Salon & Spa Recovery Checklist

Salon & Spa RECOVERY Checklist
Christopher Brazy
Salon & Spa Recovery Checklist on
This “Quick-Fix & Turnaround” Salon & Spa marketing and compensation recovery plan comes from a recent question a member asked who had to save her business and fast!

This plan also works for those who really don’t know where to start or what to do. Here are the top areas of concern and progression you should consider taking ASAP.

1st Look at your numbers. Know what your monthly fixed, variable and periodic expenses are so you know what you need to do. A simple “plus” and “minus” column for each sale and each expense will be a good start.

2nd Set a goal using specific numbers and write it down. Keep this DAILY goal in view, up front. We even write what we need to do daily down so we can keep track throughout the day where we are.

3rd FIX your highest expense (compensation) immediately. Are you paying over 42% for your staffs’ pay (massage therapists, aestheticians, front desk and management WITH taxes included)? If so it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see a penny for yourself. MANY of our members HAVE made the switchover and are now profitable. Tackle it on your own, solicit help from the forums, hire us and our “compensation switchover” package, whatever, just do it!

4th Look at other expenses and fix them. MANY of your expenses can be lowered. Renegotiate your rent. Get smart with your advertising. Do you need 3 phone lines? What can and should you do about your open hours?

5th Look at other places your leaving money on the table (rescheduling, retail and esthetics). This takes implementing systems and training (do you have our dvds?). Put a system in place on how to answer the phone, book clients, handle upsells and add-ons, recommend retail and reschedule.

6th Only making money with half of your sales? Retail should be a high markup line like Alexandra. If 50% pay for staff leaves you with nothing, why do we think 50% for skin and bodycare (plus 10% commission & 5% shipping) will work?

NOW that your machine is well oiled, running smoothly and not leaving money on the table, it’s time to ramp up the marketing. Some of these items can begin immediately, but the more expensive advertising should wait until you’ve cleaned house with the above items.

Work your back-end existing clients first ( for new and regular clients, open houses, special events, etc).
Utilize to collect emails and send updates automatically. Call me when you sign up so I can help you get it setup right (if you miss one step you’ll regret it for life) … you should do this TODAY.
Send direct mail via to attract new clients.
Setup PPC campaigns on google, yahoo, bing and facebook.
Create a google/lbc listing.
Revamp your website so it’s web 2.0 using our services.
Start gathering video testimonials, and smother youtube with them.
Implement a HUGE referral program.
TV is great if you’ve got a budget, it ALWAYS pays for itself month after month with us (call for details).
Social media is good (youtube, facebook, twitter and a blog).

LASTLY? Consider joining our VIP program. The movers and shakers on there are making a BIG difference in their business.
So print this out and begin where you feel would be most beneficial for your salon or day spa.

“Take Action”

Time to Bulldoze your Salon Spa Concept?

Time to Bulldoze your Salon Spa Concept?
Douglas Preston
salon spa concept
Last year the owners of a large California retail-shopping complex ordered it bulldozed and completely rebuilt.

The remarkable thing about this is that the demolished complex was a still beautiful 20-year-old structure in located in a heavily trafficked commercial hub. But in all those 20 years of leasing and repeated economic swells the center was a stubborn failure. Why? Because the basic design of the complex with its labyrinth-like and confusing layout, and dark, difficult-to-reach upper floors simply tired shoppers of the challenge of doing business there. Lease incentives, free concerts, and massive advertising did little to help tenants survive the drought of customers. It finally made sense to simply destroy the building and replace it with one that a convenience-minded public preferred–a bland but customer-friendly strip mall. The center is now a thriving commercial success, fully leased even before it was completed.

The wisdom here is that it is ultimately better to abandon a money-losing investment rather than lose more money attempting to make it pay off. Each losing month merely adds to the depth that a businessperson must climb back from in order to realize some profit. But many spa and salon owners cling to certain products, services, and build-outs even though they can’t seem to make money from them. They remain focused and attached to the original cost of their investment and can’t bear to toss out the “valuable” feature in question. All the while its cost continues to rise.

Does your spa have a steam shower that gets little use? Did you plan a build a men’s locker room that’s 3 times bigger than you now know it needs to be? Is the juice bar just an employee watering hole? Do the ever-increasing sales of that product line fail to solve your cash shortages?

