Attract More Clients With Cutting-Edge Salon Design

Even in difficult economic times, the hairdressing industry continues to flourish and grow. Since the average person cannot duplicate salon services at home, clients are willingly pay skilled professionals to make them look attractive and youthful. Not just anyone can set up a successful hairdressing business. Establishing a successful hair salon requires a combination of skilled personnel, superior customer service, sound financial planning, suitable location and top-quality hair salon design and salon equipment.

Issues confronting the new salon owner include compliance with the health code. Hair salon equipment and supplies must be of adequate quality to gain approval from the health inspector, or the salon could be shut down before opening day. Personnel must be trained in all cosmetic procedures to avoid health problems for clients. The salon owner must establish a clean environment that is safe and contributes to client comfort.

The appearance of the salon as the client first walks in the door is especially important. Clients understandably expect to receive professional service in a relaxing and scrupulously clean space. The hair salon design contributes to the quality of the client’s first impression and allows returning customers to enjoy and relax their salon experience. Color palette, number of stations, receptionist’s desk, hair salon equipment, displays, and salon furniture are all important components of the new salon. The sheer variety of available options, combined with multiple layout possibilities, can be overwhelming. This is where an expert designer and supplier can help by narrowing down design and equipment possibilities.

An expert designer knows how to maximize salon space by creating a functional, orderly work area. The designer will take into account foot traffic patterns and employee work and relaxation habits. Designing a salon space can present a considerable investment; consequently, the owner will want to get the salon design right the first time. A professional will help the owner decide how much space to allocate for retail and reception, shampoo, cutting and storage areas.

An expert designer will also help choose the right salon furniture and even customize it to fit individual needs. The professional hair salon furniture supplier will ensure that the salon gets durable furniture of a good quality, which will help to draw returning customers. Since hair salon furniture comes in so many different designs, styles, patterns, colors and sizes, expert advice will help the new owner choose something both functional and coherent with the chosen decor.

The image of the salon as one receptive to new trends is vital to attracting and retaining customers, and here salon design is crucial. Unattractive salons presenting an old-fashioned image give the impression that the services they offer are out of date. It can also be difficult to attract accomplished stylists unless the environment appears cutting-edge and dynamic with sleek, attractive and functional salon equipment. A professional designer and supplier knows market trends well and will provide salon design and equipment designed for maximum productivity and attractiveness.

The Power of ‘Giving’ In Your Home Staging Business

We all know the importance and role that we as business owners can play in giving to charities that need our support. For years now the PRES Staging Resource Centre requests that all training home clients make a donation to their charity of choice, instead of paying us for the home makeover. This has amounted to thousands of dollars and is win-win for all concerned.

This article isn’t about giving to charities though. It’s about giving gifts that you as a home stager can offer your prospects, your clients, your strategic alliances and anyone who knows about your business.

Giving means to ‘make a present of something’. The thing about giving is that it makes you feel good AND it makes the recipient feel good. And in business it’s another way for you to get your name out there and to be remembered – in essence it’s all part of your marketing strategy and it does work.

5 WAYS YOU CAN GIVE YOUR GIFTS

You might be wondering as a home stager what you do have to offer in the way of gifts. You have lots to offer! Let’s take a look at a few ways of getting your name out there in a really ‘feel good’ way.

1. Give the Gift of Your Free Ezine…if you haven’t started writing an ezine (enewsletter) yet now might be a good time to start thinking about that. People love to get ezines that are full of great content and high value to them as a reader. You start to build a relationship with them so that in time they get to know you, like you and trust you.

2. Give the Gift of a Free Home Staging Job…for a fundraising event or as a door prize. I’m not suggesting you do this one a lot but doing one of these once a year can get you some great exposure. And by doing the work you may just get yourself a client from it – and maybe some referrals!

3. Give the Gift of Referrals…there will be times as a home stager that you cannot meet the needs of your prospects or clients. By referring someone to them this is a great way of looking good even though initially you may feel that you are losing business. The person you referred may compensate you with money or by giving you a referral when they need someone with your qualifications. Networking groups are fantastic ways to find people you would refer, and to let people know who they can refer to you.

4. Give the Gift of Speaking…many home owners love to hear talks on how they can prepare their property for selling. Having done hundreds of talks myself, the interesting thing is that every time I do a ‘free’ talk at a library, a school, a trade show or a community center – I always get clients! Many of the attendees start out thinking they can stage their own home but the reality soon sets in that they need to call in the professionals – and that means you!

5. Give the Gift of A Thank You Card…in today’s high tech low touch world we all receive too many emails. While saying ‘thank you’ in an email is nice, it’s far better to send a real greeting card with a heartfelt message. Whether you use an automated greeting card system like Send Out Cards, or you have your own cards, take a few minutes to keep in touch with your prospect or client. If you send the right message and include your business card, people will remember this far more than an email.

Give without expectations of what will come back to you.I know that sounds like a contradiction yet I have found when I just give freely some pretty amazing gifts come back to me – some I couldn’t even have imagined!

