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What is a coiffeur?

Yes, it’s a fancy name for a hairdresser (from the French, ‘coiffer’, meaning to ‘arrange the hair’), but then again, there are probably not enough words in the english dictionary (or the French one!) to describe all the services a hairdresser is required to perform.

And that’s what inspired me to come up with something fun.

G’day superstars. Oz here. I just popped in to say ‘Hi!’ to everyone in Simple Salon land. I’ve been fortunate to have had a nice long break over summer but while I was away I didn’t stop thinking about my wonderful hair-dressing friends.

While on holiday I checked Facebook once or seven-thousand times and had a bit of a chuckle at some of those ‘ironic profession pics’. You know the pics about ‘What my Mum thinks I do’ and ‘What I really do’ as a journalist, a doctor or a sound guy etc…

Well, after a couple visits with my gorgeous cutter and stylist, Charlene (at Urban Soul Salon in Doncaster), I was inspired to come up with my own version of those funny pictures. Mine is about what it’s really like in the noble and multi-faceted career of a professional hairdresser.

Hope ya’ get a laugh or two!

Oz

PS. Please feel free to share it with your friends.

Merry Christmas.

As I’m heading off on holiday next week (currently it’s a toss up between Paris and…Lake Eildon) I may not get a chance to check in again until the New Year so I wanted to take this chance to wish readers of the Simple Salon blog a big MERRY X-MASS from Oz.

“Merry Christmas from me!”

Whatever you are planning to do over the silly season, have fun, chill out and let your hair down. Next year is just around the corner and before you know it you’ll be back snippin’, teasin’ and pleasin’ happy customers one after the other.

Or will you?

Maybe 2012 is going to bring a change for you, a fresh start, or perhaps even what self-help guru’s and developmental coaches call ‘a complete paradigm shift’?

But what is a ‘paradigm’? Is it more than just a big word I have to look up to make sure I’m using it correctly? Yes. Basically ‘paradigm’ means model; how we see the world, or work, or almost anything can be seen as our paradigm for it.

So why and how should or can we change it?

Well, if how you view the world and work is working for you, and you don’t want anything different from life, then you don’t need to change. But if, on the other hand, you dream of creating a new life, one of less work, more fun and more satisfaction and inspiration then maybe it is time to change your model.

That’s were Simple Salon can help.

One of the main reasons the guys who developed our mobile salon managing software did so was to take the headache out of running a salon. By streamlining all bookings, sales, marketing updates and supplier interactions, Simple Salon leaves you, the creative force behind your solo or smallish (or biggish!) salon free to do what you do best: create.

We know there’s so many amazing cutters out there we’re even thinking of running a ‘Most Creative Cut’ of the week/month post next year, just to see some of the fabulous handiwork our creative clients are conjuring.

But if you’re not yet using Simple Salon then you won’t yet appreciate the joy which comes from having all your business in one easily accessible (and portable) place, and of the freedom to be more creative this fosters. For you perhaps the easiest ‘paradigm’ shift to make is to simply give Simple Salon a try. You might be surprised by how a simple, clear system for keeping track of accounts and bookings can invigorate your business.

On the other hand, if you ARE already a happy Simple Salon user, maybe it’s time to take it to the next level. With the extra time and mental space using Simple Salon gives you why not start visualizing the next step for your business. The holiday period is the perfect time to free-associate and dream big about what the coming year might bring.

If you agree with me (and Shakti Gawan, Dr Wayne Dyer, Oprah etc…) that what you concentrate on expands, what are you going to concentrate on in 2012? What are you going to magically manifest through affirmations of thought?

And you can forget New Years Resolutions, I’m talking about having a vision you can stick to. In fact why don’t you stick your vision up somewhere you can see it.

With that in mind my present to you is this little Christmassy tree jpeg below. You might like to print it off and decorate it with whatever affirmation—whether a word or a picture (you might stick David Beckham in the middle)—you wish to attract into your life in 2012.

Here’s your tree (aka The Tree of Boundless Wishes and Endless Abundance).

Here’s some examples of what you might write inside:

In 2012…

“I have more clients than ever before.”

“My business is thriving in new and unexpected ways.”

