Archives for Uncategorized

Are you ready in case of an emergency?

It's crazy. Inspiration can come from anywhere. When talking with my husband regarding the topic of my next blog, I was stuck. Everything that was going through my mind related back to my last article. I didn't want to write about the same thing, but my brain wasn't settling on anything that interest me. If I can't interest myself, I can't interest you.

You may have seen on my personal FB page last week, we had a very traumatic incident with our 9 year old boxer, Maddie. She choked on a bully stick. We know she died. I'm going to leave the details out about how we know, and share with you, she is fine. My husband was able to pull the bully stick out of her throat, opening her passage to breath. It was the most frightening experience, surreal and a true test of not only how the grace from God, but how the 2 of us acted or really we reacted, in the event of an emergency.

So, as I was discussing my next article with my husband, I was staring at our precious Maddie and thinking about what would have happened if we weren't quick thinking in our actions to save our dog whom, we had no idea at first......what was wrong.

This made my mind wonder into our Salon environment. We know NOT to cut the skin of a Diabetic. We know NOT to massage someone with Fibromyalgia or circulatory problems. However, do we know what to do if........one of our services has gone bad?
WHY?

It's true isn't it?  When I think back of all the classes I have taken, not a one of them address the "what if's?"

Its easy to teach

  • Why we shouldn't use implements on a diabetic
  • Why someone with neuropathy shouldn't have their feet in hot water
  • Why we shouldn't massage a client who has had a lymph node removed
  • Why if a client has thin skin, water and a massage can damage them
  • Why we shouldn't service someone with fungus
  • Why why why?  We have heard it all.

However, addressing circumstances which happen in our Salon which, can be life changing, is something not many have discussed.

  • Have you ever continued with a service after your client felt discomfort from your Efile?
  • Have you ever continued a service after you nipped someone with your cuticle nippers. Enough to draw blood?
  • Have you ever hurt someone during a massage?

These and many more can happen in your Salons.  Would you know how to manage?

WHY?-3

About 2 years ago, I was hired by an Attorney to provide State Law information for a client she was defending.  Her client had gone into a nail salon for a set of artificial nails.  The Technician, using an Efile burned her.

She pulled her hand back and he gave her a love tap.  "It will be okay he say's, just give it a minute."

She gave it a minute and the pain did go away, however the indent he caused in her nail which was red.....did not.

Within a couple of weeks she felt pain and had swelling.  Long story short, she attempted to get treated for it, but it wasn't going away.  By the time they realized what was going on.....they had to amputate her whole finger because the infection had gone through to the bone.

What went wrong?

What went wrong is the lack of knowledge and professionalism from the Technician.

  • No love tap here.....geez Louise Really?
  • He should have an antiseptic product at his station.  Cleanse the nail and apply.
  • He should also have sent his client home with an at home antiseptic.
  • He should NEVER have gone over the nail with any primer nor any artificial nail enhancement product, be it acrylic or gels.
  • He should have scheduled a 1 week appointment to look at it and assess any progression.
  • He should have a referral program in place to refer his client to a Medical Professional for extra precautions.

His lack of knowledge and professionalism cost him thousands of dollars from the suit the client filed for causing the infection which caused her to lose her finger.

In addition, a conversation was started on the lack of cleaning and/or proper cleaning and disinfection within the Salon which then, caused the State to get involved.

What about the client who got nipped during the Pedicure service, happens to be diabetic and the Technician ignored it and placed his feet back in the water.

BAD things can happen!

Placing a diabetic or anyone back in the water after an accidental cut can be horrific.

  • Clients can get very bad infections from open wounds
  • I've seen clients who have been scarred for life because the infection was so difficult to manage.
  • I've seen clients who have had their foot amputated because the infection was so bad.

What should we do in this type of situation?

  • Do NOT place that foot back in the water
  • Do NOT continue the service
  • Apply an antiseptic to stop the bleeding
  • Instruct the client his/her at home care.  Continue with an antiseptic, keep the area clean.
  • Schedule a follow up appointment in a week to stay abreast of it's "hopeful" healing.
  • Refer to a Medical professional if needed

What about a client who goes into shock or has a mini stroke in the middle of your service?  I hate to even think I have to say this....STOP THE SERVICE.

  • Call 911 immediately

That's it!  Do NOT attempt to do anything.

What about toenail fungus or foot fungus? Do you even know how to tell?

The reality is, if we turned down every client who had discoloration on her/his toenails.....we would be broke? However, how do you know?

We can't diagnose

We can't treat

What we can do is recognize, recommend and refer!

Knowledge is power. The more you know how to visibly identify different toenail and foot conditions, the more comfortable you AND your client will be.

Letting your client know "this is indicative" of a fungus and knowing you should not pedicure her/him.....is hard. However, I'm 100% sure your client will have the utmost respect for you AND you have for sure protected yourself from a law suit waiting to happen.

Refer. Build you community of resources. Put them in your emergency manual.

Don't be afraid to walk away.

And, the client who stops breathing for any reason.  Whether it be from something you did in your service, or natural causes?

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Do you have anyone on your staff that knows CPR? If not, maybe you should

The bottom line is, its' time we realize there are many many things which can happen to us in a day at our Salon.  We need to be ready!

  • Do you have an emergency kit on premises?  The basics, aspirin, bandages, gauze, peroxide etc.
  • Do you have an antiseptic at your station?
  • Do you have proper cleaning and disinfection procedures in place?
  • Do you have an actual written manual on emergency procedures, phone #'s of your local hospital, emergency clinic, police etc.?
  • Is anyone on your team CPR trained?
  • Is your entire team aware of your procedures.

We were fortunate.  Our Maddie girl situation had a happy ending.

We finally realized she was choking and just knew we had to get what was lodged in her throat out of it.

If I told you however, we did all this calmly.....that would be a lie.  We both were screaming for our Maddie not to die.  We both were shaking like crazy and we both felt like our world was crashing.

The lesson I learned?

