Monthly Archives: September 2014

Walk-Ins or No Walk-Ins?

By Tracy Rubert


We don’t take walk-ins, as we are booked up two weeks in advance. We like to take care of our regular clients first.
Amber McIver, Verdo Nails, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand

Nine times out of 10, I do not take walk-ins. Because I’m the only nail tech in the salon, my days are normally fully booked. However, when I do get a walk-in, I try to get them to book an appointment for a later date; I might have a slot open the very next day that could fi ll up fast if they don’t take it.
Amy Payne, Cutting Corner Salon, Tecumseh, Mich.

Although I love the idea of taking walk-in clients, I’m the only nail tech in the full-service salon I rent from. If I don’t have anything scheduled, I’m going to be out networking or running errands. I do offer a 10% discount for clients who book a week in advance. Not only does it help me determine my schedule, but it also rewards clients who schedule in advance.
Caitlin Hurt, Salon on 62nd, Shawnee, Kan.

We do take walk-ins, but can’t always fit them in.
Lauren Lyford, Dollhouse Salon, Red Bluff , Calif.

We do our best to accommodate walk-ins, but not at the expense of our regular clients. Walk-ins can be great, as they add more business to the salon, are potential regular clientele for the techs, and generate more revenue overall. However, it can become extremely difficult when you have a pretty booked schedule already and have limited time to do every service a walk-in client might request. For example, your salon’s schedule might have one hour available to do a single service such as a manicure or pedicure, but the walk-in wants both a manicure and pedicure. Because of this, more often than not, the walk-in will leave and try to find a place that has time for both services. This leaves the salon and employee missing out on that particular revenue at that time. Another con to taking walk-ins is that they come in sporadically, leaving you less time than usual to do a service; this can cause you to run late for your next appointment or even cause your current client to feel rushed. This is why it is so important to choose to accept each walk-in on a case-by-case basis, especially if you want to provide excellent customer service!
Tiffany Coleman, Krème de la Krème, Long Beach, Calif.

Walk-ins can be an excellent way to build a clientele, but there are many cases where walk-ins will never become regular customers. A lot of walk-ins are only in the area for a day or two, have a special occasion, might only need an emergency repair or a polish change, or have some time before their next engagement. The key to handling walk-ins is to offer only express services to accommodate them unless they make an appointment. In busy downtown areas, walk-ins are an excellent way of doing business, especially at lunchtime or right after work. Usually these are customers that do not want to commit to appointments, but who will always visit your establishment whenever they are in the area. Some customers like your salon and the services you offer, but are committed to their regular nail tech. These customers will eventually convert only if their regular nail tech relocates or stops doing nails entirely.
Roy Williams, Chicago Nail School, Chicago

We take walk-ins if we have available spots because we like to provide great service to our clients, but we’re mostly quite busy.
Corina-Anne Shears, Pure Blissful Beauty, Adelaide, South Australia

I absolutely take walk-ins whenever possible. I do it for multiple reasons. First, I have only been in this business for a few years, and using the clients who walk-in helps build a clientele. Second, I never want to give a person a poor impression of the salon. Some clients get upset when you can’t take them right then and there, so I do my best to fit them in. If there is someone in my chair already, I recommend other services we offer in the meantime. I want them to have a positive impression not only of me but the salon as well.
Anne VanSpronsen, McIntyre’s Salon and Day Spa, Portage, Mich.

Yes, we do take walk-ins but have been receiving mostly appointments so far (we’ve only been open two-and-a-half months). We are located in a small strip center where there is a tanning salon, Starbuck’s, hair salon, and restaurants so the potential for a walk-in business is great.
Brenna Bauer Massa, The Nest Nail Spa, Lakewood, Colo.

If I am free, I take walk-ins 100%!
Melissa Aggelo, Mel’s Nail Co, Brighton-Le-Sands, New South Wales, Australia

Since I am new to the industry, walk-ins are always welcome! Clients showing up to me in any fashion affords me the opportunity to learn something new and possibly gain a loyal, consistent, pre-booking kind of client — the kind I think we would all be excited to gain and retain.
Amy Tobin, Independence Beauty Centres, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Five Effective Ways for Keeping Your Spa Team Motivated

By Nina Curtis

Keeping valued team members must be a top priority for any spa business planning to succeed over the long term. Although ‘money’ often plays an important role in someone’s decision to join or leave a company, it ranks no higher than fifth among the most important factors for why employees stay with an organization. The following ‘five effective tips for keeping your spa team motivated’ will enhance your ability to support your spa team with feeling that they are a part of the organization and it will encourage them to participate in the success of your business for the long term.
Keys to success…

1. Recognition
When your team accomplishes something they have achieved something. Your recognition is appreciation for that achievement. Often managers don’t give enough recognition because they don’t get enough. Therefore, it doesn’t come natural to do it. Take a hard look at this and ask yourself, are ‘You’ a giver? Recognition is free, give it out when appropriate as it can raise the bar with your team.
Another level of recognition is getting your company’s Executive Team involved. Now this is a secret weapon. And like any secret weapon, timing is most critical. If this is used too often the value is diminished. And if it is used only for special occasions and rare achievements the value is escalated. Recognition coming from the ‘Executive’ level has a very positive impact on your people as it lets them know that they are being watched and attention is being given. This kind of recognition makes us all stand a bit taller. Memos and voice mails coming from the ‘Executive’ level stand out. This also allows you as the manger to ensure that upper management is kept abreast of the achievements your team is making for the overall success of the business… To add yet another level of stimulation, have an executive either personally call to congratulate someone (or a group) or even show up in person to shake hands and express his or her appreciation.
Applause, applause and more applause is also a form of recognition, but a very specific form. Physically applaud your people by giving them a round of applause for specific achievements. Where? When? The answer is wherever and whenever. At meetings or company-sponsored social gatherings, a luncheon, or in the office. At the end of a shift, before a shift, and whenever possible in the middle of a shift, get their attention…right on the spot…
On-the-Spot Praise. This too is associated with recognition but the key here is timing. When there is a reason for praising someone don’t put it off for any reason! Promptness equals effectiveness. Praise people when the achievement is fresh on everyone’s mind. What is effective is for us to pay attention, watch for accomplishments and go out and tell whoever it is what a great service they gave or applaud them for going above and beyond to serve the guest…praise them promptly for what they accomplished or achieved! Don’t allow time to creep in and snatch away any ounce of the positive impact that praise can have when it is delivered promptly.

