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MIKAL Salon & Spa Software

The Ultimate Salon Software since 1982 

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Cutting Edge Management and Marketing Ideas for Independent Operators, Salons and Spas.  Use these ideas with your MIKAL software to move your business forward.  Not using MIKAL yet?  Call us for a free evaluation and walk through of what we can do for you!  Welcome - Fred Dengler MIKAL Co-Founder and CEO

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MIKAL and DemandForce now FREE set up

Posted on April 17, 2018 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (2)

MIKAL Salon and Spa Software is now on the Java platform and Cloud based with amazing ease of use and all the power

of 34 years experience in helping salon and spa professionals manage and market their businesses.

Get MIKAL and DemandForce for the ultimate management and marketing system!

NOTE: MIKAL will get you up and running FAST. We build your service menu, load your retail inventory, employees and booking rules and convert your client data from any Excel format! You get detailed training and fast integration. SAVE $250 on the MIKAL set up with DemandForce.

All New Salon Marketing and Management CDs available NOW!

Posted on April 8, 2018 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

MIKAL Education CDs

 SuperCharge your Front Desk CD

Complete Front Desk operations manual, Price Check, UpSell and More Scripting for Profits, complete Front Desk Presentation Slide Show, Receptionist Classified Ads, Receptionist and Salon/Spa Coordinator Job Descriptions, Payroll and Goal Setting Ideas, Terror on the Phones booklet and more!

SHOW SPECIAL $40.00 Website Price $60.00 - save $20.00

 NEW SALON OPENING CD

Do it right the first time (or Re-Invent right the second time) with our information packed CD! New Salon Opening side presentation, Grand Opening Ideas, Profit Generating Workbook – 43 pages! Salon and Spa Job Descriptions, Opening Checklist, 10+ Funding Ideas, Planning Spreadsheets and much more!

SHOW SPECIAL $20.00 Website Price $50.00 - save $30.00

 Staff Up! & Salon Policy Manual CD

A comprehensive employee policy and procedure manual on CD to edit and use, Ideas to DOUBLE your Classified Ad response, 20 Effective Interview Questions, Staff Up! Slide show class, job descriptions, Compensation Worksheets, Goal Setting Ideas, Training Tips and much more!

SHOW SPECIAL $20.00 Website Price $59.00 – save $39.00

 SuperCharge your Front Desk CD

Complete Front Desk operations manual, Price Check, UpSell and More Scripting for Profits, complete Front Desk Presentation Slide Show, Receptionist Classified Ads, Receptionist and Salon/Spa Coordinator Job Descriptions, Payroll and Goal Setting Ideas, Terror on the Phones booklet and more!

SHOW SPECIAL $40.00 Website Price $60.00 - save $20.00

 CD Package Deals Buy more – Save $

 Hat Trick Pick ANY 3 CDs $60 You Save up to $40 more!

 Fab Four Deal all 4 CDs$90 Now Save another $30 more!

 The MIKAL Corporation  sales@mikal.com   www.mikal-salon-software.com 800-448-5420

The ONLY way to improve retention

Posted on April 6, 2018 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I enjoyed an article in Spa Business on how to boost spa retention with technology. The follow up marketing and service history integration is so important. I was surprised that none of the spa software/retention experts brought up the technology as it relates to tracking the service provider’s retention and how directly it affects client returns and retention.

At MIKAL Salon and Spa Software we generate multiple retention reports tracking true rates over 5 visit cycles, request rates, and percentages. Our spas have found that certain employees have double and even triple the retention rates compared to other staff members. Also some staff has better first to second visit retention or has a higher retention rate over 5 visits! We have found with our spas that the personal retention information on each service provider is critical to isolating who has lower retention and also even at what visit the critical loss occurs staff member by staff member. Another important fact is that some employees start to have lower retention figures long before any other bad behavior or low sales figures are apparent. So retention is also a leading indicator for an employee problem.

