Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 76. 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 76

After a short podcasting month due to an Irish bank holiday, Killian and Zoe dedicate this week’s episode to a round-up of everything that’s happened on the Phorest Blog and Phorest FM in May. From the most popular blogs to snippets from previous Phorest FM episodes and announcements in regards to upcoming Phorest Academy Webinars, you’re sure to get all the marketing advice you might have missed.



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM Podcast, episode 76. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. This week’s episode is our monthly roundup, bringing you all the best bits from your favorite blogs and podcast episodes in May. A few things we’ll discuss: when is it time to hire an assistant salon manager, and Phorest’s latest feature, the Digital Consultation Forms. And as always, we top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars.

Killian Vigna: So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs. Good morning, Zoe!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good morning, Killian. How are things?

Killian Vigna: Absolutely great. Great, great, great. Two great sports games at the weekend. Well, [inaudible 00:00:48]. The Champions League final. I don’t know if this gonna interest anyone here. Champions League, and then the rugby final. So yeah, it was a good weekend indeed.

Okay, so our monthly roundup episode, and it’s actually just a short one, this one, isn’t it? Because we had the bank holiday at the start of the month-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes.

Killian Vigna: Which meant we only… This will actually be our third episode of May. So our first episode was with Katrina, of Katrina Sutherland Country Spa, and she was our #30Days2Grow contest winner.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and it was actually a great episode to understand how the campaign affected her salon, her staff, what she kind of saw in terms of areas of, not necessarily improvement but, you know, not knowing what staff were really into. She found out that one staff was really into the retailing and she was really good at it. And she was saying, “She put us all to shame and stuff.” It was actually brilliant to just hear about this whole experience.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly, how involved her team were. But also one thing I liked was, she said, even though at times you were doing one every single day, not to get overwhelmed about having to do it every day. That like, the whole purpose of this campaign is just try to find… identify areas of your business that you weren’t so focused on, and that they don’t all have to be done straight away in 30 days. She can look at an idea and go, “Right. Well I’m not ready to do it now, but I know that that’s gonna work for me in December, of Christmas.” So she was looking at the 30 challenges and she could identify when exactly she was going to need to review or go back to those throughout the year.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Let’s have a listen.

Snippet 1, Katrina Sutherland: I think the challenges have been absolutely fantastic for us. They’ve made us look at areas of the business that we’ve never really considered before. Or, considered briefly. I think even if somebody signs up for the challenge and does three of them. It’s three more than they would have done otherwise. And it’s three that’s going to benefit their business in some way.

Snippet 2, Katrina Sutherland: Rebooking has definitely increased, the client spend has increased. 

Snippet 3, Katrina Sutherland: I think if it’s a challenge, it’s a challenge. And if it’s easier, it’s not a challenge. I think what you have to do is accept the challenge, do your best. If that means that you miss out three out of seven challenges, if four is your best, then that’s great! Next year when you do it, you could try to do five of the challenges because you’ll already have in place the ones that you’ve set up for this year. So I think, if it’s a challenge, it’s got to be a challenge. And I didn’t manage to do all the challenges. I don’t beat myself up about that. I can set a date in the future and do the challenges I’ve missed. They’re still on Facebook, you can still read them, you can go back to it, and whenever you decide to do it and it’s the right time for you and you’ve got time to think about it. You can gather everything then and really make a success of it.

Snippet 4, Katrina Sutherland: There’ve been loads of fantastic ideas from the participants. I’ve really enjoyed seeing what other people have been doing. It’s a great way for salons to help each other.


Killian Vigna: And then our second one was, the lovely GDPR. So that was an interview with our very own, Niamh Greaney here, who is essentially a champion of GDPR at this stage.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: She really is, isn’t she? Doing all the talks and seminars and stuff, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. She was going around doing a couple of presentations at a few trade shows and stuff like that. She’s brilliant on them, and is I suppose, one of the most informed on the topic at the moment. But, what she was doing for this episode, because it was actually our third GDPR episode here on Phorest FM, she was kinda breaking down those last-minute points. What were the things you really need to focus on now before crunch time.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, because at the time… I mean, GDPR came into effect officially last week on May 25th. And so the episode was just a few days before that, and it was kind of… You could sense there was a bit of tension, panic a little bit in the air. And it was kind of like, “Oh my God. It’s coming into effect. What do I have to do?”

