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Business evaluation and personal recOmmendations

Katy Mobile Studio

Thank you so much for participating in our free business evaluation. Below is my evaluation as well as recommendations for each area of the business. I have also included an action plan of what goals and tasks you should be prioritizing based on your answers. ;)

Your Brand

Evaluation

Your work and your brand is fabulous!

I would just like to see you get a little more clear on who your ideal client is and what makes you unique.

Recommendations

You mentioned that what makes you unique is that you travel to your client's location. While this is great and is a wonderful service to offer, there are more and more companies offering this service so I don't feel like it is quite enough to set you apart.

You also mentioned that your ideal client is financially free to invest in quality services but I would like to see you get more clear on this as well.

Getting crystal clear on who your ideal client is going to make every area of your business easier. From marketing, branding, policies, procedures as well as attracting and booking clients!

A good place to start is determining your ideal clients style. Most of your photos including the photo on the front of your website shows a very glamorous, high fashion look. Is this your ideal client?

If so, who is this client specifically? And, more importantly what are her very specific needs and wants and how can you fulfill those needs and wants better than anyone else?

What are her specific concerns and/or problems and how can you solve these problems better than anyone else?

On your IG, the work is all gorgeous but the look is more "everyday" which isn't really represented on your website.

If want to appeal to more to the "everyday" person...as opposed to a super trendy, high fashion clientele, you may want to consider trying out some different images on your website.

It just may be a little confusing as to what exactly you do and who you are doing it for.

Most bridal artists travel to the client's location but I will agree that it is a little more unique that you travel to do salon services so I would play this up a little more on your website.

You might want to consider changing up your tagline. Instead of: How convenient would it be to have your hairstylist/mua travel to you? They may not know the answer to this question...you need to let them know how convenient it would be.

Maybe something like: All of the luxury of going to the salon all in the convenience of your home or office...learn more! You can then have a link that tells them more.

Many people have never had salon services done in their home so they may be nervous about it. How will they wash my hair? How will they know to bring the right hair color? Where will they set up? I usually sit under a dryer for Keratin treatments...will they bring a dryer? Will it be messy?

Being able to clearly and concisely articulate the process of "in home" services will eliminate any questions that may lead to hesitation and begin to create a clear image in an interested client's mind as to all of the benefits.

This is something you can add to your services page or I would suggest that you create a page that outlines the process and creates a clear picture of what booking with you and working with you looks like.

Your Policies & Procedures

Evaluation

You are well on your way to having clear policies and procedures which is great! This is going to prevent any miscommunications which could result in unhappy clients.

You did, however, say that you are often in miscommunications with your clients and/or staff which leads me to believe that your policies and procedures may not be as clearly articulated as they could be.

Even as I mentioned above in the last section, I don't feel as though it is super clear what your policies and procedures are. For instance, your "book now" link goes to a contact form? Does this mean that a client submits their information and then you contact them over the phone to book? It is a little confusing as to exactly what your procedure is for booking.

Once you look over your policies and procedures, the next step is to start to document all of your policies and procedures in a “company manual”. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple Google Doc is perfect.

Recommendations

Take a look at every area of your business and put yourself in the position of a completely uninformed client. What questions might they have? I have already given you a few above to consider.

People are very easily discouraged and they have more options than ever to choose from so it is so important that you take them by the hand and lead them through your process. If you don't, there is a strong chance you will lose them.

I suggest that you create a Google or Word document and create a section for each area of your business; interest clients, booked clients, in home services, wedding trial, wedding day, follow up, marketing, social media, etc. Start to document all of your policies and procedures. This is also where you will put all of your systems as you create them.

Having a company manual is going to allow you to not have to “reinvent the wheel” as your business grows. This will be the document that you use when you hire new stylists and staff. You can also use this document as your “go-to” for anything and everything that pertains to your business.

Go through your website as well as the initial emails that you send to both interested and booked clients to make sure that all of the most frequently asked questions are addressed and answered. If you haven’t already done so, create email templates that you can cut and paste that also address these questions for those clients who don’t take the time to read all of your policies and procedures.

