From spearheading an innovative, socially-distanced event with Lanterra Developments, embracing digital transformation through platforms like SaleFish, instilling customer confidence through new safety guidelines like Fusion Homes, or harnessing the power of philanthropy like Lifetime Developments, we’re proud to work with our clients as they pivot their business strategies to come out stronger than ever during these evolving times.
Our top three tips to help navigate a business in this landscape are to embracedigital transformation, instil consumer confidence, and use all the tools in your brand toolbox. It’s not the time to stay silent on social media – being authentic and genuine with your audience will go a long way!
Coordinating an event amidst a pandemic isn’t easy. The regulations and safety measures that need to be accounted for are greater, now, more than ever…which is why Lanterra‘s “Tour de Toronto: Cycle for a Cure” was one for the books! Our team is so grateful to have worked beside Lanterra to pull together a one-of-a-kind event that raised money for the Canadian Cancer Society and showcased Lanterra’s newest developments in an incredibly innovative way.
On August 12, Lanterra became the first developer to hold a fundraiser via live stream – with a bikeathon! The event was designed to help agents, purchasers and business associates in the city explore the newly-expanded urban bike routes that surround Lanterra’s real estate developments. Starting at Notting Hill Condos and finishing all the way down at No.31 Condos, the event was a huge success from start to finish. President and CEO of Lanterra, Barry Fenton, was proud to dedicate this bikeathon to the late Barbara Nash Fenton, his beloved wife who passed in 2017 after fighting a brave battle with cancer.
Hosted by none other than Maurie and Shem from KiSS 92.5 and emcee’d by our friend and media personality, Taylor Kaye, the energy could be felt across the city. We were even joined by the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory! The audience was kept engaged with exciting giveaways and performances by Sole Power, followed by a celebration in the Distillery District (with the BEST food truck options)!
With social distancing, safety and everyone’s wellness top-of-mind, it was a new take on event planning for our team!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to launch Beauty Besty?
Beauty Besty is the product of my passion, education and experience of 14+ years in the beauty industry. I have had the privilege of working in some of the most sought-after hair salons in Bloor West Village, Yorkville and Forest Hill before opening my own mobile hair business in 2011. Back then, we did not have the digital means to connect and engage with clients the way we do now, so it was tricky! I recognized a void in the market for a platform designed to empower beauty pros to focus on what they love to do, which is connecting with clients. Beauty Besty is an all-in-one beauty app connecting independent beauty professionals and consumers/clients. As a business tool, it streamlines all the business needs in one convenient place for professionals. Beauty pros can effectively manage client communication, streamline scheduling, industry referrals, self-promotional marketing, billing/payments, bookkeeping while really shining for who THEY are, with our custom profile feature. Beauty Besty supports all beauty business models from home/on-demand, brick-and-mortar, home based salons, chair rentals, etc. Industry colleagues, wedding planners, photographers, etc. can also use this app to book artists. It really is a way to give your clients a booking experience and turn leads you may get on social media into sales. Beauty Besty is subscription based and lets beauty pros keep 100% of their sales earnings. Beauty professionals use our app as a way to run and grow their entire business or as a complementary effort to their marketing.
What differentiates Beauty Besty from other beauty apps in the market?
Beauty Besty is the first beauty business tool that is a public app. For less than $1.40 per day beauty professionals can consolidate their business needs while engaging with their current clients, but also reach new consumers who can browse professionals’ profiles on the app . Beauty Besty is the only beauty app on the market that empowers independent beauty professionals, having a custom profile which spotlights their beauty business and artist for their portfolio, independent working scheduling, individualized pricing, promotional ad banners, services, and service description/instructions, biography and so much more. As well, to date we are the only beauty app worldwide with a built in-app GPS for mobile beauty professionals. This makes it convenient to stay connected while your beauty professional is en route, and convenient to “send” beauty to a loved one. As a company, Beauty Besty offers unlimited 1:1 online training to ensure the comfort of every beauty professional. We are the only beauty app on the market which allows the consumer to hand pick their beauty professional, rather than just booking for a service. With our endless features, I really feel we embody the best aspects of every “business tool” you would want to empower your beauty business.
In the time of COVID-19, how is Beauty Besty supporting beauty professionals in the industry?
