News

  • Plan a Spa Party with Pennies

    The retail landscape has changed over the years, with e-commerce becoming the number one shopping venue. Retailers need to evolve their strategies to entice shoppers to visit our businesses to purchase rather than in the comfort of their own home.

    Physical stores are still most customers’ preferred shopping method, as online shopping cannot replace the personal experience stores allow. While in store, clients can touch, feel, smell and test products, immersing themselves in a multi-sensory experience while receiving live expert advice. Fortunately, this cannot be accomplished while shopping from your couch. Nowadays, the fastest, most cost-effective way to elevate the in-store experience and attract new clients is by hosting in-store events.

    Provide an Educational Experience

    Your event shouldn’t just be about selling products, but rather to provide a unique experience that differentiates your store from the rest. Offer education and encourage client and professional skin therapist interaction by offering complimentary one-on-one skin care analysis. Your team of professional skin therapists will then have the opportunity to explain the benefits of your products and how they will target specific conditions for client results. Clients can play with their recommended products, ask application questions and receive professional tips from you to help maximize their results.

    Offer mini-treatments to allow guests to sample your services when maybe they wouldn’t otherwise. The therapist can discuss products throughout the entire treatment, explaining what they are using and encouraging home care, as well as solidify a future treatment booking.

    These interactions will provide your guests with professional advice and are the key to stimulating an emotional connection between the client, your team and the product. Clients who are educated and are able to try recommended products are more likely to purchase. In fact, an average retail transaction post service is 40% higher than a retail transaction without a service.

    Partner Up

    Chances are businesses in your local community wouldn’t mind driving business into their stores with some free advertising. Network with like-minded retailer neighboring businesses with a goody bag of samples and your business card. Tell them about your event, and encourage them to partner.

    Partner businesses could include: blow dry bars, fitness studios (yoga, Pilates, spin), clothing boutiques, bakeries, waxing salons, health food stores, massage studios and active wear boutiques. Local businesses can participate by donating bounce backs, or products to be included in your event gift bag or an item to raffle. Many restaurants are willing to provide food or beverages to be served during the event as a way to promote their business.

    Let them know you will include their logo on your invites and tag them on social media. Include a charity you feel passionate about and plan to pledge a percentage of your event’s revenue.

    Motivate your Team

    Hold team meetings to get everyone excited and communicate the in-store event details and retail and service booking goals. Assign the team with event tasks such as: door greeter, cash wrap, treatment services, gift bags, bartender, etc. Launch a contest for the team member with the highest sales of the event or most treatments booked.

    Create Buzz

    Get creative when designing invites. Be sure to include your partner’s logos and all that will be offered. Use words like “complimentary treatments,” “gifts with purchase,” and “door prizes and giveaways.” Charge a small ticket fee redeemable for product purchases to encourage product sales during your event. Events that require ticket purchase and RSVPs have a 60% higher show rate than events with no ticket charge or RSVP requirement. A small ticket charge redeemable for product purchases motivates clients to show up and redeem their retail credit which leads to 95% of attendees purchasing product. Utilize event hosting sites like Eventbrite, which manages RSVPs, payment and the guest list.

    Promote Your Event

    Social media is the most effective way to promote your event at no cost. Create buzz and increase ticket sales with a simple social media strategy. Come up with an event tag line that’s short and catchy, put a hashtag in front of it and use this on all social media channels leading up to your event. Add it to your event invite, signage and use it anytime you are promoting your event. Encourage your partners do to the same. This will expand your reach, create excitement and increase ticket sales.

    Set-up for Success

    Set-up and presentation is a vital part of holding a successful event. You may need to rearrange your store to fit all of your guests and allow for maximum service and retailing capacity. Set up a check-in area outside displaying an easel or step and repeat at your entrance. It is important that clients and passers-by know there is a special event happening.

