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Pedicuring Cancer Patients

One of the most appreciated questions I received in my December survey was in regards to Pedicuring Cancer patients.

This is such a great question because it involves a wide scope of areas within our Foot Care arena that we should be addressing and/or following daily.  It also brings us back around to my favorite phrase “education is the key to success”

Let’s begin with the #1 most important practice that we should do in our Foot Care room.  Proper cleaning and disinfection.  It is important on a normal day but, if you plan to promote or offer a Foot Care service to anyone who  has cancer……you best be on the top of your game when it comes to cleaning and disinfection.

The #1 concern of Cancer patients

External influences

My recommendations in the Foot Care room would be as follows:

  • Prior to the appointment, thoroughly cleanse and disinfect your Foot Care area.  A high grade level of disinfection solution should be used.
  • Recommend to your client to either purchase from you, or bring in his/her own set of tools and files
  • I suggest a dry pedicure.  You can offer a beautiful dry Pedicure if using the right products.  The only difference is the cleansing of the feet procedure would be done with a spray bottle in lieu of putting their feet into a foot bath.
  • Do not cut cuticles.  There a products which will eliminate excess cuticle without having to cut.
  • Callous debriment should be done very carefully and most important do NOT use sandpaper, pumice, or a cheese grater type file.  For more information on which files are safe click here
  • Be gentle with our Massage.  Many cancer patience will have a tendency to bruise easily.

Many things happen to the Nails

Where education is important as well, is learning how to identify what is happening to the nails and what to do or not to do with them.  In many cases regarding cancer patients, it’s the nails which can become more affected.  Like losing hair during treatments, nails can often be effected.

  • The nails may look bruised, turning colors of black, brown blue or even green.  It’s common that people of darker color will show more of a change when it comes to color of the nails.
  • Blemishes on the nails are common.  Horizontal or vertical lines and/or small indentations.  The good news about this type of reaction, the nail will go through stages which mark the different cycles of chemotherapy.  They are not permanent, they will grow out as the nail grows out.
  • Nails may become thin or brittle.  The hard part about this is the nails won’t grow as long or maybe be as hard as they use to be.  Again, the nails will grow out and if using proper cuticle care, they can grow out healthy.
  • Nails can also become dry which in turn can cause frayed cuticles.  Try not to cut them.  Use a cuticle cream to condition and add hydration to the cuticles.  One treatment in the Foot Care room won’t make a difference.  It is important to educate your client on a daily maintenance routine.
  • Ingrown nails can also be a problem.  Especially if the nail becomes dry and the cuticles become frayed.  Again, a cuticle treatment is the answer.
  • The worse case is the nail can lift completely off the nail bed and in some cases actually fall off.  Unfortunately when this happens, it is a breeding ground for bacteria.  My suggestion would be if at all possible, inform your client as soon as possible the importance of daily nail care maintenance from the beginning.

We aren’t just speaking of toenails

These conditions are often found on the fingernails as well

What we need to educate our clients about

  • Keep nails cut properly and clean to reduce the risk of infection
  • Do not wear artificial nail products.
  • Wear gloves when gardening, cleaning and washing dishes to avoid getting any cuts or abrasions
  • They can wear nail polish to hid any imperfections
  • Use a non-acetone polish remover.  It will be less drying on the nail and surrounding skin.
  • Don’t bite or pick at their nails or skin.
  • Use a cuticle product to keep their nails hydrated and the surrounding skin moist
  • Be careful with exposure to too much water.  Over exposure can lead to fungal infections in the nail bed.
  • ANY signs of redness or inflammation, consult a Doctor immediately.

In reality….cancer or not….

this knowledge of how to care for your nails

should be shared with ALL your clients

Additional changes

When we think of the many changes that can happen as someone goes through chemotherapy, hair loss and nausea are probably what comes to mind first.  And, we don’t often realize that there are many other conditions which, can cause changes of our nails. 

This is just one of the reasons “again” we are often, as Pedicurist, the first responders.  We need to be informed, educated and ready to know how to manage and how to refer to a Medical Professional if necessary.

