Spring is just around the corner, which means growth and change are on everyone’s mind. As the first crocuses poke up though the last of winter’s crusted snow, our minds naturally turn to the idea of opening up, branching out, and expanding. And you never know just what will bloom!
If you’re considering trying to grow your salon business in Lawton this year, read on. This is the second in our two-part series on successful entrepreneurs’ tips on how to successfully expand your small business. Last time, we talked about surrounding yourself with good people, developing a sensible plan for growing your salon in Lawton, keeping your focus dialed in while you expand, analyzing your core values, and knowing your competition. Read on and find out what else we’ve gleaned from reading the best advice from the most successful entrepreneurs around!
These are common-sense ideas that any small-business owner would find useful, but they can be tailored to the needs of anyone who owns a salon in Lawton. In fact, we’ve done a little thinking for you on how this advice could apply to someone who owns a mini salon suite and is looking to grow their business, but maybe your thoughts will spin off into a different direction. Read on and see!
- Find Out What Your Clients Want and Give It To Them.
This may seem basic, but it’s the beating heart of every service-industry business. You can’t sell people what they don’t want. You have to ascertain what they do want and sell them that.
Sure, it’s important to try to anticipate needs. As an industry professional, you’ll be the first to hear about things like a specialty service that’s just making the rounds in Hollywood, a new nail color, the daring haircut that the heroine of the latest superhero blockbuster is rocking. But it’s not just about the services you provide; it’s about your clients’ total experience. In addition to specific services, you’re also providing other important things: pampering, giving the feeling of trendiness, providing a sense of identity.
Those less tangible things are what people really want, so you need to figure out how to give them to your clients along with the actual physical services you provide. It’s not easy to really put your finger on what people want. Sometimes, they don’t even know! But figuring this out is worthwhile, because it makes you essential.
- Invest in Infrastructural Improvements.
We were just talking about figuring out what your clients want and giving it to them. Some of that is emotional, the feeling they get from receiving your service. But tied into that is their desire for an experience. You have to figure out what your clients want in that regard, too. Do your clients like a soothing, spa-like atmosphere that helps them unwind after their long workdays? Or do they want to go to a salon that feels like an upbeat, cool, funky clubhouse where they leave feeling like going out for a night with their girls? That’s the power of décor and of tailoring your space to meet your clients’ needs. You have to take risks and express yourself!
When you’re leasing a mini salon suite from Salons de Beauté, you obviously won’t be making structural changes to your building. That doesn’t mean you can’t use your profits to customize your space, though. You can add paint, décor, or art for the walls. The more comfortable your space, the happier your customers! Creating the right environment is an essential part of giving your clients what they want, whether you’re retaining current clients or attracting new ones, so it fits into your mission to grow your business.
- When You’re Ready, Quit Your Day Job.
It can be hard to know when to say goodbye, but if you’re looking to not just run your own salon in Lawton but also grow and expand that business, it’s going to need all your focus. When you can, downsize your distractions. If you’re still renting a chair at a bigger salon, even if it’s still part-time, you’re going to have to give it up at some point. When you’re in a place where you can cut the cord, do it. Only then will you really be able to sow your time, focus, and energy and reap the rewards of that.
- Don’t just focus on getting the sale. Focus on helping your salon clients.
Again, salons are part of the service industry. We are here to help clients feel like their best selves. Selling them services they don’t want or products they don’t need may net you a quick sale, but it won’t build trust between you and your clients. You need to show them you understand them and care about their needs, not just about what they can fish out of their wallets.
- Keep Detailed Records
Tax season is upon us, so now’s a good time to plan out how you’ll keep even better records next year. Keeping detailed records is an essential part of any small business, though it’s rarely anyone’s favorite. That’s why getting ahead of the game is a good idea. Get a divider and put your receipts in the proper place, do your paperwork monthly, and stay on top of things. It’s not as fun as giving someone funky highlights or a great massage, but you must do it to stay afloat, and you’ve got to be great at it to grow!
- Become an Authority and Teach Others.
Sometimes, growing your brand means establishing your place in the community. When you take on a role like teaching or mentoring, it can help you remember your core competencies, your values, your brand. It’s true that becoming a mentor won’t necessarily net you more money, but it’s a way to expand your brand as you give back. People don’t forget the people who helped them! Remember how our very first action item was surround yourself with good people? Well, you can be one of those good people for others! When you make those sorts of inroads in your community, people will see you in a different light. You can’t buy that sort of publicity!
Building your own small business means putting in a lot of time, effort, attention to detail, and planning. Even so, it’s something that’s within reach as long as you have an idea, a plan, and the will. If you’re reading this right now, we’re guessing you’re someone who works in the health and beauty industry. Maybe you’re considering the advantages of being a small-business owner instead of an employee at someone else’s salon. That’s great! Opening your own salon in Lawton is a big deal. You’ll be taking a big step down an unfamiliar path, which is a brave and amazing thing for anyone to do, and there are plenty of our Salons de Beauté blogs you can look over when it comes to getting started!
Maybe you’ve already made the transition from employee to owner, and you’ve already opened a salon in Lawton. As you’re probably learning, opening a business is only part of the work of owning a business. You have to do more than survive; you have to thrive! Growth is a part of thriving. Eventually, you’ll want to grow your business, whether it’s bringing in new kinds of products or new services or even an employee or contractor. That can seem super intimidating
The good news is, you’re not the first person in the world to think about how to grow your own small business, salon or otherwise. Plenty of now-experienced entrepreneurs have done exactly what you’re about to do. We’ve gathered their best pieces of advice here for you. In fact, we found so many great ideas that we’re going to bring you a two-part series!