I know I’ve said this many times in my articles but it must be repeated again; a business has one primary purpose: to make money. Failing this little else will matter unless, of course, you have so much money that your business performs as a hobby or community service only. But that’s doubtful. Everything is secondary to the moneymaking capability of your business because your business will eventually die if it can’t support itself financially. I’m not pointing to sales, the mere bringing in of revenue, but rather the money you get to keep after the business expenses, all of them, have been paid out. Profit. When you take the time to analyze your spa business an interesting story will emerge: most customers buy singular, standard services such as a massage, facial, or nail care. Never mind that you planned and built your spa to deliver service packages, your customers think for themselves, and most don’t have the time or desire to get a regular “day of pampering”. Think about it, how often do you, the owner and chief promoter of day spas, spend the day lounging in one? Most customers are busy people with limited time. They will also most likely use a limited array of spa services no matter how much you pitch them. Sure, they’ll buy the gift certificate for friends and family but these new customer prospects are often unlikely to convert into regular customers, customers with time.

My point is that if you find yourself in a similar situation it might be a good time to make some important changes in the structure of your spa business. I have consulting clients who regularly argue the need to build out more massage and facial rooms while their wet, client consultation, and yoga rooms stand empty most of the time. My reply is to tear out the wasteful space and convert it to meet the service demands they have. But they’re horrified at the idea of discarding that beautifully appointed room everyone claims to love but never uses. There’s this idea that somehow the lonely space in question is partly responsible for the success of the spa as a whole. I say show me the proof of this but the proof never seems to be concretely available. What customers say and what customers do are often very different, and many spa operators really don’t know their customers well. But if you’re tracking your sales numbers carefully you’ll probably see that most of your income is found in single-services with strong retail links. Numbers don’t lie.

Your spa “concept” can become a costly attachment if it, in fact, has little practical meaning or value in the success of your business. What your spa is to you and what it is in practical terms to your customers may differ considerably. And conventional thinking, industry thinking, about what is needed in order for a business to legitimately call itself a spa is a ridiculous preoccupation in light of critical finances and proven customer demand. A lot of time is wasted on this question at trade and association events while many spa operators are looking hat-in-hand for a profitable sales strategy. Your experience may differ but after 10 years of marketing our hydrotub services at Preston Wynne the effort has not proven successful in sustaining client-initiated appointments. It simply makes sense to haul it off and convert the space for massage services that sell well. So next month out it goes. Are we still a legitimate day spa without the tub? Of course we are! Better dry than dead would be a good motto. We’ll still be a luxurious, rejuvenating retreat for face and body services, and better able to remain one in the future. We’ve survived the discontinuation of our nail services, two recessions, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and growing competition while maintaining a 20% average annual growth over the last 16 years. All this with a shrinking but better planned “concept”. Next on our hit list: those headache-prone spa packages.

It’s not the list of services or the opulence of your facility that will ultimately decide your business success. Rather, it’s the spa operator who best manages the customer experience on the professional level and keenly controls expenses that will be around the longest and the most rewarded financially. Question everything and be one of them!

Best of luck to you!

How To Make the Most from your Salon Spa Gift Certificate Sales

How To Make the Most from your Salon Spa Gift Certificate Sales
Douglas Preston
salon gift certificate sales
Many of you experience high holiday gift certificate sales. This happily means lines of customers at the front desk ready to deck your halls with piles of money!

It’s a windfall that helps your business finish the year on a bright note, swelling your bank account and guaranteeing a fresh stock of new customers for the coming year. Many spas virtually depend on this last-minute infusion of cash to catch up financially and add a little financial padding when flat spots in sales occur. And as good a thing as the gift certificate rush is there may be plenty of opportunities for the savvy spa operator to make it even better.

Here’s how you can pull the maximum value from holiday gift certificate and package sales:

Smart spa package programs

• Keep your packages at 4 hours or less. This makes them easier to schedule and limits the impact of sudden cancellations. The more packages you sell the more trouble you’ll have fulfilling them they way clients will want you to. Be prepared!

• Offer no more than 3 or 4 packages total. Gift certificate purchasers are happy to buy according to your suggestions and don’t need or demand lots of options. With fewer packages it’s easier for you to manage your programs, requiring less training and specialty products.

