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!
Marketing on a budget is something everyone does, whether he or she is the sole proprietor of a mini salon in Lawton or the head of a huge multinational corporation with a team of accountants, lawyers, and marketing/publicity people. Budgets are set—and sometimes blown—but having one is something everyone does at every level of business ownership. Most small businesses don’t have an annual marketing budget with a fixed number or percentage of revenues dedicated to advertising and marketing, but smaller businesses need to see what they can afford when the need arises. The good news is advertising your small business has never been easier now that practically every electronic device we own has access to the internet. Promoting your mini salon has been simplified by our cultural love of social media and just being online in general. You can use that to your advantage! Pair inexpensive online marketing with a few other wallet-friendly advertising methods and you’ll see results.
Create Listings for Your Salon Business in Search Engine Directories. Maybe you’re tired of hearing it, but there’s a reason we keep saying it. Making sure your salon in Lawton can be found on Google and the other major search engines is the most important thing you can do to get your name out there. And it doesn’t cost a dime. Google and Bing both offer free listings for any business. To get listed on Google, go to Google My Business. To get listed on Bing, go to Bing Places for Business. All you have to do is fill out some information about your mini salon suite, such as your operating hours and contact information, upload a few cute pictures, and that’s it. You’re done. You never have to do it again. It would behoove you to update your pictures as you add flavor to your mini salon, but after you register your business, you’re done with the crucial part: making sure prospective clients can find you.
Already Posting Pics? Have You Tried Video? People love to post pictures to social media, but video is the newer craze. Videos are all over the place. It doesn’t matter if they’re posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, or Snapchat, videos get attention. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 10-second video is worth a dozen still images. If you’re not an amateur videographer, don’t worry! You already have a smartphone in your back pocket or purse, and that’s all the equipment you’ll need to create a video for your business. Just use it to shoot some video of your place when you hang a few new items on the walls, or have someone shoot video of you while you’re doing what you do best. And if you can shoot an educational or instructional video, that’s even better. Ask yourself how many of those “nail your winged eyeliner every time” videos you’ve watched on YouTube. Or what about those cooking videos on Facebook? You know you’ve watched someone show you how to make baked spinach artichoke dip ravioli or some such. Chances are, you know what we’re talking about, so leverage that for your business! Show viewers how to do a cute updo, some sort of nail technique, or a best stretch for people who work at a computer.
Guerrilla Marketing in the Streets. Foot traffic is real. While it seems like everything is online these days, it’s still true that an eye-catching sandwich board or poster in your salon window can bring people in the door. Window art and window displays bring people in the door, especially if you’re locally focused, and a sandwich board can reveal specials, boutique services you alone offer, and more. Bring your flavor to the sidewalk in front of your shop, and as we head into the summer months, why not put a dog bowl with water there, too? It’s a nice service to offer people, and you never know whose curiosity you might pique as they stop to read what you have to offer.
Offer Bonus (Discount) Points for Sharing. These days it’s surprising when a company doesn’t offer a rewards program. Coffee shops, hardware stores, grocery chains, shoe shops, cell phone companies: Everyone seems to have their own card or app that lets you earn rewards by using the service. While giving away your time for free is no one’s dream, inspiring loyalty in your customers boosts your revenue over time. Picking rewards that don’t cut too deeply into your bottom line can be a process of trial and error, but in the end it’s worth figuring out how to further incentivize your customers to choose you.
If you’ve done any online shopping, you’ve also likely encountered referral bonuses. Many sites will give you a discount code to share with your friends that will then bestow upon you a discount or bonus. Giving your customers a financial reason to tell their friends about you helps everyone!
Text Messaging for Openings and Specials. The vast majority of Americans walk around all day with a smartphone of some kind. Even if your clients are those holdouts who have traditional cell phones, they can still usually send and receive text messages. If you already have your clients’ mobile numbers for appointments and reminders, they’re perfectly okay with you sending them messages. Why not use their number to get in touch about last-minute cancellations, discounts, and more?
Go BIG on Client Reviews and Testimonials. They used to say the proof was in the pudding, but these days, the proof is in your reviews and testimonials across the internet. Review sites such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp can encourage business or drive it away. (If you get a negative review, know how to deal with it: we wrote an article about that too!). Start asking for reviews, and don’t let up. Customers definitely notice when reviews are old, and they wonder about your business when there are no new ones, so encourage your clients to post them. You can always give an incentive to post a review as part of your rewards program, as we mentioned above!
