‘Tis the Season for Salon & Spa Gift Cards

December 10, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

The countdown is on for the biggest gift card opportunity of the year.

In fact, when salons and spas turn their selling systems on and fuel them with “sense of urgency,” gift card revenues can be absolutely amazing.

How amazing? It’s totally possible to generate as little as 10% to as much as 100% and more of total monthly revenues.

The difference between putting a drop in the gift card bucket and having it overflowing cash all comes down to systems, leadership and focus.

Here are six of the most important No-Compromise Leadership insights all owners need to understand and remember to make this the best gift card season ever:

  1. What gift cards really are: The gift card game is all about pre-selling services — not filling buckets of cash. The only thing missing in a gift card transaction is the pre-booked appointment and the name of the client. KEY: If your motivation and focus on gift card sales is on “cash” rather than the pre-selling of services, you need to rethink your gift card strategy.
  2. What gift cards are not: Cash from gift card sales IS NOT spendable cash you can use to clear up debt or to catch up on expenses. Simply put, if your motivation to drive gift card sales is to bail yourself out of debt, you need a viable cash-management strategy to fix and prevent the issues that created the cash crisis. Spending gift card cash today simply kicks the cash-flow crisis down the road to when gift card redemption occurs. KEY: At the point of redemption, all of the payroll, product, operating expenses and more kick in. If the gift card cash is gone — your cash crisis instantly returns with a vengeance.
  3. Gift card information flow: Selling gift cards is 100% a selling game. Games need goals. Games need a scoreboard. If you don’t have a separate gift card scoreboard — make one. It can be a simple “bucket” that you and your team color in EVERY day at morning huddle. KEY: Your front desk and guest services team are your gift card sales team. As you count down the days to the holidays, do quick morning and mid-day huddles to brief them on where you are and what needs more focus. Coach your team to win the gift card game.
  4. Games need “plays”: In a salon/spa, a play is a script. Scripts are short opening and closing statements that your front desk and guest services team can use to present gift card solutions to clients at check-in and most definitely, at checkout. KEY: Keep scripts simple for check-in and checkout. Role play to build confidence and consistency.
  5. Gift card station/desk: If you have the space, consider setting up a gift card station, or desk, devoted 100% to selling gift cards. Decorate it with gift-wrapped boxes, gift bags and holiday ornaments. Make it obvious that you’re serious about selling gift cards. Have your best gift card sales closers there to great, present clients with your gift card solutions and to close the sale. KEY: Every service provider should have a simple script to remind clients to visit your gift card station/desk to purchase GC’s for loved ones and friends. Also, keep in mind that business owners and professionals love the simplicity and ease of buying gift cards for employees.
  6. Cash management: The worst way to manage gift card sales is to deposit the cash into your business checking account. It’s going to get spent. The best strategy is to deposit or transfer daily gift card sales into a separate savings account where it will stay safe until needed when redemptions occur. KEY: Transfer gift card cash reserves back into your business checking account as needed when gift cards are redeemed. The absolute best gift card game is to diligently manage cash flow and see how much gift card cash you can leave in savings.

Here’s my challenge to you: If you’re not playing the gift card game hard and fast, why not? As long as you stay focused on the pre-selling of services, gift cards are nothing short of an amazing business opportunity.... Read More

The countdown is on for the biggest gift card opportunity of the year. In fact, when salons and spas turn their selling systems on and fuel them with “sense of urgency,” gift card revenues can be absolutely amazing. How amazing? It’s totally possible to generate as little as 10% to as much as 100% and more of total monthly revenues. The difference between putting a drop in the gift card…
Read More

Categories: Financial Literacy

The Salon & Spa “Critical Numbers” Crash Course

December 3, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

The Definition: A Critical Number is a number that, when moved in the right direction, has a profound and lasting impact on the company.

