Exponential Growth

Exponential Growth

We just did something that is going to TRIPLE our business. It took 25 hours over the course of this past weekend. It cost us money. And it’s going to pay off starting TODAY in our business.

Jennia and I just spent the past weekend in a personal growth class. We learned how to LISTEN. Don’t underestimate that. That is HUGE. That’s is how Jennia has grown our spa to what it is, simply by taking just 2 minutes to listen to our clients (we discuss this on our training DVDs).

We learned how to communitate openly, honestly and responsibly.

We learned how to keep our promises, even the small ones (like “I’ll call you right back”).

We learned how to quit embracing self-destructive behaviors like resentment and being a victim.

We learned how to COMMUNICATE with all types of people (especially those opposite us), opening ourself up to a market left 75% untapped (there are 4 types and we usually communicate well with those like us and become frustrated with those unlike us… most everyone else, which means we’ll have no more lost business or employee relationships).

We identified and set goals, what we do that would keep us from reaching them and what we do that will help us reach them.

We found a support partner that will help us meet our goals.

We strengthened our relationships with 2 minutes of direct “I” statements (such a simple, yet such a POWERFUL exercise).

We learned a powerful lesson on procrastination.

We learned that we can have “win-win’s” in all our lives, even with our staff, clients and sales.

We had fun. We laughed, we cried, we went into uncomfortable places and grew because of it (risk usually pays off).

We took action and will have healthier and wealthier lives because of it.

You can take action too. You can make a difference in your life. Click the link below and join our family at salonspaowner.com to make your spa more profitable, before your competition does.

Salon Nightmares with “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover”

Salon Nightmares with “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover”

We think we’ve got it bad. We think we’re in it alone. Do any of these problems sound familiar?

Stylists refuse to clean up.
Food is left rotting, with maggots.
Receptionist doesn’t greet clients.
Receptionist hangs up on clients.
Staff is DRINKING during work.
Staff blames owner for everything.
Staff walks off with client list.
Staff argues with client.
Staff says “promoting the salon” is beneath her and not her job.
Owner is making $2,000/MONTH working full time.
Owner invested $200,000.00 and is getting ZERO of it back
This is just a little of what I just watched on Bravo tv’s new show, “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” (schedule here). Funny, but it sounded a lot like what we hear on our forum as well here on salonspaowner.com.

The few shows I saw were very similar. Tabatha comes into a salon/spa, the owner has zero control over the situation and she takes it over. She lays down the law, sends the staff out to promote the salon, evaluates the staff/owner, lets the staff know where they stand, does a remodel and then makes her recommendations.

We could probably do all this fixing ourselves if we weren’t sooo deep in it. That’s what this site does for you. It gives you the straight answers you need to fix your own situation. The big question is, are you doing it? Are you taking the time DAILY to work on your business. Are you aware of the problems that need fixing and you’re working on the plan you created to solve it? Or are you nodding your head in agreement to these tips and then doing nothing?

Have you got $10,000 to bring a consultant in for a week to kick your butt into gear?

Don’t wait for things to get so bad that it’s too late to turn it around.

Start now. Prioritize your needs and set your goals. Choose one item to improve a week. Read the article that’ll help (call if you need more help) and create your plan. Then PUT IT INTO ACTION.

Once your business is working smooth as clockwork, then continue on with the same effort on marketing. The time to market heavily for the holiday season is now. All your marketing plans for the next three months should be in place now. Is your business in the shape it needs to be to handle new clients? You’re not in it alone, but it is up to you alone to take action.

Instant Sales Team

Instant Sales Team

Alright, you’ve been taking action. You’ve got your plan in place and are set to implement it. Are your staff on board with you?

Much of our job as an owner is handling sales. No one can do quite what we do, but what if we could get some help at it? What if there was another person (or six) that could sell packages, memberships, retail as easily as we do? How about half a dozen sales-gurus for free? We’ve got 2 new articles coming this week for members, but to start let’s do so here in this free tip.

So where is this sales force? Right under your nose, your staff. As we talk about in our “consultations that sell” DVD (email if you’d like info), we show you step by step how to turn consultations into $$$ by putting the clients needs first. But let’s take this one step further. You can have your receptionist take an active role in closing the sale. If your caregiver and receptionist are working together then it’s a simple reminder from the receptionist asking when they’d like to reschedule or if they’d like to take that product home that will get the deal done. Just assume the sale and ASK.

