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I Need Some Inspiration!

Do You Have An Attitude Of Gratitude?

The holiday season is a time many of us typically start sharing the things we are grateful for. It is also typical that while we may share what we are grateful for, we never really dig deeper into gratitude and adopt it as an attitude, not just a list.

I decided to do a little research on the topic of gratitude and find out how a spa owner can use gratitude within their spa business. I actually found way more information than expected, and as it turns out having an attitude of gratitude can have a significant impact on our business!

As we get into the day to day of running our spa the attitude of gratitude we once had when we started our business fades away and the demands of our team and our clients feels like more of a burden than a gift. We may feel bothered instead of grateful. If we focus on adding a gracious attitude to our daily routines, our spa business can flourish!

Watch the video to learn more about how having an attitude of gratitude can impact your spa business!

If you are a spa owner who wants to leverage your growth, contact me to talk more about my coaching services!

Step By Step - Your Spa Marketing Plan

Step By Step - Your Spa Marketing Plan

What I find, most owners put off marketing, add it to the bottom of the bottom of the list, because they are too busy or uncertain where or what to start.

Here is a simplified step my step process to get you started on a Marketing promotion.

Professional Development - You're Getting There

Professional Development - You're Getting There

I can tell you from experience it is absolutely possible. There are ways to make things happen. I have been there. I have done it. 

What's the REAL Reason You Are Not Meeting Your Spa Goals?

What's the REAL Reason You Are Not Meeting Your Spa Goals?

The bottom line is you are stuck and as long as you are buying into the story you have told yourself about why you are stuck you won't budge. You are giving yourself permission to stop pushing. 

The Zen of Entrepreneurship: 7 Ways to Make Spa Business Easier

The Zen of Entrepreneurship: 7 Ways to Make Spa Business Easier

You know…those periods of time when all you are doing is work, work, work and not much play, play, play. As an entrepreneur, this is a wildly fun & easy road to get on.  But there is a dark side to this hunger that you need to be conscious of.

10 Tips for Using Instagram at a Conference

I’m usually a pretty extroverted person when it comes to meeting new people, but when I’m at a conference where I don’t know anyone, I feel awkward when I try to make new connections. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to create and nurture new professional relationships in person if I was truly introverted. Just this last weekend I attended Serious Business in New Orleans and had this exact experience. I was able to introduce myself and network with less than a handful of people (most of whom I was sitting beside in different classes).  I really felt like I was missing out on a whole lot of interacting because most attendees were there with their salon team and it felt difficult to respectfully break into a conversation.

So instead of missing out on all the networking I could be having, I used social media, particularly Instagram, to connect and engage with presenters and other participants.

I’ve made you a short list of how to use Instagram to break into a new professional social circle without feeling awkward, plus use it to create awareness for your business.

Before The Event:

1)  Take a look at your favourite companies attending the conference & follow as many of the speakers & vendors as you can. This saves you time trying to find their Instagram accounts while your at the show.

2)  If you know you will be using certain hashtags throughout the event, use the NOTES app on your phone, enter those hashtags and save. When you are ready to post, simply copy & past from your notes into your caption and you’re ready to post on the fly with lots of relevant hashtags!

3)  If you are an employee, ask your salon or spa owner if they have a hashtag they would like you to use to help bring awareness to the business. You can also create your own hashtag to brand yourself as a service provider.

4)  If you are a salon owner, and you don’t have a brand hashtag…start figuring that out now. Be sure to research before making a final decicion…some hashtags could be darn-right embarrassing!

5)  A few weeks before the show, begin telling your clientele that you will be live-posting from the conference and ask them for a follow. You should already have your social media information posted around the salon at stations, change rooms/bathrooms, reception and in your newsletters.

At The Event:

6)  Post images that is consistent with your brand, your personal interests and images that inspire you. Use a photo app like WordSwag to create your own quotes when you are in between classes.

7)  Leverage your Instagram reach by connecting your account to your Facebook and Twitter account and share your post with both.

8)  Search Instagram using the conference hashtag to find other participants using Instagram (and other social media). By following their account, liking or commenting on their posts, it is probable to get a ‘follow back’. This is a great way to network if you are shy!

9)  Use Instagram video to capture the real feel of the show.

10)  "Thank you’s" are always appreciated! When you are taking a class,  post a pic of some of your notes, a shot of the room or an image of a slide that really resonates with you and include a “Thanks @______!”.  The presenter will probably be checking their social media afterwards and you may be able to make a personal connection to a thought leader in your industry by tagging their handle!

