My Favorite Skincare & Makeup Products from Trish McEvoy

I’ve received several inquiries over the last few weeks about what makeup and skincare products I use.  To give you a little background, I got shingles on my face about 3 years ago and my skin totally changed.  All the products I use are either gentle or from Trish McEvoy.  I absolutely love Trish McEvoy products because they are all developed in conjunction with her husband, Dr. Ronald Sherman, and his dermatology practice.  Here’s my skincare routine:

Skincare Essentials:

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser:  This cleanser is really gentle and easily cleanses makeup away.  I especially like that it doesn’t dry my skin out in the winter.

Trish McEvoy ‘Even Skin’ Beta Hydroxy Pads ($65.50):  After washing my face, I use Trish McEvoy Beta Pads to exfoliate, which preps your skin to better absorb any additional treatment or products.  I use these once a day.  When I first started using Beta Pads, I saw smoother and clearer skin after using the whole jar consistently.

Beta Pads

Trish McEvoy ‘Beauty Booster’ Cream SPF 30 ($90.50):  Next, I apply Beauty Booster moisturizer cream with sunscreen.  I have really fair skin and I can get burned easily.  I apply at least twice a day—the formula isn’t greasy, so it’s great to wear under makeup.

Beauty Booster Cream

Trish McEvoy ‘Correct and Brighten’ Professional Strength Multi-Acid Weekly Peel ($125.50):  These are a huge splurge, so I don’t buy them all the time, but if I have a big event coming up where I’ll be in front of a lot of people, I always use one of these a few days before for deeper exfoliating.  I only use at night, which is what is suggested so the product stays on your skin longer.  If you use the Weekly Peel (which doesn’t actually peel your skin) you won’t want to use Beta Pads, because that’s too much exfoliating.  Every time I use one, a few days later, someone compliments how great my skin looks.  This product is pricey, but it works!

Weekly Peel

Makeup Essentials:

Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift ($39.00):  Ok.  This stuff is amazing.  If you have dark circles, fine lines, or puffiness this product makes the skin around your eyes look lifted and lighter.  A must-have item!

Instant Eye Lift

Trish McEvoy ‘Beauty Booster’ Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ($76.00):  If you have fair skin like I do, it’s a good idea to layer your sunscreens and this tinted moisturizer is a great compliment to boost the protection of the Beauty Booster cream.  Simply put some on your hand and apply with a makeup brush for coverage that is natural.

Tinted Moisturizer

Trish McEvoy ‘Lash Curling’ Mascara ($31.50):  I’ve been wearing Lash Curling Mascara for about 7 years and it’s nothing short of spectacular.  The wand creates a tube around your lash that stays put until you remove it with warm water.  No need for any special eye makeup remover and no stains or mess on your wash cloth.  No matter how hard class is or how sweaty I get, I’ve never had my mascara run or flake off.  Enjoy!

Lash Curling Mascara

But Trish McEvoy, isn’t just about great products–if that’s not enough–she embraces organization and keeping your makeup clean and easy-to-find.  If you’ve ever been accused of taking over the bathroom counter or find it hard to keep your makeup organized, look no further than the Trish McEvoy Makeup Planner ($75.00).  

Trish McEvoy PlannerOne of the great things about ordering makeup online from Nordstrom is that you can usually get some free gifts and free samples.  Right now, if you spend $100 on Trish McEvoy products, you can get deluxe samples of bronzer (I’ve used this and it’s very natural—I had to have the expert at the makeup counter show me the best way to highlight my cheek bones) and Beauty Booster Lip Gloss (Also have 2 of these lip glosses going at the moment).  Check these gifts out here.

There are some things you can save on, but good skincare products and makeup shouldn’t be one of them.  It’s been my experience that the better the product, the better the result.  Since I am in front of hundreds of clients each day at my studios, I always want my skin to look fresh and clear.  If you try anything, I can’t wait to hear how you like it!

Until then, stay on your toes!

What’s the Lifetime Value of Your Average Client?

One of the questions I’ve been asking myself over the last three months has been, “How much should I spend on marketing and advertising on a per client basis?”  Essentially, I’m trying to figure out how much is too much so I’m not wasting money and eroding my net income.  Determining this value could also be useful when planning my monthly clothing expense budget.

I just finished a great book called, Buying Customers: Revolutionary new rules for you to get more customers with far less money, by Brad Sugars.  In his book, Sugars discusses the importance of looking at marketing and lead generation as an investment rather than an expense.  Why is that?