  • Never ever give your dog bully sticks
  • Have the phone # to your very posted somewhere in addition to your phone
  • Have your closest emergency clinic phone # posted somewhere in addition to your phone

We learned some hard lessons....maybe this article will help at least 1 person to produce an emergency manual.  For your benefit and the benefit of your clients.

CJ Murray, President

Read more

Are you ready to “Up your game”?

I am humbled again by a couple of referrals I received this week for potential new clients. It doesn’t seem like a job to me when I’m able to help people grow personally and professionally. To think I’m trusted as a mentor from my piers/my clients to the extent they refer my name…..I’m truly grateful.

What’s interesting about the referrals I received is, both Salon owners are looking to take the next step up in their Pedicure service. They are realizing the change in our Industry as it relates to Pedicures and they understand the value of making a change within their own service arena.

This is so exciting to me since i’ve seen this change, i’ve recognized this value as far back as 2008. It’s exciting because there is a definite turn in the way our Salon owners, our Technicians are starting to think. Realize, the Nail Technician has always been the low man on the totem pole. We are now beginning to be more recognized, we are being taking more seriously and we are definitely moving up on the totem pole. Which, for me is AWESOME. Read my mission statement...Provide the Nail Technician the Education, the Attention and the Support they need to safely and properly service their clients”.

When we talk about “upping our game”, it doesn’t take drastic changes. It simply means making a few adjustments and perfecting what you already do.
Is it time to Up your game?-2

Image:  I don’t want to offend anyone by this however, one of my biggest pet peeves is wearing flip flops or sandals in the Salon.To begin with, in the State of Florida…they are not allowed.Closed toed shoes only.I would imagine Florida is not the only State with this regulation.

This is a regulation because of the dangers, not because of appearance.  Dropping shears or clippers on your feet can be very dangerous.  My angle is more from an appearance standpoint.  Short and sweet….I do not think it’s a professional look.  

#1 step in upping your game

stop wearing play shoes in a Business environment. 

Products: Systems! I once went to a very well known Resort in our area and received a Pedicure.I was blown away by its beauty, it’s serene surroundings and what they had to offer.But (and I do mean but), all that was taken away when I sat down for my pedicure and the pedicure tray consisted of a mix match of products.Maybe it’s just me.When I go into a reputable Spa/Salon, I expect to see professional products, a system being used to perform my service.In my opinion it was lame.

Besides, there is a reason why msg’s develop a “system” of products.  The “system” produces optimum results.  Now, grant it….I’m in the Industry I would notice something like a mix match of products where maybe the average client wouldn’t.  However, I believe it makes for a sloppy appearance and appearance is very important.  

Step #2 - Stop mixing brands

Communication: Begins at the reception desk.Yes, you’ve heard me sing this tune before and I make no apologies for singing it again.If you want to up your game, your communication skills must improve.How you greet your clients (over the phone or in person), what questions do you ask, how accommodating are you and does this communication start at the reception desk and filter through every person your client comes in contact with.

My husband and I on separate occasions called Sirius XM about our contract.  We called at completely separate times.  We both got the exact same treatment.  We were thanked for our years of being with them.  We were asked what our concern was.  We were asked if we would stay with them if they could accommodate our needs.  We were both taking care of in the exact same manner.  Was it a script?  Absolutely!  However, we both hung up as a satisfied customer, appreciative of the “personal” feel of being an important customer. 

Step #3 - Change the way you speak to your clients. 

Ambience: This may be one of the easiest adjustments you can make.You can easily give the illusion of Professionalism with a few minor changes/or additions.*towel wrap *neck pads *music change  (I got this from Nellie Neal) *service trays. Slight, inexpensive changes can make a $10.00 - $50.00 difference.

Step #4 - Create simple yet effective illusions. 

Educate with Integrity

Offer new services: Sometimes this can be old services.Rotate them throughout the year.Contact your favorite Distributor and ask what is in their venue that you don’t have and ask them to help you.This doesn’t have to be expensive. Even bringing in 1 new retail item can spark not only a new revenue stream, also new conversation which might lead to a new money making service.It truly is magical.

Step #5 - Don’t be stagnant, keep evolving. 

I caution you.  Don’t throw out the old, revive it.  Whether it’s a change of products or a change of appearance, it will Bring a change of attitude….it will be a positive one.  And, if it doesn’t because of one negative nanny……well…..maybe its time for a change there also.

CJ Murray, President

Read more

Why choosing the right tools is important!

It's always mind boggling to me when our Technicians don't take the time to not only choose the right tools, but care for their tools properly.

 

After all, tools we use in our service(s) ARE our life.

When we talk about changing the image of our Industry and charging higher prices than the sub-standard Salons. EVERYTHING should be taken into consideration.....including the tools you choose to use in your service(s).

This may seem a little extreme to you, however when you consider the idea of changing the image of our industry and portraying Professionalism, I think we should portray that image and that Professionalism in every aspect of our service....including our tools.
Teal and Yellow Vector Trivia Night Poster

With so many choices available to us.....how do we know what to choose?

Many of you know I don't take lightly what I bring into my Business to offer to YOU, my clients.  I try my best to do my due diligence in choosing products or brands which I know, are safe and beneficial for you to use in your service(s).

As I often do, I think back to some of the choices I've made in my Salon days and whewwwwww......some were pretty bad.  I was stuck in a money mode in lieu of being in a beneficial mode.  I was more concerned with what my cost would be and didn't even think about what it did for my clients.

Of course...this changed as I matured and became more aware.  However, that learning process for me was very costly.  That is the reason I take so much time in making decisions for my Business....decisions to help you.

What have I learned?

  • Price should not always be your first consideration.  Yes, we need to be aware of what our cost are, however I don't feel that should be your only consideration.
  • Don't always trust.  If the tools you are choosing are making the claim to be 100% stainless, go a step further and ask for the proof.  There is also different types of steel.  Our single use implements are stainless steel.  However, it's a low grade not designed for more than one use.  Remember, steel coming in from other Countries don't need ISO regulation.  Many are mixed with other chemistry (like nickel) which is an allergen, meaning they may cause an allergic reaction to someone who may be allergic to nickel.
  • Be aware of plated tools.  Some tools are available in fun, beautiful colors.  Check out the source and make sure the color is oxidized and not plated.
  • There are many sizes and shapes available.  It's important to find the one that works for you.  However, don't block out a change.  In most cases, a different size or shape is just something getting use to.

