The Cirque Blog

Providing information and insights to contribute to your studio, your style, and your success!

Actions Steps!

Jan 25, 2023

We talked about setting smart goals in our last post and wanted to follow that up today with discussing the actual action steps to achieve to goals.   Having goals is great but with no daily or weekly plans in place it can be tougher to make those goals a reality.  

Let’s take a look at our smart goal from last week’s post, which was to book five new clients by April 30th, 2023.  This gives roughly a three month or 12 week time frame to achieve this goal.  Next, break that down into weekly and monthly segments, to determine what you are going to do during those time windows to generate leads that will turn into new clients.  

From here, decide what type of actions that you want to take to achieve the goal.  There are plenty of avenues of actions, some of which we cover below.  If you think of other things to do that is great as well, just make sure to do them on a consistent basis!  

First up, if you have a social media account(s), post once a week with a client picture where you mention in the text that you are taking new clients.  Once a month, put up a post of:  I’m taking new clients where that is the sole focus in the picture and the text. 

Beyond, social media, there are still ways to make your goal of 5 new clients a reality.  

Think of your ten best current clients, when they come in for their appointment over the next three months, tell them that you are accepting new clients if they know anyone who needs a stylist/nail tech/massage therapist.  Another simple method is to have a small sign at your check out station/area stating:  that you are taking new referral clients so please keep me in mind with your friends and family.  This way you can remind people on a daily basis when they are checking out that you are taking new clients.  Besides at check out, if you use a text reminder appointment system then you can attach a note to the appointment reminder or if possible send out a separate message that you are taking new clients.  

We hope it is evident that there are various ways to gain new clients and achieve this sample goal.  Additionally, if you have a plan of action that breaks things down into daily, weekly or monthly increments it can help you stay on track and achieve whatever goal you set.  We hope that you have a great 2023 and all your goals become reality! 

-The Cirque Team

Goal Setting!

Jan 11, 2023

As January gets into full swing, have you got a grasp on what 2023 is going to like for you?  It can be easy to let time get away from you and in May, you are in the same place as you are now.  In this post, we will discuss a time honored tradition that can help you make sure that doesn’t happen to you in 2023, Goal Setting!!

Goal setting is a good way to move your business forward in the new year.  A well known method for goal setting, is the SMART goal system.  This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound.  Using these elements will give you a better opportunity to achieve your goals.  We put two goals below to help illustrate the difference.  

Goal:  I want to get more new clients

SMART Goal:  I want to schedule 5 new clients for color treatments by May 30th, 2023.  

Hopefully, the differences are fairly evident.  The first goal is very broad, generic and possibly never ending!  With this goal if you got one new client in all of 2023 then technically you would be a success in meeting your goal.  

The second goal follows the SMART acronym.  It starts by being very specific, it states what type of clients that you want to have and it is measurable in that it gives the number of clients that you want to achieve.  Next up, it is attainable as it is reasonable to think that you could schedule five new clients in the next four months.  This goal is relevant to your business as it will put new people in your chair.   Lastly, it is time bound with a specific date that you are trying to get new clients scheduled on your calendar. 

Whether you are trying to fill up your schedule with new clients or cut back the number of hours that you are working a week, these things will be easier to accomplish with a goal.  While a basic goal can work, you are more likely to get better results with a SMART goal.  Following those steps of having something be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound will get you started on your way to success.

Holiday fun facts!

Dec 21, 2022

With Christmas almost here, we thought we would take a look at some Christmas traditions and how and where they started.  We hope this interesting tidbits will give you something to discuss as this holiday season draws to a close.  

Hopefully, you have a Christmas Tree up in your home or studio.  Have you ever wondered how this tradition started? 

Decorated trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages, with German and other European settlers popularizing Christmas trees in America by the early 19th century. A New York woodsman named Mark Carr is credited with opening the first U.S. Christmas tree lot in 1851.

A more modern tradition is the Elf on a shelf.  Love it or loathe it, since 2005, moms and dads have been hiding a toy elf each night from Thanksgiving to Christmas. More than 13 million elves have been “adopted” since 2005 when Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, published their book Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. 

For a lot of people, the holiday season includes a date at the ballet with the Nut Cracker or watching a Charlie Brown Christmas but when did they first appear? 

The Nutcracker, with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, premiered Dec. 18, 1892, in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was performed for the first time outside of Russia in 1934 in England, and made its way to the United States in 1944 when it was performed by the San Francisco Ballet. 