Our team at Salons de Beauté read over a dozen articles by entrepreneurs on how to grow a small business. We found that many of the authors had similar advice, regardless of their field, and that most of it could easily apply to building a small salon business, too. We’ve talked here a lot about salon and beauty industry-specific tips such as asking for referrals, seeking peer support, getting a mentor, building your unique brand, leveraging the power of social media, using a customer rewards system, and ongoing skills training, but we’re dialing out our focus a bit here to give you a bigger picture. We hope you enjoy this curated list of ways to grow your salon in Lawton! We think you’ll find a lot of help below.
- Find Good People to Support You.
You probably already know this, but the support one gets from having good people in one’s life is invaluable. And we don’t just mean your great friends, your awesome family, or your wonderful significant other, either. We mean people such as your banker, your accountant, your vendor, your landlord. They need to be good people too.
Trust your gut when gathering your team. After all, you’re basically assembling your own Avengers or Justice League for your small business! If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention to that feeling sooner rather than later. You’re going to need to have a relationship with these people, so if you don’t like someone, something doesn’t seem right, or you don’t feel you can work effectively with someone, make sure you transfer your account or do what needs to be done. Take the steps you need to feel secure, happy, and safe enough to work effectively.
- Develop a Growth Plan.
Once you have one, you’ll be always thinking about it! If developing a plan sounds intimidating, don’t worry. Your growth plan can be is as simple or complex as you need it to be. Ask yourself these questions and write down your thoughts on your phone, in your journal, or on your laptop: How do you expect to grow in the first year? What about years two and three? Would ten new clients a year feel like enough growth your first year? Do you want to see more revenue from retail sales? Do you need more followers on social media? Answering these sorts of questions will help you focus your efforts and develop an effective plan to keep your business growing on track. One thing most successful entrepreneurs have in common is a tendency to outline their plans for growth by the year and work toward achieving them. You can do the same with your salon in Lawton.
- Say “No” to Anything Off Focus.
Growing a small business means putting a lot of thought into that growth. It’s therefore good to streamline one’s business in other ways when entering a growth phase. Remember, nobody can do everything. Identify your core competencies and stick to them. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new things, but you should make sure everything you do is in alignment with your mission as a small-business owner. A hair salon deciding to carry a killer new product line is one thing, but greeting cards, jewelry, or little knickknacks might not really be such a good fit, especially when you’re working on growing your business. You need a strong trunk to support branches!
- Research Your Salon Competition.
Do you know who your competitors are in town? Taking the time to find out who else is out there can be a really good thing for a small-business owner to do. Not only can you see what works (and doesn’t work) for them, you can position yourself in the market as offering things that they don’t or promoting specialties that make you distinct. Competition is healthy. Don’t be afraid of it! Competitors show there is a demand for what you’re doing. Embrace the competition and use them to show off what makes you unique.
That’s a wrap for part one of our two-part blog series on growing your salon in Lawton. We hope you found it interesting. We’ll be back soon with even more spectacular ideas for making your business grow.
It may feel as though the holidays are long behind us, but really, most of us are still finding bits of tinsel around the house and seeing that there’s still a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge. Any new resolutions still seem fresh and exciting, and the whole year is stretching out before us, full of potential.
If you own and operate your own mini salon suite in Lawton or work anywhere in the health and beauty industry, you probably have a separate set of resolutions for growing your business. The beginning of the new year is a great time to envision how you want to make the coming year busier and more profitable than the last. None of us wants less money than we made the previous year! And of course, the new year means we’re all looking at our tax stuff and thinking about paying “the man” and how we’d like to have more in our pocket when we’re back to planning for the holidays this year.
If you’re too exhausted by the new year and your personal resolution-making, let Salons de Beauté help. Below, you’ll find six ways to inexpensively and effectively grow your business, beat the competition, and make your salon in Lawton stand out in the new year.
Provide an Awesome Salon Customer Experience. This may seem like 101 advice, but you’ll find it in every book on small business ever. The best, most important thing any small-business owner can do to stand out from the crowd is to provide impeccable customer experiences. In this world of online commerce and faceless transactions, customers who come in for services such as haircuts and hair coloring, massages, facials, and aromatherapy like to feel seen, valued, and appreciated. And because we live in the online age, it’s not just the in-person pampering that matters. Customers’ online experience—ease of scheduling, responsiveness on social media, and so on and so forth—is all part of it. Resolve to make sure your customers are treated as magnanimously as you’d like to be treated, with as much attention to detail. We know you’ll see a difference.
Create a Compelling Offer. Everybody loves a deal. For whatever reason, the allure of a sale, a buy-one-get-one, a “special,” or what have you really appeals to human nature. These days, everything seems to be on special. You can get Groupons and online codes with just a quick Google search. To truly create a compelling offer, you need to really understand your customers. A blanket offer, such as a free this-or-that, can usually bring in a little business. But if you know your clientele, you can really make them sit up and take notice. If your customers love the products you sell or need an incentive to try them out, run a sale. If you service a particular community, such as the Hispanic/Latino or Asian-American community, run specials around holidays unique to their needs. And pay attention to yourself, too. Take note of what makes you perk up. Those are the sorts of deals you need to be replicating in your business life!
