3 Easy Tips to Encourage Creative Play in Kids!

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 15:10 PM

Creativeplay.jpgIn case you haven't noticed, kids LOVE to play! But in today's world of easily accessible electronic games and kids content on television, it can sometimes be a little bit of a challenge to get kids to do more than passively interact with a phone, game console or TV screen. And while there's certainly nothing wrong with kids spending a little time watching a program or playing an electronic game, there's many ways that kids learn social skills and other valuable developmental building blocks (such as critical thinking, problem solving and verbal skills) through playing and interacting with the world around them. Following are three tips on encouraging positive development in children through your creative play!

1. Art, Drama and Music: Kids love being creative, and what better way to help facilitate this than by sharing this throughout their day. Give opportunities for your kids to create and make art by having supplies available for them to make things out of cardboard, construction paper - or even just drawing on a chalk-board or notepad. Also, plan to take a little time making a craft or drawing a picture with your children, which they're sure to love. Kids also love playing "pretend", which can be encouraged through a box of fanciful costumes and dress-up clothes, or a simple-to-make puppet stage with stuffed animals. Not only is this another great way for them to flex that creative muscle, but pretending with other children and adults can be a great way in helping kids with social skills! As for music, have a music night where you sit with your child and listen to a particular style of music. Some other creative play ideas might be to make available for your child some simple instruments (horns made out of tubes, or drums made out of empty containers) to play along with whatever music you're listening to.

2. Building and Books: Having a bookshelf of books just for kids is a great way to help them appreciate learning on their own. A family reading time, or visits to the library or book store (where they can pick out their own books) can also be a great way to encourage kids to enjoy learning on their own. Plus, many kids love finding books that help them learn how to make a kids crafts, draw a picture of a subject that interests them, or even build something amazing out of their favorite building toy! Plus, we've also seen kids enjoy using old hard-bound books (like older encyclopedias that you can find at garage sales) to build towers, roads and houses for their action figures or stuffed animals. 

3. Positive Play when Out and About! Shopping trips don't have to be painful experiences for kids and parents alike. Use these occassions to invent fun kids games while shopping at the grocery store. For example, encourage kids to find products that all start with the letter "A", or see how many "green" items they can count. Also, kids might enjoy shopping trips a little more readily if they know that a fun stop at the local park might be included. And don't forget, many places of business love and cater to kids and their parents too - which can make running an errand not so much a chore - but a fun experience for all! For example, at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, we're more than just a hair salon - but a great place for kids to imagine and play too! Because at Shear Madness, every child matters! From our cool vehicle shaped chairs that allow children to engage in a little imaginative play through "driving" an awesome car or amazing airplane, to a great selection of cool toys and games that kids can take an up-close look at, we love being a unique place where kids and their parents can look and feel great about the time they've spent in our store! And don't forget - in addition to our fantastic haircuts and hair stylists that encourage and build kids up, we also have fun parties designed for play and positive social interaction, as well as a carefully hand-picked selection of hairbows, jewelry, hair products, educational toys and much more designed for helping kids feel great!

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Are you interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family and run your own successful small business? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about small business marketing, great marketing strategies, resources for small businesses, how to grow a small business, or how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: creativity, helping kids, kids crafts, Shear Madness Haircuts for kids, creative play, children

Affordable Customer Appreciation Ideas

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, Nov 5, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

affordablecustomerideasAre you a small business owner who is interested in cultivating happy customers, encouraging customer loyalty, and stimulating great customer growth? If so, the following are some creative small business marketing ideas you can use to show a little customer appreciation! And best of all, it doesn't cost a lot either!

Gifts from your Community: Gifts from your community are a little more personal and unique than a mass-produced trinket ordered from a catalog. Plus, it really helps out the other local small businesses in your neighborhood. Ideas might include tea, coffee, barbeque sauces, chips and salsa, jams and more!

Sending Cookies: Sending a box of cookies branded with your logo, along with a thank you note, can be a great way to show appreciation. And if you'd really like to put your best foot forward, be sure to pick gluten free cookies, or another healthy snack. Items like cookies have worked so well in the past because people will pass these out to co-workers, or take them home to family and friends. It's a nice way to get the word out about who you are!