Our goal will always be to empower and support beauty professionals – we continue to stand with our beloved beauty industry more than ever during this time. As a start-up company, we have waived all fees during quarantine for the beauty businesses who currently use our app. As well, we are offering 3-month free memberships to all Ontario beauty professionals who register their beauty business by April 30th. All free memberships will kick-off post-quarantine and in the meantime, Beauty Besty is creating profiles and offering 1:1 online training to ensure all beauty professionals are ready on the app once we are back to work. We continue to make an active effort to engage with our beauty industry we have been posting blog features regularly which support beauty professionals and offer words of enlightenment, encouragement and support during this time #beautybestytogether. In addition, on April 9th, I hosted a free masterclass open to all beauty professionals which was a great success! The Mobile Masterclass was curated to inspire, educate and empower beauty professionals on ways to pivot not pause amidst these times as well as offer insight to the daily life of a “mobile beauty professional” including how to ensure your beauty kit and tools are ergonomical.
If a customer has never used a mobile beauty platform before for their service, what can they expect when their beauty pro arrives at their house? (i.e. is there anything a customer can do to prepare?)
All of the beauty professionals on the Beauty Besty app are independent business owners, as such they all have their own experience. This is one reason why we are so proud of our customer Beauty Besty professional profiles. Here, you’ll be able to discover beauty pros but also find all service details and instructions before booking. Have any specific questions? Use our built-in app chat system to text inspiration photos or ask questions with your beauty professional!
For when we’re out of COVID-19 physical distancing measures, what advice would you give to beauty professionals who are considering working mobile for the first time?
Like any business, you need a plan! Knowing that YOU are the reason your clients love you and adopting a motivational mindset that you already are your own boss. Your brand, your craft, your personality, your skill are all reasons why your clients chose you. You are your own brand. How you translate that brand into a business plan is crucial. Ensure you organize yourself so you can provide professionalism without compromising quality. Using products that reflect your pricing, having an organized set up and cleanup is key! Be realistic with your pricing. Don’t compare your mobile business model to that of a brick-and-mortar because they really are so different.
Adopt a pricing recipe that takes your time, travel, supplies into consideration. More than not, it will be in line with what you charged at the salon if you were making the industry standard 60/40 split. I used to get asked if I missed all of the excitement at the salon. The truth is going somewhere different every day is just as exciting, if not more. As an entrepreneur of any business, it is important to value your time. Having a tool like Beauty Besty which promotes prepaid appointments with a cancelation policy values your time but also takes away any intimidation from being your “own salon receptionist.” As well, allows you to have clients pre-book your next appointment prior to you leaving.
This #FeelGoodFriday ✨, we’ve rounded up some of the impactful initiatives that our clients have taken on to make a positive change in the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each initiative is unique, supporting the growth of their own industry and community in a special way…❤️
We hope these initiatives inspire you to make a positive change – big or small – in the world today.
XO Team NKPR
Bloor-Yorkville is remaining in touch with their community by making many of their stores, restaurants, and services accessible online, ranging from medical assessments, food delivery, online shopping and free virtual fitness classes. 💪🏻
The Beauty Besty App is supporting our beauty pros! 👏🏻 This innovative beauty-on-demand app helps professionals in Ontario market and manage their business. They’re now offering a 3-month free trial to continue empowering the beauty industry by connecting beauty pros to new clients (for app use once social distancing regulations are lifted!). 🙋🏻♀️💄
Ellie Mae Studios launched a limited-time collection where 100% of all proceeds go to Kids Help Phone. They’ll also be donating over $30,000 to help #KidsHelpPhone provide free professional counselling to young people during a time when calls for support during social isolation are on the rise. 🖤📲
During a time where the health and safety of his workforce, team, and surrounding community is top of mind 🔝, Lee implemented the ‘Fusion Safe Work System’ – an innovative set of guidelines, best practices and safety measures for his team AND the wider community of builders to help them do their jobs safely during the pandemic.
Lightspeed launched the #LightspeedLocal initiative, offering their merchants 3 free months of their eCommerce, Delivery and Loyalty solutions 💯, AND all employees up to $500 on the purchases they make from any Lightspeed customer to stimulate the local economy. 🛍❤️
In response to unclear guidelines about how to safely spend time outdoors during the pandemic, MEC partnered with an Infectious Disease Specialist to make easy-to-follow guidelines outlining best practices for being active outdoors while respecting social distancing regulations.
