Charging your Worth - Adding Value to Every Service

Charging your Worth - Adding Value to Every Service

Joseph Pine and James Gilmore in their book, The Experience Economy share “customers don’t want choices; they just want exactly what they want”. If we compare our work to talented Performers whose job is to “draw people in, amaze them, and then ask for money”, we illuminate the value of an experience that they will always remember. I am always amazed at witnessing the value of changing a seemingly “difficult” customer into a happy and grateful human when they are given exactly what they wanted. When we ask ourselves, “what experiences are my customers receiving that add value”? We essentially are asking “am I charging for the experience that my customers are wanting, and that I am providing”? If I am than what can I do to increase the value of their experience, or increase my price?

Admittedly, the customer experience is different than it was ten years ago. Today customers come because they have seen our work on Instagram instead of only by word of mouth. They look at our service menu online to see if they “belong”. Do you only offer “Men” and “Women’s” services? Is the service they need even on your service menu”? And finally, customers only come back when you “invite” them back for another wonderful experience. What rituals do you have around inviting them back? It all comes back to “the experience”. As we create a beauty experience, history reminds us that “economic progress consists of charging a fee for what once was free” (Pine & Gilmore). Create and experience your customers will always remember. Smile and be kind, “do the damn thing” to use popular jargon and increase your net worth. Cheers! To an industry that values the business of beauty.

What kind of beauty artist are you?

As a Beauty Artist, we all have a way of expressing our interpretation of beauty and it is what makes us unique and makes our clients keep coming back again and again. To define different expressions of art I will use foundations that we are all familiar with. The question is are you a Painter, Sculptor, Architect, or Illustrator?

A painter expresses their beauty art by using long and short strokes with a brush, while incorporating colors that add depth or expand that can be gradient or abrupt creates both bold and subtle looks. These looks can be modern, classic, abstract, surreal or cubed to name a few. Think colorist.

A sculptor creates two- and three-dimensional statements on straight, wavy, curly, and tightly curled tapestries. Sculptors create structure and form that build on an already existing shapes, that add or create balance and distribute height and weight where needed. Think of a hairstylist who executes a beautiful updo.

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Summer Is Here! SPF Yourself!

SUMMER is HERE!  It is time to enjoy the beach, go on vacation, and have fun in the sun.  So, pack that SPF Sunscreen. It is HOT out there, share your professional sunscreen knowledge. 

Protect your guests, focus on the right SPF to protect their skin and hair.  Foundations, facial cream, body products, as well as hair products contain sunscreen.  Research your product line for sunscreen protection, then engage in a dialog with your guest.  Find out their summer plans and how much time will spend in the great outdoors or just time outside.  That pool is so inviting! 

Everyone needs sunscreen, from the toddlers to the retirees encourage them to use sunscreen DAILY.   Protect your guests from ultraviolet radiation and help prevent skin cancer.  They will Thank You for also helping to prevent wrinkles, aging, and dark spots.  Let’s not forget about how important it is to protect their hair, so encourage them to wear a hat or use a sun protector hair product.  That beautiful sun they love so much will fade that gorgeous hair color they spent their dollars and your creativity on!  Remember to check for any allergies as some are very sensitive to sunscreen. 

Kick the Heat to the Curb and ENJOY summer!

Freshen Up! It's Spring!

It's SPRING – Open the doors, clean the windows and start FRESH!

Minnesota is OPEN, ARE YOU READY?

After more than a year of wearing comfy pants, not doing hair, only looking “OK” for zoom calls and your overstuffed chair, It's spring and Minnesota is opening!

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Prom COVID Hair . . . Coming to a Salon Near You!

As the state of Minnesota begins to open up and prom season is upon us, teenagers have been sequestered in their homes-bored, in front of their phone camera (tik-tok) and have experimented with every Splat, Splot, Paint, known to woman. Well, let me prepare you. They are coming to a salon near you! They want to look “normal” for their prom. And… they want it done within one session (because they have prom pictures tomorrow). So, get ready, they are desperate for you to fix what they have been creatively expressing over this last miserable year for the event they have been waiting for all of their teenage lives. Dust off your magic wands and your secrete hair potions for the remainder of the month of May!

