Tags Posts tagged with "business"

business

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Tristan Colangelo

The Two Blondes are on the road…a lot!  We are in areas we have never been before, and visiting businesses we’ve never met before. Which brings me to today’s topic, frontage!

The other day we were in a small urban centre looking for a place to have lunch before meeting up with a spa owner.  We drove around in circles looking for that perfect place to have a bite and although we passed several restaurants and eateries, nothing beckoned us to come in. They were non-descript and unappealing. We finally parked and found a little lane way which led us into a rather charming shopping area. We were quickly entranced with a cute little Mexican-inspired restaurant.

Tim Evans

Over lunch we had a great discussion on what it takes to attract a possible customer just from the appearance of the outside of your business. That day, we walked by a salon with rather grimy windows and a stack of aging newspapers piled in front of the door. We knew they were still in business because they also had a sandwich board sitting out front.

Our front doors and windows are the face we show to the world!

Heaven forbid that I head out of the house without my hair and makeup done these days! Same rule applies to your business. When was the last time you stood outside your business premises and had a good, long look at its appearance? What’s in your window? When I see chairs, I see waiting. When I see an attractive window display, I see shopping. It takes more creativity to create an attractive window with our category of retail products, so start thinking outside the box! There is not rule anywhere that says a salon or spa has to have a boring window!!

Here are some ideas to keep your focused on your outward appearance

Mike Petrucci
  • Plan in advance. How many times a year are you going to change your display?
  • Create a theme of season, or colour. It helps unify presentation.
  • Put in a setting, like a bench or chair or table. Think outside the box, not just a hair theme but a FASHION statement.
  • Use lots of props! Incorporate things like baseball mitts, football helmets into your sports-y themed displays
  • Build different heights into your display.
  • View display from all angles outside to see how an outsider will see it.
  • Don’t block off the entire window, leave room to see beyond display.
  • Limit the palette of colours you use, too busy too distracting.
  • Feature what your clients WANT rather than what they need. Remember, selling is an emotional event!
  • Clean it regularly!
  • Avoid “Sale, Sale, Sale”!
  • Don’t overfill, this is not a stock room!

And finally, don’t forget to look at the area immediately in front of and around your front door!  Make sure it is clean and welcoming!! Remember, we are out there watching!

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Zach Meaney

Why do small businesses need mobile-friendly websites? Well, for one, the whole world is going mobile. Look around: everyone you see has a smartphone and they’re always on it. Walk into a Starbucks or a Tim Hortons; what are people doing? They are messing around with their smartphones! What does this have to do with small business? Well, chances are that if they’re always on their smartphone, they are probably using them to make local purchasing decisions!

Take for example a person looking for a new hair stylist. They go on their phone and look up “hair stylist near me” and they see a whole bunch of local hair stylists.

Is your business showing up?

Matt Quinn

Here is another thing you probably weren’t aware of: Google’s mobile search results are different than the ones you will see on a desktop computer. Why you ask? Well Google understands that the mobile experience is important (that’s why they’ve spent billions on Android). Chances are that if you don’t have a mobile website, you are probably ranking a lot lower than you would if you had one. In fact, a study performed in 2012 showed that Google was expecting mobile searches to outnumber desktop searches by 2014 – and, yes that happened!

Is the experience customers have on their phones visiting your website optimal?

Research shows that the average mobile user will wait around 5 seconds for the page to load before abandoning the website. Factors that account into the page load time are the data size of the webpage served and its images, how far the website is hosted from the person accessing it,  and congestion on the mobile network.

That’s not all!  Once the page is loaded, are the users able to get the information they need without having to fish around for too long? Are they always having to pinch and zoom to find the information they need? Studies show that a website has an average of 7 seconds to catch the user’s attention and if they are spending most of that 7 seconds pinching and zooming or are having sluggish performance while on the website, chances are you’ve already lost them. They will hit the back button and move on to your competitors.

Derick Anies

I’m not going to bore you with any more statistics. The fact of the matter is that in this day and age, any smart business owner knows the importance of mobility and having a mobile presence. That is why we see more and more businesses investing heavily into a mobile presence. You may be wondering, “I don’t have a big budget like those companies, how can I have a mobile presence without paying an arm and a leg for it?”

You will be surprised to know that the technology is so ubiquitous that you will be able to find a competitive and budget conscious option that will work for you.  Get out there and take advantage of the technology that will make a difference in your business.  After all 80% of consumers are making their purchasing decisions based on what they find on the internet.

 

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Joshua Ness

How can we know how we are doing as a business if nobody tells us? You will hear every negative comment a client or employee has to offer, but probably only one out of every fifty positive comments! Because we are human, it is the negative comments that sit in our hearts and cause us to worry and fuss. There is a way to head off a lot of the negativity that floats around out there and infects your business? It is FEEDBACK! And not just client feedback, but employee feedback as well!

When we are giving GREAT customer service, our employees are our number one customer!