Caring for your tools is just as responsible as choosing the right tools.

As with anything, when you make a purchase it's an investment and you really should do all you can to protect that investment.

I realize the hustle and bustle we are in when working our clients back to back during and 8 hr period.  However, I'm going to use the cliche "slow down to the speed of life".  Take your time to care for your tools properly and you will find they will last you a lifetime.

I kinda feel it's very similar to having my clothes dry cleaned.  I look back at pictures of myself from 5+ years ago and I still have the clothing I'm wearing in the picture.  I'm a dry cleaning addict because I like my things to last and I love that crisp, clean look. Besides I hate to iron.

My point is, I take special care and therefore my clothing last longer.  Take special care with your tools and they will last you a lifetime.

Tools

How do we properly clean our tools?

  • This is a 3 step process;  First we clean, we disinfect and then sterilize!
  • There are 2 ways to clean:  Scrub with antibacterial soap at the sink or use an Ultrasonic cleaner
    • Scrubbing at the sink has been proven to cause nasal problems which can lead to headaches, sore throats and stuffy nose.  The warm water constantly being run through the drain, causes the collected BioFilm to cause fumes which are coming out of our drains.  If using this process, be sure to rinse thoroughly
    • Using an Ultrasonic cleaner not only becomes a safety step, it also saves time.
  • The 2nd step - disinfection, most likely a liquid.  All disinfection products are NOT created equal.
    • Look for products which have rust inhibitors.  However, even with RI....you MUST wipe your implements dry upon removal from your solution AND you must NOT place them in your disinfection solution with any tools which is NOT 100% stainless steel.  Doing this will cause rust to "deposit" on your tools.
    • I want to re-interate this.  All tools must be wiped completely dry when taking them out of the solution.  And do NOT place them in the same solution at the same time with NON stainless tools and implements.
    • Know what your disinfection contact time is.  Contact time is the amount of time you must leave your implements soaking, in order for the disinfection to kill the fungi and bacteria it claims it kills.
    • Know your replacement time.  How often do you need to replace your solution?  Many are daily....this is something you need to know and should follow per the Mfg;s directions.
  • 3rd step is Autoclave.  This is not a requirement anywhere in the US that states you HAVE to use an AC.  However, if you are trying to up your standards...using an AC is your next step.
    • There are 2 types of AC.  Dry heat or not.  Some of the autoclaves do not require sanitizing pouches to be used.  This is because it has no drying cycle and therefore the pouches would remain wet which is not good for your tools.
    • Watch for your guarantee.  I know many have purchased AC on Amazon.  This would scare me.  Where is my guarantee.  Who do I call with questions and how much of a hassle would it be to find out?  Mechanics are just that....mechanics.  Things can happen even with new equipment.  Remember though, it's not what happens to you, it's how it's handled.

Look, there's a lot of choices out there, some very good choices.  Whatever you choose, research and set your criteria;

  • Make sure are getting what you think you are getting
  • Are you going for cuteness or quality
  • Are you purchasing the right tools for your needs
    • Don't purchase a cuticle nipper to cut nails with
  • Don't let price scare you away
  • Keep your clients safety in mind

Finally, one thing most people Dom't realize, and quite truthfully neither did I until recently.  Your tools should be oiled 1-2x per week.  Use proper oil for your tools and set a schedule.  Oil when you start the week, oil when you end the week.

CJ Murray, President

Read more

Are you Accommodating?

Is there a difference between Customer Service and Accommodating?

 

  • Customer Service; The assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.
  • Accommodating; Those who are easy to get along with and willing to help you. Those who are cheerfully willing to make small adjustments to help you out.

The thought of this difference never really crossed my mind until recently. As I'm traveling through Ireland and dealing with Hotels, Restaurants, Drivers, Shops and Bars, the stark reality of one versus the other made me start thinking.

Is it possible to have one without the other?

Raving-2

CUSTOMER SERVICE

  • Patient-Dealing with clients on a daily basis, it's important to stay patient when they come to you if they are frustrated (for whatever reason).  Also be sure to take the time to truly figure out what they want — they’d rather get competent service than be rushed out the door!

 

  • Attentiveness-What are your customers telling you without saying it?

 

  • Clear communication skills-When it comes to important points that you need to relay clearly to customers, keep it simple and make sure you are clear.

 

  • Knowledge-Without knowing your product and/or service from front-to-back, you won't know how to help customers when they run into problems.

 

  • A calming presence-Don't let a heated customer let you loose your cool.  Staying calm in fact, is the best way to de-escalate a fiery situation.

 

  • Empathy-When you can’t tell the customer exactly what they want to hear, a dose of care, concern and understanding will go a long way.

Just to name a few!

ACCOMODATING

  • Truly listen. Offer expertise, but make sure you are listening as much as you talk.

 

  • Be responsive. Customers want answers, fast. Even if your answer can’t be delivered immediately, always email or call back the same day.  In today's age of Technology, there is just no excuse.

 

  • Accommodate customers. Unfortunately, customers can cause a bit of frustration with being late or even be a no show.  Keep in mind, when you speak with that client,  that every client is a potential brand ambassador, meaning every interaction can be a selling point or a barrier to attracting more business.

 

  • Build trustGoing the extra mile and showing passion for the client builds loyalty, trust and a longer customer relationship.

 

  • Live the company valuesTo ensure a great client-service experience, your Business needs to make customer service and accommodating your clients a culture.. When creating a company culture, standard practices, or a mission statement, highlight the importance of customer service.

