With the theme “The Salon of the Future: Futureproof your business by staying ahead of the trends in customer spending, technology, product development, marketing and retail”, the Salon & Spa Owners’ Convention at PB North saw 16 speakers share practical solutions to the very specific challenges facing the market in the year ahead.
Keynote on the Sunday was Green & Black’s founder and beauty author Jo Fairley, who shared insights into how to expand while staying true to your ethics and your core customer; while Monday’s keynote, business success coach Sharon Lowe, tackled the topic of how salon and spa owners can “makeover” their own minds to ensure future success of their teams and their businesses.
All other speakers were experienced salon and spa owners who candidly shared the struggles they experienced along their own journeys to success and how they overcame them, as well as their tips for protecting your business against changes in the future.
In her session “The trends set to shape your salon or spa in 2018 and beyond” Hellen Ward, managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metro Spa, highlighted specialist expertise as a trend that’s set to stay, adding, “When a client asks, “Who should I book with?” I used to tell my receptionists to say that they’re all good but now I tell them that’s the worst thing they can say because the team are all good at everything but excellent at different things. When you promote their expertise, you can charge more for them and the chances of them leaving are lower.”
Meanwhile, the panel on the changing face of your salon team: engaging millennials, developing leaders, saw Glow’s Sara Shoemark, Rockliffe Hall’s Victoria Rickett, consultant Valerie Delforge, and Idyllic’s Harriet Levitt share valuable advice. “I’m a big fan of profiling personalities to understand what makes the individual tick – we hold regular strategy nights which always have an element of understanding each other’s insights to work better as a team,” said Rickett, while Shoemark added, “Millennials need games, stimulation and inspiration. They also like flexibility in the way they work.”
Other panels included “The client of the future”, with Sleeping Beauty owner Lilac Miller and Zest Skin Spa’s Louise Caithness; as well as an eye-opening panel on the new wave of social media, in which salon owners Tamsin Koslowski of NAF and Kerri Ann Angus of Peaches Wax Bars shared practical tips.
“Look at the analytics on social, which will tell you what age range your followers are, their gender and other interests,” said Koslowski. “Then plan your posts. On Instagram, for example, I draw up a grid and in every nine posts I’ll include one about nail art, one on gels, one on the salon and team, and so on, so that I know anyone looking at our page at any time will get the complete picture of what we do.”
Other speakers included City Retreat’s Lesley Caster, consultant Emma Williams, and The Grange Spa’s Matt Craven on finance, plus celebrity facialist Elizabeth Caroline and Urban Calm director Nicola Byrne on the growing importance of branding.