Are you using app technology for client scheduling and credit card processing? PocketSuite, a client-service smartphone app for service professionals, can help with that, increasing earnings for businesses an average of 30%. In this episode of ASCP Esty Talk, Maggie talks with Chinwe Onyeagoro, the CEO and Co-Founder of PocketSuite, about how the app can help estheticians elevate their practice.
ASCP Esty Talk with hosts Ella Cressman and Maggie Staszcuk
Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast, hosted by licensed estheticians, Ella Cressman, ASCP Skin Deep Magazine contributor and Maggie Staszcuk, ASCP Education Specialist. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.
About Ella Cressman:
Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, ingredient junkie and esthetic cheerleader! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.
In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several successful skin care brands.
Connect with Ella Cressman:
About Maggie Staszcuk:
Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry, and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Cosmetology Education Manager.
Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:
P 800.789.0411 EXT 1636
About our Sponsors
Founded by botanical visionary Danné Montague-King, DMK is the World Leader in Paramedical Skin Revision™. Our revolutionary concept of REMOVE. REBUILD. PROTECT. MAINTAIN.® aims to match an individual’s biochemistry with the appropriate skin therapy. DMK believes that the origin of most skin conditions is a result of disharmony within the skin. Using the principles of biochemistry, DMK has formulated a range of Enzymatic Treatments and Home Prescriptives that encourage the skin to return to its most balanced and healthy state. For skin care professionals whose business depends on generating long-lasting clinically-proven results, DMK’s education-first approach has become essential. Hundreds of salons, spas, and even industry experts have recognized the effectiveness of the DMK concept, witnessed by thousands of people worldwide whose lives have been changed forever.
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About Face Reality:
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions across all ages, and with countless one-size-fits-all products that don’t work, people with acne are in desperate need of trained Acne Experts to help them get long-term results. Face Reality Skincare, 3-time winner of Best Acne Line in ASCP’s Skin Deep Reader’s Choice Awards, offers estheticians the most comprehensive online acne training available to learn how to identify and treat even the most stubborn acne cases using Face Reality’s holistic treatment protocol.
Once you become a Certified Acne Expert, you’ll unlock access to continued education, protocol support, marketing, and helpful tools to grow your business. Whether you have clients dealing with occasional breakouts or severe acne, Face Reality has a game plan for you.
Connect with Face Reality:
About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.
Connect with ASCP:
0:00:00.5 Maggie Staszcuk: DMK is the world leader in paramedical skin revision education with certification programs designed to give licensed professionals a thorough understanding of the skin and an in-depth study of the DMK concept of remove, rebuild, protect, maintain. Created by the botanical visionary Danné Montague-King, DMK offers skin revision training and education for all ages, skin conditions and ethnicities in more than 35 countries, harnessing the body's innate healing mechanisms to change the health of the skin. Learn more @dannemking.com. That's D-A-N-N-E-M-K-I-N-G.com.
0:00:48.6 MS: Do you wanna give your clients clear glowing skin for good? Look no further than Face Reality Skincare. Three time winner of best acne line in ASCP's Skin Deep Readers' Choice Awards. As the number one professional acne brand, Face Reality offers aestheticians the most comprehensive online acne training to learn how to identify and treat even the most stubborn acne cases. Learn to use Face Reality's holistic treatment protocol, which includes in-clinic treatment, customized home care, and lifestyle guidance. Visit pros.facerealityskincare.com today to get started.
0:01:43.1 MS: Hello and welcome to ASCP's Esty Talk where no topic is off limits. We share all kinds of great information on this podcast, from ingredients and the science of the skin to business and beauty diversity. We hope you come away having learned more about your career, the industry, and maybe even life in general. I'm Maggie Staszcuk, ASCP's Cosmetology Education Manager, and joining me today is Chinwe Onyeagoro, the CEO and Founder of PocketSuite, a client service smartphone app for service professionals, where Chinwe is responsible for growth, strategic partnerships, and customer success. Hello, Chinwe.
0:02:19.8 Chinwe Onyeagoro: Hi Maggie. So happy to be here with you today.
0:02:22.6 MS: I'm glad you were able to join us. So Chinwe, tell us a little bit about you and what inspired you to co-found PocketSuite, which helps so many solo small businesses run and grow.