 

  • Don't grow too quickly.  Don’t sacrifice quality in lieu of hunger for growth. Happy customers lead to word-of-mouth referrals and an overall positive company brand, image and reputation. This organic and steady growth is what will lead to a much healthier company.
Raving-3

I often read on SM questions about "what would you do if"?  These "if's" are mostly related to questions regarding clients being late, a client who forgets her money to pay, a no show.  I also see messages from Technicians to clients (usually no name mentioned) in regards to these issues.  It boggles my mind.

No doubt, there is frustration in Business.  However, thriving in Business isn't about what can your customer do for you....it's about what can you do for your customer.

  • Manage your frustrations privately, not on SM for the whole world to see.
  • Remember - your client IS your income.
  • Learn how to communicate clearly and communicate professionally with clients who seem to take advantage of you.

I can tell you from personal experience, many of my frustrating clients ended up being my best "raving fans".  It's not what happens to you as much as it is how you handle what happens to you.

So...think about it.  Customer service is hugely important, Accommodating just as much.  Do you know the difference?

CJ Murray, President

Read more

Does your attitude have Zing?

Are you glad the heat of the summer is almost over?  It’s crazy how this time of year we look back and wonder “how did the year go by so fast”?

Well, it has and we are approaching the madness of the Holiday season.  We have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the final quarter of the year.  Yippie for us!!!!

How do you approach the Holiday season?  In my earlier years at the Salon, I honestly never realized how important the season is to our Business.  Not just from a current standpoint, also from the standpoint of drawing in future Business.

What’s important to realize, the fertilization process of Business growth is never ending.  However, that fertilization needs to have a zing to it at times, and this is the time of year to start zinging.

Zinging?  

happy team

I’m not going to go through the whole “planting the seeds” thing which I commonly do this time of year.  What I would like to do instead is talk about our attitude, our disposition and how we come across to not only our team, but our clients.

Stress is a real thing.  This time of year induces the stresses we feel or even have suppressed.  It’s imperative we turn that stress into positive energy in order to reap the benefits of what the season can bring to us.

Many of you know I am and always have been a positive person.  Is it easy?  Heck NO!  It’s necessary!

Being positive isn’t just about an outward impression.  It’s about believing.  It’s about believing that what you do and what the outcome is will always be for the best.  It’s about keeping the positive energy around you and not letting the evil of negative energy take over.  Regardless of what you may be going through.

This Business is a people Business.  Do you think your clients want to expose themselves to negative energy.  Be it from you or someone on your team?  Trust me…..I’ve had air in my Salon so thick at times, you could cut it with a knife.  When I got rid of the negative energy causing that cloud….my life always turned around.

Getting back to the season.  We all need a time to “start anew”.  How more exciting to do this as we enter into one of the most recognized quarters of the year.  How?

  • START WITH A NEW LOOK - clean, re-organize - move things around
  • BRING JOY TO YOUR SPACE - decorate, positive-reinforcement signs, fragrance
  • INCORPORATE YOUR TEAM - make it exciting for them.  Offer spiffs, days off, gas cards.
  • PLAY GAMES - Participation is 1/2 the fun.  Let your clients join in on the fun with hidden gems for discounts, free service, goodies
  • COOK - yes, cook hotdogs, hamburgers - make smoothies
  • CREATE NEW SERVICES - Or, spark up the ones you presently offer.
  • BE THANKFUL - thank you cards - donate old products - take up a collection

These are just a few ideas to get the juices flowing.  Variety is the spice of life.  Offering variety to your Salon will for sure keep your clients interested and having a variety could very well keep them a client of yours for a lifetime.

happy team-2

There is a lot I don’t miss about being a Salon owner, yet there are a lot of things I do miss.  My team and I were always creative.  We were constantly decorating, playing, enjoying our job to it’s fullest….as did our clients enjoy coming to see us.

I was truly humbled this past weekend when we participated as a sponsor at the Foot Forward Summit.  The amount of people, some whom I knew and many I didn't had shared with me how much they enjoyed reading my articles.  How they are able to take something from my article and learn from it.  How they actually look forward to reading them.

Full transparency, it actually brought tears to my eyes.

We don't always realize the impact of what we do and the affect it has on others.  This is what I experience with former clients of mine and even former staff.  What they remember are the memories we made.  The decorating, the dressing up for the Holidays, the fun we made for our clients.

THAT'S what Zinging is.  Whatever you decide to do, do it with zing and begin it now.  Prepare yourself for the months ahead and don't ever think that starting early is ever too early.  There is never a too early time to start.......there is however, a too late.

CJ Murray, President

Read more

Is your Salon ready for “Back to School?”

Whether you are a student a parent or a teacher, going back to school can be exciting, it can be fun and it can be down right exhausting.
School is like having Company. Glad to see them come, happy to see them go.
Can't wait for the summer...can't wait for school to begin.
I was never one who offered many "Back to School" specials in my Salon.  It never really paid off.  It seemed to me, this was the time when the sub-standard Salons took a lot of our Business.
Mom's weren't going to pay "our" prices for their teenage daughters or sons.
And, because Mom's were so stressed over getting the kids ready for school, they never paid attention to themselves.

I always felt also, those of us who no longer or never had kids in school deserved some type of a "celebration" as well.  After all, we were finally going to get a reprieve from the kids invading our malls, consuming all our movie seats and if needed, coming to work with Mom and/or Dad on days the sitter, for whatever reason wasn't available.

That's why I always treated back to school as a "before" and an "after" thought.

 

I decorated for the occasion, yet offered any promotions after the first day of school.

 

apple

Decorations to me are a very simple way of saying "we care".  My clients enjoyed all the Holiday and special occasion themes we used throughout the year.  We weren't stagnant.

Much like decorating our yard for Christmas time, decorations was for the sole purpose of bringing enjoyment to my clients.  They began to look forward to what was coming next.

We could be so creative in what we did.