Get Good at Something Difficult. “We don’t do that here.” Is there anything more frustrating to hear when you’re a customer? Go out and become the person who DOES do that. Take classes to carve out a niche for yourself, whatever you love. Maybe it’s a specialized service that’s too much of a hassle for a normal salon. Maybe it’s learning ASL to serve the deaf community better. Having a specialty of some sort and effectively marketing yourself as having it will immediately make you stand out from the herd.
Creating a Unique Salon Space. Marketing seems like something big corporations do to attract as many people as possible to their products. They have advertising campaigns and billboards and online ads across platforms and such. Well, marketing for people who run their own salons in Lawton is a lot different, in part because a lot of your marketing is going to be your actual physical space, unlike an online retailer or big box store. Decorating is fun, and you can make it work for you! After all, have you ever walked into a salon and known immediately that you wouldn’t get the haircut you wanted? Maybe the salon looked too old-fashioned or too hip, too harsh or too country. A little paint, some décor items, and framed pictures on your wall will help you define yourself and help the right clients find you. Your customers come to you for your sense of style, so show it off!
Ask for Reviews. This is our cheapest suggestion. Ask for reviews! Good ones can bring people in the door. Ask your customers to throw you a review on Google, Yelp, your Facebook, or even their own Facebook! If you treat your clients well, they will be pleased with your service and willing to help you grow your business. A request for reviews lets them know they can help you thrive, so thank them for it if they follow up on it. Remember that a light touch is best, however. You don’t want to beg, and you definitely don’t want to scold. Even if a customer isn’t writing a review for you on Yelp, they may be telling all their friends about you.
Explore ALL Online Options. Above, we talked about how big corporations have a lot of marketing capabilities. You do too! Online advertising is inexpensive. You can buy ads on Google or Facebook or Instagram that suit almost any marketing budget, whether that’s $5 dollars a day, $10 a day, $20 a week. Take some time to do a little research, and you will see how cheaply you can reach prospective new clients in your area for specific services.
Here at Salons de Beauté, we hope this list has inspired you to resolve to expand your business and the way you see yourself as a business owner here in 2020!
‘Tis the season… for thinking about the New Year. Sure, the presents are all unwrapped by now but the tinsel is still on the tree, the “Fireplace For Your Home” is still crackling away on Netflix and the smell of cookies still hangs in the air, so we all know that thoughts are turning to what’s in store for 2020.
First off, let’s just say that we here at Salons de Beauté wish you and yours a happy, prosperous New Year! We’d like to give you the gift of inspiration for how to get the jump on making your mini salon in Lawton a big success. Just consider this your New Year’s resolution list, and it’s already done for you! We’re certain you’ll agree our ideas are worth a shot once the ball has dropped, the glitter has been swept up, and all the fruitcake has been digested.
Of course, there are many ways to approach building your business once the calendar flips over, but one of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to reach more salon clients, retain the clients you currently have, and build your brand reputation is through—you guessed it—social media.
We’ve talked a lot about social media here on the Salons blog, but that’s because it’s so important and ever-changing! No one can ever predict the next viral craze, after all. Here are our favorite ideas when it comes to leveraging your social media in the coming year!
Update your social media profiles. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat… all of them. This may seem like a drag, and it kind of is, but it’s also crucial. First things first: If you want to make sure your social media is working for you, it has to be updated with all your correct information. Even if you haven’t moved or changed your number, just go over everything to make sure it’s correct. If people can’t get in touch with you, they can’t become clients. Be sure to refresh your pictures of both your work and of yourself. Keeping your profile looking up-to-date is a great way to make sure people know you’re still in business when they search for you! An old or out-of-date site can appear derelict to new customers.
Identify your salon style and branding guidelines. We are who we pretend to be, and that’s never more true than on social media. Who do you want to be to your clients? Asking yourself this question will help you pin down your salon style and your branding. Make yourself look like you dream of looking to others, because that is how they’ll see you when they find you. Position yourself ambitiously but also realistically, and stay consistent when it comes to your voice and marketing. Trust yourself, and go for it!
Try Giveaways. Who doesn’t love a giveaway? This year, why not try a few? While it’s important to keep the cost under control, a little contest or giveaway is a great way to up engagement and get some exposure for yourself and your salon. You don’t have to give away much, and it doesn’t have to be huge and expensive. A box of samples or a full-sized product or two can make people excited to participate in any little contest you might propose. You could select at random one customer who posts a picture of their fresh cut to their social media and tags your salon. Really, anything will do.
Demonstrate your skills with before and after images. Everyone loves them. Make sure you have some transformations on your page, with your clients’ permission, of course. There’s an entire industry of shows that cater to our love of seeing someone go from a hot mess to a superstar, so why not cash in on that? It’s your business, after all!
Respond to Everyone, Everything. Don’t forget: There’s more to engagement than posting! You have to respond to people who respond to your efforts. Two-way communication is crucial. If something you post inspires a comment, comment back, even if it’s just to say “thanks!” This builds the connection that people want these days.
Develop a social media editorial calendar. Nobody plans to fail, but some people fail to plan. Don’t let yourself slip up! You don’t have to plan more than a week at a time, though a month at a time is better. Set aside an hour once a month to look ahead, and plan it out. Choose themes and identify holidays and specific special dates. Customer birthdays can be a part of this, too.
Build relationships, not just followers. Building relationships is 101 when it comes to sales, no matter what you’re selling. It doesn’t matter if it’s massages, haircuts, or cars, people buy from their friends, typically, so make sure your social media presence is, well, friendly. We recently discussed the idea of boundaries when it comes to work-life balance, so keep that in mind. But even if you’re very clear about where work ends and friends and family begin, you can still be very friendly online and build relationships that don’t transgress your personal space needs. At the end of the day, that’ll get you followers and repeat customers!