“I paid cash for my Porsche.”

Now I don’t know what car you might personally prefer or if you even care about such things as fancy wheels to cruise to your new beach house in, but whatever you want to spend your wealth on, Simple Salon will be there to manage your growing business. Every step of the way.

Even while we’re all on holiday.

PS. Weenie says ‘Merry Christmas’ too. He also asked me to tell you that however he might have been portrayed by me in my previous post, he’s not really a prude at all.

I’ll admit it.

Occasionally I’m guilty of a common workplace crime.

Sometimes when I’m at work, playing around on the net, I look at stuff I shouldn’t. Not just Facebook either. Sometimes I google ‘seven day crash diets’. Other times I type ‘cheap holiday to Paris’ into the search engine hoping I get a last minute deal for the price of a Croissant.

I thought everyone does a bit of occasional curiosity surfing but maybe I was wrong? At work in the Simple Salon office the other day my co-worker Weenie and I got into a bit of an argument. It seemed Weenie (our number one technical computer guy: AKA ‘propellerhead’) didn’t approve of what he spotted (over my shoulder) in my browser:

Sexpo.

As I tried to explain to Sergeant Weenie of the fun police I was actually doing ‘research for work’. Since ‘Sexpo’ (described online as a ‘sexuality lifestyle’ expo) was happening soon I was intrigued about who would be doing the sexy special guests hair. My thinking was: surely we had a client in their somewhere?

“Our clients are more sophisticated than that, Oz,” said Weenie. “I don’t think anybody will be using Simple Salon at Sexpo. Our software’s got nothing to do with sex.”

“What are you talking about? Since when doesn’t hair have anything to do with sex? Why do you think we go to the hairdressers in the first place, Weenie? To get sexy. We all want to look our best for the opposite sex. A good stylist can do wonders for anyone’s sex life.”

“But, you know, why have you got to bring this dirty website into our office. We’re not all as liberally minded as you, Oz.”

“It’s not that bad, Weenie,” I said. “Don’t be such a prude.”

“I’m not a prude but I am fascinated to hear what a sex show has to do with Simple Salon.”

“It’ll be my pleasure to tell you,” I said picking up my iPad and heading outside. In the sunshine I found a nearby bench with a little shade and fired up Simple Salon on my lap, waiting for Weenie to join me.

When he did, there, outside our ergonomically friendly yet occasionally mind-dulling office, I made it crystal clear for poor Weenie. I showed him by example how Simple Salon can be used on the go—anywhere there’s WiFi internet connection—to run your hairdressing business with flexibility and ease.

In a café (while sipping a much needed latté), in a sandwich bar (while fuelling with a wholemeal salad roll) or in any other place where a frazzled hairdresser might go to take five and refocus, you can always have Simple Salon with you on your iPad.

I pointed out to Weenie how if we did happen to have any Simple Salon clients styling the ‘Adult Professionals’ at Sexpo, which ever dressing room they were allocated, or wherever they found themselves having to set up shop, they’d have all the benefits of their favourite hairdressing salon software at their tint-stained fingers.

“You’re not telling me anything I don’t know, Oz. I know this program back to front, upside down and sideways.”

“What about diagonal?” I said. Weenie frowned.

“Why don’t I tell YOU how our clients can use Simple Salon at the Sexpo?”

“Okay, sure.”

“They could manage multiple bookings and see at a glance when their next availability is,” said Weenie, citing two of the countless benefits of running Simple Salon on an iPad.

“They could even take a coffee break and email digital receipts while they do,” I added.

“Yes they can, Oz,” said Weenie. “Simple Salon users can also send client reminders from their iPad.”

“Wow!” I said clicking off my iPad. “You know more about how to use this thing with Simple Salon than me.”

“I hope I do,” said Weenie proudly. “I spend every day making sure our software runs smooth, sleek and sexy—especially on iPads.”

“Sexy, hey?”

“Software can be sexy. How do you think all those dating sites work?”

“What do you know about dating sites?” I asked. Weenie jumped up. I think I might have offended him.

“I’m not talking about my sex-life with you, Oz. We’re colleagues and I find it highly inappropriate.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way Weenie.”

