Bad business habits are so 2016. Leave ’em behind and kick off a fruitful new year by implementing these professional resolutions straight from the experts—they’re guaranteed to increase the success quotient of every stylist. —FRANCESCA MOISIN
1. RESOLVE TO RETAIL. “When done effectively, retailing can pay the rent,” marvels Jim Markham, founder and CEO of ColorProof Evolved Color Care. “Organize sales areas to make merchandise appear inviting, and master the art of consultation so as to prescribe the perfect product for every tress type,” he notes. While it’s natural to automatically reach for a favorite few when styling, Oribe educator Louis Orozco also advocates stepping outside of comfort zones: “Tell your client you’d like to try a different spray or cream, thus making the experience a fun shared adventure.”
2. MARKET YOURSELF TO THE MAX. “Ditch the safety of an existing client list,” urges Markham. “Savvy stylists are constantly searching for ways to attract customers. Embrace social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram to effectively reach the masses.” When with a first-time client, ask questions and take notes. “Following up on past conversations during the next visit creates a deeply personal connection that establishes your reputation as a pro who cares,” advises Orozco.
3. KEEP IT FRESH. “A new year is the perfect time to introduce a novel style,” poses Orozco. “Rather than giving her the same old cut, suggest fresh fringe or a color change.” Clients depend on stylists for professional guidance regarding cutting-edge techniques or au courant trends. Says Markham, “Treat every guest like a first-timer by placing particular emphasis on the consultation, and don’t be afraid to ask die-hard fans for a testimonial to post on Yelp or Facebook. Reviews should remain current—and can be rewarded with a rewards program for regulars.”
4. GET METHODICAL. “Keep focused by writing down specific goals in a comprehensive business plan, then include at least one idea for how each objective might be achieved,” Markham suggests. “Plotting strategies and setting deadlines will keep plans on track.” Daily checkins are likewise recommended. “I urge my employees to look at their numbers at the end of every evening,” Orozco reveals. “Average retail unit per client and pre-booking percentages are especially important sums to consider.”
5. INVEST IN EDUCATION. “As creative artists, we crave constant inspiration, which is delivered through education,” says Orozco. “Between magazines and social media, today’s informed clients have a wealth of information at their fi ngertips, so as a purported beauty expert, it’s vital to stay ahead of the game.” How does that translate practically? “Attend manufacturer trainings to master unique skill-sets,” proposes Markham. “And commit to learning a few new techniques each year—starting now!”
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