We are proud to announce that Nick Arrojo has landed the August cover of Salon Today! The August issue, dedicated to technology, highlights Nick's ongoing partnership with STX, a salon management software, to increase revenue and streamline its systems. 
For more than a decade, Arrojo Studios has served as a test-market salon for STX, most recently piloting STX's online booking and cloud-based software.
Nuala Guildea, our salon manager, says using STX in the past decade has been key in customizing systems in order to become a more efficient business. “When we first started with them, there were certain reports Nick wanted to see,” Guildea says. “STX was always open to listening and customizing. And as the business grew, they were willing to grow with him.” 
An e-mail and marketing component to the software also set STX apart. “We didn’t have to go get a separate salon marketing software because the e-mail was already integrated,” she says. “They have always been innovative and ahead of the curve.” 
But it was the customization of reports that was the game changer for Arrojo salons—one report in particular. “Our sales analysis overview report is a snapshot of the year to date,” Guildea explains. “It’s the biggest report we use to communicate with staff on what they are doing. We pull it daily, monthly, yearly.”
When Arrojo took his idea for the report and priority system to STX, they got to work on creating a software that would allow him to track these metrics daily, weekly and yearly in the sales analysis overview report.  
“It allows me to see the success of each salon and stylist within the salon at the press of a button, and also promotes a sense of friendly competition among the team, which further helps to encourage growth,” Arrojo says. “The ability to track daily stats in the sales analysis overview report allows me to check on the health of my business in real time.”
Jeff Mason, president of STX, says the system they set up for Arrojo salons doesn’t just benefit Arrojo, it’s also designed for Arrojo employees to get the maximum mileage out of it. “In our industry, individuals are creative and need a better/easier way to track individual goals,” he says. “If I talk to a hairdresser or colorist and tell them to increase service dollars by x percent, it goes over their heads. They aren’t used to looking at a spreadsheet.”
To combat this, the software is set up to track daily goals on a score board. So if a stylist needs to sell $20 in retail that day, they have a simple bar graph to look at with red, yellow and green. They’re behind if it’s red, ahead if it’s green. 
Putting Programs into Practice
Over the years, Arrojo has piloted a few programs for STX, helping the software company work out kinks while enjoying the benefits of new technology. One of these was a customized rewards program created within STX for Arrojo salons.
“Nick does so much volume and wanted the guests to feel special and rewarded,” Mason says. For example, they can offer a free bottle of shampoo if a customer spends x amount of dollars.” 
“We can customize our payroll down to the nth degree, including setting up individual employees in specific ways,” she says. “We run a totals sheet every night to make sure we’re on point with cash/credit cards—it’s very simple for accountants to work from,” she adds. 
Reports for new clients, purchase ordering and inventory and client retention are also customizable and easy to use.
In the Clouds
More recently, Arrojo Studios have piloted online booking and cloud-based software for STX. Again, the online booking was customized to how Arrojo does business. 
“The salons are departmentalized, and Nick’s cutters book at 45-minute intervals,” Mason explains. “So if a stylist starts at 9 a.m., a client can book at 9 a.m., 9:45 a.m, 10:30 a.m., etc. 
When STX wrote the software, they made it so clients can only book on that algorithm, avoiding human error.  “Customizing those intervals was a collaboration between us and Nick, but plenty of owners want clients to be able to book anytime—and we can do that in our software, too,” Mason says. “You can be very specific with your preferences or be wide open.” 
“From appointment scheduling to inventory management, payroll and client tracking, goal setting and more, it is really the breadth and depth of a management software that stands out for me,” Arrojo says. “They allow my management team to present key stats and trends quickly and efficiently, so I can dive into the heart of what’s going on in my business with a minimum of fuss.”
You can also read the full article online or via the Salon Today printed August issue.