Killian Vigna: Kind of, between everyone. Because-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: I know… I think the Thursday of that week was one of the highest volume of support calls that we had. So everyone was flat out there. But also on our behalf, we all had to do an hour GDPR training and get certified as well. So it’s mass panic just for everyone that deals with clients in Europe.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Absolutely. Yeah, so that episode, I think, cleared up a lot of last minute outstanding questions or interrogations about a few different things around consent, around even just, what is there to put in place if I haven’t done a lot around GDPR yet.

Killian Vigna: But even as a speaker, she just broke it down so, so well. She presented it nicely, and it was easy to understand. Yeah, very easy to understand.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so let’s play a few bits right now, and if you have missed this episode then you’ll at least have a few snippets here.

Snippet 1, Niamh Greaney: It’s increased responsibilities of the salon really.

Snippet 2, Niamh Greaney: I would say number one would be, do a data audit. That would be the first thing. And the second thing would be, well understanding what personal data is firstly. So, you collect loads of personal data in a salon. So you collect a name, address, phone number. For you staff members, you’ll collect a PPS number, and health data. The third thing would be doing up a salon privacy notice. You will be able to find templates maybe if you’re in business groups or online that will help you out with this. You’d also have to do some policies and procedures if you had a data breach – what you would do. Or, if someone asks for a subject access request. And then lastly, staff training. So you need to document when you’ve trained your staff.

Snippet 3, Niamh Greaney: It’s all about demonstration and documentation. Being able to demonstrate everything and document when you’ve done it.

Snippet 4, Niamh Greaney: People come to your salon because they want to do business with you, and they’re very happy to hand their information over. So nine times out of ten, they’re more than happy to get a campaign from you. But with GDPR, up until now you never really would have had it timestamped when they said, “Yes, I’d like to be contacted.” So that’s mostly the same with every business but it’s really about going forward that you’re gaining clear consent. And what clear consent means is that you are allowing them to choose what they want to be contacted by. They know that they can opt out at any time.


Killian Vigna: So now on a lighter note, big announcement. I can’t believe we’re what, six months past the due date and now six months left to go, what have we got Zoe?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The Phorest Salon Owners Summit 2019!

Killian Vigna: So-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, but it’s really exciting. We’re back at the Convention Centre next year on Monday, January 7th. The Convention Centre last year, I must say I was really, really impressed. Really easy to get around. Everyone was moving around in different spaces as well, for the workshops. It was just a brilliant space to be in.

Killian Vigna: Oh yeah. Like, it was a fantastic setup. And I think the venue as well, it’s definitely the best venue to date this Convention Centre. And it’s also in the Dublin Convention Centre again this year, is it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, absolutely. And the theme this year though has changed of course. And this year, it’s all about powering up. So the official theme, Power Up, and you’ll hear about some of the world’s best thought leaders on business brand and personal growth. And to kick it all off, we have our first announced speaker. And I’m really excited about this one, Jo Fairley.

I don’t know if you know her from before, but she created the Green & Black’s Chocolate brand in 1991, and it was bought by Cadbury in 2005. So yeah, no, it became like a massive business. And according to the CoolBrands survey, is now worth actually 100 million a year, which is insane.

Killian Vigna: Wow.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: And it’s apparently one of the coolest food brands as well… Actually, oh, hailed as the coolest food brand in Britain, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: In Britain, yeah. Exactly, yeah.

Killian Vigna: It’s kind of interesting because even though there are some marketing gurus around our food brand, it’s not all that they do. So ever since  Green & Black’s had been sold to Cadbury’s, they actually run their own salon.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so , Jo actually is in demand as a brand consultant. She has her own ventures. She has an organic bakery, a natural food store. And like you said, she runs a nine room salon and wellbeing center in Hastings. So, yes. She’s also launched a perfume society. She is all over the place. But like, in a good way. Do you know?

Killian Vigna: In a good way. So scattered. She’s got too many companies going on here.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, no, really really excited to hear her talk at the Summit, and it’s crazy to think that like just six months ago, like you said, we were at last edition. And now we’re already planning on next year’s, you know, in January.

