In the salon business, client engagement is just as important as training and talent. Without clients, nothing is possible. How do you keep clients engaged, especially during difficult times? These days, people just aren’t getting as many haircuts or salon services as they were before the pandemic hit. Fortunately, big changes are on the way in 2021. Economists predict a rebound after the tribulations of 2020, and that’s good news for the salon services industry (and pretty much every other industry, too!).
As it becomes safer to give and get personal services, your clients will be thinking about services like yours. How do you get them to think about your particular salon in Lawton? How do you reengage with clients you haven’t seen in months or maybe even over a year? Read on! We’ve gathered some ideas for you. Reengaging clients can be fairly simple. Think about it like reconnecting with an old friend. We’ll all be doing a lot of that as 2021 rolls on!
Start a conversation. Whether it’s an old friend or an old client, every connection begins with a conversation. We all know salon services aren’t just about the service; they’re about relationships. People want a connection, so connect with them! Being direct is best. An email newsletter is a great way to reach all your clients at once, and it’s right there in their inbox. Social media posts are great, but people don’t always see them. Direct marketing is really effective, and it gives you a chance to tell a story. Let your clients know how you’ve been! Tell them what’s been happening with you. Tell them how the salon may have changed since their last visit. Let them know you’ve missed them, you can accommodate them, and you would love to see them when they’re ready.
Offer something special. Promotions are a great way to welcome people back to your salon. Let your clients know you missed them by running promotions that are both general and targeted. It may seem counterintuitive; salons didn’t have a great year last year. Giving anything away for free can feel like a lot. But a “Welcome Back” special will get people in the door and will help them remember what made you such a special part of their lives.
Send a quick survey. We already talked about starting a conversation. A survey is a great conversation starter! Ask what they’re looking for now that they’re getting personal services again. You can ask them how they prefer to book their appointments, what products they’re excited about, or if they prefer to receive texts or emails with promotional offers. Surveys offer high potential engagement because people love being asked their opinion. While you’re at it, why not pair your survey with a special offer for people who complete it?
Referral bonus. Word of mouth remains the best marketing available. Why not incentivize it? Get your clients working for you by offering a referral bonus. It doesn’t have to be huge. $20 off a service, 25% off a salon product, or a sample trio is fine! It should simply be good enough to make people want it. You’ll be rewarding loyal clients for getting your name out there while you’re getting new business!
Be present. Engagement is always a good thing; it keeps you in people’s minds. Make sure you’re connected with your clients on social media and be sure to “like” or comment on their posts. Personalized communication is a great way to be present in their lives and give that personal touch that people like when it comes to salon services. There are lots of salons in Lawton. Make yours stand out!
Make a big deal of it. Stage a “reopening” event. Even if you’ve been open this whole last year, it’s good to give a fresh re-opening feeling as restrictions are lifted. Spruce up your window with a new display or a sign saying, “Welcome Back!” Make it exciting and inviting, and people will be walking back in the door to see what’s new.
After a weird year, don’t make it weird. Let’s face it, for whatever reason, your salon clients may not be ready to come back just yet. Everyone’s comfort level is different. We owe it to everyone to be happy to see them on their own timetable. Sure, it might have hurt last year when regulars ghosted you, but remember that everyone had their own lives to look after and their own circumstances to accommodate. Let them know you’re there when they’re ready, and until then, you can help them make the best of it at home! You can always share YouTube or videos with at-home beauty advice tutorials or let them know you’re available for advice and help when they need it.
Send a thank-you note. Emails are great, but physical mail is so exciting! You can always consider a direct physical mailing to get people in the door. Do a mass mailing to let people know you’re open and ready for their business. Then, when someone comes in for a service, follow up with a physical thank-you note!
These customer reengagement strategies are evergreen. You can use the same tactics to draw clients back after any absence, for any reason. Circumstances now might be strange, after a weird year like last year, but that doesn’t mean your strategies have to change. In fact, the same strategies apply even more these days. Simple, direct, effective reengagement will bring your clients back when they’re ready to come in. Get in touch, make your calls to action clear, and make it easy for your customers to book an appointment. They’ll be back, and if you use these strategies, they’ll come back again and again as things get back to normal!
Salons de Beauté is a great place for stylists and other beauty professionals who want to make a mini salon business work for them. Contact us today and find out about our great location and fabulous rates!
