Find New Ways to Grow Your Salon Business During COVID
Growing a service business is challenging and more so now with covid. Most salons don’t take walk-ins and if they do take walk-ins, customers are not just walking in. It is up to you to make strategic moves and control your business. Do not wait for it to come to you! It is up to you to own your business and drive your results. There are three key things that drive a service business. They are: client count, Average services a customer gets, and frequency of a clients visits
Client count is the most important part of your business. If you do not have a guest then the other 3 pieces are irrelevant. How do you get them and how do you keep them coming back. Let’s start with how to get guests. Networking and referrals are a great way to attract more clients. First thing first is to create a social media presence. Take a lot of pictures and post your best of each client. I know it can be scary because we are our own worst critics. We can pick out the imperfections in our work and you may think everyone will see them too. Guess what? Practice makes perfect! You won’t know until you try. Everyone starts somewhere and no one is perfect, even if the pictures make them appear as if they are. Guests actually do like to have their pictures taken. If you want to take a picture, then it must look good!!
Networking Is the Key to Growth
In pre-covid days we could network with the surrounding business by going in and introducing yourself and your services. You still may feel comfortable with doing so, but let’s be honest, times have changed...for the moment. Other ways to utilize this same concept is through Social Media. Social media is not just a place to showcase your work. It's all about creating hashtags with intention behind who may see your post. Know your surrounding hot spots and use their business name as a hashtag. When you are using hashtags use them on purpose and not just random tags. This is a way to reach a targeted audience.
Another great way to gain new guests is through referrals and word of mouth. I am sure the guests you have love you and they would be happy to send you their friends and family. If you ask them to spread the word about your business and the services you provide they are more out to share who you are and what you do. You can simply ask your guests to send you referrals or you can create a referral program, such as give a % off or a $$$ value for the guest that refers and the new guest. Ask your guests to take a selfie and tag you in their picture. Their friends will then click on your social media and see what you can do. Have social media work for you. Have your clients follow you on social media. Growing your following on social media will help you grow your client count.
Average Service a Salon Customer Receives
Do you offer additional services to your clients? Do you know your average services each of your customers get? You can’t grow what you don’t know. I challenge you to look at your business and know how many services on average your customers get. The best way to do this is add up the total of your guest count and divide it by the number of services you have completed within the same 30 days. To increase your services per guest it all comes down to education. Educate, educate and educate some more. You can start by offering more services when a guest initially books their appointment. You could say,”I’ve got you scheduled for xxxxxx appt, but I also have time to do xxxxxxx service as well. Would you like to schedule for both services ” Another time to add a service on is during your confirmation texts or calls. “ I have you scheduled for xxxxx service, would you like to do xxxxx service as well?” Don’t work about the word “no”. You just planted a seed for their next visit.
Once the customer comes in, a thorough consultation should take place. This is a great time to offer additional services based on what the client needs. The service recommendation does not always have to be done in this appointment, it could be for the next appointment. Your customers trust you as their professional and expect recommendations. That wants to hear what you can do for them. Over time, customers will increase to 2 or 3 services every time they come in. It is important to always continue adding various services to your menu to be able to offer to your guests. Clients get excited to hear about new services and how it will benefit them.
I know a lot of successful service professionals that have an add-on menu or a mini-menu that is easy to add on and doesn’t take more than 15 additional minutes per appointment. This makes it easy to offer to any guest and increase your revenue. Ideas may be: brow waxing, brow and or lash tinting, treatments (skin or hair). It is limitless. I would recommend having about 5 add on or mini services that can be added at the last minute for your guests. If you are booked, this still gives you the opportunity to add revenue to your already awesome day.
Frequency of Salon Clients
You as the professional educate your clients on how often you need to see them to either maintain or get the end desired result. If you allow a client to come in when they want to, you may only see them 3 to 4 times per year or even less. If you create a regimen for your clients you can see each guest on average 10 times per year. Pre-booking your client before they leave helps provide consistency for their results and consistency in the revenue your business brings in.
Again, it comes back to Education for your clients. Find out what they are wanting for results. Can you get there in one appointment or will it take more than one appointment? What is the maintenance plan? Tell your guests when you need to see them next and find out what day and time works best for you and your clients and gain their commitment. If they do not want to pre-book let them know you will send them a reminder text/call when they should come back in. Be sensitive to your customers who may not know their schedule in four weeks or have a hard time committing to a specific time. You can still reach out to them as it gets closer and book their upcoming appointment.
These three key pieces are the evolution of any service business. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the business or if you have been in the business for years. Every service provider should gain some new customers each year. We naturally shed clients due to circumstances out of our control. If we add on to every guest, it increases our revenue per guest. We all need them to come back on a regular basis to maintain a healthy business.