We sat down with Nadia Howard, owner of Bedlam Hair Design & Bliss Day Spa on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, to talk about how she stepped out of her business after nearly 28 years in the industry and how Kitomba helps her to run her business remotely.
Watch the video below for an overview and keep reading to learn more about how Nadia is running a successful hair and beauty business from a distance.
How did Bedlam Hair Design & Bliss Day Spa come to be?
“We started Bedlam Hair Design in the Kapiti Coast 13 years ago which was purely a hair salon, and then eight years into it we created Bedlam Hair Design & Bliss Day Spa. We found that everyone was time poor. People didn’t want to travel around. They didn’t want to make two different appointments. So we created Bedlam Hair Design & Bliss Day Spa to accommodate the needs of our clients.”
Tell us about your team and how you maintain a great culture
“I’ve got an amazing team. We’ve got twelve staff and they are a mix of hair and beauty, and we have a really low turnover of staff. I love that customers get to come in and see the same team all the time.
We’ve organically grown our business in the last 13 years without having to advertise because our girls just love their job. And if they love their job, clients recommend somebody else because they enjoy their experience. I think the main thing is listening to what the staff want and need, whether it’s training time, more time with family, because if they’re having that time with family, they’re happy at work.
You constantly ask them what sort of training they want and where they want to go. There are plenty of courses out there, so we set a plan for the year based on what they want to learn about. There’s always new machinery coming out and new techniques to learn, and that excites them. And if your staff are excited, your clients are excited, and they want to try more. They want to try that new facial, they want to try that new colour technique.
Like they say, it starts from your staff. And I really believe that. I believe if you look after your staff, they will look after your clients. I think my goal in business is to have happy staff, because I feel if my staff are happy, I’m happy and my clients are happy. And it just creates that perfect work environment.
My team can actually run themselves now. So after nearly 28 years in the industry myself, I’ve decided to step back and have a bit of a break. I manage my business completely remotely, which Kitomba helps me with.”
How has Kitomba helped you to step out of your business?
“Kitomba has helped me to step out of the day-to-day running of my business because I can be anywhere and I can log in and I can see exactly what’s going on. I can see what the girls’ day is looking like, and I can see what our week’s looking like within that dashboard.
My number one feature in Kitomba would be my Business Summary report. I couldn’t manage my business without it because it tells me everything I need to know for the week. It also gives me a point of comparison for before and after I’ve stepped out of the business, and I know the team is doing great without me because I’ve been pulling my reports weekly and monthly. Kitomba makes it so easy to do that.”
Which Kitomba features couldn’t you live without?
“My staff have their own individual targets. I hadn’t set it up until I left the business and it was more so to motivate my team because I was the motivator before. Most of them have a service target, a retail target, and a rebooking target.
Since using Kitomba targets, our rebooking rate is now over 80%, and that has been because they get to look at their targets daily and see how they’re tracking to achieve them. They’re on wages plus commission, so they know that when they reach that commission they are making money for themselves, and I love that because they’re also making money for the business.
Their individual targets can be altered too. So if their hours increase, I’ll increase their targets. If they have less hours, I’ll decrease those targets. They can see their targets on their phone by logging into Kitomba 1 from wherever they are, and I can set different security levels for each team member so they can only see their own.”
- Read next: How to get started with targets
Kitomba 1 on our salon iPads
“Being able to access Kitomba 1 on any device helps to keep our front desk clear in the salon, our team can check their appointments for the next day from home, and it saves our team so much time. Kitomba 1 works so seamlessly on tablets and smartphones. We’ve got an iPad in our colour room so we haven’t got all the girls constantly needing to go to the front desk.
We used to have a pile of paper with our client notes on it, what colours they’ve had, what recommendations they’ve got for a product. We don’t have to worry about that anymore. It’s all done in Kitomba 1. It means our staff don’t need to sit at the computer and be writing in clients notes either, they’ve got their own iPad to put their paperwork into, so it saves a lot of time.”
“We use Online Booking and take a 15% deposit due to a higher number of people not turning up for their appointments and the last minute cancellations. It’s scary when you first decide to set up a deposit system, but we honestly haven’t had any problems. People understand and I think it’s something more normal these days than it used to be. It hasn’t deterred people from booking, it’s just been really great.
A lot of salon owners don’t use online booking because they think they’ll lose control over their appointment book, but you actually have complete control with Kitomba Online Booking. You have to confirm the appointment first, and if you want to change it, you can do so and the customer will automatically get an email saying, “we’ve changed your appointment to accommodate your booking. If you have a problem, give us a call back.”
Another great feature of Kitomba is when someone books online for an early morning appointment at 9am the next day, Kitomba will email me to let me know.”
“We sell online vouchers through Kitomba and it’s so easy. It saves us a lot of time, especially around Christmas. If people don’t want to pay by credit card over the phone, they can purchase a voucher online for a dollar amount.
They automatically receive a voucher that has our branding, so it looks like we’ve sent them a nice looking, beautiful voucher. You can either send it to the recipient or you can resend it to the person that’s purchased it. It automatically generates a number in Kitomba so when they come in with the voucher, either showing the email or a printed version, it’s already in the system. So it makes it really easy.”
“The waitlist function around Christmas time is gold. If someone cancels at the last minute, which happens a lot these days because people ring in to say they’re not well, we can look at the waitlist and find a client to call in to book.”
“We’ve got an automatic marketing campaign set up in Kitomba that sends to clients that have had an appointment in the last eight weeks and didn’t rebook, and still haven’t booked a future appointment. They automatically get an email reminding them it’s time for a refresh and encouraging them to make their next appointment.
We also have an automated birthday message that goes out on the first day of the month of the client’s birthday and they have a month to use their $10 off voucher. It takes ten minutes to set up an automatic marketing campaign, and then once it’s set, you don’t have to worry about it.
Our emails all have a Book Now button that links to our online booking page, which has been huge for getting clients to rebook for Christmas. And some people just forget they’ve got an appointment and then it’s too late and can’t get in. So that reminder is great.”
“Kitomba makes it easy to manage our referrals. As soon as a customer comes in and they’re referred by somebody, you put the referred by customer in and they automatically get an email saying ‘thank you so much for your referral, we really appreciate it’. You can provide a discount as a reward but you don’t have to. I feel that clients just want a thank you for the referral. We offer a free coffee to our clients who refer by pairing up with a local business for coffee vouchers.”
Want to find out if Kitomba can help your business thrive like it has for Bedlam Hair Design & Bliss Day Spa? 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.