Originally published by: behindthechair.com
Frank Gambuzza is kind of busy—not only is he the president of Intercoiffure North America/Canada, one of the biggest and most prestigious hair clubs this industry has ever known, but he also runs four elite salons in the Knoxville area with his wife and business partner, Belinda. The pair manages Salon Visage, Spa Visage, Studio Visage and Frank’s Barbershop. While each salon is part of the Visage Group, they function as totally different brands, and with a staff of about 215 people throughout all four salons, managing everything—and everyone—can be a lot to handle. So how does he do it? BTC caught up with Frank and got the inside scoop on how he seems to do it all. Hint: he’s got some techy-help that assists him in running his salons exactly the way he wants to!
So let’s take a look at some of Frank’s best tips for salon owners and managers along with the software system that allows everything to function smoothly.
1. Managing Multiple Salons? No Problem!
Software that’s integrated with every salon you’re overseeing? SalonBiz® has got your back. “The information is integrated into all four stores, all of which are different brands, so it is really impactful to me because we are hitting some of the same consumers in different stores because of the different offerings. We may have a husband in the barbershop, a wife at the salon and a daughter at the blow-dry lounge, so it makes it simple for us when we have the history of all the consumers inside one bank at every location.”
2. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Frank and his wife run four large salons together, so to manage them effectively, they need a software company that helps them every step of the way. “I’ve been with SalonBiz® for more than 15 years, and the reason I’ve gone with them for so long is because it’s always aligned with our belief system, our customer flow and financial standpoint—and because of that, it’s a true partner,” says Frank.
3. Train Fast, Train Smart and Train Hard
Frank stresses the importance of employee training—train fast, train smart and train hard. “We only ever really lose people in the beginning,” says Frank. “We push hard and heavy and try to run them off quick because if they can withstand that, we know they’ll be fine later.” The reason he is able to do this? Quite simply, SalonBiz® (and his amazing managers!). The app has the ability to set everything as a default, which cuts down on questions and mistakes, making training quick, effective and a money-saver.
4. Don’t Talk Numbers
Stylists don’t always love business talk, so when you’re discussing how many products stylists are supposed to sell per client, Frank suggests leaving the numbers out of it. At Frank’s salons, stylists aim to sell a half unit per client and they never talk in dollars. “If you want your staff to tune out, talk dollars, if you want them to tune in, talk performance and behavior—dollars increase naturally.”
5. Watch Your Language
A lot of salon owners don’t change their lingo when talking in management meetings verses talking to stylists. And according to Frank, “It’s a dramatic mistake, because language at a management meeting is for the welfare of the business. Language at an employee meeting needs to be for the welfare of their career, because the one thing they truly care about is what’s in it for them. As a manager/owner you have to remember that your stylists are not really concerned about your business, they are concerned about their life—so use language to reflect that.”
6. Simplify the Business
With SalonBiz®, the ability to customize is pretty straightforward, so of course that’s exactly what Frank did. He asked SalonBiz® for a custom report that would help him learn more about his stylists and the four indicators that reflect the salon’s status. They are: client count, average service ticket, prebook rate and the amount of products-per-client sold. Learn more about this report and its benefits here!
7. Establish a Relationship with Your Stylists
As an owner or manager, work to help your stylists do better. Frank posts the report mentioned above every night in his salons to help keep his stylists on track toward reaching their goals. “They have milestones they have to hit no matter what level they are at,” Frank shares. “The whole salon has to be managed, and this report allows for that to happen.”
8. It’s All About Your Prebook, Baby!
Frank says client retention can often be an afterthought, when it’s too late. In his salon, they focus on prebooking, but what does that mean exactly? It means getting your clients to book while they are there with you in the salon! “Our salon prebooking has doubled since we started using SalonBiz®!”
9. Confirm Those Appointments
How important is following up with clients before their next appointment? At Frank’s salons, they use the text message reminders which has been huge in decreasing their no-shows—as in 13 percent growth huge! “If a client misses an appointment or two because they don’t have proper confirmation, sometimes they’ll leave your brand out of embarrassment. If that happens, not only do you not have someone show up for an appointment or two, but you’ve potentially lost a $2,000 client because they feel personally embarrassed.”
10. Focus On the Clients in Your Chair
Frank’s been in the industry for a long time, so he knows how stylists can get about chasing new clientele, but what if your salon focused more on keeping the clients they already have rather than gaining new ones? “If salon owners took time to focus on who is walking in the door and gave them more value for the same amount of money, that’s when people start being way more connected to your brand, and it will become harder for them to leave.”
11. Staff Comes First…Always
For Frank and Belinda, staff comes first. The clients come first for the stylists, of course, but as an owner, Frank believes it’s his responsibility to be there for his staff and make them his No. 1 priority. “Our responsibility is to serve our staff, and if we serve them right, then they’ll serve the client right,” he says.