Stick with It. You don’t need a million-dollar budget to promote your salon in Lawton. No matter what you do or where you do it, when you’re actively promoting your salon suite business, you’re slowly building your brand—and your client list!
It’s one thing to dream of leaving your day job at the mall salon or corporate massage studio in the strip mall, and it’s another thing entirely to do it. We understand that. It’s intimidating! Starting your own salon in Lawton is a huge step to take. But while there’s no way around that, you don’t have to do it alone. There are people who will help you on your journey, people to whom you can turn in order to have a better chance of success. This month, everyone is flocking to theaters to see the Avengers assemble for the last time, so it’s a great time to talk about assembling your own team of superheroes to support you on the way to founding a small business and being the owner of your very own mini salon suite!
An Accountant to Help You with the Books and Taxes
Did you ever wonder who the Avengers’ accountant was? No? Well, think about it! Who made sure Tony Stark could pay for all the planes and weapons and super suits used by the team? Without all that stuff, many of the movie superheroes we know and love would be just pretty-okay heroes—if that. That’s why we put an accountant at the top of this list.
All businesses need money to survive and eventually thrive. If money matters seem dizzying, hire an accountant to help you make a budget, handle your various taxes, and take a look at your business plan to ensure you’ve got the best chance for success. If computers aren’t your thing, your accountant will help you set up software to keep track of your day-to-day and month-to-month finances. Tax season will be annoying but not painful with an accountant helping you out. While you might only see your accountant a few times a year, their role in your life as a small-business owner is nothing short of indispensable.
A Mentor to Show You the Ropes
Sure, Thor may be the god of thunder, and the Hulk a genius scientist who transforms into an enormous ultra-powerful monster man, but they both still need Nick Fury to guide them and help them be part of the greatest superhero team of all time. Mentoring is crucial to the success of any venture, from running successful salons in Lawton to saving the universe. When you’re ready to get serious about starting your own business, talk to people who have been there. Get some experienced advice, and make sure it’s from someone who’s not out for your money. It’s not a bad idea to hire a paid consultant, but that’s not what a mentor is. You’re looking for someone who is independent from you, someone who doesn’t want to see anything except your success, and someone who can give you advice for years to come. Talking over your business plans with your friend who just started her own salon business is great, and her fresh eyes are going to be a wonderful resource, but you also need to discuss things with someone who has years more experience than yourself. You want someone who’s “been there” and who can give you advice on how to weather the storms of small-business ownership.
Your Banker to Help You with the Accounts
The creative side of salon ownership is what attracts many of us to small-business ownership in the first place, but we also need to consider the financial side. Most small-business start-ups, including salons in Lawton, require obtaining a small-business loan through a bank or credit union. Borrowing money is a stressful process for most of us, so if you plan to apply for a loan, make sure you have a banker you trust on your side. Your mentor might have a good recommendation, or you could ask other local business professionals you know. Seriously consider a credit union instead of a national bank, even if your personal account is with a national bank. Local or even regional moneylenders are often better at serving small, local businesses because they know the area and the local market. Your banker at a credit union may well be more interested in finding you the best ways to do what you want, including finding the best interest rates, and will often move more quickly than a national bank.
Your Significant Other for Everything Else
What is a significant other? Maybe it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or domestic partner. Maybe it’s your best friend who’s always there for you. Whoever this person is, don’t forget to consider him or her a part of your team. Your significant other is your champion, your confidant, your cheerleader, your go-to source of support, your sounding board. He or she might even be your first customer.
But remember, while you should be able to rely on your significant other, you need to make it clear that he or she is not just all these roles to you. Make sure that you’re providing mutual support and that you’re there for him or her when you’re needed, too. At the same time, be open and honest about what you need so that your significant other understands what a big deal it is to start up a health and beauty business, whether it’s a mini salon suite in Lawton or a full-service day spa in Oklahoma City.
Are There Other People You Should Know?
Avengers: Endgame has every superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe coming together to save the world. There are a lot of surprises: call-backs to characters you may have forgotten who perform a crucial role at the right time. Is there anyone like this in your life? Think about other people who can help when you take the plunge into small-business ownership. It will be handy to know someone who has marketing experience, especially using social media. Product reps will be a great resource, as will an attorney to help you answer any legal questions that may come up, secure licenses and permits, and help you with contracts. Lastly, you might want a good relationship with the property manager who helps operate the facility in which you’re setting up your health or beauty salon. Here at Salons de Beauté you can rest assured knowing we understand your needs and your situation. We’re here to help you!