What It’s Like for Salons Opening in Georgia, Part 1
As salons are beginning to reopen in some states, Chris Nedza, the founder of ZeeZor and now the Director of Strategic Development at Mindbody, chats with Jyl and Jason Craven of Jyl Craven Hair Design. Jyl and Jason share what it’s been like to reopen in Georgia. They share the concerns they had in reopening and how they prepared to keep both their clients and staff as safe as possible. They stress the importance of understanding what your demand will look like and how to resource staff (a waitlist can help with this!). Jyl stresses the importance of making people feel comfortable in reopening and helping her staff to return.
Chris Hey guys, I have with me, Jyl and Jason Craven, and these guys are rock stars. I just have to tell a quick story about Jyl. You guys have worked ZeeZor for, you know, a bunch of years, but we put on the Data Driven Salon Summit, and the very first one that we put on was four years ago. And Jyl came to it right and I think your total sales as a as a stylist, because you work behind the chair, but your total sales that year were roughly $250,000 a year, which pretty much is an elite status, right? But that year you met another ZeeZor customer who she was on stage B and she got up there she was talking about doing $500,000 a year and you, that following year, I ran into you at a conference and you said, "I gotta tell you something." And I'm like, "What, Jyl?" and you're like, "I saw Denise, I knew that $500,000 a year was possible, and I'm going to do it." And you did it that year.
So you kicked butt, you made that $500,000 in a year in revenue, and then you told me, "I'm gonna even beat that next year. My goal for the next year is $600,000." And I was so proud because that was 2019. You actually did to $630,000. And you were, I think you were number two in the entire ZeeZor network. So you actually beat that person. So, anyway, I'm proud.
You guys run a great, a great business. And during COVID, in the preparation, you guys have seen everything out there about what to do and how to do it. Can you give me just a did it go according to plan? And what are some of the things that you did do, because learning about is one thing, but living in is a whole different thing.
So, what are some of the things that you did? And I think, Jason, there were three categories that you were looking at. So, what are some things that you were doing or you did?
Jason Sure, sure. Thanks. Thank you, Chris. And yeah, thanks. Thanks for having us again.
Yeah, guys, before I kind of walk you through what we did, you know, I would say that we had the same concerns, same level of anxiety that everyone has. So, but we knew at some point, you know, we were gonna have to make the decision to open. One of the things we started doing early on, was obviously planning for our reopening.
But if we had to bullet point these things into three areas, I would say, first and foremost, start getting your supplies together. Get clear on what those are, and go ahead and start getting those things together now.
The second thing is get a good understanding of what your state and local regulations are going to be. So, get very clear on what those look like. From the signage, to the expectations for your guests, for your staff, understand what you need to do.
And then the last thing is going to be really making sure you have the staffing in place. You know, it's one thing to have your maybe your stylist team perhaps ready to go. But you really need the support of those other key team members to make it happen. So, you know, staffing is critical. If you have those three things in place, then you're going to be much better prepared, you know, when that day comes.
Chris So, when you talk about the materials, the stuff that you're, uh, you're talking about disposable gowns or washable gowns, or capes, right? Because every you have one you have to change that after every client, right? You're talking about the masks. Do you get I mean, right, that kind of stuff?
Jason The masks for your team, for your guests, um, you know, things like obviously, your capes, and hand sanitizers or, you know, or some sort of sanitation wipes, you know, those things you're going to need now, and get as much of that as you can. If you don't need it during this pandemic, you're going to need it anyway. So, go ahead and get as much as you can. Because odds are you're going to need it, you know, for, you know, the coming weeks and then potentially even some of these supplies throughout the year. So, you know, start getting those things together now, if you haven't already.
Chris What's the biggest challenge that you're dealing with? Cause you prepared but then there's some "oh craps."
Jason Yeah. Oh, yes. Yes. And we, you know, we stepped in it too and it's, you know, I would say probably the one thing that's been challenging for us, obviously, is our scheduling and appointment books. You know, for us when we closed back in March, we actually closed on March the 18th. We never expected it to last this long.
So, initially, what we were hoping, at best, would be a couple weeks as we looked to move those guests forward a couple of weeks, we found ourselves very quickly, moving them again.
So, I would say get clear on what your expectation is for when you reopen, find out what available staffing you have so that you know how to handle your guests. Look at your appointment books, figure out what that might look like, in terms of how many people you can have in your salon at a time, but just get clear on what that scheduling looks like for your team, but also for your guests.