The New Year is almost upon us, thank goodness! We’re all looking forward to putting 2020 behind us, especially now that it’s looking likely that 2021 will end up being a better year for, well, just about everything. But that doesn’t mean we can sit back and wait for good things to happen to us. Nope, we still have to be vigilant and proactive. We still need to be practicing empathy for our neighbors, making good choices to keep ourselves, our friends, our family, and our customers safe, and we need to start planning ahead, now that there’s an “ahead” on the horizon. Being “back to normal” is still a long time off, but there’s still value in setting yourself up to be as productive and successful as possible in the coming year.
Contrary to what you might think, this isn’t a blog post about setting goals in the new year. In fact, we’re going to suggest you don’t set any goals for next year. We can already hear you thinking, Wait, what? Doesn’t every management guru and motivational speaker go on and on about the importance of setting goals? It’s true, they do! Or rather, they did. There’s been a recent shift in the way a lot of the experts are thinking in terms of systems instead of goals.
What’s the difference? A goal is an event that we see existing in the future; it’s something we don’t have but want to attain and need to work toward. A system is something we can use immediately, as well as a process that can change over time. Studies have shown that setting goals can sometimes be counterproductive because goals are always sensitive to setbacks we can’t control. If an athlete’s goal is to win a championship, that depends on things he or she can’t control. If athletes set up systems that help them achieve their best performances, then they’ll be doing their best regardless of results. Systems are flexible. You can change a system. Goals are generally pretty stubborn because they’re specific.
How do you put this into practice? Aristotle once said, “Quality is not an act; it is a habit.” Like everything else, this idea isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for centuries. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to understand.
Let’s put it this way: The new year is typically a time when weight loss becomes a focus. The television is full of advertisements for gyms, diet tracker apps, scales, and more. Let’s say you, like many people, decide on weight loss as a resolution. You want to lose ten pounds. Well, that’s a goal. How will you lose that ten pounds? That’s your system.
Hypothetically speaking, after consulting a doctor, you’ve decided you’re going to achieve your weight loss goal by not eating after 9 PM, limiting yourself to two alcoholic beverages a week, and moving your body thoughtfully for 30-60 minutes a day, five days a week. Those are all great ideas! But a month in, if you haven’t seen the scale budge, that goal may seem really far out of reach, and you might get discouraged.
Sound relatable? Ask yourself, what if you abandoned the weight loss goal in this scenario and just focused on your system? If you gave yourself over to the process, even if the number on the scale wasn’t any different at the end of the year, you’d probably still feel good, be in great shape, and have a year of excellent habits to look back on and feel proud of.
Let’s apply this to your salon in Lawton. Let’s say you, like us, can sometimes get a little disorganized. Your workspace is a wreck by the end of the day. If you set a goal of having a clean workspace, your system would be something like making sure you’re mindfully putting things back where they belong, tidying up in between clients, and making sure you always leave your salon with your workstation neat and clean for the next morning. Not only does that system provide a process, it means you have no chance to feel judgmental toward yourself. If during a hectic appointment your station gets a little messy, you have “tidying up between clients” worked into your process as a reset button during the day. There’s no guilt or shame involved, like there can be when you have a goal still hanging there, unachieved.
If your goal is to retain more of your business, your system might be remembering to book your clients as they’re checking out or having a system that reminds them with texts and emails.
If your goal is to sell more product, your system might be to think about one thing to try to sell each client, each session, for their unique needs.
If your goal is to build a bigger salon business, your system might be a marketing push and client referrals.
If your goal is to reach more prospective clients through social media, your system might be scheduling posts in advance over the weekend, so you don’t forget during the busy week.
If your goal is to have more family or personal time, your system would be blocking off time in your calendar for the gym, for your family, for you.
If your goal is to get more likes and reviews online, your system should be to ask each client during and immediately after their appointment to review you, and possibly offer an incentive to do so.
Goals imply you’re not where you need to be. Systems help you be your best in the moment. Why not commit to systems this year instead of setting goals? Think about what you’d like to see in your life this year and come up with systems to make that a reality. The focus on the “how” might make a bigger difference than dreaming about the “when!”