0:02:33.0 CO: Well, thank you. So I'm actually a recovering management consultant. I used to work for McKenzie and Company and they work with very, very large companies doing great work, but as just when I think back to my earliest days, I was just... I was really obsessed with business, business plans, coming up with ideas. We would have lemonade stands, babysitter clubs, and I would always be writing the business plan for the next lemonade stand. And so I was really excited about how do you help folks work for themselves, grow, really sort of just earn a living off the sweat of their own brow? And that never went away. So I did the stints in corporate, but I was always pulling the thread of, how do I get back to working with small businesses?
0:03:22.0 CO: So one of the things I did after leaving consultant is I started raising money for small businesses and I was looking at primarily solopreneurs and really small businesses and helping them raise money for growth. And I raised about $100 million in capital for small businesses, and in doing that, I looked under the hood and saw that in many cases, many of these small businesses weren't collecting their payments and income on time from clients, and that's really why they were raising money, not really for growth. And I said, "Gosh, I think we can solve that problem. I think there's a better mousetrap to be able to deliver great services for sure, but also be able to be paid for the services that you're delivering." And that was the genesis, the earliest stages of PocketSuite.
0:04:09.5 MS: So you also write a column for Entrepreneur Magazine called the Six Figure Solopreneur World, and it is the goal, I think of so many aestheticians to become a solopreneur. And there's actually a lot of resources out there talking about how do aestheticians become a six figure earner, and I'm sure they're curious where your passion for solo business ownership comes from.
0:04:33.7 CO: Yeah, so pretty much everyone in the second generation in my family is an entrepreneur, and so I grew up hearing stories about what it was like to basically come up with an idea and go out there and pitch it and sink or swim, to feel just a sense of accomplishment. And so that was the early stages, and as I moved forward, I really was excited to just dig in to say, "What's the difference between someone who really makes it and those who end up having to maybe go and work for someone else." And what was very clear is cash flow was the key, and really managing that cash flow, and not just the spikes, the feast or famine, but really a sustainable healthy level of income week over week, month over month. And so I've been obsessed with figuring out how do you help every solopreneur do that, and at the highest possible levels, like six figures? And that's what I think PocketSuite has really kind of created a sweet spot around.
0:05:40.5 MS: So tell us about PocketSuite. Specifically, what is it, what does it do? How can it help practicing aestheticians?
0:05:47.4 CO: So we like to call it the Iron Man suit for solopreneurs. It really helps solopreneurs get all of the administrative work that you typically need to do in terms of onboarding your clients, in terms of managing their scheduling, their payments. It really streamlines that for you and it puts it all in one place. Historically, we've seen aestheticians, folks in beauty, using three to five different apps, using iCalendar or Google Calendar for scheduling, using Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, you name it for payments, and then using a host of other tools for contracts and intake forms or even pen and paper, God forbid, right? And juggling a lot. That's in addition to providing these awesome services and really transforming people inside and out. That's a lot. And what we've seen is the typical aesthetician has about 30 touches with their clients. Even before that client gets into your seat or gets into your salon or spa, 30 touches. And then from there, if they become a repeat client, you're adding another 50-70 touches just in terms of back and forth. "Oh, don't have that intake form yet. Can you sign this waiver?" All sorts of touches.
0:07:11.5 CO: And so the thought is, keeping all of those touches in your head when you have just three clients? No problem. You can do it and you're excited about it. Every touch is a new experience, a new thrill. When you have 20-30 clients, the numbers start to get big and things start to fall through the cracks. And you wanna give every client that consistent experience, that delightful experience every single time. And that's really where technology has an advantage. It can help you do that in a rules-based, routinized, consistent way, and that's really what PocketSuite is all about is helping you do it right when they're booking you for the first time all the way through they're scheduling another appointment or buying a package from you or becoming a member.
0:07:55.4 MS: Yeah. That is amazing. That's what aestheticians need, right? It's so easy and it's there for you. So for aestheticians who aren't already using a scheduling and payment app software, how can using ASCP PocketSuite signature edition potentially improve their practice?
0:08:11.4 CO: I'm gonna give you two stories. One story is of a story of someone who's just coming out of cosmetology school. You've gotten your license, you're super excited about going out on your own. And then a story of someone who is an existing, more mature business that maybe hasn't been using tools, but can accelerate through that. So someone who is just coming out of cosmetology school, you've got so many questions swirling around in your head. "What services should I offer? How should I price them? What kind of frequency should I be following up with folks? Where do I get clients?" ASCP has really thought through all of these things for you so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. They've curated a set of business settings, everything from, here are the suggested services in terms of facials and in terms of lashes, if you're focused in that area, in terms of waxing.
