Winning increases bookings and revenue
“I started entering awards about 10 years ago and winning has always increased business. You can see the bookings instantly going up,” says Rebecca Griffiths, owner of The Secret Spa in Wrexham, which won PB’s Team of the Year 2020 and Boutique Salon of the year 2019 awards, among others. “It sets us apart. If new people move to the area, they might not know where to go or which salon to pick, but if they see something that sets a salon apart like an award, they’ll come to you, so it will boost your business.”
Tima Reshad, opened Coco Nail Bar in London 10 years ago, and says that although she had a lot of interest, it was winning the PB Nail Salon of the Year 2014 Award that propelled the salon into being taken more seriously. “Since then, we’ve won four different awards.
We’re very proud of them and have displayed them at the front of the shop. There are other salons in the area, but clients want to feel comfortable parting with their money, and they’d rather give it to a salon that has won an industry award,” she adds.
How to put together a winningentry
Don’t be modest: “This is the one time you really need to put it out there,” says Reshad.
“Write down everything you’ve accomplished and anything you’ve done that stands out – training, social media stuff or magazines you’ve been in. Put it all on your entry.”
Explain your USP: “See the entry as your opportunity to catch the judges’ attention.
You’ve got to show them your passion. Explain exactly what makes you different to the next salon that’s going to be entering,” advises Griffiths.
Keep a journal: “I think a lot of people hold back from entering because they think ‘what have I done that’s so special?’,” says Amy Gordon, whose eponymous salon won in 2020, “but if you keep a journal of anything you change, or training and/or new marketing tools, it really helps. It can be hard to look back over a year and try to remember but as a salon owner, you’re doing things all the time so dig deep and remember how amazing you are at what you do.”
It gives a boost to the team
“The team were overjoyed when they heard the news,” says Jenna Chambers, spa manager of Corick Country House Hotel & Spa, Co Tyrone, which won the Residential Spa Of The Year Award in 2019. “We all work so hard throughout the year and to be recognised at the end is incredible. Staff morale afterwards was at an all-time high and this shows in every area of business.”
Griffiths agrees that it’s a “win-win” situation, adding, “After winning, the phone just doesn’t stop ringing. The team are just on cloud nine for weeks, which increases positivity, and clients can see that. They see the team and how they work together, constantly striving to keep up the standard and raise it, and that’s so important for the business.”
You’ll learn how to improve your beauty business
“2019 was my third year entering the awards. The previous two years allowed me to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses as a professional. I used the experience to look at how I could become better as a nail tech, as well how I could improve my contribution to the industry too,” says Kayley Cairns, winner of Nail Professional of the Year 2019. “Winning affirmed all the effort I had put into my professional growth and gave me pride in the fact that I didn’t give up.”
Amy Gordon, owner of Amy Gordon Skin Clinic & Beauty Boutique in Essex, winner of Large Salon of the Year 2020, adds, “Filling in an entry form really reminds you of everything you’ve achieved over the past year. To win is then obviously amazing but entering can give you a boost in itself.”
Carla Chatburn, owner of Pure Perfection, which won Employer of the Year 2020, says that reaching the finals, gave her a unique insight into other salon businesses as well as her own. “It was really inspiring just to listen to other people’s stories during the process. It gave me the confidence and the knowledge that we were doing something right within the industry and that we’re on the right path,” she says.
For Reshad, the feedback you get when you reach the finals, but don’t win, is one of the most important parts. “One year, the feedback made me realise that our social media wasn’t where it should have been so we started doing more in the area of marketing and social media, and gradually we’ve ended up investing more in that aspect of the business. Feedback is a blessing,” she says.
It raises your profile
“We’ve had a lot of interest from the press; we’ve had national newspapers contacting us and TV crews wanting to film us,” says Reshad. “And that’s all important, but ultimately, it’s about the clients – they like to come to an awardwinning salon, so it helps the business financially as well.”
Cairns adds that winning “what is known as one of the most prestigious awards in the industry” has raised her profile among her peers and highlighted her as a positive example within the industry. “In turn, this has increased the amount of students I now teach, as prospective students know they are learning from someone who has proven themselves in both skill and knowledge,” she says.
For Chatburn, being recognised as Employer of the Year has already helped with recruitment. “It really has brought the level of therapists that we’re looking to work with into the company so it’s given us some real confidence,” she says.
How to enter the Professional Beauty Awards 2021
Entries are now open. The deadline is June 4, 2021. It’s free to enter; just visit professionalbeauty.co.uk/pbawards to complete your application. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner in London on October 17, 2021.