CJ Murray

President, Centre for Beauty

 

 

 

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What Wikipedia can’t tell you about using the right products

Going down my list of questions from our December survey “again”, the questions of knowing what products to use in our Foot Care room came up more then once, in many different faces;
  • Getting the right products
  • Effective products
  • Removing rough, extensive dry skin build up
  • How to make feet soft again
  • Getting dry heels to look great
  • Easiest way to manage dry peeling skin
  • What are the best products to use
  • What is the best product to reduce calluses
  • How to get super smooth feet
  • Etc. etc.
What connected with me about these questions is the obvious need for us as Technicians to first realize this is not something you and only you can fix. This is a team effort between you as the Professional and your client. In addition, these concerns are not able to be completely fixed in just one Foot Care service. There is a process.
Last week I went to the Salon to get my nails done. I do this religiously every two weeks.
My Technician, whom I trust explicitly kindly said to me…..”I need you to
make a conscious effort to apply cuticle oil daily, “please”
I was first embarrassed.  I knew how badly my cuticles have gotten.  It’s winter time.  They always get dry in the Winter.  Why?  Because I do nothing all year long to take care of them, during the cold Winter months they tend to look a whole lot worse.
But then, I thought how brilliant of her.  Just the way she made the comment was so real, so genuine with a hint of “do this for me”.  The one thing she didn’t do though, is follow through with making a sale.  And, BTW……I have no cuticle oil at my house.
I opened with this story because we have to realize, we are not magicians.  The simple answer to all the above questions certainly does have to do with products we use in our Foot Care room.  But, it also has to do with the follow up of home care.
I personally would love to know the products behind these questions.  Our industry is so fixated with scents and oils and all that glitters and gold.  We honestly don’t think much about what the products we are using are doing for “us”.  If they smell good, if they “look” like they are providing a pretty Foot Care service and in many cases if it’s a well known brand…..it will be used.  Well, i’m here to tell you…….if that’s what you are using, you will never be able to resolve the problems associated with the above questions.  Why??????????
The majority of these products which we all know i’m talking about, sit on top of our skin.  When applied, they smell good, they look pretty and they feel pretty.  That’s all they do.  They make us all smell, look and feel pretty.  But, they don’t take care of the dry skin on our feet, they may make our feet feel soft but for a very short period of time, they can not reduce callouses “naturally” and they certainly can not aid in the care of rough, calloused skin build up.
The products used mostly in our Foot Care arena will wipe off on a towel, in the shower, on the floor, in your shoes….the very first thing your feet touch.
So….what do we do?
  • First, we need to understand that healing comes from the inside out.
  • Second, we need to understand we need to be using products which have hygroscopic properties.  Meaning, products which will process into the layers of the epidermis to allow the skin to heal “from the inside out”.
  • Third, we need to understand this healing process does not happen over night, nor can it happen just once every 4 weeks and be expected to be “repaired”.

Healing is a process.  Consider this;  You have an infection in your eye.  The Dr. tells you take take a Tylenol.  The Tylenol will help you feel better, but it won’t rid the infection.

The same is true for products used in our Salons.  They make us feel better, make your client feel better, but they aren’t really solving a problem.

Think about that!  Reach out to me if you want information on product recommendations!

In closing, not all products are created equal AND we don’t make money by being a “me too” Salon using “me too” brands.  Our feet have changed over the past 50 years, our industry has changed drastically over the past 15 years and our responsibilities as “first responders” are greater.

CJ Murray, CMP, CPod, LNT

Centre for Beauty

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7 causes of Thick Toenails in our History?

The question of managing thick toenails came up several times in our December survey. This is a great question and a very serious topic we all need to talk about. Not only because we see this quite often in our Salons, it is also an area of concern when it comes to working within the limits of our license. In addition, how we manage thick toenails can literally be a matter of life or death.
Let’s first discuss what can actually cause thick toenails;
  • Walking barefoot in public areas
  • Frequent or prolonged exposure to water
  • Shoes which constrict your feet
  • Damage to a toenail
  • Athlete’s foot that spreads to your toenails
  • Medications which suppress your immune system
  • Genetics
      Plus
  • Smoking
  • Aging
Approximately 20% of our adult population has onychomycosis. This is a condition when a fungus or yeast enters your toenail.
The fungus or yeast grows under the nail, where it is moist. The infection will initially be minor, but with time, lack of care and improper pedicuring it may spread and cause your toenail to grow thicker and in many cases cause other symptoms as well.
For many reasons, I love that this question was asked.  Statistics show us the geriatric client, the diabetic client are our greatest source of revenue in the Foot Care venue.  All of the above bullet points, affect a fair amount of these clients.
This brings us to the question….does performing a service on a client with thickened toenails place us out of the limits of our license?   Working on a thickened toenail “does not”.  However, working on a thickened toenail with suspect of fungus “does”.  And, the only way to know for sure is to refer to a Medical Professional.  A Dr. can order a culture which will determine if the thickening is indeed a fungus.
If the client is cleared and you move forward with a Foot Care service, it is imperative to know how to manage this service and how to inform our clients that at home care is mutually important.
Advanced education on this subject is always the best way to go.  I’ve said this before, and I will say it again….”Having a Professional license does not qualify you to care properly for this type of client!”  There are so many concerns in the proper way to manage thickened toenails.  Concerns which, CAN be a matter of life and death.
  • “digging” to aggressively, to deep
  • causing separation from the thickened build up to the skin
  • expecting this issue to clear in just one service
  • causing bleeding
  • causing more damage

