Better BusinessDecember 1, 2007 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
My Brilliant Career
Q Is there a secret to networking?
I've learned to be assertive without being aggressive. There's a difference. I always ask for a business card, then follow up with a note saying how much I enjoyed our conversation. One of the best things I did was invest in personalized stationery. In this digital age, people appreciate a handwritten note. —David Stanko is a color consultant with Redken.
Environmentally conscious hipsters in Baltimore, MD, finally have a hair salon to call their own: Sprout, an Organic Salon, which opened last year. The salon is located in a 125-year-old building, the former home of a bargain store that husband-and-wife co-owners Rachael Epstein and Alan Kolb transformed utilizing eco-friendly paint, bamboo flooring, reclaimed wood and energy-efficient lighting. They also opted to use wind-credit electricity, wind-generated energy supplied by their local power company. "This was our solution to creating a lifestyle that met our values," Kolb says. "We're really glad we did it, and we've had a wonderful response from the community." Sprout provides its diverse clientele with haircuts ranging from "classic Vidal to rock star," according to their service menu; haircolor using the Organic Color Systems line, which is free of ammonia, preservatives and petro-chemicals; extensions; and hair and scalp treatments. According to Kolb, using haircare products that are free of harmful chemicals has had an added benefit: "Our salon smells great—there are no stinky smells in here!" he says. —L.A.
IT'S IN THE CARDS
MARCO PELUSI HAIR STUDIO in Hollywood, CA, created a card based on consistency and fresh perspective. "Branding, branding, branding. That's so important and so many people don't think about it," says owner Marco Pelusi. Pelusi uses the card's chocolate brown color, a shade suggested by his aunt, everywhere: in the salon and on the Web site, the products and the logo. Stacy Trapp, former marketing director of Joico, and Shirleen Chang, graphic designer for Disney, helped him refine the details, like the slightly smaller size of the card, the lower-case logo and his hair-swirl motif. —A.L.
December is a month filled with excitement, however it can also be overwhelming. During the busy holiday season, clients continually look for ways to reduce stress. One of the first places they often seek refuge is their salon. Think of ways you can create a warm environment that reduces stress and gives your retail sales a final push.
- Save clients a step in gift-giving by prewrapping gift sets and best-selling products.
- If you sell products on your Web site, encourage clients to avoid parking hassles and long lines by shopping online.
- If clients are purchasing a gift that needs to be shipped, arrange to have it sent directly to the recipient, saving the client the extra steps of wrapping, labeling and mailing the gift.
- Offer clients a free hand or shoulder massage while they wait for their appointments. Perform the service with a product you sell, and have it prewrapped and ready to take home.
- Hold a customer-appreciation holiday party. Serve hot cider and cookies and offer a discount on products for the day.
- Encourage clients (and yourself) to take time to relax and enjoy the season.