They also need to experience and understand the customer experience in the salon. To find out about that experience from their point of view you need to ask.

When was the last time you handed out a Feedback Form to either your clients or your staff? Is negativity creeping up on you? If it is, it is time to get out the forms and find out what is going on in your business.

Put together a feedback form for your employees. Some of the questions you might ask them are:

  • how do you rate as an employer?
  • what do they love best about their position?
  • what do they like least?
  • what can you do as an owner to improve on your delivery of service?
  • where do you see yourself in the next twelve months?

The questions can be as simple or as complex as you want, depending on the type of feedback and information you want to collect. After all, if you are collecting the information on what you can do to change, grow and develop, you must be prepared to make the changes!

If you are doing an employee feedback form, make sure that it is anonymous.

Let’s face it – none of us are perfect, but how do we bring about change if we aren’t sure of where to change? Get it from the horse’s mouth!

Client Feedback Forms are different from Client Survey Forms. A survey form establishes who your client is; their age, gender, socio-economic status, demographics, buying patterns, etc. A feedback form tells you how you are doing as a business. This form will include information such as:

  • how accessible was the parking?
  • how were you greeted?
  • how were you checked out?
  • how was everything in between?

Again, this form can be as in-depth or as simple as you want, depending on the level of information you are looking for and the changes you are willing to make.

Use “Consultation Cards” to head off negative results from your clients.

Turn your “First Time Client Card” into a consultation card to be used at the beginning AND at the end of the service. The information you gather should include:

  • lifestyle of client
  • length of time available to spend on hair daily
  • allergies
  • styling competence
  • service expectations
  • types of product used

The stylist then uses the consultation card to go over the expectations of the client for the service they have booked. At the end of the service, the stylist uses the card to affirm they have achieved the results that the client has asked for.

A salon business offered a refund on services if the client was not completely satisfied with the results.  After doing all the right things; consultation card, follow up affirmation at end of service, a client called the owner and said she wasn’t happy and wanted her money back.

The owner had seen the beautiful results on the client and how happy she had been on completion of the service and realized that the client wanted to take advantage of the refund offer by complaining. The owner said she would be happy to refund the money, but could the client please come into the salon and explain precisely where and what the errors were so that the stylist and the business could grow from their mistakes.  Needless to say, the client didn’t return for her money because the salon had given her everything she had asked for!

Feedback is the one of the most important forms of communication you will need from your staff and your clients.  Start collecting information and find out how well you are operating your business.

 

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Have you ever felt your stomach clench or your lower lip start to purse when someone suggests something that’s outside your comfort zone? Have you ever wondered about the childhood messages repeated over and over that become your history and belief. They are often irrational ideas that have been secured in your brain through repetition.

We develop these limited beliefs from the ongoing messages throughout life, whether consciously or unconsciously. And they either hold us back or drive us forward. One of the most common belief is, “I’m not good enough!” which often carries over into adulthood. Relationships are one of the great events that shape our belief system. In your early dating years, a bad break up might lead you to conclude that love hurts and is a cause of suffering.also

Pessimistic beliefs holds people back

Hate is a learned skill not something with which we are born with. It also shapes and determines our beliefs and will hold us back in many areas of our lives, both personal and professional. Here are some of the common beliefs that hold people back:

  • I’m not important
  • Making money is a struggle
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I don’t deserve it
  • I am too young, people won’t take me seriously
  • I am too old, it’s too late to start…
  • I am a hard worker. I work hard for money.
  • Good looking men/women are unfaithful or unkind.
  • I do not deserve a loving relationship.
  • I have to work hard to be successful, working without rest or having a social life.
  • I am not attractive enough. I do not deserve or am not able to find someone I am attracted to.

Your views affect you

Think about the judgement you have made about someone or something based on the misinformation you have stored in your brain! Beliefs are the lens through which you view the world and they are the process that we measure the information that we receive every day. Your beliefs will:

  1. Influence your perceptions
  2. Define for you what is good, bad, true, real and possible
  3. Skew your perspective in positive or negative ways
  4. Direct and/or limit the actions you take
  5. Shape your character
  6. Affect your relationships
  7. Establish a specific course you will follow
  8. Determine your health
  9. Harness or hijack your passion
  10. Lower or raise your level of happiness

Take some time to take a look at the beliefs that have shaped your life

As a salesperson calling on businesses every day, I have encountered numerous belief systems in action! When introducing something new to someone, you can visually see the reaction to change.

It is interesting and rather scary to watch the fear in someone’s eyes when forced to make a decision about something that might challenge their beliefs or step outside their comfort zone. It has always surprised me that something that might make a difference to the end consumer has been held back because of one person’s determination NOT to change!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Which belief keeps you in fear?
  • What keeps you from taking action?
  • What stops you from gaining success?
  • What stops you from taking pleasure in life?
  • Which beliefs make you feel powerful?
  • Which belief helps you?
  • Which belief serves your cause?
  • Which belief aids you in expressing yourself?
  • Which belief leads you to happiness?