Killian Vigna: I know, yeah. But also on a side not to that, which is, absolutely fair play to Alex Quinn and Sinead Carroll who work on the PR and Events Team here. The Dublin Summit, so last year’s Salon Owners Summit, is actually up for a nomination this year.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it was nominated at the Event Industry Awards 2018. It’s in the category Best Conference. It’s a finalist, so we’re hoping to get that prize home and see how it goes, I suppose, yeah. No, it’s really really great news.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, for anyone that was there last year, completely understandable why it is being nominated as a finalist. It was just fantastic. It was so spacious. It was a nice, big venue. But it just looked so classy, and to top it all off, they managed to get the Phorest brand colors on the external of the Convention Centre which is very rare that that happens. And it reflected off the River Liffey here. There’s a lovely poster in the office here. It just really did look well. So, can’t wait for it this year now. And some really good feedback.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and to be honest, the speakers blew it out of the park like. I mean, Gavin Hoare-

Killian Vigna: Steve Martin-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You had Valerie Delforge, and to close down the show, Tabatha Coffey. I mean, how could you not have good time at this ummit and learn so much? It was just so insightful and amazing to be at. A Summit to remember.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. So now we’re moving over to the blog section, aren’t we?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Absolutely. And we have… obviously as usual, with monthly roundups, you’re gonna have an email. If you’re subscribed to the blog, you’ll get an email this week with the the four top blogs of the month, the most popular ones. But on the podcast today, we’re gonna talk about two in particular. The first one being, one by Valerie Delforge, our guest contributor and Founder and CEO at Delforge & co. And she is talking about, this month, about “When is it time to hire an assistant salon manager?”

Killian Vigna: When is the right time, Zoe? Tell us.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well, it should be an easy question to answer, isn’t it? Like, as soon as you can afford it. But like she says, it’s actually a little bit more complicated than that. So, she breaks it down to essentially knowing that it’s always time to hire an assistant salon manager but you kinda have to figure out what would they do, what you should delegate to them. And she has a brilliant blog on delegation if you’re not too familiar or at ease with delegation. It’s on the Phorest Blog as well.

And then she also says, does it always have to come with a financial reward? She breaks that down. One of her best tips in there is, know your budget for casting targets and make sure you know when you can reward your assistant salon manager. But she also talks about creating a two-year managerial plan and she answers the dreaded question, what if you trust the wrong person? Because it can happen.

Killian Vigna: Well, what does happen if you trust the wrong person?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, fair enough. Right, so she says that, we are at the end of the day a for people, by people industry. She says, “Don’t be afraid to let things go. If you let go of that fear, you’ll eventually attract the right people.” And if you keep networking, if you keep trying to constantly find a number two even if you already have one. You know, this comes back to the episode with Saad Aslam, where he was like, “I’m always kind of recruiting. Because that person might not work for me today but they might work for me tomorrow.” And that’s exactly what she says. Again, it’s “you can always try and network and find this number two and who knows, maybe at the end of the day, you’ll get a second number two. And then they can cover literally all of your shifts.” So it leaves you more time to do other things as well.

Killian Vigna: And that kinda comes back to the whole thing of, you’re hiring for tomorrow, not hiring for yesterday. So, don’t hire when you need to hire because then you’re going to rush it. You’re gonna rush the recruiting process and you gonna grab whoever is ready available now. Where again, like Saad said, hire… You might not have the role available now but in six months time, you may be able to go back to a good batch of candidates and go, “You know what, the role is available and you’re the right fit.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It all comes back to leading and coaching people into achieving more, into getting onboard with your vision, and sharing your vision as well. Do you know? And as soon as you can get to do that, to get to that point, you’ll automatically start attracting the right people because your reputation is gonna speak for itself. People are gonna speak about your brand in such a great way, as such an amazing place to be.

Remember that episode that we were chatting with David Barnett on inspired leadership and creating the dram workplace. That’s exactly it, you know. So, yeah, no, that blog is absolutely brilliant. I’d say about a five-minute read and it’s called “When Is It Time To Hire An Assistant Salon Manager?” You can find it over on the Phorest blog as per usual.

The second blog that was kind of the most popular is a new feature announcement. And you’re well tuned into this feature, the Phorest Digital Consultation Forms.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so the Digital Consultation Forms. This is a great new feature from Phorest. It’s available on the top package and it’s basically just another way of ensuring that what you do is GDPR compliant. Now, Phorest is GDPR compliant anyway, but the Digital Consultation Forms is just an additional feature that you can get. So while you… At the moment, while you may have consultation forms, paper ones that are stored… They now have to be stored in a time lock safe. You have to have a log book so any time a staff member wants to access that safe to get a consultation form out, they have to sign their name, the time and date, so they have to timestamp it, and why they’re accessing that client’s consultation form. Also which client’s form. And some salons have gone as far as putting a camera up in the corner of the room so now they have that visual identification of it too.

So with Phorest, first off, you’re saving all your storage space. You don’t have to use a safe. It’s all hard encrypted onto your Phorest system. So basically-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Completely paperless.