  • Make red paper apples with a discount listed on the back, let your clients go "bobbing" around the salon to pick an apple for their special discount
  • Pencils could easily be hung from a string and hung from the ceiling
  • Pencils, erasers, paper apples....any school supply could be used to decorate a "back to school" tree.
  • Apples could be served as a snack for your clients
  • You could have a large chalkboard and your clients could sign their name on it

Specials and discounts I don't think are as effective as a "back to school" as they are as a "back to rest & relaxation".  Clients who do have kids feel freed by their renewed sense of freedom.  At least for a few hours.  They now want to take time for themselves and enjoy the rest and relaxation they feel and do enjoy.  They want all the attention.  It's our job to give it to them.

TIME TO TAKE A BREATHER

Pampering our clients is what we are good at.  Think of all the ways you can make them feel even better.

  • Offer a Mom's morning club.  Bagels and Mimosa's with all services between 9am and 11am.
  • Offer a hand treatment with the purchase of a leg treatment.
  • Offer a hand and foot massage
  • Offer a special on your services as an "adjustment" discount while the Moms (and Dad's) adjust to their new schedule
  • Don't forget Mommy/daughter day.  There are always those children not yet old enough for school who will miss their sibling but be so thrilled to have Mom all to themselves

My point is....you can be that typical "Back to School" Salon, or you can

dare to be different!

 

This time of year can be scary for our Salons.  Summer is over, kids are back at school, parents have already spent a lot of money getting their kids ready for school, vacations are over and reality has set in.  We are only 4 months away from Christmas...yikes!

However, if you let your creative juices flow, allow yourself to step out of the box.....it can be profitable for you.

Happy back to school everyone!

CJ Murray, President

Read more

WHAT IS IQS?

In 1987 when I suddenly found myself the owner of a Nail Salon, I truly did not know what I was getting myself into.  My background is Business.  Sitting behind the chair is not really what I anticipated when I leaped into this Business.

Many things went wrong however, and that’s exactly where I ended up…behind the chair.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.  I did.  I met some wonderful people, earned a decent living and mastered an art I didn’t know I was capable of doing.

When my Distributors rep approached me 2 years into my Salon ownership, about a position as an Educator….I had no idea what this mean’t or what to expect.  I only knew it sounded exciting.  I could choose how much or how little I wanted to put into it.  I could travel.  I could work the trade shows all over the Country.  I could teach.  I’m in!

The position was with a Company called Elegant Glass.  They were known for their fiberglass nail product.  It was this Company which opened my eyes to the endless opportunities our Beauty Industry has to offer.  It was this Company that led me to forming friendships which I still have today….namely the owners of Life of Riley Salon Supply, my landlords - my roommates.  It was also this Company that not only fed my passion for Education but made me realize my days of playing teacher as a little girl, could actually become of a reality.

I ran their Education with Sheryl, the owners wife for 14 years.  I travelled the Country sponging off their Sales Directory Clyde and I sat with them on more occasions than I can remember, dreaming up the next biggest “thing” in nails.  Many of which we scoffed at and are now common place in our Salons.  One in particular I will always remember, is an idea they had about mixing powder with a resin. We laughed at the idea of calling it C.R.A.P - clear, resin, acrylic powder.  

With products such as CRACK being sold in our salons today, maybe we were actually on to an idea.

The biggest thing I think I learned however, is helping people realize they need you.  Not because they actually need your product, but they need what your product has to offer.  They need the benefits of your product.  They need the benefits of your Education.

In our presentation, we always began with asking our audience “what are you looking for”.  If you could design the perfect product, name the features and the benefits.  In the end, what the audience was asking for, we knew we could deliver.

I think of this often when I want to share the brands I carry with you.  What is it YOU want?  Is it the tangibles?  Or is really the intangibles, the things you can’t really put a price on like Customer service?

So I put myself back behind the chair and I imagine I’m specializing in Foot Care.  I imagine I’m in this world of many many choices and I imagine I found this magic Genie lamp where I rub the lamp and I can have anything I want.

It took some thinking, after all…you do have to be careful what you wish for.  My list is a bit more complex than I thought it would be.  It really gets into the guts of providing Professional, quality foot care

  1. Integrity - 
  2. Quality
  3. Safety

With the age of SM, it’s more of a reality to me now, how important these three things are. There are so many products available to us and everyone has their favorites. Everyone always says what they use is the BEST ever.  Not sure how anyone can say that unless they have literally tried every product on the market.  Virtually impossible.

What I wish I could see more Technicians bragging about the IQS of the products they use. What I wish I could see is more Mfgs with IQS!

Integrity

INTEGRITY

INTEGRITY- Truthfully, this word is the most important to me personally. In my opinion, without integrity....you have nothing!

Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

What about integrity in the brands you choose;

In products, integrity is the source of sustainable competitive advantage. Products with integrity perform superbly, provide good value, and satisfy customers' expectations in every respect, including such intangibles as their look and feel.

 

Satisfy customers' expectations in every aspect!

YOU are my customer.  It is important to me that the products I represent meet your expectations not just today, but tomorrow and the day after and the day after.

However, it's also important to me that you are able to meet the expectations of your clients.  Even expectations they don't even realize they want.

QUALITY-Continuous is of importance to me.

Quality: the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.

"Quality is the degree of excellence at an acceptable price and the control of variability at an acceptable cost.""Quality means best for certain customer conditions. These conditions are (a) the actual use and(b) the selling price of the product.

QUALITY

INTEGRITY-2

When choosing quality products, you are agreeing to choose products which will work for your clients.  What are they needs, at what price range.

YOU are the only one who can answer these questions.  I can provide Educational material to assist you in your research, but ultimately, it is your decision.

SAFETY-the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury

When choosing products you want to use on your clients, safety is so important in our times today.  We, as Technicians are subjected to so much more than we used to be.  We have more clients with immune compromised healthy concerns than ever before.  Diabetes, neurothapy, fibromyalgia just to name a few.

It's important we know the ingredients and what they mean to us.  It's important to know the contra-indications...if any.  And, what if one of our clients has a reaction...will you know what to do?

I beg you, caution your choices with what you see on SM.  Do your own research.  Know what your own needs are, the needs of your clients.

