How can I safely combine technologies to create results-driven facials?
There’s been an increase in the number of technologies being mixed together to create “wonder” combination treatments. While these protocol blends can be used effectively to provide great results as part of an ongoing treatment plan, it’s really about the therapist knowing what works well together and what doesn’t.
Just because you can combine a treatment doesn’t mean that you should, and an aggressive approach isn’t always a progressive one. For example, the classic combination of galvanic desincrustation with high frequency is a match made in heaven for the right client.
Galvanic desincrustation uses a low-voltage negative current that deep cleanses the skin, reducing sebum and congestion in preparation for extractions. High frequency uses a direct current to help healing after extractions and dry secretions. The ozone produced has an antibacterial and germicidal effect on the skin, which is why these two technologies work cohesively to treat congested complexions.
However, many protocols do not require treatment combinations because they are great standalone procedures, such as microneedling. This technology can be used in combination with other treatments such as chemical peeling, radiofrequency and lasers, but it works best as a standalone protocol with topical products to give a glide, creating micro-punctures that allow for deeper penetration of actives.
The introduction of chemical peeling to microneedling can improve results too, but if it is not carried out safely it can have a detrimental effect, especially on darker Fitzpatrick skin types. Chemical peels are another fantastic standalone treatment and again it doesn’t really need to be combined.
Plus, if the blended protocol is not right for your client’s skin then these one-hit-wonder combinations can cause lasting damage to the skin and further complications such as postinflammatory pigmentation, granulomas, further collagen degradation, inflammation, infection and scarring.
Jody Adele Taylor is owner of Skin Deep salon in Doncaster and Professional Beauty’s Therapist of the Year 2017.
How can I improve the retail to treatment revenue ratio in my salon?
The industry average is around 5% retail to treatment revenue; however, boosting retail sales needn’t feel like a mammoth mountain to climb.
It may sound obvious, but if a therapist doesn’t understand the products, they can’t sell them. Retail training is essential to enable therapists to feel confident. Book refresher training in advance of peak seasons so you can maximise sales, and don’t forget to train your reception staff too. They also play a role in the customer’s purchase journey and can be a great asset for add-on sales.
Additionally, stocking retail products that have strong links to your treatments makes it much easier for therapists to sell. If the customer likes the results of the treatment, they will want to continue those results at home. Although facials tend to be easier to retail, massage and waxing treatments are usually booked more often. To avoid missing out on sales, stock body exfoliators to treat dry skin and ingrown hairs. Aromatherapy products are also great as they can link to any body treatment.
Clients are more responsive at the beginning of the treatment, so rather than rushing them onto the couch, take time to discuss which skin concerns they would like to improve. Briefly mention a product for this concern that links to the treatment. Afterwards, point out the results from that product and ask something like, “shall we get you started on that eye cream today?” This makes for a more natural and relaxed sale.
Gina Baker is a skincare trainer for Spanish skincare brand Germaine de Capuccini, distributed in the UK by Totally UK.
How can I identify the perception clients have of my salon and improve it?
With our franchise salons nationwide we implement the following methods to ensure standards and client’s perceptions remain positive.
Firstly, be a customer yourself; this is the easiest way to obtain a client’s perception of your business. Analyse all areas of the client journey. Look around at your reception - is it clean? Do your team look presentable? Do you display marketing materials to read? Has someone offered to take your coat? All these details build a strong perception of your business.
Then go a little deeper and analyse how the therapists showcase their expertise. Would you rebook with them? I would then recommend organising for your business to be mystery shopped. This is a reasonably inexpensive way to acquire a detailed client perception and highlight areas for improvement.
Online reviews are essential too. Encourage clients to leave you a review on Google as this will significantly improve your ranking.
Facebook reviews are also crucial as their visibility and reach is far greater.
Social media also gives you control in influencing client perception. Think about what impression you would like to create and build your social strategy around this.
Olivia Seymour is franchise marketing manager at Guinot UK and part of a team spearheading the brand’s new free business coaching scheme, PHD.
How can I be more assertive with my staff?
As an industry business coach, I talk to many salon owners and most of them have staff problems. The reason why is simple. They’re nearly all afraid of confrontation, which leads to them not being assertive enough with their staff.
This inevitably leads to a lack of leadership and clear communication. There are no consequences and staff either ignore or interpret salon rules how they like, while their employer tries to keep everyone happy and fails.
