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Biz Whiz

Demica Howell understands that education and client satisfaction are vital to the prosperity of her business, Demi Howell Salon in Huntsville, AL, which she opened in 2005 with her husband Randy Howell. That’s why she created Club Demi, an exclusive prepayment program that allows clients to receive high-quality haircare services and insalon Demiere Cosmetic products at a special rate, and also offers them savings for referrals and classes that teach essential makeup skills. “Education is the most important key to the success of a salon,” she says.

Demi Howell Salon offers periodic educational sessions, giving stylists the chance to enhance everyday skills through internal and external hair and makeup educators. “My passion is to ensure stylists know the latest trends within the industry while enhancing the basic skills that are needed on an everyday basis,” she says. Howell doesn’t hire outside help for online marketing because she wants direct contact with the client to show she has interest in each person’s beautification process.

The success of Cutting Loose Salon, founded in 2008 in University Park, FL, is a result of its philosophy. “At Cutting Loose Salon, our motto is E2 = Exceeding Expectations,” says salon owner and master stylist Coral Pleas. “Our philosophy not only benefits our guests by providing superior customer service, but also pushes our team members toward personal and professional greatness.” The stylists strive to improve each client through their appearance while also improving themselves. Each week, the staff has pep-talk meetings in which they recognize each other’s accomplishments. Once a month, the salon hosts a team celebration staff meeting to review statistics, upcoming marketing campaigns and community events. Cuttingloose.net features a blog page and a link to the salon’s YouTube channel, both of which are effective in attracting and retaining guests. Cutting Loose Salon has locations in Somers, CT, Sarasota, FL and Bradenton, FL, and an advanced education and apprenticeship salon, Protégé by Cutting Loose Salon, in University Park.

Salon Fig, an eco-friendly salon that opened in 2009 in Newton, NJ, appeals to clients because of the organic products it uses. “The organic salon idea came about by wanting to offer healthier products to my guests as well as keeping myself and my employees healthy,” says Colleen Guber-Decker, who owns the salon with her husband Phillip Decker. The salon uses word of mouth as its main marketing strategy. “We market primarily to our existing guests so they talk us up to new guests,” Guber-Decker says. “We have entire systems in place from the moment a guest calls on the phone until the time they leave and get a follow-up email and survey.” The salon manager is in charge of updating and maintaining the salon’s online marketing through Facebook, Twitter and its website, salonfig.webs.com.

Becca Tambascia, owner of Essential Beauty at Atlantis in Hyannis, MA, says her salon—which opened in 1998—has gotten where it is today because of teamwork and a great culture. “We work together to build success through helping each other grow, and we continue to offer a high level of customer service and have strong guest retention,” Tambascia says. To attract clients, Essential Beauty at Atlantis uses Facebook, email, text messaging and Demand Force, a software system that automatically manages text and email communications. The staff also gives new guests complimentary gift bags with product samples and coupons.

About the Author

Corie Hengst

Corie Hengst is a New York-based associate editor at American Salon with several years of experience in print and online media. Always active in her passion, she has tackled writing projects over the years ranging from business books to greeting cards. Before joining American Salon, she was editor at a finance magazine. In her current role, she reports on a variety of topics in the professional beauty industry including salon services and hair and nail trends.