Educate - Educate - Educate

My Dad always said, as he was running is own Business.  I could be a millionaire.  I could have my own jet, afford to send you kids to the most expensive schools.  If I did, I wouldn't be a man of integrity, and integrity means more to me than being a millionaire.

Instead, we ate left overs, we wore hand me downs and we traveled to friends for our vacations in a Chevy Van....all 9 of us and sometimes our dog.

Today, my Dad still talks about the "what if"s, on occasion. I look at it from a different perspective.  I thank him for being the man he was....I'm just like him.  I thank him for teaching the values that are missing in our society today.

Because of what he taught me, I am able to bring you with great confidence, products with IQS!

IQS the 3 most important values in our pedicure chairs today.

CJ Murray

Read more

Learning Can Come from Anywhere

Inspiration can come at the least suspecting times in the least suspecting places.. I’ve gotten ideas for my articles sitting in an airport, hanging by the pool, talking to clients, from a commercial on TV or the radio, from my dogs…..the list goes on and on.

I think about that a lot, because I remember when I first starting writing for a magazine several, several years ago. The Magazine director told me the first article is always the easiest. "It’s the ones that follow that are extremely difficult".
I don’t know. Maybe I’m just blessed with the gift to gab. Maybe I’m still a sponge and I just soak in everything around me. I don’t know, whatever it is I feel blessed. And sometimes, I just give myself a high five because I once again was able to turn an experience into a learning adventure.

I’m in CT combining Business with pleasure.  I’m excited to be able to attend the open house of one of the great brands I carry while being able to visit with my Daughter at the same time.  Not only do I get some one on one time with my daughter, but I’m finally getting some pizzaz put in my hair after 6 long months of waiting.

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Salon she works at. Salt!  It’s so New England like.  Loving it.  It’s a Hair Salon only.  No waxing, no nails, no pedicures. There are 7 hair stations, 6 sinks.  It’s clean, it’s spacious…very tastefully done.

However, it’s what I’m witnessing watching the team of Salt and their interaction with their clients which, brings me to writing this article.

It’s not the first time I’ve shared my thoughts on offering the proper client consultation.  And, I know many of you still don’t even do one.

We talk all the time about the needs of the clients. We talk about what we should or shouldn’t do. We base their needs off of the condition of their skin and we perform their service based primarily on their health condition.  Or, at least we should.

What I’m witnessing here today however, is an entirely different approach.  Brilliant….I love it….it’s certainly a goose bump moment.

SMILE

Let’s start with the reception

  • The receptionist greeted each client (5 within a 10 minute period) with a warm yet professional greeting
  • She either knew their name or asked
  • She confirmed who they were scheduled with
  • She offered them something to drink

For me…it was the consistency.  Every person was welcomed in the same manner.  This is so important.  I can’t tell you how many times I go into the Salon I have been going to for years….and it’s hit or miss.  Sometimes the girls (including the receptionist) say hello, sometimes they offer coffee and sometimes even my Nail Tech is so busy she barely says to words to me.  I don’t always feel welcomed nor appreciated.

It doesn't matter how long your client has been your client

She/he should be treated with the same greeting as if she/he were new

The phone call

I heard the receptionist talk with a new client over the phone who was booking an appointment.  She was so detailed.  She wasn’t so interested in how she found them, she was very interested in what her hair concerns are.  Details!  Length, color, condition.  In addition to   inquiring what she’s expecting.  What doe SHE want.  Also in the conversation she requested a picture to be emailed…..while she was on the  phone.  I love it!  She took her time on this first initial phone call to  find out exactly what the need of the client is.  How do you think the client feels?

In addition, by doing this, she knows exactly the amount of time to book out for the Technician.

Untitled design

These were all goosebump moments for me.  Professionalism at it's best

However, what I witnessed next was really what got me excited

The 5 clients who came in were now at their perspective Technicians stations.  Every single Technician was sitting in a chair next to their client having a conversation.  One on one - face to face contact.  I couldn’t hear all the conversations but what I did hear ranged from a simple “how are you doing?” To “how did you like your hair since your last appointment?”  “Would you change anything?”.  What I loved was the personal touch.  It wasn’t rushed, it was calculated, measured and served to perfection.

Now, I happen to know the team at Salt do not double book.  They spend 3-4 hours with their clients and they are with them from start to finish.  The clients pay heavily for this…wouldn’t you?  Undivided attention, detailed from start to finish meticulous, welcoming, knowledgable…..simply amazing.

Using this system in our Pedicure rooms is not far fetched.  I have clients all the time send me pictures of their clients feet wanting to know what they should recommend.  Why not do request the same from your new clients during the phone call conversation?

Are you taking the time to talk with your already existing clients when they come back in?  Or, are you so casual with the routine you just sit them in your chair and start them soaking?  Do you even know if they were happy with their last service? Do they feel any improvement in the skin on their feet from the last pedicure?  How long did they feel the affects from their pedicure?  Have they been using their at home care products?  Is there anything they would change?  Maybe the shape of their toenails, the length of the massage or maybe they don’t like the callous debriment process.  Any and all of the above is going to affect the way they feel when they leave your chair.

So maybe you have to add 15 minutes to the time of your booking.  Charge accordingly, but make it worth it. When you charge what you are worth not what you think you are worth….life changes drastically.

How do you begin?

To start with, know your questions.  Take the time to devise exactly what you need and/or want to know from your new potential clients.  Write the script.

Once you write the script make sure “everyone” follows it.  Do you have a receptionist?  Or, does anyone and everyone answer the phone.  Regardless of who it is…..make them follow the script and stick to it.

Get pictures…I’ve said this before, I think the idea (which got from Salt) is a fantastic idea.  How many times have you scheduled time for a client, only to find out you need more?  By seeing a picture of the skin of their feet prior to booking the appointment YOU, as the Technician have the ability to advise them it will take longer than a typical pedicure.  Customize your service.