Chris But isn't that, you were talking a little bit earlier about someone that comes in and they have multiple services and they have to come back and that's been a little bit of a surprise. Is that right, Jyl? Have you...
Jyl Do you mean, like, as far as multiple services when they come in?
Chris Yeah, and scheduling, rebooking, those and shifting them around and that sort of...
Jyl Oh, yes. That's that's been, especially me being behind the chair, so, talking with my own guests. I have so many. So, right now, I'm having to work six days a week so I can have one guest at a time through the whole service because, you know, takes longer, and so...
Chris So, why does it take longer? Is it, is it because you can't, like, I know. Yeah, just for the people listening, I think you probably shuffle like 10 guests at once. Ones processing, I mean...
Chris I'm joking.
Jyl Not 10, but, yes. So yes, so while they're processing, you know, say if it's just an overall color, it takes me about 10 minutes to apply it, and then they have to process 35 minutes and then they get shampooed, and followed with a treatment, usually. So, that whole process takes almost an hour, and then having to come back to my chair for their haircut service, you know, finishing.
So, in between that time of the service. I'm kind of in limbo, which I'm not used to, you know, It does give you more opportunity to, you know, do more service on them, talk to them more about their retail, and things like that. But it's been an adjustment for me, for sure.
Chris Normally, because normally, while they're processing you're doing another client and...
Jyl Correct. I'll take another guest, yes.
Jason And you have assistants working...
Jyl And we have, I have assistants working with me. So, now they'll take them to the shampoo area and do, you know, whatever services there that they have done,
Chris What impact in the business is it going to be? Because it's, obviously, you're not able to do, you're not gonna hit your 630 this year or are you?
Jyl No. No. I had like a way higher goal than that this year. And I was doing good.
Jason You're only down one month. We have, we have, we have plenty of time left in the year.
Jyl You never know what happens, but...
Chris I love that man. I love that.
Jason It's not over.
Jyl Yeah. Honestly, as far as revenue is concerned, thankfully, we're in a good position and so we're not too concerned about that right now. We're focusing more on the personal side, making sure everybody's really comfortable. I think that's the biggest thing. You know, a lot of it. I know that there's a big revenue side, you know, that part, but a lot of it is an emotional, you know, and personal side. And that was like one of our biggest deciding factors of us opening when we did because I know there's a lot of salons that aren't comfortable opening yet, where they have staff that's not comfortable opening yet. We did a lot of Zoom calls, talked to our staff, helped them out really well about what's happening, you know, and tried to make them feel more comfortable. I talked to a lot of them personally, in the evenings on phone calls and such, and honestly, emotionally it was getting to the point of they needed to get back here. It was, you know, there's a lot of things that can happen, a lot of habits, you know, things and it's just like they needed, you know, hairdressers are very creative people. And when we don't have structure, sometimes we can fall into holes, you know, and it's hard to stay out of that. And I know that because I'm I'm that person so that was a big factor when it when me and Jason were talking about reopening and we're just we were concerned about the status, well-being, mentally, you know, emotionally so...
Chris Alright, so one thing that you could tell if you did, hopefully, what should what should the rest of the world know who are not opening or have not opened yet.
Chris You could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Jason I would just say, start planning now. But, you know, the guests that come and see you want to see you, you know, they're dying for you to come back. So, you know, it's sure there's a little anxiety I think when you first open, that's normal. We were a little nervous and had all the same concerns. I think that everybody else has, you know, but I would say, you know, plan, prepare, and then, you know, those people that want to come in and see you, you know, those are gonna be your best customers. They're gonna love to see you I guarantee you.
Jyl I would say that I would say finish your first day. Because after that first day, you're like, okay, that wasn't so bad. I mean, do I love wearing a mask? No, not really. I feel like I'm suffocating but the outcome of it, you know, the guests that are so happy and that they're just relieved to be back, you know, is worth it. And after you get through that first day, you're like, we can do this, you know, so that's, that's what I would say my biggest advice would be.
Chris That's really good advice. You guys are awesome. I appreciate you so much. Last question. Jyl, what's your retail per client?
Jyl Piece or dollar?
Chris Retail dollars per client. Retail per claim ticket. What's yours?
Chris I know what it is.
Jyl You do? You tell it then. I haven't looked lately.What is it, Chris?
Chris Oh, I was just looking. I think it's like 35 bucks.
Chris Which is dang good.
Jyl That needs to be better. That's not enough.
Chris Alright. Love you, guys.
Jyl We love you back.
Jason Thank you, Chris.
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