Decades later, it may be hard to imagine that the beloved TV special, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, was first rejected by CBS executives. But when it finally aired on December 9, 1965, almost half of all U.S. TV sets were tuned to the broadcast.

Last up, we have every kid’s favorite, candy!  And with the Christmas season, this means Candy Canes!  But where did Candy Canes get their start?   

Whether devoured as a treat or hung on the tree as decoration, candy canes are the No. 1-selling non-chocolate candy during December, and date back to 1670 Germany. The red and white peppermint sticks arrived stateside in 1847, when a German-Swedish immigrant in Wooster, Ohio placed them on a tree. By the 1950s, an automated candy cane-making machine was invented, cementing their mass appeal.

We hope that these fun tidbits are things that you can use with clients, friends or family.  We hope that you have a great rest of the week as we lead up to Christmas!  

-The Cirque Team

*Thanks and credit to the History Channel for the answers to our questions. 

Time to increase your prices?

Dec 1, 2022

As we turn the calendar to December and look to 2023, are you thinking about increasing your prices in the new year?  With the holiday season approaching, it may seem like a different time to announce a price increase but today, we discuss why this month may be a good time to make a change.

When deciding to make a change in your prices, the first step is to consider when you last increased your prices.   If it has been more than 18 or 24 months, then it is definitely time to consider an increase.  This is especially true as we close out 2022, the rise in costs of goods and services has effected all people and businesses over the last two years.  The salon suite industry is no exception with hair color, foil, and even paper products pricing going up and up.  People will understand if you have to raise your prices just to try to keep pace with the costs of your items that are vital to your business. 

Implementing a price change for January 2023?  If you haven’t begun already, it starts this month letting your clients know about what is happening in the new year.  With the holiday season here, people coming to your chair or table should be in the a merrier mood to hear about the price increase.  Additionally, with the new year around the corner, it is a time when a lot of people try new things, make resolutions and in general re-evaluate their own business affairs.   This will make them more likely open to you doing the same re-evaluation and hopefully be more accepting of you increasing your prices.   

Discussing these price increases with clients when they come to their December appointment is a good way to get them ready for the upcoming change.  You can also send out an email to all your clients as a reminder of the increase and for those who don’t come in December.  Lastly, having a small sign in your studio noting the increase in price in 2023 is another avenue of communication.   

When making any change in your business, communication is the key to success along with having good relationships with your clients.  These relationships are what will help people accept changes in your business like a price increase in the new year.  If you do decide to make a change in price when the calendar turns to 2023, we hope that some of these ideas will make it a smooth transition.

-The Cirque Team

 

Showing clients that you care!

Nov 16, 2022

It is hard to believe, but it is almost Turkey day with Christmas right around the corner!  As we enter the busiest time of the year in beauty professional world, it is important to take time to remember your clients who make everyone’s business possible.  Today, we will look at a few ways to make your clients feel special during the upcoming Holiday Season.

The first and most obvious way to show appreciation is with a gift for your clients.  This may seem daunting if you have a large client book,  but you can break it down into a tiered system to make it easier.  One option to start this breakdown is to recognize your five or ten “best” clients.  You will have to determine who you consider to be your best clients; it may be the ones who spend the most, who have referred the most new clients or maybe have been with you the longest.  It is up to you how you make this distinction.  While your best clients will still get the same gift, try to have a more personal gift versus a generic gift card.  This could be a candle, Christmas ornament, or even a small gift basket of one beauty product combined with one or two local food products.  

From there you can recognize your “regular” clients with a holiday card and a $5 or $10 Starbucks Gift Card.  If you run the numbers and this is going to cost too much, then you can skip the gift card and replace it with a one sentence personal message.  For a lot of clients, this short personal message will be worth more than any gift card.   

Lastly, if you have clients who just come in once or twice a year around special occasions like the holidays or birthdays, you could give them just a signed Christmas card.  If you have run out of time or spent all your energy developing a strategy to recognize your better clients, you can always just tell your one-timers how much you appreciate their business when they visit this holiday season.

At the end of the day, if breaking down your client book and coming up with gift ideas is too daunting for you, make sure that you at least tell all of your clients how much you appreciate them this holiday season.  Remember that showing your clients that you care on a personal level whether with a gift or a compliment it can keep your clients happy during this holiday season!  

-The Cirque Team

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Nov 3, 2022

We know that we all take for granted the lights turning on and the water being hot and the door always opening.  While you probably know what it takes to power and run your home, have you ever wondered what it takes to make a building of salon suites go?  Today we take a fun, light hearted look with a touch of seriousness about what goes into making Cirque run.  