    Gather your partners’ raffle items and a complimentary treatment gift card from your store and set them up by your entrance. Don’t forget entry cards, pens and a bowl or box of entry cards at this station. The purpose of this is to ensure you capture the email addresses of new customers and existing customers who attend the event. Pick raffle winners multiple times throughout the event to keep the excitement and energy high. This will ensure guests will stick around longer in hopes that they are one of the winners. Clearly display promotional items on a focal table to allure attendees to shop.

    Set up a food, drink and gift bag station. Pump up the music to create fun atmosphere and greet attendees with champagne. Take pictures of the event and post to social media, tagging your partners and attendees and utilizing your hashtag. Encourage attendees to do the same by rewarding the best photo using your hashtag with a prize.

    Follow-up

    Your event was a success. You made some new client connections and achieved your retail target. Events should do so much more than generate revenue; they should leave a lasting impression. Most importantly, they should connect with clients emotionally. This connection alone gives customers a reason to return. Solidify those new relationships and follow up. This is the most important part of holding a successful event. Send a handwritten thank you card to each attendee and include a bounce back to encourage them to return. This personal touch will stand out in their mind, and they will be more likely to become a repeat client. Share event pictures and videos of favorite moments across social media from your event, using your hashtag. Post onto your website to promote, build excitement and encourage guests to attend future events.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • 12 Tips to Grow Gift Card Sales

    Gift cards are a multi-billion dollar industry that keeps growing, but the spa industry is not getting a big enough piece of this pie. The most popular gift cards are restaurants, department stores, home improvement, apparel, specialty stores and then beauty.

    Beauty’s low positioning on the totem pole is likely because spas focus on gift card sales during seasonal peaks (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc.). But, here are a few stats on why gift cards can be profitable year-round.

    – Top occasions for gift cards are Christmas, birthdays and thank-yous.

    – In 2015, gift cards accounted for more than 18% of the holiday purchases, according to cardcash.com.

    – Nearly 85% of 25-34 year olds say they are giving a gift card, while only 40% of customers aged 65 and over are planning to give a gift card in the next couple of
    months.

    – Nearly three-quarters (72%) of customers will spend more than the value of their card.

    – On average, the recipient will spend 20% more than his/her gift card value.

    – Many of those (72%) who come in to buy a gift card also do some shopping for themselves.

    – Customers are 2.5 times more likely to buy something for full price if they pay with a gift card.

    – Sales from gift cards are expected to grow to some $140 billion during 2016, according to research by CEB Tower Group.

    – Gift cards have such a high- perceived value that nearly half of consumers would prefer a $25 gift card to a present worth $50.

    – 81% of consumers shopping for a birthday gift purchase a gift card.

    – 44% of consumers purchase $25 cards, 24% purchase $50 cards, 6% purchase $100 cards and the remainder are scattered over various other values.

    – Approximately $25.9 billion is spent on Christmas gift cards, $5.2 billion on Mother’s Day gift cards, $4.9 billion on Father’s Day gift cards and $1.67 billion on Valentine’s Day gift cards.

    What do all of these stats mean to the spa owner?

    You should put a lot more emphasis and planning on gift card sales year round and should be tracking gift card sales from year to year to maximize growth.

    With that said, here are 12 tips to keep gift card sale high all year.

    Tip 1: Increase Visibility

    Increase the visibility of gift card availability everywhere in your location. Don’t hide them and whisper about them—get them out and shout. Make sure your gift cards are displayed at checkout, put signage in the changing rooms, and don’t forget signage in the windows, bathrooms and styling stations. Put small cards around your retail area stating gift cards are available. Do an online search for gift card displays to find holders and racks to prominently display the cards. Prices will range from $15-$75, and it will be well worth it.

    Tip 2: Get Social

    Market gift cards on every social media platform you use, such as Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to include other lines of communication, such as e-blasts and your website.

    Tip 3: Make Purchasing Easy

    If you don’t have capabilities to sell cards online, speak to your web designer today. Make sure that a customer can find where to buy them and be able to purchase quickly with no obstacles to overcome.

    Tip 4: Design by Occasion

    Create special gift cards for certain occasions with unique packaging. Again, do an online search to find sources that sell designer gift card boxes, bags or envelopes to make them stand out or become special for certain events, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays or thank you’s.

