Late Winter Lifestyle Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

The Earth element in Chinese medicine corresponds to what we might think of as the ending of each season and is related to the concept of transformation. Although the Earth element is often associated with late Summer or Indian Summer, it also occurs in late Winter, late Spring and late Fall. 

In other words, as the end of each of the traditional four seasons approaches, the “heavenly” (cosmic) seasonal energy goes back to the Earth for transformation into the energy of the next season.

According to Chinese medicine,

“…its influence manifests for 18 days at the end of each of the four seasons and it does not pertain to any season of its own…” – The Classic of Categories (1624) by Zhang Jie Bin.

Earth is not unlike the center of the compass. It is a pivot point, so to speak, around which the four seasons and the other four elements spin. But, occurring four times a year for 18 days each, these periods totaling 72 days and which bear similar characteristics are referred to as the Earth energetic season or fifth season of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The next Earth energetic period is from January 18 to February 4. An Earth imbalance creates any one of the following group of conditions affecting the skin:

  • blemishes
  • toxicity
  • acne
  • psoriasis
  • enlarged pores and
  • lymph circulation problems.

PHYTO5 has created a very specific skin and hair care line designed to help address these imbalances.

Unlike Wood and Fire elements in TCM defined by a rising and peaking yang, and unlike Metal and Water elements with a rising and peaking yin, Earth represents a balance between yin and yang energies. As such, the Earth element represents warm, stable, grounded, loving, emotional characteristics. It is nurturing, comforting, calm, solid and stable. Earth is all about family, community and gathering, eating now and gathering, collecting, holding and storing for later.

Earth energy type people are sentimental and maintain their attachments to other people, things, and places. Earth types tend to savor the sweetness of life and being human and they find enjoyment in all the comforts and pleasures of life. But, as with each element, Earth types can become imbalanced and demonstrate physical and emotional challenges.

According to TCM, Earth is about ingestion and absorption, not just of food but of ideas and emotions. An Earth element imbalance in the body is the result of ingesting too much, or its opposite–stagnation, the slowing down of chi energy flow in the body, or an outright inability to consume or subsequently digest ideas, emotions, or food.

Earth types are thoughtful but can worry too much. They can feel sympathy, deeply allowing them to feel connected to others, but these same emotions taken too far can cause them to feel stuck, unable to act or think clearly, with an over-dependence on others for their opinions, judgment and advice.

Earth types are quite good at maintaining family and friend relationships. They love situations that require them to work with others. They enjoy teamwork and collaborative work environments.

Well-balanced Earth people usually have a healthy complexion, soft facial features, sturdy and balanced body frame, exhibiting an earthiness to their appearance.

The organs most closely associated with Earth are the spleen and the stomach and the digestive system as a whole. The Discussion of Prescriptions from the Golden Chest (c. AD 220) by Zhang Zhong Jing says:

“During the last period of each season, the Spleen is strong enough to resist pathogenic factors.”

Earth also has influence over the pancreas, the large muscles of the body on the upper arms and lower legs, the abdomen, the middle back, the lymph system and the diaphragm. Of course, proper lymph circulation is important in keeping a strong immune system and a healthy complexion.

The Earth periods are the best time to address Earth conditions. They are also the times when Earth energy can make existing Earth imbalance in people worse, therefore balancing Earth energy during the Earth periods with Earth treatments and products is highly recommended, particularly for Earth type people.

Maciocia, Giovanni. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text. Edinburgh: Elsevier, 2015. Print.

Bridges, Lillian. Face Reading in Chinese Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, 2012. Print.

See more on the PHYTO5 blog

PHYTO 5

PHYTO 5

www.phyto5.us
888.715.8008
info@Phyto5.us

5 Ways To Handle Minimum Wage Increases At Your Salon Or Spa

Surviving Minimum Wage Increases

21 states saw minimum wage increases take effect in 2017, not including other increases at the county and local levels. (For a list of current minimum wages, click HERE) With fierce competition, rising brick-and-mortar costs and thin margins, salon and spa owners are particularly sensitive to minimum wage increases. Here are five ways your salon or spa can handle minimum wage increases!

