The Secrets to My Success

North East Beauty Awards 2019

If you follow us on social media, you will have seen that we have been nominated for an award at the North East Beauty Awards 2019, in the Best Training Provider category. It’s truly an honour to even be nominated and recognised for the work we do. I’ve put my heart and soul into building the academy from the ground up and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved.

Where it all began

You might have seen my career story in my previous blogs; I knew I wanted to a beauty therapist from the age of nine, and when I finally qualified, I worked in health spas, travelled the world working on cruise ships, and finally set up my own salon in 2004. I loved working as a therapist (and I still love doing treatments on clients), but every time I thought about my future, I thought about the natural next step for my career, which was going into teaching. I wanted to teach the next generation of therapists the skills and knowledge they’d need to do the job I loved so much.

From teaching to opening the academy

I gained my Certificate in Education from Sunderland University, then I went on to teach for different charities in the North East and worked in a local school for a few years. Then in 2010, I opened the doors to the academy, and I’ve never looked back.

My vision for the academy

My aim was always to deliver excellent training to students while making them feel at ease and building their confidence. I remember what it was like to train with impatient tutors who made you feel inadequate if you didn’t get the hang of something; it can have a really negative impact on you.

That’s why my approach to teaching is being patient and caring about every person who walks through my door. I don’t just want to get bums on seats and hurry people through their qualification, I like to give my learners personalised, high-quality training in small groups. It’s all about giving them a positive learning experience so they can go out into the world as confident and competent therapists.

The secrets to my success (and yours!)

I always hope that people are inspired by my story and the way I do things, and I love the thought that some of my learners will then go on to inspire other people. I’ve been in the industry now for over 20 years, and I’ve given, and been given, a lot of advice on how to run a successful business.

I want to share the five tips that have pretty much been the key to my success. They’re universal though, and I’m sure they will help you when you set up your own business.

  1. Look after yourself first

Yes you’re busy, yes you have to juggle a million different priorities, but you should always make yourself your number one priority. If you don’t look after yourself, mind, body, and soul, how do you expect to give the best to your clients? If you want to keep loving what you do and avoid burnout, start making time for self-care.

  1. Update your skills regularly

Things move fast in the beauty industry, just like in any other industry, so you need to move with the times and learn new treatments and techniques. This makes good business sense-you don’t want to be left lagging miles behind your competitors who offer the very latest treatments.

  1. Keep on top of your marketing

Granted, most of us get the majority of our business through word of mouth, but you can’t neglect your marketing, especially when it comes to getting through the quieter times of year. Stay active on social media, and don’t just try to attract new clients (this takes a lot of effort), but make sure you offer something to existing clients. Loyal customers equal repeat business and healthy profits.

  1. Delegate what you can’t do yourself

This has been a huge game-changer for me. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to grow your business because you’re buried under piles of admin, dealing with social media, or spending hours trying to work out how to fix something on your website. You might think that you can’t afford to pay someone to do these things for you, but believe me, what it saves you in time (and sanity!) is well worth it.

  1. Competition is healthy but they’ll never be you…

Competitors exist in any industry, and you might constantly worry about someone copying what you do, or even trying to put you down on a public domain, but the good news is, customers come to you because they like YOU. You are the most unique selling point of your business, never forget that. Regardless of how good someone is at doing treatments, if they have terrible customer service and they’re unreliable, they will never get repeat custom. Think about how you want your business to be perceived, and let this guide you in everything you do.

 

 

 

The Importance of Self-Care When You’re Self-Employed

self-care

You might love the freedom of being your own boss, but it can come at a price. It can be isolating, you can end up working really long hours, your earnings might be up and down, and you can end up feeling like you can never switch off. Does this sound familiar?

Setting up your own business is a huge achievement, but when you have to balance it with a busy family life and everything else that gets thrown at you, how do you find the time to take care of yourself?

Self-care is important for everybody, but it’s probably even more of a priority for people who are self-employed. How can you provide your clients with the best service and make the best decisions if you’re constantly exhausted and feeling burned out? You can’t.

Here are some of my top tips self-care tips for people who are self-employed.

Make time for yourself

This is non-negotiable if you want to be your best self. I don’t know about you, but I work harder now I’m self-employed than I ever did when I worked for a boss. But all work and no play leads to burnout and resentment. Your business is important, but it’s not everything. Time spent relaxing, doing things you enjoy, and being with family and friends is priceless. Nobody at the end of their lives wishes they had worked more.

