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When opportunity knocked, Mark and Judy Dorsett welcomed that call with open arms

Oklahoma is no stranger to Salons by JC, thanks in part to the dynamic duo of Mark and Judy Dorsett.  They opened up their first franchise location in Moore, Oklahoma in the Fall of 2014.  What made them decide to open up another location in the Quail Springs area of Oklahoma City, was the opportunity to grow knowing that with that expansion, they would be encouraging others to improve their situation. “By providing the opportunity to become a salon suite owner, we are enabling individuals in the beauty industry to reach their dreams”, stated Mark Dorsett.

 

In photo: Dustin Allen, Concierge Quail Springs and Judy Dorsett, Owner Salons by JC Quail Springs 

Things that were done differently

Of course, with this being the second location, some things were done differently this time around.  From previous experience you gain life lessons.  Some of the things that the Dorsett’s did differently were marketing based.  “We sent out regular email updates on construction and marketing to those who had signed leases with us prior to opening”, said Dorsett.  Judy Dorsett took it upon herself to work with the SBJC Corporate team on marketing strategy and also took some courses to gain a better working knowledge of social media marketing, including Facebook and Yelp. Mark stated, “starting earlier with our promotions helped leverage our presence to have people come to the open location to take a tour.”  This strategy helped them tremendously when they opened their doors in March 2017 at half capacity.

Fears and Obstacles

Along with new strategies in place, there were still fears as the second location was getting ready to open.  One of the biggest fears was the amount of work they were about to face.  “We did not anticipate the amount of personal involvement it would take to keep things running well with the first location; Would this amount of work double as we prepared to operate two locations?”, stated Dorsett.  The Dorsett’s were also faced with several obstacles prior to opening.  The main one being timing, “we contacted a group of people at a salon that was closing in the area and they had some specific times that they needed to be out (of the salon) and find a new location to work in.”  Since the Quail Springs location wasn’t scheduled to open until two months after that date, this posed an issue. What also created an issue was a delay in construction,  “the delay had us push our official opening back by one more month”, stated Dorsett.  The Dorsett’s combated this issue with their new tenants by keeping constant contact with them and calming their fears.  Reassurance to their new tenants remained priority.  

Key Points of Advice

The Dorsett’s learned a lot the second time around.  Two things that stood out to them were:

  • Trust the Salons by JC system and try not to deviate from it – the system was created to assist in the success of your business.  Trust and follow it.
  • Contractors are always delayed, plan on extra months from the initial plan – If you know that it will happen, plan for it so you don’t get thrown off when it does happen.

This past week, June 12th-17th, the Quail Springs location held its “Grand Opening”. The week long event included an open house and free appetizers and beverages to all who dropped by to tour the facility.  Judy Dorsett, always thinking of new ways to market her business, conducted a video shoot to use to promote the location and emphasize the Salons by JC logic of owning your own salon suite and starting your own business.  “What sets Salons by JC apart from the competition is our on-site Concierge and the personal involvement from the owner”, stated Dorsett.  Judy wanted to make sure that those key points always come across.  “Personal relationships with the salon suite tenants are important.  They truly appreciate the Concierge, but also want to know that the owners care about their personal success.”  Congratulations to Judy and Mark Dorsett on their second location.

Blog written by Marlene Romo Flores
Salons by JC – Marketing 
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How Silvia Zuniga Took Her Recruiting to the Next Level

Sometimes, salon-suite franchisees simply reach a recruitment plateau. At first, prospects come rushing in, then things slow down. If they slow way down, it could be a sign that it’s time to try a new marketing approach. Case-in-point is Sylvia Zuniga’s situation.

In November of 2015, she opened her Salons by JC franchise in Sterling, VA, with 31 suites. A delayed opening from the intended September date caused her to lose a few prospects because no one in the beauty industry wants to move during the busy holiday season. By December, two suites were taken, and tactics like postcard mailings just weren’t working anymore.

With a Masters degree in education, training in IT and experience in franchises for other small businesses, Zuniga (who also owns an Intelligent Office franchise), knew just what she needed to do. First, she hired her step-son Zachary as a trusted, on-site manager who could free her to get more involved in marketing. Then, she reached out to local marketing pros Splash Communications, who would have time to work with her closely to test, measure and modify advertising and marketing initiatives based on results.

Top 5 Winning Tactics

Going seriously hands-on, Zuniga now approves every marketing outreach in advance and can tweak it based on her salon-suite insights. Applying her best advice, try, test and track, here are the top tactics she found to be most successful in boosting her leads, tours and potential lease signings:

Vary Regular Social Posts and Keep Them Positive

Before shifting gears, the suite’s social posts were inconsistent, three days in a row, then five days with no posts.  The posts tended to promote the suite business model in general or show beauty-related stories from other sources. More than one post referenced “fear” of going rental and often, articles from other sources weren’t shared in the usual way. For instance, a celebrity photo from a magazine article was reused as a meme with a Salons by JC logo and a new title.

