lauren-smTaking the first step is the way every journey begins.  Climbing a mountain ultimately begins with just taking the first step.  Making small changes in your day spa business is how you will begin to transform your career and your life. When heated at 211 degrees, water is just hot.  At 212 degrees – it boils!  One degree makes all the difference.  With boiling water, steam is created and with steam, you can power a locomotive!  Now do you see how important small changes are?  While your ultimate goal may seem overwhelming to you right now, small steps are always doable.  One important small step you can immediately start to implement in your business is to always pre-book your client’s next appointment.

 Don’t rely on your spa or salon receptionist to book your clients’ appointments. Only you know when your clients need to see you again. This is the most valuable way to ensure that you are creating better service for your clients and getting them into your business more often. You will increase your revenues 30 to 50% by consistently prebooking 75% or more of your clients. Do the math – let’s say you have 150 clients with an average service ticket of $65. That equals $9,750 in revenue. If you pre-book them to come in once a month, your year-end revenue totals $117,000.  If you fail to pre-book your client, statistically they will come in only 3 to 4 times a year.  Based on this, if they make 5 visits a year, your revenue will drop to $48,750. That is a loss of $68,250.  You can clearly see how quickly you can increase your income by thousands of dollars by making pre-booking a top priority.

 Never just ask a client: “Would you like to schedule your next appointment?” The common response is no, followed by an excuse such as “I’ll call you,” or “I don’t know my schedule.”  Avoid yes or no questions, because you will usually get a no!  Instead, lead the guest with open ended questions.  Say, “To achieve your skincare goals that we started working on today, I will need to see you back here in four weeks.  Would you prefer the first part or the later part of the week?”  Based on the answer, give them two choices of days.  If they say the later part of the week, ask if they would prefer Thursday or Friday?  Only give two options even if there are more.  Next, give them two choices for the part of day.  If they say Friday, ask them if they want the morning or afternoon? Complete the script by giving them choice of time.  If they don’t know their schedule, offer to pencil them in now and let them know they can always reschedule later.  If the receptionist has to officially book their appointment, you could write out a ticket with their preferred time and let the receptionist finalize it.  After you have discovered what your client’s pattern is over time, you can offer to pre-book them for a year. 

 By following day spa and salon systems such as this, you are guaranteed to get faster and better results! The greatest failure is being afraid to try.  If you’re not failing – you’re not playing the game full out. You will always be putting yourself on the line when you are marketing yourself, offering new services to clients, advising them on products or pre-booking their appointment.  What if they say no?  What ‘no’ really means is that you haven’t shown them enough value.  Educate your clients on your services and products and offer them more value during their salon or spa visit. A no today could be a yes tomorrow! 

 By taking these types of small steps, you have begun your journey.  Remember that water starts to boil with only that one degree of difference.  It’s time to turn up the heat in your salon or day spa business!

Lauren Gartland, President

Inspiring Champions

Our Business Is Taking Your Business To The Top!

EML:       Info@InspiringChampions.com

PHN:       800-496-9305

WEB:   www.inspiringchampions.com


Fine Dining

lauren-smYour client’s experience in your salon or spa is like a restaurant meal.  First you order drinks or a bottle of wine. Then an appetizer, followed by soup or salad and then your entrée. To finish you’d have dessert with coffee or drinks. The equivalent in your business would be a full salon or spa experience, with more services to extend the client’s encounter and provide added benefits. If your client is coming in for just a basic haircut, massage or manicure, do you know what the dining equivalent of that would be?  An appetizer.  As a chef, you would never just serve an appetizer!  Providing a full experience is your goal.  Does the server in a restaurant just hand you a menu and leave?  No. They tell you about their specials, using savory descriptions.  A great server will also tell you why you’ll love eating them!

A consultation is your chance to offer your clients the full experience.  Remember that the journey to the heart is through the imagination.  Your imagination asks “What is this?  Why are they recommending this, how is it going to work and what will I love or hate about it?”  Your consultation should include a detailed list of meaningful questions. Have your clients rate their current haircut, style, color and condition on a scale of 1 to 10.  Ask them what they like about their hair and what they don’t.  Estheticians will do the same with skincare and nail technicians with hands, feet and nails. Massage therapists will rate stress levels, pain and the client’s preferences.  Ask what would make today’s experience a 10?  Always be clinical, non-judgmental and do not ask leading questions or offer your opinions.