Take advantage of a social media dashboard app. We know all of this can seem like a lot. It is a lot! Social media takes up a lot of time, even when we’re not using it for professional purposes, which is why you should make it as easy on yourself as possible. Look into social media dashboard apps such as Hootsuite. They help manage the amount of time you spend toggling between various apps. A social media dashboard also can be a good reminder of sites you use less than others but still need to keep updated. While figuring out a good social media dashboard app may seem like yet another task for your salon in Lawton, it’s worth it to put in the time to make one what you need to thrive. Many of the ideas above will be made easier with a dashboard as well, especially scheduling posts for the month. Consider it!
Happy New Year! Remember, the New Year is a time of new beginnings and celebrations. It’s a great way to get re-inspired to make yourself and your business exactly what you want it to be. Maybe during the week between Christmas and New Year’s you can take some time to think about new beginnings when it comes to your salon in Lawton. 2020 may be the year your business really takes off if you put the time in!
Salons de Beauté is dedicated to making your new year great by providing mini salon suites for lease to self-motivated beauty pros. Contact us today and ring in the new year with your new mini salon suite in Lawton!
As anyone who works in the service industry knows, setting boundaries is extremely important. The beauty industry is necessarily very personal and, as we all know, some clients can take that too far. They want to be treated like friends, but most of the time, clients aren’t friends. They’re customers, and no matter how intimate a service you might provide for them, there needs to be professional distance at all times.
Some boundaries are personal, in terms of what we’ll tell clients about our personal lives and histories, and what we choose to keep private. Other boundaries are professional in nature, and surprising as it might be, those can be harder to define. We’re all anxious to succeed in our business, which means it can be hard to define when we’re going too far to please our clients and when we’re just trying to offer the best service possible. While bending over backwards for someone can be a very good idea every once in a while, you’re in for a lot of trouble when that becomes a matter of habit. Burnout is real, and it can hit hard when you don’t set the firm boundaries we all need to thrive.
Not sure where to start? We’ve come up with some good places to begin thinking about your professional boundaries when it comes to your salon in Lawton. Read on, and then take a little time to think about what you can really and truly handle when it comes to a sustainable work/life balance. Style and beauty industry jobs are wonderful and rewarding, and it’s a great blessing to love what you do for a living, but trust us: You’ll be able to do it longer and more happily if you make sure you set appropriate boundaries.
Set Your Professional Limits. We mentioned bending over backwards for your clients, but don’t bend so hard you break. Accommodating one client can turn into accommodating all of them, and that can really wear you down.
This may seem like a really basic place to start, but think of it like a foundation. You might be new to running a mini salon suite, but you’re no stranger to the beauty business. You’ve been doing this for a while. You know what you can handle and what you can’t, what you like, and what makes you fly to pieces. It’s good to ask yourself not only what you can put up with, but what you want to put up with. There’s no use running yourself ragged. No one can work every moment of the day. Think about it like this: Whatever leads you to feeling stressed and uncomfortable is no good. Make sure you’re firm with yourself about not working too hard so you can work hard later!
Set Your Business Hours. This is probably the best piece of advice for any small-business owner, but it’s especially important for anyone with a salon in Lawton. Salon workers are often pushed to be too flexible in their hours to accommodate their clients’ busy schedules. Don’t fall victim to that! Your personal time is valuable. It’s when you recharge your batteries so your clients get you at your best!
Look, we get it. It can be tempting to make some extra cash by staying open late or arriving early to please a client, but what’s better for your personal mental health is to set hours and keep them. If your salon is open 10am-7pm Tuesday through Saturday, let it be known that those are the hours you’re prepared to work. That means all work, including answering calls, setting appointments, responding to texts or emails, and so on and so forth. Just because people want to talk to you doesn’t mean you owe it to them to answer them at that moment. You’re considerate of their time, and they need to be equally considerate of yours!
Protect Your Digits. These days, people want to be able to call you, text you, email you, and ping you on social media: whatever works best for them. But what’s best for you is a little privacy. Set up a work phone number, a work email address, and a set of work social media accounts. Keep your private life protected. While it can be tempting to give clients your personal accounts, the more you open up in that way, the more opportunities you risk with them pushing boundaries. It’s best to have work accounts and let it be known what your hours are. Let clients know that it could take a few days for you to respond to messages.
Set Your Designated Time Off. Now that you lease your own mini salon suite in Lawton, you get to choose when you have a day off, remember? It’s not like back in high school or early in your career when you had to check the schedule board at work to see when you worked and when you had time off. Now that you’re the boss, you get to set your days off. Stick to your guns about them. While it’s okay to give in every once in a while and work an extra day, treasure your time off.
Share With Your Clients. The above suggestions are merely that: suggestions. They’re starting points for conversations that eventually lead to decisions. But once you’ve figured out what you need, you’re not done. You have to communicate this to your clients. Post your hours on your door and on your website/social media. If you tell people your professional Facebook or Instagram, they won’t go looking for your personal one. Make business cards with only the information you want to be known. Do whatever it takes to make sure your clients understand how they can get in touch with you! Otherwise, you may find they take to hunting you down when you’re taking your much-needed rest time away from your mini salon in Lawton.
Salons de Beauté leases mini salon suites to beauty industry professionals. Contact us today and learn about our reasonable rates!
