Better Business


Pivot Point's New Trends


Pivot Point International's new collection, DF 281–Visual Rendition, provides the complete technical education for two trends: City Slicker and Urban Baroque. It includes a 58-page, full-color course book with step-by-step technicals for cutting, color and styling for each hair design, a 55-page Style Selector to inspire clients with the latest fashion looks and a DVD with eight live-motion designs from the DF course book. 800/886-4247; —L.A.


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Great Expectations





Brit-born Riley McLachlan knew it was time to expand his small Miami salon, Snip, when his staff was no longer able to work without bumping into one another. So after a lengthy search for the perfect space, he recently laid down new roots in spacious digs that once served as CIA headquarters. With his clients' needs in mind, McLachlan, who co-owns Snip with his wife, Dona, decided to add nail services, eyelash extensions, facials and body treatments to the menu. He describes Snip's decor as industrial-chic (hence the Craftsman toolboxes from Sears at each station) and credits designer Tui Pranich, who's also a client, with much of the planning. "The space is long and narrow but we sectioned it off with walls made of semi-translucent glass, so it never feels closed in or claustrophobic," says McLachlan, whose background includes 20 years at Vidal Sassoon in London. "We're all about the craft of haircutting and raising the level of work. We'd like to establish Snip as the place for great color work and haircuts and exemplary service. Our goal, ultimately, is to be the best in Miami." —C.W.





The clean, soft feeling of DANTE LUCCI SALON in Rocky River, OH, accurately translates onto its uniquely oval-shaped business card. "We try to be a little different from everyone else," says salon owner Gina Lucci. The Tiffany-blue card features a font utilized by the business since its opening in 1994, while the silver outline gives the card a fresh, polished look. "Everybody really seems to like the card and that's what you want—a card that really wows people," Lucci says. Contact information is on the back. —N.G.








Nothing does more to set a mood in a salon than the choice of color palette. Takara Belmont's Western Region Manager Jonathan E. Pugh and Interior Design Coordinator Sheila A. Bryan share these tips for deciding on a color scheme for your salon.

A red and white color palette at Envy Salon in Thousand Oaks, CA, makes a bold statement.
A red and white color palette at Envy Salon in Thousand Oaks, CA, makes a bold statement.

Choose colors you're drawn to. What colors do you wear? These hues can lead to a new conceptual image for your salon or spa. Flip through magazines for inspiration. Keep an open mind and consider all of the options.

Think about the long-term. Some color palettes are flashes in the pan while others are here to stay. Decide how long you'll want to keep the color scheme. Be adventurous if you like change, but keep it simple otherwise.

Do your research. Go to any manufacturer's Web site to find information on color trends and also for hints on creative application. Of course, you can also hire a professional designer to help you.

Decide what kind of environment you are trying to create. Do you want it to be spalike or more L.A. club scene? For high-energy spaces, go with something bold. For tranquil environments, stick with muted tones.

Don't be scared. Never be afraid of color, especially if it's just a few walls you want to paint. Paint can be changed quickly and relatively inexpensively, allowing you to switch up the look and keep things fresh. —C.W.







Denizens of Eastern Massachusetts are celebrating the opening of the area's fifth Philip Ciampa Salon & Day Spa in Saugus, a suburb north of Boston. Philip Ciampa, who runs the company with his sons, Joe, Tony and Philip, Jr., opened the first location 30 years ago. The new salon boasts a high-energy environment with a young staff and clientele. "Our clients tend to work in Boston but live in the suburbs, and we offer them a Newberry-quality salon closer to home," says Tony, referring to Boston's premiere commercial street. The Ciampas hired interior designer Joanna Ciampa (no relation) to give the space an eclectic spin. From the low leather couch in the waiting area to the aquatic wall colors, Buddha sculptures and Freestyle Systems' hanging hair-dryers, the newest addition to the Ciampa salon empire combines high style with an expert hair design team. "My father always taught us to treat people like you want to be treated," Tony says. "So we make sure both our employees and our clients always feel welcome." —C.W.





Many spas and salons complement treatments with such food and beverage options as spring water with lemon slices or exotic herbal teas. Now, menus are growing to include wine and cocktails inspired by the spa experience. VAN GOGH VODKA offers Acai-Blueberry and Pomegranate-flavored vodkas, which can be combined with fresh blueberries, agave nectar, strawberries, even thyme sprigs. Beauty professionals can send an e-mail to [email protected] and get a free recipe for a custom cocktail inspired by your business and beauty philosophy. —C.W.





Haircolorist extraordinaire Patrick McIvor is the owner of the successful Patrick McIvor Color Studio in Lehigh Valley, PA. With another salon slated to open this month and plans to add three more locations over the next three years, McIvor knows that education is the key to retaining staff. Here, he shares his tips for training employees.

Patrick McIvor
Patrick McIvor

Make a plan. Figure out what you can commit to in terms of time and money and what areas of your business need to be developed. Then, find out what your staff is interested in learning and create a plan from there.

Get creative with financing. Education is expensive so I advise opening a dedicated savings account to pay for it. Another option is to have your staff pool money to send individuals who will then be responsible for communicating what they've learned to the rest of the staff.

Use quality educators. Whether you bring educators in or have them on staff, make sure they're highly trained so that they can deliver education that will grow your business and your staff. A facilitator who's not motivating and inspiring can actually decrease a team's morale and their desire to learn.

