A big mistake that people make when setting up a salon is to plunge into running the store instead of creating a solid hair salon strategy plan beforehand.
However, hair salons with a business plan are much more likely to hit targets for sales and milestones than those who don’t.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
A hair salon business strategy is more than a tool for raising money and getting a bank loan.
It helps you understand how your business runs, to monitor your progress and keep yourself accountable for the achievement of your business goals. Writing a business plan forces you to think about your business, including; positioning, finances, marketing plan, staffing plan and your product and service strategy.
It helps you spot holes in your business that you otherwise would’ve missed.
This is why it’s important to have a hair salon strategy in place before you open your store. The main areas for your salon strategy are:
- Financial Plan
- Positioning Strategy
- Pricing Strategy
- Sales Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Social Media Strategy
- Product and Service Strategy
Let’s look at each one of these in detail, starting with your hair salon financial plan.
Hair Salon Financial Plan
A financial plan helps to forecast the financial results of your salon and help you decide how to best use your financial resources to achieve your salon’s business goals.
It describes the resources, activities, materials and equipment that are needed to achieve your salon’s goals, as well as the timeframe for doing so.
Here are the sections of a salon budget plan that you’ll need for your Hair Salon:
- Goal – This states your financial goal for your business and the timeframe for achieving it. An example of a financial goal for your salon would be “We aim to be profitable by the 6th month of business and expect monthly income to be $12,000”.
- Assumptions – These are the assumptions you’ll need to make when setting your financial goals and revenue forecasts. They will potentially affect the outcome of your goals and includes items such as the interest rate of your loans, tax rates and the cost of goods sold.
- Projected Cash Flow – Your expected cash flow for a specified timeframe. It lists your projected total expenses and projected revenues for each year and the net result. (positive or negative).
- Break-even Analysis – How soon your salon will be able to generate enough positive revenues to cover all your business expenses and turn a profit.
- Projected Profit And Loss – Your projected future profit and loss. It serves both as a budget and goal for your salon.
- Projected Balance sheet – This shows how ‘healthy’ you expect the financial position of your salon will be. It includes your assets, liabilities and equity.
- Business Ratios – These give you an idea on the financial performance of your hair salon. The main ratios are:
- Debt to equity ratio
- Shareholder or Owner’s equity
- Current Ratio
- Current Assets/Current Liabilities
- Quick Ratio
- (Current Assets – Inventories)/ Current Liabilities
- Return on Equity
Hair Salon Positioning Strategy
Positioning refers to how your salon will be marketed so that it’s meaningfully differentiated in the minds of your target customers.
To achieve this, you’ll need to think about how your salon is different from the competitors. Do some market research to determine how competitors are serving the local market and figure out your own niche for your salon.
Here are 4 positioning strategies that you can use for your hair salon:
This positioning strategy sets up your salon as an affordable choice for customers.
For this strategy to be successful, you need to achieve economies of scale with your salon. What this means is you need to have enough hairdressers that can perform a hair-cut as quickly as possible, at a reasonable standard of quality, and turnover a large number of customers each day.
This strategy positions your salon as a high-quality and premium service.
Taking this positioning strategy means you will see a lower volume of customers. However, the customers you attract will spend a larger amount on your expertise and quality products. Price will not be an issue for them.
Some salons focus on positioning themselves for a specific demographic.
For example, there are hair salons that specialize in African hair, or Barber-shops who only target male customers. This works best if a particular demographic has specific needs, such as African hair which may need braids or males who also need to shave or style their beards (Barbershop).
Sometimes competition in a certain area can be so high that strategies such as demographics, price and quality alone are not enough to stand out.
In these cases, having a service positioning strategy that solves a specific problem can help you stand out. For example, becoming the go-to hair and makeup service for wedding photographers.
Hair Salon Pricing Strategy
Your pricing strategy will help you determine the price point that you will be able to maximize profits in your salon.
If prices are set too high you might not attract too many customers, while if your prices are too low your salon may not survive. Here are 4 pricing strategies you could use in your salon:
- Economy Pricing – This is where you set prices at a low-cost level to attract customers who are sensitive to price. For this strategy to work, you need to keep your running costs low and achieve a large sales volume. This is why this strategy is normally not suited for a small boutique salon versus a large chain.
- Price Skimming – If you have a significant competitive advantage (maybe you have a celebrity client or endorsement from them) then you can set your prices at a high enough level to achieve maximum profits before other competitors offer a similar service.
- Psychological Pricing – Psychological pricing strategy uses techniques to make customers purchase with their emotions rather than logic. For example, setting your “hair colour + cut” price at $99.99 would psychologically feel cheaper than $100.
- Bundle Pricing – This pricing strategy involves selling multiple products and services together for a lower price than they would cost buying them individually. It works best when bundling complementary products and services together. Common pricing bundles that salons do are “cut + blow dry” or “cut + colour + wash”.
Hair Salon Sales Strategy
Having an effective salon sales strategy helps you maximize the retail sales in your salon. Here are 6 steps to implement your salon sales strategy:
- Identify Needs and Solve Them: If you are an established salon you’ll already know your customers well enough to identify their needs and suggest products and services that will help them. If you are a new, ask your clients a lot of questions to determine their needs.