IF and only IF it is determined through Dr. referral which verify’s you are not dealing with a fungus…here are some tips and precautionary measures;

  • Never clean under or around the nail when the area is dry
  • Never clip the nail when the nail is dry
  • Soften the nail and surrounding area with a callous softening product while slowly working the accumulation under and around the nail-DO NOT FORCE THE THICKNESS AWAY FROM THE SKIN.  Doing this will cause a separation which can cause portal of entry for bacteria or fungi to enter
  • Trim the toenail in little bites.  Improper trimming can also cause the nail to lift up from the skin
  • Use proper tools when working with these clients.  Stainless steel (100%) is the only proper tool
  • Practice proper disinfection procedures
  • Follow up with a recommendation for at home care is mandatory
  • Schedule subsequent appointments for evaluation and further care if necessary

It is only with proper advanced education which will help you gain the know how AND the confidence to service a client with thickened toenails.  Knowledge will build your confidence and will help you to educate your clients on the importance of Foot Care.

 

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Getting clients to care for their Feet can keep you out of trouble!

Wow!!!!! its 2018?

It always seems like a year is such a long time away, until about the 4th quarter. When October comes, the rest of the year just seems to blow by and we look back and say “what the heck happened to 2017?”

Well, here it is and I am so excited to begin another year of my educational Blogs.  I’ve changed up the style a little and i’m beginning with questions asked of our survey

“What is the #1 question you have about Foot Care?

There were so many great questions and I plan to answer all of them (over a period of time) beginning with

HOW DO WE GET OUR CLIENTS TO CARE ABOUT THEIR FEET?

This is such and important question because it affects our Pedicure Service and our retail $$$$.  And, it for real, can keep you out of trouble.
My short answer would be “educate”. However, we know, there is no short answer.

This brings me back to my days in my Salon. I have upwards of 11 Nail Technicians at one time. They were awesome. They were young (as I was), they were extremely talented, and they were passionate about what they did.

But, every time a question was asked by a client, they always directed the client to me. Regardless of what the question was. In hindsight, I realize this was my path. This was the beginning of my career, my passion in “education”…my love for the Beauty Industry.

The reality is though, any of my technicians could have easily answered those client questions. So why me?

It is so clear to me now, and this is truly the gist of what I wish to do for all of you. Educate YOU so you can educate your clients.

THAT is how you get your clients to care about Foot Care.

We begin with the simple concept;  Our feet carry us                                 around for a lifetime.

Why wouldn’t you want to care for them?

Daily maintenance is not a huge deal. After all, we brush our teeth every day right? What would happen if we didn’t. Hmmmmm, rotten teeth, bad breath, infection…just to name a few.

It’s the same with our feet. Teach your clients that what we eat, what we drink, medications, weight, nutrition all has an affect on what happens to the skin on our feet. But of course, not everyone is going to be super healthy and drug free. So let’s go to plan B.

Maintaining the health of the skin on our feet will ensure                               a lifetime of Happy Feet.

In addition, helping your clients realize the value of maintaining the health on their feet, not only makes your job easier but it eliminates any question of working out of the limits of your license.  Happy feet are safe feet to service.

Develop a hand out;  A simple 3 x5, 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 card with a care routine for your clients.

