American Salon Staff
Tapping into the power of television may not be as difficult as you think it is. Starring You! The Insider's Guide to Using Television and Media to Launch Your Brand, Your Business, and Your Life (HarperCollins, 2007), by Marta Tracy and Terence Noonan with Karen Kelly, advises readers on how to get their personality, expertise, ideas or products on television and parlay this exposure into a successful career—either on or off of the TV screen. The book explains how to define a brand so it appeals to the media, craft compelling pitches, perfect TV appearances, get asked back and even become a paid TV professional. To learn more, see Noonan at IBS New York in April. —L.A.
OLE HENRIKSEN FACE/BODY—THE SPA AT BLUEBIRD
The Shop at Bluebird's stock of books, furniture, edgy designer clothing and accessories may change all the time, but its newest addition, Ole Henriksen Face/Body—The Spa at Bluebird, ensures that pampering spa rituals are a constant. Situated inside the hip fashion mecca on King's Road in London, the spa specializes in custom-designed complexion treatments specially developed by the famed skincare guru, a longtime favorite of Hollywood A-listers. It also offers a comprehensive menu that caters to all body needs, from the most basic massages to deeply indulgent treatments like the 60-minute 8-Step African Red Tea Anti-Oxidant Complexion Treatment for skin in need of rejuvenation and repair, and its deluxe counterpart, the 120-minute African Red Tea Body Cocktail. And if that's not tempting enough, from time to time, Henriksen's first U.K. outpost is wooing beauty devotees with complimentary nutritional and skincare consultations and discounts on their first treatments. —K.D.
IT'S IN THE CARDS
When John Vasquez bought the Santa Barbara, CA, hair salon COWBOYS & ANGELS nearly three years ago, one of the first things he did was embellish the business cards by topping the letter "c" in the name with a cowboy hat and the letter "g" with a halo. "It helps define what those words mean to people visually," Vasquez says. The back of the black-and-white card has a picture of a hair model, a map showing the salon's location and a "referred by" space so that the salon can track which clients refer new business and reward them with gift bags or a discount on services. —L.A.
DESIGN FOR ALL SENSES
Allie Rosvold and Andrea Kent, founders of New York City-based Space Design, an interior design firm specializing in creating customized environments for spas and salons, offer five design tips that make perfectly good "sense."
1. DON'T LOSE TOUCH WITH REALITY. While important, you don't need a lounge area that's as big as Versailles. Remember: Revenue-generating space should always outweigh nonrevenue-generating space.
2. SEE BEAUTY EVERYWHERE. Don't relinquish ceilings to the land of the forgotten. There are many cool lighting and ceiling solutions that create visual interest for your clients.
3. HEAR ONLY PEACEFUL SOUNDS. Who wants to hear the clomp, clomp, clomp of high heels? Choose noise-reducing cork flooring in custom patterns, colors and mosaics. It's also eco-friendly and easy on your employees' knees.
4. BANISH UNSUITABLE SMELLS. Make sure the employee lounge (and yesterday's Chinese) is removed from your client-service areas. Designating a separate space for your staff keeps the client removed from what goes on behind the scenes and ensures them a relaxing respite.
5. DON'T LEAVE CLIENTS WITH A BAD TASTE IN THEIR MOUTH. Who wants an extra dose of stress along with their new 'do? The addition of a small booking office removes the ringing phones and mayhem from the front desk and allows the receptionist to focus on paying clients and retail shoppers. spacedesignnyc.com —C.W.
LA PRAIRIE SPA AT THE RITZ-CARLTON
La Prairie Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel is an urban oasis amid the hustle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan. The spa offers a complete range of services for the body, mind and spirit, as well as impeccable attention to elegance with warmed towels, heated massage tables and a crystal-and-silver attitude toward every detail. The spa uses La Prairie skincare products, which were developed at the renowned Clinic La Prairie in Montreux, Switzerland, which has been a pioneer in cellular, anti-aging therapy. It makes sense, then, that the spa offers an array of facials that help to delay, repair and prevent aging. Chief among them is the Caviar Firming Facial—the 90-minute treatment costs $275 and features an unprecedented concentration of caviar extracts, AHA's and unique sea proteins. This utterly indulgent facial leaves your skin feeling transformed, lifted and illuminated. —M.D.