• Include slower selling services in some of your packages. Wet room treatments or your more exotic services may do better when sold as a special experience than they do as part of the regular menu.

• Put your high retailing services at the end of the package. That means facial or makeup services–the easier ones to generate a sale from. The closer these services are to client departure, the higher the retail result.

• Don’t discount your packages! Most customers won’t expect a discount when they’re buying a special gift. A holiday, just like a wedding, is a time when the wallets are looser than usual. Create your packages from “special” services not found priced individually on the spa menu. Design unique body, facial, and nail services that are much like, but slightly different than, your standard offerings. This can be done without adding cost or time. Give these services an alluring name and then build your spa packages with them. Now, charge more for the package (at least 10-15%) than you would for standard services grouped together as a package. This way you profit from package sales (as you should). The client can’t add them up as separate services since they aren’t sold outside of the package. This works amazingly well!

• We all know that gift certificate customers are not the most reliable product shoppers so why not build some retail items into at least one of your packages? Select fun products that reflect the package themes but aren’t specific to skin type or require regimental use. A stress relief packages can come with an aromatherapy candle, room spray, and eye pillows. Body treatments can be sold with body or massage lotion, bath gel, and heated neck roll. This is a great opportunity to thin out slower sellers, ones that you simply change as stocks run out. Build the price into the package itself. And hey, no retail commission to pay!

Package sales tips
Most spa packages are sold as gift certificates for someone else to receive and use. But did you know that the average purchaser isn’t set on any particular package or price when making their selection? Instead of handing the customer a spa menu and waiting for their decision, direct them to the most popular programs you offer. Instruct employees to recommend a certain package first, or to suggest only your higher priced packages–describing them by the wonderful experience they’ll produce. Remember, your customer is buying a gift–something intended to please a friend or loved one. Sell the pleasure, not the price–the price will look smaller to your customer as the desire for it increases.

And don’t overlook online and fax sales. Whatever you do, the easier it is for customers to purchase gifts from your spa the better your sales will be.

Scheduling your packages
Here’s the dark side of package sales: your obligation to schedule and perform them. Suddenly the tide of demand is rushing in and you quickly find your schedule and schedulers inundated with appointment requests. There’s a real danger that you’ll run out of the most coveted time slots, forcing you to offer appointments unacceptably far into the future, and irritating customers. They all seem to want the same thing–evening and weekend hours–but there are only so many of them to go around. Worse, your important regular clients want those same limited appointment times as well, so you’re risking their loyalty with an over-packed schedule. Try this–not only with your package clients but also those who are scheduling anew or returning: offer your low-demand appointment time first, before suggesting any others. You’ll discover that a remarkable percentage of customers will accept them, and probably would have all along had they been proactively suggested before. One of the costliest questions at reception can be, “When would you like to come in?” Change that to, “We have an opening on Tuesday at 3:00. How would that work for you?” You won’t know if you don’t ask.

If you have the courage to do it, drop your spa packages altogether and, instead, sell smart cards and gift cards for spa credit. They’re easier to manage, free you from the package glut trap (the card doesn’t guarantee a spa package on demand), and customers tend to use them in smaller installments. This is good because a returning customer is more likely to develop a habit for your spa than one who gulps down a big dose of services in a single visit. The retail potential is also better when the client is spending spa dollars rather than being assigned to a package. My former spa made the switch to smart card-only gift sales years ago with very positive results. We were thrilled to be out of the package business and made more money in the long haul!

Best of luck to you!

“Rock Star” Salon Spa Customer Service Checklist

“Rock Star” Salon Spa Customer Service
Christopher Brazy
salon spa customer service checklist
While clients are crucial and caregivers are extremely important, there’s one person that effects everyone, the receptionist.

Your receptionist is probably aware of all the basic duties, such as: scheduling, selling GC’s, proper phone etiquette, keeping the tone of the Spa appropriate, laundry, cleaning, closing, etc. but do they know their importance? Most see it as just a “phone” job and don’t realize their true role. They also act as concierge, and this is a vital role in your spa’s success since they handle the guests experience. They are also the first and the last person our guests will see so have the power to make or break a wonderful visit.

It is up to the front desk staff to make sure our guests visit is flawless. This means tactfully handling any problems as well as the basic duties. We should take care of ANY and ALL client concerns before they even arise. In short, a concierge will make sure a guests needs are fulfilled.