    Tip 5: Be Proactive

    Don’t wait until a client asks to purchase a gift card. Coach staff to upsell gift cards at every opportunity, explaining that they only will bring in new clients for everyone. The front desk staff should always ask, “Are there any special occasions coming up that you might need a gift card for Mrs. Jones?” That statement makes the customer think about events about to take place where a gift card would be perfect rather than saying, “Do you need gift cards?”

    Tip 6: Incentivize Staff

    Experiment with what might drive more gift cards sales with your staff. Have a contest, and the person with the highest dollar volume in gift cards gets a special prize. The person with the most individual gift cards sales also gets another special prize. To take it a step further, you might want to put a tracking chart in the breakroom during holiday peak periods so everyone can see how they are doing with a contest.

    Tip 7: Change Signage

    If your gift card signage has been up more than six to eight weeks and it looks the same, it is time to change the signage to attract clients who have viewed it in the past. If it keeps looking the same, the client won’t even notice it.

    Tip 8: Market to Other Businesses

    If a company is looking for a unique gift to reward their staff or gifts for multiple staff members around certain holidays, make sure they are aware of your gift card packages. Imagine how surprised and happy you would be to get a call from a VP of a local company asking about gift card specials and then ordering 20, 30 or 50 to give to staff.

    Tip 9: Cross Promote

    Partner with a florist to include a $10 spa card with a Valentine’s Day bouquet or partner with a local candy maker with the purchase of a box of deluxe chocolates. Explain that your card will help them upsell to larger gift amounts for larger profits. Ask the vendor to report back how many gift cards were actually given out.

    Tip 10: Analyze

    Analyze your gift card sales by holiday, volume and denominations to set goals for increasing sales. For example, know your general gift card sales total and the total gift cards sold for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Also, determine how many were sold for birthdays, thank-yous, weddings, showers, etc., which is easier if you have gift cards for these occasions. Next, you might want to see what denominations are sold for every category to determine which dollar amount is most popular. Now you can take all of that information and move forward to build bigger gift card sales in the future.

    Tip 11: Determine Value

    To build bigger gift cards sales, determine the top three values usually sold in each category. For example, if you find that you sell $50 cards the most for Valentine’s Day, followed by $25 and $75 cards, structure next year’s promotion to build greater volume. If you offer those three packages, clients generally will pick the middle number. You can do several things to increase the sales. You can offer $50, $75 and $100 gift card packages to move clients up to a higher level, and you can “weight” certain levels to drive greater sales.

    To weight a certain level, when your vendor offers any gift with purchase (GWP) or “value added” purchase, get as many of those as is possible. For example, if your skin care vendor has a general promotion kit that sells for $15 but has a perceived value to the consumer of $50 or higher, that is a perfect tool to drive gift card sales. You could beautifully wrap those for the specific holiday creating an eye catching display with signage stating, “Purchase a $100 gift card and receive a wrapped skin care gift worth $50 to give to your special valentine”.

    Tip 12: Make Appealing Packages

    Make your packages really appealing to encourage upsell of a gift card. For example, a $250 Gold Gift Card Package could come with a day of services, specially wrapped gift worth “perceived value” $100 and gourmet lunch. This encourages new clients to experience multiple services that they might return for and to spend more time in the salon and spa to purchase retail product.

    Make Gift Card Sales Soar

    With some additional focus and repeated marketing efforts, your gift card sales can soar to new heights bringing a greatly increased revenue stream to your spa and new clients for a growing future.

    A Friend’s Story

    Recently, my wife dropped the hint (for which I was grateful) that she would like a spa gift card for her birthday. Thinking that would be an easy gift, I looked online at the spa’s web site but wasn’t able to find any.

    Determined to give her the gift she really wanted, I went to the spa. When I asked to purchase a gift card, I got the strangest look from the receptionist. I was asked to wait while she grabbed a manager. While I waited, I thought about how much easier it would have been to go to the ATM to give my wife cash with a note to enjoy the spa.