Homes of the Future Might Act High-Tech But Don’t Have to Look “Futuristic”

The “Jetsons” cartoon series of the 1960’s was a fanciful glimpse of American home life in the 21st Century. George, Jane, Judy, Elroy and Astro lived in slick automated house that looked as futuristic outside as it was high-tech inside. Here in the twenty-first century it would seem logical that house design should be evolving towards a space-age look, but traditionally styled homes that model themselves after eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth-century designs are more popular than ever. Is the architectural design clock ticking backwards or are these classic exteriors simply attractive skins hiding twenty-first century muscles and bones?

A Brief History

American house design has weathered four centuries of rapidly changing architectural styles and tastes. The early homes built by European settlers were simple and unadorned, reflecting the familiar forms of their homelands, but as prosperity grew they began to take on decoration copied from the great buildings of Europe. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, home style followed the fashion of the day – Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Neoclassical, Tudor, Italian Renaissance. These classic homes are often easily dated by tracing the architectural style to the time period when it was popular.

The twentieth century brought architectural revolt. Tired of modeling their designs on European archetypes, architects invented new forms of home design. The Arts & Crafts movement, for example, sought to create a more intimate connection between the house and the lives of the occupants. The warm and cozy bungalow homes scattered throughout this country are an enduring heritage of the Arts & Crafts style. The Modern movement promoted the house as a “machine for living” and stripped all ornamentation. Chicago’s Prairie School promoted an architecture born of the landscape – a style that Frank Lloyd Wright worked to perfection. Wright’s homes are still considered innovative eighty years later.

Then along came the post-World War II housing boom and a sort of chaos in housing style. In the rush to provide thousands of homes for newly prosperous Americans, good architectural design often took a back seat in new tract home developments and much of the scale, detail, and warmth of earlier “styled” homes was lost. Craftsmanship became a lost art. New homes and quality architecture have been only passing acquaintances since.

But our recent period of economic good fortune has revived an interest in the value of good architectural design. Books and television shows scrutinize design and construction and even an entire cable network is dedicated to educating us about housing and home design. More and more new communities are employing Architectural Review Boards in an effort to promote a higher level of design quality and to help maintain a consistent character throughout the community. And at architectural offices across the country, custom home clients (even those with modest budgets) are once again asking for attractive, well-designed structures with character and personality.

But these new home clients aren’t asking for space-age design. They’re seeking the comfort of familiar forms, of gables and double-hung windows, of brick, stone, and wood, of cozy porches and sidewalks, and they’re looking at older neighborhoods for design inspiration.

Back To The Future

Where then here in the year 2001 are the” futuristic” homes? In many ways they’re already here and rapidly becoming more high-tech. In one form or another, many of the technological gizmos in George Jetson’s cartoon house are available to us today. The microwave oven and home automation systems were “predicted” by the Jetsons’ creators. And George kept in touch with Jane and Mr. Spacely via a real-time audio/video link – something that the Internet has made a reality.

But the majority of the technological changes in today’s homes are “invisible”; hidden within the walls, tucked away in the basement, or disguised as man-made products designed to mimic natural materials.

While many foundation walls are still built with concrete block or poured concrete, other technologies are gaining acceptance. Foundation walls can now be built of precast pieces or assembled from Styrofoam blocks that are then filled with concrete. And although our homes are still built mostly of wood, more of that wood is manufactured from smaller pieces – “engineered” lumber — or cut from genetically enhanced trees grown in managed forests. High-quality “wood” siding and trim products can be made from a slurry of wood fibers and resin or specialized lightweight concrete. Even window glass is treated with a microscopic energy-saving coating and the space between panes filled with Argon gas. And that attractive stone exterior next door? It may be “cultured stone” instead. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference.

Some of these technological improvements give architects more design freedom. Engineered lumber with its greater structural capacity allows us to remove some interior walls and open rooms to each other. The increased energy efficiency of window glass means more and larger windows, better views to the outside and more daylight inside.

Heating and cooling systems are working harder too, becoming more efficient every year as engineers find new ways to grab every last calorie of heat energy from our limited fossil-fuel resources. New furnace systems can extract more than 95% of the available heat energy in a fuel.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipe has largely replaced cast iron in plumbing drain systems, and plastic water lines are challenging the dominance of copper.

And while only the highest-end custom homes have complete home automation systems controlling lighting, heating, and entertainment media, nearly every home is pre-wired for cable-TV and security alarms.

There’s No Place Like Home

Inside and out, our homes are rapidly approaching the technological level of the Jetsons. But while George and his family lived in a circular, glass-walled space needle, the look of many of today’s homes still recognizes the comfortable and familiar forms of our architectural heritage.

There’s plenty of room in our communities for non-traditional design. But we work hard and play hard and even in contemporary homes, we want to find comfort and peace. Regardless of the architectural style, comfortable homes are ones that relate to our human scale, that surround us with warmth and light, and that bring our family members closer together. We like spaces that support our patterns of living, and that can adapt to our changing needs. High-tech has its place in bringing comfort and convenience to our lives, but houses that acknowledge our heritage are familiar and intimate.

Most of us aren’t interested in homes that look like the Jetsons’, but we all like the convenience of their gadgets. I think that robot housekeepers are going to be very popular someday.