1. Reduce Costs

Before cutting payroll to make your margins, closely examine how you spend money and look for savings in your current costs. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Avoid supplies wastage by using only the amount of supplies necessary to perform treatments correctly, efficiently and expertly.
  • Use salon and spa product suppliers/vendors discounts effectively – make sure you aware of all deals before placing an order!
  • Send automatic SMS appointment reminders and confirmations calls to save time and money on telephone calls and your telephone bill.
  • Keep good control of your inventory and product tracking to avoid small emergency orders that often incur extra delivery charges.
  • Take advantage of your business software features to consolidate your software subscription expenses.

Transcend can help you reduce costs with detailed reporting, extensive inventory tracking, SMS text messaging, free email marketing, no gift card “per swipe” fees, and much more. Make sure to sign up for free training classes to learn more about your software and how it can help you reduce your current costs.

2. Increase Prices and/or Upsell

Increasing prices is the most obvious option for dealing with wage increases, but avoiding them can help you maintain a competitive edge on the competition. However, if raising prices is the only way to keep your business alive, then you have to raise them.

How you increase prices is up to you. Some businesses apply a certain percentage to all services across the board, while others add a few dollars to each service.  You should also consider varying price increases based on customers’ needs. For example, you can keep “The $20 Press and Curl” and other popular, less-expensive services while only increasing the price of more high end services to ensure you don’t drive away more cost-conscious clients.

Also, make sure your employees are trained on how to prescribe product to your customers and the art of upselling services to current clients.  This can help you increase your average service and retail tickets to boost your bottom line.  Transcend’s Fortune Teller can help you project the impact of an increased average ticket sale and just how much you’ll need to absorb the minimum wage increase in your area.

3. Reduce Operating Hours

Take a look at the hours you have employees scheduled and correlate those hours to the wages you’re paying. Do you need employees covering these hours? Do you even need to be open or doing business during some of those hours? Your employees keep your business running profitably, and you want to pay them fairly; but if your budget can’t cover a minimum wage increase, you may need to cut back their hours or your hours of operation.

Another option is to set overtime limits for your employees. Non-exempt employees who work overtime must be paid one-and-a-half times their regular hourly wages. That can add up really quickly if overtime hours are unlimited!

4. Streamline Your Services and Establish a Membership Program

Some beauty and wellness services have terrible margins, or require extensive training and expensive supplies. Take a look at your service offerings and consider cutting underperforming services that can save you on inventory costs or other overhead items.

Also, consider establishing a membership program to help boost your bottom line. With minimum wages increasing, most of your competitors will be increasing their prices. Membership programs can help you offer a discounted rate on services to help you maintain a competitive edge and provide a base income that can help you maintain your current staff.

5. Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

It may seem counterintuitive to spend money as your labor costs increase, but social media marketing is a proven method for increasing sales and patronage to your shop. If you are paying your receptionist or other employees to maintain your social media accounts, you’re likely overpaying and not seeing a return on your investment. Consider outsourcing the day-to-day management of your online accounts by signing up with an online marketing firm like Social Beautify.

Matt Wiggins

Matt Wiggins

VP of Sales at ProSolutions Software

With over 20 years experience in the beauty industry, Matt teaches classes to salon and spa owners on business topics including branding, management, marketing and advertising.

prosolutionssoftware.com

19 Spa Marketing Ideas for 2017. Great start to the New Year!

From Booker –  – As a local spa owner, the multitude of challenges you face day-to-day — keeping clients happy, keeping your masseuses busy, maintaining a high staff morale, ensuring inventory is stocked —never seems to end. However, arguably one of the most challenging aspects to running any successful business is coming up with effective ways to attract new clients.

With the new year starting, you now have the perfect opportunity to start fresh with your spa marketing ideas.

Below we’ll go through 19 of our most effective spa marketing tips to help your kick off 2017 on a high note!

