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  1. Written for Scratch Magazine

    Crack the consultation Step

    Salon owner, educator, former Scratch columnist and award-winning nail stylist, Katie Barnes, shares her nail tales and tips… 

    Hands up how many of you have not received a consultation when you have visited a fellow salon or maybe even forgotten this procedure in your own business?

    What can sometimes be considered an inconvenient task to some clients and techs is one of the most compulsory elements of your nail or beauty service. A consultation is the first step in building a professional relationship and creates a rapport with clients to help you select the most appropriate treatment for each individual. Not only does it cover you with your insurance policy but also it ensures that you are acting as a responsible nail professional by establishing that your client is able to have the treatment. The idea is to gather information that will help your business deliver exceptional service safely and professionally.

    How would you feel if you went to see your website designer and they didn’t ask a few questions about your requirements and preferences? What about a builder who didn’t find out what exactly what you wanted creating? And would you trust a doctor who didn’t ask about the symptoms you were experiencing? While these industries are vastly different, there is one characteristic all of these service industries share — the importance of attending to client needs as an individual.

    It is concerning how many businesses do not carry out consultations and I think it is necessary to go through the importance and reasoning behind a consultation with your client. It is imperative to not only get the form completed and then fling it down without a second glance, you should also verbally question the client regarding anything on the form or regarding their preferences. I always verbally check for allergies again, even if they haven’t been reported. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    Katie Barnes consultation_form_photo

    The Simply Nails & Beauty Client Consultation Form

    If a client has a contra-indication, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are unable to have the treatment. It means that you may need to amend that treatment or even offer them an alternative treatment. Take time to look closely at your client’s hands, nails or feet before you begin a service. Clients may have no idea that something isn’t right. If you notice anything unusual, politely bring it to the client’s attention and make the decision if treatments can be provided at this time. If they cannot or you have any concerns, guide them to the appropriate professional to make a diagnosis.

    I invite first time customers to arrive 10 minutes prior to their appointment time to complete their consultation form with a complimentary beverage. Some computerised booking systems also have the facility to email the consultation to your client upon booking, which saves time and makes the tech aware of any contraindications or requests prior to the appointment.

    As well as collecting this pre-treatment information, it is essential to record all services you perform on that client including details of the treatment, any issues and aftercare advice provided. It is also good practice to note which products have been used so if the client requests the colour they had on a certain date, you look efficient and professional by being able to check this for them.

    Clients come to you because you are the professional. If they wanted an amateur they could self-serve at home. It is a small investment of time and well worth the effort, in getting to know and guide your clients as a nail professional.

    Love Katie B x

    www.simplynailsandbeauty.com

    - See more at: http://www.scratchmagazine.co.uk/simply-salon-nails-crack-the-consultation-step/#sthash.oALmlEea.dpuf

  2. Written for Scratch Magazine

    Time Saving Techniques for Social Media

    Salon owner, educator, former Scratch columnist and award-winning nail stylist, Katie Barnes, shares her nail tales and tips… 

     
    Simply Nails & Beauty was honoured to be crowned the winners of Scratch magazine’s new Scratch Star Award for Best Use of Social Media at the glitzy and glamorous awards ceremony, which was held at Café De Paris, London on 5 June.

     

    After networking with many techs after our win, they expressed that they were unable to keep on top of social media management due to lack of time, which for anyone that knows me, is aware that I have very little spare time.

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    I thought I would offer my time saving tips for social media in this blog. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use more time, but learn how to effectively manage the time you spend on social media management more efficiently.

    Planning ahead

    You can schedule your posts to be seen at the most visited times of the day such as morning and evening. Set out half an hour each week to schedule these posts, which also allows you to plan posts with valuable content that will generate a good response from your followers.

    These can be rescheduled and amended when required. If you want to use hashtags on Instagram to get your work seen by more people, then save your collection of hashtags in your notes app and copy and paste each time you post. Keep a folder with adverts and content with easy access for your posts. Using an app such as Hoot Suite will also allow you to schedule tweets and Instagram posts, too.

    Republish content 

    If you repost a small amount of your posts it will reach an audience that quite possibly missed your initial post. Repost it at different times of the day to reach a different audience and make sure you only repost your best content.

    Scheduling posts - Katie Barnes

    Scheduled posts on Facebook

    Teamwork

    If you have a team that works alongside you, give them access to your social media accounts so they can share their work. You don’t have to give them full access as you can restrict permissions on platforms such as Facebook.

    If your team is good with one social media platform, delegate a different platform to each member of staff. By the team sharing their work and news, this also provides your customers with a sense of teamwork too.

    Know your platform

    Understanding the platform that you are using is paramount for effective social media time management. If you only understand Facebook, then stick to that. If you don’t know enough about the different platforms then invest in a social media workshop.

    Platform sharing

    If you want to post to various platforms at once, you can link your social media accounts through settings, the platform or a third party app (such as Hoot Suite), which allows sharing of posts to several platforms in one click. I personally am not a fan of this method as I feel that it loses the personal touch as it just gives a link that the original posted platform. To save time, copy and paste each post and edit accordingly for each platform.

    Scheduling - Katie Barnes

    Autoresponse messages

    Response times

    Everyone wants an answer yesterday, so if you don’t have the time to respond quickly, then you can set an automated response which you can personalise, acknowledging their query and then reply in full when you have chance.

    Social Media Management

    If you really still don’t have the time, then for a small fee, you can enlist the services of a social media manager who can run and control your accounts for you and you can be as involved as you want.

    Social media is an important marketing tool for businesses and with useful tools and planning, you can save plenty of time on social media platforms while still gaining the benefits.

    Love Katie B x

    - See more at: http://www.scratchmagazine.co.uk/simply-salon-nails-time-saving-techniques-for-social-media/#sthash.IBOoIrJ6.dpuf