One critical factor to long term retention is the rebooking of a second appointment at the end of the first service. Most spas only get about 20% of new clients to rebook a second visit before leaving. Of the 80% who do not prebook only about 10% ever come back. So most spas only convert 30% of first time visits clients into second visit and potentially retained clients. Selling the client into a series of visits will increase this percentage. So the value proposition of a series of services must be delivered during the first service and booked at the end of the first visit/service. We have also found that giving an incentive to book the second visit by offering a New Client Welcome Book of values (or New Client Welcome Pack) will double the number of first time clients booking a second visit before leaving. But, and this is the critical thing, for the client to get a New Client Welcome book the client must book the follow up visit. I’ve attached our little promotion idea on this for your review. The key we have found is if the spa can get the new client rebooking up over 40% during that first visit overall retention skyrockets.

With staff making up 65% of the costs of a spa the employee retention factor to me is the most important to a spa’s success. If that is not handled all the follow up emarketing, easy rebooking sites, and apps on phones don’t make much difference unless the client loved the service and the service provider. Sorry I ran on about this. It is a passion of mine.

Fred Dengler CEO MIKAL 5135285100 fredd@mikal.com

QuickBooks and MIKAL - what a combo

Posted on March 23, 2018 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

QuickBooks and MIKAL - easy - fast - money saving - WOW

 Would you like to have Monthly Profit and Loss statements on time each month?

 How about step by step training on how to enter your QB entries and advice?

 QuickBooks is easy and takes just minutes per week to pay your bills, enter deposits, and KEEP YOUR BUSINESS running smoothly.

 First get your easy QB interface for your MIKAL info - call MIKAL for this great option. MIKAL 513-528-5100

 Then get with our authorized MIKAL and QB consultant to go live. Call for a detailed pdf we can e-mail to you 800-448-5420..

 John from JS Consulting is trained in MIKAL and also a QB trainer. He can show you how to manage your own accounting, save tons of money, and get better control of your business.

 Give John a call at 601-765-5889 and tell him you are a MIKAL client. He can work with you.

Finding the Right Team Members

Posted on March 22, 2018 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

As owners and managers it is a challenge to stay plugged into the pool of potential employees in your community. Many of our present staff talk with and know potential employees that they see on a regular basis. How can we take advantage of those relationships to add the right people to our staff?

How about employee referrals?

Employee referrals are an excellent source of hiring leads. And if you've been hiring for any length of time you already know that.

Almost every salon/spa has some employee referral program, but few of them are as effective as they can be. So how do you breathe life into your employee referral program? Here are six suggestions to make sure you have an effective employee referral program.

1. Identify key people in your salon/spa

Key people are the ones you'll turn to for employee referrals. This is the group that you describe to other managers as "If I had three more of Sandra, I'd have the salon booked solid!" Key people are the ones whose productivity appears to be higher, or are a catalyst for your team to outperform others. These best employees dress properly, have great customer retention, are on time and never sick, and are excited about work. (Admittedly, it's harder to see those catalysts.) Identify those people, so you can ask them to refer people with whom they've worked in the past or gone to school with.

2. Explain open positions to your key people

Once you've identified your key staff, explain the open positions to them. Consider telling them about positions beyond those directly related to their own. One of the best employee referrals I have seen was when I told a stylist about an open receptionist position. The stylist had worked with a receptionist in a previous spa, had maintained contact, and when this position opened up, referred them. Both enjoyed the spa's culture and were highly successful for a number of years.

When you explain positions to key people, try including questions such as, "Who was the best at customer service you ever worked with? What made that person so good?" When you ask behavior-description questions like that, you're prompting your employee to remember specific situations. You can see if the situation your employee recalls is anything like the situation for which you're hiring. If they are similar, ask the employee to contact the person. If the situation is different, focus on your current situation and say, "Oh, I see why that person was great. Our situation is a bit different. (Explain how it's different.) Have you ever worked with anyone in this kind of situation?" Now you've refocused your employee to think about people who would fit your salon/spa.

Don't expect an answer immediately. People may need time to think about previous situations. Tell your employee to take time to think about potential candidates. Arrange a follow-up discussion in a few days. This could also let them “feel out” their friends in an informal way.

