New year, new clients, new makeovers! In light of the New Year, there is always a constant theme of wanting to ‘start over’. There is something so appealing in the idea of a fresh start and a clean slate that makes millions of people feel all warm and cozy each year. Bad habits, vices, and decisions can all become a thing of the past with just a single tick-tock of the hanging wall clock!
But while most people are focusing on eating healthier, and dropping those holiday pounds and then some, others prefer the more glamorous route as opposed to sweating it up in a local crowded gym. Ask any woman anywhere- a new haircut can do wonders for one’s confidence. Add some strategically placed color here and there, for a subtle but multidimensional statement, or try an all over color for a completely new look!
If you happen to own a small salon or spa, January can mean big business for you! But are you capitalizing on all the fresh start, New Year mojo that is happening right now? Whether you’re just starting out, or have been in the salon game for a while, there are a few keys to success that you may not have found yet. Think about your salon, would you be a customer there? Is it getting enough business? Are you utilizing all the tools you can to get your magnificently manicured fingernails on?
It’s a sad but true fact that for every four salons that open, one won’t even make it past the first year of business- that’s a whopping 25% of starting salons and spa’s won’t make it. So how can you make sure that your salon won’t fail whether it’s in its first year or its fifth?
Step 1: Retain your clients.
Get to know them! Learn the names and faces of your clientele; engage with them on a personal level. Now we all know that this doesn’t happen overnight, but why not go out of your way to make your customers feel more comfortable? Venturing into a new salon or spa can be a scary thing. You walk in, you sit by yourself with no one to engage with, and then you throw your carefully coiffed locks into the hands of a complete stranger. It’s terrifying. Why not offer your clients some water or a cup of coffee while they’re waiting? Engage them in conversation! Chances are they live nearby, and have chosen your salon out of a combination of convenience and price- give them a reason to come back!
Step 2: Listen to your customers!
When they’re paying, really ask them how everything went during their session; maybe give them a comment card to quickly fill out. You’d be amazed at what little golden nuggets of insight your customers may be able to give you into your business. Maybe the temperature is too cold, a bad experience with an unfriendly employee, or the hairdresser took off 2 inches instead of a half inch. These are all things to pay attention to when running your salon. A bad experience can have serious consequences! Not only will the client not come back, but he/she may also tell their friends not to bother either.
Step 3: Don’t waste time.
Now that’s not saying not to take your time when cutting a client’s hair- but at the same time, be mindful that no one anticipates a trip to the salon to be an all day event. If you have a string of clients waiting for services, make sure you don’t have employee’s standing around with their hands in their pockets. Nothing is more irritating to a client than to feel ignored and have their services delay for no apparent reason. Make sure that your employees keep in mind that while yes, clients are coming to them for a particular service; the clients are also paying them for it and will be more than willing to take their money elsewhere.
Also, keep your front desk as accessible as possible and not held up by a handful of customers asking about your hours, services offered and pricing. All of these things could easily be answered by investing in a custom sign or two. A little engraved sign stating your hours by the front door looks way more professional than a sheet of paper. Additionally, a large sign behind the front desk that clearly and efficiently displays the services you offer and your pricing, would allow your customers to look over their options quickly and either choose to make an appointment or go somewhere else. All this can be done in a fraction of the time it would take for a series of questions and answers to be exchanged between a busy employee and a wavering prospective client. Websites like customsigns.com specialize in making quality, custom signs for their customers at an affordable price always.
Step 4: Get out there, get noticed!
Let’s face it, not every salon has the luxury of a high-flying public relations team, with a string of marketers and advertisers at their beck and call. Chains like Paul Mitchell, Hair Cuttery, and smart cuts, spare no expense to get their products and services noticed. But while some places rely on their status as a chain, or their marketing teams to bring in clients, you have to rely on good old fashioned word of mouth and whatever kind of advertising, you can afford. Advertise online with a Facebook page or a Twitter account; encourage your customers to follow you for exclusive deals, and specials! You can also advertise in small hometown newspapers, flyers, or handouts to raise awareness for your store locally.
Step 5: Be passionate.
This last one is a big one! Those who get into a business solely for the profits, seldom reap the rewards. When an owner or manager is passionate and truly loves what they do, their enthusiasm rubs off on everyone around them and promotes more productivity and fosters a healthy work environment. By being passionate about ones job, you tend to take more pride in your work- floors and stations will be cleaner, more smiles will go around, and it’ll look more like you’re having fun as opposed to working- something that your customers will love.
Ultimately, despite all the tips and tricks this humble blogger can offer you, it is up to you as the owner of an establishment to take control and take charge of your surroundings. Would you be your own client? Do you have unprofessional paper signs in the windows of your salon? Do you not even have a designated bathroom sign? Are you, your employees, and your customers wasting time asking repeated questions about services and pricing? Customsigns.com has created custom and standard signs for a variety of customers for over 60 years. We have helped countless businesses big and small over the years to get noticed- let us help you do the same in the New Year!