Halloween is nearly here! You’re probably putting the finishing touches on your costume or your kids’ outfits, you’ve broken into the candy for the trick-or-treaters, and you’re just putting up the last of the spooky decorations. And yet, the winter holidays loom. Halloween used to be a bulwark against the holiday season, but if you’re anything like us, you’ve started to see Christmas candy and holiday decorations in the stores.
It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa or all of them.
The preparation is pretty much the same. There are parties and gatherings to plan, gifts to buy, friends to connect with, decorations to bring out of the attic, dinner menus to plan, cards to write. And all of that is on top of running your salons in Lawton. You’re probably already seeing a rush of appointments for people who want to look their best for the holidays. Your personal time is already getting tight, isn’t it?
The good news is you have time. Everything you need to prepare for the coming holiday season is already in the stores at Central Mall Lawton, Target, Costco, and pretty much everywhere else. Here are a few ways you can make use of your time and make the actual holiday season a lot more stress-free for yourself and your salon in Lawton!
- Establish a holiday budget for yourself and the salon. Sit down and make a budget for what you can afford to spend this holiday season on your salon, your clients, and your family. And don’t forget to budget a little bit of money to spend on yourself! Be careful: Don’t blow your holiday shopping and preparations budget this year before the holidays even arrive. Even though most folks don’t bother to create a holiday budget, it’s one of the smartest things you can do for yourself and for your salon. Get out a piece of paper or open your accounting software and calculate it. Simply setting the intention will help you stick to the budget much better.
- Get your mailing list in order. No one likes to frantically rummage through their devices, address books, and desk drawers for a missing contact list or the addresses of their friends, family members, and clients. Before the holiday madness really sets in, why not take a little time to sketch out your mailing list for personal holiday cards, thank you cards, and those cards you will be sending to your salon clients this holiday season? If you’re not in the habit of collecting mailing addresses along with phone numbers and email addresses from your clients, that’s something you want to start doing immediately. This kind of contact information not only helps you stay connected with the people who sit in your chair, it also allows you to market your salon business more effectively. If you want to go a step further, order some printed return address labels for yourself and your salon business, buy all your holiday stamps in advance, and address your envelopes before you start writing the cards. Writing holiday cards is fun and easy. Nobody enjoys addressing envelopes!
- Get your events calendar ready. This is also a great time to start getting your life in order. Whether you enter calendar events into your phone or jot them down on a wall calendar or a physical planner, now is the time to block off dates and times for out-of-town trips to visit friends and family, time off for yourself, various parties, and special events you might be having at the salon. You should also add your personal appointments into the calendar, such as trips to the dentist, when you’ll need to get your car serviced, or when you’re having your furnace tuned up. Time budgeting will save your brain when things get really involved.
- Perform your annual holiday supplies audit. With many of the retail stores already ramping up their holiday displays, you’ll be able to find a great number of sales and deals on everything you need going into the holiday season. Remember your budget, but also remember that this is an excellent time to perform your pre-holiday supplies audit. This means you can get your holiday decorations, wrapping paper, holiday cards, gift bags, ribbons, bows, cookie tins, holiday craft supplies, decor, and so on and so forth early in the season when it’s cheap and available and the stores aren’t all thick with shoppers.
- Visit your print shop. This is the time of year when salon business traffic is likely to increase, and you may be running specials, discounts, promotions, or special events. You’re also going to be sending cards and putting together little gift bags for your clients. All of this means it’s a good idea to visit a print shop, local or online. Do it early in the season to make sure you have everything printed and ready for the holiday season. You might need copies of flyers, coupons, labels, cards, and more. Get it done early, and they’ll all be right there when the time comes to send them out!
- Shop for your salon clients. Although shopping for friends and family members can be difficult, putting together a little gift assortment for your clients is relatively easy. Gifts for friends and family are highly personal and take a good deal of thought. When it comes to your clients, the expectation is never high, but your salon clients will be surprised and pleased that you thought enough of them. Let’s face it, there’s always a chance that your clients, especially your longtime clients, will be giving you a little something special this holiday season. While you might choose to give something a little bit more personal to a few special, longtime clients, most of your clients won’t expect this. Why not put together little gift bags of salon products with a festive tag on top? It’s always a good idea to include your business card and a discount card or coupon for their next salon visit. You can even give them a coupon for their favorite salon. That can benefit you through the holiday season and well into the new year!
When you’re a salon worker, you get comfortable with your regular clients. It’s almost impossible not to. After all, you’re cutting their hair, waxing their upper lip, or giving them a massage. It’s personal, even if it’s not intimate. And as with every relationship, the more personal it becomes, the more comfortable it becomes, and there’s always the possibility that you’ll get too comfortable and step on someone’s toes.
As you get to know a client, it’s good to let them into your life in little ways similar to the way they let you into theirs. At the same time, some things are just too much for a professional relationship, even if it’s a long-standing one. Here, we’ll discuss some behaviors that are always inappropriate when you’re in a professional role at your salon in Lawton.
Be on time. Let’s start with the easiest one first. Don’t be late. Nothing says “I don’t value your time as much as I value my own” like showing up late for an appointment or making a client wait while you finish up a call or have a smoke break. Everyone messes up. You have car trouble or you find yourself stuck because of a train you didn’t expect or you need to take an emergency phone call. As often as you can, however, be on time—or better, early.