    Finally, a manager approached me to confirm that I was the one asking for the gift card. After she located one in a drawer, she asked me how much I wanted to spend. She then asked if I needed to put the card into something. I actually never thought about that, but I told her it was a birthday gift for my wife. She said they normally sell cards around the holidays but went into the office to find an envelope. A few minutes later, with envelope and gift card in hand, I left the spa with somewhat of an unfulfilled feeling. I just gave $200 to people who didn’t seem to want it.

    Afterward, I went to my favorite electronics store for a graduation gift for my son. There was a whole array of gift cards for different occasions—all were branded with the store name. I grabbed a graduation one, handed it to the clerk, told him how much to put on it and was out the door in a minute. Before I walked away, the clerk reached under the counter and got a box for the card shaped like a smartphone and handed it to me. What a pleasant and speedy experience.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • SKINtuition: 15 Ways to Build a Championship Team

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    A good job is hard to find, but every business owner or spa manager knows a good employee is even harder to keep. Great business leaders have many characteristics, but one thread that weaves among the best is their ability to foster culture and talent so staff (and clients alike) look forward to coming to work.

    In the spa world, owners are often also operators that still personally service clients in addition to managing a team, and this creates a challenge. By 7 p.m., energy is depleted to “empty husk” level, and there’s no patience for staff squabbles, training needs or a clogged dermabrasion machine.

    Contrary to belief, a fat paycheck is not the sole root to motivation. To build a championship team it takes effort, creativity and most of all, praise. If you are feeling a bit of a “husk” yourself and recognize that staff morale needs a boost, give a few of these a try.

    1. Be transparent about the numbers.

    Ensure you have ongoing open communication about the business, the good and the bad. Share these in monthly and weekly meetings. It helps the team understand spending, the meaning behind tasks and encourages ownership, accountability and commitment.

    2. Set goals and targets.

    Champions need goals with clear expectations for results to be achieved. Everyone needs to know their daily, weekly and monthly goals, and attention needs to be given to this on a daily basis. There’s nothing worse than an individual missing a goal by a leg wax or sale of one cleanser. As a manager or owner, it is your duty to help them reach these goals, which starts with them knowing what they are.

    3. Recognize a job well done.

    Have “shout outs” at team meetings, and compliment a team member when you witness outstanding customer service, teamwork and/or skilled performance. Start a public recognition program like employee of the month, share on your social media pages and physically hang a picture of the team member in your business for clients to celebrate them too.

    4. Encourage attendance to education.

    New modalities and ingredients get introduced into our industry daily along with skin scientific discoveries. Support your staff and encourage their progress and achievements. Get them to share new skills or relevant information with your other team members on their return. Champions aren’t created without training.

    5. Support new ideas.

    When staff members voice an idea or a solution to a problem they believe is for the betterment of the business, it shows that they care. Supporting new ideas and giving an individual the chance to ‘run with it’ is motivating, whether or not it works out in the end.

    6. Empower decision making.

    The salon or spa should not crumble if you are gone for a day or week. If you have trained and empowered your staff to make decisions, let them take full ownership, let go of the reigns and let them roll.

    7. Don’t let boredom sneak in.

    Keep it fun with planned outings and group activities. Host a best smoothie recipe taste-off, book an early spin class or arrange a group hike and picnic. Have someone suggest a team building activity quarterly.

    8. Give together and grow together.

    Have one day per quarter where you all volunteer for your chosen non-profit, be it a cut-a-thon, complimentary skin treatments and makeovers for a woman’s shelter. Giving feels good and goes a long way to boost empathy and team spirit.

    9. Hear from them.

    Have a different person each week run the meeting to break up the monotony. Have different team members update about different areas of the business like new client acquisition, social media engagement, retail figures and new products.

    10. Write to say thanks.

    Send a handwritten note or card for a job well done be it for client retention, delicate handling of a customer compliant or achieving a retail target for the first time.

    11. Treat them.

    Chocolate and good coffee are always a winner. Purchase a small surprise unique gift for an outstanding team member. Bring in homemade treats, or let them organize a potluck.