Don’t walk around barefoot. Even in your own homes
Hydrate daily, drinking 8 glasses of water per day
Moisturize daily. Find a routine which works for you
Use the right products – Fluff n Buff is a temporary fix
Proper shoe fitting

It only takes 30 days for a routine to become a habit

Give your clients the 30 day challenge;

Take before pictures (and after)
Recommend an at home care product
Offer a prize for the client with the best results
Host an event to announce the winner

For you as a Technician, Education is the key to success.  Take advanced classe so you understand and have the confidence to share with your clients the importance of at home skin care.

Study the products you promote.  The more you know about the products, the more comfortable it is to recommend.

Follow what you preach. do you have a daily maintenance routine?  Try the products you promote.  It makes it easier to talk about them and give them a visual of what the products can do.

Just having a license to do nails doesn’t qualify you to teach your clients about caring for their feet. It qualifies you to perform a service.          What comes next is completely up to you.

Is it easy to teach your clients how important it is to take care of the skin on their feet?  Absolutely.  If you are informed and educated on what you do and promote, your clients will trust you and follow your lead.

CJ-President

Centre for Beauty

 

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The other side of the mirror!

There is another side?

The longer we are sitting behind the chair, you forget what it was like being on the other side. After all, we have all been a client at a Resort, Spa or Salon.
The longer you have been sitting where you are, the harder it is for us to think like a client. A client which, we have all been.
Have you thought about this:
  • How do they feel about you being on your cell phone while performing the service
  • How do they feel about never being asked is how have her nails done during the last 2 weeks. Is the shape okay, the length?
  • How do they feel when a solicitor walks in and takes the time of who they are paying
  • How do they feel if you were talking to someone else while they are receiving a service from you.
I think we have this perception that once a client becomes a regular….she’s a friend, she’s family. We forget they are still actually a client of yours.
Sometimes it is just the simple touches that can revive that first time client feeling.  That feeling that made you feel special.  Like you were really appreciated.
  • Did you make sure you asked her if she wanted coffee or wine (depending on the time of day)
  • Did you look her in the eyes and pause for a moment to say “thank you, I appreciate you”?
  • How about thanking her for leaving a tip?

When we look at years end and reminisce about the year behind us, we must also look forward and decide what we can do to make our future even better.

If we keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results, then welcome to the world of insanity.  We have to change our habits, our patterns.  We need to step out of the box yet think simplistic at the same time.

  • Market your existing client base.  It’s so much easier and cheaper to market from within.
  • Offer a Pedicure client a free hand massage.  (using your favorite manicure creams)
  • Offer a hair client a free foot massage.  Give them a taste of what a real pedicure can feel like.
  • Test new products and share with your clients.

Cross sell….that’s the word.  Cross sell to your already existing clients and watch your Business grow quicker than you could ever imagine.

Try two(2) techniques each month.  Plan your calendar for 6 months in advance.  Choose 12 services and/or product you want to focus on to help grow your business.

Simplicity

These are just teaser ideas.  There is so much more simplistic ways to grow your Business.  Keep reading our Blog and check out our Missing Pieces class being offered for the first time.  It’s a class that will give you a very high ROI.

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It’s all in the thinking?

As we enter into this week of Thanksgiving, its always a great time to give thanks and gratitude for all that has happened during the year.
For me personally, I give thanks every night as I’m getting ready for bed. I give thanks for all the good and I give thanks for the lesson(s) I may have learned as well.
I believe giving thanks and staying positive
has everything to do with outcome
I did some traveling this past week, and had the opportunity to visit several of my clients. In talking with them about their business of feet, we discussed products and how to use them. We discussed add on services and we discussed the opportunity of a price increase for the services they offer.
It saddened me that in more than one case, the idea of a price increase just seemed impossible to do. Whether they felt it was their location or their competitiveness, it didn’t matter. It saddened me because I know all too well, the power of negative thinking. Whatever you put out, is going to come back. So, if you don’t think you can present a price increase…..you won’t. But, if you think you can do a price increase, you can.

How do we change our negative thoughts on presenting a price increase?

 

In my opinion, #1 is to get in the mindset.                                                                                  If you can’t, you won’t…if you can, you will.

#2 know your value. Know your worth.
#3 don’t be afraid of losing business.
#4 offer added value

With everything I have been through both personally and professionally, the most important thing I learned is the power of positive thinking. When I tell you that one change in my mindset has helped me through everything…..thats an understatement.

