“Growing up… Brian didn’t dream of owning a hair salon,” ¹ but when he recognized the need for high-quality hair services in his home state of Georgia, it was clear he should be the one to address that need. The 124 Fam is the product of the passion and care Brian brings to what he does. He’s guided by the numbers and data—Mindbody Insights has transformed a distaste of numbers into a passion.
Salon 124 Director of Business and Leadership Development John Palmieri shares Brian’s passion and care for the 124 mission. John believes data is key to both individual and company growth.
“How much does it cost not to know what your business is doing?” Brian asks as he and John share the story of adopting and integrating Mindbody’s Insights into Salon 124’s operations.
“I hated it,” Brian says with a distinct shudder when he’s asked about measuring what was happening at Salon 124 before Insights. Business owners don’t have time to be stuck in the back office pulling reports and compiling spreadsheets. Brian shares, “It was very sporadic, if ever, I had time to [pull reports]—I was flying blind.”
“[Insights was] a game-changer,” Brian states definitively. “I can’t operate without it.” He and John have been using Insights for over six years, and in that time, it transformed the way they measure success at Salon 124. It reshaped their onboarding and career pathing processes, and simplified the way operations are measured day to day.
“I love to see the numbers…that let me take proactive action,” John says. Each leader has their own favorite metrics that they watch—numbers that have helped them spot, track, and mitigate concerns before they become issues for the business.
Brian says he watches “prebook because that’s an indicator of how retention is going to look.” The prebook metric calculates the percentage of customers who come in for a service and book a future appointment. In Brian’s eyes, prebook is an early indicator that provides a way to measure a stylist’s communication skills and the trust their clients have in them.
John can be found in each of Salon 124’s six locations on a regular basis. He loves the ease and convenience of Insights being a mobile-first solution: “I can pull up each of the six locations, and I can drill down to each employee” all from an app on his phone. “Mobile works best for me and for the stylists.”
Each Salon 124 employee is introduced to Insights from the beginning. During their first week of training, “we review the metrics we measure, talk about why they’re important, how they can affect those numbers personally, how we track them using [Insights], and then we show them what if you were able to affect this number—how does it help you grow?”
“Our new hires love it because it gives them a crystal-clear picture of what the expectations are,” John adds. Salon 124 has a clear career path set up for their stylists, and with Insights, managers can track and communicate the key metrics each stylists needs to reach for the next step in their development.
Strengthening the team
“One of the biggest issues in the industry right now is staff retention,” Brian says. “The two biggest things you can do for retention is to have a career path and the recognition piece so they know you’re paying attention and recognizing them for a job well done. Without [Insights] neither one of those can be accomplished.”
Insights is a lot more than just metrics and tracking goals and targets. It also provides a simple and intuitive place to engage and recognize employees. Leaders can easily reach out to any employee when they’re rocking it or provide feedback and support when they’re not. “In a company of 140 employees, when the boss notices you’re doing really well, that’s a great opportunity,” John says. It’s important for them to recognize success for team members, and as the Salon 124 family grows, Insights makes it simple to reach out.
They also drive engagement with purpose-built contests. “When you run contests, they’re constantly looking at it—the engagement is huge,” Brian says.
“You can always run contests on total sales,” Brian shares, then points out that the same people tend to win these challenges. However, if “you go down to who has the highest average retail per client, people can participate more.” John likes metrics that “show a behavior or a pattern that needs to be rewarded.”
They also like to run raffle contests, where each time a stylist reaches a certain goal, such as selling a specific brand or $100 in services, they earn a ticket. With Insights, “you can also do team contests where you’re looking at the overall salon, and you can get everyone involved to drive a particular metric.” They love contests as an easy and impactful way to improve engagement across their brand.
Since the start, Brian and Salon 124 have been committed to leaving their unique mark on the hair industry. They don’t plan on stopping any time soon. John and Brian will be bringing Insights along with them as they continue to drive decisions with data and empower the next generation of beauty professionals.