We are a Day Spa, and as such should always focus on the EXPERIENCE. And often, the client is nervous if they’re here for the first time. We’re not a salon where all the client expects is that you don’t ruin their hair and they’re used to being ignored. We’re a SPA. We are what birthday and anniversary gifts are made of. We are where they can go to escape with their friends. We are the place that will make them Queen for a day.

With such high expectations, and with the way “bad news” travels, we want to make sure we actually EXCEED their expectations and the front desk staff is greatly in charge of that. To help we’ve setup a checklist for our staff to use. Create your own, but here’s a sample to work from. Caregivers should have a similar set of SOP’s (standard operational procedures) for the consultation, treatment and retail recommendations.

Here’s our personal checklist for the check in and out procedure to get you started:

Check in

Know who’s coming in and be ready for them
Have their paperwork ready
Open the door for them
Greet them by their name
Confirm their appointment(s)
Update any missing info in their file
Give them a tour if new
Mention the restroom
Offer tea/water
Seat them in the waiting room
Let caregiver know they’re here and if they have additional appointments
IF doing a 2nd service, have them change into robe/slippers.
Get “thank you” card ready to mail if a new client.
Check Out

Let caregiver finish up with the client
Compliment them (your skin looks great, you look soooo relaxed, etc.)
Ask how their service was
Act on their response
Ring up service
Ask about product (should be ready and waiting on the counter with their spascription from the caregiver)
Ring up product
Remind them to drink water and have a great day!
Complete paperwork with caregiver (update birthday, email, etc).
So make it easy for your staff, help them remember their duties. Create your own SOP and talk to them about how important it is for them to follow it exactly. Have them study and then go over it with them. Practice it with them step by step showing them exactly how you’d like it done. Then role play with them to see if they’ve got it. Observe them, secret shop them, talk to them about the rewards for handling it properly (which should show up in add-ons, retail, rescheduling and customer service). Take action and set your staff into motion now and then reap the rewards of being the only owner in town to have something in place that makes sure the clients experience is unforgettable.

Salon Spa Employee Contract [DOWNLOAD]

DOWNLOAD: Salon Spa Employee Contract
Christopher Brazy
salon spa employee contract
Hiring one new staff without proper paperwork is a mistake. Protect yourself, your clients and your private business information by having a proper contract.

This sample contract will give you something to begin with. Please consult with your accountant and lawyer to create one specific for your state or purchase more a more thorough one from our shop.

Vist our DOWNLOAD AREA to the LEFT or use this link to go straight to it here.

How To Price Your Salon Spa Services When You Have No Competition

How To Price Your Salon Spa Services When You Have No CompetitionChristopher Brazy

Business is slow, what should you do? Lower your price! Right? Or wrong? Think you can win over more clients from your competition by being cheaper? Or are you worried they’re less than you? Price, price, price. Live by price, die by price. We think it’s the only thing clients want, right? It’s the first thing that comes to mind when working on your business.

Let’s begin with a question. Who wins in a price war? No one really, not even the client. You may get more short term business, but then someone will come in lower than you and you’ll have to go even lower …then it’s just a downward spiral.

When we make a commodity of ourselves (like gasoline) we’ve just doomed ourselves. People will then shop by price, since we’re all the same anyway. Then we have to lower our price to compete, then the competition lowers theirs, then a third spa comes in lower than both of you. They can’t afford to pay for anything so use wet-wipes for facials and don’t change sheets for massages. They lose, you lose, the other guy went under and the client loses too. Clients end up with the worst possible service from underpaid staff. It’s a lose-lose situation.

There are factors other than price that determine our worth. Price is only the determining factor if you are a commodity. When we’re all identical then there is no other way to differentiate ourselves. BUT as long as we are different, then price isn’t a factor.

Look at any industry. Fashion, department stores, automobiles. Any brand within an industry does essentially the same thing as the others, but then why is a Mercedes so much more than a Kia? Why does Neiman Marcus command more than Wal Mart? Because of perceived differences. Because they aren’t a commodity, they aren’t the same. They are unique.

When we are all the same, that is when there’s a problem. When our ads have the same ol’ laundry list of services with a picture of a candle …how do clients differentiate us? We look identical. We sound the same. We must be the same. So what will clients do? Well, they’ll compare the way the compare any commodity, by price.

