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We asked a group of Salon Pros, “What is the most recent salon operation change you’ve made that increased your team motivation, efficiency, profitability, etc.?”
Ashley Baseflug, Manager
“We recently created a commission plan for our team to keep them motivated. They get a set commission amount for certain packages they sell. We love having ‘challenges’ amongst us, while also being able to reward our awesome employees!”
Justin Carpenter, Co-Owner
“Two of the last major changes we made were to commissions and lotion lineups. With commissions, we started implementing a minimum PSA threshold to earn any commission, whatsoever. On the top side, any team member who exceeded a higher amount would receive a 50 percent bonus on their commission. This made our associates really want to pay attention to how they are performing, since their money was on the line.
With our lotion lineup, our 2015-2016 Season was the first in which we had the exact same product mix at every location. Before, we allowed managers to choose the products to sell at their salons, but we felt training and sales would be easier if every location was streamlined. This year, we have seen an increase in product sales due to the change.”
Teresa Terry, Owner
Electric Sun Tanning
“We felt that we achieved much better marketing through increased social media, Google ads and geo-fencing. We also really pushed our staff to a deeper focus on being educated about all of the products and services we offer, as well as a stronger knowledge of our sunless services. We bundled select products and added nutritional supplements that increase the health of the skin – as we all know, healthy skin tans better! We added more vacation-orientated products to our boutique offerings – items that are frequently needed for travel, considering that the reason most of our guests are tanning is to get ready for a trip or special occasion.”
Brandon Scott, Co-Owner
Cedar Park, TX
“Thinking of ways to increase employee morale shouldn’t be something you bang your head about. Your team will love a simple pizza party at which you can offer some company updates and constructive criticism. Definitely lay out your plans at that time to have more pizza parties the more that your team hits weekly goals, as well. We have pizza parties quite often now – a promise is a promise!
We also increased our profitability by creating fun games such as Lotion Training Cue Cards, Bingo, and of course, creating Flash Sales. For instance, we bundle samples together (product that we have the most of) and price these normally $50 sample bundles at half off, plus two free session upgrades to the next tanning level. Remember, you can just do ‘next level’ upgrades, not any level. Use the ‘Any Level Upgrade’ for the big-fish promos, such as buy a $100 lotion and get three free Any Level Upgrades. That’ll catch attention and a big fish you can be proud to show momma … happy fishing!
Cami Hondel, Owner
South Portland, ME
“Rather than adding another sunbed to our equipment mix this year, we added mobile spray-tanning. Our sunless services at the salon are usually booked solid. I wanted to be able to add something more convenient when offering spray-tans to parties and weddings. I have noticed a bigger demand for not only ‘on location,’ but sunless sessions, in general.”
Kevin Moore, Owner
“We recently added scan cards to our operation. Now, instead of having to give a first/last name when they check in, our guests simply scan their card as they arrive and they are automatically put into the queue. This really helps prevent long lines at the front desk. In addition, having them carry a card with our name and logo creates a sense of belonging and helps reinforce our brand.”
“This season, we had a record month for custom spray-tans, but we ran into a problem. I’m sure other salon owners also deal with cancellations and/or ‘no shows.’ It can be really tough trying to be fair. In the past, we tried to ask for a deposit to confirm appointments, but this proved difficult to implement because team members didn’t always feel comfortable taking deposits over the phone. We’ve been using the Square system for credit card payments and our online store, and decided to start taking deposits with it. This has seriously increased profits throughout the season as we only had one no-show! She actually called the next day to see if she could still come in, and we obviously said ‘yes.’ This has made us so much more efficient, as the invoice includes all of their pre- and post-tan instructions, which is awesome. We take a $25 deposit over the phone and run it through Square, or if they prefer (which I also prefer), we can send them an invoice via email that they pay right from their cell phones – they don’t need a Square account to do this. This has eliminated no-shows, increased profits, less confusion and simpler scheduling. When you’re doing 20 sprays a day, it’s definitely more efficient! We also take $10 deposits for half-body sprays; they pre-pay in full for a facial spray appointment. This saves us time, clearly increases our revenue and really limits any confusion on the part of the salon guests!”
“Over the last year, I’ve increased our sales of sunless products by about 25% simply by using these products myself and holding demonstrations for small groups at the salon to show how easy they are to use. I have really focused on sharing more knowledge about our product offerings when I am engaged in conversation with a customer about their tan, whether in person or on the phone. The result? They buy more products!”
Since 1997, IST Magazine (formerly known as Island Sun Times) has been committed to the success of salon professionals, while promoting the growth of the tanning industry as a whole.
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