Well … when you calculate the Lifetime Value of your average client or customer, you might realize that you can spend more than you thought to attract new clients or “assets” to your business.

This week I took the time to determine the Lifetime Value of my average client as well as my highest spending clients.  Here’s what I discovered:

First, I wanted to look at the value of an average client in 2016.  To calculate this, I took my annual sales divided by the number of active members and came up with $1,675.  Our clients on Pure Barre Platinum (12-month contract) pay $139 x 12 months = $1,668, so I find it valuable to know that an average client would spend about $140 each month on classes and clothing.

Next, I ran a “Big Spenders” report in MindBody, which is the client management software we use at my studios, to determine the value of my top clients in 2016.  My top 100 clients, or the top spending 100 clients, had an average annual value of $2,545.  My top 10 clients, or the 10 clients who spent the most at my studios, had an average annual value of $4,097!  This means my very best clients were spending about $341 each month or 144% more than my average client!

But these are just annual average values and my typical client stays on for about 3 years.  This number was a little tricky to determine, but I did the best I could looking at my top 20 clients and how long they’d been taking class.  Then I did a simple average to come up with the 3 years.

Based on this information, the Lifetime Value of my average client is $5,025 and the Lifetime Value of my top clients is $12,291.  Or is it?  Each client usually refers at least one friend, so the Lifetime Value of each client at my studios is between $10,050 and $24,582!

What does this mean?  Well, if we don’t get a client to purchase a package beyond our $99 Intro Month, we’ve lost not the value of the next package, but potentially $25,000 or more depending on how many friends that client refers.  Yikes!

It also means that I now have a baseline from which to determine my marketing and advertising expenditures to attract new clients.  If the average client has a Lifetime Value of $10,050, then I can probably spend a little more money than what I have been to acquire new clients.  Specifically, I want to host more events at the studios to promote our Pure Barre community and now I know that spending that extra money makes sense, especially if I can attract more people like my top clients.

Cue the G.I. Joe public service announcement!

I’ve received several inquiries over the last few weeks about what makeup and skincare products I use.  I’ll share my skincare routine with you in my next post.

I’ve also made significant progress writing my book on how to run a successful fitness studio—it’s almost done and I’ve started having discussions about publishing.  This means I’ll be able to increase my posts pretty soon.  Good times!

Until then, stay on your toes!

Buying Customers: Revolutionary new rules for you to get more customers with far less money, Brad Sugars

 

It’s Flip Flop Season: What I Just Ordered

For those of you who own fitness studios, you know there’s pretty much two distinct seasons: Ugg/Boot Season and Flip Flop Season.  Being your own boss has to have some advantages and wearing cute, comfortable shoes is one of them!

Since my Pure Barre studios are carpeted and shoes aren’t allowed, it’s important to have some easy to slip on and off options for footwear.  Here’s what I’ve ordered:

Lucky Sortia Gladiator Sandal ($138.95):  These were a splurge, but I love them!  I got Dark Driftwood Leather and I’ve already worn them out with denim, black jeans and a dress.  The wedge heel isn’t too high or too low and the leather is really soft.

Lucky Gladiator

Havaianas Slim Crystal Glamour Flip Flop ($36.00):  I bought a pair of these last year and have to replace them because one of my dogs chewed the strap.  If you are in need of a basic flip flop these are tops.  I got black, to go with black leggings, of course.

Havaianas

Rock Muse Studded Sandal ($68.95):  I’m not sure what wouldn’t go with these sandals.  Definitely perfect for weekend wear.  I got tan leather, but I’m thinking about ordering black leather too.

Rock Muse Studded Sandal

Tory Burch Thin Flip Flop ($50.00):  So many patterns, so little time.  Because you can never have enough flip flops!  I got black/gemini link.

Tory Burch Flip Flop

Now I just have to get a pedicure!

Next week, I’ll discuss the lifetime value of my average client and why it’s important to know that number when you’re making your marketing decisions.

Until then, stay on your toes!

The Customer is Always Right: True or False?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “the customer is always right.”  It was originally adopted by Harry Gordon Selfridge of London’s Selfridge Department Store in 1909, but is commonly attributed to Marshall Field’s Department Store in Chicago.  Large and small businesses alike, have taken this motto to mean that it is essential to give a high priority to customer service.  True.

Excellent customer service is paramount to the growth and success of all businesses.  Easy enough.  Of course, you’re not going to spend your money at a business if you’re treated poorly or unfairly.  You won’t be a repeat customer if the experience is bad.  But should the literal translation of this phrase be adopted in the business world?  Does this blanket statement give a customer the right to make unreasonable demands of a business if something doesn’t go their way?  Is the customer ALWAYS right?  False.

