Steven Gunnip is director of Salon Evolution and a business and marketing specialist.
With January a notoriously quiet month for salons and spas, here are my top five tips for boosting business in the New Year.
1. During quiet periods or long stretches with no clients, salon staff should utilise this time to perfect their skills and knowledge, enabling them to deliver a broad range of treatments and services to suit individual client needs, to the best of their ability. This will ensure that every time they see a client, the treatment is as near to perfect as possible and the client leaves knowing it was money well spent. Every single minute of business time should be fully maximised, whether the salon is busy with customers or not, so therapists should continually practice their technique, particularly when there is free time in the salon, to ensure that clients return to them and recommend them to others. It’s a good idea to put a training schedule in place and manage the process to ensure you get what you want out of the exercise.
2. Go through client history records to determine who has visited recently and who has not booked in for a while. Look at the treatments that these clients have previously enjoyed and offer incentives and promotions on these, or recommend new treatments that they may enjoy to entice them back to the salon.
3. One of the most important parts of the business process is acquiring new clients from your direct market. At Salon Evolution, we work with a range of brands across the hair and beauty sectors to encourage new clients into salons at the times when they need it most, through personalised solutions that ensure salons maximise all areas of the business, increase customer potential and result in a motivated team, providing a heightened all-round client experience. We don’t believe in the hard sell; all of our team is equipped with low profile selling skills, working on the basis of information and education, to ensure maximum results.
4. Encourage clients into the salon with Two-for-One offers, as opposed to half price deals, which people can either share with a friend, or enjoy individually and then come back at a later date for their freebie. This will ensure that you receive the full price for a treatment and inject additional capital into the business during a quiet period, with the added bonus that the extra treatment can be enjoyed by a new client or by someone who will come back to the salon in the future, leaving them more likely to become a loyal customer.
5. Devote time at the start of the year to put structure in place across the whole business. It is important to consistently keep up-to-date with all of the correct systems in order to maximise efficiency. Running a successful business can require a lot of processes and procedures, but having these in place early on in the New Year will make things run more smoothly as the year progresses.