Ask questions that really describe what the client wants, which they might not even be aware of beforehand!  “Do you want your hair to whisper, talk or scream?” provides a telling answer to their preferences.  Ask them for three words to describe their ideal hair.  Now you have identified their challenges. You want them to have lots of challenges – so that you can offer solutions!  You will then give them your professional recommendations. Use trigger words like What, Why, How and Love. 

 “What I recommend is our special deep conditioning treatment.” When describing why, use their own words from the consultation.  “You noted earlier that your hair was dry, so this will provide extra conditioning.”  When describing how, be precise in your language.  “It will take 10 minutes and be applied at the shampoo bowl.”  Do mention price, but don’t linger – go directly to the love. “This is $20 and you will absolutely love the healthy shine it will give you!  You’re going to walk out of here with hair that is…” (use the three words they used to describe their ideal).  You see how simple it really is? Remember that people buy emotionally, then justify it logically.  People buy experiences and solutions, not products or services. 

 Using this type of script will ensure that your clients feel listened to, taken care of and they know your commitment level.  They will not only get added benefits but will learn about possibilities they hadn’t even thought of before!  You will earn more while providing them with the full salon or spa experience – now that’s fine dining!

Lauren Gartland, President

Inspiring Champions

Our Business Is Taking Your Business To The Top!

EML:       Info@InspiringChampions.com

PHN:       800-496-9305

WEB:   www.inspiringchampions.com

Do The Bump!

lauren-smOne of the easiest and most profitable salon systems to immediately start implementing in your business is the “bump,” or “upsell.”  McDonald’s has to be the best example of a successful business regularly using the bump. Back in the 1970s, McDonald’s realized that they could upsell customers by merely asking them if they wanted to add a side of French fries to their order.  McDonald’s marketers caught on to the fact that when customers are already buying, they are open to the idea of buying more.  As a salon or spa owner or professional, you too can take advantage of this very easy way to increase your profits!

If the idea of upselling makes you uncomfortable, remember that your goal is never to pressure your client into unwanted services.  Your goal is to create a picture for your clients of what they can become. It’s a win-win for everyone, as you are giving them enhanced results with a small price increase while greatly increasing your income over time. To understand just how much they can raise your profits, consider how McDonald’s raised theirs back in the 1970s. At that time, French fries cost .60 per bag, which may not seem like much. Yet one franchiser realized that fries were not being ordered by 200 customers per day at his stores.  So they simply started asking customers if they wanted fries in addition to their order. You know what happened?  Half of the customers said yes! One hundred more orders of fries per day equaled $60 per day and $21,840 per year. McDonald’s soon implemented the sales technique in every franchise and the rest is history.

Now you see the potential profits that upselling can bring to your business or salary.  What is the salon or spa equivalent to a bag of French fries?  Perhaps you offer a hair conditioning treatment, a glossing treatment or other specialized services?  If you don’t currently offer these types of add-ons, you should.  Remember how much more profit McDonald’s made over a year with their increased sales of .60 French fries?  Let’s say you have a conditioning treatment that costs $20 and you do just two a day. In a week’s time you’ve made $200 above your baseline.  Over a 50 week period you’ve totaled $10,000 above baseline!

Everyone in the beauty industry can do the bump.  Nail technicians can add on airbrush designs, jeweled nail art or offer paraffin soaks with their standard manicures. Massage therapists can add on spa treatments like heated hand and foot mitts and aromatherapy. Estheticians can add on eye & lip treatments, spa body treatments or makeup application. Waxing and other hair removal techniques are great add-ons for estheticians and many hairstylists are also able to offer these services, at least for eyebrows and upper lips.

Remember that you are in a position to enhance your client’s salon experience and upsells are a great way to offer them added results.  Now go do the bump!

Lauren Gartland, President

Inspiring Champions

Our Business Is Taking Your Business To The Top!

EML:       Lauren@InspiringChampions.com

PHN:       800-496-9305

WEB:   www.inspiringchampions.com

What’s A Massage Therapist Worth?

Did you see this article by Anitra Brown on Spas.About.com?  After sending last weeks email I thought this article was very timely.  Many of the responses were that Therapists did not make enough; I on the other hand think that it is the inequity to both parties that is wrong and that the time is now to fix this compensation problem for the survival of the provider’s job and the owner’s business.  As I mentioned last week something has to change and the Time Is Now!

Below you can read her article and then you can read my response.

Please contact me directly at skip@resourcesanddevelopment.com to let me know which side of the argument you fall on, I really want to hear everyone’s opinion on this subject.