Marketing Your Salon on the Web
Music. Movies. Magazines. Everything is on the Web. And if you own a salon, you're missing out on potential business if you aren't using the Web to attract local customers. According to Yodle, a company based in New York City that helps businesses succeed online through local Internet marketing, 63 percent of people use search engines to find local businesses and 54 percent use search engines in place of a phone book. However, businesses spend an average of just 3 percent of their local marketing budgets online.
"A common misconception is that people will just magically show up to your Web site," says Court Cunningham, Yodle's chief executive officer. "But unlike a storefront, where you receive walk-in traffic, you're competing with more than 100 million other Web sites for visitors." A company like Yodle helps you guide as many people as possible toward your site by making sure your online advertising shows up in the right place, at the right time, across dozens of local search sites. Visit yodle.com for more information. —C.W.
Clients who book the new glycolic pedicure treatment at RITA HAZAN's salon in New York City will see their unsightly, rough calluses fade faster than Britney Spears' career. The 60-minute treatment begins with a thorough cleansing, filing and buffing, followed by an application of the glycolic treatment. The feet are wrapped in plastic and placed in a warm towel while the treatment melts away dead-skin buildup. Finally, the towels are removed, and voilà! Bring on the summertime stilettos. —C.W.
FIVE TIPS FOR MEASURING SUCCESS
According to Eufora International President Jim DeBerry, there are three ways to make more money: raise prices, sell more retail and services and attract new clients. However, it's difficult to know which will have the greatest impact unless you measure key activities. DeBerry, who develops the Eufora Salon Management Seminars, drives home the importance of keeping score with these five measurement tips:
1. FOCUS ON ONE STRATEGY AT A TIME. It's difficult to stay on track when an action plan requires too many areas of focus. Instead, rally the salon team behind a single, manageable goal and stick with it for 60 days.
Eufora President Jim DeBerry
2. KNOW CLIENT RETENTION NUMBERS. Most managers are uncertain when to raise prices. Research shows that salons with at least 68 percent client retention can reasonably increase prices without hurting business, so keep track of these numbers to plan your price-increase strategy.
3. PROFILE YOUR CLIENT. If client retention is down, be aware that new clients will likely not stay for the same reason the old clients left. Create thorough client profiles and satisfaction surveys. If a client has a great experience they will become a great referral source. If not, it's up to you to determine which areas need work.
4. IMPLEMENT STYLIST TRACKING. Stylists who track their own activities know where they stand and can work on improving. The Hawthorne Effect also comes into play when employees are being observed and measured. They tend to increase productivity when they know someone is watching.
5. MEASURE DAILY. It's imperative that salons routinely measure activities and functions, such as the number of clients served, in relationship to a goal so they can adjust strategies accordingly. Knowing these numbers gives you the security to make important decisions. —For more information on Eufora Salon Management Seminars visit www.eufora.net.
KMS California's redesigned Web site is easy to navigate and chock-full of useful information for stylists and consumers.
The KMS California brand has long been associated with the ideas of individuality and versatility, and its redesigned Web site (kmscalifornia.com), launched in early 2007, conveys this message to stylists and consumers even better than before.
KMS California's redesigned Web site
"From philosophy to ingredients, the new site easily takes consumers and stylists through our entire brand message in just a few clicks," says Cory Couts, vice president of global business development for KMS California.
According to Couts, the Web site's biggest content change is the new "Stylists Only" section. "Here stylists can get instant product usage education via video, get an inside look at the creation of our campaigns and get a preview of our Foundations cutting and salon business education," he says. In addition, stylists can download an eight-minute, looped video featuring KMS California haircuts, products and behind-the-scenes coverage to play in the waiting area of their salons. Meanwhile, the biggest news for consumers worldwide is the Web site's new language function. "The technology we use allows each of our dozens of countries to easily translate the site into their local language," he says. "Soon we'll have 10 languages up and active, with English and Chinese already a part of the site."