Get used to the words, pre-color, re-color, color cleanse, re-shaping, “we may need to consider other options” and of course our trusty stand by “not today”. Your portfolio of beautiful alternatives will be key for these young doe-eyed beauties.

For Professional use only: Only show the pictures that you will be able to achieve today!

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Salons have closed! Owners and licensed professionals are worried, even wondering how they will survive. We understand your concerns and would like to offer up some ideas. These are intended to help you focus on the things you have control over and do during this time. 

Go into the salon, if you have access, and clean and disinfect like never before. Here are a few suggestions, you get the idea?

  • Break room
  • Drawers
  • All surfaces
  • Bathroom
  • Dispensary
  • Tools and equipment
  • Front desk and phone
  • Re-decorate, re-model or re-pair the salon.

Let’s prepare to hit the road running when you return to the salon!

  • Use this time to update your client information such as address, phone, email, and website.
  • Stay in touch with clients via social media, phone or email.
  • Provide clients with tips and ideas on how they can care for their hair, skin, and nails during this time.
  • Retail a products that will help maintain their color or curl - please refer to the MN Board of Cosmetology for guidance on this.Please note, you can not do this from your closed salon
  • Retail an exfoliant to help exfoliate their skin
  • Retail a treatment product for the cuticles or exfoliant for the feet
  • Create and promote pre-pay packages that clients can purchase now - Gift cards purchases online or via phone
  • Give them tricks and ideas to make their hair look thicker
  • Let clients know you are available to answer questions and help them. (Facetime or Zoom)
  • Work on your year’s promotional calendar Download April-June here
  • Create a “We Are Back” promotional piece
  • Up your game in customer service, think of what can you do?
  • Try a new product, face treatment, nail design, cut, color or hairstyle on yourself or family.
  • Research a new product or service to introduce to customers when you return to work.

Take your Core and Professional Practice class online through SSPA Find a Course Here SSPA Members receive a discount! Happy Dance!

Young Blood and Plasma Transfusions

Young Blood and Plasma Transfusions

The FDA recently warned that plasma infusions from young people provides “no proven clinical benefit” against normal aging, Alzheimer’s disease, or a host of other diseases. 

Directors Gottlieb and Marks from the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research say young-blood transfusions can pose risks.

Most research thus far into young-blood transfusions has been conducted in mice. Some of the mouse studies have been encouraging, but other studies have been less encouraging. One biotech company is currently testing a plasma-derived product in Alzheimer’s patients; a previous study from the company yielded mixed results.

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eCommerce Solutions for the Salon industry

eCommerce Solutions For the Salon Industry

As business owners, we are all looking for ways to increase sales and overall foot traffic to our storefront. Especially when it comes to owning a brick and mortar, your sales instantly stop the second you lock the front door. Imagine if you could be making sales with the doors shut and the closed sign up... eCommerce is the solution!


Salon Specific
Let us talk about your salon. Think about your customer base, specifically your regular clients...How often are they visiting? If I had to guess, they are probably coming in about once a month. When it comes to the one off clients maybe once every three months. The reason I want to get you thinking here is because of the time spent away from your salon. They are clearly using beauty products whether it is shampoo + conditioner to face wash and hand cream, so why not provide them with these products. These clients come to you wanting to feel their best! They are going to take your advice as you steer them in the right direction. Also, they are more likely to buy products from you after a great experience! They will want to increase longevity of the satisfied product. Keep this in mind especially with stores like Target, Sephora and Amazon where such products are so easily accessible. If they do not want to buy products immediately after their treatment, it would be wise to provide an option for them to do so before they come back and see you, eCommerce! Afterall, without an online shopping cart to directly buy beauty supplies from, they will mostly end up on Amazon Prime. While it may seem tedious and time consuming, believe me it is not all that complicated. I have laid out a few important categories to help you maximize your online potential!

