A good salon owner or manager is always thinking about how to improve salon performance. If you’re anything like me, you’re eager to take your business up to the next level. But, how can you make your business stand out from the rest of the crowd?
While there are strategies that are guaranteed to boost your income, and make your salon successful you’ll need to use them properly. Running a growing salon business is all about using strategies that have worked for other salons and adapting them to work for your own brand.
Let’s take a look at some proven business tips and tricks that will help you to attract new customers and retain your loyal clients. We’ll cover everything from salon marketing and boosting your revenue to cost reduction and, most importantly, how to create exceptional services and make each visit unforgettable.
What You Will Learn
We’ll look at some strategies to give your salon business a boost, including how to reduce expenses, set targets and how to grow your salon clientele.
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- Start with Planning and Setting Targets
- Look for Ideas to Increase Salon Revenue
- Work on Client Experience to Boost Your Salon Retention
- Reduce Your Salon Costs
- Start Using Salon Software and Improve Efficiency in Your Salon
Start with Planning and Setting Targets
In order to see where there’s room for improvement, you’ll need to know where your business is at, and where you want to be.
Take a look at your current hair salon expenses, as well as your overall income. This should include anything that you pay for once or twice a year, too- don’t just factor in monthly expenses. From there, you’ll have a good idea of your salon overhead and can set realistic, measurable goals.
If you want to get the “buy in” of your team (trust me- this will make your life much easier), your next step is to hold a meeting and gather some information on what metrics everyone thinks the salon could and should measure. This could include anything from retail sales to client retention and customer satisfaction.
Your team might surprise you with some great suggestions. Just remember to keep it simple and easy to understand.
When you set targets, don’t just focus on one aspect of profit or productivity- you should measure (and reward) overall team successes, as well as individual success. This will help to motivate your employees to help each other grow their potential. Your salon will grow with them.
The right targets can challenge your team to retain customers, sell additional products or “add-ons”, and boost client loyalty by providing exceptional customer service.
If this sounds hard, don’t worry. It’s not.
Odds are, your team already does a lot of these things, without thinking about them. The trick is getting them to replicate existing successes and motivating them to keep it up. Show confidence in them and give consistent, data based feedback by tracking and measuring weekly/ monthly targets.
Look for Ideas to Increase Salon Revenue
Wondering how to make your salon stand out?
Don’t fall into the trap of offering constant discounts. Although it’s certainly important to reward client loyalty (we’ll talk about that later), and many salons do offer promotions on services, the trick is to know when to run a promotion, and when to do something new.
Your team members are a valuable resource when it comes to this.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Hold regular meetings and brainstorming sessions to get some unique salon service ideas. The best salon owners know that each employee is a wealth of information about what actually goes on in a beauty salon.
A good place to start is by asking your stylists what they think clients want. Do people often request a particular service? Has a specific product or product range been moving slowly, lately? There could be untapped promotional opportunities here.
Look for a niche market or a service not offered by other salons in your area. The hair and beauty industry is full of these. A few examples are services aimed at people with curly hair, men’s grooming and beard care, or services for seniors and others with thinning or grey hair.
So, you’ve talked to your team and you have some great salon business ideas. That’s awesome! Now, let’s think about your clients’ role in this process.
Retaining existing customers is important for any successful business. But, if you want your beauty salon to grow, it’s time to bring some new clients in the door.
Take a look at your branding and online marketing strategy: does it appeal to your customer base? What about potential customers in your area? You want to secure those coveted walk-ins if you want to increase your profit margin.
If you have a salon website and social media accounts (which I highly recommend that you do), make sure that you update those regularly and encourage clients to “like” and “share” any posts. You want to be as visible as possible in your marketing.
While we’re talking about clients, you should encourage your employees to “upsell” any services or retail add-ons. These are a crucial source of hair salon business revenue. Loyal and long-term customers are most likely to be interested in these products or upgrades, so don’t be afraid to offer them.