Then someone comes along and does something just WOW. They pick you up, drop you off, serve you wine and chocolate and don’t accept tips. They are DIFFERENT. They are no longer a commodity. Price isn’t an issue since they have no competition. People don’t think you’re expensive since there’s nothing similar to compare you to. It’s a Win-Win situation.

Avoid the downward spiral of a price war at all costs. The laser clinics in our town have yet to learn this. One does sales constantly, the other comes back and offers 50% off. They feel they do the same thing and the only way to get new clients is by price. All they are doing is bringing the entire market down.

Differentiate yourself. Promote your USP, accentuate your differences. DON’T WORRY ABOUT PRICE. Worry about how you can DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF.

Take time NOW to look at how your clients see you and what you’re putting out there for them to see. Is it different or the same as all the other spas out there. How can you make it even MORE UNIQUE? How can you better cater to YOUR clients? YOU have no competition. This is crucial in your future. Plan it out, take action and implement it!

Salon Spa Interview Form [DOWNLOAD]

DOWNLOAD: Interview Questionnaire
Christopher Brazy
salon interview questionairre form
Want to know if you can trust your new applicant? If they’ll turn you in or steal your clients? What their strengths are? Then this download is a must. Choose the proper questions to choose the perfect applicant.

Vist our DOWNLOAD AREA to the LEFT or use this link to go straight to it here.

A Salon Spa Owners Duties

A Salon Spa Owners Duties
Christopher Brazy
salon spa owner
Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Does your day just fly by and nothing ever seems to get done? Too busy handling all the small details to ever accomplish anything? If so, you’ve got “owner-itis.” Curing yourself of this disease will GREATLY increase your profits.

When we opened our first spa, we worked. I mean we worked! 80+ hours/week and then some. Into work at 10, out at 9, 6 days a week and then 7 hours on Sunday. Eating out at the restaurants wolfing down food in 10 minutes then off to home to sleep and start over. Then we began to grow. A larger location, an employee, then two, then a dozen. Eventually Jennia had to get out of the room and start managing (it’s UNBELIEVABLE what trouble staff will get into unwatched). Our first esty stole all the client info. The next one stole clients from her fellow caregivers. We even caught a receptionist and massage therapist giving each other brazil waxings on the clock (how do you book an appointment while being waxed?). So the caregiver hat got put on the shelf and the management hat went into action full tilt.

Guess what. Our “income” was down since we had to replace Jennia as a caregiver and she was miserable running the business. What was wrong?

She was working in the business, doing all of the daily grind. It was very tiring and starting to burn her out on the whole idea. What should she have been doing? Working ON it. By working on your business you can create a plan for growth and follow through on it. How? How can your business survive without you there to oversee every single transaction? How do you get out from behind the counter and take control of your businesses future? This is how.

start quoteWork ON your business, not IN it.end quote
– Christopher Brazy
1 – Don’t be the staff’s goto person or gofer. This happens when you don’t teach your staff to think for themselves. Do you hear “where’s this?” “how do I do that?” “we’re out of this product” (when there’s a gallon of it on the shelf). If so, you’re the gofer. If you weren’t there the place would fall apart because you answer everyones’ questions for them. Ask them a question back, “did you look?” Teach them to only come to you if it’s an emergency.

2 – Put systems in place. Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) so people know what the procedure is. Give them a checklist so they know how to answer the phone, what info to get, how to book, how to open the door and give tours, how to ring up sales and ask about retail and rebooking. How to take care of the clients, perform the service, consult, offer retail, reschedule, all of it. THIS WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO IMPLEMENT and then you need to Practice, Practice, Practice. Then eveluate them and RETRAIN them until they’ve got it right.

3 – Next, learn to Delegate. Make others responsible for certain duties and check with them to make sure they’re getting done.

4 – Outsource. There are things that are NOT our specialty. Bookkeeping for me, I’m horrible at it. But accounting, taxes, legal documents, etc. Just pay a professional to do their job (money saving TIP: find someone to TRADE services with). Even if you can’t trade for it, you’ll save enough time and headache to make paying for it worthwhile.