Let’s start with the front door!  On a busy day at Cirque, you could be walking through the front door along with 250 of your closest friends.  Over the course of the year,  there are easily over 35,000 people visiting a Cirque location, now that is a lot of opening and closing of the front door!   It is always exciting to see those real busy days when the salons are buzzing with activity.

The other buzzing noise that you might hear at the suites, could be all the electricity being used at a Cirque location.  On a day when the salon is bustling, 300kwh of electricity can easily be used.  If that doesn’t sound like much consider the average household uses 30kwh per day, so Cirque can use 10 times as much power as your home in a day!

If all that power usage doesn’t go to your head, the amount of water used at a Cirque in a day might wash you away.  The studios can go through over a 1,000 gallons of water in a day, now that is a lot of hair washing, laundry being done and toilets being flushed!  Compare this to taking a ten minute shower at home that uses about 25 gallons of water and you get a better idea of the volume of water used to at Cirque!  

The water and power usage along with the number of people coming in the front door are some of the behind the scenes operations that we thought were the most interesting to share.   Obviously, there are more basic items Cirque utilizes and restocks on a daily basis like garbage bags, paper towels and toilet paper because we realize it is important to make sure all of life’s necessities are available. 

In order to cover all these bases, we have our Cirque team in the salons on a daily basis to have a first hand look at the operations of the business.  We like to think that having this presence helps us with seeing the operational needs of Cirque quicker and providing a great experience for studio owners and their clients.  

We hope you have enjoyed this behind the scenes look at what it takes to make a Cirque Salon  Studios run on a daily basis.   We hope that everyone can appreciate a little more the next time the light automatically turns on or a studio owner washes out your hair what goes into operating a Cirque!  

-The Cirque Team

Trick or Treat, some Halloween fun!

Oct 26, 2022

A little history of Halloween in America

When the Irish fled the potato famine in their country in the 1840s, they brought their Halloween traditions with them. The celebration spread across the country, until the mischievous Halloween pranksters reached an all-time high in the 1920s. Some believe community-based trick-or-treating became popular in the 1930s as a way to control the excessive pranksters.

Then During World War II, there was sugar rationing in America.  Because of the shortage of sweet stuff, trick-or-treating wasn’t that big of a thing during WWII. After the rationing ended, it was all systems go on the candy-collecting front. Candy companies began launching advertising campaigns to cash in on the ritual and make sure kids were clamoring for their products to show up in their candy buckets and spare pillowcases.

Fast forward and now Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the country.  It ranks second only after Christmas. Consumers spent approximately $9 billion on Halloween in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation.  Spending was down a bit in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Americans still forked over $8 billion overall, or an average of $92 per person.

The background of a scary movie and that tri-colored candy that some find so scary

The classic 1978 horror film “Halloween” can be easily recognized in just one image: the psychotic Michael Myers in his iconic pale-faced mask. Without a doubt, it’s one chilling look that has struck terror into the hearts of partying teens in slasher flicks.

The movie was actually filmed on such a tight budget that the crew used the cheapest mask they could find: a $2 Star Trek Captain James Kirk mask. They spray painted it white and reshaped the eye holes, making William Shatner look incredibly creepy.

Some people find Candy Corn creepy to eat and would argue that candy corn tastes like chicken feed, though that’s not how it got its original name. Created in the 1880s by George Renninger, it was sold to the masses by Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly Co.) at the turn of the century.  Because corn is what was used to feed chickens, the creation was called “Chicken Feed” and the box was marked with a colorful rooster.

We hope you have enjoyed some of these fun facts about Halloween and may even give you something to discuss with your clients the rest of this week.  Lastly, remember that our Cirque Costume Party is on Friday, October 28th and everyone who participates will get a Chic-fil-A gift card.  

*Credit goes to USA Today’s Ten Best and Good housekeeping.com for being the sources for these fun facts on Halloween

The importance of having a work phone number.

Oct 5, 2022

With the holiday season approaching and everyone getting ready to spend time with family, we thought it would be a good time to talk about maintaining a good work/life balance when it comes to studio ownership.  We realize that having a salon suite means that you are in the personal relationship business but that does not mean that clients should be texting your personal phone at 9:00pm the night before their appointment.  We will discuss a basic way to try to take back control of your communication with clients and keeping healthy work/life balance below.

This process starts with having a business phone number.  This helps give you a boundary between your work and home life.  The importance of having a separate business phone number is that people will realize that you are not available 24/7 to answer their calls and texts.  This will allow you to make the move toward more standard business hours and a regular schedule that helps set boundaries for clients.  