Get into a routine

Your routine should not consist of work, work, and more work. Try to set regular working hours, and factor in rest, exercise, time for hobbies, and time with family and friends. One of the best things about being your own boss is that you’re in charge of your own diary-take advantage of it!

Be protective of your time

In these days of instant messaging and instant everything, it seems like everyone wants a reply to emails and messages straight away. I know you might feel obliged to reply at 10pm on a Saturday, but the fact is, you don’t have to, and you shouldn’t. You have to set boundaries between work and your own personal time. Decide that you won’t answer work-related messages after a certain time in the evening and set up an auto reply telling people when they can expect a response. Answering messages at all hours gives the impression that you’re always available. If you don’t protect your time, nobody else will.

Take care of your mind, body, and soul

Think about what your routine looks like overall. Do you do more things that deplete you rather than adding to your life and giving you a bit of a lift? If so, start bringing a bit more balance into your life by doing things that are good for your mind, body, and soul like having a massage, meditating, doing yoga, and having relaxing baths. Whatever is good for your soul, do more of that.

Be kind to yourself

Even if you love your business and being your own boss, it’s a steep learning curve. There’s a lot of trial and error, and not everyone knows everything about how to build a business (despite what you might see on social media!). Be kind to yourself if you make mistakes, or something doesn’t go as planned. Celebrate your achievements and don’t focus too much on what you think your shortcomings are.

Focus on a few goals rather than spinning plates

If you find that you’re constantly trying to do more of everything at once-posting more on Facebook, offering more services, doing more training, and doing more marketing, just slow down. There are only so many hours in the day, and unless you want an endless to do list forever, it makes sense to focus on one or two goals at a time. What is the most important thing for your business right now? Focus on that and you’ll get so much more done instead of trying to do a million things at once.

 

Train with us!

All our courses are taught in small groups which makes for a relaxing learning environment where you’ll get all of the attention you need. Steph, our academy director and trainer, has over 20 years’ experience in the industry so when you book a course with us, you’ll be perfectly prepared to be the most successful therapist that you can be.

For more information on any of our courses, call Steph on 07825337342.

 

 

Building Customer Loyalty for Your Business

building customer loyalty for your business

Think about the hairdresser you go to, or your favourite pub or restaurant. What do you love about them and what makes you go back time and time again? The answer is probably because they do a great job and you’ve had some lovely experiences so you trust them. And with trust comes loyalty.

Once you go somewhere and experience excellent service, you’re more likely to go back, and this is exactly why building customer loyalty is so important for your beauty business.

Loyal customers will come back again and again, which means more business and the chance to build an excellent reputation.

How you can build customer loyalty

Make your services personal

If you’re doing a client consultation, it should always be personalised, not ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Once they see that you’ve given them information and advice that’s tailored to their needs, you’ll gain their trust and they’ll keep coming back to you.

Encourage them to make regular bookings

Many treatments you offer will need maintenance, like lash infills or waxing, so when a customer is paying, say ‘shall I book you in again in six weeks?’ This will encourage them to book in with you again there and then. A full diary is the best kind!

Have regular special offers

Good offers will both make customers come back and fill up some spaces in your diary at quieter times of the year. Rather than just offering a discount on a single treatment, why don’t you offer money off when a customer books two treatments together, like a massage and a facial? This encourages customers to book more treatments which they’ll potentially have again in the future.

Introduce a loyalty scheme

If you don’t have a loyalty scheme yet, you’re missing a trick. Loads of retailers use them to keep customers coming back, and so should you. Offer free treatments or discounts after a certain number of visits as an incentive for your customers to come back for more treatments.

So there are plenty of things you can do to look after the customers you’ve already got, rather than having to constantly chase new ones who might not be so loyal.

Speaking of loyalty…

Here at the academy, we’re all about loyalty too, and when you train with us, you’ll get a loyalty discount on your future course bookings and you can get as much as 15% off courses! Our loyalty card is being rolled out now, so why not get in touch and see what you can save on your next course?

Why train with us?

All our courses are taught in small groups which makes for a relaxing learning environment where you’ll get all of the attention you need. Steph, our academy director and trainer, has over 20 years’ experience in the industry so when you book a course with us, you’ll be perfectly prepared to be the most successful therapist that you can be.

For more information on any of our courses, call Steph on 07825337342.