How to streamline your salon’s training focus

Which of the following topics should salons prioritise as their number one focus for training in 2018 and why?

Our participants in Professional Beauty’s fourth industry round table, focused on education and training, said marketing, including digital and social, retail, regulations, product training, technology and customer care should all be considered and addressed by salon owners.

Our eight industry supplier and salon owner experts – including Lycon Cosmetics’ Lydia Jordane, Aesthetic Enterprises’ Tracy Lee Dobbin, Ex Import Niche Products’ Otto Mitter, Skin Fitness’ Linda Fenech, InSkin Cosmedics’ Maria Cocciolone, The Skin Clinic Concord’s Belinda Merlino, MediSpa Solutions’ Mariza Nuttall and Face To Face Skin & Body Care’s Maree Mondello – agreed ongoing education and training were needed to build a therapist’s confidence, so every task was done at a level that delivered the best outcome..

Otto said it was important to train your team in how to market correctly and ensure that your team was up to date with regulations.

Maree said you had to be an all-rounder and ensure you were “on your game” when it came to digital marketing and social media.

Mariza said she had a strong focus on technology while Belinda said her salon had a strong retail floor.

Tracy said the most important thing was teaching therapists how to take care of their customers while Lydia said you had to be in tune with each customer to get the best out of them.

Linda said connecting with the customer was crucial while Maria said she was “really big on connection in a world that’s fast becoming disconnected”.

Read their edited responses below or watch the video for the full discussion.

“For me, marketing is a huge factor. Once you finish beauty school or you open your salon, obviously you have a stable of products or services ready to go. Then how do you let your clients know that you’re actually offering those services? At the end of the day, it is about making some money. We are passionate about what we do in this industry, but we do need to support our families, make a living. You have to absolutely tell people about the services that you offer. Train your team in how to market correctly, letting people know about these services is crucial to getting things kick started, getting that income coming in. It’s also very important that your team is up to date with regulations. Brands that are doing training with salons or schools need to ensure they are doing the right thing by the industry, researching the regulations, for the customers benefit and for the salons benefit.”

“As a salon owner, I think it’s all of them. Historically, regulations, product training, and retail have been what we needed to be an expert in. But now I have clients that only contact me through social media – I have to be really on my game as far as digital marketing and social media, to get my services out there. Technology is paramount as well. You have to be an all-rounder and put yourself out there in a modern way, because that’s where we’re going. That is what the industry and our consumers are doing.”

“Obviously, the thing I really have always focused on is technology. MediSpa Solutions is known for outstanding technology. We are always very focused on technology. What’s new? What’s happening? We work very closely with different training organisations. We train lots of trainers on different technologies. That’s our little niche. For a salon owner, there are certain technologies they shouldn’t even take into their practise. The salon owner really needs to know their business and understand their business and their demographics. I was recently called into a salon where the owner wanted to purchase a piece of equipment. I suggested that she didn’t take that piece of technology because she wasn’t ready for it.”

“We’ve got a very strong retail floor. I’ve got a very savvy clientele that have already done their research before they walk in the door, and can probably tell me half the ingredients within my products. My staff are really, really competent in product knowledge and in retailing. But across all boards, everything is important, technology specifically. Gone are the days where I’m solely working with my hands. I’m reeling devices in and out of treatment rooms all day, every day. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I’m not using a LED or a needling device. I do have [00:10:00] to be across all of those, but specific to my business, it would be retail, product training and technology.”

“I was surprised there wasn’t client care on the list. Being across the board, you get left behind if you don’t have all of these skills. But the core of our trade is looking after the customer and the core is the training. The most important thing is teaching therapists how to take care of their customers. That’s got to be on that list. That’s really important to me, because that’s the basis of our trade, of our skill base.”

“We have to not only be a therapist, but a psychology has to come into it, where we have to tune into our customers to offer the best service, and the best of everything to each customer. Clients do know what’s out there and know what’s in cosmetics. There’s a lot of talk about special ingredients in every magazine you pick up. It’s important we are really in tune with each customer for us to get the best out of the customer. Whether it’s recommending treatments or whether it’s recommending a product, we have to be in tune and a chameleon at the same time, to fit in with each customer.”

“After 23 years of owning my own salon, it’s customer care, connecting with the customer. I don’t think the generation that’s coming through now know how to connect with customers as much – it’s all digital. But it’s why my clients keep on coming back. Yes, you can do marketing, but unless those girls and gentlemen can work at getting those clients to return, marketing doesn’t mean as much to me.”

“The day of a business owner being in the cubicle, and trying to be a therapist, and doing what she loves is over. Working on your business is primary because all of these areas have got serious consequences if they’re not being adhered to. A lot of my clinic partners still want to be therapists. But if you’re going to be the therapist, then you need someone at the front, and you need to make sure that every area of this business is being taken care of. The next generation needs to understand what it is that motivates them, what makes them tick and brings out the best in them. And embrace that. I’m really big on connection in a world that’s fast becoming disconnected. We can’t move away from the fact that we still have businesses with bricks and water. We have people that walk into our businesses and everyone is so worried about what’s happening with online. Yes, it’s another disruptor. But we have clients that walk in our doors and we get to touch and talk to. If that connection, if that experience isn’t amazing, then that client never needs to walk back into that business again. Being at the front desk and knowing exactly what your business stands for. As a business owner, you need to write down the specifications. This is what we stand for. These are our values. This is our core value.”

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