Be prepared. Related to the above topic, you never want to seem unprepared for an appointment, and you definitely never want to make excuses. We all have busy lives, and your clients are moving their schedules around to make time to see you for your specific services. Being prepared at the time of their appointments shows that you respect them and their time.
Keep it to yourself. Clients can be frustrating, but even if your least favorite person in the world just left your chair, you never want to speak negatively about any of your clients to another client. Similarly, you should never discuss anything a client has told you in private, for obvious reasons. Also, never complain about how little someone else tips you for your services. In fact, you probably shouldn’t talk about money, good or bad, in front of any of your clients. First of all, it’s none of their business, and it may also affect their impression of you. It may even negatively impact how they pay you or tip you. It’s better to just keep quiet about it. Additionally, you never want to insult the competition, especially if a current client has used them in the past. They might feel insulted by your insults!
It’s all about the client. Don’t stand there looking at your smart phone. We’ve all been cursed to live in interesting times, but whatever is happening on social media, YouTube, or in the news can wait until you have finished with your client. That’s not to say that a glance at your phone on the counter when you receive a text message is bad. You can always look to make sure that you’re not getting an emergency text from your kid’s school. That’s totally acceptable. But unless it’s truly an emergency, don’t be on your phone when your client is in the chair.
Keep your cool. We all have problems, and we all have bad days, and sometimes we have to deal with them on the phone. That’s something that can be done after hours on your own time. Don’t get into an angry conversation or a shouting match in front of your clients.
TMI. Sometimes you just need to keep it to yourself. Don’t talk about your finances with your clients, as we advised above. The same goes for your relationships, especially intimate details. Your clients don’t need to know about how you hooked up with your ex or about how your Tinder date went. The same goes for your medical history or any health problems you may have. You don’t need to share what you did at that wild party the night before, either. If it’s something you wouldn’t tell your kid’s elementary school teacher or your mother, you probably shouldn’t share it with your client.
Nod and listen. Speaking of TMI, let’s face it: When some folks sit down in the chair, they feel comfortable talking about whatever is going on in their life at that time. Let them talk. Interrupting somebody can be very frustrating for them. Your job is to listen. Remember, you’re not a psychologist, even if people treat you like one. But in the end, your clients aren’t really looking for answers. They’re just looking for a listening ear.
Don’t kindle the fires. As we said above, you’re not a psychologist. Your job isn’t to offer advice. People who sit down in your chair may have relationship problems. They may have problems at work or problems at home. They may be looking to talk through it with someone. You can listen and you can empathize or sympathize, but telling someone they should break off and engagement or walk off the job could lead to a real disaster for them and you. Just keep in mind that an hour-long haircut doesn’t give you enough time to know everything about someone’s life or their situation. They might not tell you everything. If you offer advice, it’s going to be you offering it without all the relevant information. And think about it this way: What if they take your advice and it doesn’t work out? Who will they blame? You could lose a client over something like that.
It’s not funny. Don’t repeat that questionable joke you heard from your uncle. Don’t share that off-color meme from Facebook. You don’t know your client’s politics, and you don’t know what will offend them. Limit your comedy act to your friends after working hours. The same goes double for politics.
Salons de Beauté is an ideal location for stylists and other beauty professionals looking to own their own mini salons in Lawton. To find out more about our reasonable leases and ideal location, contact us today!
“Burnout” is one of those things we can’t really understand until we experience it for ourselves. On the outside it seems strange to think you’d ever need a break when things are going well. Why would you need a vacation just when your work is humming along smoothly? Why would you get bored just when things are getting interesting? Then when burnout hits, it suddenly makes sense. It’s possible to love what you do and get a little sick of doing it sometimes. After all, working in the health and beauty industry means working long hours, having lots of people drawing on your energies, and spending a lot of time on your feet.
Don’t feel ashamed if you experience burnout. Treat it like you would any other problem in your business: with care and attention. Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean you have to love doing it all the time, every minute of every day of every week. It’s okay to need a break or a change. In fact, you owe it to yourself. Take it from us: Take burnout seriously, before it’s too late! That might sound dramatic, but taking the time to nip feelings of exhaustion in the proverbial bud can have great payoff for you, your emotional well-being, and your business itself later on. But how do you tackle burnout, especially if you’ve not yet experienced it? Read on, and let us help you identify the signs and symptoms. We also have some helpful strategies for dealing with it, too.
First, understand burnout.
Burnout occurs when your work/life balance isn’t, well, balanced anymore. Don’t feel alone; it’s super common. Everyone struggles to balance living their lives with having to perform the work necessary to do that.
For people who work in the health and beauty industry, you’re constantly having to follow a schedule. If you work in a salon in Lawton (as opposed to leasing a mini salon suite), you have to abide by the salon’s rules, follow a dress code, and serve anyone who plops down in your chair. That would wear anyone down, even a person who loved providing haircuts, color jobs, manicures, or massages. Even if you have leased a mini salon suite from Salons de Beauté, being a small-business owner brings a lot of pressure to take every appointment, day or night, weekday or weekend, and holidays too. You’re always trying to grow your business, after all.
The biggest cause of on-the-job burnout is when your work takes over time you usually spend on yourself. How do you avoid it or fix it once it sets in?
Define your work/life balance.
Have you ever thought about what your ideal work/life balance would look like? Like, really thought about it? If not, take some time to imagine living your best life. In fact, you should write it down. If it seems goofy to do this, remember that you can’t work toward a goal you don’t fully understand. Think about it. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you like a day off here and there or do you always want a weekend with your kids? Do you see yourself working on holidays? How much vacation time do you need to feel whole? Do you want the comfort of keeping the same hours every week or the excitement of a different week every Monday?