    12. Help them to prioritize.

    Learn to recognize burn-out and make sure your team knows it is part of the teamwork culture to ask for help.

    13. Celebrate.

    Celebrate important markers, be it team birthdays, hitting targets together, work anniversaries or milestones.

    14. Challenge.

    Whether it’s to spearhead a new project, social media campaign, new service promotion or event, give them the responsibility and guidelines to run with it.

    15. Encourage friendly competition.

    A competitive environment is a productive environment. Champs love to participate in competitions or challenges for increased camaraderie.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • SKINtuition: 5 Ways To Get People Buzzing About Your Biz

    Buzz or word-of-mouth marketing is best described as “people talking about you.” Has a friend recently recommended a new hip restaurant, a unique store, cool website or insist you watch a certain Netflix show? Has a business connection suggested a new money saving app? That’s buzz.

    Buzz can happen organically, and creating buzz for your business is not hard. It takes a bit of creativity, willingness to fail and above all confidence. Here are five simple ideas to push up the buzz o’ meter.

    1. Stand Out

    Do something that will get you noticed. Examples could include a new advanced treatment, big event or giving back to the community. If you do what every other spa does, you’re not worth talking about.

    2. Share Your Story

    Storytelling is gold. If your entered into skin care as a life-long dream after losing your job, getting divorced or finally getting your kids out of the nest, share this. Being honest and transparent is refreshing, and people love a real success story (especially the press), so don’t be afraid to share your truth or even your failures for that matter. It’s fascinating and people want to connect with and support small business.

    3. Look After Your Loyalists

    Loyal clients are the ones who will buzz about you to their friends and family in person and via social, so it’s in your best interest to treat them like royalty. It goes way beyond your treatments and services—you should have stellar customer service support, build exceptional relationships and go above and beyond expectations. Your top clients give you the majority of your business, it’s part of the 80/20 rule. So dial up how you acknowledge and reward them. The occasional “surprise and delight” unexpected note, gift or complimentary service goes down as a treat too.

    4. Be Your Own Ambassador of Buzz

    If you’re not ready to jump in and chat about your craft, then who else? Instead of focusing on what you do and how you do it, talk to people about why you do it. When you talk about the why, your authentic passion will come through; this is much more fascinating and galvanizing for someone to hear.

    Think of it as your own 30 second “elevator pitch” you need to be able to get this down and it is the cheapest and easiest most important form of buzz marketing. Share away at networking events, startup meetups, co-working spaces, industry get-together’s, backyard BBQs and even in the dog park.

    5. Dig Deep Into Social

    Research says that 63% of consumers who search for local businesses online are more likely to use businesses with information on social media sites. Facebook alone is now a mini website, and your social platforms are likely to be more up to date than your business website.

    When you consider that 93% of buying decisions are also influenced by social media, it is a no brainer. No social presence equals no visibility and no business. So post, Pin, engage, Tweet, Instagram, Snapchat away, but keep it professional, educational, positive, a bit quirky and fun if you want to convert those followers to service dollars.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • SKINtuition: 8 Fast and Slow Retail Strategies

    Dermalogica retail shopper

    As spa owners or managers, we need to make retail a focus instead of an afterthought, and our approach to retail and service should be both fast and slow. Sounds confusing? Let me explain.

    First, some good news. Although the idea of omni-retail (or multichannel retailing) might be overwhelming for small business owners, the good news is people are buying plenty of products. According to the NPD group, $16 billion was spent in 2015 by U.S consumers on prestige skin and beauty products and a staggering $21.7 billion in the mass channel. That’s a lot of lotion and lipstick. So, how can we make some better retail gains in the professional industry?

    When shoppers leisurely hanging out and enjoy themselves with in-store services, storytelling with less inventory, having customers take a seat to try products or even having a library or art installation, sales can increase by as much as 40%. Customers not only leave with three products on average, but a future service booking with a skin therapist and a much stronger understanding of their skin needs.