3. Make referral fees worth an employee's time

Referral fees can be tricky. You don't want a referral fee so high that people stop working -- but you don't want it so low that people don't bother calling their friends and colleagues. My rule of thumb is that an employee referral should feel like a substantive bonus to an employee. If you're concerned about money, remember that cash isn't the only thing that will feel like a bonus to an employee. Consider other perks: an education class, a tool allowance, conference or beauty show admission, extra training courses, maybe even more vacation days. You may even want to implement a tiered referral fee, so that employees don't just receive a fee after 90 days of the new hire's employment, but enjoy some benefits before then. They could get 1/3 of the finders fee on the hiring day, 1/3 when the 90 day new hire probation is over, and 1/3 if the new hire is with your salon/spa 12 months later.

4. Keep paperwork to a minimum – like almost zero

Aside from a reasonable referral fee, boatloads of paperwork will turn off an employee referral program. Make it easy for employees to submit a candidate. How about just have the present employee give you a resume from the applicant with the referring employee’s name written on it?

5. Show that hiring is a priority one for everyone!

It's easy to say that hiring is a priority. But if you show that hiring is a priority with your actions, such as explaining your hiring status at each staff meeting, you're showing your employees that hiring is a priority for you. Have a 90 day training program in place that your staff knows about. Have a 12 month goal setting program in place to get productive staff booked fast after the training program is over. Have your present staff do periodic evaluations of the newer employees. Celebrate the event when a present staff member brings you a new employee. Celebrate 90 day, 1 year, and 2 year anniversaries! Your urgency will help your staff feel urgently about hiring also -- prompting them to refer others to you.

6. Encourage your employees to discover other potential employees professionally

Your employees are ideally placed to find passive candidates, in other words, the people whom you would like to hire but who aren't looking. Your employees will find those people by networking at professional education events. Have your key staff scout out the people at seminars and education events that fit your culture and hiring criteria. Tell them to exchange business cards and have them call the potential employee for a follow up meeting after the class. If the person is interested your key staff member will find out minutes into that first cup of coffee. Encourage your employees to attend professional group meetings or participate in online forums of like-minded people.

Check with your staff when you start hiring, to make sure everyone knows what actions to take in order to refer a candidate. You may have other barriers preventing your staff from sending you candidates.

You'll know if you have an effective employee referral program if you have identified your key employees, explained the kinds of people you're trying to recruit, if your referral fees are reasonable, if paperwork is easy for employees to navigate, if your actions show that hiring is a high priority for you, and if your staff bring in candidates

How about using your best customers to find potential employees for you? Develop a bonus program for customers who refer people who are great at customer service in other industries, or who they know personally or professionally are in the beauty industry. This is a whole different article and program you can implement!

 

The most important thing is to keep the referral program, rewards, and your goals in front of your key people. Make an effort to review a portion of the program with each key employee every month!

 

Give your staff the WHY

Posted on March 22, 2018 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you tell your staff the ““why”” of the work?

As you know MIKAL is involved in the push for higher productivity and better communication using our software program as a major tool in getting this task accomplished, it’s disturbing how many salon/spa managers neglect the crucial task of creating the “why”. Most salon/spa managers are so concerned with instructing receptionists and stylists on how to do their jobs that they ignore the equally important questions of “why” the jobs need to get done, and for whom they are doing the work. If receptionists and stylists don’t understand the the “why” of what they do, it makes the work meaningless. If you are not using a weekly goal setting and feedback system it’s time to get it going! The “why” for you to set up the goal setting is that the average stylist or receptionist increases sales and performance up to 10% just by setting goals and getting regular feedback!

This lack of “why” is not just a problem for the Beauty Industry! For an idea of how dangerous this is to a salon/spa’s health, a recent Gallup study showed that 71% of workers are “not engaged.” When asked what caused them to disengage, the workers overwhelmingly cited the requirement to perform useless tasks. This begs the question, “why” are salon/spa managers assigning so many useless tasks? How many times do we hear ““why”” do I have to fill out the client information card, or ““why”” are you mad when I can’t get the new customer thank you mailing done one week? Or even more likely the tasks just don’t get done, or are only done when you ride the staff. This creates resistance and also wears you out as a manager.

