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Springcleaning

When leaving your studio this evening, did you postpone completely tidying up thinking, “I’ll get to it first thing in the morning?" Then imagine an early walk-in client - a surprise visit of sorts. Were you really ready to welcome her?

Try thinking differently this Spring - as if every appointment is welcoming a good friend into your home. What impression was created? Are the little details contributing to your big picture the way the should be? Similar to a posh resort spa, where every sense is immersed and each object has its proper place, your studio serves as a showcase for your personal style and warm hospitality…and it all starts with a clean, organized space.

A worthy objective during your Spring cleaning ritual should be finding ways for consistently exceeding guests’ expectations by removing anything hindering you from reaching that goal. Offering a luxurious experience doesn’t require cash or expensive furnishings; it requires organization, thoughtful analysis of your studio and relying on your 5 senses.

SIGHT: Take a seat - specifically in your client chair and soak in their POV as a starting point for your cleaning checklist. Your guests don’t measure just the quality of service, they take in the entire experience. Next, stand up and walk through your front door, glancing at each focal point of your studio for spots requiring attention. Nodding to legendary VOGUE editor Diana Vreeland: the eye has to travel! Look up, around, then down, and take notes and photos with your phone. Last, move into your studio’s center for a full 360 gaze. Is anything awry? If so, add it to your list.

SOUND: How long ago was it that you recorded your voicemail message? What do your current and potential guests hear when calling your studio? Since your greeting serves as a first-impression for new clients, sometimes it helps to write a short script: well-selected words best capture every Sola entrepreneur’s expertise, energy and enthusiasm. Since practice makes perfect, set aside some quiet time for creating a voicemail greeting and text message that’s welcoming and informative. Consider signing up for SolaGenius to streamline all of your communications with online booking, simple text reminders and more!

On another note, do you ever have issues hearing guests? Do they have trouble hearing you? Clear communication between both parties is oh-so-important during any salon service; consider adjusting speakers or furniture for better acoustics. Adding furnishings like super-soft throws and pillows for your chairs plus a small rug at the entrance serves double duty by absorbing ambient noise pollution and providing plush comforts.

SMELL: Let’s face it, not all salon products necessarily smell that great. Walk outside your studio for a few minutes then pop back in and inhale. Do any chemical or unwelcoming smells pervade your space or does your studio smell fresh, clean and inviting? Scents are such a matter of personal preference; what may be fabulously fragrant to you might be a bit overwhelming to others, especially pregnant women who are often olfactory-hypersensitive. Second opinions here are warranted; consider asking a friendly neighboring Sola-ist her opinion as you may be immune to it, then return the favor.  Consider a sleek covered pail for stashing trash until it’s taken out, ensuring plastic liners remain unseen. Completely close all product tops to stop seepage, then store in a drawer or covered cabinet.

TOUCH: If you’re not familiar with best-selling author Mari Kondo, the Japanese de-cluttering expert, steal her tips! First, put your hands on everything in your studio, asking yourself if it sparks joy, and, if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it. Second, once only your most joy-giving belongings remain, put every item in a place where it’s visible, accessible, and easy to grab and then put back. Only then, Kondo says, will you have reached the nirvana of housekeeping. Take towels: how do yours feel? Are they frayed from daily-dryer frying? Do they still maintain absorbency or are they thinned out? Review each for fading, stains and holes. Toss those you wouldn’t display for guests into a bin or bag, and donate to your local animal shelter (just make sure they’re clean first.) Also make sure any retail products are displayed beautifully – not a cluttered shelf of random items – to make them as appealing as possible.

TASTE: Not in the literal mouth-feel sense, but aesthetically. Has yours evolved since opening your studio? Does your décor reflect who you are today and how you want your business to grow? Get social: gather ideas from other studio pros, and check out Sola’s Pinterest and Insta feeds for inspirational ideas mirroring your dream space.

Pulling it all together is the last step. Taking all this on and only allocating a day can be overwhelming and often unrealistic. Think about divvying up your Spring cleaning to-do list by separating cleaning and de-cluttering tasks. Helpful hint: ridding clutter first eliminates quite a bit of cleaning while opening your space at the same time.

 

Fast Fixes: For an immediate feeling of accomplishment, ditch magazines over a month old - you want to present an image that you are au courant on style and trends. Toss empty product bottles and dying plants/flowers too. Use in-between appointment downtime for organizing shelves and drawers one by one.

 

Sola’s SENSE-ational Spring cleaning strategy can transform your studio from whoa to wow in just a few hours. Think of it as a recipe for ongoing success, but instead of food, your inexpensive ingredients include several large garbage bags; microfiber sweepers, dusters and sponges; no-tox, great smelling cleaning products, and definitely gloves — don a pair for protecting your artistic professional hands.

 
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