The new posts, which she approves in advance, are on a regular weekly posting schedule. Topics currently fall into the following main areas: trends of interest to beauty pros, recruitment messages, and client testimonials.

“The content is better and now, and we can test reactions to various offers,” says Zuniga.

Connect All Your Social Pages, Then Tweak the Posts

In addition to being able to send the same message on all her social pages simultaneously, Zuniga can now slightly tweak pages when needed. This is because she sees all her potential postings in a monthly editorial calendar and can change the Twitter lead in advance, all in one file.

“Before, I was just given a list of what had been posed after the fact,” says Zuniga.

Pay for Great Photography

From the get-go, instead of taking photos with her cell phone, Zuniga hired a professional photographer to take photos of her building, suites and tenants interacting within them. Naturally, this gave tenants time to perfect their hair, makeup and smiles, and gave her ample photos for future use.

Develop, Test and Modify Offers

“We tried many things, such as multiple weeks free rent,” notes Zuniga. “We tested everywhere from two to eight weeks. We even tried $99 a week for anywhere from six to eight weeks. Then, we discovered the offer that generated the most interest was 50-percent off a certain number of weeks. And that’s 50-percent off the full rental rate.”

To sweeten the offer, Zuniga was highly flexible on how tenants used their dollar savings. If the offer was 50% off for six weeks, tenants could do it that way, take three weeks totally rent free or even take $100 off a month until the dollar amount of the discount was exhausted.

Continually Update Your Website

Zuniga regularly updates her corporate-hosted website and its views are “way up,” since she added a “Dollhouse” video that allows a 360-degree tour of the suites. In fact, her site is ranked 10 out of 85 Salons by JC websites, and has the highest click-through rate.

“It’s much cheaper than a video, and is created with a special camera,” she says. You just can’t have people in the space when it’s shot. Also, I change and test promotions often.”

As a result of all her efforts, says Zuniga, leads are picking up fast, going from two or three in March to seven in the first week of April alone. Of those, about half took a tour.

Next, she’s joining networking events, planning to try out list brokers instead of State Boards for postcard mailing lists and exploring Patch, a network of hyper-local websites that lets the local community contribute content and businesses post announcements, events and job listings.

“Either you have to keep seeing traction or your have to try something new,” she says.

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Salon Social Media Strategy Marketing Tips

One of the many questions that I get asked on a weekly basis is, what recommendations do you have for our social media presence?  As easy as it may be to update our own personal social media profiles, when we are dealing with our own business profile this may become a difficult task.  It is vital that businesses know how to connect with their clientele and use the different social platforms for their benefit.   Here is a list of items that can get your business on the right track when it comes to social media.

Create a social media plan of attack

Some of you may say, “Now how do I do that?”.  It’s really very simple.  Write down your goals.  What do you want to get out of your social media? More page followers, drive more walk-in traffic to your salon location, salon suite concept awareness, or expressing the benefits of salon suite life.  Once you have done this step you can determine your top 3 goals.  

Define your target audience

Who is going to see this?  Who do you want to see this?  Know your target audience and keep them in mind throughout this process.  Always ask yourself, will my target audience respond to this post?  How will they react?  Is this something that they are interested in?  Always appeal to your target audience.

Determine your competition

Who is your competition?  Play investigative reporter and look at what your competition is doing. Follow their social media and write down some of the things that you feel are huge key point for them.  From this research you will be able to start visualizing how you want your social media platform to look.  

Social media content curation and research

This is the fun part!  Once you have figured out how you want your social media to look and what vibe you want to give, then you can start curating content.  Content should always be enticing so that your audience is craving more.  If your salon location is eclectic and whimsical, your content should express that in all aspects of your social media.   Keep your target audience in mind.  Will my audience engage with this post?

Create a posting schedule

A good posting schedule should have a good mix of what your salon is all about keeping in mind your goals.  A good mix of salon information, fun and humor, shared content – salon related content, and salon life.  Give the audience information about your salon location and what services you provide, post funny images, share content from salon focused blogs or other images, and don’t forget to show how much fun you all have at Salons by JC.  Show the audience the professional atmosphere of the salon.  These factors are key points.

You can determine how many times a week you want to post and at what times.  You can begin your posting schedule starting at two times to three times a week.  Test out different times of the day to post and see what works best for you.  Early morning posts 8am-9am, afternoon posts 2pm-4pm, and evening  posts 5pm-7pm, tend to work best.  If you think about it, we check our phones in the morning, mid afternoon and after work.  

Many social media platforms  have built in schedulers for business pages.  Facebook provides each business page with a calendar to schedule your post at a later time and date. This is great to make sure you never miss a posting and helps with time management.  Twitter provides Tweetdeck, which also allows you to schedule out posts in advance.  Instagram does not have this feature since,  Instagram is geared for “in the moment” posting.  

Now you are ready for your first post!  

Blog by Marlene Romo Flores 
Salons by JC Marketing Coordinator