The results? The “daily grind” that burns out so many of us will go away. Staff will know where to look and what the procedure is because they were taught to operate that way. This takes work but it’s worth it. Delegate away the small stuff, outsource the boring stuff and you will have time to work ON your business. So what then? Create a goal. Create a means to achieve that goal. Put a marketing calendar in place to coordinate your efforts. Get out your PNL and look at what’s happening! You can adjust, adapt and overcome (is that the marines slogan?).

This can’t be done in a week (well, we do have some resources that will speed up the process). First you have to have the right MINDSET about what your responsibilities are. Write down, right now (really, get a big marker and do it) “Work ON your business, not IN it.” Then break it up into baby steps and start doing it. Take ACTION.

How to Train Your Front-Desk Salon Spa Staff

Front Desk Magic
Christopher Brazy

Your front desk staff can make or break your business. Literally, they can ruin you or take you to stardom. With these training tips you can make sure you’re on your way to the top.

Let’s talk about their importance first. Instill the importance of their role into them. Let them know they are the first contact, the concierge on the way in and the one to reschedule on the way out. They handle all inquiries and are crucial in getting the client to book or get their information for follow-up purposes.

Call around to other spas in your area and say “you’re thinking about a visit” to see (use our secret shopper questionnaire below):

Do they sound friendly? Like a place you’d like to visit? Can you tell if they’re smiling?

Are they order takers? Or do they lead you in the call?

Do they know what they’re talking about? Are they familiar with the services and can make recommendations?

Do they ask for the appointment?

Do they offer to send you more information if you don’t book?

Do they get your contact info or email to follow up with you?

Do they ask for a credit card to hold the appointment and make you aware of their policies/location?

Do they have information to send you if you ask for it?

Do they ask how you heard about them?

Do they offer you upgrades or add-ons?

Do they seem competent in their job?

How do you feel upon hanging up?

You should always lead the client and direct the call. Never just let them blindly wander aimlessly. You know your spa and services best so should take charge and help the client. There are also bonuses to handling the call properly. Your simple recommendation will keep the most profitable services on the books AND slowest times filled if handled properly.

If the caller chooses not to book find out how they found out about you and if they’d like more information. It takes $$$ to get that phone to ring (figure it out exactly how much and let your staff know the amount). If they know it takes $104 to get a new client, they’ll be more responsible on the phone. Never let them go to voicemail, never leave them on hold (get the second callers # quickly and offer to call them back) and never let them hang up without asking for some sort of contact info to follow up with them (we ask if they’d like us to email them a $20 coupon).

A properly trained front desk person can SIGNIFICANTLY ADD to your bottom line. TAKE ACTION this week. Setup a training and make sure they’re not missing any opportunities.

Should Your Salon Spa Offer A Guarantee?

Win BIG with guarantees
Christopher Brazy

What would you do if someone called in to complain? Would you give them their money back? Would you offer another service? If so, you have a guarantee. Are you benefiting from it by advertising it or are you just offering it without benefiting from it?

People are nervous about something new. They are unsure if they’ll be happy. They are worried if it’ll be worth it. If the service/item is more of a luxury they are especially concerned that they’ll be getting their moneys worth.

With all these worries, how do we ever make the sale? Well, sometimes we don’t. It could be often we don’t! We don’t know what has never called or come in. So how do we change this and make the sale? We take away the worry.

A guarantee takes away all worries. By removing the risk people will buy. But it has to be a REAL guarantee. Not “if we don’t fix the problem” but a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee. Personally, if someone isn’t happy with my service, I don’t want their money.

Offering this take a leap of faith …set yourself apart, take the leap.

Try something like these:
“If you’re not completely satisfied, neither are we, your day will be on us”
“100% no questions asked, good as gold guarantee.”

There’s worries on our end that all the penny pinchers and complainers will frequent us to take advantage of us. I’m not saying this won’t happen. I’m saying the EXTRA business we WILL get because of our guarantee will more than offset anyone who complains to get something for free.

You’ll most likely get a new client/week (if not per day) and will RARELY see a complaint asking for a refund. Regardless of any small worries we have (90% of what we worry about never happens), leave your worries behind and advertise your guarantee so everyone knows about it. Be proud of it! Show that you are so confident in the experience you provide you stand behind it. People will flock to you because of it.

Take action now by deciding what’s the best way to get the word out.