Talking Beaute with Tamara Reid
The fabulous Tamara Reid is an entrepreneur, community creator, conversation facilitator, and the founding director of the Beaute Industrie; a professional support group for the beauty industry which recently passed 5,000 members. We got the lowdown from Tamara on the Beaute community, how we value beauty businesses, and what’s happening in the industry right now.
How did the Beaute Industrie community come about?
I was in an educational role in the beauty industry having just moved from Melbourne to Sydney. I was training business owners, managers, and therapists, and they were asking me all the possible questions you can ever think of; a lot of them I didn’t have answers to!
So I just created a Facebook group in 2016, and at the time it only had 15 of my industry friends from Melbourne. My aim was to get advice, share feedback, and chat about industry stuff that my boyfriend (who’s now my husband) just didn’t understand when I tried to talk about it at home. He’d say, “Just fire her,” or, “Tell this one to shut up,” which obviously isn’t practical advice for a predominantly women-led industry!
All of a sudden, there were 100 people in the Facebook group! We were learning so much and having these amazing conversations, and I wanted to evolve the Beaute Industrie community.
What was the next step for Beaute Industrie?
I thought, “Righto, I’ll just create a podcast”, which spread quite organically, and people were listening to the conversations on their way to work and in their salons and spas; hearing my voice in treatment rooms was a little bit scary! We now have 110 episodes of beautiful conversations that a lot of people don’t get to have. I get to meet incredible people and find out not only about their business lives, but their personal lives too.
When I was a beauty therapist, business owner, and manager, I would go to conferences and I would listen to podcasts, but there was never a beauty therapist, manager, or business owner on any of the keynote panels or on any of the podcast episodes. I saw a real gap for our industry there to have real, behind-the-scenes conversations, like how people progress from being a therapist to manager, or open their own business.
From the podcast, people were saying they loved it and wanted to have those conversations in-person, so we created events, and the business grew from there.
What are your thoughts on daily deal sites in the beauty industry?
When I first came into the industry as a massage therapist, I was the only beauty therapist in the business. The owner signed us up to one of those deal sites; 1,600 five hour packages! Being the only beauty therapist, I was just expected to do them all. We were losing money on all of them as well, so I was lucky; early on in my career I learnt what not to do. I didn’t just study beauty therapy; I did resort management as well. I learnt finance, marketing, budgeting, and negotiations, so I was able to look at the figures and see that these deals weren’t benefitting the business at all – we could barely afford to keep the lights on!
Deal sites definitely infiltrated the industry and we’ve seen a lot of businesses close down because of that. At the start it’s great because there’s a huge cashflow, but then business owners generally spend that a little bit too soon, and can’t afford to pay the therapist to do all of the treatments. Deal sites create a price war to get to the bottom to be the cheapest, and it diminishes the industry in my opinion. We really need to value ourselves and our trade a little bit more than we do.
We shouldn’t be discounting our services by 70% and having people that will just hop around from one coupon to the other.
How should businesses be determining their value?
In our Beaute Industrie community a lot of people are home-based businesses or new to a particular area, and don’t know what their prices should be. Just because you’re in a home business or you’re only a sole trader, you still have the same qualifications, skills, and expertise as anyone else, and you should value yourself accordingly. In fact, you’re probably going to give more time, love, and more energy to your clients because you want your business to succeed.
This is why I create these conversations with Beaute Industrie; people can ask about prices and value, or what a five-star service is, which there wasn’t a lot of before I created the community. Sometimes you would go to a product education day and then you might have a quick catch-up with a few business owners or therapists at lunch and trade numbers, but there just wasn’t any important conversations happening.
What are some of the most interesting topics happening in the community right now?
There’s a lot around client communication; how to limit cancellations if people are no-showing, how to deal with clients wanting to bring their kids into the treatment room, how to communicate price increases for services, and how to navigate social distancing with clients.
What’s great about the Beaute community is that people trust that they can ask anything they like and they don’t need to be embarrassed or worried, which is a fear in some other groups on social media.
Speaking of no-shows, what do you do to stop them from happening?
Taking online deposits really do stop the no-shows and cancellations.
If you book into a hotel, an osteo or a physio, they’ll generally ask for your credit card details to secure the appointment. In every other industry, no one thinks twice about it, but in our industry we’re so hesitant to ask for a deposit. If we just said, “We need a credit card to secure the appointment today and there’s a 50% charge” with confidence, clients shouldn’t be questioning it, and soon it will be instilled into your booking process.
What’s the biggest and most common mistake business owners make?
People often get into business and they want to do one thing, and then they see a big machine or a new treatment on social media or their clients ask them about it, and they slowly start to add all of these other things in. That’s probably the biggest mistake; they’ve lost sight of their vision or their mission.
I had a conversation with the owner of a luxury French day spa who wanted to introduce a whole lot of new treatments, and I just encouraged her to get back to her purpose. Why did she want to do French? Why did she want to do luxury? Why did she want a day spa in the first place? We were able to bring it back to what she wanted to do with her business and what her clients love, and realigned her on a better pathway.
What’s your advice for a strong social media game?
Video content is huge and getting so much traction at the moment, I cannot say it enough! Film your treatments, film your therapists, and get testimonials from your clients; iPhone quality is completely fine. I know people feel a bit icky about getting on video, but you’ve got to do it. Or, share videos from your product house if you don’t want to film yourself.
What are your exciting plans for the rest of 2020?
Last year I was traveling around due to the podcast and the events, and I was giving people a lot of coaching and mentoring advice. I thought, “I’m only one person and I can only have these conversations one-on-one, so I’ll film them and I’ll put them into a program.” So, we launched Beautecademy in March; our monthly subscription to coaching and mentor advice from the industry’s best coaches, educators, and experts. For me, 2020 is really about beefing that program up. I know every business owner says that they want to go global, but for me that’s really a mission. It’s about doing the groundwork and getting that platform out to as many people as possible.
Where can people find the community, the podcast, and the academy?
Visit www.beauteindustrie.com to access the academy, the Facebook group, and the podcast. The podcast is also available on all good podcast platforms like Spotify, iTunes, and Google.