We recently caught up with Director of FMK Hair Design Elnaz Johanrakshan. FMK Hair Design specialises in high-quality keratin treatments and has three locations across the Auckland region. Elnaz shared her journey to success as well as her plans for growing and expanding her business.
Watch FMK Hair Design’s story in this short video, or continue reading for the full interview below.
Tell us about FMK Hair Design and how you started in the hair industry
I got into the hairdressing industry at a really young age. I was always passionate about the industry so I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I left school. I love meeting new people and making them feel good about themselves. I also love creativity, building relationships with clients and seeing the result of our work.
We opened our first location in 2007 and started specialising in keratin treatments in 2011. From there, we grew quickly as our product offers amazing results. I struggled with unhealthy unruly hair all my life and when it worked on my own hair, I just knew that it was going to work on everyone else too.
As the demand for our treatments and services grew, I decided that it was time to expand and that’s when the franchise idea came about and in 2015 we became a franchise.
What are the challenges of growing your hair business and how do you meet them?
Being a franchise and having multiple locations, Kitomba helps me keep an eye on things. I can compare our performance from a year ago to now and see if it’s time to hire someone new or expand our business to a new location. Currently, we have three locations, all based in Auckland and we are looking at expanding beyond the region. We’ve got clients that travel to us from all over New Zealand just to have our keratin treatments done.
We have salon owners inquire about our product as they want to use it within their salons too. While we want to expand, we realise that if we were to make the product available to everybody, we wouldn’t be able to maintain consistency. It’s really important to keep our exclusive keratin treatment product within the FMK stores. That way we can control the training and we can control how the treatment is done, because consistency is key with this particular field that we specialise in.
We also wouldn’t be able to expand our business without Kitomba because it helps us to keep track of what needs to be done and how the FMK salons need to perform for us to grow.
What helps you to stand out from the competition?
Our main point of difference is that we specialise in keratin treatments. Although we provide all hair services here, our focus is our keratin treatment. 90% of our clients come for our treatments, and from there we build the trust to expand the services we provide to them.
We have many stylists that recommend their clients to us as our treatments complement their work. We can provide the treatment that we specialise in, and then we send the clients back to their regular hairdressers where they get their cut and colour done. I always hear great feedback from other hairdressers that our treatment makes their life so much easier because they have healthy hair to work with. I had a salon owner tell me that for the first time, one of her clients was able to go blonde purely because of our treatment.
Our clients also see the value in our product and appreciate great results. We get lots of clients through word of mouth, so we don’t do much marketing. The only marketing tools that we use are Kitomba’s Everyday Marketing and also our social media platforms.
Why do you love Kitomba?
I love everything Kitomba has to offer. It makes running a business so much easier for me and my team. I love the new features that Kitomba continuously brings out to make things easier for us as business owners. I don’t know what we would do without Kitomba.
Online Booking is amazing because our phone just doesn’t ring as much. We used to spend a lot of time on the phone with clients trying to figure out when they wanted to come in and what they wanted to have done. By having this feature and allowing clients to book on our website, we’re barely ever on the phone, which means our staff can provide a better experience to their clients at the salon.
I remember when I first started hairdressing, everything was just written down on client cards. Now it’s great to have a database of over 15,000 people and to be able to go into every individual’s history and see exactly who they are, their preferences and what their hair is like. I love that we can upload photos to see what result the client’s trying to achieve and their progress.
Kitomba helps me manage my business efficiently. I love that I can log in from home and keep an eye on everything. It makes accounting and admin work a breeze. Kitomba also allows us to see the history of our clients that have been coming here for years, from what drink they prefer to how they like to have their hair washed.
I love Kitomba’s text message reminders. Without these reminders, I think we’d have a lot of clients not show up for their appointments because life got busy and they forgot.
If a client can’t make it to their appointment, it’s really easy to go into the Waitlist feature in Kitomba 1 and slot someone else in because we always have clients waiting. Keratin treatments can take up to three and a half hours, so it’s important that we’re able to easily fill that time.
My staff love having targets set for them and it really helps them feel rewarded when they reach those targets. It’s also a fantastic tool to help them know what they’re booked in for for the rest of the week and plan their time better.
Want to find out if Kitomba can help your business thrive like it has for FMK Hair Design? Book your free demo where we’ll discuss your business’s unique needs, goals and vision, and what features will help you to achieve your business goals this year and beyond.
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