Expert Advice

Biz Tip: Take It Outside

July 10, 2011 | 11:16 PM

Since warm, sunny months are at a premium in Minnesota, it can be harder to get clients to commit to a lengthy hair appointment, especially on Saturdays, when they'd rather be enjoying one of the state's 10,000 lakes. For that reason, Lili-A William and Friends Salon ( in Minnetonka created a patio area for clients who are waiting for an appointment or whose color is processing.

The idea was so appreciated that this year owner William Anderson set up two stations in the patio area so clients could now get their cutting and coloring services outside. "Originally, we thought about doing manicures and pedicures on the patio, but the logistics made that too complicated," says Jocelyn Stone, salon director. Once Anderson worked out the electrical outlets, he tried to find weather-resistant furnishings, settling on metal stations and chairs with durable leather.

Biz Tip: Take It Outside

"To help protect the furniture, we cover it at night," added Stone.

The stations are open for any stylist or colorist to use, and as word and popularity spread, Stone is considering having clients book their services with a seating preference. The salon recently made clients aware of the outdoor seating through the salon's e-mail newsletter.

So far, some of the biggest fans of the idea are the salon's staff members, who enjoy the opportunity to take their work outside. "The idea has been such a success, we're looking into how we can have six outdoor stations next summer," says Stone.

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