Our beliefs often help us, by causing us less pain. But there comes a time when we must recognize that a certain belief is no longer valid or no longer serves its purpose and that is the time to let it go. Take that belief out of its corner, look it in the face, be grateful for its place in your life and then send it on its way! Yes, some of this might sound like mental/emotional mumbo-jumbo, but damn it, it works!

Here’s to live a life without restraint, judgement, fear, and limits!!

 

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A great hairdresser that stays on the same page as you can be really hard to find. Tipping can set the tone for the relationship you have and when it comes to the person who is pushing back your cuticles or coloring your grays, you want to make sure they know how appreciated they are.

The Average Tip

In an informal poll from Aveda, guests have admitted that they tipped as little as 10% and as high as 25%. Most said they tipped 20%, though the average was more generous around bigger cities. Small town beauty shops report that 15% is more normal for their tips, while stylists in malls or drop-in salons often see even less with irregular clientele.

How Much Should I Tip?

Part of tipping will depend on how much work you are as a client. Clients with short hair who book appointments frequently for cut and color may tip less because their hair is less work and their business is more regular. Longer and more difficult jobs of drastically changing color or cut may be something to tip higher for. Last minute appointments should also be well-tipped as an appreciation for being flexible enough to slide you in. Guests with small children should also tip higher, since there is more that goes into keeping small kids entertained and happy during the appointment.

Tipping the Shampoo Person

If your hairdresser is not the one shampooing your hair, do not assume that your tip will be split. To avoid confusion or misunderstanding, tip a small amount ($3-$5) to the shampoo washer. If the shampooer is doing more work (applying toner or other products), tip accordingly.

At the end of the day, you want to have a great rapport with your hairdresser that makes you stand out as a client. You want to be the kind of client that can call last minute and be slipped in on a whim. This comes from properly appreciating the work that goes in to keeping you looking and feeling fabulous.

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“I just do it myself, because nobody does it the way I want it done!” Sound familiar? Perhaps you have been the recipient of these points or perhaps you are the instigator of these statements.

Most salon/spa owners come to open a business because they have a vision, but often that vision is hindered by the need to oversee every aspect of their creation developed in THEIR way. We absolutely believe in having systems in place and expectations that our systems be followed however there is a fine line between realistic expectations and needing to control every aspect of our business. Micromanagers have a deep-seated need to control.

Often micromanagers feel out of control themselves.

So in turn try and control everyone and everything around them. MMers are usually irritated when subordinates act independently. They will delegate tasks that won’t live up to their expectations and therefore place the accountability for failure on the other person, but NOT the authority to take alternative action!

The MMer pays excessive attention to minor details, and frequently requests unnecessary reports. An MMer tends to require constant and detailed performance feedback and focuses excessive attention on procedural trivia. Sometimes it even appears that it is more important than overall performance. MMing actually holds up progress. Decisions get delayed because only one person is making them, overall goals and objectives become cloudy, and the flow of information between employees is restricted. MMers are afraid that someone else may get credit for a job well done!

How does it feel to be micromanaged?

AWFUL!! You are left with the feeling of incompetence, your confidence is shaken, and you become afraid to take risks or volunteer to take on other tasks. The bad news is that fighting back won’t work!

An astonishing 70% of employees feel micromanaged! Owners who delegate responsibility without authority stifle innovation and foster mediocrity. You won’t be able to change the way your boss leads, but you can change the way you follow. Some consultants suggest that you should build trust, anticipate the leader’s needs, and be pro-active. However, the only REAL and effective way to get an MMer to change their behaviour is through dialogue! Yes! You have to say something to initiate change.

Opening that conversation can feel nerve wracking, but it’s a great starting point.

Many communications expert advise to start these conversation with “when you do ________, I feel ________,” then allow the MMer to explain their behaviour. It opens the door to conversation. For example, “When you oversee every color formulation I make, I feel insecure about the decision I am making. I have been making formulas and applying color for the last ten years and believe that I am a very competent colorist.” The results you expect probably won’t change overnight, but if you regularly open up the conversation, the message finally sinks in. When the environment doesn’t change, the saddest part about being micromanaged is that it often forces employees to look for another place to work.

And what if YOU are the micromanager?

Don’t worry, help is on the way! We do know that the most successful leaders are the greatest delegators and allow their people and their team to grow through their mistakes. How do you get off the MM wheel? Here are a few pointers for you:

  • Become the leader of the team rather than the star performer.
  • Recognize that MMing causes resentment; why should they work when you will do it all for them.
  • Find the individual strengths of your team members and what motivates them.
  • TRUST that they are capable of success and allow them the room to grow and develop.
  • Create an environment that encourages the creative process.
  • Remember that MMing doesn’t motivate anyone!

Finally, never be afraid to have a team of people who are smarter or who can outperform you! When the team shines, the leader shines!

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