Archives for September 2012

5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Evernote

If you’re anything like me, the minute you got your smartphone you were on the hunt for great apps. Having the right tools and resources at your disposal is essential to staying productive while you’re on the go. While there are a lot of apps out there that I use and I like, I’ve never found anything as dynamic as Evernote for growing my business.

Evernote is a website application as well as a smartphone application – meaning you can access it online, on your desktop, with your phone or your tablet. This is part of what makes it such a dynamic tool for your business. You can access your notes wherever you are.

In its simplest form, Evernote is a note taking tool. You can create notes and save them using notebooks and tags to keep everything organized. It’s pretty easy to get started but part of what makes it so terrific for small business owners is that you can do anything with those notes. You can clip articles from online, upload photos, record videos or voice memos and add in your own notes. The possibilities are virtually endless.

You can register for a F.R.E.E account for Evernote at, which also includes links to the Android and iPhone apps. There’s also a premium option for $5 per month which has extra features like multiple users. (However, I’ve been using the free version for almost 3 years and have never found it necessary to upgrade.)

So what can you do with Evernote? Here are a few ways to help your business grow.  Read more about 5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Evernote

Your Instant Recipe for Following Up: When, Who and How

Ready to implement a follow up system that really works? Although you may want to try to streamline your follow up process by only following up with new clients, don’t do it! Your follow up plan isn’t the place to cut corners. You should follow up with all your clients, new and existing. Not sure where to get started? Here’s a simple recipe to follow to get your entire staff on track with the follow up process.

When Should You Follow Up?

Great customer service starts with being timely. It is essential to call for a follow up within 24-48 hours. Make your follow up calls while you’re still fresh in the client’s mind. You’ll get the most useful feedback during this time. During the follow-up call, ask for feedback about their services and service providers.

Who Should Be Following Up?

Training your staff is necessary to keep up with client follow ups. Don’t only train your receptionist – train your specialists as well. These service providers should be following up regularly with their existing clients. You can put a system in place in your booking software or with a paper-based booking system so that each and every client gets a follow up call. Put your front desk staff in charge of checking in that the follow ups are being done, and assign one member of your front desk staff to be in charge of follow up calls to brand new clients.

Make sure everyone on your team understands the goal of the follow up calls. Giving your team the big picture will show them that follow up calls aren’t just a chore but an important part of the growth of your business. This will get them on board and make them excited to make those all important calls. Happy clients mean more business for you!

How Should You Be Following Up?

A big part of effective follow up is knowing what to say on those calls. Team members, especially those not working the front desk, don’t always know what to say to clients on the phone. Giving them a script will build their confidence and teach them to reinforce your brand message while remaining professional.

Don’t just hand over the script and hope for the best! You can use role playing to practice the script. Practice makes perfect! Role play will help your staff adapt the scrip to actual client situations and build their confidence. It will give them a chance to use the script in a comfortable environment before they speak to clients directly.

Having a script will also help you deal professionally with clients who are unhappy. You should set a system in place for dealing with unhappy clients – such as adding a manager or team leader to the call in order to try to resolve the situation for the client.

When you put the effort in, training will make your follow up plan a success. Follow up is a major part of your overall customer service plan, so invest the time and energy to do it right. It will keep your clients coming back and bringing their friends!

How to Use Your Smartphone to Make Videos That Get You Clients

Creating a marketing video for your business used to mean booking time with a professional studio and paying a hefty price tag. Now you can do many of the same things using your own smartphone. Whether you have an iOS or Android device, you can use your smartphone or tablet as your personal video studio to craft content that speaks to your target audience.

But in order to get started, you need the right apps. There are several video recording apps to choose from for your smartphone. Here are a few of your best options.     Read more about How to Use Your Smartphone to Make Videos That Get you Clients

How to Develop a Profitable Follow Up System

The biggest mistake spa and salon owners make is not staying in touch with existing clients! Once you’ve gotten a client through your doors once, it’s much easier to keep them coming back than to go out and find brand new clients.  Following up with your clients makes you stand out from the pack and strengthens your client relationships. Your business grows through the relationships you and your stylists build with your clientele.

Why Should You Follow Up With Clients?

Following up helps with customer satisfaction and ensures their return to your salon. Not only will you get valuable information by asking for feedback in a follow up call, your client gets a chance to talk about her service. She’ll know you really care about her and her experiences.

A good follow up plan is key to lowering expenses and increasing revenue. It costs 5-7 times more for you to get a new client than to keep an existing one. You can lower your marketing expenses and boost your bookings by following up with your clients. The goal of the follow-up is to thank the customer and get feedback, but you can also use this time to offer additional services or book the next appointment.

