|Posted on April 20, 2020 at 3:50 PM|
I want to share with you one of the biggest challenges of my career in the beauty business and how I recovered with the knowledge I have gained from you and your team and with our MIKAL software.
In March two employees moved several blocks down to a booth operation. One stylist was the top producer who had seven years with us. The other stylist had been with us for twenty years and was a reliable performer. They accounted for more than $200,000 of gross income.
Our contract was implemented in 2011 so both were excluded. I considered them to be loyal employees. It's the familiar story: both came to us with nothing and we supported them with supplemented education, benefits, and support in their personal lives.
After many tears, I dusted myself off, prayed to God to guide me, and on the way to work a few days after this bombshell I heard these strategies in my head:
I called all the "monthlies" which could be negotiated and did so.
We had recently cut back to bi-weekly payroll which was fortunate.
I used the inventory software to make tough calls on products leaving and staying.
I had a tasteful sign for "SALE" items and devoted about 12 linear vertical feet to that area in a visible area (beside shampoo area)
When distributors challenged me I remained steadfast.
I asked my top producer if she could give me two Saturdays a month. (She said "yes".
I discontinued the housekeeping position in the daytime and hired three new talent salaried stylists over a six month period to perform these duties.
I created retail specials for six week periods and produced framed signage at each station, easel signs, and foam board signs on restroom doors.We used an in-house graphic design software then emailed the product and specs to Kinkos and produced a professional looking sign for a very reasonable price.
I created bundles of all kinds seasonally.
We put small cards with retail promotions in every welcome bag for new clients.
Service Sales Marketing:
I used my MIKAL reporting and appointment book analysis to identify client types:
* 1. Clients who came every 8-10 weeks for haircuts only.
* 2. Clients who came every 4-6 weeks for haircuts.
* 3. Clients who came every 8-10 weeks for color and cut services.
* 4. Clients who came every 4-6 weeks for color and cut services.
* 5. Clients who came regularly for straightening or keratins.
The minute the stylists left on the last day, I began contacting clients by email (with the MIKAL system) or by telephone using the Mikal Last Visit date list if no email address was available and offered the following:
*1. Next haircut is on the house. NOTE: all these offers were for clients who had been to the stylists at least 3 times in the last 12 months. Easy to find and automatically generate with MIKAL. I did not want to give deals to salon or house clients or newer clients who where not yet loyal to the stylists that were exiting!
* 2. Next three cuts are on the house. For non responders to #1
* 3. Next color and cut are OTH.
*4. Next three (3) color and cut OTH. For non responders to #3
* 5. Next keratin or Japanese Str8r OTH.
I personally made calls for up to five hours a day. Over a six month period I continued to place emails and phone calls to clients who had not returned. I personally recommended a stylist(s) for each client.
ALL LOYAL SERVICE PROVIDERS WERE PAID IN FULL FOR SERVICES.
Clients who received one free color and cut received a promotional card to get the next cut and style free with their next color service with any stylist of their choice.
I bought a unique hole punch and used that to punch a business card to create a gift certificate to check against the transactions in the MIKAL sales history.
Departing stylists were frantically texting and calling loyal stylists about what clients were coming in.
Stylists wondered why the departing stylists had so much time to text and call.
Loyal stylists were increasingly busy and verbalized that the departing stylists had made a mistake. They expressed loyalty to our salon.
Clients verbalized to me that they had wanted a change for a time but were reluctant to "hurt" the long time stylist.
Within two months 2/3 of the contacted clients for the 20 year stylist visited. Within 2 months 50% of the contacted clients for the top producer visited.
Clients verbalized to me how much they appreciated my personal attention.
A few clients returned but did not want to take advantage of any offer.
In less than two years, our numbers returned to the March figures.
On March 1, not even two years later, the booth rental salon closed its doors.
We could not have survived this challenge without many years of education and input from your team. We could not have recovered so well without the MIKAL software.
I have learned many painful lessons and maybe they can help another owner.
My dear friend, Fred. One last tid-bit. I paid off the last piece of debt incurred after the walk out and another salon disaster last month. We had borrowed almost a million dollars across a bank, SBA, and SBA loan and paid it off in less than eight years while growing the SECOND location.
Thanks for being a key piece of our success over these decades.