1. Keep Your Website Updated

Your website is one of the first impressions you’re able to make to a new client, and we all know how important a good first impression can be — especially for a spa. Now’s the time to take stock of your current website and make sure you’re including the following:

a) High resolution photos of your spa, your staff and happy clients (provided they’ve allowed for you to use their picture) enjoying your services. As with your social media pages, it’s important to visually show why clients want to visit your spa.

b) Easily to access information on all your services, pricing, and any specials you may be currently running.

c) The ability to book an appointment easily and seamlessly straight from your website.

2. Post Photos On Your Social Media Pages

If you’re not doing this already, you really need to be. Social media pages give spa owners a free opportunity to promote their business through words and pictures. Stop just telling potential, new clients why they should start coming to your spa. Show them! Take photos of your facilities, show the difference you make in each client’s life — the time and effort you put into making them feel beautiful both inside and out. Make sure you utilize all the big social media sites such as:

a) Facebook

b) Twitter

c) Instagram

Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.

3. Share Your Promotions on Social Media

Not only do your social media pages represent a good place to share images, but they also are a great channel to get the word out about any specials or promotions going on at the spa. You put time and effort into crafting fun and enticing promotions to help drive clients through the door. So, make sure they get the attention they deserve. Always share ongoing or upcoming promotions on your social pages to get them across a large audience in a small amount of time.

4. Online Directories – Get Your Spa Listed

It’s 2017 now, and you’ll probably find that it’s a little difficult finding those massive phone books. Instead, your clients turn to online directories such as Google My Business and Yelp to connect them with local businesses in their area. In fact, about 88% of clients say they check online reviews on directories before ever stepping foot into a business’ brick-and-mortar. So, if your spa isn’t listed, and/or you haven’t been monitoring your online reviews… start doing so, now!

5. Offer Convenient Booking Methods

Convenience is king. It’s one of the most important things a client will look for when choosing a spa to attend. Now, booking an appointment over the phone? Not the most convenient way of doing things for your clients. Think about it — during the majority of your open hours your clients are working. It can be a hassle for them to break away and make that phone call. What’s more convenient for your clients is to give them the ability to book an appointment at your spa, online. This way they can book an appointment when is most convenient for them, and it only takes them a second to do. With the right online booking system, clients have the ability to book an appointment straight from…

a) Your Website

b) Your Online Listing Profiles

c) Your Social Media Pages

Make booking an appointment as quick and painless as possible.

6. Create a Blog Powered By Your Spa

A blog gives you the ability to really show off your spa’s personality and knowledge in the industry. Here you can share your advice on body care and new esthetic trends. A blog is also a good place to give or discuss any product reviews (especially those you sell). Many successful spas utilize blogs as a means for generating extra attention and getting a conversation going their clients… plus it can be a lot of fun!

7. Form Partnerships with Other Local Businesses

As a business owner, sometimes it can feel like you’re marooned all on your own on some desert island. However, it’s important to note that you are never alone. You’re part of the local community and believe it or not there are other business owners who are always there to help. Consider swapping promotional materials with other local businesses you think your clients frequently visit. You can even try to establish exclusive promotions between your spa and another local business in your area. Some smart local businesses for spas to partner up with are…

a) Hair salons

b) Local health foods stores

c) Local gyms

d) Nail spas (if you don’t offer nail services)

8). Create a First-Time Visit Special

Getting new clients to your spa can be as simple as making every client’s first visit special – literally and figuratively. Welcoming first-time clients with some sort of “first-visit special” is the perfect way to warmly open your arms to new clients.

For example, try something like: receive $10 off your first visit. All you have to do is make sure you’re providing any potential, new clients with a little extra incentive to step through your doors. Use these first-time specials as a means to give clients, who might have been slightly unsure, ample motivation for giving your spa a try.

9. Offer Last Minute Specials

For times or days that you know are usually slow, it’s a great idea to spice things up with special, daily promotions. Make these promotions an “act fast” item. Set the promotion up during your slow times and blitz it out across your social media pages, website, and email lists. Watch how you can turn a systematically slow time for your spa into a profitable one.