Bonus Tip: Another great social media platform to use during a conference is LinkedIn. If you don’t have your LinkedIn address on a business card, be sure to post it in your social media profiles for attendees and new colleagues to find you on a business-to-business platform.

I had a fantastic time while at Serious Business and I didn’t let my shyness and lack of previous connections keep me from meeting new contemporaries. Now, I have a whole year to nurture these new relationships online and will have a much easier time networking in person at next years event.

The boring definition of networking means “interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one's career”. I prefer to think of it as creating and nurturing my professional relationships…and as a beauty service provider, we are great at that!

Will I see you in Vancouver, BC Canada for the ESI Spa Show on February 15th & 16th?  Let's connect before the conference!

Instagram: @kirsten_foss Facebook: www.facebook.com/refreshedbiz Twitter: @refreshedbiz LinkedIn: ca.linkedin.com/in/kirstenfoss/

Are You Following The Blind?

Are You Following The Blind

I find it incredibly uplifting to see salon & spa professionals congregating online and supporting each other in their entrepreneurial journey. I’m specifically referring to the closed Facebook groups created for the sheer desire to connect, build relationships and help with each others businesses. What do I love about these groups?

In the past few years, these closed Facebook groups have become a safe-haven to share our most vulnerable worries, our rants about demanding clients and our wish for an easier way to run a business. It often feels like a refuge from the heavy toll of entrepreneurship and reinforces our desire to collaborate with like-minded individuals.

However, there is one thing about them that has me worried...bad advice is often inadvertently served up. ☜ Click to Tweet

It pains me to see that some of the instruction that is being shared is definitely NOT in your best interest. AND, you may not be able to recognize that it’s poor judgment because “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

Recently I saw a post by a single owner/operator who had pulled her non-returning customer report for the year and was dismayed to see over 20 people came for one treatment and did not return again. She was feeling ashamed and didn’t know what to do about it.

The advice that was given by other members of the group was a mixed bag. Some people gave great ideas about how to bring these guests back into her fold (yes!). But most of the comments landed along the lines of “Don’t look at those reports, they will just make you feel bad. I never look at mine.”

WHAT??!! *Palm to forehead* If that report were not important, it wouldn’t be there!

This is the exact kind of situation where you need to be cautious with any professional support groups that are not being moderated by an expert.

In all fairness, those giving the unhelpful advice don’t mean to be derailing your success…they are simply being triggered by their insecurities and lack of business strategies.

So in the spirit of using ‘what works’ and ditching ‘what doesn’t’, I urge you to become a strong critical thinker within your business. Sure, ask a question in your group to find out how other salon professionals are handling the same situation. But THINK deeply about the ramifications for you and your business with each answer.

Then and ask yourself: Will burying my head in the sand help me find an answer to what is going wrong here? Or could digging deeper into an embarrassing situation lead me to an opportunity to that will build big trust between those guests and I and, as a result, create 20 more enduring and loyal customers?

Dig. Dig. Dig. Weed out the comments that may, initially, seem to make life easier for you (or stroke your ego), but which are actually hidden minefields.

The effort to critically analyze your options is worth it in the long run. ☜ Click to Tweet

If you can’t seem to sort out your dilemma, go straight to an expert and book a time to chat. Otherwise, you may fall into the antiquated paradigm of business practices that has plagued our industry for decades: the blind leading the blind.

3 Easy Steps for Record-Breaking Holiday Sales

3 Easy Steps for Record Breaking Holiday Sales

How is your holiday season planning going? Hopefully, you are aware of the countdown until your salon hits the largest sales generating event of the year. There are only nine weeks until C-Day and no time to waste on planning a successful holiday season. Here are three big, but EASY, marketing ideas that will accelerate your gift certificate, service and product sales to make your business bank account as jolly as Old St. Nick.

1. Start seeding the idea of EASY gift certificate sales with wish lists & instant online purchase options.

Keep track of your client’s favorite services (or ones they wish they could add to their time with you) and mark it in their client file. Nothing says ‘that was easy’ for both giver and recipient when guest services can recommend exactly what’s on your guests wish list. Notify your clients with in-salon notices, social media posts and email blasts that you are offering this service.

Do you have a service that can handle instant online gift certificates? I’ve used www.spaboom.com for years. This service is perfect for solo owner/operators, salons that have a busy front desk AND to take advantage of sales during the hours your salon is not open. Gift card purchasers don’t even have to get out of their PJ’s, find your salon or even live in the same city! Purchasers and recipients have consistently given me rave reviews about this instant online gift certificate option.

