February 12, 2019

Salon Business Mistakes That Hurt Your Bottom Line

salon

Running your own salon is hard work! Trust us, we know how much you hustle.

It’s a fiercely competitive industry and salon owners face a constant battle to keep their heads above water. From training new staff to keeping an eye on the sales figures, it’s all too easy to fall into a survival mentality and start neglecting tasks. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are plenty of tasks you can focus your attention on that can actually help you make more money. And more money means less time spent worrying about surviving and more time spent doing what you love!

Here are 10 tasks you may be neglecting which could be hurting your bottom line…

1. Forgetting to upsell/cross-sell

Upselling is the art of nudging a client towards a more expensive option. While cross-selling is nudging a client towards another service that you offer. Sometimes, all it takes is a mention and your client will double their spend.

It’s important to train your staff to look for opportunities to upsell and cross-sell in a way that isn’t annoying and doesn’t feel forced.  Many people actually want to know about products and services that will help them look their best - so, without being pushy, you are actually helping them reach their beauty goals!

The risk: If you don’t upsell or cross-sell your services, your clients could be heading to your competitors just because they weren’t aware you offered a particular service. When you start offering a new service, make a song and dance about it so that your clients can’t fail to notice!

reviews

2. Ignoring the importance of reviews

When you first started out, I bet that every single review made you do a little dance.

But before long, getting more reviews just becomes another thing on your never-ending to-do list.

Reviews are the lifeblood of your business. Word of mouth marketing can make or break you. Take some time to ask your clients for reviews and don’t be afraid to generate a little buzz around your company. When your clients look and feel great, they want to shout it from the rooftops, so don’t stand in their way!

The risk: Reviews are becoming more and more important for search engines. If you want your business to show up in local search, you need to make sure you have a steady stream of reviews in your corner.

3. Leaving your visual merchandising to chance

Picture the scene.

You’ve just finished styling your client's hair and they can’t stop talking about that amazing smell. They ask where they can buy that shampoo, so your gesture towards a haphazard collection of bottles in the corner.

Your client nods politely and then quietly Googles the brand.

Visual merchandising is so important!

It’s a huge opportunity to upsell every single service, but many salons fail to make the most of this. Take some time to think about your visual merchandising and make the products you sell look stunning and appealing.

The risk: You have an opportunity to make extra money on every single sale, but only if your displays are enticing and inspiring...and you actually tell the client what you are using.

clients

4. Not updating your client database

Your client database is your holy grail.

But so many salons let their databases fall into ruins.

A 20,000-strong list is only valuable if it’s regularly updated and refreshed. Encourage everyone in the salon to keep the database up-to-date. Check customer information when they are in the salon. Delete any duplicates. Get rid of old, incomplete data. A good beauty salon booking software will do the heavy lifting for you.

The risk: Your database can be an asset if it’s kept up-to-date and relevant. Otherwise, it’s just a potential liability.

5. Not providing training

Hiring staff for the first time is stressful. As a salon owner, you may have been running the show for a while. And now you have to delegate tasks to someone who isn’t you. There are three ways you can handle this.

  1. Continue to manage everything and work yourself into the ground.
  2. Hand over control and hope for the best.
  3. Train your team to be the best they can be.

Training is essential and unavoidable if you want to build a strong team. You need to feel confident that everyone in the salon is up-to-speed with your systems and procedures. This includes training on your systems and encouraging everyone to take an active role in assessing their sales performance.

The risk: If your staff don’t feel valued and challenged, they’ll leave, and you’ll be back to square one.

6. Not putting a marketing strategy in place

Does your marketing strategy look like this?

“Oh no, oh no, oh no!

We don’t have enough bookings for next week.

Quick – just put an offer on social!”

Falling into this trap can actually hurt your business. If you want customers to value your services, you can’t be devaluing your services every other week. If you’re always offering a giveaway to boost bookings, pretty soon, your customers will just wait for the giveaway.

Instead, what you need is a marketing strategy. Break the year into quarters or months and start brainstorming. You don’t have to fall back on the same methods to boost bookings. Be creative and think about what your customers really want from you.

The risk: If you don’t have a strategy in place, your marketing will actually take you longer as you’ll always be trying to think of a plan on the spot.

7. Ignoring reception standards

When your salon is busy, it’s easy to forget the basics. But reception standards are so important for getting your customers to keep coming back. A trip to the salon should be an experience. A client might be there for a haircut, but they still want to feel pampered while they wait.

If you’re not sure if your salon is up to scratch, try mystery shopping for a dose of reality. This can help to unearth feedback which can be difficult to find anywhere else.

The risk: You’ll fall short of offering a positive experience if you don’t set and keep reception standards. Decide on the minimum standards for greeting your clients and try to exceed these every single day.

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