We all want to get back to normal, don’t we? We want to go to the big game in person. We want to visit our kids and our grandkids. We want to say, “What do you want for dinner?” and visit the grocery store at the last minute. We want to attend church on Sunday, dine out without worry, and go to the hairstylist when we need to. But with so much still so uncertain at this time, we must conduct all of our out-of-the-house activities in a smart, pre-planned manner.
Thinking ahead can be a pain, but it’s the best way for us to be safe while still living our lives and enjoying the comforts we want! If you’re feeling ready to visit your favorite hairstylist, massage therapist, or nail tech at your local salon in Lawton (or anywhere else, really) read this first, make a plan, and follow the guidelines for your safety and theirs. Community means taking care of one another, and the stylists and other beauty industry professionals at Salons de Beauté are doing their best to take care of you. Here’s how you both can take care of each other!
First things first…
The health and beauty industry pros working at Lawton’s salons are staying positive and doing everything in their power to actively reduce risk for their clients. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and the cold and flu season is just around the corner, so all of the stylists and other professionals at Salons de Beauté want to avoid any potential problems or pitfalls. This is definitely a time to follow the guidelines issued by local and state governments and by the CDC to keep things safe for everyone. Nobody wants to go back to the way it was in March and April. The best way we can all ensure we’re able to visit our local stylist or nail tech is to follow the rules and safety precautions. If you’re curious about what the stylists are doing to protect you, the customer, you’re encouraged to call your salon worker and ask about safety protocols.
Arrive on time for your appointment and come alone.
To reduce community contact, the seating areas at Salons de Beauté and most other salons in Lawton are closed at this time. If you arrive early for your appointment, we ask that you wait in your car. Your salon worker will let you inside at the time of your appointment, so text your stylist and follow the directions we’ve posted on the front door.
You must call in advance to schedule your salon service. Our stylists are not accepting drop-ins or walk-ins at this time. We also ask you to come alone. Please do not bring your friends, and please do not bring your children. While we here at Salons de Beauté appreciate the stress that these times have put on families without childcare, only two people are allowed in our styling rooms at a time. If you have no other choice but to bring your children, please ask your stylist if they may come along, and make sure your children are masked and respectful of boundaries.
Wear a mask. Everyone else is.
When you’re receiving services at Salons de Beauté, you must wear a mask the entire time you are inside the building. Guidelines vary inside each stylist’s individual room. Our stylists know what they are comfortable with, so to keep everyone feeling safe, it’s best to listen and comply. The stylists are also happy for you to come wearing eye protection and gloves.
This also goes without saying: Keeping your distance from others is crucial. While salon services are intimate, it is important that you limit your close contact with others while at Salons de Beauté.
Expect a different salon experience.
Change is hard, but it’s also temporary. As the current situation persists, we all have to manage our expectations. Please come to your appointment at Salons de Beauté expecting a different salon experience right now. Because barbershops and salons feature a number of shared surfaces, including chairs, tables, and hair tools, we’re sanitizing everything in between clients. If things take a bit longer, we’re asking for your patience and understanding. This is not the time to linger over your salon services. Come into your stylist’s room, receive your service, and then get back out the door. As they say in the restaurant industry, “eat and get out.” Now more than ever it’s crucial to catch up with your stylist over social media instead of in the salon chair.
For those who are coming in for nail services, plexiglass partitions have been installed for the nail techs because of how close they need to be. Use the hand sanitizer provided, and please consider leaving a no-touch tip. Contactless or tap-and-go payments with cards and your digital devices are best. Consider setting up Apple or Android Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, or something to expedite the payment process, and limit the amount of cash your stylist must handle.
What can clients do to help protect their health and beauty worker?
If you’re not feeling well, stay home from your appointment. Now is not the time to say, “it’s just a sniffle.” It’s hard, but we’re now living in a world where little decisions have big impacts. Protect your community by canceling your salon appointment if you feel unwell! It can be disappointing to need to postpone your haircut, massage, or nail appointment, but right now we all need to remember that disappointment is temporary, and the consequences of our actions can be profound for other people and their families.
What can clients do to help protect themselves?
Clients should practice good hygiene before, during, and after their salon service. Wear a mask at all times when possible, wash your hands thoroughly, and change clothes and wash your hands when you get home. If you are immunocompromised or have chronic health conditions, carefully consider whether this is the right time for your salon service. Rest assured, our stylists are dedicated to making your salon experience as safe as possible during these trying times! The good news is, the more we all follow the rules, the sooner we can get back to normal.