Be personal.  I don’t mean ask about the husband and the kids…I mean get down to the gritty of why are they there? Do they have interest in solving the concerns with the skin on their feet? Will they commit to at home care products for maintenance?  What do they like?  Do they want you to talk during the service or would they rather lay their head back and relax.?  These are just a few…..seriously customize the service.

Lastly…charge- charge - charge.  Okay, maybe you don’t feel you can go that route with your existing clients.  I get that.  However, start NOW with your new clients.  I guarantee you, once you get started and offer a personalized service, pricing accordingly becomes natural.  And….take the time to make your client aware….if they use their at home care products, your job won’t be so difficult and their next service would cost less.  Well, maybe not use the word difficult, but you know what I mean.

The final touch…..Salt has a menu from their local restaurant.  Not a huge menu, just offering a few tasteful items.  If you order from the menu, it goes on your SALT bill and you pay everything in the end.  Salt pays the restaurant for the food.  Convenient offering at no cost to you.  Brilliant!

Get inspired.  Go visit other Salons.  Watch, listen learn. Allow yourself to feed off of what other people do well. Turn these inspirations into positive changes and from this, watch your profits soar.

CJ Murray

Read more

The difference between the SSE & WRE?

We are always looking for ways to set us apart from the average. If you look at the basics, every salon does the very same thing in their pedicure service. We soak, manicure, perform callus work and massage. What we do in between makes us a little different, exfoliate, mask, heated towels....ambience.

Grant it, the personalization of your pedicure, the quality of that personalization and the Technician is what keeps your clients coming back. Is that enough?
Is it enough to be the same....but different?
Or, would you rather be the ONE!

When I bought my house back in 2003, I visited a landscaper about landscaping my property. I'm fortunate to have a corner lot. However, that corner lot is also the focal point. I wanted it to be WOW.

The landscaper told me I needed a silver palm. When I looked at it, I pondered but I knew he was right. He told me I wouldn't be the house on the corner, I would be the focal point. When someone was giving directions, they would say "go past the house with the silver palm".
I loved it. It made me different.

This is what the SSE Studio Skin Expert and/or the WRE Wrinkle Remove Expert can do for your Salon. "go to the Salon that offers the skin treatment service with your pedicure".

STUIDO SKIN EXPERT

SSE 2017

STUDIO SKIN EXPERT

The studio skin expert is a hand held skin machine device.

It is a 5-in-1 skin regenerating treatment device that combines the power of three proven skin care technologies – ultrasonic, galavanic, and LED therapies – in one portable hand-held instrument.

Ultrasound (Sound Waves) Function: Improves capacity of the skin | Supports the penetration of active ingredients into the skin | Relaxes muscles | Relieves pain | Treats acne | Promotes blood circulation | Treats of facial erythrosis | Reduces hardened or pasty fiber structures | Reduces pigment spots | Tightens the skin | Improves regeneration capacity of skin

Galvanic (Electrical Current) Function: Used in combination with selected shots or serums, the results are amazing, offering optimal care for the face, neck and décolleté. Improves penetration of ingredients into the skin | Promotes blood flow | Activates the cell metabolism | Optimizes water binding capabilities | Tightens skin

Light Therapy:

Red Light (630nm) for all skin types: Stimulates cells | Supports blood circulation | Activates skin functions | Reduces wrinkles | Smoothes the complexion

Blue Light (465nm) for oily skin: Anti-bacterial effect | Soothes skin | Prevents skin impurities and acne | Stimulates cells | Refines pores

Green Light (520nm) for combination skin: Relaxes skin | Anti-inflammatory effect

WRINKLE REMOVE EXPERT

A hand held skin machine used to smooth and tighten skin.

The ergonomically shaped massage head ensures a deep penetration of active ingredients into the skin by means of ultrasound and galvanic. The attachment which was especially designed for these areas offers 3 levels with different oscillation frequencies as well as light therapy. An ideal addition to classical pedicures/manicures and wellness treatments.

3 Levels – Triple Effect

Level 1 Blue Light: Oscillation frequency 6200/min

Level 2 Green Light: Oscillation frequency 9500/min > Magnetic heat therapy 45 ℃ +- 5

Level 3 Red Light: Oscillation frequency 12500/min > Magnetic heat therapy 45 ℃ +- 5

WRINKLE REMOVE EXPERT

90544.tif.tmb

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

THE STUDIO SKIN EXPERT is a larger device with more capability

  • Ultrasonic
  • Galvanic
  • Light therapy

It also has the capability to be

  • Set on various levels of frequency
  • Set for a specific time

THE WRINKLE REMOVE EXPERT

  • Has set ultrasonic and galvanic automatic settings to where they can not be changed
  • Has a set 1 minute timer
  • Does have the capability to change light therapies (blue, red or green)

WHAT PURPOSE ARE THEY IN THE PEDICURE ROOM?

Both these pieces of equipment offers the ability to penetrate the serums used in your services at a deeper and quicker level.

To obtain optimal results when using AA lifting concentrate in helping with age spots, use either the SSE or the WRE.

To obtain optimal results if wanting deeper penetration of your LCN mask, use either the SSE or the WRE.

Want to differentiate yourself from any other salon? Use the SSE or the WRE expert.

WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE?

Personally, I like them both. However, I do feel the contour of each piece of equipment is more conducive to particular services.

  • WRE is GREAT for the legs. It's design is like a whales tail. It perfectly wraps around the counter of the leg
  • SSE is great for hands. It's small application surface is perfect for our hand shape. Works well on the arms also, however the WRE also contours best to the shape of the arm.

SO I NEED BOTH?

No! I think you begin with the one you think you will use the most. You WILL fall in love and eventually want to use both for specific reasons. However, I'm a firm believer......get what you know you will use, not what you "think" you will use.

How you market when offering your services with these pieces of equipment, is just as important...if not more....than choosing the equipment itself.

It's important too high light the benefits, more than the features. The benefits are simple;

  • Quicker penetration of important ingredients
  • Deeper penetration of important ingredients
  • Faster results
  • Feels amazing

Centre For Beauty prides itself on introducing these machines too many Salons, both independent and high end like the Rock Spa at the Seminole Hard Rock Casinos.

