Boost Salon and Spa Sales this Fall

Labor day is coming up and that means soon our sun-filled summer days will be behind us. Fall is a great time to undo the strain that the sun has put on your customer’s hair and skin over the past few months. Check out some of these fall tips to help get more customers in the door. 

Minimize Stress Levels

Back to school season is stressful for more than just parents. Teachers, students, and college administrators all face increased stress with the change of the season, making fall a great time to run a special on massages. The special will be appreciated and bring in customers who need stress relief for the rest of the school year.

Ombre is the New Blonde

Due to the summer sun, a popular summer hairstyle trend is balayage, for sun-kissed locks no matter how much time your clients are able to spend on the beach. With fall here, people are going darker and a popular trend this year is ombre. Make sure that your employees are well versed in this dual-shade hair process. Consider doing a discount for an ombre die for the first time clients. In six to eight weeks when they need a touch up, they’ll come back and pay full price.

Moisturizing Your Skin Back To Health

After three months of increased sun exposure, your client’s skin needs to be revitalized with more moisture, making facials a great choice for fall promotions. Try making an appearance at a community event like a high school football game or farmers market and pass out samples of your skin care products. Prospective clients will appreciate the gesture and know where to go for more.

The fall is a great time to focus on rejuvenating yourself after the dog days of summer. To learn more tips for your salon or spa, follow SinglePlatform on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

How Your Restaurant Should Be Recruiting

Recent trends show that companies are more inclined to lay off baby boomers than employees of other ages. For many companies, it is too expensive to pay established baby boomers the higher salaries that they’ve earned from their years of experience in the work force, so many employers are tempted to hire younger people and pay them less due to their fewer years of experience. The goal for these businesses is to hire more people and increase their productivity, without paying more to do so.

While this may seem like an easy solution to decrease expenses, some restaurants have faced accusations of discriminating against older applicants. In order to avoid legal action by current or prospective employees, your small business should practice ethical hiring practices and decide to lay off employees solely based off their performance on the job.

Transparency is the first step to creating an ethical and legally sound hiring practice. When developing your job listings makes sure that you are as specific about the tasks that will be performed as possible to give the applicant or employee a clear idea of what is expected of them. Employers should also state what skills, level of education, and experience is required for the position and whether or not any training will be available to employees while on the job.

This transparency will ensure that you are getting candidates who feel as though that can fully perform the tasks of the job and it also gives employers documented reasons to reject candidates to show that they are not practicing discrimination. Make sure that your job descriptions do not include any physical characteristics such as specific age, weight, or height requirements as that is a form of discrimination.

In order for companies to avoid accusations of discrimination, they must be careful in the ways that they display their job descriptions and must clearly state what is required for their applicants. Following these steps is essential to establishing a credible hiring strategy, while avoiding legal trouble. For more information on how to best run your restaurant, follow SinglePlatform on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

3 Tips to Boost Restaurant Sales this Fall

Fall is around the corner and pumpkin spice-flavored foods are already making appearances on supermarket shelves. For those who love fall, the season can’t come fast enough so your restaurant needs to start strategizing for the seasonal shift. Labor day is just around the corner after all. Incorporate these tips this fall season and you’ll be able to turn the post-summer slump into increased sales.

1. Seasonal Specials

According to GrubHub, operations with seasonal menus see 26% more orders and a 23% increase in average check size over restaurants that don’t incorporate seasonal items to their menu. For restaurants that don’t have the time or finances to create an entirely new menu, try creating a few new fall specials like a hearty stew of a pumpkin pie. Make sure that your menus are up-to-date everywhere customers are searching for them.

2. After School Deals

We’re quickly approaching back to school season and that means students are looking for a place to grab a bite between class, work, and practice. Make sure that your restaurant is catering to their needs, whether that be a student discount with a valid ID or a special on students favorites like coffee or pizza during after school hours. If you cement your restaurant as the post-class place early in the year, you’ll have loyal customers for months to come.

