We recently visited Samantha Jones and her team at Ms Monaco Hair Society on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. The salon has only been in business for two years and is already making waves in Queensland, so we asked Samantha what has made the salon so successful.
Watch Ms Monaco Hair Society’s story in this short video, and read the full interview below.
Tell us about your business and how you got into the industry
I’ve been in the industry for 15 years now. I kind of fell into the industry really, it was never my intention to be a stylist or salon owner. I was a flight attendant and I used to do nails on the side. One day I decided to open a salon in the UK so I could do nails full time, and that organically grew into a hair, nail and beauty salon.
I felt that in order to run my business better I needed to become a qualified hair stylist as well, so I took myself through my apprenticeship in my thirties and became qualified as a hair stylist before I moved to Australia. Ms Monaco Hair Society is my third salon in Australia and these days I ’m no longer doing the nails and beauty side, so my salons have all been concentrated on the hair industry.
What service is Ms Monaco best-known for?
Ms Monaco is known for our blonde services here on the Sunshine Coast. We do a lot of training in blonde specialist services, so we have our own signature techniques that we use in the salon and every stylist is trained to use these techniques.
What makes your business unique?
I feel like we offer an unrivaled client experience here on the Sunshine Coast. Right from the moment a client discovers our salon, until after they leave to go home with their new beautiful hair.
Before a client comes to see us we send them a welcome message that we’ve set up in Kitomba. It tells them where we’re located, what beverages we have, what kind of experience to expect in the salon, where to park and our facilities. I’ve had feedback that it’s been really useful to know a little bit more about the business before they arrive.
All our clients are greeted with a tray topped with fresh chilled water, a cold towel in the summer – they love those – and little bespoke chocolates. We offer a selection of beverages, including champagne and espresso martinis. We love to have fun with our clients with some of our refreshments on the menu, and we find lots of clients like to share their experience on social media which is really nice.
When a client leaves our salon, we follow up with a series of automated emails to keep in touch and hopefully continue building that relationship with them.
What’s your business focus at the moment?
I’m working on growing our packages to incorporate different services for our clients, such as toners, glossing treatments and beautiful blow dry finishes.
All the services we offer are packaged together to allow the client to be able to understand exactly what’s needed to complete a whole service from beginning to end. This has enabled us to grow our average client spend, and clients enjoy knowing exactly what they’re going to spend before they visit the salon.
What does business success look like to you?
Success for me looks like a business that isn’t 100% reliant on me. So my team is the key to my success. Work-life balance for myself and my team is an absolute priority, and I think creating that perfect work-life balance for everyone is definitely a sign of success.
The best part of working in this industry is growing a team and watching the team and the business grow together. It’s a passion of mine and my favourite part – obviously as well as making people feel beautiful and the results that we produce every day.
Every month we close the salon for a morning and the whole team gets together for training, which will be in different colouring techniques, blonde specialist techniques, or even helping with things like consultation and retail skills to ensure our clients are getting the best service.
How does Kitomba help your business to succeed?
The reason I love Kitomba is because I’m able to stay in touch with my business no matter where I am. I can be in the salon or I can be at home and I’m able to continue working on my business and improving my systems and my offerings all of the time.
I also like the fact that I can create personalised targets for every member of my team. My team loves accessing their targets wherever they are. I see them in the staff room during the day quickly checking to see how they’re tracking for their week or for their day.
Kitomba also enables me to do my marketing through MailChimp so easily. I create fortnightly newsletters for my clients, and I find that everytime I send these marketing emails out, we always get replies and we always get people coming back that we haven’t seen in a while. It triggers people to remember us on a regular basis.
I know many people worry about marketing too heavily to their clients, but I find that keeping in touch with them regularly keeps them connected to the business and the team and what’s happening in the salon.
What Kitomba feature couldn’t you live without?
A Kitomba feature I couldn’t live without is online booking. I absolutely love waking up on a Monday morning and finding four or five online bookings from the day before. It’s a really good feeling when you know that you’re filling up that week or filling up white spaces with bookings that have come through online.
I love that we can have packages on there, which is the main essence of our business, and those packages can be part booked with different stylists as well, so it works really well for us. Somebody might like to see me for their colour service and another stylist for their haircut, and I know that other online booking systems I’ve tried in the past couldn’t separate those package services, so that’s a non-negotiable for me.
The other thing I love about the online booking is that we’ve been able to incorporate online booking deposits, and this has reduced our no-show appointments to zero when clients have booked online.
What Kitomba feature helps you to provide a better client experience?
The feature that allows me to offer a better customer experience is definitely Kitomba Forms. We have created a few forms and we choose which form we need to give each client. Every client sits with their stylist for a face to face consultation using Kitomba forms prior to their service. So we have some forms for our staff to use and some for our clients to complete.
One example is our colour correction form, which enables us to be really clear and specific with our clients about the process that they’re going to undergo in the salon, on the day and going forward, to achieve their desired results.
What’s your top tip for other salon owners?
My top tip for other business owners in our industry is to spend the time getting to know your team and your clients. I think when you know what makes people tick you can really focus your strategies to be a lot more concentrated and make your business grow a lot faster.
Want to find out if Kitomba can help your business thrive like it has for Ms Monaco? Book your free demo!