Leverage your resources. Call your distributors and contact the manufacturers of the brands you carry in your salon; most offer top-notch education. Set up a year of educational sessions with them or find out if they have information you can use to offset or even cover your training needs.

Education should be viewed as an investment. Ongoing education will allow stylists to advance their careers and entice them to want to stay, which will ultimately help you grow your business. —Contact Patrick McIvor at [email protected].


Make the Prime Time


If you're the owner of a small salon, you probably think that the cost of producing and airing a TV commercial is out of your budget. "Not so," says Michael Schuh, CEO of Michael's Salon and Day Spa in Dayton, OH. Schuh created a multimedia company called The Media Group at Michael's that has produced commercials for salons in Georgia, Michigan and New York, and can film and edit high-quality TV spots at prices comparable to newspaper ads. "Because of the technology available today, companies like ours can offer much lower rates than big advertising agencies," Schuh says. "After production, we suggest that clients go through a local cable company rather than a major network to get their ads on the air. They usually offer costs that are much less than major networks." Local networks can also help put together schedules to target salon clients, adds Schuh. That way, you can run your ad strictly alongside shows on beauty and fashion. —C.W.








Successful salon owners share what makes their Web sites a hit.

The statement "less is more" isn't just for makeup and fashion, it's for Web sites, too., and serve as excellent examples of what to do. What do all three salon owners say made their sites successful? Simplicity and easy navigability is key.

Adam Broderick, owner of two salons by the same name in Connecticut, took inspiration from Gucci, Tiffany and Co. and Cartier sites to make his feel luxurious and classy. His gift card page is particularly a hit. On Christmas Day alone, he raked in $9,000 in gift card sales; in fact, online gift card sales far exceed sales at the salon. The ability to add a message to the card and print it out at home makes it easy for last-minute shoppers to give a personalized gift. "Even if they don't stay on the site for very long, if they had a good experience, they're likely to come back," Broderick says.

Pashah invites clients in with a chic home page
Pashah invites clients in with a chic home page

Meanwhile, celebrity stylist Kim Vo took the development of the site for his Hollywood, CA-based salon to a customer. "He was completely shocked but excited when I asked him to build the B2V Salon site," Vo says. "He was so excited about it, he finished it in two months." The site is user-friendly and allows customers to get directions to the salon with the help of Yahoo! Maps. What else makes the site a success? Branding is important. The site, products and salon all incorporate the same colors, design and overall aesthetic feel. "We at B2V wanted the site to have the same vibe and philosophy so that a visitor's experience is the same as in the salon," Vo says.

In New York City, Pashah Salon owner Pancho Soekoro wanted his site's home page to be as inviting, clean and chic as the salon. The "no stress" philosophy at Pashah translates easily onto its Web site, which is fluid and easy to navigate. At the same time, the banner and the colors on the site mimic the walnut wood paneling found throughout the salon.

Adam Broderick makes shopping simple with e-gift cards
Adam Broderick makes shopping simple with e-gift cards





From Los Angeles to New York City, salon owners agree that Web sites don't need a lot of bells and whistles. What they do need is user-friendly features, an inviting home page and a signature look. —N.G.





B2V Salon directs traffic to the salon with Yahoo! Maps.
B2V Salon directs traffic to the salon with Yahoo! Maps.























Improve your marketing efforts with salon software.

With most salon software, you can compile useful information about your clients that can help you create effective marketing campaigns, such as what kinds of products they buy, when their birthdays are, what services they have and haven't tried and how much money they spend at your salon. The programs can then generate all kinds of useful reports so you can identify which clients will be most responsive to your promotional campaigns.


E-mail and SMS text messaging are two increasingly popular means to reach out to clients. Many salon software systems directly support e-mail or SMS text message marketing, while others interface with e-mail programs like Outlook. Alternatively, you can choose to send the data generated from your software to one of the many affordable e-mail marketing companies that can deliver your promotional message to clients.

While e-mail blasts can be highly effective, one of the biggest problems is that they may not reach their target. Floydware's Rosy software offers sophisticated tracking so you can see how many of your e-mails went through, and even how many were opened. If the e-mail contained a link to your Web site, Rosy can track how many people clicked on the link, and what areas of the site they visited, so you can better understand their interests.

Despite the buzz about e-mail and SMS text marketing, traditional promotions sent through the mail may be a better way to reach certain clients. Unique Software, for example, comes standard with "birthday," "thank you" and "haven't seen you" postcard templates, which can be customized with a logo and a choice of colors and fonts. Elite Software also generates mailing labels, postcards and letters. The program makes it even easier to give clients special treatment by reminding the salon owner and staff of customers' birthdays, anniversaries and special events.

Regardless of which delivery method you're using, your marketing campaign won't be effective if you don't have sufficient information about your clients. Shortcuts Salon & Spa Software displays an indicator in the appointment book that alerts staff of missing client information. You can also run the software's Client Card Accuracy Report, which identifies what percentage of client cards are incomplete.

Contact these companies to get more information on how to use salon software to make your marketing campaigns more successful. —L.A.

Elite Software: 800/662-3548;

Floydware: 630/469-1078;

Shortcuts Salon & Spa Software: 866/678-7324;

Unique Salon Software: 800/586-4783;