Better BusinessJuly 1, 2007 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
Are you listening to your loyal retail customers? Repeated requests from clients for additional products may signal it's time to consider adding new product lines.
Sue Remes is an internationally known keynote speaker and consultant. For more strategic retail sales, management and education solutions, contact her at email@example.com or call 612/378-9398.
A FRIENDLY AFFAIR
THE STUDIO SALON
Rachelle King decided to open The Studio Salon in Cleveland, OH, when she met several students from Paul Mitchell The School in nearby Twinsburg during a local hair show. Inspired by their energy and passion, King, who is a national educator for Paul Mitchell, opened the five-chair salon in March and staffed it with top graduates from the school. She set up employee benefits like 401Ks and health insurance—things she believes professionals deserve—and instilled a culture of openness and camaraderie. "We are a team," King says. "We don't compete—we inspire and teach each other."
Since her salon is a Paul Mitchell Focus Salon, King makes sure the staff maintains the company's culture of giving back by helping local organizations and supporting the industry-wide Habitat for Humanity initiative in New Orleans. "If you give," King says, "more will come back in return." Her philosophy seems to be working. King says the salon gets busier every day and is already seeing repeat customers. Guests especially enjoy the Paul Mitchell "Wash House" treatments—customized, add-on shampoos and scalp massages with names like "Thirst Quencher" and "Serious Detox"—and they appreciate the salon's positive vibe. "We have a lot of passion," King says. "We try to make sure everyone who comes through the door has a great experience." —C.W.
Finding the capital to grow a salon business is on the minds of many salon owners. One source of quick funding available to small businesses is a merchant cash advance. Simply put, lenders pay cash advances to merchants that meet a minimum amount of credit card sales. The merchant then repays the advance over time through automatic deductions from its future credit card sales. The benefit of this type of financing for a salon owner is that he or she is able to obtain quick cash up front. On the other hand, the money is not cheap. The Wall Street Journal reports that the typical advance comes with a 35-percent premium. Salon owners in a cash-flow crunch can indeed benefit from merchant cash advances; the industry is growing and has helped thousands of small businesses. But do your research. Each provider offers different terms, and the industry is unregulated. Visit advanceme.com for more information. —C.W.
Clients at Frank.Studio in Santa Monica, CA, have always enjoyed the salon's complimentary apple martinis, but now they're welcomed by a healthier alternative: the "Borbatini," made from Borba Skin Balance Waters—which contain vitamins, minerals and botanical ingredients that are good for the skin—shaken with vodka and a "secret ingredient." "We wanted to offer something more healthful," says co-owner Lisa Xavier. "Our high-end clients are always looking for something new so we've got to keep ahead of the trends." —L.A.