King & Bay spearheaded the #SOYBFaceMaskChallenge and shared a DIY tutorial for how you can make your own protective face mask from home. King & Bay also donated masks to hospitals, retirement homes and organizations supporting vulnerable communities. 😷
This Sunday, March 8th marks International Women’s Day—a day of recognition where we celebrate all women and girls (and their achievements!), and shine a light on how we can make the world a better place for the females of tomorrow. In honour of this special day, we’re celebrating some of the incredibly talented and courageous female entrepreneurs that we work with at NKPR. We’ve asked them a few questions to help inspire and empower you on this day.
Happy International Women’s Day!
XO Team NKPR
What does International Women’s Day mean to you in 2020?
“I constantly remind myself that if we want to change the world, really change the way women are treated on the street, in their workplace, in their relationships; we as women need to first support other women. We need to honour the women in our lives, we need to show respect to women we know and women we don’t know. My goal for this year’s International Women’s Day is to honour all women, and work toward treating women equally whether they’re a part of my inner circle or not.”
“In 2020 International Women’s Day means more acceptance. Acceptance of who I’m and who I’m becoming. Encouraging all the ladies around me to do the same and really give into their unapologetic approach to individuality.”
“Acknowledge and celebrate all women – mothers, sisters, daughters, colleagues – as we all play an important role on this planet. I recently heard this quote which I love and think is fitting: “when women thrive, everyone thrives.”
What do you find the biggest challenge/opportunity for women in your industry to be?
“As it relates to female entrepreneurs, it’s easy. We simply deserve access to the same opportunities in business as men and currently that is very much not the case. In 2019, female founders only received 4% of venture capital funding in Canada and struggled in other areas of investment also. This isn’t ok and it needs to change.”
“The fact that there aren’t many women in leadership levels in the cannabis industry. However, this is why I’m here. If I can take a risk and pave way for other women to do the same, then I will be fulfilled.”
“I believe it is so important to learn to love ALL versions of yourself as you are, as you change and as you evolve. I feel knowing your strengths and weaknesses and honouring your inner and outer beauty for who you are will allow you to shine in the beauty industry and connect deeper with your clients. As an entrepreneur, I feel it is especially important to show up, lift up, inspire, educate and empower women as much as possible!”
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EachForEqual. What does this mean to you? What is one step you think we can take to support gender equality in the workplace?
“#EachForEqual means no matter the gender, we all have to do our part every day to create a more equal world, through changing our language in conversations, behaviour and actions. A great step would be to create more opportunities for recognition of leadership, pioneering and contribution in the workplace.”
“For me, gender equality is not actually a gender issue at all. The quickest way to establish equality in the workplace is by just taking gender out of the equation entirely, and deal with equal work for equal pay. Period. The end. People should be paid for their work, not their gender.”
“Becoming a mother has really opened my eyes more than ever to the sacrifices and challenging choices that women have to make when trying to achieve both their personal and professional dreams. I often find myself trying to understand, how do we expect women to ‘Lean In’ when working for companies that aren’t supporting the fact that we are different from men. We do have an extremely important role in life and decisions to make that most men will never face. Being a CEO with 150 women working for WAXON and a management team that is 100% female, this is something I think about a lot and I think other workplaces should be doing the same. For me, I think about how I can create an environment and culture that supports my team in being able to achieve both their professional goals while starting a family and I think more businesses need to be shifting their thinking in this way.”
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to fellow female entrepreneurs looking to grow their business?
“I would just say what I always say which is just go for it. There are a lot of people who are going to tell you not to do it because you’re not prepared or you don’t have a good enough business plan or it doesn’t feel like it’s the right time or the economy is bad. I think if it’s the right thing for you then you just need to go for it. Don’t stop yourself and just take it day by day. You don’t have to go and do what everybody else is doing. I would just take it one step at a time and keep going.”
