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Opening a Second Salon? Here's the Most Important Thing to Do

byJackie Summers | September 4, 2019
Salon Midori Owner Lei Cicero (standing) of Fullerton, California, learned the importance of a solid software system that integrates multiple businesses seamlessly when she opened her secocnd location in Yorba Linda.
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Salon Midori Owner Lei Cicero (standing) of Fullerton, California, learned the importance of a solid software system that integrates multiple businesses seamlessly when she opened her secocnd location in Yorba Linda.

When Lei Cicero purchased a declining salon in Fullerton, California, in 2005 she discovered every business-related function was being done on paper. The former business school student knew immediately something had to change.

“The previous owner had no organization,” she remembers. No wonder the business was failing.

As Cicero established her own Salon Midori brand, she set about searching for a salon software system that wouldn’t put off the existing, paper-familiar staff. “I heard about Salon Iris ,” Cicero says, “And, discovered it was easy and affordable and adopted it right away. At first the stylists were reluctant to jump in, but we got lots of support from Salon Iris customer service reps and eventually everyone learned to love it.”

Over the years, Cicero has enjoyed the fact that Salon Iris has grown with her business—she has gone from managing seven stylists to 30. It allows her to meet with each stylist quarterly to check in on metrics such as client retention, service totals and progress in Cicero’s system of requiring stylists to sell $200 or more in products in order to qualify for commission. It also toggles easily between her commissioned and booth rental staff (commission stylists grow within the business to become booth renters.) There’s text and email messaging for client confirmations, real time appointment booking and remote access to the books 24/7.

“One of the best things about Salon Iris,” says Cicero, “is the stylists love it so much they have become brand ambassadors of the software, which has really helped with hiring and retaining talent. A lot of people are accepting jobs with us because they are tired of working with paper at other salons.”

This year, Cicero achieved one of her long-time dreams—she opened a second salon in nearby Yorba Linda. “I felt it was a necessary step for expanding my brand,” she explains. “I used the data provided by Salon Iris to confirm the viability of the second location and I finally found a place that met all my criteria.”

As always, Salon Iris supported her every step of the way. “This was so important,” she explains. “They separate my two locations but keep it under the same umbrella, so basically I didn’t have to rebuild a data base. I could transfer all the clients accumulated over 15 years of business and transport the information to my new location, making it easier for stylists who wanted to move. And for clients who want to visit the new location, all their data is on hand.”

The transfer of data was seamless, says Cicero, plus Salon Iris has supported her marketing efforts to promote the new location. For example, The first thing we did before we opened was change the wording of the confirmation text to our clients. It added ‘Fullerton location’ to the confirmation, which really opened the conversation. Clients started asking their stylists if we had a second location. It really got the buzz going.”