Once you know what you can do while staying happy, healthy, and balanced, you’ll also know when you’re pushing too much. Everyone needs to work longer hours sometimes, whether it’s at the holidays or to make up for that summer vacation, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is letting those extra hours creep up and become normal. Know your limits so you can push when you need to and come back to balance afterward.
Once you know what you really want out of your work/life balance, you’ll be able to…
Understand what you’re capable of doing (and don’t be afraid to say “no.”)
Once you’ve clearly defined your ideal work/life balance, you’ll be able to see what you’re capable of doing and what you’re not able to handle. Don’t be embarrassed about this. Just be honest. It doesn’t matter if your friends and acquaintances work more hours or different hours. They’re not you. They don’t know your life or what you need. They might be secretly burning out as you watch them in envy. Be honest about who you are, what you want, and what you need, and you’ll be much more likely to succeed long-term. Say no when you need to. Even if you lose out on a bit of cash in the short term, you’ll be better off in the long term.
Start your day with priority items.
Do you check your phone when you get up? What if instead of getting sucked into Facebook, Instagram, text messages, ads, emails, and Twitter threads, you polished off your most important tasks? Wondering how? It’s easy, but it does mean using a pencil and paper. Before you go to bed at night, write down the next day’s most important tasks. If you forget to do this the night before, think about them before you pick up your phone or open your laptop in the morning. Then check them off one by one. It’s so satisfying; try it!
Make time for personal wellness.
Standing on your feet for eight, ten, even sometimes twelve hours a day is hard. Avoiding burnout means taking a break, whether it’s a fifteen-minute breather, an hour for lunch, or an impromptu spa day. Do whatever is small enough or large enough to get your balance back. And take your breaks away from your salon in Lawton, otherwise you may spend your break doing “little things” for the store, and that’s not really a break at all. Take it from us: Get out, find a relaxation space somewhere nearby, such as a park or a coffee shop, and go there. A gym for that hour lunch break is great too. A few reps and sets will keep you fit and on your feet!
Be open to change.
Take our advice. Use visualization to take charge of your work/life balance to avoid burnout. And don’t be afraid to visualize big. Maybe, just maybe, if you’re working for someone else, your burnout might be remedied by looking into going into business for yourself with a salon suite of your own.
August is one of the busiest months of the year. There’s not one big holiday to keep everyone on the move, but there are a million little things going on, such as barbeques, back-to-school shopping, last-minute camping trips, pool parties, waterpark visits, and so on and so forth. If you’re a small-business owner, you also have to keep marketing and developing your business while everything else is going on. Summer fun is no excuse for letting things slip at your salon in Lawton. It’s important to take a few days off here and there, but keep in mind that big businesses don’t take summer vacations, so little ones can’t, either.
It’s good to take your cues from big businesses in a few ways, actually. Maybe you’ve seen articles about the ways that companies such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Netflix handle their marketing, advertising, and customer care. Do you read them? Sure, it can seem pointless to see what the biggest companies do to market themselves. They have scads of money to throw into customer and marketing programs, after all. But the truth is, small businesses such as salons in Lawton can gain a lot from applying the same kinds of strategies used by the big kids. Here are a few marketing and development strategies culled from some of the top-performing businesses in America that are easily applied to your mini salon suite in Lawton!
Make It About Them: Clients love it when you remember their personal preferences. Big companies have lots of software for tracking that, but owners of salons in Lawton could simply keep a journal or a spreadsheet containing notes from client sessions. Just jot down any interesting tidbits you pick up about clients’ lives. Asking clients questions like, “So how did the big meeting go?” or “Did you like that different cut we tried?” will make them feel like you really value their business. Try to take note of family members’ names, clients’ birthdays, those sorts of things. In reality, a small business can create a personalized experience in the way big businesses just can’t. Use that as an incentive to have your clients come back again and again!
Follow Up: It’s great to jot down notes after an appointment so you can prep before your next, but it’s also important to use the data you acquire. Saying, “Happy birthday!” is great, but sending your clients birthday emails that include a coupon or a free service is even better. It’s also nice to jot down the date of a client’s first salon service with you, and then somehow celebrate every “client anniversary,” perhaps again with a coupon or free service. Your clients will feel that their business really matters to you.
Respond Quickly. Response time is one of the most important aspects of the service industry, according to countless client surveys. It’s human nature to hate to be kept waiting, so make sure you get back to your clients quickly about appointments and services. Respond as soon as possible to texts, phone calls, and email messages. We know it’s hard! Big businesses have tons of people answering their phones and responding to emails around the clock. There’s no way an independent salon owner can compete with that, and most people don’t expect you to. Just do your best to get back to people on the same day or the next day at the very latest, and you’ll do great!
Be Prepared. This is one of our favorite pieces of advice: Make sure you have an “Oops Package” ready to go just in case you make a mistake that upsets a customer. Everyone makes mistakes. A small gift and a short note will show a disgruntled customer that you genuinely care about making things right. Sometimes just saying “I’m sorry” is not enough, so preparing a little package, nicely presented and filled with desirable items, can really mend fences when things have gone wrong.
