One of the most frequently asked questions in the salon industry is “What makes a salon successful?” Owners and good managers are always searching for new strategies to help make a successful salon. The truth is that it’s not one single thing that will contribute to your success in the beauty industry, but rather a combination of traits.
Creativity and innovation are important, but so is having a solid business plan and the organizational skills to carry it out. Make sure that you understand both your team members and your clients. This takes a bit of work and some people skills. Even as a business owner, customer service skills are all-important.
Some of the most successful salons in the world pride themselves on their business planning and great salon customer experience a key part of their marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at some pro tips that will help you with all of these things.
First of all, it’s important to have a clear budget and try to stick to it. It’s okay to leave a little bit of “wiggle room” in case unexpected issues come up, but keep a close eye on your spending. Be careful with your inventory- too many extra products that aren’t selling can quickly eat into your cash flow.
If it’s a new business, have an “opening a salon checklist” ready with all of your expected expenses to make sure that you stay on track with your spending plan.
Ensure that the targets that you’ve set are realistic enough to be achievable, but still challenge your employees to do their best. By setting both short and long-term goals, you’ll stay aware of what you’d like to achieve and be able to adjust your marketing plan when needed.
When you evaluate your salon's performance, focus on the whole process, and not just a few aspects, like individual stylists or profits from services. Looking at the big picture will make it easier to ask “why” and brainstorm solutions that get to the source of your success.
We already mentioned budgets and long-term planning. These things are an important practice in any business and shouldn’t be overlooked in a successful salon. Here’s some advice for owners to help you stick to something that will work for your team and keep your business costs down and your profits up:
Review your costs regularly - Don’t set aside your budget reviews until the end of the month or pay period. Check up on them weekly (or daily) to stay on top of what’s going on with your salon products, employees and expenses.
Measure your results - Never assume that something is a success or a failure. Sit down with your business plan, review the numbers and talk to your team about your findings. They might surprise you with their insights.
Review your pricing - How can you use this to your advantage? Find new ways to encourage clients to try new services and bring new customers to your business. Do some online research. Find out which products are “hot” among your target market and plan accordingly.
Reward clients for loyalty - This can be a bonus for referring friends or even a loyalty program that gives incentives to repeat clients. Your task is to attract new clients and encourage those all-important rebookings. You can even extend these rewards to include employee referrals, if they work hard to bring in new business.
Spread the word online - Promote your business using social media and a regular newsletter. Updating your company website with salon news and beauty advice encourages people to see your salon as a leader in the beauty industry and boosts your website traffic.
Don’t forget cross-promotions and upselling - Salon owners know that these extra sales go a long way towards helping the business. Encourage a loyal client to try new services that match their beauty goals. Offer staff education and training about the products so that they feel confident recommending one that compliments a service.
Make sure that everyone who comes to your salon leaves happier than when they arrived. A friendly and motivated team will go a long way towards building those relationships. Don’t forget about beauty consultations, as these go a long way towards helping each stylist offer advice and recommendations. Check up on each customer after an appointment- a quick email or a friendly text message is fine.
Part of this is making sure that your staff feels special, too. Business owners know that a happy and fulfilled team raises the odds of having the successful salon that you dream of. Take the time to recognize their successes and have regular meetings where everyone can share any concerns or ideas.
Document all of your processes and any policies. This makes it easier for everyone to follow them and lets you assess them to see how they’re working. You can leave these in a binder or notebook, in the staff break room, or by the front desk.
Invest in some salon software. This will make your life a lot easier. Salon owner advice always emphasizes staying organized and on top of things. Having all of your data, from appointment bookings to inventory and staff schedules, in one user-friendly place will make tasks like marketing, payroll, and budget planning much simpler.
Successful salon owners can manage bookings, POS info, and daily activities with just a few clicks.
Owning, managing, and marketing a successful spa doesn’t have to be a headache. One of the advantages of a hair salon is that you’re surrounded by a great team and tons of tools at your disposal. Many people ask “Is owning a hair salon profitable?” The answer is that it certainly can be if you’re ready to take charge and stay organized. Remember, communication with your customer base and your team is key to what makes a salon successful. Take your time and enjoy the process. After all, successful salon owners are usually the most passionate about what they do.
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