You could have this service up and running with this in a few days….then promote the hell out of it until Christmas.

2. Finish your holiday marketing plan now, so your December rush is smooth sailing.

Get out your calendar and mark which days you plan on sending email blasts (really, once per week is NOT too much) and social media posts (once per day from December 1st) for Holiday promotions. Then MAKE those marketing materials. Change up your wording, the offers and the images so you don’t keep posting the same content over and over (boring!)

Most email management systems & social media platforms allow you to make scheduled emails and posts. Put aside one day next week for creating all your promotions then set them on auto-post. Done.

3. Re-arrange your retail shelves and refocus products for easy guest self-selection.

There are products on your shelves that need to be re-positioned to take full advantage of winter needs and holiday impulse buying. For example, put moisturizers that relieve dry skin from the cold winter weather, anti-frizz hairspray and Warm Buddies on the shelves that get the most attention. Use shelf talkers to point out the benefits.

Small items like nail polishes & travel-sized products go on the reception desk (just make sure it’s not too cluttered and switch it up to keep the space interesting!) to stimulate impulse buying power.

So there you have it, three super-easy sales strategies that will make your business smooth & profitable during the busiest season in the salon and spa industry. Pick one or be a superstar and complete all three. Don’t forget to look at your last years gift certificate, service and retail sales to make new, stronger goals for December 31st.

For an extra gold star, gamify your goals and see how far you can blast past the previous years numbers!

Note: If you’d like some help creating easy record-breaking sales for your salon this season, click here, and we’ll set up a free 30 min Discovery Session to start the process. One, one-hour coaching session, should do the trick!

The Best Thing Your Business Will Ever Do

The Best Thing Your Business Will Ever Do

Rarely are we pushed to do great things without coming face-to-face with our greatest fears. <-Click to tweet

Frustration, worry, anger, worry, hopelessness, worry.

I’ve experienced all these emotions in my business. Multiple times. On many occasions, all at once.

I’ve had those ‘dark night of the soul’ moments as a salon owner, when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and wish it away, wondering how I will pay my staff, my rent, and even myself.

What pulled me out of this dark existence was a conscious desire to get to the bottom of it. I knew there was a reason for my suffering.

I had to become so uncomfortable with my pain that I was willing to cut through all my excuses and blame to discover what I really needed to learn: to know my own strength.

Understanding this lesson was something akin to my mother stroking my head as a child whispering, “You’ll be ok, honey. You can do this.”

It was then that I was able to pick myself up, dust myself off and, even though I still didn’t know exactly what to do, I knew there was an answer somewhere. Those little whispers helped me remember I had the strength, courage and desire to find a solution that would help me out of a hot mess.

And it worked.

Business is about relationships. And the most important person that it needs to communicate with is you. <-Click to tweet

Your company will poke, prod & unnerve you until you are ready to listen to its wisdom. If you allow it to, your business will be the best life coach you will ever have.

Pricing: I Don't Give A Deal

Pricing: I Don't give A Deal

So here’s the thing…pricing your services can be a sticky situation.  Why do I use the word “sticky”?  Because there are 5 common issues involved with pricing that we can easily get stuck on in which we have ‘price regret’ within months. Most entrepreneurs make mistakes within their pricing structure by not charging  enough.  Two reasons: they’re not particularly clear about the value they are offering and they lack a wee bit of confidence in their position as a service provider, no matter how good they are.

The personal service industry is full of creatives and care givers; two groups of entrepreneurs who are at the biggest risk of devaluing themselves because they seriously love what they do so much, that if you asked them…they would probably give their service for free if they could afford to.

So how do you get un-stuck from pricing your services so you are making the money you deserve?  It’s not an exact science, but here are FIVE questions & answers to help you become a little more solid how to charge what you should.

1)  How do you position your prices in a sea of competition?

Do & don’t compare apples to oranges.  Make a list of the pro’s & con’s of what your space & services have to offer and pair it with your ideal client to see where you fall in with your competition’s prices.