For salons and spas, the following Critical Numbers are the five primary growth indicators:

  1. Productivity Rate: The ratio of service hours available for sale versus service hours sold. The higher your productivity rate, the more efficiently service payroll hours are being utilized.
  2. Prebook Rate: The percentage of clients that checkout with a future appointment. Salon/spas sell time in the form of service hours. The more time that is sold in advance through prebooking, the easier it is to maintain an optimum productivity rate.
  3. First-Time Retention Rate: The percentage of first-time clients in one month that return for a second visit within 90 days. It doesn’t matter who the client returns to as long as he or she returns to the company.
  4. Existing Client Retention Rate: The percentage of clients in one month, that have been to the salon/spa two or more times, that return for another visit within 90 days. It doesn’t matter who the client returns to as long as he or she returns to the company.
  5. Frequency of Visit: The average number of service visits clients make per year to your salon/spa. Increasing your company’s overall frequency of visit by one visit can truly have a profound impact on revenues.

Depending on where your salon/spa needs measurable improvement, you can add any number or percentage to your Critical Numbers.... Read More

The Definition: A Critical Number is a number that, when moved in the right direction, has a profound and lasting impact on the company. For salons and spas, the following Critical Numbers are the five primary growth indicators: Productivity Rate: The ratio of service hours available for sale versus service hours sold. The higher your productivity rate, the more efficiently service payroll hours are being utilized. Prebook Rate: The percentage…
Read More

Categories: Financial Literacy

Reasons for Salon & Spa Owners to Be Thankful

November 26, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment

I hope the title of this Monday Morning Wake-Up grabbed your attention. Why? Because being the owner of a salon/spa today can be stressful and, at times, unforgiving.

Leading and dealing with employee challenges can wear you down.

Fighting to create profit, control expenses and manage cash flow can be nerve-racking.

Motivating your team to achieve goal each and every month can have you searching for ways not to sound like a broken record.

The list of things that dial-up stress levels goes on and on, and through it all, there’s something about your salon/spa that is special beyond words.

At the end of the day, we entrepreneurs all belong to a special club of dreamers and tenaciously hard workers. We owners willingly share our war stories, frustrations, failures and successes.

So, as we enter the 2018 Holiday Season, I felt it only fitting to offer up my personal list of No-Compromise reasons for owners to be thankful:

  • We’re still in business: My company celebrated its 25th anniversary last September. It’s been a crazy journey that has seen its good times and bad. As owners, we figure things out. We work through adversity. We learn from our mistakes, at least most of the time. Many salons and spas go out of business. But many survive and thrive. If you’re still in business, be thankful. It means you can always get better and do better.
  • We create careers: Yes, I know employee turnover at salons and spas is an ongoing challenge. But as a business, our job and our purpose as leaders is to grow talent and create careers for our employees. We have the privilege of helping people earn a living by developing their skills and challenging them to achieve their full potential. Employees will come and go. But while under our leadership, our job is to bring out their best to ensure that our companies are the best they can be. Be thankful to each and every long-term employee that stays with you on your journey. Be thankful for the opportunity to have been a positive influence on the careers of those that chose to move on.
  • We control our own destiny: As owners, we chose to pursue our dream and vision to build, lead and grow our own company. If we pay attention and practice all the disciplines of business, we can be rewarded in ways that go beyond making money. Of course, making money is important, but the money is really nothing more than a measurement of business and leadership abilities. Be thankful that you control your own destiny — even though it may feel like you’re being tested every day.
  • We create profit: Yes, I know that many salons/spas struggle to be profitable. The truth is, profit is a measurement of the effectiveness of your leadership and systems. If you’re struggling to be profitable, something in your business needs fixing. It could be your leadership. Likewise, if your business is profitable, you have the financial means to grow and expand your salon/spa. Profit is also your reward for dialing in your systems and being a good leader. Be thankful that you have the opportunity to earn a profit in addition to your regular pay.
  • We are building something of value: Too many owners forget that starting a salon/spa company is about creating something of value. Your company is more than a place to work. It’s an opportunity to build a company and a brand that has value. We all will reach that time in our careers when it’s time to retire or chase a new dream. When that time comes, the selling price of your salon/spa, and how well you managed debt, should allow you to walk away with your reward for all the years of hard work. Be thankful you have the opportunity to build something of value because that is an entrepreneur’s end game.