In addition to a positive mindset, it’s important to realize                                           …..you only get what you negotiate.

Once we change that mindset, its then a snowball affect. We start being more positive, we start believing in ourselves more. We begin to realize the value we offer to our clients in making them look good. We don’t just help them look good, we help them feel good. Your worth has a $$$$ value. Did you go to school to learn what you do? Did you spend money of new products, stay current with the trends, use good quality products? Isn’t all that worth something?

There’s a National average of a 3% increase in everything…..when our expenses increase, we have to increase our income.

In regards to the possibility of losing Business? If a client is going to leave you for a minor price increase….LET THEM GO. It’d been my experience, if they leave for price…they always come back.

As far as the added value is concerned, there are really only 6 things you should remember
1. Be realisticDon’t jump up $25.00 for one service.  Add $5.00 – $10.00 max

2. CommunicateDon’t be afraid to talk about it.  You don’t have to justify, but explaining to your clients that your cost have increased, or you have more quality products….will help them understand.

3. Take care of YourselfReally examine where you are and what you need to do to help make your life easier.  the better you feel and are, the better service you can do for you clients.

4. Add valueAdding a little bit of ambience like heated towels, a mask or spending a couple more minutes on the massage, can make all the difference in the world.  Just remember, you want more profit.  You don’t want to exchange value for $$$$

5. Plan aheadDon’t spring it on them.  You can always increase a little each month over a 3 month period.  This way your clients know what to expect and it’s not such a shock for them.

6. Be creativeMake it fun.  Show the new products you have.  Bring out some products you have but never used.  Make a big deal out of it.  Make it for your clients…not for you.

There is so much to share on this topic, I just don’t have enough room or time to put it all down.  But, if you are attending our “missing Pieces” class in March of 2018, you will get a boat load of information to help you move up to the next level.

Want info on our Missing Pieces?  Contact me at cj@centreforbeauty.com

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It’s Time to Plant the Seeds?

 

These past 12 months have been a very eventful year for Centre for Beauty. We expanded our product lines, we moved into a new facility with more space, we entered the Trade Show circuit branding the name Centre for Beauty and we offered more classes than ever before.  It’s been GREAT!
As great as it is, when it comes to this time of year, I know the importance of seeding the garden so we have flourishment for the next year.
Seeding the garden is something that I feel, should happen in every Business every year. It doesn’t have to be the end of the year, it has to be at a time of year where you can sit and plan your Business plan for the coming year.
What does that involve?
For Centre for Beauty it involves gathering all the feedback we receive from clients throughout the year and act upon them if we can. Deciding what new products we may want to introduce. Deciding what Mfg’s promotions (if any) we want to take advantage of. Deciding what trade shows we want to attend as a Business, deciding what and where our Marketing budget is going to be and deciding what we are going to do to grow the Business.
We plant the seeds in our Marketing. We plant the seeds in our Social Media.
We plant the seeds in our commitments.
But….as a Salon….what should you do?
  • Think about what NEW item(s) you can bring in to gain excitement from your clients.  If you have the same thing “ALL THE TIME”, that meets the definition of insanity.  “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
  • Think about increasing $$$$ from your existing clientele.  It’s a known fact.  The best and fastest way to increase your Sales $$$ is through your already existing database.
  • Think about reaching out to clients you haven’t heard from in a while.  Do you have a program in place for this?  If not, you should.
  • Think about the Holidays.  YES….ALL the Holiday’s.  Building excitement for what’s to come is the best way to seed.
  • What about seeding your staff?  Think about what you can do to help keep them motivated and excited.
  • Education!!!!!!  Being able to process this whole seeding commitment truly begins with Education.  Everything we learn, every time we grow, we are seeding ourselves.

Making a seeding commitment is a mind set.  If you want your Business to grow you have to be constantly thinking about how to make that happen.  We can’t just fly by the seat of our pants and expect to see progress.  Everything has to be a plan, a thought out process and a HUGE effort on your part.

Happy Seeding everyone.  Whether it’s this time of year, Spring time or Summer.

I wish you all the Blooms of a successful harvest

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Holiday’s are Coming?

It may only be August, but if you blink…..the Holiday season will be here.  In 23 years of owning my Salon you can imagine, i’ve learned a few things.  Things change from year to year, trends happen and clients wants and needs change.  We have to as well.

