The Intel Small Business Series focuses on small business owners and how they are reacting to the demands and opportunities presented by emergent technology.
Celeste Trapp is owner and president of the Hair M, Hair W, M|W, and Y-Chrome barber shops and salons in Portland, OR. Founded in 2003, Hair M caters to a high-end, predominantly male clientele and offers upscale grooming and spa treatment services. Clients can enjoy a beer or glass of wine while waiting for their appointment, and each barber station features a flat-screen TV so clients can relax in style.
“We want to be the Nordstrom of the hair world — making clients feel really welcomed and appreciated,” said Trapp.
While Hair M has found a niche in the health and beauty market, Trapp realizes there is more to staying on top than being unique. Affordable technology like 2 in 1s and tablets presents huge opportunities for small businesses. Smart business owners like Trapp know that in order to grow and differentiate their services, they need to adopt emerging technologies as they arrive.
Upgrading Devices to Stay Ahead of the Curve
The new M|W salon in Portland, OR, offers high-tech sophistication for its clientele.
For a company like Hair M, maintaining cutting-edge services for discerning clients is key. When asked about future upgrades, Trapp mentioned the possibility of adding new interfaces — tablets or TVs — at barber stations for clients to use. In addition to the client-facing technology, Trapp was able to shed some insight into her company’s PC refresh strategy:
“We upgrade our devices for performance reasons,” she explained. “Our server gets replaced about every four years. When we see things running too slow, that’s primarily when we upgrade.”
Like many service-oriented companies, Hair M has come to rely on several software solutions to maintain and nurture client relationships. In addition to Hair M’s core computing strategy, the company employs Intuit’s cloud marketing platform Demandforce to stay in touch with customers and send appointment reminders via emails and text messages.
Hair M also utilizes a separate Web-based service to encourage clients to book their appointment ahead of time and to re-book following their appointment. The company also uses analytics from these tools to monitor retention, productivity, and sales efficiency in order to make business decisions and drive growth.
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