Last week, I wrote a post titled, A Letter to the Competition, in which I explained how I’m not in the barre class business, but instead, we are actually in the client experience business.  And while I was beating my chest telling everyone how focused on customer service we are at my studios, I received a customer survey response from someone, who had just taken her first class the day before, telling me, in not so many words, how much my studio sucked, how much my teachers sucked, and how much I sucked at operating my business.  Basically, nothing we did had met her expectations from the cleanliness of the studio, to the way the teacher taught the class, to how much money classes cost, and then to top it all off, there was a personal dig at me.  Sweet.

So, here’s the thing.  I was the one who had the most contact with this individual.  She had called the day before to inquire about classes and asked all the usual questions including what to expect during class, what to wear, as well as class package options and how much taking class would cost.  I answered and went through my whole pitch.  The next morning, she took class.  While I didn’t teach the class, I was at the front desk working, and talked to her after.  I am confident that she was given the same great service we strive to give all of our new and existing clients … because, well, I followed my own customer service procedures.

Bill Gates has been quoted as saying, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”  I completely agree.  After receiving her survey response, I followed up with this individual and learned that she wanted free classes to make up for her terrible experience.  I thought about this and ultimately decided not to grant her request because giving her free classes would not change any of the complaints that had made her time in my studio so terrible.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure why she would want to come back based on the litany of “offenses” we had committed against her.

But since I’ve made this decision, I’ve been thinking a lot more about whether the customer is always right, or if there are times when they just aren’t.  It seems there are some people you just don’t want as customers and here’s why:

1. Some customers take up all of your time.

Oh man.  Customers who complain non-stop take up so much time—like hours and hours each week that could have been used to work with your team or for you to spend more time with your best customers, or frankly have more time off and away from your business.  And it’s draining to try and make someone happy who will never be happy.  I need a drink just thinking about it.

2. Some customers create a rift between you and your employees.

This is a big problem.  You spend a lot of time, effort and resources to give your employees customer service training and the ability to solve problems.  Some customers ultimately create a rift between you and your employees.  As soon as the phrase “I want to talk to the owner” is uttered, the employee can no longer take care of this customer’s problem and you have to, which is fine–don’t get me wrong, happy to help.  However, if when you make contact with this customer, you don’t side with your employee, you’ve just created a problem between you and your employee.  I’d rather have my amazing team intact and working hard then have my team quit and be left with a group of unruly customers that I can never make happy.

3. Some customers actually create bad customer service.

If you constantly side with customers rather than employees, you send the message that your employees aren’t important and they aren’t to be respected.  When your employees think you don’t care about them or that they aren’t valuable, how well do you think they’ll be treating your customers?  Not that well.  If this continues, other customers will learn to treat your employees with little respect to get what they want.  It’s really a terrible circle.

While “unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” it doesn’t mean they are “always right.”

What have I learned from this experience?  It is important to have a high standard of customer service, but some people will never be satisfied no matter how much you try to please them and it’s ok if those people don’t become long-term clients of your business.

A few days later, I got another survey response from someone, who had recently taken their first class, was confused, and didn’t think they were doing the workout correctly.  I followed up with her and offered her a free week of class as well as time with a teacher before her next class to go over some techniques to help her get the most out of her classes.  She’s coming back to the studio next week and was very appreciative.

It’s important to hire the right team to fit your business culture.  It’s also important to find the right clients.  I’m confident if we keep doing the things we’re known for, providing a great client experience, a positive and welcoming environment, and a clean studio we’ll keep attracting clients who value those things and make Pure Barre a great place to workout.  And I’m not going to beat myself up if someone, who doesn’t share what we value, doesn’t stick around.

There are really two seasons for me as a Pure Barre studio owner: Ugg/Boot Season and Flip-Flop Season.  And we’re heading into Flip-Flop Season so I’ll share with you the new flips I’ve just ordered.

Until then, stay on your toes!

My New Favorite Food Blog & Cookbook: Simply Real Health

One of the paradoxes of owning and operating a fitness business is that you often times don’t have time to focus on your own health.  Crazy, I know.

But as every business owner knows, your day is so over-scheduled and you’re constantly on the go or solving problems that emerge from out of nowhere, that you just settle for grabbing food on the go or eating what’s most convenient and easy to shove in your mouth.