The post-digital era is here 👉🏻 are you ready? 😮 The pace of technological change has been sweeping boldly across business and society—impacting every industry—and moving us into a new era. In 2019, close to $1.25 trillion was spent on the digital transformation of businesses worldwide, and that number will skyrocket to $1.97 trillion in 2022, according to the International Data Corporation. Research by @accenture shows that 60%+ of global GDP will be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships. With this constant growth, I am often thinking about what new trends we may see at this crucial turning point. Amongst the many changes ahead, here’s what you and your business can do to embrace and flourish in the ‘post-digital’ tomorrow:
1️⃣ Remember: digital is still important, but it’s now the price of admission for doing business, not an advantage to your company. We’re moving into an era where building trust with customers, employees and partners through a responsible approach to tech required for growth and success. 🙌 Think humanitarian efforts, improving agricultural practices, and reducing global waste through new tech.
2️⃣ Businesses and consumers will have a closer relationship. 👏🏻 Tech is creating a world of customized and on-demand experiences, and businesses must jump in on these opportunities! This means holistically understanding the needs of consumers, viewing each opportunity as if it’s an individual market, and acting with agility to meet customer needs at the speed of now.
3️⃣ The workplace will evolve into human+. 👩🏻💻 Staff will be empowered by their unique skills, plus a growing set of capabilities through new tech (think AI, extended reality, and quantum computing 🤖). New tech will be a catalyst for change, with business practices and entire industries. Business leaders must adapt innovative strategies to support their teams with a new way of working in this era.
What do you think about this shift from the digital era to the post-digital realm? How do you think it will impact you—on a professional and personal front? 📲
Five years ago, we started our 26 Hours of Kindness initiative. For 26 consecutive hours, the NKPR team went out across the city to volunteer at various shelters, collect clothing and toy donations, raise money for the homeless community, hand out tea to commuters, and so much more. What began as a way to spread random acts of kindness during the holiday season, evolved into an annual opportunity for our staff, our friends, and our networks, to give back to the community in a truly impactful way. Now, on Valentine’s Day, we host our annual 26 Hours of Kindness event to reconnect with “love day” in a meaningful way, and to celebrate what love is all about: showing compassion for others and spending time together.
This year, we’re continuing the #HashtagLunchbag movement. Over 26 hours, we will aim to empower and inspire the community to give back during February – one of the coldest times of the year in Toronto – through the assembly of bagged lunches (we’re aiming to make 800 sandwiches!) for those in need. The lunches will be distributed to food banks and homeless shelters across the city along with handwritten notes of kindness, reminding each recipient that they are loved and cared for by the community.
On February 14th from 9 AM – 1 PM we’re inviting friends, family, community members and neighbours of NKPR to ‘KINDNESS HQ’ (our offices at 312 Adelaide Street West) to help us assemble the lunches and write notes of kindness. If you’d like to join us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the time slot you’re interested in (volunteer sessions are available every hour, on the hour, between 9 AM – 1 PM).
Grab your colleagues, friends, partner, and/or family members and join us in celebrating Valentine’s Day a little differently this year!
The Toronto skyline sure has changed in the last year! 🏙️ 🇨🇦 On January 16 I joined the @buzzconference⚡️at Mississauga’s @livingartsctr, where I shared my insights on PR and brand strategy in the exciting real estate industry. 🙌🏻✅ Watch below and get a sneak peek at what I spoke about at conference. Tweet me at @natashankpr and let me know if you have any questions – I’ll be sure to get back to you!👇🏻 💭🤳🏻 🖤
Our team at NKPR could not be more excited to be participating in this year’s Coldest Night of the Year walk with Toronto’s St. Felix Centre! The Coldest Night of the Year is a national walk held on Feb. 22 to help raise funds for those that are homeless, hungry, and in need of support during the coldest time of the year. Giving back to the community is so important to us, and that’s why we’ve decided to build a team and fundraise for the event during our 26 Hours of Kindness initiative.
Last year, over 21,000 walkers across Canada participated in the initiative, raising just under $5 million dollars! If your New Year’s resolution is to get active and give back to the community, we’d love for you to join our team (or build your own!) to help raise funds to support those that need it the most during the coldest time of the year. We had so much fun last year, and it was such a phenomenal team building activity to help those in need, together. If you’re ready to join our team or help donate to this amazing cause, learn morehere.
Can’t join in on the fun? Follow us on social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) to tune in for updates and to see how much we can raise!