    So what more can you do to secure your sales? What best practices should you be replicating in your retail area? Here are eight fast and slow ideas to get your slice of that $16-billion-dollar pie.

    1. Add Experiences

    Investigate new ways to “power-up” the client experience through complimentary face mappings, self-serving or guided product bars, and in-store skin lesson mini events.

    2. Create Mini Services

    During quieter times, offer “on-demand” 10-minute services that don’t require a booking and are complimentary when a number of products or a core service is purchased.

    3. Remove Clutter

    Remove clutter and any inventory that either muddles your message, you don’t wholeheartedly believe in or can’t adequately differentiate from other product offerings.

    4. Design a story

    Have a weekly “story” in your retail area with curated product picks on your feature table that tell the backstory. Clients or customers should see something unique or different every visit. Use great visuals to spark inspiration.

    5. Amplify your theme

    Feature one-time-only treatments that tie into new product launches to amplify the central theme or story.

    6. Personalized marketing

    Personal­ization reigns. Make sure your outreach and promotions are customized as are your recommendations—not just to your customer’s exact skin needs but their desires, habits, lifestyle and preferences. Banish cookie cutter everything and replace with custom-made designed.

    7. Be real

    Whenever you speak, tell the real stories behind the product without needless fluff.

    8. Don’t forget about neighbors

    Focus on your neighbors and local community—how can you come together and support each other and the community as a whole?

    Remember, that you must convert your service clients to retail clients. If you are not, then you are not only doing them a disservice, but someone else who’s less qualified than you is wiping the pie crumbs away after eating your slice.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • SKINtuition: 6 Ways to Stand Out in the Age of Impatience

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    Looking back, industry trends in 2015 heralded some fascinating consumer behavior. Clients took advantage of new booking apps that deliver an at-home massage within one hour, but then endured long and multiple color appointments to accomplish that perfect ombre fade. Who would have expected #multimasking to have a major moment on Instagram, or that lash extensions would creep north and we’d be microblading in bushier brows? We tried to be more mindful, especially as we consumed copious amounts of kale. I’d love to know who the PR team is behind kale because they deserve an award for 2015’s most popular cabbage. Consumer trends can be overwhelming, but they are worth extra attention. The trick is to decipher what’s going to stick, what’s a fad and what is just plain bonkers.

    One trend that seems to be here to stay is the need for instant gratific­ation. Thanks to our hyper-connectivity and a tolerance for waiting that has dropped to zero, restless impatience is driving industry trends and will impact your business in 2016.

    This “Amazon-ification” level of expectation has surpassed virtual reality and seeped into every corner of our lives. Waiting 48 hours for an online order seems like an eternity, so same-day delivery is becoming the norm. Smartphone apps not only eliminate waiting for a cab, but human interaction: apps can bypass flirting by suggesting a date and securing a table at the toughest reservation in town. Teenagers don’t watch TV; they stream their favorite shows and movies on their tablet or laptop in seconds.

    Experts caution that all this instant gratification comes at a price; it’s made us terribly impatient. The new anxiety, wasting a single moment not getting exactly what you want. A study from the University of Massassa­chusettes Amherst says we now abandon videos if they take longer than two seconds to load. Today’s consumer is so restless that we’d rather be literally shocked than have nothing to do. University of Virginia scientists found that participants preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves rather than being left alone with their own thoughts for 6 to 15 minutes. We literally crave stimulation!

    If you are still operating your business like you did even two years ago, you need to “think quicker.” Here are six to-dos to help satisfy restless, impatient clients.

    1. Mobile Booking
    Make appointment booking painless by providing a quick online or even better mobile app option.

    2. Improve Software
    Ensure that check-in and check-out is efficient. Invest in computerized software that keeps client information on file for fewer lines and faster service.

    3. Develop Micro Services
    Consider offering “no appointment necessary” for micro services under 30 minutes.

    4. Engage During Waits
    Identify ways to engage clients while they wait. Can they give themselves a mini treatment at your product pool or skin bar, or make their own bath salts at your salt bar? Perhaps they get a “texters thumb” massage while watching video tutorials on how to treat their delicate eye area. Get creative!

