Lucas Salon puts its people and technology first
Learn how this quirky, LA-based salon keeps tech top-of-mind
When Lisa Mayer purchased Lucas Salon from a friend, the business got through its everyday with the more classic, and literal, type of bookkeeping. Admittedly tech-averse at the time, Mayer believed she could run the salon efficiently with pencil and paper.
“We were both like, ‘We’ll just write in the book, it’s so much easier,’” she said. But after a while, she learned it wasn’t so easy: “There have been a couple times where someone is sick and I have to drive into the store in order to call their client.
Some bumps in the road like that weren’t a huge deal to the salon – the customers come because they love the people. The employees are a tight-knit group of friends who go see movies together on their downtime, and are encouraged to find inspiration outside of their daily schedule. Even with her employees in a good place, Mayer noticed some things needed to change behind the curtain, so to speak.
Incorporating new technology
Skip to present day, where Lucas Salon is almost out of its “old school” dark ages. The appointment books are nearly a thing of the past, and things like days off, payroll and logged hours will all be housed on an online system. But Mayer said it wasn’t easy to pull off initially.
She admitted her reluctance to rely on technology at all – it seems to her the salon could function just fine the same way it always had. But when it came to her trying to organize mounds of paperwork for taxes and payroll, she knew the current way of doing things wasn’t sustainable.
A group of all-female small-business owners Mayer looked to for business advice pushed her to adopt more tech into the way she ran the salon. She knew it had to be done, but was afraid to take the plunge.
"I didn’t want to do it,” she said.
But after years of slowly adopting new technology, Mayer learned to get excited – not nervous – at the thought of incorporating new things into her business process.
“We’re getting way more into technology now, it’s kind of bananas,” Mayer said. “But it’s also exciting, it feels like the natural progression. It’s taken a while to get into it, but now everyone feels excited about it."
Listening to customers
Adopting new technology hasn’t benefited just the salon or its employees – Mayer listened to Lucas Salon’s customers, too.
While the thought of managing an online booking system seemed daunting, she knew some customers would rather book their appointments online without speaking to a receptionist or walking through the door.
“It’s just the normal way that every business does it these days,” she said. “And now I feel like I’m looking forward to it now.”
Aside from cohesive online systems to track her employees’ schedules, inventory and appointments, the salon itself is decked out with chargers for everyone to use. She even offers up a couple tablets for customers to grab for beauty inspiration, instead of the traditional magazines. With all her steps toward better tech, Mayer said she’s never been more excited to see what’s around the corner.
“As I think of these things, it makes me think all of the new technology will help us instead of hinder us,” she said. “It’s going to be much easier and more efficient.”
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