Increasing Sales through eCommerce
How many followers do you have on Facebook or Instagram? Imagine each of those followers making an average of two purchases a month from your store. You can literally turn your social following into an extra stream of revenue by incorporating an online shopping cart. They already follow you, so why not post merchandise and give them two clicks to make it theirs? Not to mention, the folks from out of town will be able to purchase your inventory from their couch miles and miles away. Lastly, the incorporation of this shopping cart will inevitably drive foot traffic into your store. For example, I am browsing Instagram looking for Christmas gifts, I then see your post of a new fur sweater or face cream. My mind immediately starts thinking, what else does this store have to offer? If I purchase the fur sweater for my mom, maybe I can grab something for my sister too... Hypothetically, I buy both on Instagram - they arrive to my house and everyone loves the new swag! They ask me where I got it, and now we are all headed to the brick and mortar. Yes, that may have seen like a silly story but guess what? It happened last week!

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4 Ways to Market Your Salon Online

4 Ways To Market Your Salon Online

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As it is known, the hair salon industry is very competitive, and without a good marketing strategy, it might be challenging to attract new customers. Since there are so many hair salons to choose from, why should the customer choose you? What makes you special? Here are four easy marketing tips that will help you to differentiate your salon from the competitors, and get the customers to come your way:

1. Take high-quality photos of your work
If you see your salon business as a high quality or potentially trendy, and modern salon, it is very important to focus on high-quality pictures. Take the time to invest in a professional grade camera, lighting, and maybe even a graphic designer to edit the photos to appeal better to your target audience. You should also consider doing before and after photos that showcase how you have transformed your client with your amazing stylist expertise.

2. Get your customers involved and engaged
Set up a loyalty rewards program that requires your customers to share your salon’s social media handles online. By doing, you can increase customer retention as well as utilizing your customer base for online free word-of-mouth advertising. Not only will your clients feel obligated to share their experiences online, but they will take the pride in knowing they will receive loyalty points or bonuses which will bring them back to your salon. Create a selfie station in your salon where customers can take their own selfies of their hair, makeup, or nails. Put your logo on a cute, creative, banner and let them spread how awesome your salon is -- without you having to lift a finger. Read more about the Salon Loyalty Program.

3. Create an awesome landing page or website
Your clients expect for you to have a website, and if you do not,  that speaks volumes about your brand in a way that is inefficient. Invest money in a website and landing page so that your customers can utilize to gain more information from you. Please keep in mind that this will also allow you to appear in Google search results, and it is very beneficial to you especially for localized searches. If you need any help with creating an attractive website, click here to read more.

4. Create targeted Facebook ads
Create compelling and interactive Facebook ads that will grab the attention of your target audience. On Facebook, you can refine the criteria of the ads to show up in the feeds of your target audience in the area your salon resides. If your ads are compelling enough, you should see an increase in your inquiries as well as salon appointments. Strategize and research effective and creative advertisements for salon businesses.

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6 Tips to Achieving a Great Website Design

6 Tips to Achieving a Great Website Design

A website for your salon is a great tool for you to use to attract potential clients. Think of it as an extension to your business; what online visitors see could be what establishes your credibility as a professional. You want your online presence to be reflective of the brand you’ve created in-house. You wouldn't want a potential customer to walk into your salon and think it’s a complete mess, chances are they’ll turn around and walk out the door. Same goes for your website. To avoid that from happening, we’ve put together some tips and tricks from our ebook, The Easy Peasy Guide to Having a Killer Website, to make sure your website has a great design that truly represents your brand.



1. Have a clean logo that links. Your logo is your brand. You want to make sure your logo is on your website and that it links back to your homepage.

2. Use one primary color and one secondary color. You don’t want your website looking like crayola exploded on it. Keep your color scheme to 2-3 colors throughout. Use the right font for what your company is about. For example, if your company is selling arts and crafts, it is okay to use a more decorative font . However, if your company is a law office you may want a more stern and simple font like Helvetica. Remember though, just like colors, do not overuse fonts. If you want to use a fun font, stick to one fun font and one basic font like Times New Roman or Helvetica. Also, only use 2-3 different fonts per website. 1 font is good, 4 fonts is ugly.