Killian Vigna: Completely paperless. It’s all digitalized. So what that means is, when a client comes in now and they’re required to fill in a Digital Consultation Form, you’re using the tablet. So this could be an iPad or it could be any Android tablet. And the staff member puts in their pin, because you have to have the pin trail so that’s your log book, your timestamp. It shows me which staff member is accessing that consultation form so the client can fill it in. And because it’s digital, the next time they come in and are prompted to fill in that Digital Consultation Form, they won’t have to fill the whole form back out again because if that information is the same, and nothing needs to be changed, that completely transfers over to the new form. So, it just updates itself. And all the client then is doing is changing any information, or updating that information. They’re not having to fill out a full form. So again you’re saving time there. And that form can be filled in on the tablet while they’re in treatment too.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So what happens, you know, paper digital consultation forms… We’ve gotten this question many, many times. There has to be a signature on it. What happens with the Digital Consultation Forms with signatures?

Killian Vigna: Well you still get a signature, but you use your finger instead of a pen, or you could use a stylus pen. But yeah, basically, the staff member is giving their pin every time that they have to go into the form. So that’s the timestamp for the salon owner and for your GDPR compliance, and your audit trails and stuff like that.

To say, right so, you’re the staff member. You’re opening up the consultation form. I’m the client. I fill in my information. I hand the tablet back to you. And you put your pin in again. The two of us review the consultation form. I’m happy with that. I give… Me, as the client, I give my digital signature. So again, I use my finger or stylus. That digital signature, if I need to go back in and update my information or add new information, you’ll put your staff pin in again and I’ll be requested to add another signature. Because that signature then can’t be forged. It prevents anyone from going in and putting in information that they shouldn’t in someone else’s consultation forms. So you still have that digital signature, and because it’s digital, it’s even harder again to replicate.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And how about the whole privacy notice and stuff?

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So this is how we’re helping you as a process of your system. We’re helping you have GDPR compliant consultation forms because embedded at the top of the form and at the bottom of the form, which cannot be removed or edited, is a privacy policy and a disclaimer. The disclaimer’s at the top of the form and that’s just ensuring that for anyone that’s under the age has sought… They have parental guardians or someone like that with them. And then the privacy policy is what you as salon owner is saying, why you’re taking down this information, what you’re going to do with that information, and how it’s going to be stored. So again, your privacy policy, what’s the policy around your privacy. Those two sections cannot be removed or changed from the Digital Consultation Form. And that’s how these forms are GDPR compliant.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So if someone was already a Phorest Salon Software client and was interested in getting these Digital Consultation Forms, how do you go about it? It’s essentially an upgrade, but it’s the complete advantage package so they don’t just get the Digital Consultation Forms?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, again, as we said, your Phorest system is GDPR compliant so it does have all the processes in place to allow your salon to be GDPR compliant. However, if you want Digital Consultation Forms on top of that, that means you’re on the top package. So you can upgrade to that, or you can sign straight on as a top level client. And what that does is it gives you GDPR compliant forms. It gives you Online Reputation. We’ve talked about Online Reputation before, where you can monitor and review and control your Yelp reviews, your Facebook reviews, your Google reviews. All of that can be done automatically in the background of your system so you don’t need to worry about that anymore. Then you also get the Salon Branded App. So that app is your own Salon Branded App that your clients can download from the Apple iTunes Store or the Google Play Store if you’re Android. It’s just… It brings your salon even closer to your clients. It’s in your pocket. They can book online at the touch of a button. They also get online bookings as well. You get your online booking widgets. You get your SMS as well. So you get a bundle packet there, and I think the SMS are at an even lower rate than the middle and the basic plan. And then on top of that, you have your Client Reconnect as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So for anyone looking for this, because I mean this is a pretty… Like it says, it’s a Complete Advantage Package. So for anyone looking for this, or wanting to upgrade, you can simply contact grow@phorest.com. Am I correct?

Killian Vigna: So yeah, absolutely. You can just email grow@phorest.com, or you can just call us up here in the office and just say that you’re looking for the Complete Advantage Package, you’re looking for Consultation Forms, or you’re looking for the Online Reputation Manager. Because they’re the three things then that will kinda put you straight through to the top.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And yeah, so just a side note from that before we move on. For anyone based in the U.S. or outside of the EU – essentially because GDPR is obviously only related to the EU – the Digital Consultation Forms are still available in the U.S. or outside of the EU. And it has nothing to do with GDPR, it’s just another way, again, to get you that possibility of going completely paperless like we were just saying.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, well, Digital Consultation Forms is the feature and the GDPR is just that they are also GDPR compliant on top of anyone else that is using any plan with Phorest.