It seems more likely that receptionists and stylists only think their work is useless. Creating the “why” is instrumental in giving receptionists and stylists a new perspective on how their work fits into the salon/spa as a whole. We need to take the time to give them the Big Picture at every opportunity.

The idea of creating the “why” for receptionists and stylists isn’t new, but the most popular method used to make workers feel invested and relevant to the operations of the salon/spa – profit sharing or quarterly bonuses or commissions for selling or doing certain activities – has been largely ineffectual. While profit sharing gives receptionists and stylists a legitimate ownership stake, they do little to show workers how they actually impact a salon/spa’s overall performance. Most receptionists and stylists perceive their profit sharing or year end bonus as kind of a lottery ticket over which they have no influence, while the actual performance of the organization is dictated by market swings, owner decisions, and other forces beyond their control. This feeling of irrelevance tends to increase in direct correlation to salon/spa growth, especially in larger salons/spas; in general, as the size of the salon/spa increases, workers’ sense of professional value decreases.

 

We need to get better as we get bigger or we lose the economy of scale and the personal involvement customers are looking for in a salon/spa. How many times do you see a nice salon/spa expand and then lose staff (because they fail to create the ““why””;) and then start to lose customers because the personal service and involvement are not there any longer!

For owners and senior salon/spa managers who are making strategic decisions, the need to create the “why” for their team takes on an even higher level of importance. Most salon/spa owners are many levels removed from front desk and service providing types of customer interaction. Instead, customer feedback comes in the form of reports and research. Tapping into the experiences of receptionists and stylists who interact with customers can provide a valuable new source of information in the decision making process. Consider a general trying to gather information from the battlefield. Would he be able to make informed strategic decisions if his forward units didn’t understand the importance of their role? And how effective would those units be if they didn’t understand their mission? The same conditions apply to salon/spa owners and leaders. Low level “troops” who clearly understand their role and mission will always be able to provide better feedback to senior leaders in charge of major decisions.

When a salon/spa is small, for workers the “why” exists naturally. It should be obvious how much individual contributions matter in an organization of five or ten people. The problems is growing salons/spas almost always reach a tipping point when the team environment evolves into a salon/spa owners and managers version of the TV show The Office. Staff feels disconnected to management and management feels frustrated because the staff doesn’t get it. Salon/spa managers and owners skilled at providing staff the “why” can help stave off this tipping point. You may be beyond this point and your staff has a good grasp of the “why” of the tasks they need to perform. That means your communication lines are good and you are using the ODM model Open Door Management!

Now for the next step. If your salon/spa has already passed this stage, one of the most powerful trends in management and a fantastic tool for producing employee involvement is Open Book Management (OBM). In a nutshell, OBM does away with all confidentiality in regard to salon/spa finances. By showing receptionists and stylists where the salon/spa stands, its financial health, how key numbers and ratios affect profitability and revenue, and perhaps most importantly explaining to receptionists and stylists how their pay is affected by all of the above, OBM does a far better job at involving receptionists and stylists and giving them job the “why” than simply handing out a bonus plan or profit sharing program!

OBM – Open Book Management gives ratios to the staff that MIKAL can provide for you. An example is New Customer Retention. “Why” is it important to prebook new customers before they leave your salon/spa? Because right now most salons and spas only keep 30% of new customers for a follow up visit in the next 90 days. If the salon/spa can double that number using the MIKAL New Customer Welcome Book and Preceptionist ReBooking Strategies the net profit in the salon/spa will increase from 2 to 5 percent! Now the stylists and receptionist know why you get crazy every time a new customer is allowed to wander out the door without being asked to rebook. Remember the 10% sales increase I mentioned at the beginning of the article? That is the “why” you would share with staff to motivate them to set goals and review the evaluation reports.

