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Three Salons Who Use Technology to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Lauren Salapatek | October 4, 2016 | 2:19 AM

Running a successful business while maintaining a reasonable work/life balance is no easy task. But it can be done, as the latest series of videos by Shortcuts Software shows. The first prerequisite is determination. You need to stay focused on defending your precious time as much as you are focused on running your business. After that, it’s down to effective delegation, solid systems and procedures, and technology that makes it simple to stay on top of your business while you keep control of your life.

At Eikonic House of Barbers, in Toronto suburb Brampton, owners Jessica and Martin Hoach made sure they remained in control of their lives as the salon they opened just six years ago grew and they added further interests to their core business.

They knew that guaranteeing time for themselves, their son Austin and their beloved garden could only happen with firm systems and procedures in place backed by a solid training program. While remaining passionate about what they do, they knew that too much time working on the business end risked dulling their creativity, so used their Shortcuts Software to keep tabs on every aspect of the business.

Jessica now spends three full days in the salon, and makes the most of the rest of her week, enjoying family life and keeping her mental batteries fully charged. She says: ‘Technology doesn’t run the business, but it makes it so much easier.’ She uses Shortcuts’ remote access to the full – planning, keeping an eye on progress and being available at all times. She says: ‘I know if something needs to be done I can rely on the team to deal with it. But if it’s something I must do I also know I can quickly and easily deal with it without having to rush to the store.’

Meanwhile, for the three Venere brothers, Maurice, Ermanno and Nick, owners of the family-run Salon Venere Toronto salon group, family time away from the pressure of salon life was crucial. With their Italian heritage came a love of sharing good food, so they made a weekly get-together over a good meal and a bottle of wine sacrosanct. It’s a time to talk about anything and everything families talk about when they spend time together, and in their case, though it didn’t have to include business talk, discussing ways of running their business better in the relaxed atmosphere of their Tuesday evening meet-ups has proved very fruitful.

It allowed them to develop specific aspects of the business according to their individual strengths. So Maurice is in charge of marketing, technology, HR and branding, while Nick’s specialty is operational, looking at ways to develop new services and check out new products. Finally, Ermanno looks after the Venere training Academy, and watches over the overall company finances.

Finally, for Clarissa Borg, partner in busy Toronto Toni&Guy salon, award-winning professional and mother to two young dance-loving daughters, delegation was key to maintaining a perfect balance.

She is determined to see her business keep on growing, but early on realized that she couldn’t do it all herself. So her no 2 at the salon, colorist and manager Tristan Brocklehurst, shares the management tasks, dealing with payroll and team schedules. Clarissa’s franchise partner, Rob Pupo, looks after several key areas including education, while Tristan’s sister, Jade Brocklehurst, is a superb front-of-house manager and salon coordinator.

For Clarissa, balancing her time between work and family is possible because she knows she can trust the other members of her team to look after their side of things.

‘To ensure I have time for my daughters and myself, I have to work smart,’ she says, ‘and that means accepting I need to delegate key tasks to trusted members of my team.’ But it also helps that she uses Shortcuts, and can take advantage of the ability to work off-site. Being able to access all the salon systems from anywhere on her phone gives her a huge advantage in the fight to safeguard her precious family time.

All three thriving salons have used technology to great effect, looking always to stay on the leading edge of developments that can drive the business forward. They switched to Shortcuts as their salon software partner as it meant they could easily unify all their digital marketing and point-of-sale software, bringing everything together and allowing them to stay in touch with their clients in a way that was previously unimaginable. Without adding extra hours in the salon or wishing for that extra day in their week.

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