I did notice that you have a FAQs page but I only see it on the book now page. I think instead of a FAQs it would be helpful to have a page that explains your process more clearly and I would make sure that link is on the front page.

Your Systems

Evaluation

You rated fairly high on having your business fully systematized and automated but you also rated high that you are having to spend a lot of time on the mundane day-to-day tasks of the business. This fact as well as the answers to some of your other questions leads me to believe that your systems and automations could use a review.

The systems you are using may have worked in the past but as your business grows it is possible that they need to be updated.

Recommendations

Start by taking a look at all areas of your business.

What are the areas that are taking up the most of your time?

Following up with interested clients?
Communicating with clients?
Communicating with stylists?
Scheduling?

Whatever those areas are, start thinking of new and/or better ways to streamline those processes.

While there are no "right" or "wrong" ways to create systems and automations...there are ways that are better than others to facilitate business growth.

You may currently schedule services, weddings and trials manually using Google Calendar and this may be manageable now but a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself..."would this system work if my business were to double tomorrow?" If no, it may be time to at least start thinking of an updated system.

I did notice that you book appointments via phone or email. Because your brand and USP is all about convenience, it is really important that you have a way for clients to book their services online.

Again, people are easily discouraged and are also accustomed to being able to book everything online so this is something, because of the nature of your business, that you should seriously consider making available.

Not only is this going to be much more convenient for clients, I would imagine there is a lot of back and forth with clients trying to set up appointments with different stylists. If this isn't an issue now, I absolutely guarantee you it will become a huge issue as your business grows.

Your Marketing

Evaluation

It is awesome that you are able to maintain a steady stream of clientele through Google, Yelp and IG but I think that there are things that you can do to increase these numbers as well as exploring other avenues to market your business...especially when you get to a point where you are ready to grow the business quickly.

It looks like what you have been doing is working for you as far as marketing but now it's time to really start to take a closer look at your numbers.

It is SO important to know how many unique visitors you get a month, how many of those visitors contact you for info and how many of those interested clients actually end up booking you.

Knowing this information is going to show you exactly where you need to be spending your time marketing your business.

Recommendations

The stages of marketing are Know-Like-Trust.

You obviously first need to get interested clients to know about you. This is indicated by your number of unique visitors to your website. If this number is low then you know that you need to focus more on getting more people to know about you. I am sure Squarespace has analytics or you can get add Google analytics to your site as well to capture not only how many visitors you are getting but where they are coming from which is such valuable information and can help you determine what is and isn't working.

The next step is to get clients to like you. This is done by connecting with them. One of the ways you can do this is by leading them through your process as I mentioned above.

The final step and the one that gets interested clients to become booked clients is trust.

When a client is deciding whether they can trust you or not, they are really asking themselves…who do I trust ABOVE everyone else? This can be based on several factors and it is typically a combination of factors that your potential clients may not even be aware of but are subconsciously adding up to determine who they trust the most.

While there are different factors, the following are the most significant ways in which you can help to instill trust in your clients:

Personal Recommendation
When a potential client gets a personal recommendation from someone that they already know and trust, it automatically instills at least some trust in you. Your goal is to create a group of “cheerleaders” for your business. This is your unpaid sales force and can include past clients as well as other industry professionals. To create this unpaid sales force of cheerleaders, you should always be striving to go above and beyond. It is often the little things that people remember the most.

Reviews
People will first ask their friends and family for recommendations but when none are available, they will look to strangers by way of reviews and testimonials. Make sure that you have a strong system for acquiring reviews and testimonials from all of your clients and make sure to display those testimonials clearly on your website as well as throughout your marketing and social media. This is also why Yelp and Google are so successful for getting new clients. I did notice that you don't have any reviews or testimonials on your website, this is something you should definitely add!

USP
Your USP is your Unique Selling Position. What do you specifically do that is exactly what your ideal client is looking for? What specific problems do you solve that are exactly the problems that your ideal client has? Any time you can address and answer these problems in a clear and concise way to your ideal customers, the more trust you will instill in them. I talked about this earlier

Consistency
There is a saying in business “If you confuse them, you lose them.” In order to instill trust in your clients, you have to create and portray a consistent and cohesive brand.