Another reason for practicing Open Book Management is that the majority of our stylists and receptionists have no concept as to what it costs to run a salon/spa. One owner we work with books a half hour with a different employee each week (and pays them) and has them assist with printing checks and making payments to vendors. The employees are amazed at how much it costs to run a salon/spa!

For salons/spas unwilling to make the jump to OBM – Open Book Management, or salon/spa managers working within a larger organization, the first step to forming the “why” for your stylists and receptionists is to understand all of the work and information flow affecting members of your team. Only when a manager understands all of the interactions between her receptionists and stylists, clients, vendors and other departments, can she show her receptionists and stylists how their work fits into the overall structure of the salon/spa. It is important to know that everyone in an organization has a customer. Your customer is whoever receives your work output, and for most receptionists and managers their customer is not the end customer but rather another person within the salon/spa. This way of thinking should reveal each employee’s relevance as well as uncover meaningless work. Salon/spa managers should understand and be able to explain to their receptionists and stylists how their jobs add value and “why” particular tasks are required. If an employee is performing tasks that are not needed by someone else in the salon/spa or by the end customer, those tasks should be eliminated. At the same time as soon as a staff member stops being serviced by another staff member (like the receptionist stops providing daily appointment schedules to the stylists) the staff member needs to notify management. In this way the system becomes self policing. As a manager or owner, you will have transcended the mindless commands of telling them how to do their jobs and shown them “why”, and for whom those jobs get done.

 

Set up compensation levels with MIKAL

Posted on March 15, 2018 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (1)

COMPENSATION SYSTEM SET UP AND IDEAS

 Compensation can now be set up to match levels of operators and reward the top

producers.  In the beginning set up a compensation system that has product deductions, service

charges, and assistant charges built in. As production increases these charges can

be absorbed by the company.

 Idea:

Guarantee is $ 200.00 per week for 36 hour week.

Product cost of 8% off the top until employee achieves $ 900.00 in sales

Service charge of $ 1.00 per service until the employee achieves $ 1400.00 in sales

Assistant charge of $ 75.00 per week (if used) until the employee achieves over $1800.00.

 Your employees are your most valuable asset and are also your biggest expense.

 You need to manage and motivate your staff through better communication of performance, structured goal setting, and an aggressive flexible compensation package.

Salon Software Tech Update

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Salon Technology Update

 The Beauty Industry is forging ahead with state-of-the-art software programs designed to increase customer satisfaction and streamline the salon business processes.

 The most dynamic programs include (computer) industry award winning Tablet apps, JITA – just in time appointment marketing, and advanced customer loyalty systems.

 The MIKAL Tablet app received the RSPA innovative award in point of sale technology with a queue crushing app that speeds customer check in and rebooking using wireless tablets in the salon. The Tablet app is not a PC program on a tablet. It is a touch screen program written specifically to enhance the customer experience by making the receptionist mobile! Check it out at http://www.mikal.com/2011InnovSolAward.php

 JITA the Just In Time Appointment marketing program is an opt in program that looks at the salon computerized appointment book and offers last minute openings to customers who are interested in these opportunities. JITA is smart enough to not send the offers to customers who have a future appointment and only offer openings to each stylist’s customer base. This amazing option keeps the appointment book full!

 Customer Loyalty and Rewards programs are not an option with customers. Customers expect to get something more that just great service! The MIKAL Points program no only rewards loyalty and sales; it also gives rewards for referrals, pre-booking, and allows double points on certain days to build the business. Customer Points are reinforced by printing on the receipts, showing on the tickets, and displaying on the customer’s on-line booking profile page. 

 These programs are being used by small salons to the largest and most visible salons in the industry. Call or e-mail MIKAL for contacts and salon profiles.

 MIKAL Salon and Spa Software 800-448-5420 

sales@mikal.com www.mikal-salon-software.com

Fred Dengler Co-Founder and CEO

 

 

Welcome to Jonathan Spencer!