Don’t forget to let employees know what’s expected of them in terms of sales targets. Keep it realistic based on the salon’s past levels (you can push them to do better, but don’t make the targets unattainable). Give rewards to your team when they hit these targets.
And if you would like to know more do not miss our article on How to Increase Salon Revenue
Work on Client Experience to Boost Your Salon Retention
Customer loyalty is critical for all salon owners. If you want to grow your business, you need to have repeat clients.
But, how can you keep them coming back? And how do you get them to bring their friends?
It’s simple: make sure that every service visit, whether it’s a basic hair appointment or a full makeover, is exceptional.
Trust me, it’s not as hard as it sounds. You probably already have an excellent team that knows how to increase salon clientele. You’ll just need to work together to create a vision and strategy for even better customer service.
How do you attract customers to your salon? To start, take a look at your salon’s brand and business vision: what features does your hair salon brand stand for? What are your business values? Now, how can you communicate each value to clients during their services?
And speaking of clients, you’ll need to figure out what old and new clients want. A good way to do this is by conducting a satisfaction survey- you could do this online or by email. Encourage busy clients to participate by offering a discount or a small prize.
A feedback section on your website will also give you an idea of how your salon business is doing.
The last piece of the puzzle is retention and referrals. Management can start a loyalty program, using salon software to track bookings, with service discounts after multiple appointments. This really does work to help people pay attention and choose your salon when rebooking.
Salon owners and management also need to encourage clients to refer friends and family. You can do this by having a referral program, and by selling gift cards (this is especially useful around the holiday season).
Reduce Your Salon Costs
It’s one thing to know where hair salons make money. The next step is to look at each cost and see where your business loses money.
Hair salons often spend unnecessary amounts on goods or services that could easily be reduced. Let’s take a look at a few easy ways to cut your industry expenses, without damaging your success:
- Cross-train your staff: During downtime, employees should never be idle. Teach them how to help out with things like reception, updating your online marketing or website, or even simple cleaning and inventory.
- Manage inventory levels: Keeping your retail and service inventory in line will help avoid waste and lost profits. Also, if things are ordered “just in time”, they’ll be ready to sell without taking up space.
- Invest in salon software: This will save you time, income, and possibly sanity. You can easily track and set each appointment, monitor targets and stylist bookings, track inventory and program orders, and market your business automatic emails to clients.
- Reduce over-staffing: Make sure that appointments are scheduled as close together as possible to avoid downtime. This cuts down on how many stylists you’ll need. Cross-training will also reduce your staffing requirements a lot.
- Retain your talent: Don’t forget to keep your team happy. After all, hiring and training can be expensive.
Start Using Salon Software and Improve Efficiency in Your Salon
Good salon software is one of the best tools at your disposal when thinking about how to make a salon successful.
How does it do this? For a start, it gives you all your resources for success in one spot. You can track and order inventory, set appointments, monitor staff bookings, and take care of scheduling. Clients can also use it to book appointments online.
It should be on every “opening a salon” checklist if you ask me.
Along with the timesaving benefits for a salon owner, it will help your staff concentrate on their jobs. Most millennials and younger adults prefer to make appointments online nowadays, so there’ll be less need to run and answer the phone.
And as a bonus, everyone won’t have to worry as much about product inventory and stock levels. These can be tracked and set to reorder automatically.
In today’s salon market, time is money. Salon software is one of your most valuable timesaving tools.
Good leaders never stop looking for ways to improve. With the right teamwork, a good business strategy, and the right tools at your disposal, you can continue to grow your business.
Like any industry, salon businesses experience slower times and peaks. Don’t let this discourage you or your team. As long as you create a realistic budget, focus on running things efficiently and deliver exceptional customer service, you should be able to ride out any slower periods.
Even the biggest and most influential salons (especially these ones) are always thinking about how to improve salon performance. Whether your goal is to get to this level, or just to give your own shop a much-needed boost, these strategies will help you.
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