We have a proven track record of adding $$$ to your bottom line by adding just one additional move in your pedicure service.

As always, having the proper tools to use in your Pedicure rooms is crucial.

The correct tools can make or break your service AND better yet....it CAN set you apart from all the other Salons.

CJ Murray, President

Read more

A Personal Story with a Lesson!

Many of you know the health scare my family has had with my Dad over the past couple of years. You've prayed for us, you've sent words of encouragement and you continue to inquire of his well being. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

What you probably don't know is how my Brother's and Sister's and I have been preparing my parents to move out of their house which they have been in for 41 years. We aren't forcing them, they know they need to move to a smaller place. You can imagine however, the accumulation of "stuff" they have collected in this 41 years.

Imagine also, they come from a generation who doesn't throw things away.....and buy new. They come from a generation of fixer uppers. A generation where you don't waste a thing and you need to keep everything because.....who knows when you might need it again sometime. Anything from a chair to nut's and blots......literally!

In this process which we started in October of 2018 much has been learned. We learned what 2 people with 7 children can collect over a period of 68 years. (yes 68 years marriage and yes 7 children). (20 Grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren). We also learned how the memory of these "things" can be very emotional. We learned everyone has their own reason for what they save and what they have no problem giving or throwing away.

We learn.....there are many lessons that weren't necessarily "taught"

68 years ago

Mom Dad wedding

With 7 siblings getting ready to attack this huge undertaking, someone has to be the General.  I didn't plan to be, but somehow I ended up with position.

I run my own Business.  It seemed all very simple to me.

  • You get everyone on the same page
  • You make sure every knows where the message is coming from
  • You establish goals
  • You come up with a plan
  • You put your plan into action

Simple?  No, not really.

The first thing you learn, is not everyone works the same way you do. Not everyone follows a plan.  It doesn't matter how much or how well it is calculated. Bottom line, not everyone works the same way. That's not a bad thing, you just have to figure it out.

This is a big message for all of us to hear. When you bring a mix of personalities into your Salon, not everyone will work the same way.

As owners of managers, we have to set guidelines and build barriers that shouldn't be crossed. We have to find what works for each personality...IF....we want to get the most out of each person.

The other lesson learned is, although deadlines are created and plans have been made, this means nothing if the "powers to be" aren't motivated.

Grant it, maybe I was a bit zealous considering all involved. However, when we started this project in the Fall of 2018, I saw no problem with getting the house cleaned out along with minor repairs and curb appeal done to be able to spend one last Christmas in the house and have it on the market in January of 2019.

Well, the problem is.....my parents couldn't get motivated. In short, it was just too overwhelming for them and "in fairness" it was shortly after that, my Dad was diagnosed with Cancer.

Consequently, those in our family who are followers...followed their lead and couldn't get their motivation going either.  This doesn't make them bad but the lesson here is there are many people who motivate by example.

The lesson for our Salons is as Salon owners or Management, it is our job to constantly motivate our staff but even more so, keep ourselves motivated.

 

7 Siblings

Family picture

During this whole family crisis, there is a bigger lesson to be learned. It's a lesson of which I realized, defines who I am today. It's a lesson unfortunately, missed in our newest generations and it makes me wonder...."what will the Salon Business be like in 20-50 years from now"

When my Dad had his recent surgery because his cancer had re-occured, my sister and I took some time away from the hospital to "attack" their house.

We took 60 boxes of "yard sale stuff" to donation centers. We fixed their ice maker, we cleaned up the entire family room, discovering there were 5 pieces of furniture Mom was willing to let go and we installed a kitchen faucet.

As we were doing this we were noticing many things which I'll call "ingenious".  However, there was a time in our lives, we didn't.  These were things that our Dad has repaired.

  • He needed a hook, so he devised one out of a coat hanger
  • He needed a waste basket, so he made one out of 4 x 4's
  • He needed a new knob, he used one from a different component
  • He made a table out of wood which clipped to his side table where he sits, so he could play on his tablet
  • He made a holder out of coat hangers for his pool brush

The list goes on and on.

As my sister and I were talking, we laughed.

  • As a kid, we never really noticed these "homemade" projects
  • As a young adult, we criticize.  C'mon Dad, a new hook will only cost you $1.00
  • As we enter into Adult hood, we just accept it
  • And now....as we get older, we realize how ingenious he is

In talking with my husband about how my sister and I put in a faucet, is what sparked this article.

My Dad didn't take us both under a sink and show us step by step how to install a new faucet. He showed us by example.

Our entire lives, he repaired things on his own. He didn't immediately throw away and buy new. He thought of ways to make what was broken, work again.

If you live your entire life with this example......you just become.

The lesson for our Salon owners and management is "You are the trainer" in every aspect of your Salon life. Your team is quietly learning from you every move....whether they or you know it or not.

I see it! With the Salons I visit on a daily basis, I see respect or lack thereof. I see professionalism or lack thereof. I see joy or lack thereof. All based on the leadership team.

I think for me, going through this process over the past few months....I've realized, I am my Father's daughter. I realized so many things in my life that I do, I do because I saw. I understand now to appreciate the "why's" and not focus so much on the "should"s".

To be a leader, one must set by example. To be a leader, one must recognize the good in their team and not so much their faults. To be a leader, attitude is everything.

My Dad's attitude through this whole ordeal has always been one of optimism. He never once portrayed anything different. Even if he was feeling it. He's an inspiration for sure and for me.....he continues to lead our amazing family by example.....even at 90 years old.

Look deep into the atmosphere of your Salon. You, your team, your clients. Are they all in a good spot? If not, look deep into yourself as their leader. Inside ourselves is always a good place to start.

My Dad is doing incredible BTW.  He's 90 years old in good spirits, great health (considering) and surrounded by lot's of family, lot's of love and lot's of prayer.

CJ Murray, President

Read more