And don’t forget here is the link to our FREE Compensation Savings Calculator

PS: I assure you that the “consultant” that Anitra speaks about in her article is NOT me.

What’s A Massage Therapist Worth?

By Anitra Brown on Spas.About.com

Thursday May 7, 2009

Prices for a massage or facial at resort spas keep getting higher — $150 for fifty minutes is about as low as it goes, once you’ve paid tax and tip, and $200 is more typical. And at some luxury spas, a massage can go much higher (especially if it’s called an “experience” or “ritual.”) The therapist who performs the service might get anywhere from $30 to $60, which includes the tip. But some spa consultants, like one I heard at a spa convention in New York City, are telling managers they’re overpaying the staff.

The particular consultant said spas should only pay $20 per treatment (plus tip), minimum wage if the therapist doesn’t have a booking. And if therapists don’t like it, let them leave. I found the sentiment more disturbing than the actual numbers. It seems that so much money and attention has gone into building fabulous facilities, that we’ve forgotten that it’s ultimately about what happens between the therapist and the client in the treatment room.

Massage school is more expensive than ever, jobs are hard to find, and it’s getting harder to make a living even if you find a job. Most spas (especially day spas) don’t pay benefits. Some spas charge therapists “back bar” fees — the cost of the supplies — which is another way to bring wages down. If there are no appointments (and lately that’s all too common), they tell you not to come in — no pay, of course! Many spas keep therapists shy of “full-time” so they don’t have to give them benefits.

I read this article today with much interest, and while I agree that therapists are very special people and with many other parts of the piece, the present pay system is unfair to both providers as well as to the business itself.

It is accurate to state that schools are expensive, there are usually no benefits, and that you make nothing unless you are working on a client.  These are the very reasons that the compensation system must change!

From the owners point of view the math is simple:  When a provider gets a 40%-50% and then you add worker’s comp, employers share of taxes, and the supplies/laundry it takes to provide a service then ownership is left with a paltry 25 cents on each revenue dollar to then pay for front desk wages, rent, insurance, debt repayment (on an expensive facility), etc. and hope to make something themselves.  The overhead on even a small spa is huge and few providers understand how much it costs to get good clients into their chair.

When the economy was good less than 50% of Spas made money or profit (I know that is hard to believe, but I see the income statements of hundreds of spas each year for the last 10 or so years).  Now that the economy has gone south spa businesses are closing at a phenomenal rate.  Almost none are making money and their owners will inevitably lose their homes and their children’s future education!  If something is not done then therapist will make huge commissions on zero services, or work themselves out of a job all together!

In the words or Lee Iacocca, “we have jobs for everyone at $20 per hour, but no jobs for anyone at $22 an hour”.  Ever increasing commission structures are killing this industry and we are working ourselves out of a job!

Some therapists when gratuities are included are making 6 figure incomes, while others are starving.  Some weeks of months a therapist makes big bucks and then in the off seasons they have to go on welfare to feed their children.  The inequity in this industry astounds me.  And change must occur else our industry will extinct, we can no longer just raise prices to attempt to fix the problem!

Just because a therapist can put an ad in the paper and make $50 an hour when they are on their own does not mean they should make $50 per hour when working in the Spa.  A therapist should look at which works best for them in the long run.  Most self employed Out Call therapist make 10-12 thousand per year, in a Spa they may make less per hour, but they make far more each week.

So I ask you the same question “what is a therapist worth?”   Many would prefer to make 50% commission on a $65 massage than a 35% commission on a $125 massage.  Many would like to say they make $50 an hour but won’t tell you that they only do two services a week.  Some I have interviewed don’t understand why the Spa has to keep any of the money charged to the client.

I would recommend that the schools do a better job not only in what they promise that these folks will make, but also in doing the math.

I recently met a lady who was a therapist at a major casino in Las Vegas, she admitted that she works 32 hours a week and earns over $100,000 per year.  I have to ask in what world is a 32 hour employee worth over 100k a year when downstairs there are dedicated employees working 60-70 hours a week and making less than 50k a year.  So what is a therapist worth? And why aren’t they all making over 100k a year?  If you can say that one is worth it then they all should be right?

Our industry needs to not reduce what we pay therapists but instead change how we pay them.  They need more security and the owner’s need more profit.  Providers need to be more dedicated to the financial health of the business and owners need to ne more loyal to their work force.

Inequities abound and the business model is broken and that is what we at Resources & Development are trying to fix.  The whole thing is upside down for both parties and this economic slump is a perfect time to fix it, else owners and therapists alike will find themselves on the street.