10. Offer Monthly Specials

Every new month comes with the opportunity to freshen things up at your spa. Consider creating a new monthly special at your every month. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, the point here is just to generate a little buzz, and give clients something to be excited about. Try something like $5 of your next cut during the month of January, or 10% off your first blowout in February. Remember — these don’t have to be anything crazy, just something for clients to appreciate. A little buzz can go a long way in terms of attracting more clients to your spa.

11. Offer New Product Bundles

You can’t always reinvent the wheel. In some instances, to attract more clients, you don’t have to. Maybe you don’t have any new treatments or services this month – and that’s okay! You can easily work with what you have and essentially make something new from that. Think new product bundles.

If you’re like most spas, you make a substantial amount of profits from the retail you sell. Consider pairing some products together and creating some product bundles. If you already do this switch some items within each around to get a combination that’s new.

12. Give out Sample Gifts with Purchases

Staying with a retail focused mentality here — consider giving away a free sample gift with purchases from time to time. This marketing idea works to benefit both you and your clients.

For clients – Everyone loves getting free stuff. This makes clients feel like you’re treating them to something special and will respond to your generosity with loyal re-bookings.

For you – Giving away samples are the perfect way for you to test out new products with your clients. For example, before ordering a new shampoo in bulk to sell, you just order a few to sample out. If clients enjoy the new product THEN you move forward with stocking your shelves with it. This will help you be smarter with the money you spend on inventory.

13. Create and Distribute Punch Cards to Clients

It can be difficult attracting new clients to your spa, but that’s only half the battle. The other half is making them stay and come back. A great way to do so is by creating a punch card loyalty program.

Step 1: The way this works is that one visit = one punch. So, first, you want to decide how many punches will equal a reward. Try to make it a ‘clean’ number such as multiples of 5.

Step 2: Once you’ve chosen the number of punches/visits it takes, it’s time to choose what you will reward your clients’ loyalty with. For example it can be something like — $20 off next visit, half off next visit, or maybe even next visit free. Remember — the more compelling your loyalty reward is, the higher chance you’ll have of keeping clients coming back.

Step 3: Hand your punch cards out like candy. A client comes in for a massage? Give them a punch card. A client comes in for consultation? Give them a punch card. The more people who get their hands on your punch cards, the more success you will be at building client loyalty and generating repeat clients.

14. Start a Referral Program

Start accessing your clients’ network of friends by implementing a referral program. Referral programs are great for encouraging new business. In fact, the New York Times reported in a recent survey that business owners reported about 65% of their new clients were generated through referral programs.

The key to a successful referral program is to push incentives that are both enticing, yet simple. For example, maybe you try something such as: $10 off your next visit, for both you and a friend, if you refer a friend. Bottom line, give your current clients incentives to bring new clients to your business for you. They’re a great source you should never underestimate.

15. Start Up a Monthly Newsletter

Emailing your clients a monthly newsletter is the perfect way for your spa to stay top-of-mind and remind clients to come pay (literally) you a visit. Important things to always include in your newsletter are as follows:

Current positive customer testimonials
Current specials and promotions
Visuals of services, products, and/or happy clients

16. Capitalize on Holidays 

What do you think is more compelling? Bland, generic promotions or fun and interactive themed ones? Themed promotions are a great way to help your spa’s specials to stand-out from the sea of competitor’s promotions. Infusing your promotional ideas with a fun seasonal theme works to make specials you create better resonate with your clients. Some big holidays that are coming up are…

a) Valentine’s Day
b) St. Patrick’s Day
c) Easter
d) Mother’s Day
e) Father’s Day
f) Prom

17. Always Promote Gift Certificates

Especially keeping holidays in mind, gift certificates play an important part to the success of any local spa. Think about it — gift certificates are the perfect gift to give for both you and your clients.

For clients — Gift certificates are the perfect gift for last minute shoppers. Additionally, they are the perfect gift for clients that might know their loved one wants a spa day or one of your products, but doesn’t know what to exactly get (i.e. perfect for husbands for anniversaries).