3. Dining Decor

Restaurants are more than just food; they are an experience. Fall presents the perfect opportunity for your restaurant to heighten diners’ experiences with seasonal decorations. From colorful gourds to wreaths of foliage, adding some autumnal touches to your restaurant shows your customer that your restaurant cares about the details and can lead to great customer satisfaction.

Following these easy steps will help your restaurant win more diners this fall season and to keep them into the coming months. To learn more easy tips to boost restaurant sales, follow SinglePlatform on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Activity Trackers and Your Fitness Center

The idea of activity trackers is far from new. Leonardo DaVinci wrote about trying to create a pedometer as early as the 15th century, but today’s activity trackers are far more sophisticated that DaVinci could have ever expected. Learn more about how you can incorporate this new tech into your fitness business.

Fitness band allow users to track and measure their metrics throughout the day. While these devices range in price starting at around $50, the amount of features incorporated varies from device to device. The Fit Bit is a popular brand that allows its users to track metrics like calories burned, stationary time, sleep activity and other essential metrics. Withings Go is a more economical alternative that tracks basic metrics like steps and distance.  

While each band offers their own unique features, the information gathered by the trackers can help your clients stay in line with their goals.  Using an activity tracker allows your clients to monitor all of their activity, to have a more comprehensive view of their fitness.  Wearing the band can also act as subconscious reminder to stay active.

Although these devices accurately read most activity, there are still circumstances where these devices can fail or be harmful to a client’s health.  Complex movements and quick steps tend to affect the accuracy of the activity tracker.  Since these monitors are generally worn on the wrist of the user, the measurements become skewed because less arm movement is being made.  The same holds true when measuring the amount of energy expended. 

Activity trackers can only track activity, so these wearable pieces of tech should not be consider to measure a person’s overall health. While being diligent with one’s workouts is important, fitness professionals should make sure that their clients are also focusing on fitness goals that trackers can’t measure like increased energy and better moods. 

To learn more about growing your business and making sure your clients know what you have to offer check out what SinglePlatform can do for you.

 

Four Ways to Market with Instagram Stories

Last Tuesday, Instagram introduced their newest feature, Instagram Stories. With people engaging with brands 25% more on Instagram in comparison with other social platforms, Stories is another way for brands to establish relationships with the people who purchase from them. Allowing users to post photos and videos that stay up for 24 hours before disappearing, the feature provides a way for small businesses to showcase every aspect of their brand. Here are four tips to increase your social media reach using Stories:

1.  Get Personal

Posting regularly on Instagram is a great way to share your most newsworthy information directly to your followers’ timelines, but Stories allows for more frequent and personalized updates. 64% of people cite shared values as the reason they build relationships with brands. The new update is a prime platform for sharing your brand’s values as they occur within daily happenings. Whether your employees spent time doing community outreach or you sponsor a local charity, showing these interactions as they happen is a great way for people to connect with the things you do on a daily basis.

2. Be Engaging

Increase engagement with your brand by announcing deals and specials only available to those who have seen your Instagram Story. Stories allows users to place text on the images and videos they post so you can include a code or password over your post that customers can redeem for a discount or freebie. This will encourage people to interact with your brand on Instagram while also increasing traffic and sales.

3. Host a Contest

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram allows users to see which of their followers has viewed their story. Incentivize customers to engage with you by offering a prize to someone who consistently watches your updates the most. Introducing competition is a fun way to encourage people to get to know your brand while rewarding those who already do.

4. Get Familiar

Just as you want people to engage with your brand via Stories, people want you to engage with them, too. Watching your customers’ stories not only allows you to get to know them on a more personal level, it allows you to understand what they like and why they might need your brand. The feature ultimately gives you a glimpse into what your customers’ daily lives are like, providing you with valuable information that allows you to tailor your marketing to fit their lifestyles.