Now, don’t confuse being assertive with being aggressive, they’re not the same at all. Aggressive behaviour, like nagging, bullying and perfectionism, leads to a win-lose relationship where the aggressor gets what they want and to hell with everyone else. Salon owners who behave like this attract and deserve every staff problem they get.
Assertive behaviour, based on high trust and clear, fact-based communication, leads to win-win relationships where staff understand what you want and what’s in it for them if they give it to you.
Salon owners who behave like this make inspiring leaders who attract loyal and hard-working team members because they know what’s expected, where they stand and what’s in it or them. If you’ve just realised you could be more assertive, send me an email with “That’s not the issue!” as the subject line and a bit of information about what’s happening in your salon and I’ll send you full details of a powerful, easy to learn, with my compliments.
Kelly Shaw is a salon business coach and founder of salon k:SPA. She is an ambassador for skincare brand Dermalogica. Get a free assertiveness-building technique by emailing her at email@example.com
How can I increase my profits amidst growing competition?
Firstly, to be profitable you need to stop looking at what other salons are doing. Unfollow their accounts and let’s focus on your business.
Secondly, you need to be charging for profit. I know that sounds obvious but a lot of salon owners are not sure what profit they make per treatment or service because they don’t have a pricing strategy, leaving it to chance if they turn a profit.
This is why I teach my clients “the profit equation”; so that from the pricing structure and throughout the business they can reverse-engineer the profit they want to make week after week, month after month, and year on year. For each service and treatment you offer, your price should follow the equation: treatment/service cost = business costs + stock + wage + VAT/tax + profit.
The reason 80% of salons are not profitable is because they are not using a correct pricing strategy and if you do not know the equation above for each treatment and service, then how can you even begin marketing profitably?
This is not uncommon for our industry. Most salons come to us having made huge losses by marketing treatments for low prices without realising what it was costing them to deliver services. By implementing this formula, you can help boost your profits.
Jessica Crane is an international business coach helping salon owners increase profit and reach the next level in their business. Get free profit-boosting tips by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
What should I consider before partnering with a supplier?
The relationship with your supplier is extremely important as you’re entrusting them to provide products at the best possible price. With this in mind, I would recommend you do lots of research before engaging with a supplier.
Do they offer a loyalty scheme? This is an attractive bonus as it allows you to earn as you spend. Additionally, look to see if they produce a newsletter. These are an excellent way to keep abreast of any exciting new products as well as all the latest offers and discounts.
Check out their social media accounts too. Ask how often they post on Instagram and Facebook and if they are happy to drop you a “like” or “follow” on your accounts. If so, this is free publicity for your salon.
You should also check where they are based. Ordering online is a breeze, but sometimes we like to be able to see, touch and feel products prior to investing. And make sure to ask if they offer next-day delivery, even if this comes with an additional fee. We all get caught out at times, forgetting to order replacements or essentials.
What are the prerequisites for setting up an account? A supplier should be falling over themselves to have you on-board and spending, so your training credentials, address and contact details should suffice.
Also, what training courses do they offer? Never underestimated your capacity and ability to learn new things. Most suppliers will relish the opportunity to help you add another string to your bow. Finally, what are their payment terms? Most suppliers will require payment in advance. However, if you’re a large salon or have multiple sites then enquire if they offer NET 30, where you can pay 30 days after ordering.
April Worthington is UK account manager for nail brand LCN, which is distributed by The Edge.
What is AIDA marketing and how can I implement it in my salon?
AIDA is a marketing model that sets the precedent for all marketing carried out by 3D-lipo and it stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It provides an easy understanding of exactly what should be covered in a promotion and ensures that the key information is communicated to the client.
• Attention: Capture your audience’s attention through brand awareness campaigns or exclusive offers. Provide valuable content and you will grab their curiosity to learn more. This can be through bold headlines, graphics or valuable information.
• Interest: Clinics should ensure that brand information is easily accessible on their website, including how treatments work and details about the brand. Product details should also be easily accessible to save users jumping from page to page.
• Desire: Clinics can generate desire in a number of ways including limitedtime offers. The more clients see your brand, so long as the content is of value, the more the appeal of your services will increase.
• Action: It is essential to use a call to action such as “book your free consultation” or “request further information”. After all, what’s the point in creating if it your prospect clients have no way to act on it?
Roy Cowley is founder and managing director of 3D-lipo, which manufactures a wide range of aesthetic devices.