Write a Thank You Note: People today are often overwhelmed with text messages and e-mails. This is why the hand-written thank you note is such a great way to reach out to your valued customers. The note can be written on branded stationary or a card with your logo, and include a special coupon. 

Educational Gifts: While educational gifts may at first glance sound a bit bland, many people will regardless appreciate a useful gift that helps them learn something in a fun way. The key here is to select educational books, DVD's, audiobooks and more that are interesting and timely.

Humorous Products: Everyone enjoys receiving something in the mail that brings a smile. Not only that, but it also helps convey a fun atmosphere around your business, which is especially helpful if you offer products and services to children and young people. Some ideas might include crazy sunglasses, giant foam fingers, or pencil toppers featuring funny characters. But remember: whatever you decide, make sure it's tasteful and appropriate for all ages!

Customer Spotlight: Don't miss out on opportunities to shine the spotlight on those customers who go out of their way to show their appreciation for your brand. For example, consider hosting a fun social media event where customers take photos of themselves interacting in a positive way with your product. Feature these photos on social media over the following weeks and months. 

Interested in learning how YOU can join the Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids family? We are one of the fastest growing kids hair salon franchise systems in the industry today! If you would like to learn more about how to become a successful owner of your own kids hair salon franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: franchise opportunity, Business Tips, small business how-tos, growing a small business, creativity, franchising, customer appreciation

Creating an Atmosphere of FUN in your retail store!

Posted by Matthew S on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 12:06 PM

funatmosphereCreating an atmosphere of fun in your business can go a long way in helping foster customer loyalty. And customer loyalty translates into increased sales - not only through repeat patrongage, but by your customers telling friends and family what a great experience they have at your business!

Developing a small business plan that encourages and stimulates growth in your business should be a top priority for every business owner. But in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, sometimes the little things can get overlooked. And it's the little things that can add up to either great or poor customer retention.

Following are some of our ideas on practical and creative ways a business owner / successful franchisee can maintain and stimulate customer growth and a fun atmosphere in their store! 

Pay attention to the little things: Don't bring down the atmosphere of your store through having a dirty restroom, dusty products, messy displays or cluttered counterspaces. Make sure that the store is in good repair with doors that don't annoyingly squeak, ceilings free from water spots and cob-webs, and floors that are clean and easily navigated. Also, you'll want to make sure that items and/or services have easy-to-find prices available, as it can be frustrating for a customer who may want to purchase an item but not know how much it costs. Keep an eye out for damaged products or products with beat-up packaging, as you wouldn't want your customer to have the impression that you're trying to sell them something inferior!

Decorations: In our mass-produced world, sometimes customers will appreciate visiting a business that encourages creativity and keeps things lively and interesting through the placement of seasonal decorations, artwork and other subtle personal touches. Be sure you know who your target audience is, and utilize up-to-date decorations that showcase why your business is special!

Music: Music can add a fun atsmosphere to your store, but make sure it isn't so loud that customers may feel as if they have to plug their ears. Also make sure that whatever music you have playing in the background is appropriate for your audience, and doesn't contain anything that might offend.

Happy Employees: We've all been to stores where employees behave as if inconvenienced that you've bothered to ask them a question or go through their check-out line. Make sure to help employees understand the importance of greeting their customer when they enter the store, smiling and being courteous whenever working with a customer, and wishing them a good day when they leave. And while it's important for employees to be available for any help a customer might require, being too intrusive may be a turn-off for customers (example: hovering when a customer is shopping, or asking multiple times if they need help).

Appreciate your Customers: Everyone likes to be recognized and appreciated. For those customers who repeatedly do business at your store, you may want to send them a thank you note with coupon. Hosting a "Customer Appreciation Day" once a year might also be a great idea, with the providing of live music, a raffle, pet costume contest, art contest, games for kids, and more! Be creative, and have fun!

Here at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids Franchising, we love to have FUN! We also love sharing our many great business tips and resources for small businesses so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you're interested in learning how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below!

