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Industry • Best Practice

Leap Into Success: Technology-Driven Growth


By Boulevard

Key takeaways from Boulevard Senior Education Manager Jozlyn Miller’s presentation at The FiLL Conference 2024

Every self-care business is different, but they all have a few things in common. Whether you’re running a salon, medspa, nail bar, or barbershop, you can’t reach your goals without inspiring leadership and strong client relationships — and that can’t happen without the right technology. Yet, despite technological advances revolutionizing the industry, some businesses still keep manual pen-and-paper records and use large front desk teams to field incoming calls.

Boulevard Senior Education Manager Jozlyn Miller recently took the stage at The FiLL, an annual conference hosted by Qnity, a self-care education platform. This conference brings industry leaders together to brainstorm, find actionable solutions, and make lasting connections. In her panel “Elevating Your Leadership: Technology-Driven Growth,” Jozlyn addressed the need for employee and client engagement on a deeper level, as well as how technology should support self-care entrepreneurs every step of the way.

Here are some key insights from the presentation.

Self-care success starts with strong leadership

There are two types of leadership: traditional and modern. Traditional leadership is more authoritative; these leaders had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where they are, and they expect their staff to face similar challenges. As a result, traditional leaders often aren’t open to collaborating and may not provide the mentorship that younger members of the industry need to thrive.

For those still taking a traditional approach to running a self-care business, it’s time to re-imagine the type of leader you want to be. Consider modern leadership, which values open communication, transparency, collaboration, and trust. Modern leaders teach from experience rather than let their employees jump the same hurdles they had to. In other words, modern leaders are more mentors than managers, which increases employee retention.

When it comes to engaging employees on a deeper level, Jozlyn had some special tips:

  • Foster development skills: Help employees hone their craft, increase their product knowledge, and perfect their upselling and social media strategies.

  • Challenge your team: Encourage your team to think critically and explore unconventional solutions to become more innovative and adaptable.

  • Teach financial literacy: If your providers can’t manage money well, that could lead to issues at work and outside of the business. Find ways to help your staff with financial planning, from budgeting and tax preparation to college and retirement funds.

  • Make mental wellness a priority: Understanding different personality types, attachment styles, and communication approaches is part of being a good leader. Bring awareness to mental health issues in your business, let your team members know they can always be open about their struggles, and provide resources for those who need help.

Understanding the client journey leads to better experiences

Self-care businesses rely on long-term client relationships and repeat appointments to thrive. However, you can’t build those relationships without considering the whole client journey — and meeting expectations every step of the way. This starts long before clients walk in the door; you need to be engaged from the booking stage through preparation and welcoming them to your business. Your job isn’t over when the service is completed, either; make sure the send-off is smooth and pleasant. After they leave, continue to nurture that relationship with follow-ups and booking reminders.

It only takes one bad step in the entire experience to ruin a client relationship. Consider a hypothetical: A client walks out of a salon looking incredible. However, the booking process was difficult, and the salon employees didn’t warn her about the limited parking options, which caused additional frustration. Then, her stylist was late and the service took longer than expected, putting the client off schedule. When checking out, she felt like just another number on the books, rather than a valued client.

In that scenario, it doesn’t matter how good the service is; that client will likely never return. Self-care business owners should regularly take a step back and evaluate the client journey as a whole — not just what happens during the appointment. That way, you can identify any weak spots and work to improve them.

The role of technology in self-care business growth

In 2024, modern technology isn’t just a “nice-to-have” for self-care businesses; it’s a requirement. Tech advances are revolutionizing the industry, and both providers and clients are increasingly looking for tech-savvy businesses. If you’re spending hours every week on manual processes that could be automated, that’s time you’re not spending on mentorship and improving the client journey.

Here are a few ways entrepreneurs can lean on technology to streamline their processes:

  • Online self-booking: The booking stage is your first chance to have a positive interaction. To meet modern client expectations (and to relieve some of the pressure on your front-of-house team), you need an aesthetically pleasing website and an intuitive online booking system. Additionally, your software should be able to handle confirmations and reminders automatically.

  • Personalized marketing: To stay top-of-mind for your clients between appointments, slide into their inboxes with set-and-forget email and text campaigns. The right software lets you perfect and personalize your campaigns across platforms in minutes. 

  • Data analysis: Every opened message, online booking, appointment, and financial transaction provides actionable insights — if you know where to look for them. Leverage your software’s reporting features and analyze your data regularly. This analysis will give you a bird’s eye view of your strengths and weaknesses, both on the client side and in your duties as a manager. From there, you can address any shortcomings and use that information to further personalize client experiences.

As your self-care business scales, the need for automation and streamlined processes increases. Without the right technology, you won’t be able to achieve your growth goals or outperform your competitors. In short? It’s time to take a technology-forward approach to running your self-care business.

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