For you — Gift certificates are guaranteed money for your spa. You’ve already made the purchase, so if clients forget to redeem, your money is already in the bank.

18. Always Be on Top of the Newest Local Trends and Fads

It’s important to know the newest trends in the industry, but it’s almost more important to know what’s hot in your own backyard. As the owner of a spa, it’s important to know the new activity surrounding the spa industry and what new products are being used by your competitors.

19. Keep the Shop Spotless

This may seem like a simple one, but it’s important to note nonetheless. A messy or dirty spa can be a major turn off to clients. Just be sure your spa always has a clean and tidy appearance.

Did you find these spa marketing tips helpful? We hope so! Notice we missed something? Leave a comment below of your best tip!

Aditi Vora

Aditi Vora

Senior Manager of Content at Booker Software

Aditi Vora is a skilled digital marketer with a passion for content marketing and exploring new and fun ways to keep her audience informed and engaged. She’s currently the Senior Manager of Content at Booker Software.

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5 Simple Remedies for Dry Winter Skin

From the jane iredale blog

As the seasons change, so should your skin care habits. In Great Barrington, MA and most of Northern Hemisphere, winter means one thing: cooler temperatures. The cold brings enchanting snow-covered trees, thrilling winter sports and an insatiable craving for hot cocoa. But, icy temps also mean dry air and drier skin.

When the temperature drops, so does the humidity level. Combine dry air with harsh winds and central heating, and you get the perfect storm for chapped lips, itchy cracked hands and other signs of sensitive skin. When we start feeling the effects winter, these five simple winter skin care tips get us through it.

Winter Skin Care Tips & Tricks

1) S-U-N-S-C-R-E-E-N.

We cannot say it enough— sunscreen is the number one beauty essential year-round! If you’ve ever gone skiing or snowboarding, you know how strong winter sun is when combined with snow glare. Protect your skin from sun damage with sunscreen that contains SPF 15 or more. Jane’s winter favorites for sun protection, all year, are HandDrink SPF 15 Hand Cream and LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm.

2) Use a Humidifier

Do you ever wake up feeling like you just walked across the Sahara Desert? That’s because central heating zaps moisture from the air, causing your mouth, nose and even skin to feel dry. Add moisture back into the air (and your skin) by turning on a humidifier at night.

3) Amp Up the Hydration

Now that you’ve solved the problem of dry air, what’s next? Give your body a moisture boost. Drink plenty of water and use skin-quenching skin care products to hydrate from inside and outside. In the winter, Jane keeps her face free of dry-patches with BeautyPrep Face Moisturizer, which uses four organic Rose Stem Cell Extracts to protect your skin from trans-epidermal water loss. She also gives her makeup a long-lasting base by applying and moisture-rich Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener.

4) Say No to Hot Showers

Similar to the way heated air can dry your skin, so can extra-hot water. While a long, steamy shower may sound delightful after a day in the cold, scalding water strips natural oils from your skin. Ensure your hydration efforts aren’t wasted by turning the water temperature down and keeping your showers short.

5) Limit Exposure to Wet Clothing

At some point during the snowy season, we all deal with wet clothing. Whether skiing, building a snow fort with your kids, or simply walking on slushy sidewalks, you will likely end up with wet socks or gloves. Wet fabric (especially wool) can irritate your skin, so remember to remove any wet garments as soon as you get inside.

jane iredale

jane iredale

janeiredale.com

844-350-1610

Best Practices to Prevent “Card Not Present” Fraud

Global eCommerce sales are expected to double from 2015 to 2019! While growth in this sales channel creates great opportunities for merchants, it also has the ability to attract high levels of fraud activity.

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, merchants should understand how to best protect against Card Not Present Fraud.

A layered approach to security is the most effective strategy. Merchants should strongly consider applying the following practices:

Use a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard validated third-party service provider to store, process or transmit cardholder data. Criminals commonly target merchant websites that process data. When merchants use a validated and secure service provider, risk exposure for CNP fraud and compromise decreases. A list of validated, registered service providers is available on the Global Registry Service Providers.

