|Technology, Tara Hooper's Competitive Edge
by: Helena D'Mellow
Tara Hooper, owner of Tara’s Hair Studio in trendy Carlsbad, California has taken her salon and day spa to the next level! In a sea of California competition, what sets Tara apart? In one word, technology! Tara noses out her competition with online booking, an effective and dynamic website and computer technology. Aside from an obvious enthusiasm and passion for her trade, Tara is technically savvy and has used it to reach amazing heights in her business.
Particularly, the YBN Online Booking System is a key factor in her success. Since adopting YBN’s Online Booking system, Tara runs a much smoother business. She is more organized and people all around her have noticed! “Everyone always comments on how I run my salon business and THEY LOVE IT!! It sets me apart”, she says.
She loves YBN’s online booking system and has tailored it to her own personal style. “I do not allow my clients to book their own appointments. Says, Tara. “I have not been able to let go of control that much, but that is a personal thing. I do, however use the on line booking, but I make the appointments for my clients and YBN sends 2 e-confirmations for me and to my clients.” It works well for both Tara and her clients. “The best thing I ever did was put my booking system on line with YBN. I threw away my paper book and never looked back. Implementing the system took a short learning curve, but hey, we learn new hair techniques all the time, so this was just another technique to learn!”
The YBN online booking system has also made it much easier to continually stay in touch with her clients. “It is easier to request and get an appt with me because I have e-mail, phone, blackberry, and computer appt booking etc.” By using the online appt booking system, her number of no shows has dramatically reduced, because of the email confirmations. Not only that, but it has reduced her workload exponentially. How? “I don't have to call and confirm clients after a long day behind the chair. I stay more organized!”
In addition to using YBN’s online booking system, Tara gets a lot of referrals from her website. She hired an amazing Webmaster and has impressive results. “Really, if you don't have a website you are missing out on customers, especially, if you are a one woman show like myself. It is a very personal thing, attracting new clients. They have to love you starting from their first visit on your website. That is what gets them to call.” Tara suggests that customers sense your sincerity. “Be real, informative and be sure the site is easy to navigate. Don't get caught up in a flashy site, just one that drives traffic and is consumer friendly.” A business’ website has to reflect who you are as a business, she emphasizes. “I get more website clients now than referrals...love it!”
Tara has seen an increase in her business since becoming a YBN member 4 years ago. “YBN technology, support & audio classes have helped me take my business to the next level. I have learned how to manage better, how to give clients what they need by staying organized, which in turns serves them better. I remember the power of retail and I make FAR less if any booking mistakes because it is all on a computer system. I have a laptop AT my station!"
YBN has been an integral ingredient to her successful career, but Tara realizes that it is essentially the business owner who is responsible for her own success.
“You still have to implement the systems that are taught at YBN and that can be scary. I mean we are taught how to do hair not run a business.”
Never the less, YBN has dramatically helped Tara continue to reach new heights in the industry. “Success in this field takes work and change on our part as stylist, but I profit more now than I ever have. I get a raise every year and have a clientele that values how I do business and the way I do hair, of course!
What does Tara like best about YBN? “I love what it brings to our industry, a professionalism that has been missing. Our time is valuable, and our gift for doing hair makes so many people feel and look wonderful. We should be respected as professionals just like any other industry. We work VERY hard servicing our clients, listening to their needs, keeping up on new trends to stay fresh, and running our businesses. Heck after 17 years in this business, with all the training I’ve done, I am sure I have the equivalent to at least a Masters Degree!”
Tara has taken technology and transformed her business. She suggests that her peers in the beauty industry take advantage of all that YBN has to offer. “I love the whole computer thing clearly, but find what works for you”, she says. “Maybe it is the classes, or one on one training or the YBN retreat. Try it all, and don't be afraid of change, and give it time. Think about how long did it actually take you to be a great stylist? It takes practice, learning from your peers or teachers, making mistakes and just GOING FOR IT even if no one else is.”
Congratulations to Tara Hooper on her success and we are proud to have had a hand in helping her reach her dreams. If you’d like to view Tara’s website for inspiration on how technology can work for your business, go to www.myhairbytara.com.