Improve these 4 areas to make 2021 fruitful for your salon!
It’s safe to say that 2020 was not regarded as a favourable year (to put it mildly) by most hair and beauty professionals – which is why we’re not going to bring it up. Instead, we’re going to turn our attention to the bright light on the horizon, that is 2021. Although a lot can happen in 365 days, setting goals and working on achieving them will keep you focused and help you pull through another year – this time, unscathed. Here are the 4 key areas you should focus on improving in order to make 2021 YOUR year!
Being kind… to yourself
What’s your first, knee-jerk reaction when you notice your appointment book is an empty void, marketing activities aren’t attracting clients, you received a negative review, or your team is planning a coup d’etat against you? Do you blame yourself? Sadly, this is a very common response many hair and beauty business owners give, which spells a significant lack of self-compassion. However, that doesn’t mean you should instead have a firm grip around your business and shift the blame onto others for your own mistakes, in order to keep your record spotless.
To be a bit more self-compassionate, you need to get to the source of what’s causing the conflict within you. Susan David, in her article, “How to be kinder to yourself” explains this perfectly – she states, “When we experience a challenging emotion like sadness or disappointment, many of us respond by telling ourselves: “This is bad; I shouldn’t be feeling this. Why can’t I be more positive?!?” And then we follow up this judgement with more judgement…next time that happens, try saying to yourself, “I’m feeling sad. What is this sadness a signpost of? What is it pointing to that’s important to me? What is it teaching me?”
Now, let’s put things into perspective – focus on a marketing campaign that didn’t yield the results you were expecting, and as a result, you’re feeling discouraged. Instead of flooding your mind with thoughts of self-doubt, create a mental web, centred on these emotions. Your discouragement is caused by an ineffective marketing campaign – why didn’t it work? Before hastily blaming yourself, get to the root cause. And if the mistake was made on your part? Turn this into a learning experience! There’s no point in crying over spilt milk – instead, learn why it was spilt and what can be done to avoid this situation in the future. And most importantly, learn to accept your faults, but only the real ones!
Attracting new clients to your salon
We tend to measure salon success based on the number of loyal customers an enterprise has, however, these clients aren’t simply plucked off of the nearest tree branch – they start off as first-time customers and are moulded into your patrons. But here’s the catch – with each passing year, you need to find more creative ways to build clientele in a salon. What makes your business stand out? In this industry, it’s all about finding your salon’s point of difference. And no, selling up-dos on Fridays for 15% off isn’t how to get clients in your salon – at least not loyal ones.
If you’re asking yourself, “I can’t figure out how to get more clients in my salon – what am I doing wrong?”, you need to specify who your customers are in the first place. Men? Women? Elderly people? Young adults? Industry-savvy people? Individuals looking for a luxury experience? Or perhaps an experience anyone can afford? Once you know who your intended audience is, focus on promoting your unique selling point(s) to them. Here are some ideas on how to get new clients in the salon and make your business truly stand out!
- A green machine – your salon is all about utilising energy-efficient equipment, being eco-friendly and eliminating paper usage.
- Location – your business is in a convenient location, close to the city’s centre and has useful amenities, like parking and handicap accessibility.
- Open to all – you are pet-friendly, children-friendly and friendly to impaired people.
- Your fame – you’re a renowned specialist in your field, which will definitely help when promoting your business.
Now, you’re ready to start attracting new clients to your salon, however, posting on your fan pages isn’t going to do the trick – remember, potential clients most probably aren’t going to be there! Instead, you’re going to have to get creative with the two schools of thought – traditional and modern salon marketing. Traditional marketing requires a more hands-on approach that includes giving out business cards, hanging up posters in your windows and even getting an editorial in your local newspaper. Although seemingly outdated, this form of advertisement is highly-effective in large cities with significant foot traffic. Modern marketing is a tad bit more complex. Here, you have to make use of social media ads and local business listings to reach your target audience. But there’s one tool that combines the best of both worlds – a loyalty program, but more on that later!
If neither of these activities is bringing you desired results, you need to look under the hood. Do you have local competition offering the same experience as you are? Or perhaps your target clientele isn’t located in your area? Imagine targeting people 65+ in a college town – no matter how tempting your offers might be, your campaign is going to be fruitless.
Focusing on time-efficiency
Poor time management is a pitfall that many unwary hair and beauty specialists get tangled up in. This often causes a domino effect – you’re short on time for completing a task, so you make use of time dedicated to another assignment, which means you’re either going to have to borrow time again or rush yourself, and we all know the consequences of doing so. Tasks like sending appointment reminders and confirmations, maintaining inventory levels, compiling statistics reports and adding prep and recovery blocks to appointments devour your time, which is what turns a would-be lunch break into a coffee-drinking competition. Surprisingly, the problem here is hidden in plain sight – a lack of automation at work.
You make use of time-efficient solutions on a daily basis. From the coffee you brewed in your pot this morning, to the bread you toasted in your toaster, and even simply unlocking your car’s door with a remote – so why continue using time-consuming solutions at work? This year, consider saving yourself time and stress with Versum, hair and beauty business software. Imagine having an additional employee who keeps your appointment book organised, takes bookings (even recurring appointments – up to 50 sessions!), tracks your product levels, generates reports, runs the built-in online store and stays in touch with your clients for you. Best of all, your new team member doesn’t go on holiday leave and frees up enough time for you to have that well-earned sandwich you’ve been eyeing most of the day.
Giving back to loyal customers
They’re what makes you get out of bed with a smile on your face, and seeing their booking in your calendar gets you instantly riled up – loyal clients are simply the best! Not only do they support your business during slow seasons, but they’re also the best at brand promotion. A textbook example of this is having them encourage their friends and family to pay your business a visit. And who are they more likely to listen to, you, the business owner, or someone closer to them? However, loyal customers require the incentives in order to bring you business. A BOGO (“buy one, get one free”) offer on an overstocked conditioner you retail doesn’t sound tempting in the slightest – in fact, it makes you come off as lazy, and clients will take notice. As a result, they won’t be encouraged to actively promote your business.
Obviously, this isn’t how to get clients in your salon. In order to have your customers promote your business, you need a strategy, creative rewards and a loyalty scheme. A good place to start is with your best-selling treatments and products, as they’ll make excellent rewards, but don’t limit yourself to these options! Widen your prize pool with things such as gift vouchers, movie tickets or even a hot-air balloon ride. To get more ideas for potential prizes, create a poll on your fan pages, asking your loyal clients what they’d like.
Without the right tools, tracking customer loyalty is definitely going to hog your time. For this next step, Versum’s Loyalty Program will definitely come in handy. Using this tool, you’re able to automatically reward customers for their purchases, referrals and reviews with a number of points, which are used to pay for your prizes. The best part about this is that you’re in complete control over the number of points you give out. Do you want your loyal clients to attract more customers to your hair or beauty salon? Raise the number of awarded points for successful referrals!
Make this year exceptional for your business by improving these four areas right from the get-go. Although 2021 still holds many uncertainties, it’s crucial that you focus on developing these key areas in order for your business to truly flourish! And don’t forget to grab your free Versum account – no credit card required, no hidden fees for all the right salon management features, just in time for 2021.