0:08:57.1 CO: And so they've itemized every kind of service that you might wanna provide and deciding is really the gift they give you. So you can just scroll through that curated set of defaults and just tap, tap, tap and add those defaults to your account. That's magical versus having to Google and search and post on Facebook groups, "Can someone help me?" They've done it, they've done the heavy lifting for you already. So it takes what would have otherwise been a three-month, six-month research inquiry and it translates into 15-30 minutes to get your account set up with all the right defaults so you can actually start getting scheduled, booked and paid really within minutes. So that's the, I think, the advantage for someone who's coming right out and starting new.
0:09:43.4 CO: For someone who has already been around the block, you've got a client base and you're really just trying to up-level, take things to the next level, really what the ASCP edition does is it provides that professional veneer. So you come in, we can import the existing services, we can import your contracts and forms if you don't wanna use some of the curated defaults that ASCP has created for you. Oh, but you might be missing, "Oh, gosh, I don't have that COVID waiver. I'm gonna add that and use my existing form." So you can kind of mix and match depending on what you already have that you're super excited about and happy with and those things that, "I've been missing them and I've been meaning to fill in these gaps and now ASCP has done it for me." That's one.
0:10:25.5 CO: Two is, you get issued immediately a booking site. So overnight instead of someone DM'ing you in Facebook or Instagram saying, "Hey, do you have an appointment open?" or text messaging you, they actually have access to your link on Instagram. You can text them your link and they can see your services, they can see your calendar and your availability, your real-time availability, because it provides a calendar syncing option. So if you are already booked, they won't see it, but they can immediately self-book you whether it's 2:00 PM in the afternoon or 2:00 AM at night when they're thinking, "Gosh, I've gotta schedule that appointment." So it really provides that professional veneer. They also provide you a premium business line so you're in a position to have access to a business line that separates your personal calls and personal texts from those that might be coming from clients. So those are some of the examples of things that are coming out of the box in the ASCP edition that just take your business and your practice to the next level.
0:11:26.0 MS: Yeah, that really stands out for me. PocketSuite elevates your practice, right? And it just makes it so easy. So what if a listener is saying to themselves, "This is all great, but I'm technologically challenged. This seems complicated?"
0:11:39.9 CO: I hear you, and I will say that literally 80% of the pros that are on PocketSuite, they were not previously using a scheduling tool before. They were just using their iPhone or their Android phone. We have designed PocketSuite for that user. So our calendar looks just like the Google Calendar. So if you know how to use that calendar, you'll know how to use our calendar. The entire app was a mobile first app, so it was designed based on the mobile phone, although we do have desktop. It is really user-friendly, it's intended to be intuitive, and we really have seen when folks come on board, they'll say, "Wow, this is really easy," and they're able to do things much quicker than when they're doing things on their own whether it's with pen and paper or with a Google Doc. So that's one.
0:12:28.4 CO: Two is, we provide a lot of support. We have seven day a week support where you can text message any question from the sublime to the silly and we will respond. And we like to say in support that we are your greatest cheerleader, we can be a coach and we're also your tech support. So we're three in one. And then, of course, we have an awesome onboarding team that if you've got a big business or already quite a bit of volume in clients and you're like, "Hey, I'm gonna need some help with this 'cause I actually don't have time to make the switch and be running my business," we actually have a team that can actually help transfer your data for you. So we are solving for all occasions and really all tech literacy levels.
0:13:11.6 MS: Yeah. And you mentioned transferring. So your team makes it very easy and smooth.
0:13:18.2 CO: Yeah. So we've created FAQs, so if you're transferring from really any existing booking provider, we've got an FAQ for it, and if you don't see one, we'll create one. So just let us know. And it's simple, simple. It shows you exactly where to export your data from that provider and then you just email it to a specific email address, firstname.lastname@example.org and we take it from there. It's in your account within 24 to 36 hours. We message you and the fun begins.
0:13:45.5 MS: Chinwe, it has been a pleasure chatting with you today and thank you for sharing your expertise with all of us. For more information on the free ASCP edition of PocketSuite or to learn more about ASCP, check out our website at ascpskincare.com.
0:14:00.8 CO: Thank you so much, Maggie. This partnership has been tremendous for us with ASCP. We're super excited to be partnering with you and welcoming the ASCP community.
0:14:08.5 MS: Thank you, Chinwe