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Topics: franchise, kids salon franchise, franchise opportunity, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, successful franchisees, small business how-tos, growing a small business, creativity, business growth, atmosphere

Creating Awesome Marketing Content!

Posted by Matthew S on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 15:05 PM

CreatingIn our earlier posts on Marketing a Children's Hair Salon and Increasing Job Satisfaction, we explored some of the ways that you can use creative marketing to help your business thrive. Now, we'd like to share some of our tips on cultivating happy customers by designing awesome marketing content for your business.

Chances are, if you've been in business for very long, or have worked for an employer for any length of time, you're probably pretty familiar with what marketing content is. But for those who might be a little new to the subject, it's really pretty simple. It's everything you would find useful in the promotion of your business - from e-blasts, e-newsletters (and traditional paper newsletters) to brochures, flyers, stickers, t-shirt designs, business cards and more.

To design interesting content we have found the following to be very helpful:

Beware of clip-art! Nothing screams unprofessional like a standard piece of clip-art. If you really want your flyer or brochure to shine, try downloading a professional illustration or photo from a stock photography site. You might have to pay a little for it, but it'll look much better than a piece of clip-art.

Beware of using multiple colors, or large blocks of color! Sometimes in the hopes of making something look eye-catching, the use of multiple clashing colors will be used excessively - or a marketing piece will have a solid color background with a more vibrant color used for the text. This can not only make your piece difficult to read, but can quickly drain the ink in your printer! Instead, try to use white backgrounds with black text. Keep colorful elements to a minimum, unless it's a photo or nice piece of artwork that pertains to your message. 

Beware of using specialty fonts! Sometimes in an attempt to make a flyer look "fun", the use of crazy fonts will be used in excess. Perhaps you've even seen some flyers out there that have large blocks of text in hard-to-read swirling fonts. Fun fonts should only be used rarely, with important information placed in easy-to-read fonts like "Times", "Optima" or "Helvetica".  Also be sure to keep in mind that if your content is for the internet or email, fonts should be compressed into your design by using a jpeg (if possible). Otherwise, the font might be automatically changed to a basic font, and your entire design is ruined.

Don't use too much artwork! Sometimes a marketing piece can have so much artwork on it that any text information gets lost. Try to keep art elements small or use white space around text to draw attention to it.

Working with Photos: Photos are a powerful tool to help a customer connect with whatever service you might be offering. For example, if it's a toy store, photos of kids shopping with parents for cool toys can be a way to show your customer that this is an experience they might have if they shop at your store. However, be sure to use up-to-date photos that clearly target the customers you are wanting to reach. If your business caters to teenagers, and you use photos of retired people, you might not get the results you're looking for! 

Working with Designers: Sometimes you may want to hire a professional graphic designer to create a piece for you. If this is the case, be sure you have a good idea about what you want. Send the designer pictures of similar pieces that you like so they have an idea what you might be thinking. The more information you provide a graphic designer, the more likely your piece will turn out the way you want. Also, don't be afraid to let the graphic designer suggest a more effective way to present the information. They have not only been trained on how to communicate through visuals, but usually are very experienced on what works and what doesn't. Use their expertise and talent to help you create something great!

In all fairness, even with the above tips - it can still be pretty tough to develop materials that look appealing and cause your customers to be excited about your brand. Not everyone has this particular skill-set. You also might not have the right equipment or computer software to develop your materials. This is why at Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids (a hair salon franchise for kids), we employ a graphic artist and social media manager. We develop great looking marketing materials for our corporate office, as well as each of our franchises. This not only helps our brand look professional, but it also helps our franchisees effectively market their business and encourage customer growth!

As Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids is one of the fastest growing kids hair salons in the industry today, we're always working hard to share our many great resources on marketing strategies, business growth, small business marketing and other great business tips so that our franchisees will have the tools to succeed! If you are interested in our other free resources for businesses, or would like to learn more about how to become a successful owner of your own franchise business, please click below or call 1-888-98 GONE MAD!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise

Topics: kids salons, Business Tips, Free Resources for Businesses, small business how-tos, marketing strategies, creativity, business growth