Professionalism
How quickly do you get back to clients? Is your website and social media up to date? How easy and enjoyable is your customer’s experience? Are you punctual? Do you keep the focus on your client being careful not to move into the “friend zone” with them? All of these things can send a strong message as to whether a potential client can trust you to fulfill their needs and make their experience a good (or great) one.

Social Proof
This includes things like your social media presence, styled shoots, education, awards, accolades, media mentions and industry affiliations. All of these things show your position in the industry and help to instill trust.

You have done a great job so far but you may want to review these things and think about where else you could show these things on your website, social media, marketing and emails.

Also having a "call to action" on your website is very helpful!

Finally, you mentioned that you get clients through IG but I noticed that you don't use hashtags and you only use locations sometimes. If you are taking the time to post, it only takes a few seconds more to cut and paste hashtags and add a location which can significantly increase your chances of getting new clients through IG.

I have created a video with more info. It is mostly wedding focused but you can change up the hashtags to be specific to salon services as well, just make sure that almost all of your hashtags are location specific: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-business-videos/create-a-hashtag-list-that-sells

Your Stylists & Staff

Evaluation

Building a team is one of the most stressful areas of any business.

To give up "control" and trust someone to represent a business that you have put your heart and soul into creating can be very scary!

The key to your success is going to be in your systems!

Recommendations

It is important to create rock solid stylist hiring, training and management system.

Here are a few steps to get you started:

1) First, determine exactly what it is you need and are looking for in a stylist and write these things down. This includes not only their skills and level of expertise and availability but also the character traits that you are looking for to ensure that potential stylists fit into your company culture.

2) Create a solid hiring, training and managing system for your stylists. Start by having a page on your website that clearly articulates your requirements for working for your company. Once a stylists knows what is expected and involved in working with you, create an online application for them to fill out. Doing this is going to eliminate a lot of time and weed out any stylists who AREN'T able and/or willing to work within the parameters you set out, including their availability and pay.

3) Once you have determined exactly what it is that you are looking for and you have either a website or an email template to send to interested stylists, it is time to cast a wide net! Create a page on your website, post on social media, post on job boards, online job listings, craigslist and Model Mayhem. ANYWHERE you can think that you may find a potential stylist.

My final piece of advice when it comes to finding and hiring stylists is to remember that this is YOUR business and you are not going to be able to please everyone. That’s ok…if you are persistent and patient AND you have all of your policies, procedures and systems in place, you will eventually find stylists who are exactly what you are looking for!

Create your policies, procedure and systems in regards to your stylists and adopt the attitude of "This Is How We Do It Here." If a stylist isn't willing to work within your parameters then they are not the right stylist for you. Just make sure that these parameters are clearly articulated so that you can be sure that any potential stylists are on board BEFORE you hire them.

Most stylists have NO idea what it takes to build and sustain a successful business and all of the work that you do behind the scenes. They just want what they want when they want it and this can be incredibly frustrating!

Again, the key to this is going to be to create solid stylist systems that clearly articulates your expectations as well as the consequences for not meeting these expectations.

There are going to be times in which a stylist just isn't the right fit for your business or company culture. If this is the case, you can't be afraid to let people go. The saying really is true that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. It only takes one entitled stylists to start complaining to everyone else that they should get paid more or that they don't like the way you do things and before you know it you have a mutiny!

This is the worst case scenario but I have personally seen it happen and it isn't fun to deal with!

You should always be open to listen but make sure that everyone knows that you are the boss and at the end of the day, you get to decide what is "right" and "fair" for your business.

My attitude with my stylists was always loving but firm, "This is how we do it here and if you don't like it, I completely understand. Thank you so much for your service, I have enjoyed working with you and I wish you nothing but the best."

Your Online Presence

Evaluation

You come up on page one for Google Search and Google My Business which is great and is no doubt one of the reasons that you get so many new clients from Google. Good job!

