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WHY MCDONALDS SHOULD WIN THE HAIRDRESSING AWARDS : Salon Business Articles
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WHY MCDONALDS SHOULD WIN THE HAIRDRESSING AWARDS

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WHY MCDONALDS SHOULD WIN THE HAIRDRESSING AWARDS

Postby chris the limey » 15 Jul 2007 11:16 pm

In late 2002 I decided, after reading of all things "Grinding it Out: The making of McDonalds" to revolutionise the way we worked in the salon.

The salon I owned at the time was very successful, don't get me wrong, but it was too much like hard work to be honest. If such and such a stylist wasn't there that day the clients would moan, if I couldn't cut little Britney's fringe for her mom she’d moan. Every product company we used had a latest new product we apparently just couldn't live without, only to find that same product superseded by something “even better” 3 months later..


Our first year in business, we were nominated at the BHBA (like the NAHA?). After the press we received I thought things could get no better. Did it attract more clients? Not really, just more reps with more products to sell. We were offered an extra 2.5% discount so they could get their products into our salon, but this was far more for their benefit than ours.


Enough was enough!

I re-evaluated the whole business from the ground up!
Reading that McDonalds book was amazing.

Whatever your beliefs about McDonalds, only a fool could believe they have not been successful. It got me thinking seriously about the way in which our industry works, and improvements that could be made to those mechanics and traditions.

Getting Feedback

The first step was to ask clients some important questions via a written questionnaire. What they liked about our salon at that time, suggestions for improvement, extras they would like to buy in a salon, how much they would expect to pay for a professional bottle of shampoo, what price they would expect a cut and finish, how long they would like the service to take, which nights would be most suitable for late night opening etc, stuff like that.
The results were astounding.



A clearly displayed price menu is important. In our survey of over 100 clients the results, on average, were that clients in our area would like to pay no more than £17 for a cut and finish (we were charging £28 at that time yet they happily paid that?), they wanted to literally be in and out as they had other things to do with their time, didn't want to pay much more than £7 for a bottle of salon shampoo, thought colour services should be cheaper in general in all salons, wanted friendly staff who looked like real people (not models) and clearly displayed prices at the counter among other things.

We hadn't gotten it all wrong, but we hadn't gotten it all right either. Our prices were much higher than the survey suggested clients wanted to pay in the long run, and we'd been concentrating on spending too much money on entering awards etc. for the salon profile.



Beginning to Change

I got straight to work on "McDonaldising" my business. I left my ego at the front door and forgot about pride and stuff like that. Everyone thought I was mad. Friends and colleagues laughed at me. Family tried to tell me it couldn’t be done. Hairdressing is a luxury service where women like to get pampered; they’ll pay the earth for it. But I knew that my clients had told me differently...

I'm not going to tell you exactly how we did it, because that would be plain stupid, but I worked really hard over 7 months building a new type of salon about half a mile away that delivered every single thing our survey suggested. The salon was much larger (over 2 floors instead of 1). The decor was painstakingly chosen in a modern Art Deco finish, I commissioned couches, wall hangings, waterfalls, porcelain floors throughout, tiffany mirrors etc., we installed a huge backlit price board (like the ones in McDonalds) in our reception area, colour services were given a whole area of their own away from mirrors and windows (like the survey suggested) and we installed televisions in this area with cafe tables for clients to sit at while receiving the services.



Finding Good People

Next was the staff. Staff are dressed in company uniforms with name badges. We had a strict policy of hiring a good mixture of different types of people. Overweight, small, beautiful, older, younger, slim. We wanted the salon team to look just like the ordinary people our clients wanted. We then split the team into technical and styling teams. In our salon, like many others, you either cut or you colour, another hit with clients (and staff) as the service is speeded up dramatically. Next is company training. We re-train/train all staff from scratch, no matter their experience; how we say hello to clients, how we wear our hair, how we put in foils, how we make coffee, how we apply a conditioning treatment, how we recommend products, how we cut our layers, how we clean the toilet even.

No matter your experience this training needs to be done before you're given any salon clients.

Clients love it!If their stylist is sick they know they can go to a different stylist that day and receive EXACTLY the same haircut without worry.



The Price Is Right

It takes experienced stylists around four to five days to finish the modules and apprentices around 18 months. We opened this beautiful salon, and you know what we did? Slashed our prices! For good! Cut and finish now started at just £14.50. Colour? Top head foil highlights began at £15.00. Heck, we even introduced a combo deal like McDonalds. 4 boxes of different services. Pick one service from every box and pay just £29.00 (£34 for long hair). Clients were booking a wash, cut, top head highlights and finish and walking out with a bill for just £29.00. They loved it. We couldn't move for clients, even on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

On the rare occasion we had an appointment free we put up a poster outside offering "Last Minute Appointment available, Wash Cut and Finish just £9.95” and it got filled immediately! Kind of ironic don't you think? Clients were getting big city surroundings in our salon at less than village prices. Our slogan, “Beautiful Hair @ Beautiful Prices” came from this idea. We are heaving! Fully booked most days (have been since the launch in Sep 2003) and our old location opened up to cope with overflow…



Conclusion

So I would like to officially thank Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds franchises, for inspiring me to go ahead and systemize my salon business. While every other salon owner in my town is stuck working behind the chair at 40+, I am 29 years old and free as a bird!
-----
I try to get online to answer forum posts at least once per day. If I miss your post, let me know. :)
chris the limey
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Re: WHY MCDONALDS SHOULD WIN THE HAIRDRESSING AWARDS

Postby makeupminx » 28 Sep 2009 11:50 am

Yes yes yes - an amazing and very helpful article - thanks for sharing. I have had many thoughts along these lines and you have confirmed that this is the way to go - THANKS from hopeful new salon owner
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Re: WHY MCDONALDS SHOULD WIN THE HAIRDRESSING AWARDS

Postby Jeni Giles » 01 Feb 2011 11:27 pm

There must be something in the air.... we just signed on to a project with our local university marketing department. Their students are using our School for a class assignment and marketing project. The marketing students are doing survey's, market research, secret shopping and helping us evaluate our student marketing strategy as well as our client market strategy.

We are looking toward an overhaul- not so much on remodeling, but tweaking and updating what we currently have.

I'll certainly be sharing some of your ideas with my students as well as the other staff.
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