(Go to http://www.resourcesanddevelopment.com/FixCompNow.htm for more info)

Best Wishes & Healthy Profits

Skip Williams



Believe Me!

lauren-smSometimes our biggest obstacle to overcoming challenges and reaching our goals is simply our belief in ourselves and our abilities.  Consider this: in 1954 in Oxford, England, Roger Bannister became the first man to break the four minute mile.  Doctors said it was physically impossible. Yet once he broke that record and the world saw that it was actually possible – within 45 days, 16 other runners had broken it too. Amazing, right?  Once the belief was there, others overcame the obstacle.  It has become my mission to show salon professionals that once you believe in yourself, you can achieve any goal – once you take action.

The first step towards success is simply to define your goals, while also establishing where your business currently stands.  Most salon professionals that I meet have similar goals: to have less stress in their lives, more peace and balance, to earn more money and work less hours.  Your goals may be similar to these too.  Yet when I ask beauty professionals for specifics about their career plans, they often don’t have details clearly identified.  Salon owners and technicians may be struggling just to get by and don’t have any idea where they want their business to go or how they stand financially.  Think about this: if you needed driving directions and got on the computer to use MapQuest, it would ask you where you currently were and where you wanted to go.

If you didn’t know where you were or what your destination was, it would be impossible to get those directions!As a beauty professional, you need to create a detailed analysis of where your business currently stands and where you want it to go.  Now you can get your directions!  To achieve your new goals, you will start to implement specific salon systems into a business plan.  Once you get your baseline established and determine a new target, suddenly your new financial goals become very real and attainable.

You will begin to see the possibilities that you may not even have realized before. Often, salon professionals don’t yet see the true potential of how much they are really capable of earning.  They may also have the subconscious belief that they aren’t worth it.  So many times, we carry baggage with us from negative views that others have given us, sometimes for our entire lives.  All this baggage really represents is fear that weighs you down and keeps you from living your dreams.  Don’t let anyone steal your dream!  Your purpose in life is to find your gift.  Your meaning is to give your gift away to others.

We have a formula for taking action to reach your goals and dreams:

  1. Take the risk,
  2. Never leave the scene of a goal without taking action
  3. Do it afraid

Plunging ahead while being afraid is the very definition of courage.  Once you believe in yourself, that once unattainable goal – your four minute mile – just became reachable!   Believe me!

Lauren Gartland, President

Inspiring Champions

Our Business Is Taking Your Business To The Top!

EML:       Lauren@InspiringChampions.com

PHN:       800-496-9305

WEB:   www.inspiringchampions.com

Owner Ship, Doing Things the Right Way the First Time. Part 4

ken_new_photo_200In our fourth blog of the month we continue with, Why do businesses that operate with booth renters in a salon or spas create so many problems for themselves? Booth rental is still gaining in popularity but sadly there are so many mistakes being done that it creates a multitude of problems for the owners and the renters alike.

First off it is a business and must be treated as one to be successful.  Most owners have no idea of how to go about this legal matter correctly to protect their financial investment, letalone understand the management of their business choice.  The first item the IRS, ones own State or a Judge will ask for is a copy of the contract when audited.This contract will be used to determine ultimately who has all the tax responsibilities.  In other words just calling someone by a title does not make them a booth renter or I/C.

Over 90 % of salon and spa owner landlords operating with B/R today could not pass an audit for the simple reason they have nothing in writing in the way of a valid contract.3 or 4 pages or less will not cut it, if one really wants to be protected.  Meaning, the business owner landlord, and the booth renter themselves.

Next most owners have no structure for profitability other then collecting rent, which can only be charged on a flat rate only.  Few owners realize how to be more profitable in 6 to 7 ways above the base rent legally.  If one has a valid lease, which most claim to have something in writing would not hold up with all 3 agencies mentioned above.  Then there is the management of your booth rental business that most owners lack to support their business structure.

In Our Fourth Blog, we have covered the key elements of having a legal business structure. Understanding the real value, of having a profitable business structure.  And why it cost dearly when owners don’t have an adequate legal structure that will support and protect the business

Lastly, 99.5 % of the beauty industry does not qualify as being or having Independent Contractors (I/C) according to the IRS and most States. They have publicly declared more audits on 1099’s, starting in 2010. Think you’re safe?   For the  I/C themselves at 60 % commission you are actually losing money and would be better off working for 40 % as an employee profits wise.

Ken Cassidy

Kassidy’s Management Consultant