- Choose Products You Believe In – Since you believe in the products you stock in your salon, you are simply recommending things that will help them instead of just ‘selling’ products.
- Have Product Knowledge – Often clients may not know the difference between the low-cost conditioner on the supermarket shelf and the premium product in your salon. It’s your job educate customers on the difference.
- Consultation is Key To Getting To Yes – Consulting with your customers isn’t just about selling products, it helps uncover their needs, wants and preferences. Once you understand these, it’s easy to make recommendations that solve their problems and lead to purchases. Ask questions that will help you understand what they need, such as:
- -What is their styling routine?
- -What do they dislike and like about their hair?
- -Do you want to keep your current style or try something new?
- Build Trust – Instead of pushing products immediately, start with the basics of solving their immediate needs and enhancing their experience. It might just be a haircut, shampoo and blow-dry. Do a good job of this and you’ll earn their trust, and they will turn to you for more of their needs.
- Use the Time at the Shampoo Bowl – While washing your customer’s hair at the shampoo bowl, it’s the perfect time to let them know about your styling products.
Hair Salon Marketing Strategy
Hair salon marketing strategies will help you grow a customer base of loyal customers, help you sell merchandise, and bring in a constant stream of new customers. Here are the steps for creating a hair salon marketing plan:
- Determine Positioning – As mentioned earlier, your positioning determines how you are different from your competition and helps you stand out in a meaningful way to your target market.
- Determine Your Beauty Salon Target Market – This helps you identify who your ideal customers are, their specific needs and wants, and how your service can help you solve them. It helps you create marketing messages that are tailored specifically to them to generate a greater response.
- Determine How You’re Going To Reach Target Market – Decide on how you are going to reach your target market with your marketing messages. There are a number ways to do this and they include:
- Email Marketing
- PPC Advertising
- Social Media Ads
- Offline Advertising
- Letterbox drops and flyers
- Send Promotions To Your Target Market – now that you’ve determined your positioning, target market, and how to reach them, you can send promotional messages to them. Here are 3 hair salon marketing ideas:
- Loyalty Incentives: Encourage customers for repeat returns by offering a free product after 10 haircuts.
- Word of Mouth Promotions: Encourage customers to spread your message by having a “Bring a Friend” promotion. Offer 50% off if they bring a friend or a discount for every friend that mentions their name. You can afford this promotion by having a full priced sale for every discount.
- Partner With Businesses Who Share Your Customer – Partner with complementary businesses who also serve your target customer. For example, a modelling agency could offer discounts to its staff for hair and makeup through your salon.
Hair Salon Social Media Strategy
The social web is growing fast with over 2 billion users between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram alone.
Your customers are active on these networks talking about your services (among other things) and your reputation can be improved and destroyed in the process. This is why it’s important to have a social media strategy for your hair salon.
Here are 3 things to consider when creating your social media strategy:
Focus On The Relevant Social Media Platforms
Pick the social media platforms that will work best for your salon and focus on them only.
Instagram is good because you can show the results of your work in photos. Facebook is another platform that can be used similarly. Also, YouTube can be used by salons to show hair styling tips and expertise and you can bring in customers this way.
An example of an unsuitable social media platform would be Linkedin since it’s primarily a B2B networking platform, and it’s unlikely that consumers are browsing the platform for a hair salon.
Post Content That Your Customers Will Love
- Sharing articles relevant to your salon or blog post from your website
- Post pictures of your work, even before and after photos of customers
- Engage customers with contests
- Provide exclusive deals for followers
The final part of a social media strategy is posting consistently.
It will take time for your social media strategy to pay off, and a consistent posting schedule will help achieve this. Use tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to automate and schedule your posts.
Hair Salon Product and Service Strategy
Your product and service strategy salon are about offering the right products and services to the right target market. The goal of this hair salon strategy is to develop products and services that will meet buyer expectations.
The hair salon strategy should include items such as quality, new products, research and development, product lifecycle, distribution strategy for a hair salon, and services offered. This is all defined in a product road map.
Elements of A Product Road Map
- Vision – this is the big picture of what your company is trying to achieve. Example, to become the number one hair salon in your local area.
- Product Strategy – this outlines how you will execute your strategy. It includes your hair salon’s target market and elements of your product and services you will need to have to implement your strategy.
- Context – The product roadmap provides context for each product and service in your salon, and how it relates to achieving your vision.
- Initiatives – these are strategic efforts that will help you achieve your vision, such as improvements in your services, staff training and upgrading equipment.
A product and service strategy hair salon is a customer-centric approach that will help you satisfy your salon customers and exceed their expectations.
Now Develop Your Salon Business Plan
Developing a hair salon strategy for your business gives it a higher chance for success.
A financial plan forecasts your financial results and keeps you accountable to your goals, while your positioning strategy helps you stand out from your competitors.
Your pricing strategy helps you to maximise the profits your sales, while your sales strategy ensures that the sales continue to increase in your salon.
Your marketing strategy for salon services grows your customer base, while your social media strategy keeps them engaged with your salon. Finally, your product and service strategy makes sure that the products and services you provide actually meet your buyer’s expectations.
If you would like to create a hair salon strategy marketing plan for your salon business, download your free hair salon marketing plan PDF here.