Our Initial Client Meetings and How we Communicate Goals

Hi all,

I hope you are well and starting to enjoy the somewhat warmer weather? I am on way to Dublin – a city I absolutely love going to. The people are fantastic and the Guinness is great too!

I am going to visit a client who Catalyst have handled for 6 years. That’s an incredible length of time in the P.R. world! They found us by looking for a leading hair and beauty pr agency. We had recently finished a 14 year contract with another top hair and beauty brand, so we were on the look out for a client just like them.

In the initial meeting we asked the potential client what they were looking for and what they wanted to achieve. We responded to those goals and put them in a one, two, three, four and five year plan. We also told the client about our goals and where we wanted to be. Sounds like I am going on? Well that might be the case! However, we were communicating, and by communicating we were being clear on each others aspirations and by doing this simple yet effective task, we were setting the foundations of a long and healthy business relationship.

Communication is key. It’s a cliche but it’s the truth. If you aren’t looking after your clients needs at all times you are doomed to fail. I often hear beauty salons say that they really looked after the client. However, the client will say ‘they did, but they didn’t do what I wanted’. This is a communication break down! TOP TIP – next time a new client approaches you or better still you find a new client yourself through a marketing strategy, simply ask them – what is it that you would like to get out of my service or business? Obviously you need to apply this to your own product or service but it works every time. Example – if I meet a potential new client I always ask them for their wish list before the see me. Through this I can ascertain who I am talking too, what they like and most importantly, what they want!

Another TOP TIP with communication, I just briefly touched upon it, who are you talking too? As a top P.R. and a good ‘people person’, I can identify who I am talking to. By doing so I can empathise with them.
This is a major sales tool and relationship builder. By dealing with the person and NOT the product or service, I get on their ‘wavelength’ and again I build on a stronger relationship which inevitably means more money over a longer period. Now, how does that sound?

I am visiting Dublin today to see what my hair and beauty client wants to achieve over the next few years and I will be telling them Catalyst’s goals too. Communicating again! Here’s to the next six years and more great success.

Stay positive

Leeds Beauty PR Retail Inspiration

Hi all,

I am sitting in my hotel room and it’s 9 o clock at night and I am still feeling genuinely inspired from today’s meetings. I am in Leeds and if you haven’t been here or been for a while you MUST return, it’s amazing city full of top restaurants, stunning buildings, lovely hotels and honest, good people.

Why I am still so inspired is because I met with one potential client and one current client who have great service businesses that really do 20% in retail. Let me explain, most hair and beauty salons will say that 20% of their business turnover is retail but realistically they aren’t even doing 5%!

I asked them both about the secret to their success and they explained, “first we just show the clients the products that we are using on their hair and on their skin” Sounds so simple but why aren’t most hair and beauty salons doing this? They followed on “We make it part of the stylists or the beauticians regime to ask if they need to buy any products?” Again, so simple.

Catalyst and I offer simple course information and tips on how to increase the retail in your hair and beauty service business – for more information please email me personally at johnny@catpr.com

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It’s getting late and there’s a forecast for snow for tomorrow so my trip in Leeds might be prolonged. Hey ho, there’s always a silver lining.

Strategising your business – creating structure

Hi all,

In any business – and in particular in a creative business such as hairdressing and beauty, it is very easy to get carried away by what seems to be a great idea.

However, as a business person, you’ll want to make sure that any new concept will compliment your business overall.
How can you do this?

Create an arrow shape with the point at the top.

Put your overall, singular Business objective on the top of the point – if you seem to have more than one overall objective, then maybe your strategy lack a clear focus – stick to one. (example: Grow the business profitably to 10 salons)

The middle section of the Arrow represents the overall strategies that you are employing to reach that singular objective (example – Develop and launch franchise operation. Create and protect a robust, recognisable corporate identity. Appoint a hair and beauty PR and Marketing agency – more than 5 at the most suggests a too complex strategy mix, try to keep it to three).

On the base of the triangle add all the operations and tactics that you employ to support those strategies (example: recruitment of franchise manager, staff training, identifying and entering awards, researching a new beauty PR and marketing agency, tight budget control).