Here’s my challenge to you: At one time or another, every owner has thoughts that sound like, “Why am I doing this?” It’s all part of being an entrepreneur.... Read More

I hope the title of this Monday Morning Wake-Up grabbed your attention. Why? Because being the owner of a salon/spa today can be stressful and, at times, unforgiving. Leading and dealing with employee challenges can wear you down. Fighting to create profit, control expenses and manage cash flow can be nerve-racking. Motivating your team to achieve goal each and every month can have you searching for ways not to sound…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

The Salon/Spa Quest to Beat Your Best

November 19, 2018 | By Eric Ducoff | 2 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to beat your best a lot lately both personally and business.

Personally, this was supposed to be my comeback year for cycling after my accident in 2017. I quickly discovered that getting back to pre-accident condition wasn’t going to be fast or easy.

  • On almost every ride, I have to push through recurring fears of getting hit again. The fears pass once I’m out on the road, but sure did deflate the motivation and excitement to get out and ride.
  • For the first time in 10 years, I wasn’t able to finish the entire 150-mile MS Cape Cod Getaway Ride with Team Strategies. It was brutally hot, and I overheated. Better safe than sorry. Even though I raised over $10,000, my best effort ever, not finishing still frustrates me.
  • I came back a few months later at the 150-mile MS City to Shore Ride. I not only finished, I beat my best average speed for 150 miles.
  • In 2016, I rode 3,820 miles — my best ever. I only did 1,525 in 2017, the year I got hit. I’m at 2,250 for 2018. At 68 years old, many people are impressed over my miles. In 2019, at age 69, I am determined to beat my best year and top 4,000.

In business, I am so proud of my company and my team. As we have consistently done for many years, we have already beaten our best year ever. It wasn’t easy. We innovated new coaching and training services. Automated more systems. Our coaches spent more time on the road doing on-sites and classes than ever before. We worked hard to earn the win.... Read More

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to beat your best a lot lately both personally and business. Personally, this was supposed to be my comeback year for cycling after my accident in 2017. I quickly discovered that getting back to pre-accident condition wasn’t going to be fast or easy. On almost every ride, I have to push through recurring fears of getting hit again. The fears pass…
Read More

Categories: Leadership

What’s the Best Date Range for Tracking Salon/Spa Client Retention?

November 12, 2018 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

When it comes to tracking first-time and existing client retention rates, one rule does not fit all business models.

Today, the beauty industry landscape is a complex mixture of salons, spas, blow-dry salons, curly hair salons, medical spas, skin care, massage, nails, lash, hair replacement, waxing and other industry business models.

The longstanding approach to tracking first-time and existing client retention of examining one month and the number and percentage of return client visits within 90 days of that month, requires some modification based on the business model.

Frank Zito, from Ten Friends Blow Dry & Style House in Hinsdale, IL, posted the following question on our Facebook discussion group, Strategies Salon Spa Business Idea Exchange.

Why is the recommended date range 90 days? Is that just a “how it’s always been” kind of a thing? We are a blow dry salon that doesn’t do haircuts and color. I feel like 90 days may be more full-service salon/spa specific. What is the risk of using a 30-day or 60-day return period?... Read More

When it comes to tracking first-time and existing client retention rates, one rule does not fit all business models. Today, the beauty industry landscape is a complex mixture of salons, spas, blow-dry salons, curly hair salons, medical spas, skin care, massage, nails, lash, hair replacement, waxing and other industry business models. The longstanding approach to tracking first-time and existing client retention of examining one month and the number and percentage…
Read More

Categories: Client Loyalty

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