When CEO Vanessa Yakobson took over Blo Blow Dry Bar in 2009, the fledgling brand had three locations in Toronto. Yakobson realized that the concept of creating runway-ready blowouts at an affordable price was scalable, and grew the business to over 100 locations in less than a decade.
Managing more than 100 locations
While growth to that scale is exciting, it presents a unique set of challenges. For example, Blo franchisees offer memberships to their customers, allowing them to come into the salon for two blowouts a month and other benefits. This Mane Squeeze membership allows Blo locations to have recurring revenue, but it also keeps customers engaged. The challenge: Blo wanted to allow members to access their benefits at any Blo location.
To accomplish this, Yakobson and her corporate team need to ensure that prices across geographic regions are in-line with their guidance and that they had a business system that allowed cross-regional memberships to work.
Centralizing business management
To make this membership system work, Blo uses Mindbody’s salon software, Yakobson can not only manage the membership program but also see data about memberships across brand locations.
“In terms of what the software enables us to do, from a scale perspective, it is enormously helpful to be able to develop a membership program at the corporate level and be able to push that out at the location level,” Yakobson said. “We know that we can push that out to the location level without having to rely on those individual locations to make those modifications themselves.”
Because each location uses Mindbody’s salon software for day-to-day operations, the Blo corporate office can log in daily and check on the locations to see their scheduling, appointment volume, capacity management, cost control, and sales numbers. This crucial data helps them see everything that's happening—both on a location level and system-wide—so that they can provide coaching and support to help the franchise partners grow.
“It gives us that window into our businesses, which would otherwise be impossible,” Yakobson said. “We'd be relying on self-reporting from our franchisees, which would be a nightmare.”
Automating marketing and feedback outreach
While Mindbody’s salon software makes it possible to develop its membership program and inventory at the corporate level, it also helps empower Blo locations to get the critical customer feedback they need to ensure a high-quality customer experience.
Since not all clients are comfortable sharing feedback in person, Blo set up automated messaging after every service through Marketing Suite. This automated campaign collects real-time feedback from customers lets managers and owners address any unhappy customers and celebrate staff members' positive reviews.
Plus, the reviews are attached to the service, so they don't have to remember who helped them and can quickly post to other review sites. With more reviews, each Blo location can strengthen their competitive advantage with an improved online presence and word-of-mouth referrals.
Having everything in one system means that each franchise location can offer a consistent and excellent branded experience. No matter which Blo someone walks into, they'll get the same elevated experience they expect, plus the flexibility to use their memberships and series at any location. Mindbody’s salon software takes care of Blo locations' little things, freeing up the staff to focus on helping their customers look and feel their best.