There are some basic things I always made a habit of doing, right before the season. Usually after the kids went back to school, I would house clean.  Starting the season with a deep clean always did my staff and I good.  We would clean our stations, drawers and all. We would clean containers, get new ones if needed, fill them to the brim and invest in new tools and brushes so we could start the Season off fresh.

We would also deep clean our reception desk.  Move out products that have been sitting there for a while, organize our pencil drawer and add some new decor.  It was so refreshing and our clients noticed.

One of the main things we did, and i’ve had articles about this before…we re-evaluate our disinfecting procedures.  Check on State rules that may have changed, hold a meeting with our Staff to make sure we were all on the same page and check our labeling of the disinfection product we were using, just to double check for accuracy.

But….what about the real reason we all enjoy the Season?  The increase in service $$$$……and how about the increase in retail $$$$.  How do you decide what to bring in to promote to your clients?

I’ve put together a list for you, based on what I know to be the best selling items “year round” in my world today.  This list would also be my choice if I still had my Salon.  If they sell as a top item during the year…imagine what they could do around the Holiday’s;

I’ll share more info in detail about these items over the next few days….but for now, here is a list for you to be pondering over;

  1. Always….Holidays hand creams and foot creams.  Clients do like fragrance, just ask Bath & Body Works.  Their Holiday fragrances sell more than all fragrances, all year long.  They also work great for client gifts!
  2. A gift to say you care.  Retail Foot Care items always seem to hit an all time high during the Holiday months.  They work great as stocking stuffers and combined with other products for a full package.  Making gift baskets out of your stock items always seems to go over really well.
  3. Diamond Dust!  Yes, this little bottle of Diamond Dust which sells for $49.00 to the client just happens to be the greatest item for making your clients feel special.  Dust it in their hair when doing their Holiday service and they will love to take it home for glittering all over body.
  4. Red Wine Leaf Foot Care.  This foot care is a seasonal Foot Care product offered by LCN.  It’s great for it’s Fall/Winter ambience of appearance and flavor.   It works amazing for that tired, heavy leg feeling from shopping till you drop.
  5. LCN permanent eye and lip liner!  Okay, if you haven’t tried this yet, your missing something really special.  It goes on very nicely and last you thought the day.  Many colors to choose from.
  6. WOW mascara by LCN!  When I say WOW, i’m not kidding.  This mascara gives you fullness and long wear.  It gives you the appearance of wearing extended eyelashes without worrying whether they will fall off or not.  Beautiful application and long lasting.
  7. Anti Aging products for legs and hands.  Another great product for saying you care.  Clients like different things when it comes to gift giving, and they especially like to try different things on themselves during the Holiday season.

My point is…be prepared to make some money.  Do’t wait until a month before the Holiday to decide to bring on the Holiday feel.  Start early, you’ll be surprised at what happens to your revenue when you do!

 

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IT DOES NO GOOD, IF YOU DON’T MARKET

When I teach my classes through the Country, I am in front of hundreds of Technicians eager and willing to learn.  Unfortunately however, it saddens me to know at least 50{41aa4bb89c477f1e334505d76149b7c47b1e52c0a22817e445c0fb4c76e652bd} (if not more) of those I teach, will never make money off of what they just learned.  Why?

There are a couple of tell tale signs, but the biggest reason, I believe, is because many Technicians don’t realize that learning a new procedure, offering a new service is parallel to “bringing a horse to water, but not able to force it to drink”.  We can teach it, you can learn it, but once you return to your Salon….what do you do to use it?

Marketing is what makes Home Depot more popular than Lowes or Coke more popular than Pepsi.  They are both good, they both do well, but one does better because there is more Marketing, higher recognition of the brand.