I recently found a new food blog that I love: Sara Adler’s  www.simplyrealthealth.com 

You can check out the Simply Real Health cookbook ($39.95) as well.

I love the philosophy behind what Sara Adler is all about—making healthy eating easy, simple and a part of your life that you do without thinking about it.  Adler is all about making the commitment to health and then making good choices to get there.  She is about community and inviting your friends and family to help you.  The recipes are great, flavorful and pretty easy.  Since you are eating “real” food, everything tastes amazing, you eat more of a variety of foods.  I’m actually looking forward to cooking now.  And you don’t have to give up the occasional cocktail.  Bonus!

Since all of the recipes in Simply Real Health are gluten-free—and I did love eating my weight in pasta—I invested in a vegetable spiralizer.  It’s so fun and easy to use.

OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Spiralizer with StrongHold Suction ($39.95):  The suction holds the device to your counter, which is really handy because it does take some muscle to make these veggie noodles.

This is my favorite veggie noodle recipe from Pinch of Yum blog, Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce. The sauce is so good—the cashews make this amazing cream sauce.  Any leftovers keep well for lunch the next day.  You’re welcome!

I’m still working on my topics for next week, so if you have any suggestions or need help with a specific area of your business, let me know and I’ll incorporate it into my next posts.

Until then, stay on your toes!

A Letter to the Competition

We’ve come to accept phrases including “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and “A rising tide lifts all ships” as standard truths.  And while these sentiments might very well be true, business is an all-out competition—one business is going to be the best, one business is going to be the worst, and a whole bunch are going to be fighting it out somewhere in the middle in various degrees of mediocrity.

Competition can either challenge you to rise to the occasion taking your business from good to great.  Or it can crush your business if you allow others in your industry to define your shortcomings.

The fitness industry is by definition competitive and since clients are always looking for the “next best thing” to improve their workouts and overall health, fitness business owners are constantly hustling to retain their membership and stay relevant.

In the book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Galdwell defines the “10,000 Hour Rule” and argues that it takes 10,000 hours of intense involvement and practice to become an “expert.”  After 5 years of being in business and owning my two Pure Barre studios, I have reached this milestone having put in over 10,000 hours of practicing, teaching, training, and operating my studios.

As I reach my expert status, as defined by Gladwell, a few competitors have entered the market and boutique fitness in general has seen tremendous growth on a national level.  Barre fitness in particular, is a growing trend and according to the American Council on Exercise, barre fitness has grown by over 177% from 2013-2016.  Am I worried?  Nope.   A letter to the competition …

 

Dear Competitors,

Thank you for having the courage to compete with my business.  It’s no small task.  It takes guts to start something new.  I know because I opened the first barre fitness studio in the area over five years ago and then I opened the second 3 years ago.  On our opening day, we had 42 brand new clients taking class.  In March 2017, we averaged 140 clients taking class every day in 2 locations.  That kind of growth didn’t happen by accident.  Much like getting fit, it was the result of committing to doing one thing over and over again, day after day, year after year.  But I’m not talking about opening the doors and teaching barre classes.

Here’s the thing that you just don’t get.  I’m not in the barre class business.  Sure, we offer the best barre class in the area (as evidenced by the number of clients purchasing packages and taking class at my studios).  But, we are actually in the client experience business.

Every morning that I wake up, I do so with the intent of providing every single person walking into my studios the best possible experience.  I have an amazing team of 20 teachers and front desk associates that is also committed to this very same ideal.  I’ll admit, sometimes we fall short of this very high standard, but what’s the point of going into business only to strive for mediocrity?  It’s about the experience and community that you build for your clients.  It’s about the pride that you have for your business and how that pride is transferred to your clients making them committed supporters of your business.

While you think we’re competing, we really aren’t.  Because every day I work to be the best in the client experience business.  Can you say the same?

I wish you best of luck.

Sincerely,

Carolyn, Owner, Pure Barre Winston-Salem & Pure Barre Clemmons

 

If you’ve experienced increased competition since opening your business.  Take a closer look.  Maybe the competition isn’t even in the same business as you.

 

I’ve been cooking a lot more and in my next post, I’ll share some of my new favorite cookbooks, healthy eating blogs and gadgets.

Until then, stay on your toes!

How I Got My Own IT Expert

We all fantasize about actually living the scene in Office Space when they take the printer out into the field and smash it with a baseball bat and give it a couple of hard kicks to crush it into teeny, tiny pieces.  PC Load Letter!  Why does it say paper jam, when there is no paper jam?!  Ahhhh!