So on top of that we actually have another new feature. So while our U.S. clients were already using this, an email has just gone out today for our Irish and U.K. clients to say that this feature goes live on Wednesday, the 30th of May. And what that feature is, is the new reports suite. So for anyone that’s well aware of your report section. And I’m sure you all are because that’s how you monitor the health of your salon business.

In the first roll out of this, we’re bring you the finance, payroll and staff performance reporting. So before with the old reports where you had to run various reports to get all the data you needed. Now what our design team have done is, they’ve combined multiple reports into one but with lots of filters. So now you’re not having to generate loads of different reports, go back generate another report, go back generate another report. You just generate this one report and use your filters there and then. So simple, but it actually looks really nice and clean. I have to say the lads have done a great job on this.

So yeah, while some U.S. clients have already experienced this feature, it is going live in beta mode for our Irish and U.K. clients. And you can access that by going to Manager, Beta Features and Payroll.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes. As usual, I mean, we try to get the most feedback as possible from you guys because you’re the ones using the product. So if you have any comments,, or any interrogations about these new reports, please feel free to reach out to us. And we can pass that on to either the development team or get you in touch with someone from that team anyways so you can share your thoughts on the beta.

Killian Vigna: Absolutely, I mean like this feature, as with all of our features, came from User Voice, at the request of you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: The salon owners, yep.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, yeah.

So, moving on then to our second section of the show, our usual kind of closing notes, the Phorest Academy webinars and other events. We have a few coming up. So the first thing’s first, Thursday, Mary 31st, we’re hosting an Instagram live with Jennie Lawson, award-winning salon owner of Mimosa Beauty. We’ve had her on the show before. So on Thursday at 1 pm GMT, so UK/Ireland time, Jennie and Chris Brennan are going to go live on Instagram so all you have to do is follow Phorest Salon Software on Instagram. The handle is very easy to remember, @phorestsalonsoftware. So they’ll be live for about 20 – 30 minutes. It really depends on how much you guys engage with them so please do add any questions you may have in the comments of the Instagram live. The topic is dyslexia. It’s a topic that we don’t often talk about in this industry. However it is present, and so if you want to be notified by Instagram telling you, you know, Phorest is going live, all you have to do is turn on the notifications of that account.

So next up, we’ll be at Premiere Orlando in Florida from June 2nd to June 4th. So there is a few things going on there. As usual, trade shows, so education, seminars, talks and all that. There’s the exhibition floor obviously as well, and we’ll be on Booth 3021. So we encourage you to come say hi. If you’re in the area and you want to see what Phorest has to offer, we’ll be there, we’ll be happy to help you out. And so if you want tickets for that, all you have to do essentially is to go onto our Facebook page, find this event, it’s called Phorest at the Premiere Orlando and Premiere Day Spa Show. You go into the ticket section, and you get your tickets there. It’s all hosted by the actual trade show. So if you’re running into any issues, please feel free to contact them.

And then, our actual Phorest Academy Webinar and the very first run through of this one is the Salon Work/Life Balance, and it’s led by Chris Brennan. It’s on June 18th, from 3 pm to 4 pm, UK/Ireland time, or 10 am to 11 am U.S. Eastern time. And in this Masterclass, Chris will be going through identifying the causes of imbalance, reframing work in your salon so that you can actually catch a breath, finding space and time for home and personal life, and ultimately maintaining this balance on a permanent kind of matter. So, very interesting topic. We’ve chatted about this at the Summit. Chris was doing a workshop on work/life balance. We’ve chatted about work/life balance with Aaron Carroll on one of our recent Phorest FM episodes so if you’re interested in this, again feel free to go onto our Facebook page, find the event in the event section. Its called Phorest Academy The Salon Work/Life Balance Masterclass. You click on get tickets. All you have to do – it’s free by the way as usual – all you have to do is fill in your details, you’ll get a registration link in your emails and that’s what’s gonna make it possible for you to join on the day.

So loads of things coming up. Dates to remember: the 31st of May on Thursday, Instagram live; June 2nd to June 4th, the trade show in Orlando in Florida; and then June 18th, the premiere of the Work/Life Balance Masterclass with Chris Brennan. So I hope you enjoyed this monthly roundup. That’s it for us today. If you have any feedback, 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 and we’ll catch you in two Mondays from now because next week is a bank holiday once again.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


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