Shine Beauty owners Joel and Tania Turner.
Shine Beauty owners Joel and Tania Turner.

Booking engine drives growth

REAL innovation in an industry as big as beauty can be almost impossible.

Unless you are Joel and Tania Turner.

They have created what they believe is the industry's first customised online booking engine to service the customers using the four Shine Beauty salons in Southport, Chermside, Brisbane's Myer Centre and the Sunshine Plaza.

Back in the late 90s, Mr Turner was heading up successful Gold Coast advertising firm Turner Sands and Mrs Turner was a beauty therapist with a dream of owning her own salon.

The first Shine outlet opened in Southport in 1999.

Mr Turner could see the rapid advancement of the online retail revolution and found himself designing online booking engines for big franchise clients that were based on the very tools he was developing for the Shine salons.

"I sold the agency in 2007 because the dream was for me to free up my time and join Tania as she was so busy," he said.

"I had been doing the marketing and accounting anyway, but from then on, I developed tools for franchising and knuckled down to build a lot of the systems.

"I had developed all the websites and tools for Montezuma's and Donut King and I found I had been walking into boardrooms saying 'you need a reporting system that emails you every half hour with data on how your stores are performing' (for example). At the same time, I am thinking 'why don't I do this for Shine?'.

"And then in 2009 I discovered the systems were so good, we wanted to retain them and not release them to franchisees."

The salons now operate instead under appointed managers on negotiated leases.

Mr Turner is proud that he can match online booking performance with his closest rival, mylocalsalon, Australia's biggest.

"We have four salons and they have 341," he said. "I have staff do 15 minutes of data entry per night and I spend three hours each day monitoring, whereas mylocalsalon has a team of 50 development people.

"They did $35,000 last month in online bookings, and we will do $16,000 this month. We had 221 bookings in March and April whereas mylocalsalon had 248 in February and March.

"We are four times more powerful at converting and we have developed a really user-friendly website. I spent more than three years working on it, using feedback from (advertising) clients who wanted it to run faster, who wanted customers to be able to buy in three clicks and who wanted a compelling price presented to the customer so they bought quickly."

The Turners, who won the large lifestyle services award at the recent Excellence in Business Awards, have been approached for acquisition four times in the past 12 years.

"But we always end up thinking 'they are not bringing anything we really need'."

The Turners are now negotiating a fifth salon.



STAFF: 35, 40 at Christmas

SECRETS: Never give up, hold on to your dreams, don't let others turn you off, embrace concepts of innovation and entrepreneurism

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