I love working for myself and owning my own business, but being my own IT specialist is the worst.  It’s definitely not in my business budget to hire someone to take care of all of our devices and I certainly don’t have time to waste on devices that don’t function properly.  Fortunately, now I have my own Apple Business Expert, Alvin, and things are looking up!

I use just about every Apple product at the studios.  We have iMacs at each location, iPods to play our music, iPhones to reach our clients and I have a Mac Book Pro that pretty much never leaves my side.  Oh, and I just got an Apple watch.  To say that we’re all in supporting the Apple platform at Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons is an understatement.

How did Alvin come into our Pure Barre lives?  Let me tell you …

About two years ago it was time to upgrade my laptop.  So, I scheduled an appointment at the Apple Store and was excited to head over there and get my new machine.  The last time I purchased something from Apple, it was a great experience, the computer was totally set up and functional when I walked out of the store.  Unfortunately, that did not happen during this shopping experience.  The sales associate helping me got me half-set up and then just kind of left me.  I walked out of the store with a half-set up computer and a simmering rage that I was obviously going to have to come back and get help from someone else—you know, in my next few free hours.  Seriously?!

Then I got a survey asking me how my experience had gone.  Um, not that awesome.

Alvin, an Apple Business Expert, got back to me right away and asked me to set an appointment with him and he would take care of everything for me.  And he did just that.  And it was awesome.

He even helped me with some questions about iMovie and showed me how to use some features on my laptop and phone to make my life simpler.  He took the time to ask questions about how we use all of our computers and phones at the studios, made some notes and provided value about how to get more out of all the apps and features of integration.

Now all of our devices are registered and Alvin keeps track of when we might want to upgrade.  He also keeps me apprised of when new devices are coming out and how they might help with checking in clients or doing our general studio work for client retention.

I just went to get a new phone and he showed me how to save all of my desktop files from my computer onto my phone—if I’m not close to the studio, I could still pull up a file if I needed to reference while on the go.  How great is that?!

So, if you use Apple products in your business, go get yourself an Apple Business Expert and get that greater level of customer service that you need to get more effective and efficient in your business.  If you are in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area, Alvin can help you out at the Friendly Center.

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we need to give ourselves every advantage.  Hopefully this practical tip helps you be better in business!

Next week, I’ll discuss competition.  In fact, I’ll write a letter to my competition and explain why they are totally missing the mark—you won’t want to miss that read!

Until then, stay on your toes!

When Things Just Don’t Go Your Way in Business: UPDATE

I’m a firm believer in the concept that you get what you need when you need it.  After I posted about how things just weren’t going my way with my business expansion plans, I came across a quote, “Fall seven, rise eight.”  This Japanese proverb pretty much sums it up: your success is measured when you rise up against adversity or anything that is keeping you down.  As business owners, we fall down all the time.  But it’s our job to rise up one more time and move on.

Looking back on last week, this was the poetic, nice way of reminding me that I’ll eventually get to where I want to be with my business and opening a 3rd location.  And this was the punch in the face …

A few days later, I was listening to a podcast, Through Hell, with Andy Frisella, MFCEO133, March 21, 2017.  As an aside, this podcast is going into regular rotation.  MFCEO stands for Mother F*cking CEO, and I love it.  Frisella peppers his messages with f-bombs and other choice phrases.  So probably not the best idea to listen to this while you’re dropping your kids off at school, but each episode provides valuable information about working hard and building a business.  And Frisella should know how to do it because over 17 years, he created and built a $150M/year supplement company called, 1st Phorm.  And he has English Bulldogs.  Enough said.

During this hour-long podcast, Frisella talks about the struggles of being an entrepreneur and business owner and how it’s never-ending.  The problems never stop.  You might always be a little angry about how things are going with your business.  You might have massive self-doubt and second-guess your decisions or leadership.  And that’s ok.  All business owners experience these things on a daily or even hourly basis.  The point is, you have to have faith.  And then repeat.  And repeat again.  The podcast concludes with this: If you feel frustrated, it means you’re on the right track and attempting something great.  It means that you’re building something.  F*ck yeah!

While I may have fallen down momentarily, I’m back on my toes.

If I had to pick my least favorite thing about working for myself, it’s that I have to be my own IT specialist.  But things just got easier since I got my own Apple Business Consultant.  Think no lines, smart help, and devices that are fully setup when you leave the store.  And I’ll explain how you can get one to help your business in my next post.

Until then, stay on your toes!