Now, you should have a complete operational diagram that is a visual record of the development and direction of your business and it also serves as a discipline check for any new initiative.

When you have a new idea – check it against your Strategy Arrow, if the idea meets with the strategies that lead to your ultimate objective, then this activity will contribute to your business.

If you are struggling to slot the idea into the arrow – then the idea needs to be modified or even discarded as it will not contribute to your development.

You can apply strategy arrows to any business or indeed any aspects of your life, once you get used to working with them, they will certainly begin working for you!

Good strategising

Johnny

Your year planner – Have you done it yet?

Hi all,

I hope you have had a great start to the year?

I have just come back from Australia and the sudden change in weather and daytime light is playing havoc with my families body clocks and health. Still, we did have three weeks away in 40 degree heat.

Anyway, my first day back in the office was Monday and I was surprised to hear so many of our Beauty PR clients call in talking to our Graphics, Marketing and Website departments about their February offers, what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it. I felt a sense of pride.

At Catalyst we organise a year planner for our Beauty PR clients which pro-actively pushes them to run promotions and campaigns monthly either directly to new customers, to existing clientele or better still, both! So with January out of the way, what have you planned for February? The obvious campaign is Valentines Day but I am never totally sold on Valentines. It’s one day and to hang all your hopes on one day in a full month seems odd to me. Also, at a female hair or beauty salon they won’t tend to buy a gift for their husbands, boyfriends etc.

I am not saying to exclude Valentines day but don’t plan your WHOLE month around it. I would look at a strong discount as February is a tough month for many people with credit card bills coming in from Christmas spends.

Also make sure you are asking clients to recommend you and your business either through recommendation cards or simply just asking them to tell people at your business – however, rewarding them for their promotion and loyalty to your brand I would say is essential. It will certainly increase the number of new clients that you meet.

Retail still promises to be harder than ever this year whilst services should still continue to sell well. I am a fan of promoting what works not what doesn’t so within your business start promoting ALL your services month by month so your beauty clients know everything you offer!

For helpful tips and advice on, beauty pr and marketing in 2012 please do feel free to call me on 020 7788 4091.

Stay positive

Johnny

iPhone Apps / Android Apps For Your Business

At Catalyst, we constantly strive to offer the latest technologies and marketing services. This year I am delighted to announce the launch of our App service, where we can offer a specially built Android App or iPhone App. Our App is mostly designed for service businesses like hair and beauty, however we can build Apps for magazines and even personal applications. We can also give you with access to your own content management system so you can update your App when you want, and fast!

Connecting to users through iPhone and Android Apps seem to be on every businesses wish list at the moment, and yet most of the time they don’t know why they want them or what they will do for their business. This is where we can help you.

Once set up the application that allows you to communicate to your customers within seconds for free! Within the App you can list all your company details, services and contact / sharing tools to make sure you connect quickly and easily.

For lots of people, the biggest business tool will be ‘push notifications’ which is simply a genuine alternative to text messaging which can be offered through an iPhone App or Android App free! It works by sending the message via the internet instead of telecommunication networks. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner expecting a quiet night, you send the message ‘20% off tonight at Mario’s Pizzeria’ via our content management system, which is instantly delivered to all users who’ve downloaded your App. Hopefully you’ll soon have customers coming through the doors and a busy night ahead of you!

The Catalyst App really could affect your bottom line and dare I say it, be your 2012 marketing hero!

For more information simply download this quick and easy PDF.

For pricing and more details email johnny@catalystconsultancylondon.com.

2012 – The end of the World or an exciting new opportunity?

First of all – let me apologise. Our website has been down for over 4 months which is a disaster in business terms but I really feel we needed to take stock of what we had and what we were going to do going forward. I hope you like the new site – we are rolling it out incrementally over the Christmas and New Year period. I would love to have any feedback you have – simply email me at johnny@catpr.com

This new section on our website is called ‘Insights’. ‘Insights’ is a new blog from me, Johnny Paterson, MD of Catalyst and a business trouble shooter. In this new blog I will cover topical business stories, new ideas and interesting examples of good and bad business models. To receive this email without having to visit this page regularly, simply click here to join our ‘In the know’ mailing list. Don’t worry, you won’t get bombarded with sales information – just good hearty advice that will help you and your business.

