back. A week, a week.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s important.

Killian Vigna: The whole focus there is all about getting more bookings and working less. Like I said, it’s mostly client focused one, so anyone who has Phorest Salon Software it’s going to be related to the software, but you can join through the Facebook events page. If you go to ‘Find Tickets’ and as always the tickets for the client ones are free. Well they’re always free.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: They’re always free.

Killian Vigna: They’re always free.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Another advantage of joining Phorest Academy. And before we leave you on today’s episode we have just a few more announcements. There is a new edition of the Facebook eBook that is going to roll out in the next week or so, maybe two weeks. We’ll keep you updated anyways. A little heads up, I’m also working on an Instagram eBook that will be out in the next quarter or so.

Killian Vigna: Yeah that follows up on the back of the very successful Instagram webinar by Chris Brennan.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly.

Killian Vigna: If you didn’t get to see the webinar or if you enjoyed the webinar, you’re really going to enjoy the eBook.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’ll leave you on that. I mean there’s loads of announcement in there so you should have enough for the week! Hopefully, you have a beautiful one, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


Catch up on the previous Phorest FM episode, or check out the next Phorest FM episode!

Note: Phorest FM is designed to be heard, not read. We encourage you to listen to the audio, which includes emotion which may not translate itself on the page. Podcast transcription by Rev.com