Salon Insurance - Salon Gold
There’s no question that specialist insurance providers can undercut those that don’t understand the industry needs by keeping abreast of sector developments. Not only do I find Salon Gold to be the most professional of them all, but they remain extremely competitive. The service they offer is excellent, too. We’ve been using them for all of our companies for over 10 years and they’ve been fantastic – they take the time to understand what cover we need and quote accordingly. Dean is very competent and great for advice, too.
Salon Software - Phorest
There are many software systems to choose from that specialise in the hair and spa sector. However, I choose Phorest because they are so simple to use. The Phorest Go app is a brilliant tool for a big team - staff can see their bookings and whether their client has arrived, as well as tracking their columns. Cloud-based software really is the future, enabling some of the team to work from home if necessary. From the back end, Phorest also provides me with great data to track, and their reporting element is second to none. Transitioning from our old system was seamless, and the online training means that all staff can fully get to grips with the software at their own pace.
Alan D have been our chosen partner for education for several years and they are the best in the business. Helping us to deliver a full apprenticeship programme by administering our trainees to NVQ Level, Edward Hemmings' fantastic team are a huge part of our training system. Their tutors have a wealth of experience and are knowledgeable, detailed, thorough and patient, gently holding our apprentices’ hands through the exam process and working with our Education Director Nando and his team of in-salon trainers to deliver the all-encompassing, comprehensive education system that we are renowned for.
Payroll & Accounting Services – Leaman Mattei
Stuart Leaman and Paul Mattei have been handling all our accountancy services for years now and I can’t recommend them highly enough. They work across all our companies; auditing our accounts and providing our monthly payroll service (no mean feat with over 100 employees!) Stuart and Paul are very ‘on it’; exactly what you need when it comes to sound financial advice.
Tax Relief Specialist – Data-Fox
Sometimes, you need more expert help than you regular accountant can provide. Jonathan is someone I know personally, but when he told me that his company could help with reclaiming tax on some of the projects we were working on researching and developing, I was a tad sceptical! However, his company Data-Fox (www.data-fox.com) couldn’t have been more brilliant. We recovered a substantial amount of tax that we’d long since kissed goodbye to, and in record time, too. His team told us what they thought might be recoverable and they were absolutely right. I can’t recommend them highly enough and if they don’t think they can help you after the initial call or meeting, they’ll be very honest with you. Superb!
I’m a great believer in networking within our industry and there are several events and organisations which I’ve found to be very beneficial, not just for mingling but for gaining knowledge. Also, mixing with the movers and shakers is never a bad look!
NHF/NBF – National Hairdressers Federation, National Beauty Federation
Hilary Hall, the Chief Exec, is fantastic and membership affords me the chance to keep on top of all the developments in the industry I need to know about, as well as the crucial red-tape we face as a sector. The NHF/NBF is a brilliant go-to for a myriad of advice and is an essential organisation to belong to for anyone running a modern-day salon business.
You have to be a special type of salon to qualify, but if you are lucky enough to be invited to join, L’Oreal’s exclusive Portfolio of salons offers a wealth of seminars, conferences and business education as well as the chance to meet like-minded peers. This select group of elite salons get together regularly to brainstorm, meet, network and have fun, giving members both artistic and business inspiration.
The original (and still the best!) trade show. This must-attend event is an essential part of the hairdressing calendar and gives you a great opportunity to meet people and see what’s new to the market. There's a variety of practical seminars to book, some great stages to watch and some motivational business workshops from leading industry experts, too.
Professional Beauty (London, North, Ireland)
Ditto for the beauty calendar, this show also gives you the chance to see new products, meet with brands and attend great workshops, whether you're looking for aesthetic or nails, spa or growing your salon's turnover, there's a host of big name industry players who you can get up close and personal with.
The Hair & Beauty Charity
As a Past President, Board Member and Trustee, I think it's really important to support our industry charity and give something back. Our beneficiaries are all involved in the hair and beauty sector either as current or past workers. Have a no-uniform day, bake sale, colour or cut-a-thon and help us raise much needed funds.