Better Business - December 2014


The holiday season is the perfect time for salons to catch up on annual sales goals and get clients ready for the new year. Whether it’s introducing themed services or evening soirées, there’s an option for everyone.

Privato Salon & Spa in Bakersfield, CA hosts Ladies’ Night, and sells tickets for the hands-on class that teaches guests makeup tips for the holidays. Additionally, level 1 associates offer specials for cut and color, and all guests receive an extra $20 for every $100 gift card purchase as well as a free hairstyle using Oribe products. Cocktails and appetizers are provided by a local restaurant. “Each year we anticipate creating bigger and better events so our clients and customers can receive the most up-to-date styles and tips for hair and makeup in a fun and pressure-free atmosphere,” says owner Lisa Verdugo.

During a weeklong event, Parlor salon in Brooklyn, NY is combining its 20th anniversary with holiday celebrations in the form of one-day specials including a 20 percent discount on gift certificate purchases; a 10 percent discount on Aveda gift sets and products; and a holiday makeup event hosted by guest makeup artist Rudy Miles. Admission tickets can be redeemed for makeup purchases at the event. Parlor will also display a gift table that will serve as a wrapping center to encourage guests to create gift set combinations. For the third year, Parlor’s gift sets include a $20 gift card for current clients to give a friend for her first visit. “Repeating a promotion is helpful; you work out the kinks, stylists get used to the verbiage, and guests might think of someone new to honor with the gift,” says owner Gwenn LeMoine.

Every year, Lucia’s … the salon on main in Hudson, Ohio hosts a Platinum Party for its 100 top-spending guests, to kick off the season. This year, owner Sally Zarlinga-Lemmo says the salon launched an updo bar with Redken products at the November soirée, displaying holiday merchandising at that time, so platinum guests got first dibs. This year’s theme is “Let it Shine;” guests who wear gold receive an extra entry into a drawing for a year of free services (a $50 monthly credit). Attendees also receive a 20 percent discount pass for purchases that evening. “It costs more money to get a new guest,” she says. “We invite our top 100 clients and let them bring three friends. Retention is the key to our success.” —K.H.



Antony Whitaker, business expert and creator of, guarantees holiday retail sales success with these simple rules.

1. Promote styling tools rather than wet products.

2. Display styling products that make for stocking stuffers.

3. Pre-wrap products in the retail area for convenience.

4. Check with manufacturers about holiday packages and gifts with purchase, like cosmetic bags. —D.C.


Head in the Clouds

John Harms, Millennium Systems International founder and CEO, talks about what software is best for your salon.

After meeting with salon owners at beauty shows this year, it seems when it comes to software, the focus is the cloud. Millennium Systems International has developed a new cloud-based software system called Meevo, while also offering Millennium, an installed system. Here are a few tips for choosing from the two types.

Installed software can be downloaded to a server or computer. Data is owned privately, access to data is personally controlled and the data doesn’t cohabitate with others’. It requires running backups, virus protection and keeping computers up-to-date. Meanwhile, cloud software is housed on servers behind secure data centers, and your data cohabitates with other businesses’. Backups are done remotely, and you will be susceptible to Internet interruptions, server maintenance and delays due to Internet traffic. Hybrid options combine both designs, and can be installed on personal servers or in a cloud environment. The full system can be accessed using remote software, and with PC, Mac, iOS or Android devices.

Many businesses limit themselves to cloud services. Here, some of the design’s pros and cons.

PROS Easy to install; available anywhere, anytime; typically have mobile add-ons; data is backed up automatically; has secure data centers and firewalls.

CONS Software can’t function if the Internet is down; not as fast as an installed software; most don’t allow jumping between features; no direct access to data; many will give only partial data, and don’t allow it to be retained; connecting to devices like credit card swipes is more difficult.

Some questions when looking for software should be: Does it provide tools to help my salon grow, motivate my staff, fit my business, and adapt to workflow? Is the company dedicated to the beauty industry, and does it have a strong support department?

Many businesses have become convinced cloud services are superior because of successful marketing. The software that produces the metrics you want and run your salon the way a salon needs to run—that’s the right software. —John Harms