    5. Text Confirmation
    Confirm appointments via text or a messaging app. Don’t leave a voicemail asking for a call back to confirm the appointment.

    6. Make Products Pronto
    Ensure that you have comprehensive client profiles set up in your system so you can quickly deliver or mail that emergency travel product or cleanser when they run out. Even better, track their purchases and anticipate what products they need replenished. The client who drives, parks and comes in for a single product is diminishing, but this kind of forward-thinking customer service can help grow your clientele and your retail business.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • Why International Women’s Day? Because It’s About You

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    The International Dermal Institute joins Dermalogica and FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship) to celebrate this year’s highly-anticipated International Women’s Day by taking the Pledge for Parity – and we want you to do the same!

    International Women’s Day, held during National Women’s History Month, honors the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The Pledge for Parity aims to accelerate progress toward closing the pay gap between men and women, who perform 66 percent of the world’s work, yet only earn 10 percent of the world’s income.

    In 2015, the World Economic Forum predicted that at the world’s currently “glacial” rate of progress, it would take until 2133 to achieve global gender parity, or equality. That’s over a century away! By taking the pledge and raising awareness now, we can help speed change.

    Why is this important to professional skin therapists? All over the world, women have faced discrimination in the workforce, particularly when attempting to access business loans. In developing countries, nine out of 10 women-owned businesses have no access to loans. Even some of the most successful professional skin therapists in our network were once denied loans for salons or spas because their businesses were thought “unproductive” or “shallow.”

    The fact is, salons are a global economic force. In the U.S. alone, women make up 85 percent of the salon industry compared to 47 percent of the overall U.S. workforce. More and more people are realizing that when women earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, leading to growth in both the global economy as well as in their own communities.

    “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem.

    Dermalogica’s global initiative FITE helps women entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, so they can become financially independent and able to support their families and communities at large. This year, FITE is focused on expanding the FITE Future Entrepreneurs program, which combines the missions of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute ­to advance education and financial literacy for women and girls in the industry.

    “For nearly 30 years, Dermalogica has empowered women in the salon industry,” said Dermalogica and FITE Founder and Chief Visionary Jane Wurwand. “The FITE Future Entrepreneurs program is an opportunity to bring a new group of extraordinary young women into the Dermalogica Tribe and train them not just for a job, but for a career.”

    Through mentorship and coaching, FITE Future Entrepreneurs aids in building a strong community of women who support each other to achieve their goals. The unique program provides not only education and vocational training, but also an opportunity for more women to own businesses, thereby changing their lives and the communities in which they live.

    Now it’s time to do your part! Take the pledge today, or visit internationalwomensday.com for ideas on how to celebrate International Women’s Day near you. Share with us your #IWD2016 celebrations and what this day means to you by tagging us @joinFITE.

  • #TopicsonTrend with Annet King

    annet croppedKeep an ear to the ground with an eye toward the future—that’s my motto. We live in a world in constant motion; goods, capital and labor are traveling globally at a faster pace than ever and moving in novel patterns. Not to mention that pop culture and consumer trends are quite fascinating to me. So I took the liberty of researching trends like multi-masquingmanscaping, cannabusiness, sound therapy, fast shopping vs. slow shopping, even 3D bioprinting of skin (I can go all day with this!) to understand how they can affect the future of our business.

    In order to successfully navigate the ever-changing world of consumer perceptions, it helps to understand the landscape. If you don’t know where you stand, it’s difficult to get to where you want to be. Technology has rapidly changed how we behave, shop and interact FOREVER yet many skin centers, salons and spas continue to operate in the same manner.

    To stay relevant, profitable and successful we have to continuously adapt our business around the needs, wants and desires of the consumer. We need to think differently and act fast to seize every opportunity to attract new clients, increase services, boost retail revenues and secure loyalty. It’s time to open your eyes, act fast and make sure you don’t get left behind!