It’s impossible to expect a return from your class investment, if you are not Marketing what you just learned.  Here are a few ideas;

  1. Press release.  They are FREE.  Verbiage is important in order to be recognized and added into your local newspaper.
  2. Website.  Meta tags, google search, front page….it all makes a difference, and helps!
  3. Brochures, tent cards, announcements.  SCREAM it to the world that you have been educated in a certain area, that you have formed alliances with local Dr’s and the reasons why?  Reasons like “because you care about the health of your clients” (as an example).
  4. Be sure whoever you have formed an alliance with has your information in their office as well.  Invite the staff in for services.  Give them incentives to refer clients to your business.
  5. Social Media.  Make a business page.  Invite your clients to the page. Post before and after pictures ALWAYS.  This includes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  6. Email marketing.  There are many free email marketing Companies out there which will work very well for a small business.  Mail Chimp is one of them.  Check it out and educate your clients.
  7. Stay present.  Meaning, keep your face your name and what you do in front of the people you want to form an alliance with.  It takes a bit to get this going….hang tight and again, stay present.
  8. Finally, make sure you have the products you need to fully perform your service.  Educational classes are not meant to be sales classes.  However, the reality is, you need product to perform the service.  Many educational classes offer “in class” discounts.  Take advantage of them.  Saving $$$$ is always a good thing.

Pounding the pavement, an old sales adage is the final stage of what it takes.  Don’t expect it all to just come to you.  You have to work it, job it hard and stay on it all the time.

Marketing is about creativity.  Don’t be the norm, be the abnorm or be abnormal.  It’s a big elephant, you have to attack it in little chunks…..but, in doing so you can expect big results.

 

Feel free to reach out to me personally with any questions.  I’m happy to assist.  cj@centreforbeauty.com

 

 

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How to find a referral Dr.

These past couple of weeks, I have been sharing pictures with you in regards to conditions of the Nails and Skin on the Feet.  I hope they have helped you recognize the need to familiarize yourself with what you may encounter on a daily basis.  Remember, the Nail Technician “we” are many times the first responders.

However, a question I get asked many times and speak about in almost all my classes is “how do I form a partnership with a Dr. to refer to?”  this is a great question and not as easy as it sounds (I’m being honest here).  Finding that Dr. is challenging, it takes time and perseverance and it takes persistance.

The first thing you want to do, is find a group of Dr’s you “want” to do business with.  I recommend you seek out a Podiatrist or Medically licensed Pedologist.  I also recommend you seek out a Dermatologist and a Medical Dr or Internist.  All three of these Professions will be helpful associates.

The question is how do you find these Dr’s.  Referral is the best practice.  Kinda ironic huh?  But seriously, ask your clients, your family and your friends first.  Second, look in the newspaper, read local medical blogs, ask anyone you know involved in the Medical field.

Once you’ve obtained a list of names, do your research.  Google their names and see what comes up.  Go to their website and look at reviews.  You have to feel confident the Dr. you are referring to has great credentials and happy clients.

Once you have your three names, it’s time now to “ask” for their referrals.

My first recommendation is a letter.  Dr’s will not answer your phone call. A letter is the best first approach outside of scheduling an appointment with them…..and that in itself is not a bad idea.

I have a sample letter i’m happy to share, but the one thing to remember about Dr’s is their Ego!  Telling them they are GREAT, is a good way to approach them.

They also don’t really give a hoot about what your qualifications are.  It can make them feel intimidated.  You don’t want them to feel like you are better then them nor that you plan to take all their business away.

Therefore, the best approach is to tell them what you seek, by letting them know upfront……you NEVER want to go out of the limits of your license or as they would say “out of your scope of practice”  Which, is why you NEED them.

After you have stroked their ego and made your reasons clear, then you can state your qualifications.  Keep it simple and you don’t have to list the entire kitchen sink.  Also, express to them it is because of your qualifications or education that you recognize the need and the importance of a referral connection.

Finally, invite them into your facility.  Offering a Pedicure is the best approach.  However, you best make sure your sanitary procedures are over par and you are confident with the work you do.  Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.  It doesn’t hurt either, to invite their staff for a service from your facility as well.

Now you have the letter complete, what do you do?  Mail it, fax it, email it….all of the above.  Several times!  That’s right……Several times is what it will take before you get a response.  You have to work through the Receptionist, the Office manager, the Nurse Practitioner and the Wife or Husband.  It takes many times and different venues before you may even be acknowledged.  Follow up with a phone call if necessary, but stay persistent and persevere.

Am I trying to scare you away?  Absolutely not.  I’m being realistic.  I’ve been in this industry a long time.  If I were to start a Salon again, finding Dr. referrals would happen before I even open.  In this day and age, it’s a necessity…..not a luxury.

Next week we’ll talk about referral slips and how the referral process actually works.

Feel free to email me for my recommendation on how to word a Dr. Referral seeking letter!  cj@centreforbeauty.com

 

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