Anyway, back to today’s ‘Insight’. It’s about 2012, what you should expect and what you should be doing to secure and grow your business.

If you read the papers and watch any TV shows about finance, you would think 2012 means the end of the business world! I can’t deny it, things will get worse before they get better but there is some good news. Inflation will fall in the spring and because of this, consumers will have more disposable income, so today’s ‘Insight’ is all about how to capitalise on the money that is out there waiting for you to go and get it!

‘Get your house in order’
Make sure your business is looking and sounding great – if your store, shop, salon, products or even business card doesn’t look attractive then why would customers or clients pick you?

‘Diversify’
Understanding what consumers and buyers want in a tough economic climate is key. Diversifying what you do and offer will make a big difference to your operation if you add extra services to your business. And, most importantly, they are what the public and buyers want!

‘Market, Market, Market!’
Tell the world about what you do and find as many ways to market your offer as you can – flyers, advertising, recommendations, google pay per click – whatever works – do it again and again but always have more than one way of marketing.

With these key actions in place, I know your business will grow and 2012 will become an exciting new opportunity for you – for more advice call my PR and Marketing team on 020 7788 4091.

Fifteen Ways to Double Your Turnover in 2012

Here at Catalyst, we’ve developed 15 Golden Rules of business building. Please read them carefully and if you agree with at least some, if not all, then take step 15…..

  1. Brand your business and stick to it at all times! Otherwise, what are you? And how are your customers or potential clients ever going to recognise your
    business?
  2. Personalise your business – yes, get personal with your clients. They don’t want to go to a hairdressers they want to buy from Debbie. People buy from people. You can personalise your business by ensuring your picture is on more of your marketing materials – think Richard Branson (I don’t even need to mention his brand!), Stelios of Easyjet (I don’t even know the guy’s name but he has made my life easier, apparently).
  3. Ensure your team members know why they are working for you and what their and your goals are!
  4. Stay Positive, if you’re not then why would your team or employees be?
  5. Cut your expenditure by 10%! When was the last time you checked your running costs? Where could you save money? Have you asked your suppliers to give you a discount? By doing this you will save money, trust me, I did it!
  6. How do you Market your business, if you do at all? Start today, leaflets, SEO, advertising and PR can increase your clientele. Do nothing then you will get nothing! If you can afford it, hire a professional like Catalyst to help you, or go on a course with an expert like Chris Cardell.
  7. Increase your average client bill by 10%. You can do this by increasing your prices on services or products. Discounting is a great way of finding new business but should you be charging a premium for your expertise? I hope you said yes to this!
  8. Upsell! Yes, you have heard sales people say this to you before but it genuinely works. How do you do it? Simply start talking to you clients about other services you offer, I know that they won’t know everything you do and the secret to success is to at least talk about what it is you do (and enthusiastically).
  9. Increase your amount of services and do this every month. Introduce a new service every month and treat it like a product as Cadbury’s would, yes Cadbury’s. You need to make your service tangible. Example – a blow dry can be so much more than just a blow dry if you give it a name, shoot it for photography and then make posters and then market it with a seductive price.
  10. Hire mystery shoppers and hold regular client surveys to ensure that you are as good as you say you are.
  11. Build a website that is optimised for search engines like Google and has regular new content.
  12. SEO is key to building your brand. It ensures that your website comes top of a Google search. Example, if you search hair PR, my company will come within the top 4 everything meaning I get to meet a lot of new potential clients. You could do the same for your hair brand or salon. When was the last time you used yellow pages to find a something you needed?
  13. Excite your team – if they do well, tell them and where appropriate, bonus them. Share the wealth.
  14. Ask your clients to recommend you and give them something in return. If my clients find me business I give them the first half of the money of the first project!
  15. Hire Catalyst Consultancy, we have literally added thousands to our client’s salon turnover or with the brands, hundreds of thousands if not millions.Call 020 7788 4091 mentioning Fellowship