*This article was repurposed with permission from Vagaro.
“In a place full of creatives, the one thing that can be missing is structure. Although creating beautiful hair every day is the dream life for any stylist, having a business plan in place and strong processes is key to a successful salon environment. With Vagaro, they’re your main partner in creating an easier customer experience as well as being the core of all your business needs. From running any type of report to the Client app that creates an easy booking process, these are just some of the tools that Vagaro can help be the best business partner any salon owner or manager needs!”
-Renee Sison, Salon 77 West
Salon Success Story
In 2009, Salon 77 West opened its doors in the heart of downtown Pleasanton, located in Northern California. A popular beauty destination in the city, Salon 77 West embodies the ideal salon culture: collaborative, creative & cohesive. But it wasn’t always that way. When Renee Sison partnered with Salon 77 West in early 2022, she had a lot of work to do.
With six years behind the chair and seven spent in corporate beauty (she had been a sales rep for beauty companies, including Oribe), Sison had the ideal skill set to transform Salon 77 West’s structure and culture. Sison built trust with her staff, which enabled her to introduce new systems to improve efficiency.
Salon 77 West partnered with Vagaro and their business management platform to help the company understand the pain points of salons--and retail emerged as one of them.
Helping Stylists Retail with Confidence
Many salons struggle with selling retail because most stylists shy away from pushing products onto a client. When she first arrived at Salon 77 West, Sison encountered this hesitation. Working at Oribe allowed her to identify the disconnect between stylists and selling retail; as an Oribe rep, Sison focused on educating the salons she went to on the benefits of using Oribe products. She learned that framing retail sales as an educational opportunity changed how her stylists viewed offering products to clients.
Since retail sales can have a profit margin as high as 50%, salons must maintain an accurate inventory of products. Running reports gives Sison insight into which products are popular and which aren’t. Because Vagaro has worked so closely with the salon, 77 West has been able to beta test features before wider releases, providing a unique perspective into how ideas become a reality. She can manage inventory, monitor which products are low and opt to automatically reorder products.
Keeping the Salon Team on the Same Page
To keep her team organized, Sison requires that all stylists, even those who rent chairs, have a Vagaro account. This enables her stylists to use the calendar and an easy-to-use online booking system. With Vagaro Merchant Services, the salon can accept payments easily. She’s also able to automatically collect rent and deduct commission sales from a stylist’s rent.
With Forms, another function, Sison can quickly create client intake forms. This builds the client-stylist relationship, leading to a more positive customer experience. Sison will also use forms to get head counts for staff events and solicit quarterly feedback from her stylists to see what she can improve on as a leader.
While Salon 77 West is well known in Pleasanton, Sison still hopes for it to become a more widely known name. The most recent Daily Deal she ran on Vagaro’s Marketplace brought in an extra $4,000 of revenue and secured 38 new clients, marking a 37% increase in revenue from the previous month. Vagaro’s Instagram integration lets potential clients book an appointment on the salon’s social media page, which shortens the booking process, leading to happier clients.
Above all, Vagaro’s all-in-one salon software gives back valuable time. Vagaro simplifies running a salon by streamlining processes that are often time consuming. This gives Sison more time to focus on building a strong culture among her passionate stylists.
“Something unique about Salon 77 West is that everyone gets along, says Sison.” Despite having a two-story salon with little interaction between floors, Sison notes that there’s never tension between stylists. Everyone is supportive and dedicated to making hair dreams come true to help the salon succeed. “Who you work with is the culture.”
Planning to Grow Your Salon
There are two recent inititatives Sison has implemented to grow Salon 77 West; it has become a Green Circle salon, working to combat excessive salon waste. Often, Green Circle salons have an eco fee that they add to every service. With Vagaro’s new Taxes & Fees feature, salon owners can automatically apply this fee to any transaction, hassle-free.
Sison is also excited about Vagaro Pay Later which lets clients pay for expensive services, like hair extensions or blonding treatments, over time.
Sison said, “Pay Later allows people to have an experience they maybe thought they couldn’t afford. It’s also going to help with retail. The biggest benefit for a salon, or any business, is that they’ll get all the money upfront, with no risk.” Pay Later will help new stylists who are building a client base and allows clients to upgrade services with the knowledge that they do not have to pay a large lump sum.
Vagaro Features that Help Salon Owners
• Marketplace: 104 million bookings in one year. More than 10 million users searching for businesses likeyours. modern
• Get featured: Get noticed by new clients local to your area on the Vagaro Marketplace.
• Website builder: Design a custom booking page for your business.
• Branded app: Amplify your brand with your own custom app that clients can book from.
• Booking Widget with Social Media & Maps Integration: Online booking allows for instant, automated scheduling. Enjoy scheduling integrations through your social channels, Apple Maps, Google Maps and more. Create a booking widget for your business or each employee, linking directly to services.
• Automatic Waitlist: The Waitlist offers last-minute slots to clients who’ve signed up, making appointments suddenly possible during an otherwise full schedule.
• Daily Deals: Promote your specials with a Daily Deals feature.
• Calendar: A versatile and customizable calendar allows you to easily manage multiple serviceproviders, view details quickly, automate repeat bookings, block off personal time, automatically notify customers of changes, customize settings and more.
• Credit Card Processing: Accept payments safely and securely anytime, anywhere. Free credit card reader included. Get paid on any device, no matter where you are. Ensures a secure payment experienceevery time.
• Online Store: Expand your sales with an online store where clients can purchase, 24/7.
• Automatic No-Show/ Cancellation Fees: Give customers the option to put down a deposit when they book with you online. Pre-payments and deposits protect your business against no-shows andcancellations. If a client is a no-show or cancels too close to their appointment, you can easily charge them.
• Rent & Fees: Collect rent from commission stylists without having to make multiple trips to the bank. Automatically apply commission toward rent.
• Contactless Checkout: Provide a safe payment experience by sending part of the checkout window directly to your customers’ Client App. Customers can tip and sign on their phone. With customers using contactless forms of payment more than ever before, expedite the checkout experience with Apple Pay, Google Pay and other contactless payments.
• Reports: While you’re doing what you do best, the app keeps track of all your numbers. Runcustomizable reports on sales, bookings, loyalty programs, client retention & more—every piece of quantifiable data available is drawn to give you insights.
• Inventory: Easily track and manage your inventory. System automatically detects low quantities andalerts you so you can create and send purchase orders in a timely fashion.
• Gusto (Payroll): Customize commission payouts, set commission tiers, run payroll and more with Vagaro's partnership with Gusto.
• Xero /QuickBooks (Bookkeeping): Sync your Vagaro sales transactions with Intuit QuickBooks Online or Xero. Vagaro works alongside QuickBooks & Xero to keep your information up to date for your business payroll, taxes, and inventory.
• Vagaro Drive: Securely store photos & files relating to your clients for future reference.
• Purchase Orders: Create and send purchase orders with automatic detection of low quantity products.Email purchase orders to your vendors and print them out for your records. When the order comes in, mark the order as received and the products will automatically be imported into your inventory.
• Automated Appointment Reminders & Confirmations: Set automated messages, like reminders &confirmations, to send before appointments.
• Email marketing: Send 1,000 emails per month to your clientele. Use email marketing to advertise promotions or remind clients when it’s time to come in, perhaps with a nice discount attached.
• Text marketing: Set up text campaigns and strategically trigger automatically based on specific events.
• Forms: Create custom forms, surveys & waivers that you can send to customers or require at the time of booking.
Originally posted on Modern Salon