ASK THE experts |

7 mins

ASK THE experts

Our beauty experts answer your questions about every aspect of running a salon or spa business

How can I build and maintain a client base for a home-based salon?

Start by considering what your business offers to clients that is different from other salons, then build everything out from those core principles. From social media and design, to the products you use and the services you offer – aim to weave them through the whole client experience and keep this at the front of your mind while you build your brand.

In my experience, the USP of home-based beauty is that clients have the comfort of a relaxed setting without compromising on the standard of service. They reap all the benefits of both personal touch and your professional experience in delivering high-quality treatments. But for clients who need convincing, help break down any preconceptions by showing them what they can expect. Whether on your website or through social media, share quality pictures of your space and interiors, as well as your services, so clients can get a feel for your taste and the treatment environment.

Don’t be afraid to show yourself and your personality, and recognise that you are a crucial asset to your business. Social media is a great way to do this because you can bring in your own tone of voice to the captions and content. I love using Instagram stories for Q&As so that clients new and old can share questions about services they’re interested in. They are also perfect to show what to expect from more intimate or expensive treatments because visuals can really help give clients the confidence to book something new or outside their comfort zone.

Consider logistics from the client’s perspective – direct messages might work for you, but an online booking system means that clients can book easily and quickly when it suits them, and they also have all the information they need about the services you offer. Software systems such as Fresha also automatically request reviews that are quick and convenient to complete. As reviews are so vital for bringing in new clients, don’t be afraid to ask your existing clients to leave reviews or share feedback that, with their permission, you can use on your website or socials.

Finally, leave room for luxury. Clients still want and appreciate the indulgence and relaxation that luxury salons and spas offer. Whether it’s offering clients a “proper” coffee, heated beds and soft blankets during a lash lift or a relaxing lavenderscented eye mask for body treatments, considering the small touches will keep your clients coming back to you.

Don’t miss Scullion’s talk on “How to start your own salon from home” at Professional Beauty London 2023 – visit the Business and Digital Skills live stage at 1pm on Monday, March 6.

Emily Scullion is the owner of The Brick House Beauty Salon in Stafford and the winner of Mobile/Home-based Salon of the Year at the 2022 Professional Beauty Awards.

What can I do to attract and retain good therapists?

Therapists and practitioners are key to the success of our industry, but with a global labour shortage and candidates’ needs changing, recruiting can be a challenge. Here are some strategies to help:

1. Understand your audience

Before you even start the hiring process, ask yourself and your team: What inspires you at work? What are your career goals? What motivates you? This is a great way to better understand your potential candidate and how to position your role to attract their attention.

2. Be open-minded

Don’t discount talent with potential or someone returning to work after a career break. Consider investing in employee training and development.

3. Offer part-time working options

What candidates are looking for has changed dramatically since the pandemic. Expand your pool by considering part-time options. This is a great way to attract experienced staff keen to return to the industry. At Laser Clinics UK, we have staff with noncompeting jobs or other responsibilities, such as injectors who also work in the NHS and therapists who are primary carers for children or ageing parents. They enjoy the break from their other role.

4. Showcase your team culture

40% of candidates consider company culture a priority when selecting a job, according to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report. Highlight your culture and values in your job ads and interviews by talking about social events, team recognition and work incentives.

5. Foster diversity

In a Deloitte survey, 83% of millennials reported higher levels of engagement when they believed their company fostered an inclusive culture. Diversity is crucial to productivity, innovation and growth and can improve employee retention and team performance.

6. Support training and development

How your business nurtures an employee’s skills and ambitions can be a huge factor in attracting and retaining good people. In interviews, talk to candidates about how they’d like to develop. Continue these conversations during onboarding and in weekly or monthly one-to-ones. Consider enrolling them in a short course or having them work on a passion project related to their role. If budgets are challenging, consider an internal mentor.

7. Promote wellness

As a manager, it’s critical to take care of your people. Investing in wellness programmes and employees’ mental health can improve your team culture, retention, productivity and ability to attract future talent. Research shows up to 80% of professionals consider the mental health and wellbeing strategies offered to be important when searching for a role. Talk about these initiatives in your interview to set yourself apart. For example, at Laser Clinics UK, we offer an EAP (employee assistance programme) to all staff.

8. Look beyond the CV

Don’t discount a candidate because their CV has formatting issues or there are gaps in their career history. You might miss out on somebody great. Talk to them via phone or video call. Look for behaviours that align with your team. Traits such as a desire to learn, resilience, being customercentric, valuing safety and being a supportive colleague are more important to the success of your business.

Louise Guilfoyle is the group head of talent acquisition at the Laser Clinics Group, which has 48 UK clinics and a global network of over 200.

How can I include this year’s trending colour in my nail designs?

Have you seen the new Pantone Colour of the Year for 2023? “Viva magenta” is a nail tech’s dream, and I’m going to tell you why and give you some fun ways that you can incorporate this shade into your nail designs this year.

Pantone describes the shade as a “crimson red tone that presents a balance between warm and cool”. Reds are a nail classic that will be around until the end of time, and adding the magenta element makes this shade super-versatile and wearable; perfect for floral designs, great on every skin tone and ideal for adding a dash of colour to some more minimalistic designs.

Magenta works well in all kinds of nail designs, from chrome to florals, but if you prefer simpler nail art, here are my top tips for creating minimal designs.

1. Don’t overthink it

Minimal nail art looks are always a good idea. You can still charge more for them, earning you some extra income, but they won’t take you hours to create.

Think skinny French tip manicures, a cute cuff design/reverse French, or even something spotty.

2. Get mixing

If you don’t have the exact shade you are looking for, mix your own. You can buy some small containers with lids and create custom shades for your clients that they can come back to throughout the year. Mix a red with some neon pink and a tiny bit of purple to get that magenta shade.

My advice would be to not mix across brands. We must remember we are working with chemicals, so only mix products together from the same brand. With the rise in allergies, we must always be mindful of the way we are using products.

3. Have fun

Don’t be afraid to experiment – nail art should be fun, and if you are having fun then it will translate across to your clients. Don’t stress if it doesn’t work out or you aren’t 100% happy with it – just take it off and start fresh.

If you recreate any of these designs, please tag me @clawgasmic on Instagram – Iwould love to see your magenta creations.

Don’t miss Vermont’s session at Professional Beauty London, where she will be hosting a live nail art masterclass – visit the Trends and Techniques stage at 1pm on Monday, March 6.

Chantelle Vermont is an award-winning nail technician, session manicurist and host of the Clawgasmic Nail Tech Talks podcast. She helps nail techs to earn more and stress less with tutorials and educational videos.


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This article appears in February 2023

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This article appears in...
February 2023
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