Request the Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) code from the cardholder for transaction authentication. An issuer-validated CVV2 code is a strong indicator that the account and cardholder are valid. Alongside CVV2 verification, merchants should validate the cardholder’s billing address using Address Verification Services (AVS). If either, or both, of these authentication methods result in mis-matches, the merchant should follow up with the issuer and/or cardholder to complete the purchase.

Possible Fraud Indicators
  • Providing different ship-to and billing addresses on a purchase
  • Urgent delivery requested by the customer
  • An order containing multiple orders of different big-ticket items
  • Multiple cards used from a single IP address
  • Shipping outside of the country
  • Delivery address in different country from merchant and/or cardholder

 

ProCard Solutions

ProCard Solutions

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ProCard Solutions LLC provides a full range of credit and debit card processing services: for E-Commerce, financial institutions, government agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations and traditional retailers throughout the country. ProCard Solutions is uniquely owned and managed by a combination of electronic payment industry experts, with substantial knowledge and widespread experience, joined with Certified Public Accountants with intuitive financial insight.

Makeup Tips for Sensitive Skin

From the jane iredale blog

According to a number of studies, over 50% of adults categorize their skin as sensitive ¹, but the term “sensitive skin” means different things for everyone. In an article from the Expert Review of Dermatology, sensitive or reactive skin is defined as: “the occurrence of abnormal stinging, burning, pain, [itching] and tingling sensations in response to multiple factors, which may be physical, chemical, psychological or hormonal.”²

Skin sensitivity can be an isolated occurrence or an ongoing issue caused by conditions such as rosacea or eczema. Regardless of the root cause, we all have sensitive skin at one point or another; many of us may even find winter weather to be the main case of this issue. Whether you suffer from chronic skin sensitivity or experience infrequent or seasonal irritation, there are a number of things you can do to minimize the likelihood of an abnormal skin reaction.

Sun Protection

Almost every dermatologist will tell you the best thing you can do for your skin is to apply sunscreen. This is even more true for those with sensitive skin, which may react more to external triggers like sun and heat. Additionally, Titanium Dioxide, used in physical sunscreens, helps calm inflammation and is listed in the FDA monograph as one of the purest and most effective active ingredients for sun protection.

Shop Wisely

When shopping for new skin care and cosmetics, the back of the box is your best friend. You want to avoid ingredients that will make your skin react like artificial perfumes, dyes, harsh chemicals and parabens.

Cleanse with Care

Regardless of your skin type, over-exfoliating and over-cleansing can cause skin irritation. You want to treat your skin with kindness as you would the rest of your body, so here are some cleansing tips to remember:

  • Wash your face and body with lukewarm water, as opposed to steaming hot, which can dry out your skin and create redness that is difficult to calm.
  • Use gentle exfoliators and cleansers. Your face wash  should be effective enough to remove makeup and dirt, without stripping the oils from your skin or forcing you to scrub hard.
  • Exfoliate, at most, three days per week.
  • When you’re done washing your face, blot the skin dry (don’t rub) and immediately apply moisturizer for maximum absorption.

Feed Your Skin

They say “you are what you eat” for a reason. Skin sensitivity is not only about what goes on your skin; it’s also about what you put in your body. Depending on your sensitivity triggers, there are certain foods your doctor may recommend you avoid. But, overall, you should treat your food like you would your skin care. Try to stay away from overly processed foods with a lot of artificial ingredients. You can also help you skin stay hydrated by drinking water; if you feel thirsty, your skin feels the same way.

RESOURCES

¹ Ständer, S., Schneider, S. W., Weishaupt, C., Luger, T. A., & Misery, L. (2009). Putative neuronal mechanisms of sensitive skin. Experimental Dermatology,18(5), 417-423.
² Misery, L. (2013). Sensitive Skin. Expert Review of Dermatology, 8(6), 631-637.
jane iredale

jane iredale

janeiredale.com

844-350-1610