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

MIKAL Salon and Spa Software is please to announce that Jonathan Spenser has joined our consulting team. Jonathan has grown up in the Beauty Industry and has had a background in managing day to day warehouse operations for a hair supplies distributorship Capelli Beauty Supply in Cincinnati Ohio. His several years as manager gave him experience, knowledge, and understanding of the inner workings of salon/spa industry. Jonathan combines this industry knowledge with experience in audiovisual consulting and systems engineering. Jonathan has designed audiovisual systems for high profile corporate, college, and house of worship clients. This work experience has given him expertise with system design and networking, as well as sales and project management. He now brings these skills to Mikal Salon and Spa Software as a sales, support and training specialist.

Jonathan says “With having a foundation in the salon and spa industry, as well as having a systems engineering/networking background, I strive to accommodate to Mikal growth in sales, quality support for our clients, and efficient training for any customer. Mikal Software goes above and beyond providing the necessary tools in running an effectual business, from POS to marketing, to book keeping and inventory management, this software is truly a must have resource for anyone in this industry.”

Fred Dengler, CEO of MIKAL states “We are excited to have Jonathan on our team. He has extensive experience in our Beauty Industry, inventory control, systems and support. His background and knowledge will be valuable to our salon and spa clients and his ideas will help our clients increase there business and implement much needed controls.”

Spruce Up the Salon for Spring!

Posted on February 21, 2018 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Spring Money Making Ideas

Now that winter is almost over and here in Cincinnati it will be SEVENTY degrees today!  (great isn’t it?)

So…..it’s time to get back down to business and get into the business of Spring. Now is the time to crank up the business of beauty.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you and your staff back down to business:

$ Get a staff meeting together and go over these (and your own) promo ideas. See what ideas generate the most excitement and appoint people and set dates for getting the projects going! Introduce JITA the just in time appointment feature of MIKAL to fill the book. Get EMBA for the staff and they can go CRAZY booking all over town on their smart phones.

$ Clean the salon/spa from top to bottom. Paint a few walls and make a few small changes. Move some plants and displays. Decorate for the season!

$ Have everyone get dressed up. I don’t mean formal but every winter people get a little casual. It’s time to change our look and the change should be professional and upscale. Have a staff party to get the excitement going!

$ Get into the Spring colors. Make sure your make up is right for the season and coordinates with your new look! Get the staff together for a make up session and new fashion review.

$ Start your Referral Contest May 1st and end it on August 1st . Pick your prizes, do your precontest mailing/e-mail September 3rd, and get the signs up in the salon/spa. Call us for a free 11 page Referral Contest planning book. How would 50-100 new customers sound in the next 60-90 days?

$ Get your front desk staff to commit to cleaning up the customer data base in the next 60 days. All of your regular customers will be in for the season. Run a list on your MIKAL system of all customers with Invalid addresses. The goal is to verify every customer’s address in the next 60 days. Check on the progress by running the Invalid Addresses report for all Last Visits in the last 7 days each week. The report should be blank every week if the front desk staff is cleaning up the list!

$ Get your Gift Cards on order NOW! Call Jenny at RACO Card 866-940-4676 for a free sample kit. Order the Gift Card option is MIKAL’s SMS software and ask for our free information pack on promoting gift cards. Gift Cards will make a huge difference in your sales over the old gift certificates. NOTE: beware of companies giving you gift cards for use with their Internet or bank card systems. The costs for the processing of the card every time it is swiped become a huge expense and if a customer loses their card there is no way to cancel that card and charge the balance up on a new card. Call us at MIKAL to make an informed decision. Also revisit a switch in credit card processors. X-Charge our credit card processing partner has a $100 Gift Card waiting for you to switch!

$ Increase your Nail service prices now just before the prom and summer seasons. This will give you an additional boost to your income and the customers are coming in for that popular service during the Spring season.

$ Sign up for the Autopilot Marketing system from MIKAL. The business can get hectic. Don’t let your marketing Spring by the wayside. Put it on autopilot, and make sure you stay busy when summer months roll around!

Fred Dengler

513-528-5100

email us at sales@mikal.com

Website: www.mikal-salon-software.com


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