Anticipate Their Needs. Maybe this seems like a no-brainer, but many people in the customer service industry forget it. Our clients often look to us for what they should be doing with their hair, nails, or whatever else. When you run a small business, you often get to know your clients better than you could if you were working for a big company. Maybe you see a nail color you know a client will love or a style that’s a fresher redux of a valued customer’s favorite ‘do. Taking the time to talk to clients about things that remind you of them or even just workshopping their hair ennui or nail envy into a positive change gives them the biggest reason to come to you. That’s the boutique experience they want from a small business. Plus it will show your clients that you care enough to keep track of things and stay at the top of your game!
Use Your Resources. A big company has many resources: time, money, a huge staff. You don’t have those things, but you do have other resources. That includes your customers! Think about it: The more you talk to your customers, the more you learn about them. They come to you for style and health advice, and you might be able to turn to them, too. While they’re in the chair, talking about the things that go on in their lives, you can ask them questions. Maybe you have a good plumber – or a tax preparer or a lawyer – sitting in your chair. If you ever need someone like that, building that relationship can be a great two-way street. If they’re an independent crafter, get some of their candles, picture frames, or essential oils to spruce up the store, or use them as holiday gifts for your friends. Referrals are great, too, so maybe they have a friend of a friend who might be of use. You simply need to ask them! And then they can do the same with you.
A recent study asked more than 200 health, beauty, hair salon, and spa owners across the world to list the biggest challenges they’d experienced while running a health and beauty salon. We know you’ve probably already read that article. For a while there, it went viral, and everyone was reposting it. But just in case you missed it, are new to the salon business, or prefer an “executive summary” of long articles, we’re here to talk over the highlights with you!
The results of the survey weren’t particularly surprising if you’ve worked in the health and beauty industry for any length of time. What’s surprising is that most of the problems listed in the survey are easily managed, if not completely eliminated, by considering the mini salon path instead of working in or trying to own and operate a big salon. We all know that owning and operating your own salon suite in Lawton allows you to keep more of the money you make while setting your own hours, but those are the topics of a different blog. For now, let’s focus on the five biggest challenges faced by health and beauty salon owners and discuss how they can easily be overcome!
Managing and motivating staff. Salon and beauty industry owners agree that staff issues are the number-one challenge faced by health and beauty salon owners. Nearly 50% of respondents said that managing and motivating staff was the hardest part of their jobs, a statistic that’s no surprise to anyone who has ever worked in a managerial position. We all know how hard it is to stay motivated for work, much less motivate others, especially when you’ve had a few long, hard days or you’re tired from your own responsibilities. The fact is, staff will rarely share the same enthusiasm for their workplace that an owner or manager does. And absentee workers are just a fact of life in business, causing both disruptions to your schedule and a hit to your establishment’s reputation. It’s also difficult to get your employees to sell products if there isn’t a benefit to them to doing so.
Of course, when you run your own mini salon suite in Lawton, you don’t need staff. You power your shop with your own dedication and enthusiasm. You won’t ever get a call that someone hasn’t shown up to work, that someone broke something, or whatever else. You won’t have to deal with payroll, and you keep your sizeable markup on product sales.
Finding New Clients. The second biggest difficulty that salon professionals experienced in their field was finding new clients. Now, finding new clients is a big challenge for anyone, from freelance writers to tattoo artists to salon professionals. Regular readers of this blog know we’ve written about this topic more than once, because there’s a great deal of value in using social media and other ways of promoting your business to get the word out about your salon, its services, and its products. In this interconnected world, we can easily reach out to others. Asking your clients to tell others is another great way to build your list. Nothing builds your client base better than positive word of mouth. Always remember, people love to share positive experiences and excellent resources! They’ll likely prioritize it, too, if you ask.
Retaining Your Clients. The flipside of that is that people also love to share negative experiences, maybe even more than they love to share the positive. Think about it this way: There are two important aspects to retaining clients. Positive experiences will keep your clients coming back; negative ones will drive them away. But even the best salon experience in the world may not result in a repeat client if you don’t stay in touch. Stay in contact with your clients via social media and individual messages, such as an emailed newsletter or text with an offer. There are a ton of great options when it comes to bulk messaging about appointments, specials, and products. A free moment spent contacting clients about a special or open appointments can really result in a big paycheck.
Salon Maintenance. Maintenance is a huge problem faced by all business owners. A shabby or dirty salon will drive away walk-in traffic and make regulars think things aren’t going too well. Broken equipment, old décor, unswept hair, or unclean bowls are signs of something going wrong. The good thing is, it’s so much easier to keep a mini salon suite tidy, bright, and fun than it is to manage that at a larger salon. A small space is clean and neat in a jiffy, and you’ll save on expenses by doing it yourself. You won’t need to hire a janitorial service for one of our mini salon suites, and given that it’s your space, you can decorate it to create any atmosphere you like.
Product Sales. The last of the big concerns for salon owners and managers was moving product. Product sales can be an easy way to generate revenue for salon owners. There’s a big markup on styling products and other items, but many people won’t be automatically interested in buying from you. Amazon exists, as do other stores, so it can be hard to get that sweet extra revenue. Employees often won’t step up to the plate when it comes to sales, especially if there’s nothing in it for them. But when you’re the boss of your mini salon suite, it’s in your best interest to always talk to your clients about your exciting, unique products.
It’s true that small-business ownership is no cakewalk—even if you run a bakery. There are pitfalls and sticking points, but here at Salons de Beauté we believe that education is empowerment. Now that you know the biggest challenges out there, you can meet them head-on as you run your mini salon suite!
Salons de Beauté is renting mini salon suites to stylists and other health and beauty industry workers who want to be their own boss. Contact us today and find out about our reasonable rates and other benefits!