    Get started by watching my webinar #TopicsonTrend, courtesy of American Spa, to discover the most important trends that impact our industry and what you can do to ensure your business stays relevant.

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  • New Year, New Strategy—PR Tactics to Broaden Your Business Scope

    Lori MacGregor Considering adding PR to your marketing strategy this year? Consider this: PR, generally understood as securing third-party endorsements for your brand, is widely thought to be more influential (and less expensive) than advertising. That said, it’s called “earned media” for a reason—good PR takes effort and a dedication to building relationships with journalists, online influencers, and consumers over time. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can reap the benefits for years to come.

    Here are five ways to use PR to boost your business within the coming year.

    • Develop a press kit, a collection of assets that communicate the key message points and vision for your business. Press kits typically include a company backgrounder, service menu, location images, and a bio on the business owner or key staff. You might have printed copies to hand out, but most media prefer digital.

    • Connect with media influencers. Note local media outlets such as city magazines, newspapers, blogs, and TV news, and invite the appropriate contact in for a complimentary treatment—media will be better able to capture the spirit of your brand if they experience it first-hand. Reach out via email, briefly explaining what makes your business, staff, or menu unique. Then, roll out the (figurative) red carpet: confirm details the day before, give a full tour of the space, and ensure they are booked with your top-performing talent. Remember the old adage: you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

    • Provide unique content. Reporters cover news, so they’ll be motivated to cover a business that’s just opened or expanded, a seasonally-relevant skin treatment, expert tips that consumers can try at home, or local stories that benefit the community. Many publications plan weeks and months in advance, so be ready to preview your unique summer skin treatment in March. Be thoughtful about outreach; contact only with newsworthy topics, and never badger a writer with calls or emails. You want to build a relationship; be respectful and understand that if an idea doesn’t work, there may be another opportunity down the road.

    • Team up. There’s power in numbers. Partner with local businesses to create a neighborhood event, where guests receive exclusive deals, previews, or add-ons when they attend. Invite local business owners, customers, bloggers, and social media influencers, and encourage them to post photos on their social media channels, tagging your business. Social media is powerful media!

    • PR your PR! Amplify your accolades. Add press clips to your website, create display sheets for shelves, and highlight wins on social media. Always thank each journalist for coverage. Do it publically over Twitter, privately via email, or more personally with a handwritten note. You’re not obligated to send a gift, but complimentary product will keep your business top of mind as they plan their next story or segment.

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  • Why I Dare to Give, and You Should Too

    LG Headshot“I just don’t have the time.

    But I’m not qualified.

    I can’t find the right organization to work with.

    I can’t make a difference; I’m only one person.”

    Any of these sound familiar? You’re not alone. Most people have avoided the act of giving—whether they meant to or not—within their lifetimes, but this holiday season we challenge you to find a way.

    give backTo make giving easier than ever, there’s #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s an opportunity for people around the world to come together and focus on one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

    “But I’m a small business owner and don’t have the time or resources to give back.”

    Giving back is a win-win scenario for your business. Studies show that consumers around the world prefer to buy products and services from businesses that give back. In fact, 46% of consumers are willing to pay extra for these products and services. As professional skin therapists and salon owners, you have the opportunity to give back to your community while also drawing attention to your business and attracting new potential clients.

    Whether a non-profit organization, book club or even potluck dinner, individuals are always looking to be part of something greater than themselves. Giving Tuesday provides you with the opportunity to work with your clients to give back and, perhaps, appeal to new consumers as well.

    So the next question is obvious: how do you participate?

    It’s easy! Donate to your favorite charity or cause on Giving Tuesday. If you don’t have one yet, visit givingtuesday.org to research ideas. Check out what’s happening in your local community this year on Giving Tuesday (December 1, 2015), and be a part of it!

    Or join us to help women and girls achieve Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship! Visit joinFITE.org to find out how. Always remember that even the smallest gesture goes a long way. Together we can all make a difference for someone, somewhere, somehow.

    How will you be giving back? Tell us @joinFITE #GivingTuesday.