What your competitor is charging is only one part of the equation to positioning your prices. Another point to clarify is your specific value within the marketplace and what that may translate into as a price. Click to Tweet

For example, in my own situation, a local hotel spa has state of the art treatment rooms, a large and luxurious guest lounge and steam room, to name a few of their outstanding features.  They will most likely be able to command a higher price of services than a home-based business because of their amenities (well, that and their overhead costs). However, you do need to take a few things into consideration. If, as in my own esthetic studio, your space is its own private building on the property, has been finished professionally and maintains high levels of customer service, it could certainly command similar prices.  In my experience, the value to guests who are looking for a more intimate & private space is extremely high.  They appreciate that they never see anyone else when they come & go from my studio (we live in a tiny town where everyone seems to know what you’re doing!)

Another example is mobile business.  In this case, you are giving a very high value to your guest by bringing treatments to the privacy & convenience of their own home.  It’s tempting to think that you should have lower prices than a brick & mortar business because you have no overhead, but your value comes with the extreme ease-of-use for your consumer.  Add to that the time & cost it takes for travel…you should be charging a premium!

2)  Do you know exactly how much your services actually cost you?

This may feel like an overwhelming project, but this is a smart business owners move!  If you need product to give your services, the exact cost of professional product for each service are numbers you must know.

Do you know exactly how much a cut & colour for long hair really costs you? May have a rough idea, but you really need to nail these numbers down.  A good resource for this is your product supplier.  Usually  bigger product companies will be able to provide you with a list of treatments that include the volume of each product used, plus the total cost of the product for that particular service.  If your supplier can’t provide you with that info, you’ll want to measure out the exact product used for each service and attach the correct dollar figure to it.  As an added bonus to figuring out your cost/treatment for pricing, you will save you money in the long run by preventing waste.

Also, to give you a better idea of what giving a treatment actually costs you, you’ll want to factor in the wage costs associated with the service.  For those of you who are single owner/operators…don’t leave this part out!  How much money are you charging per minute?  In this business, we’re selling time.  You’ve got to charge for it accordingly.

Product cost/treatment +  Wage/treatment = Total costs of giving a treatment

The rest of the money left over will have to cover overhead expenses and profit.  Where do your service prices fall in line with this equation?  Are you making a profit?

3) Did you price your services low in an attempt to attract more clients?

When you’re researching your competition’s prices, keep in mind that they may have created their pricing strategy by looking at surrounding business and trying to gain a competitive advantage by discounting their prices.  I urge you to not do the same!  Don’t contribute to the pattern of driving down the value of the service in your whole area.  What you offer is due so much more respect than that.

This is why it’s especially important to be clear on your value plus the cost per treatment so you aren’t tempted to discount yourself. Click to Tweet

Instead, you might better benefit from highlighting unique strengths and placing an emphasis on value and/or (sic.) time saved over money saved (via The Complete Guide to Understanding Consumer Psychology, www.quicksprout.com).

4)  What do you do when people balk at your rates & ask for a lower price?

Sigh.  This one drives me nuts.  You know the type…they call asking about your services & prices and then they start this passive-aggressive process of telling you that it’s too expensive or do-you-have-a deal-for-x-&-y or so-and-so down the street charges less.  They can be quite compelling!  And because we are creatives and caregivers we tend to fall for their manipulation and end up succumbing to the pressure to lower our price.  At the very least, we end up feeling disrespected and frustrated but unsure how to deal with the push back.

The interesting thing about giving a deal is that it does not lead to customer loyalty!  Deal chasers will always go for the deal whether it’s your business or the one down the road.   This is why I think daily deals can be the kiss of death for a business (they can work, but in very specific cases with a specific strategy in place).

5)  When do I raise my rates?

This is a popular question!.  If you’re not covering your costs correctly or you’ve been discounting in an attempt to keep competitive, you may already have your answer.

However, if your rates are inline with the above information, it could be time to increase your rates when your business productivity is consistently at 80%.  You may have some attrition with a price increase, but if you are giving outstanding service, the likelihood is small.  From that point on, continue your business building strategies at the new higher rates and watch your bank account grow!

Alternatively, if you are at 80% productivity it could also be an indication that you're at a stage to either hire a new employee or expand your physical space. Either way, it’s time to grow. Click to Tweet

Pricing your services is a huge topic and I've only covered 5 points here.  However, at minimum,  if you’ve done the market research and know what your services cost your business, you will, with conviction, know that discounting your services or keeping them low is a dangerous financial and client attraction strategy.  When you’re clear about all the above issues, you will be able to confidently stand by your pricing.

Need some help creating a strategy to re-price the services in your business so you can make more money?  I can help you do that!

Email me or call 250-516-3256 to get started with a FREE 30 min Business Discovery Session and begin the process of raising your rates.

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