“Well, I do. Now I’m going back inside to work,” he said pointing to my iPad in my lap. “You should too.”

Weenie walked off and with the sun still shining I swiped-on my iPad and did as he suggested: I got back to work, typing in my next google search:

‘Funny Weenies’.

You should have seen what that brought up!

It’s that time of the year again.

No, I’m not talking about the time we start rolling our eyes at how early Christmas decorations are out, or the time we think about what suit or dress we’re going to wear to the Melbourne Cup (and which one is the most grass-, champagne-, drunken-bodily-fluids-of-late-afternoon-emission-stain resistant). I’m talking about the time of year we emerge from our wintery cocoon and cast off the soft and hard protective shells that have kept us warm. It’s Spring and it’s a great season for cleaning out all kinds of stuff, especially out-of-fashion wardrobes.

This is the time to start anew.

To make way for a new wardrobe you’ve got to make some space and the only way to do that is to let go of things you don’t need anymore. Whether it’s that pair of broken heeled Jimmy Choo’s you stumbled home from last year’s Cup in or, as in my case (and like many who haven’t lived in Melbourne all their lives and have never been to Flemington for the big race day), a ‘vintage’ safari-suit picked up for a bargain at a trendy Op-shop, some stuff simply needs to go.

Now, as much as I might procrastinate about it, when I do finally get around to chucking out clothes I haven’t worn in years it feels great. There’s nothing like taking a big bag of old socks, slogan-T-Shirts and tracky-dacks (‘sweatpants’—for American visitors to this blog) down to the local clothes bin and giving them away for good. Then you can go shopping safe in the knowledge there’s plenty of room in the wardrobe for whatever takes your fancy.

To make way for the new you’ve got to get rid of the old.

In the Simple Salon office this morning, and after spending the whole weekend with my head in the closet debating about what fashions were about to make a return (and deciding I could probably let go of that old safari suit), I was sharing aloud about my seasonal obsession with efficient use of space when one of the tech guys in our office piped up saying how it’s just like what we do at Simple Salon.

“Really?” I enquired disbelievingly. “We hoard jeans that don’t fit us anymore then spontaneously give them all away to The Salvation Army?” My co-worker, one of our technical specialists (read ‘propeller heads’) who, without wishing to offend anyone and for the sake of this post I’ll simply call ‘Weenie’, spun in his swivel chair and stared at me blankly.

“No, Oz—I was speaking metaphorically. Us computer geeks aren’t always literal you know. Even if most of us prefer working with numbers and bits and bytes you’re not the only one who likes to play with words too.”

“Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you with my facetiousness. What did you mean?” Weenie looked at me suspiciously before pushing away from his desk and scooting his ergonomically superior chair over by my side.

“It’s like this,” he said excitedly. “You know the way we used to have to put an application or program onto each of our computers, with CD’s and codes and lots of mucking about, then update it whenever there was the slightest change to that program—and how that took a lot of time and effort and still you could never be sure every computer in the office had the latest version of the software?”

“Yes,” I answered simply, not wanting to upset Weenie or derail his enthusiastic explanation about how Simple Salon is like a spring-clean for hairdressing salons.

“Well, that’s what we’ve done by using cloud technology for Simple Salon. Instead of clogging up everyone’s computer with quickly out of date and obsolete programs all that users of Simple Salon need is an internet connection. Then from any computer, smart phone or tablet anyone can use our ‘program’ knowing they are using the latest and most efficent version. Because we are a cloud based service, there’s no need for clients to worry since whenever we do an update it is immediately available to every single Simple Salon user. They are always using the latest version.”

“So,” I said nodding my head and getting carried along by Weenie’s somewhat manic energy, “you mean because the application is hosted on servers outside of the salon, and we make sure that application is always running the latest version, our clients don’t have to worry about ever updating anything? They’re always up with the latest fashion?”

“Exactly,” said Weenie, “that’s what ‘cloud’ technology is.” Weenie struggled to hide his now exasperated tone. Derr. “It’s a simple, more efficient and cleaner way to work. What’s more, unlike when you have a program loaded and running on a computer, you don’t have any danger of losing your crucial files should there by a fire or theft or anything else that would otherwise cause you to lose everything.”