Now, you don’t need to rush out and buy a second phone for just business, you can get a second number easily with a Google Voice number (all you need is a Google account).  With Google voice you can select a local phone number, utilize your current phone to make calls, and have an app on your phone to access things.  There are other phone services that provide more features but Google Voice is a good free option for starting out.  

Starting up a business phone line allows you to set up business hours for your clients so that they will know when they can expect for you to respond.  When you start down this road, it can be a little scary at first to not respond right away to clients who text after hours but it gets easier over time and clients adjust their expectations.  For clients that can’t adjust to you not responding at 9:00 pm on a Tuesday then may be they aren’t the right client for you but that could be a whole other post.  

Utilizing a business phone, leads to standard business hours, which helps create a baseline of expectations when it comes to the client and salon suite owner relationship.  This helps you gain or regain control of your business when it comes to communication standards.  This is the first step to helping to contribute to a better work/life balance and hopefully enjoying the time with your family during this holiday season. 

-The Cirque Team

 

 

Weathering the storms of life

Sep 28, 2022

With the hurricane approaching and we make plans and preparations for the Cirque buildings, it made us think about business planning for the storms of life.  Sometimes, these storms are literal like hurricane Ian!  More often though, the storms are personal like medical issues, family difficulties, or any number of things that can affect your business.  Today, we look at some basics about preparing your salon studio business for uncertain times.

Like any business, when you start out, you either have to have abundant capital or an abundant client base or some combination of the two to make things work.  After a while of being in business with your studio, it can be easy to take for granted the constant income stream that is generated by the services that you provide to clients.   This is until you have an issue and are not able to work in your studio and generate income.  While the income stops, the cost of business and life do not.  From your studio rent to mortgage, apartment or car payments, along with daily living expenses, the bills keep coming in like a high tide.

This brings up the question, do you have enough money set aside to weather the storms of life?   What is enough and how do you get there?  While there are many different approaches, a solid and proven method is provided by Dave Ramsey and his baby steps.  We have summarized the first three of his seven steps below that could help get you on more solid financial footing.  

Step one is to start an emergency fund of $1,000.  This will help you prepare for unexpected expenses without plunging you further into debt.  Once you have a $1,000 saved, move to step two which is paying off all of your debts (except for your home mortgage if you have one).   Start by listing all your debts (credit card, car, student loans, etc,) from smallest to the largest amount and then begin paying them off.   Once you have paid off all your debts, the next step is to complete the building of your emergency fund from $1,000 to three to six months of worth of living expenses and bills.  These steps can be tough at first but with commitment and determination, they can be accomplished and if you already have a plan in place, great!  

In closing,  you never know what storms of life are going to bring your way, but with the proper financial preparation you can endure and succeed in life and business.  It is our hope that all of our studio owners will have a successful long-term business at Cirque no matter what life brings your way.

-The Cirque Team

Decorating your studio for the season!

Sep 21, 2022

As we make our way toward October, fall is almost here and holiday season is close behind.  We have discussed a few promotion ideas to get ready for the holidays in a previous post check it out here , Today we are going to discuss the importance of decorating your space for the changing seasons and how it can help your business succeed even more!

Think about when you have a choice between two stores to shop, one has holiday decorations up versus a store front that is a blank canvas.  Which one is more inviting?  Seems simple when you think about this type of situation but it is easy to forget about decor when you get busy with your business.  It is important to remember that studies show that stores and businesses that decorate seasonly generate a positive reaction in customers, where they feel more at home and are more likely to buy.   So, how does all this translate to the salon studio market?

All of these small touches of decoration, help foster that at home feeling for your clients while they are in your studio.  It also shows that you are care about your space and making it look good just like you want your clients to look good when they leave your studio.  Decorations can also provide some easy conversation starters about what people are doing for the season, if they are enjoying the changes in the weather, etc.  Beyond basic client interaction, from a business stand point the main benefit of holiday decor can be promotions and sales.

These promotions and sales can be woven into the decorating theme.  Whether it is a fall special, a no tricks just treats with this halloween offer, giving thanks to my clients by offering this Thanksgiving promotion and of course giving or the Christmas season.  While we typically associate sales with products, you can utilize offer specials on services as well with the changing seasons.

So get to decorating!  Remember, decorations can be as simple as small signage like Happy Fall to a full on Christmas light display hung up around your studio.   The main thing is that you have a festive studio an make sure to have things that you like as well as you will be looking at it almost daily!   

-The Cirque Team