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Everything you need to know about insurance for your beauty business.

Growing Your Salon or Spa Business Through the Tough Times

Posted May 21st, 2011 by Jeff Pulford

Have You Retreated?

Jan and Artie, owners of J & A Salon in Tucson took their first weekend off in years. It was September of 2010 (Remember when this recession economy started?).  They felt they needed to re-evaluate their salon business … and their life. A ‘retreat weekend’ was in order.

Jan and Artie had put their all into their salon business, attracting good employees and booth renters. They leased a space in a neighborhood of middle class working families. . The quality of their work was superb, and they prospered.

Then, ouch! … the recession of 2008 came along… a disaster for them. They worked harder, cut every possible expense, laid-off unproductive employees, and kept their best booth renters. They survived, but it was very difficult for them and their staff.

As their 2010 retreat approached, they were tired, a little scared and unsure what 2011 had in store.

Experience Counts

They decided to call Jan’s Dad. He was the one that recommended the beauty industry to them when they were starting out.  He also helped them get started financially and knew a lot about running small businesses.  Most of all … they trusted him.

Jan’s Dad owned an insurance agency that specialized in the beauty industry (salons, spas, schools, stylists and barbers).  He knew all the ins and outs of the business and risk sides of the industry.  He knew Jan and Artie could use some business insights to get back to being successful over the coming difficult years. The time of easy profits from plentiful clients in a good economy was over.

Back to Basics

He shared that their artistic skills were a given, but that it was good business practices, smart promotion/PR, good staff training and motivation, strong ethics, and fail-safe contemporary insurance that would set their salon apart, and attract and help them retain their good clients.

He got right to work, reviewing their financials, business practices and procedures, and completed a total business salon inspection based on not only the standard risk categories in a typical BOP (Business Owner Policy) but with the very specific issues around the operation of a salon. The three started a list of things important to the business that included:

  1. People: Themselves, salon workers, referrals, friends, distributors, and vendors.
  2. Financial: Accounting, profit and loss, pricing of services, costs of running a business, lawsuits, catastrophes, disability, and very importantly, expensive workers compensation.
  3. General: Marketing, advertising, education, health and welfare.
  4. Clients: A huge topic arena. He recommended Artie and Jan surveyed their clients to learn more about why they chose and why they have chosen to stay with their stylist and the salon.  The answers were not surprising but gave them the confidence of where to spend their time and money.

Their results were that the happy J & A Salon clients liked their stylist’s:

  • Personality
  • Quality of work.
  • Ease of scheduling.
  • General BTC professionalism.
  • Felt service prices were reasonable, competitive, and affordable.
  • The salon and stylist reliable and on-time for their appointments.

It was clear that in this difficult economy their clients were watching every dollar; and in the wake of some local stories in where clients had been harmed by beauty services (Nail infections, the formaldehyde controversy, etc.) , their clients were ever more mindful of safety concerns.

Jan, Artie and Jan’s Dad developed simple, inexpensive solutions that addressed to focus on client survey results andquests from their survey

Pricing

Revamped and created a easier-to-understand menu with competitive pricing and numerous ‘special packages’ that ‘offered multiple service with increased client values.  Not discounts … values.

Money

Made it easy and fast for clients to pay for services. Cash (change ready with safety precautions in place). Credit cards and debit cards – revamped salon’s credit card vendor … easy, safe, and a profit-saver. Examined client list and established clients’ special skills for trade and even set up a special payment program for clients on hard times).

Insurance

Clients were made aware of the excellent insurance coverage their salon had in place for their safety and security. General Liability for slip and falls, products sold, and lease compliance. Professional Liability covering the salon and its employees, that included off-premises events like weddings and outside special events. Often missing from many policies.  Booth renters motivated to obtain their own highly affordable insurance policies as independent business people. This policy saved the salon money and  didn’t burden the independent booth renter with high premiums. Property and loss of income coverage also to come on line.

Health and Safety

No surprise that a salon is full of plumbing, electrical devices, and of course, chemicals.  Inspection, cleaning, and verified safety procedures outlined and clients were promotionally informed of everything their salon was doing that they probably would not be seeing for their safety at other salons.  Even down to simple, but client-obvious hand cleaning/disinfection dispensers at each station that speaks volumes about how client and stylist safety was paramount and helps ensure salon staff doesn’t transmit flu or colds to each other and/or the clients.

No Big Deal

After the weekend retreat, within one week, every task on the list was able to be completed. Electrical and plumbing issues repaired, Updated money procedures and insurance coverages reviewed and expanded. Calculate distance . The salon clean and safe, well-marked, and the most noticeable feature to all clients totally spotless bathrooms.

Cost Much?

Hardly.  Aside from their time, total cost for salon update was $522 including $318 for electrical and plumbing fixups.  Jan and Artie were elated, confident they would keep their current clients and excited about their next project.

Have You Ever Done a Retreat?

 

 

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Have You Ever Had a ‘Retreat’?


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A Wonderful ISSE Experience for Insure Beauty

Posted February 1st, 2011 by Alex

It Was Great Meeting You!

Our team had an exhausting, but wonderful time meeting up with so many of you during the show.  Thanks for dropping by our booth and for signing up to win one of the free Sailing Cruises on Monterey Bay and grabbing your free photo during the show. Each cruise prize is worth $600.

More Than We Expected.

What we found especially gratifying were the number of independent stylists asking why you needed your own business insurance policy.  As you learned, the insurance coverage your salon landlord carries isn’t quite as complete as you thought it was under a number of circumstances and can leave you more than a little vulnerable.  Thanks for all your questions.

LIKE Insure Beauty on Facebook.

Win the 16GB w/ WiFi iPad!

(Retail value $499.00)

Winners Announced Feb 28th

iPad winners to be announced on February 28th on Facebook.  Individual cruise winners will be notified on Facebook and by private email.

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