Memberships, packages and series of services are also easily sold IF you’ve got your staff on board as well. Why rely on yourself to sell everything when they can too? The thing is EDUCATING them on what it is you’re selling (so if it’s product you want to push get it out and have them try it, smell it, tell them the benefits of it). Then TRAINING is a big bonus too. Actually sit down and practice, role play. Hokey as it sounds it’ll greatly help. REWARD them for sales, maybe $20 for each membership they sell or you can even have a goal for the whole spa that if reached everyone gets a spa day. And finally REVIEW and check up on them. Staff will take the easiest of routes, so unchecked will quit doing even the simples of procedures. Check up on them, have a tally board in the break room, stay on top of it and be rewarded greatly.

Affordable Salon Spa Advertising Ideas

RECENT articles…

DOWNLOAD: Employee Contract
YOU have no competition (avoid Price Wars!)
Handling the indecent proposal
DOWNLOAD: Interview Questionnaire
Beware: Spa Scam!

YOUR WEEKLY PROFIT TIP

Affordable Advertising

The “big money” fourth quarter is now upon us, October-December. However, the election is going to drive rates up for advertising. What can you do? How do you compete? Especially if the summer has been slow for you. This is how.

If you’ve got money to advertise with, do so smartly. Advertising is VERY expensive and it often takes months (if not years) to get any measurable results. By following the simple steps here, you can triple your responses. Just a few small changes to your ads will create visible results.

What about those who don’t have money to advertise, don’t worry. It is MUCH easier to keep a client than to gain a new one. That means working our back-end (existing clients). They already know you, love you, and are easily gotten back in. All it takes is a simple call to check in on them and see how they’re doing. Our biggest marketing response is our yearly Christmas card with “bring this in for $20 on us” (so we don’t even have to actually include a gift certificate). They often spend $80 or more when they return. We’re customizing our cards this year with our picture to personalize it even further using www.sendoutcards.com/cardemergency and a headline. We are starting in November with an open house. We’ll follow with our Christmas card a month later in early December and follow up (adding in clients who only have purchased gift certificates) at the last minute as a reminder for those late shoppers.

Another affordable tool is pay-per-click advertising. We have a google adwords video tutorial here. You just sign up, choose your location and keywords (like “massage” or “gift certificate”) and place your bid (keep it low, .25 is fine). Do so on yahoo and the others as well, not just google.

Or if things are REALLY bad and you have ZERO cash, then take your free time to write an article, locate the press contacts for your area and submit press releases to them. Just remember to do so in advance and think of the press like your clients. Always think “what’s in it for them.” If you’ve got a newsworthy piece, they’ll run with it. We’re thinking of offering free services to military wives who will be alone this season. You can also work out some sort of trade deal with radio stations who need prizes for their holiday promotions.

Hopefully, you’ve been TAKING ACTION. You’ve read about your member options and joined. You’ve been streamlining your business, reception process, gift packages, compensation, etc. You’re all set to get PROFITABLE and just need the bonus clients to do so. Implement your plan, STAY POSITIVE and reap the benefits of your hard work all summer.

Protect Your Salon Spa Clients

NEW article this week…

“YOU have no competition” (avoid Price Wars!)

YOUR WEEKLY PROFIT TIP

Protect your clients

I had a topic all ready to go, and then saw this post from one of our members.

“I am experiencing a rather well-planned hi-jacking of our medspa clients…a recently-ex aesthetician and my only full-time LMT absconded with a large number of our clients, having secretly opened a clinic nearby together…”

I can’t express how upset I am by this and how much I feel for our fellow owner. Here we have another caring human being, who has spent a good part of their life and large amount of their own money to create a wonderful, caring place to improve clients lives. Aside from that, they have offered someone a means to make a living. It’s a wonderful thing us small business owners do, we are truly the spirit of America. And her reward for all this work? A raping of her clients. This shortsighted, despicable attitude based entirely on GREED that somehow they feel justified in stealing is beyond my comprehension. What has taken thousands and thousands to acquire can so easily be taken away. Where does this attitude come from??? How can they sleep at night???

THIS is the reason why salonspaowner.com was created. THIS kind of destructive behaviour needs stopped. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to arm yourself against this. Our goal is to help you develop the proper mindset to overcome those who will try to tear you down and all the other forces at work against a business being profitable in these times. We want fellow owners to join together and help out. We are even willing to be a shoulder to lean on if needed.

I’d like to ask a favor. If you’ve joined, please lend your thoughts on the matter in our forum. If you haven’t joined, I invite you to. There’s so much to accomplish, and we can do so, together.

Robbed!