As part of Governor Stitt’s three-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy, salons, spas, and barbershops were allowed to resume business on April 24, as long as owners adhere to social distancing guidelines, have employees wear masks, frequently sanitize equipment, and follow other protocols. The threat of COVID-19 has affected all of us this year, but here at Salons de Beauté we are happy to see our salon pros get back to business in a way that’s safe for everyone.
All of us who lease mini salon suites in Lawton have been apprised of the orders from Governor Stitt as well as the safety guidelines set forth by the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering. We know that it can be challenging to understand exactly what’s happening. Read on to find out what you can expect from your next visit to Salons de Beauté to get a haircut, color, manicure, or massage.
Health and beauty services may reopen for appointments only. No walk-in hair, health, or beauty traffic can be accepted during this time. While we know this is an inconvenience, health and beauty professionals of all sorts are being asked to see clients by appointment only. Clients should call, text, or book online. To further ensure appropriate social distancing, we encourage clients to wait outside the establishment until it’s time for their services. Of course, while you’re outside, please maintain a social distance, either by remaining in your vehicle or by keeping far away from others who are also waiting for their services. Here at Salons de Beauté, we thank you in advance for contacting your stylist or massage therapist to make your next appointment!
Salon owners or workers must monitor their health. Personal responsibility is everything in the COVID era. Everyone needs to be self-monitoring, whether they’re giving haircuts or getting them. Any salon worker or any salon client who registers a temperature above 99 degrees should stay home and quarantine until the fever is gone and they have observed no signs of COVID-19. Symptoms include cough, fever, chills, shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, and difficulty breathing. While quarantine may prove unnecessary in many cases, it’s always best to look out for ourselves and our fellow salon workers and patrons. With so many people so vulnerable to the unique challenges of COVID-19, being community-minded in this regard can make a big difference, and you might never know to whom.
Social distancing poses a few challenges to salon services. Social distancing is pretty much impossible during your service at Salons de Beauté, and Governor Stitt is aware of this. While it’s understood that social distancing cannot be maintained during a haircut or color, we’re asking salon owners and salon clients to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by keeping distance between themselves and anyone not involved with the performance of the service, using divider shields when possible, and staggering work schedules. Thankfully, at Salons de Beauté, our mini salon suites make it easier to avoid other people, and our salon common area will remain closed until it’s safe to reopen.
The following personal protective equipment (PPE) will be utilized:
- Masks. State regulations require all salon and beauty industry workers to wear a mask at all times. The state is also asking clients to volunteer to wear a mask during any health, salon, or beauty services, or to be given a clean towel to hold over their face when a mask is impossible.
- Face Shields or Safety Glasses. Health and beauty professionals should, when possible, wear face shields or safety glasses during services to protect themselves and their clients.
- Hand washing. One of the best things anyone can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash their hands properly and frequently. Appropriate hand-washing is irrefutably effective in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. All health and beauty workers are required to wash their hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds in between servicing clients and as frequently as possible during the service, as well as after smoking, eating, or using the bathroom. While we know that gloves can only be used sometimes, hand washing is something we can all do to protect each other. We also ask all clients coming to Salons de Beauté to ensure they’re washing their hands properly.
- Capes. Capes should be sanitized in between clients, either with spray or wipes.
- Neck strips or towels. Health and beauty workers are advised to use neck strips and neck towels to further protect clients and themselves.
- Clothing. By now, we all know we need to change clothes and shower after going out into the world. Health and beauty workers are no different. All salon workers and clients are asked to arrive at their appointments showered and wearing clean clothing, and to shower and change clothes after returning home.
- PPE Maintenance. All soiled drapes, capes, gloves, gowns, towels, and so on should be disposed of in a closed container and cleaned thoroughly before being used again.
This is only a portion of the guidelines and protocols drafted by Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering for salons in Lawton. For a more complete understanding of the rules and regulations, as well as the threat that COVID-19 poses to salon workers and clients and how those threats can be mitigated, we encourage everyone to empower themselves and click this link to read the complete Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering safety guidelines document as well as this link to the CDC page on social distancing.
Salons de Beauté is making an effort to support salon owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us today and find out how we can help your dream of owning a salon in Lawton happen even in these uncertain times.
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!