Sheron Devlin of BMA: Taking Back Your Time as a Business Owner
Hey, everyone! I’m Sheron Devlin of the Black Micropigmentation Association. I’ve been in the beauty industry for over 15 years, so I’m excited to share my experience with you by taking over Vagaro’s blog this week!
I was co-owner of a unisex hair salon for over 10 years. I mainly worked behind the scenes with a big focus on marketing & promotions and sourcing products. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I took some time off, and during that time, I discovered microblading. Initially, it piqued my interest since I have sparse eyebrows and once I saw the transformation on myself, I knew I needed to learn more. So, I signed up for a course three months later.
After falling in love with microblading and the process of it, I wanted to open a salon so I could give this gift to others and positively impact my community. It was also important for me to set an example for my daughter to show her how to be an independent woman. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom, which is a job in and of itself. But I know for me, and many other women in my position, we still want to contribute to the household and create a sense of autonomy outside of our significant others. Opening my own business allowed me to have a decent income while maintaining flexibility over my life. I can go to my children’s school events and be involved while still making money and not spreading myself too thin.
Of course, building a business requires a lot of work. For me, it was essential to stay focused, listen & observe so I could find what worked best for me. Even to this day, I try to look at my business from the outside in, the way a customer might, so I can determine which path I should take. I try to keep my clients in mind whenever I make a decision because offering excellent customer service and having a personal touch is key to how I run my business. Part of making business decisions requires trial & error. I learned that it’s never a bad idea to go back to the basics. When you know what works, you can make decisions confidently and always build upon that strong foundation if necessary.
With marketing, I went back to basics. Some might call me a little old-fashioned, but physical materials and going into businesses to make personal connections really works. This kind of marketing got us here, so why change the formula? That in-person work builds those connections. I keep this philosophy at the forefront of all I do to promote my business.
It’s also important to me to empower others to find a path that’s right for them. In our culture, people are expected to go to college, but that’s simply not realistic for everyone. Some individuals do not have the resources or skills to go to college, but I want to show people that it’s possible to change your life and build one that suits you, no matter who you are or what your gifts are. It’s possible to build something that will last generations. My ultimate goal is to leave behind a strong, successful business for my kids and my community. That’s why the Black Micropigmentation Association was started as well. This is something bigger than us. And to do that, I need the right tools. Without proper management software, a business can get disorganized and fall apart quickly.
I found Vagaro through the other founders of the Black Micropigmentation Association. Initially, I was attracted to Vagaro’s company culture. One thing that stood out to me about Vagaro was that they listen. I feel like that’s rare these days. Not only do they listen, but they also make adjustments based on what’s asked of them.
Vagaro also stood out to me because it’s not overly complicated. It can be overwhelming for artists, especially those who aren’t tech-savvy to use a new booking site or customer-relationship-management system. But with Vagaro, it was easy to get the ball rolling & get clients booking. Here are some of my favorite free features from Vagaro:
- The Calendar: The Calendar lets me stay up-to-date with what appointments are happening in my business. I like that there’s the ability to see where a booking came from. That allows me to tailor my marketing efforts and to see what is and isn’t working.
- Daily Deals: This is a great way to find new clients outside of your current customer base. I’ve gotten quite a few clients who came to me through a Daily Deal promotion I ran, which shows up on the front page for those searching in my area.
- Email Marketing: It’s a standard tool every business owner should take advantage of. It’s one of those basic marketing tools that you know works, and it’s a direct way for me to reach my clients all at once.
- Reports: This is how you know how your business is performing, which marketing campaigns have been successful, how your staff is doing, retention rates & so much more. Plus, each report is super detailed and broken down, so you know exactly what’s going on.
- Customer Tracking: Without customer tracking, it would take so much time to figure out how many appointments they’ve had or how much money they’ve spent. This feature makes it quick & easy. It’s also so convenient to keep individual customer notes organized and readily available.
Ultimately, my goal is to grow my business without being spread too thin. Because Vagaro allows me to streamline processes that otherwise would take up time, I’m able to focus on what I love doing. Instead of doing so much admin work, I can focus on my craft and on mentoring others to take their skills to the next level. Sustainability is the key to any business. When you can spend time on what matters, instead of the nitty-gritty that goes into making sure your business runs smoothly, you’re able to build a reputation & legacy you can leave behind. I want to set my children up so they don’t have to do as much as I am to live comfortably. And already, I’m able to run a successful business without spending every free moment at my business, in large thanks to the software I use. I can live my life with the comfort of knowing my business is built to last generationally.
That concludes the Black Micropigmentation Association’s Vagaro blog takeover! Thanks so much for reading about our experiences in the beauty & permanent makeup industries. If you missed Kechia, Dior or Shalon’s articles, be sure to check them out. And to learn more about who we are, check out this article!
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Vagaro is a cloud-based scheduling software commonly used by beauty, fitness, and wellness businesses to manage booking, credit card payments and processing, marketing, payroll, inventory management, reporting, and much more.