Recommendations

No recommendations, your SEO looks great!

Your Dreams & Goals

Evaluation

You have everything it takes to succeed and I absolutely see you well on your way to achieving your goals!

Recommendations

The key to achieving your goals in the coming year and beyond is going to rely heavily on your systems!

I also think it is going to be important for you to switch from a mentality of "working for yourself" to being a true "entrepreneur" which is going to mean committing to spending a good amount of time to working ON your business instead of IN your business.

I know this is difficult right now because your plate is so full with doing services AND dealing with the day-to-day logistics but I am confident that if you can get better systems in place it will free up a lot of this time to devote to implementing all of your fabulous new ideas!

Your Frustrations

Evaluation

I am not surprised at all that you are feeling burnt out, frustrated and disappointed! You have a lot on your plate and it sounds like you have added "babysitter" to your list of duties. I would probably add underappreciated to that list as well!

I feel your pain...I have been there!

Recommendations

Remember that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

Determine what your priorities and top goals are and commit to those things until completion and THEN move on to the next goal.

A good way to determine what to make a priority is to ask yourself,...what is the ONE thing that if I could change or implement would have the greatest impact on my business and bring me closer to achieving my ideal business vision?

You may also need a way to organize your ideas and get them out of your head so that they aren't taking up precious space that you need to dedicate to getting things done and prioritizing.

The best tool I have found for this is to create a document that is your "Master To Do List". I think it is best if you can create it on a platform that you have access to on both your computer and phone, like Google Docs.

Create a section for each area of your business: stylists, marketing, social media, services, etc. and write out every single idea that you have for each. You can also use this document anytime you find something inspirational or educational that you want to be able to refer back to such as a video on marketing or a certain company website where they do something that you would like to implement.

This is going to allow you to get all of these ideas out of your head and put them in a place that you can have quick and easy access to.

Take a deep breath and remember how far you have come and what you have created!

You should be really proud of yourself and you CAN absolutely do this!

ACTION PLAN

A successful business contains a lot of moving parts and each part plays a role in the success of the other. In order to create a thriving business, it is important that you take a "holistic" approach meaning that you understand how all of these parts work together and you recognize that the business is ONLY as strong as the weakest part of the business. 

Because there are so many moving parts, it often becomes confusing and overwhelming to know "where to start" or which area to focus on first. Below are our recommendations as to what areas or goals you should be focused on first, second and third. 

Goal Number One

YOUR BRAND
I would like you to start by really thinking about the things I mentioned in the first section.

What is unique about what you offer and HOW you offer it? Who is your ideal client? What type of person is going to truly appreciate what you have to offer?

Finally, how can you clearly articulate these things and take a client by the hand to show them exactly what makes you special?

Goal Number Two

UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE
Once you determine who you are and what makes you unique...it's time to clearly and concisely articulate this on your website.

I would also highly recommend that you look into a way that you can add online booking asap.

FYI...If you ever get to a place that you are considering changing website platforms, I highly recommend Wix!

I have tried almost every single website platform including Squarespace and in my opinion, Wix is the best and offers the most tools for systematizing and automating your website.

Just something to think about in the future.

Goal Number Three

BUSINESS SYSTEMS
I have a strong suspicion that even though you rated fairly high on your systems, this is an area that needs some review and updating.

Refer to the suggestions in the "Systems" section.

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

I can feel the love and passion you have for your business and I can also feel your frustration.

You are so close to creating your ideal business, now it's just time to prioritize and focus.

I am so impressed with everything you have created, especially for being in business for such a short time!

If you would like for me to elaborate on any of my recommendations or you have any questions, I would love to set up a free 30 minute Business Strategy Session. If you are interested, you can schedule this online here: https://www.haircomesthebridepro.com/free-bridal-beauty-business-strategy-session.

You are awesome! Keep up the great work and I can't wait to see where you take your business in the next year and beyond!

xo
Gina

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

If you need more help or guidance, click on a link below for more resources: 

If you would like more personalized guidance, you can book a FREE 30 minute business strategy session to discuss your business goals in more detail!

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