While some say the update is a direct imitation of Snapchat, it’s a great (and free) way for small businesses to bridge the gap between the brand and the consumer while increasing overall engagement. Whether you snap behind the scenes moments or post quick updates, Stories is an essential way to communicate with people.

For more tips on how to get noticed on the web, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For the latest industry news, sign up for our newsletter here:


How Your Small Business Can Use Time Clocks Correctly

For many companies, having employees clock in and out at the beginning and end of their shifts is the easiest way for employers to keep track of their employees’ hours. A manageable way to document the hours employees work, the system has been used for over 100 years.

While the system has been in use for years, companies have been increasingly pressured to ensure exact accuracy when measuring the hours their employees work. In an article by Restaurant Business magazine, lawyer Barbara Cusumano states that when an employee clocks in and out at exactly the same time everyday, a red flag is raised. This unvaried schedule may even call for further investigation by the Department of Labor, as it can be an indication that owners are trying to avoid paying their employees overtime wages. Considering it’s unlikely that an employee starts and ends their shift at the exact same time each day, it’s a cause for concern for the Department of Labor. Employees typically have some variation in their schedule as well; whether they arrive a few minutes late or leave early, each day is different.

Depending on the business, time clocks can be especially useful for monitoring their employees’ work schedules and ensuring accuracy. Corporations like Burger King, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart would greatly benefit from utilizing time clocks. Given these companies are massive in both size and revenue, they often become the target of many lawsuits regarding overtime hours and the amount paid to employees for them. The majority of the employees at these companies are paid minimum wage and corporate overtime policies have recently been under greater scrutiny.

While the implementation of a clock system at large corporations may be extremely beneficial, small businesses might not have the same needs. Based on the number of employees at the small business, a time clock system may be unnecessary because there aren’t a large number of people to keep track of. If employees were to arrive early or late, it would be more easily noticed by management at a small business in comparison with management at the corporate level.

Regardless of how your company manages employee work schedules, being aware of changing policies concerning overtime and scheduling will keep your business in the clear when it comes to the law.

When to Raise Menu Prices for Your Restaurant

Prices directly affect your restaurant’s profitability, and there are a number of factors to consider before raising menu prices. Having the right price is an important balancing act. You want to make sure that you have a healthy profit margin but your customers want to pay for the quality they feel that they receive when dining at your restaurant. Not only that, but your prices will influence the way that your restaurant is perceived. Consider these aspects before changing the prices on your menu:

Direct costs

The costs associated with any food item on your menu makes up your direct costs. This includes any fees that occur from purchasing ingredients, food waste from spilling, overcooking or spoiling.  These costs should run about 33% of the menu price, on average.

Indirect costs

The indirect cost consists of the costs that do not include the actual ingredients of a dish, but the aspects of the restaurant that add perceived value or quality. For example, indirect costs will indisputably change depending on if your restaurant is fine dining versus fast service. Overhead expenses in fine dining restaurants such as décor, product presentation, marketing, and amenities, can create high perceived value. Preparation and labor is considered an indirect cost, for example, a dish that takes a longer time to prepare would be priced higher than a dish that has very little prep time.

Volatile food costs

Prices on ingredients can fluctuate daily. For example, natural disasters can wipe out crops, which would cause supply to drop and demand to increase. In this case you can either raise your menu prices or work with a seasonal menu that allows more flexibility for buying crops in season and keeping supply costs down.

Competition

Checking out a competing restaurant can help you set your prices by finding out what they offer and their price points. By checking the prices online or going in to see their portion sizes, you can gauge the market rate for certain dishes. If diners are willing to pay $10 for a burger at your competitor’s restaurant, they’ll be willing to do the same at your restaurant.

Before raising your menu prices, always consider whether you can cut the cost of the dish by using a less expensive vendor, substituting similar but more affordable ingredients, or decreasing the portion size. Make sure you track how menu price changes impact your sales before making your next set of changes. To learn more useful tips about managing your restaurant, follow SinglePlatform on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.