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5 Ways Salon Businesses Can Save Money

5 Ways Salon Businesses Can Save Money



From scissors to hair care products, salon owners have many areas to which need their attention in order to keep their salon running successfully. As many salon owners have learned the skills and methods to stick within the budget of creating a smooth sailing business, they still struggle to learn which areas they could be saving a lot of money. Shampoos, stylist, hair dyes, and more, salon owners invest a lot of time and money into people and products they know will help develop a profit in return. Month to month, Salon owners review processed payments to calculate the percentage of profits made and ultimately whether or not they’re on track to make plan. Being a business owner comes with a bumpy ride. However, learning the right strategies could help improve revenue and save money for salon owners overall. Here are the top 5 ways salon businesses can save:

1) Reporting

Currently using Excel or a notebook to track weekly/monthly reports? Move to an automated system to eliminate the headache in admin hours. Some software options include:

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Your Diet and Your Brain!

The way you feed your body affects your brain.

Evidence is starting to line up in favor of certain foods with the aim of reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Our brain requires certain nutrients to function smoothly and biologically. One major study showed that a strict adherence to a diet known as the MIND diet reduces dementia risk by up to 53% for people ages 59 to 98.

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Good Summer Read for Salon Professionals

Good Summer Read for Salon Professionals

Success in Beauty, The Secrets to Effortless Fulfillment and Happiness is a revolutionary book written by a variety of women about how to be happy and fulfilled with little or no effort at all!

This book has no shortage of vital information about how you as a woman can enhance yourself your life and your business.

Bonnie Bonadeo Co-author and contributor to Success in Beauty book titled section, Beauty Enthusiasm, My Journey to Joy.  Uncovers that repetitive pattern that we are women sometimes get caught up in of adding more to the outside of our lives’  thinking that will bring us more happiness and joy only to discover that it ultimately caused more stress and anxiety in not only doing more but always doing more for others and not yourself.   As she shares her hardships and what finally had her redefine the meaning of success in order for her to find that ever elusive passion and joy in her life. 

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Live Excellence and Professionalism Every Day

Live Excellence and Professionalism Every Day

It has been one year since my friend and boss, Horst Rechelbacher, passed away. We took a chance working together for the first time in 1989 when he hired me to be his business assistant. That position lasted exactly one month when he asked me to step into his new adventure, the Aveda Esthetique, his signature retail shop.

365 products later, Aveda Esthetique, launched on Madison Avenue in New York. Horst once again changed the world of beauty. All of the products he created throughout his life changed the world of beauty over and over again. "Eco-chic" was his favorite catch phrase. He created the natural category in the beauty industry that carries into today.

Flash forward 26 years . . .

I have been trying to determine an appropriate way to honor my friend Horst. Horst loved the beauty industry and all licensed professionals. While we worked together at the Aveda Corporation, he always developed products and promotions with the licensed professional in mind.

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Why it was my goal to become a licensed Instructor. . . It could be yours too!

Why it was my goal to become a licensed Instructor. . . It could be yours too!

Looking at the ever changing nature of the beauty industry will be a great way to help answer that question. Having lived by the credo “change is good”, the beauty industry has been a great choice allowing me to not only change but to grow, try new things and truly experience all avenues of the business. 

When SSPA sent out an email that they were now offering the 38 Hour Instructor Licensure Course, I had recently been laid off from my job with Horst Rechelbacher after his death. Having worked with Horst for many years, I knew he believed in the credo “you are on your path” and I have tried to live my life in the same way. Believing everything happens for a reason, I jumped at the chance to learn a new skill and ultimately become more employable as I seek a new position.

Seeking a new position, combining my new educator skills with my varied job experience, I hope to become a hybrid of sales/marketing/educator that most job candidates don’t possess within the beauty industry. Most organizations seek people able to perform varied duties and fill different needs within a single job classification. Becoming a licensed educator will help in my career to do just that.

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Welcome to the SSPA Beauty Blog Live!

Welcome to the SSPA Beauty Blog Live!

My name is Deborah Otten and I have taken on the role of blogger for the Salon & Spa Professional Association team. While I am excited for this new responsibility, I am also a little nervous. Those of you reading this post please send me feedback (positive or negative, I am a big girl… really) and maybe an idea or two for future postings.

In my tenure in the salon industry in Minnesota, I have had many people ask why I belong to a professional organization…

Why belong to SSPA? Or simply put: “What’s in it for me?”

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