By Michael Healey
Owning your own salon is both an exciting and exhausting experience. The opportunity to succeed with your own business is a chance that many people dream about, but few actually take the leap. While salon owners earn profit through a variety of traditional ways, like hair cuts, dyes, skincare and nails; creative incentives and bold ideas are vital to maximizing your bottom line.
Salon owners know that repeat customers are the key to stable financial income. To keep your clients coming back again and again, you have to stay on top of the latest styles and trends. Keep your customers talking about your business with these ideas:
- Host an Event
- Support a Cause
Host an Event
Invite your regulars to come to your salon for a special occasion, it can be a lady’s night, customer appreciation get together, meet and greet or happy hour. Serve great appetizers and creative drinks, for a special touch have it catered by a local restaurant – a great opportunity for cross-marketing at a discounted price. Ask each customer to bring someone new to the salon and have your best staff on hand to provide sample services. Make sure you have a staff member ready to book new clients, and make sure everyone who attends leaves with great business cards or flyers promoting your services.
Offer VIP Treatment
People love to be pampered, especially at a salon. Treat your regular clients like VIPs and they will be loyal to you and your business. There are a number of ways to show your clients how much they mean to you, some will even pay for upgraded treatment! Create a trendy lounge that is well stocked with complementary fresh fruit, local baked goods, teas and coffees; offer your VIPs a glass of wine while they wait – who can say no to that! Other upgrades clients may be willing to pay for include priority scheduling, child care, and pick-up/return service at the post office, library or dry cleaner. Another way to reach out to your clients is by going to them – travel! If you have the ability to work on location, market at home and off-site group appointments. I have found that people are willing to pay extra to have a service they love provided in the comfort of their home.
Support a Cause
Perhaps the most effective way to build a great reputation and increase exposure to new clients is to volunteer your services to a worthy cause. Getting out in the community is a great way for you and your staff to meet people, network, and give back at the same time. A great way to support a cause through your salon is to offer awareness or spirit braids (braiding hair with colored fabrics and beads) at local events and fundraisers. Charities, organizations and schools are often associated with identifying colors; providing a booth to spirit braid hair for a cause is a great way to contribute. You can charge a set rate, and give all or a portion back to the cause; best of all, people are supporting a great cause and advertising your salon! If you can’t commit time to a cause, donate certificates for complementary or discount services; this encourages new clients to test the waters before becoming a regular. Work with your local business association, community organizer, or parent-teacher organization to find causes for your salon to support!
Being a small business salon owner is tough, demanding work. You often need the support of your regulars to get you through the tough times. Encourage people to try your services through a variety of creative and innovative ways; consider hosting special events at your salon, create aVIPservice, or supporting a great cause. Remember, the services provided by your salon are extraordinary; people need to try it once before they are hooked!