By now I was pretty sure I knew what Weenie was going on about.

“It’s like if I kept all my clothes in a bomb-shelter in a high-security storage facility instead of my house,” I offered. “Whatever happens to my wardrobe at home, all my highly fashionable clothing items kept outside my home will be safe from damage.”

Weenie looked at me as if I was an impossible to comprehend newly discovered life-form.

“We don’t make bomb-shelters, Oz. We make secure, cloud-based software to help hairdressers manage and grow their business in the most efficient and fun way possible.”

“Right,” I said. “I think I get it.” Weenie shrugged his shoulders as if he was past caring whether I understood or not—he’d done his best to explain. As he got back to work defraging his hard-drive (not a sexual act—though his moans and groans indicated otherwise) I had one more question for old Weenie.

“By the way,” I said. “Would you be interested in a collector’s item I’m giving away.”

“Sure,” said Weenie without looking up from his Motherboard mistress. “What is it?”

I smiled, happy now in my understanding of our ‘cloud’ based product as ‘software as a service’ and also how I had a half empty wardrobe at home waiting to be filled with brand new clothes.

“A safari suit,” I said. “Think of it as an early Christmas present from me to you.”

Weenie stopped working.

“Wow! A safari suit. Thanks, Oz.”

“No Weenie—thank you. Thanks Weenie.”

Hello and welcome to the new Simple Salon blog.

My name is Oz. If you think that sounds like a nickname that’s ‘cause it is. I never had one in high-school but when I started working with the imaginative team at Simple Salon all that changed. I’m not sure exactly who came up with it but one day I returned to my desk from the tearoom and found a sticky note on my keyboard with the anonymous message: “Welcome back Oz!”

My co-workers are such jokers!

But where does ‘Oz’ come from?

I’m glad you asked. And, I promise to reveal all sometime in the near future. What I will say now is I do what my name does: I make long things short.

Oz is short for something long.

Spending my days surrounded by technically minded computer geeks, happy to sit in front of their computers all day (spinning propellers on their hard hats), lately I’ve found myself becoming overloaded with computer talk.

If it isn’t one techy boasting about his ‘Ad Hoc Network’ it’s another upping him with his ‘Active Matrix’. When I heard mention the other day of a ‘Boot Sequence’ (and knowing the term wasn’t being used to describe a shoe shopping expedition—or a scene from a ‘70s disco flick) I wondered what normal people would think of all this tech talk.

“Hey guys,” I said, “maybe we need to think about taking the mystery out of all this ‘load balancing’ and ‘latency’ lingo. I reckon our Simple Salon clients would really appreciate some straight talking de-mystification.”

As the propeller heads stared blankly at my epiphanic revelation I realized I’d been bombarded by their ‘batch process’ babbling for too long. I was turning into one of them! I’d made something simple sound complex—exactly what I was trying not to do!

So, I tried again.

“I want to make computer stuff sound simple.”

This time they seemed to get me. Though they doubted I would succeed.

“Good luck!” said one of our developers, before proceeding to take the back off his hard-drive with the excitement of a fourteen-year-old boy set free in the Adult section of a newsagency.

These tech guys really love their hard drives!

But it’s a good thing they do. Without their expertise I wouldn’t have a job, and, thousands of hairdressers wouldn’t have the time-saving, money-making benefits of the Simple Salon software.

We need each other, sure, but we don’t need to make things more complicated than they need to be.

And in these posts I’m doing something about that. Here, the needs and challenges of hairdressers using Simple Salon are our first priority. A close second is to have some fun with, and offer a unique perspective on, the Simple Salon community.

And this community is rapidly expanding.

So, if you don’t really care what the difference between a ‘yottabyte’ and a ‘yobibyte’ is, and you’re keen to know how easy this computer stuff can be, drop by and have a quick read of my tips and summaries about all the latest developments with Simple Salon.

See you again soon.

Ciao for now,

Oz

P.S. Check back next time for a fun post about what makes ‘cloud’ technology so cool.

P.S.S. A ‘yotta’-byte is the largest unit of measurement for computer data; a ‘yobi’-byte wears moccasins to the pub.

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