“Robbed!” …join NOW with any DVD membership and get our “Compensation Pitfalls” DVD for FREE. We’ve got to get back stolen funds!

It happened. We got a call at 4am and it was the police. Someone through a rock through our spa door and stole our cash. They also hit our neighbor and two more businesses down the road where they got caught. We’re still waiting on the police to return our money though.

Luckily the spa wasn’t trashed, or God forbid, the computer ended up missing 🙂 We were able to sweep up the glass, get our door fixed and continue on by noon. We even sent an email to our client list letting them know what happened and that we’d be having a “pay for our new door” special. We were showered with love and concern, which is always nice.

Let’s see what we can now learn from this. How can we prepare for emergencies? Well, backing up our database on a stick and taking it home nightly is a good idea. Having a plan in place for unruly clients or the indecent proposal (article online here) helps. Do you save funds just in case you need emergency cash (to replace a door for example). Do you have a list of contacts who can help out at a moments notice? Ours was invaluable. We were even able to keep a positive attitude in our interview with the news and ask that they mention our name as much as possible (any exposure is good exposure). So what’s your plan for when you get that call at 4 am?

3 Month salon spa profitability plan

3 Month salon spa profitability plan

Are you ready? The summer “back to school” lull should be nearing its end. Locally, we’ve got new franchises taking action that are ready to open in time for Christmas. Also, the 1st quarter is the busiest time for people to buy new businesses, so they’ll be more in for their piece of the pie. Everyone’s taking action. What are you doing?

Out biggest quarter is coming, fourth, end of the year, the Holidays! What are your marketing plans? Are you set with a fall promotion (pumpkin facials? football? clear up that sun damage?). Then what? What will you do to maximize your Christmas exposure? Your plans should move from one to the next, gearing up the buzz so you can hit a home run with holiday Gift Certificate sales. We’ll be discussing this on our monthly “mastermind call” today.

Is your business even ready for new business? Have you tweaked your compensation package to maximize your profitability or are you still stuck paying 50% and living in fear of your staff? The economy has given you the perfect opportunity to make change, and massage envy and face logic have paved the way for you. What about in house? Have you redone your menu? Is your staff trained on how to handle calls to make sure no opportunity is lost? Have you secret shopped your competition (and yourself) with our “spa spies” form found online? Have you done away with resource draining packages and replaced them with series of services (monthly) or memberships to keep your cash flow positive?

Hopefully you’ve been taking action. Those who have joined have. If not, streamline your business now. Make it able to compete with the franchise and chain spas that are popping up. Get your fourth quarter marketing ready to build up to an end of the year bang! We’ll be ending our “tier 3” discounts soon, so get on board now and get ready for year end profits.

The WRONG Way to Advertise Your Salon Spa

Why traditional advertising doesn’t work
Christopher Brazy

The HIGH expense and LOW return of traditional advertising is what KILLS small businesses. Seeing your money go out for advertising but not seeing any results back in can not only be emotionally devastating but can cause crippling stress watching things spiral downhill and not know how to stop it. Fortunately, now you’ll know what to do about it.

Brand Advertising, the business killer
Most small business owners don’t start out as they should with enough money set aside to advertise (and everything else) for 2 to 5 years. So instead of a steady stream of advertising attracting new clients, they try things haphazard on limited budgets, or credit cards, and are inconsistent. THIS inconsistency is what the ad reps will tell you is the reason why your advertising isn’t working. RUBBISH (did I just say “rubbish”?).

Consistency is crucial in advertising, but if your ad doesn’t work once, what makes you think it’ll work after many times? Well, you could answer that it takes them a while to recognize your name and act on it. I’d also agree with that. Many advertisers will even tell you not to expect results before 6 months! (who can afford that?). We personally saw people walk past our spa over and over again, saying its name out loud, but not walking in until weeks later.

The real problem is the type of advertising you’re doing. Traditional, brand advertising, with your name up top and a list of services. Bad idea. It doesn’t work.

Branding takes decades
Huge companies like Coke and McDonalds do brand advertising. They advertise again and again and again on radio (all stations), television, print, billboards, etc. etc. etc. They have the money to waste on that type of advertising. As small business owners with limited budgets, we need results!

Instead of taking decades to establish “top of the mind awareness” to get people to call us, we need quick results. Many franchises will come in and FLOOD the airwaves with ads to establish themselves as a brand in a short period of time, but they typically have budgets of $10,000 per station per month and many of us can’t afford that. Who’s got $50k/month to put out there for half a year until we start getting the huge payoff?

