Does Salon Technology Frustrate You?
Star salon professionals are either busy or on their way—and, any pro will tell you star status means giving it your all every day, all the time. Partners of star performers complain they never want to do anything, their home needs dusting; they are no shows at the gym, and carryout meals are a staple. I vaguely recall hearing technology would make things easier. But, salon professionals seem to find themselves chasing technology in an attempt to remain relevant.
Technology is not my niche, however, tech frustration and too much information comes up at salon round ups repeatedly. Perhaps a friendly curator—someone who knows what it takes to run a salon, willing to do the heavy work and offer it to us in bite size pieces, might be the trick.
“It’s challenging to keep up with technology, plus hairdresser or salon owner duties—it’s just hard to find the time to add anything to your routine,” says Jeff Demaree, who offers free salon tech podcasts on his site, salonbusinesspodcast.com
Jeff, and wife Kimberly, own WiP Downtown Salon in Indianapolis. When they opened their salon in 2002, and they quickly realized technology was key to differentiate them from the competition, so they offered online appointments when they first opened. Jeff, with a background in software sales and marketing, created the program himself. In no time Estetica USA wanted an article on salon technology, “I realized then that our little salon in Indianapolis was on the cutting edge of salon technology in the United States,” adds Jeff.
Jeff recalls that only five years ago a website worked just fine, but today you must continuously optimize it with relevant content, play up to Google, offer online appointments, review analytics, plus have a business presence on a variety of social media platforms. No easy task.
“I started the salon podcast about a year ago,” states Jeff, “ I consider myself an early adopter and always try to find the best and new way to do anything. I spent a lot of time researching and trying to do the best for the success of our salon. I found I was integrating technologies and practices that I couldn't see others in our industry adopting. I thought what a great idea…if while I'm researching, why don't I take others on this adventure with me?“
What are some of Jeff’s time saving suggestions for busy professionals?
- Embrace technology. Don’t sit on the fence. You need not become an expert, just participate, know the meaning of key words and phrases, and learn to navigate your way around a couple sites. Spend a little time daily online.
- To grasp a few basic concepts listen to the free podcast “How to Automate Your Salon’s Social Media” visit: http://www.salonbusinesspodcast.com/automate-salon-social-media-sbp-022
- Find someone to help you: A consultant can look at your needs and provide tangible options to improve your processes. Amongst them:
- A mobile friendly Website. Clients haven’t looked for you in the phonebook for a while. A one-pager with key contact information and a sense of style might initially do. Online positive reviews and recommendations are vital.
- Software to manage your point of sale—or a card processor for your phone
- Offer online appointments—if not, you are missing out to the competition.
- Automated your appointment reminders. This saves you time on the phone.
- Have a strong business Facebook presence. Regardless of your personal preferences, Facebook is still where most of your customers go.
Professionals like Jeff and Kimberley Demaree practice a new marketing formula for the future when sharing usable giveaways and trade secrets with their clients, team members and the industry, while building a reputation for transparency, cooperation and excellence.
And, if Jeff can teach an old dog like me timesaving tricks, he can do it with anyone.