Both stylists and consumers will appreciate the Web site's "Create Your Look" section, which features images from the company's current campaign, as well as information about the products that were used to create the hairstyles in the different looks. Users can also learn about the company's 10 product lines, find out how KMS California's innovative IOPS (Inside Out Perfecting System) technology delivers reconstructive and conditioning agents to penetrate deep into the hair, locate salons that carry KMS products and find up-to-date information about which beauty editors around the world are recommending KMS California products to their readers.
Before redesigning the Web site, Couts says the company's management did research to determine two primary things: what consumers look for in a Web site (of any kind) and what stylists and their clients are looking for specifically from KMS California. "We found that consumers want content to be visual, easy to understand and available in as few clicks as possible," Couts says. "Stylists told us they were looking to see all of our model images, have a one-stop resource for product and company information and also have access to our inspirational tools and magazine mentions."
The result of all of this research and the ensuing redesign is a user-friendly site that Couts says has gotten a very positive response from stylists and consumers. "The feedback has been excellent and traffic is way up," Couts says. "Everyone has commented on the easy navigation, the global outlook of the content and, as always, the dramatic imagery, which is always shot on location rather than in studios." —L.A.
Software can help you keep your appointment book full.
Keeping your appointment book full is one of the most important keys to the success of your salon. Fortunately, salon software can make it easy for you to get clients booked, minimize no-shows and fill open appointments.
Online appointment booking, offered by such software systems as ClienTrak!, Crimpers, Harms' Millennium, Leprechaun, Extended Technologies' SalonBiz, ProSolutions, Salon Iris and Unique, allows clients to book appointments even when you aren't open. Another way to increase bookings is to add services to clients' appointments. With Millennium, salons can create up-sell and cross-sell notifications so that booking agents can inform clients of promotions or new services while they're booking. Floydware's Rosy also helps in this regard by using client history records to alert booking agents that a client who's calling for a haircut, for example, may also be due for haircolor.
One of the best ways to make sure your calendar is full, however, is to book appointments while your clients are at your salon. After a sale is completed, Crimpers' automatic prompts remind receptionists to ask clients if they would like to book their next appointment, while both ClienTrak! and Leprechaun encourage stylists themselves to do the rebooking while their clients are still in their chairs using a wireless device.
Once appointments are booked, customized reminder calls, e-mails and text messages, offered by many software systems, can significantly reduce no-shows. If you do experience a cancellation, however, Millennium, Rosy and Unique offer a feature that allows clients to be put on a waiting list; if an appointment becomes available, the software notifies the booking agent. ClientTrak! and Leprechaun also tackle this issue with their ProActive E-Mailing tool, which sends e-mails to all clients not currently in your appointment book to alert them of last-minute openings that can be offered at a promotional rate.
Contact these companies to get more information on how to keep your appointment book full. —L.A.
ClienTrak! Spa and Salon Software: 800/397-4582; clientrak.com
Crimpers Management Software: 877/727-4673; crimpers.com
Extended Technologies: 800/632-5527; extendedtechnologies.com
Floydware: 630/469-1078; www.floydware.biz
Harms Software: 888/813-2141; harms-software.com
Leprechaun Spa & Salon Software: 800/373-1684; leprechaun-software.com
ProSolutions Software: 800/710-3879; prosolutionssoftware.com
Salon Iris Software: 888/803-4747; saloniris.com
Unique Salon Software: 800/586-4783; salonpages.com
San Francisco, CA, nicknamed "The City by the Bay," is a mecca of diversity, architecture and art. Nicole Palmieri found four salons that stand out from the rest, leaving locals and visitors alike with as much character as the city itself.
1. 77 Maiden Lane
When it first opened in 1985, 77 Maiden Lane offered only hair services, but since that time, it has expanded into a full-service salon and spa. The expansion came when the salon moved to a different floor in the building and occupied a space formerly filled by a radio station. "We've been around for so many years and one thing we take the most pride in is our excellent staff and great customer service," says Michael Rhine, director of advertising. "Our consistency throughout the years is what attracts clients." Clients ranging from socialites to celebrities to locals enjoy treatments including haircuts and color, massages and makeup application. The 10,000-square-foot space, which features an urban, contemporary decor, often hosts events, including art gallery showings, educational seminars and fashion shows for clients and locals.