2. Training
Training is always a work in progress and your team can never get enough…For whatever reasons, too many managers feel, “My people have already been trained” or “I’ve got good people…they only need a little training.” But training never ends. Schedule “booster” training sessions. These should be led by you or by a lead therapist with help from specific associates who show a particular strength in the skills taught. This takes time, but these types of training sessions will continually enhance the performance of your team and the productivity of your business.
One-on-one coaching, another form of training offers continued associate development. Your only cost is time. Time means you care. And remember people don’t care how much you know… until they know how much you care.
Whenever the emphasis is on positive feedback, make sure to do this coaching in “public.” Whenever you recognize and encourage a team member or members in “public,” it acts as a natural stimulant for others who are close enough to see or hear what’s taking place. It allows you to set ‘best’ practices in place so your entire team knows how things should be done. It sets the ‘performance bar’ so to speak.
Mentoring your associates helps them to know what is potentially ahead for them, what opportunities there are for growth and sustainability. This issue is a sometimes forgotten ingredient as to the importance it plays in the overall motivation of people. Setting career paths within your organization is very powerful. Do you promote from within? I hope you can answer yes to that. Although specific circumstances require you to look for talent outside your company you should always first consider internal personnel. If you do this you are sending a very positive message to every one that there are indeed further career opportunities within your organization. Another thought on this is as you train, coach and mentor your team members, you are ensuring that your spa could run smoothly and successfully if there were a promotional position to come open that you might want. Too often I have seen managers passed up for promotions because it was felt that they did too good a ‘job’ in there current position and it might be too hard to replace them. Think about that for a moment.
What’s in a job name? When you talk about job titles you are tapping the self-esteem of people. How someone feels about the way they are perceived in the workforce is a critical component to overall attitude and morale. Picture a social gathering that includes some of your associates. The subject of work inevitably comes up. Will your people be proud, or embarrassed, to share their title and workplace? The importance of feeling proud of who you are and what you do is monumental.
Be creative as you think of possibilities for titles. Have your staff come up with ideas giving them input into the titles. Bottom line, you are dealing with pride…and pride enhances a positive attitude…and a positive attitude is the foundation for continuing success.

3. Leadership Roles
Give your team leadership roles to reward their performance and also to help you identify future candidates for promotions. Most people are stimulated by leadership roles even in spot appearances. For example, when guest come to your spa use this opportunity to allow an associate to take the role of guest guide.
A great place to hand out leadership roles is to allow your people to lead brief meetings. Utilize your associates’ strengths and expertise by setting up “tune up” training sessions and let one of your associates lead the training, rotate this with your team members. The best time to do this is when new associates start.
Or, assign a meeting leader after someone has attended an outside seminar or workshop. Have them lead a post show, briefing the other team members regarding seminar content and highlights.
Have your associates help you lead a project team to improve internal processes. Remember they are on the front lines and hear and see things that you may miss.

4. Team Spirit.
Team Spirit is what drives teams to championships. This is a crucial component for your business success. It’s also known as relationship building. What is your current team spirit? How do you currently build team spirit? Do you know how your team feels about the spirit of the group? Do your team members work as a team or as individuals, only looking out for what’s in it for them versus what the team can do as a whole?
Have a picture taken on your entire team (including you!), have it enlarged and hang it in a visible spot. Most people like to physically see themselves as part of a group or team.
Work to create projects and affiliated activity that are team driven. People driving to reach goals together definitely enhance team spirit solely because they must lean upon others and be prepared to be leaned on.
One very effective idea is to build a collage of creative ideas with the “Team” theme. All associates are responsible for submitting a phrase referring to TEAM on a weekly rotation. Each of these ideas (such as TEAM: Total Enthusiasm of All Members or There is no I in Team) is placed on a wall, creating a collage of Team-oriented phrases. Don’t have one person responsible for this…do it as a team.
Social Gatherings scheduled offsite can enhance bonding which in turn helps team spirit, which ultimately impacts your positive work environment. Halloween costume parties, picnics on July 4th, Memorial Day or Labor Day, and Christmas parties are only some of the ideas that successfully bring people together for an enjoyable time. Some others that can be considered with equal success are softball games (against other companies or among associates, depending on staff size), groups going putt-putt golfing or movie madness.

5. Communication
Open communication is a true motivator. We all like to be heard and voice our opinions. And the majority of employees say their managers don’t communicate openly with them. But a majority of managers say they do. Who’s right? Wrong question. If associates feel you are withholding information they need about their work or workplace, they will lose motivation and develop resistance to your management. Time to communicate more openly.
How? Since employees and managers generally see this issue differently, the simplest fix is to ask employees what they want to know. Ask them one-on-one, by e- mail, in meetings. Give employees at least one chance a week to ask you for information. And then give them the information.
Well, here’s a start to evaluating your current situation and the level of motivation and ‘spirit’ your spa team and you have. Once you’ve checked that these points are in place and are working to maximize your performance level you must always remember that your work and leadership are always under construction.

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