The Same ol’ Same ol’
So what do we need? A UNIQUE advertising strategy that is efficient, affordable and that gets RESULTS.

STOP doing the same thing everyone else is doing.

STOP putting your name front and center.

STOP making a laundry list of services that looks IDENTICAL to everyone else’s.

START with an effective system in-house that will get clients to spend more, more often and refer you (why bring in more people when we’re not ready to handle them properly?).

START using headlines, these should be front and center. Like a newspaper, this is what will grab your prospects attention and convince them to read further.

START using testimonials, what others say about you is VERY powerful.

START giving them a reason to come to you. Your USP (unique selling proposition) should be a main part of your message. Always be thinking “what’s in it for them?”

START hooking people by using irresistible offers and unique approaches aside from traditional marketing. “Make them an offer they can’t refuse” to close the deal and get them to call.

START tracking everything you do (cost vs. return) to see if it’s worth doing again. Don’t do anything without tracking the effectiveness of it to see how it paid off.

START using deadlines to get people to take action NOW.

So to sum up, catch their interest with a headline, promote your USP, back it up with testimonials and then close it with an irresistible offer.

This type of direct response campaign will get results MUCH quicker than traditional brand advertising. Someone sees an ad, they act on it and you track it, refine it and run it again. It turns into a game of what can you change to get better results.

Plan out your year and be ready for things in advance. Forget about trying to brand your name. A steady stream of new paying clients that refer you to their friends is waiting for someone to step up to the plate and treat them right. Your name will be branded into their spa experience by you directly once you get them through your door.

A Reference Lesson

YOUR WEEKLY PROFIT TIP

“A References Lesson”

We always try to check references, but sometimes we get such a great vibe or are in such a rush to hire, we forget to. This week we needed a new receptionist/manager. We had several top notch candidates (for less than $10/hour) so did reference checks to help us make our decision.

One applicant had listed a doctor in town and mentioned him often in her interview. She’d been there 2 years, done everything under the sun for him, his books, appointments, management issues, etc. However the number she gave was a cell phone. We ignored that and called the office directly. Come to find out, she had only worked there for less than 90 days and was let go before her probation was over. We gave her the benefit of the doubt and had her in for a second observation interview. When confronted about her information she said her resume must be wrong. Then after she left she called back SCREAMING at us about how she’s going to “sue us for illegally checking references” (I guess we were supposed to call the fake number). Too funny.

So what can we learn from this? Well, even with questions in place such as “have you even been in trouble with the law? Do you do drugs? Have you ever reported an employer?” people not only can slip through, but will out right lie. Perhaps she’s in desperate need of a job, or looking for a free lunch and needs an employer to take the fall for it. Regardless of her personal issues/needs, our concern needs to be for our clients and staff first who have put their trust in us. Reference checks will help identify those people who really need to be working for someone other than you.

Our Download area has our Interview Questionnaire.

Stealing? Me?

“Stealing? Me?”
8-18-08

YOUR WEEKLY PROFIT TIP

“Stealing? Me?”

Funny things about pockets. All sorts of things tend to end up in them, especially with someone not so honest.

So, this is only the second time in near a decade that we’ve had to deal with this. The first time it was missing tips. Now it’s missing money from purses. Both are extremely serious issues that if not dealt with IMMEDIATLY will result in lost staff (the honest ones!).

We take precautions. We ask new hires during the interview straight out “have you ever been in trouble with the law” (guess we should ask if they have sticky fingers too). But one recently slipped by. There was a warning sign or two, $10 off one night, $20 the following week. Someone wasn’t too good with numbers, or so we thought. So we let her know we were “aware” of things and checking in. And then she let it slip. She went out of her way to show me she was “on my side.” Just a little comment, but it FELT WRONG. I knew immediately we couldn’t trust her. But do you get rid of someone for that?

Well, a week later our LMT is ready to quit since more money came up missing from her purse and she’s sure of who it is. To double check, we interview everyone and ask them straight out (the eyes can’t lie, and when doing so guilty parties will either admit it or get so nervous they’ll quit on the spot). We didn’t even have to do this with her. We left a message we wanted to speak with her before she came in for her next shift and guess what? She never showed. No return call, no explanation, just “we’d like to speak to you” and POOF! She’s gone. Problem solved (except we still need our key back:).

We have an article about “bad apples” online (and a new one about a “spa scam” that’s going around), make sure to check ’em out to keep yourself prepared.

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REMEMBER, you have to TAKE ACTION to make a change.
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-Christopher