Follow Up Key #1 – Create a Plan for Following Up

Documentation is a major key to helping your staff stay on track with follow up calls. When you implement your follow up plan, document it so all your staff knows what needs to be done. Your plan can include handwritten thank you notes or phone calls.

Although technology makes following up quick and easy, they are less personal than a handwritten note or phone call. Who doesn’t like a thank you note in the mail or a personal call to check in?

Follow Up Key #2 – Train Your Staff

Once you’ve created the plan for following up, you need to train your staff to follow up. It can be tempting to write a memo or simply announce your expectations, but you really do need to take that extra step to train your staff. Training is time and labor intensive, but very worth it! It builds teamwork and reinforces the messages that you want your staff to get across with all of their interactions.

To help your staff remember what they learned in training, use checklists to help them implement your plan. Make sure they know when and how to follow up, as well as which clients need a follow up touch.

Follow Up Key #3 – Revise Your Plan

After getting your plan in place and training your staff to do the right type of follow up, you need to review your plan regularly and make any necessary changes. Make it a point to review your plan every quarter. Check to see if your follow up system has had an effect on sales. If not, revise your plan and review the changes with your staff. Your staff may need to be retrained if they aren’t sure how the plan should be used or are missing out on important details.

A profitable follow up system makes it easy to show clients how much you care. By using a reliable and regularly updated system, you can make your business really stand out from the crowd.

Local Networking Secrets: How to Greet Your Way to New Clients

Do you attend local networking events? Being part of formal referral and networking groups has been a big part of my success in growing two successful businesses in the past 6 years. Keep in mind that your networking doesn’t have to be limited to official events. I’ve used a terrific technique lately that is low-stress, low-pressure and very effective for connecting with new prospects.

Here’s what I do:

• I create a list of businesses in the area that would be a good fit for my services.
• After researching them (and noting what’s wrong with their marketing presence), I stop by casually while I’m out running errands or volunteering.
• During this meeting, I introduce myself, have a brief chat to gather some details, schedule a follow up meeting and leave my business card.
• During the follow-up appointment we discuss their needs, challenges and I propose a few solutions. This leads to a conversation about how we can work together and grow their business.
• They choose one of my consulting packages and we get started!

Meeting potential clients this way is effective because it’s very personal. It doesn’t feel pushy for the business owners or the staff. They get to meet me face to face and as a result they are more inclined to meet with me for the follow up appointment. I’m no longer a stranger, I’m Sydni – that nice lady that stopped by the other day.

Here’s how to put this technique to work for your business:      Read more about Local Networking Secrets: How to Greet Your Way to New Clients

Get Your Team On Board: Empowering Others to Follow Up with Clients

As a salon owner you don’t have time to follow up with every client who walks through your door. Don’t let that stop you from making sure your clients get that extra touch that makes for a GREAT experience. Empower your team to follow up and you’ll see more repeat clients.

Your Team Can Be Your Biggest Follow up Assets      [Read more…]

How to Market Your Business and Increase Your Profits When You’re Always On the Go

I don’t know a single entrepreneur who isn’t busy and on the go these days. Folks who are struggling to grow their business often lament that they don’t market like they should because they don’t have enough time.

But the truth is we are each allocated the same amount of time each day, we just have to choose how we’re going to spend it. This means that you need to make the most out of every moment. Don’t make excuses about what you can’t do. Instead, focus on what you CAN do. NO ONE is too busy to market and today’s technology makes it easier than ever before to stay in touch with your audience while you’re out and about.

If you have a Smartphone (or a tablet like an iPad), I’ve got good news for you! There are dozens of apps that are designed to help you run your business from anywhere. Here are a few apps that I have found particularly helpful: Read more about How to Market Your Business and Increase Your Profits When You’re Always On the Go

7 Ways to Treat Your Clients Like VIPs

Everyone wants to feel like a VIP. Booking a service at a salon or spa is one way for many people to feel special for a few hours.  Use these tips to treat your clients like VIPs and they’ll keep coming back:

  1. Train all your staff to be friendly and welcoming to every one of your guests. Your reception staff understands this, but your custodial staff may not. To make your client feel like a VIP, she needs to feel welcomed by everyone she interacts with.
  2. The first interaction a client has with your salon is when she books a service. Make sure the booking process is smooth and as easy as possible for the client. Booking is your first opportunity to make your client feel like a VIP by asking good questions and showing that you understand her needs. When a guest books one of your signature services, let them know why that service is special or unique. Highlight the fact that you use an unusual technique or a high-end product. [Read more…]