In stock: PureOlogy, Logics, Wella
Specializing in multi-textured hair, Hairplay salon attracts a wide range of clients because of its top-notch haircuts and knowledgeable stylists. "I require that my stylists know and understand all hair textures," says Hairplay owner Fritz Clay. "Not all of the stylists actually work on multi-textured hair, but they need to be able to at least give an accurate consultation so as to not discriminate against any client that walks in."
Clay, who also co-owns a second salon in San Francisco, created a product line named after the salon. The line includes Set, a foaming setting lotion available in three formulas, and Seal, a lightweight styling serum, both of which can be purchased at the salon or ordered from the salon's Web site. The 1,200-square-foot salon features a classic, modern decor with warm colors and a maze of mirrors throughout. Says Clay, "It's a small space with a huge personality."
In stock: Redken, Hairplay
3. Gina Khan Salon/Yosh for Hair
The Gina Khan Salon was originally called Yosh for Hair and owned by world-renowned stylist Yosh Toya. When he handed it over to esteemed colorist and friend Gina Khan in 1999, a solid foundation had already been built. "Since the salon has existed for so many years, the employees have created close relationships with clients, as well as with each other," says Nhu Bui, general manager. "Clients can feel that closeness in the atmosphere, which I think keeps them coming back."
The salon features an inviting decor with warm colors, such as red and yellow and a special vanity area where clients can finish off their look themselves. Clients always receive personalized attention from the staff, but especially on client-appreciation days, when loyal customers can enjoy complimentary Kérastase conditioning treatments.
In stock: Logics, Kérastase, Bumble and bumble
4. Posh Salon
Located in the trendy neighborhood of Pacific Heights, Posh Salon is an upscale boutique salon offering the most current hairstyles. "The stylists here are knowledgeable and educated, so our clients always feel very comfortable coming here," says Bethany Jackson, owner of Posh Salon. Aside from attending classes to keep up with the trends, stylists often learn from each other right in the salon itself. The 1,000-square-foot space features a sleek, modern decor with steel accents and a color palette of brown, orange and bright pink. Clients, consisting mostly of professionals, young businesswomen and socialites, enjoy the range of top-notch hair services, including cuts, color, extensions and thermal straightening. Says Jackson, "Even though we are a small salon, we have some of the best talent around."
In stock: Kérastase, Bumble and bumble
Big Fish, Small Pond
In every small town across America, there's at least one salon that raises the bar for everyone else. Mishawaka, IN, (population 46,557) has Salon Rouge.
Nicknamed "The Princess City," Mishawaka, IN, was named after the 19th century Princess Mishawaka, the daughter of Shawnee Indian Chief Elkhart, whose affair with a white trapper and abduction by a jealous Indian suitor created a mix of romance and intrigue that still characterizes the city today. Making history all on its own in this small city, Salon Rouge provides locals with big-city services to keep them looking fresh and current.
With more than 20 years of experience working at such prestigious salons as Vidal Sassoon and José Eber, Salon Rouge owner Gail Getz knows what it takes to run and maintain a successful hair business. The salon, which opened in 1997 and changed its name in 2003, only offers salon services because it's what Getz knows best.
She also exclusively hires novice stylists who then go through the salon's training program. "This is the only way I can maintain quality control," Getz says. "I know exactly what kind of work will get done. Also, when everyone grows up within the same training program, there is often less jealousy and more teamwork."
The 3,000-square-foot salon features a primarily red-colored, New Orleans-inspired decor with chandeliers throughout and large oval mirrors at every station. The salon's 22 stylists, as well as the receptionists, all understand the importance of customer service, which is why they treat all clients with the utmost attention and care. "Our front desk staff is just as important as our stylists because they are the first people clients see and the last people they talk to," Getz says. "We never want any client to feel uncomfortable here."
Salon Rouge offers a variety of hair and nail services to its clients, who Getz claims consist mostly of transplants from all different parts of the United States. "We have a lot of clients from big cities and other parts of the country who are attracted to the services we provide," says Getz, who insists that keeping these clients satisfied and eager to return is the salon's constant goal. "My aspirations were never to have multiple salons," Getz says. "I am satisfied with just one phenomenal salon, so we work hard on keeping it great every single day." —NICOLE PALMIERI
In stock: Kérastase, PureOlogy, Enjoy