Hairdressing Salons – Marketing Made Simple
For any salon business starting up the biggest issue should always be to get the initial marketing right, now that is not always the focus for many people starting a business and this causes a lot of issues to arise in the short term.
For far too many believe ‘build it and they will come’ which is of course a massive lie. No matter how great your start up, without getting your message out there and selling stuff you don’t really have a business, it’s only a hobby.
There is also a good deal of misinformation about Websites, Online v Offline marketing amongst other things. Lets not even go into the Social Media issues here. Personally I always come across as the ‘anti social media guy’ and with good reason. for many firms Social Media is the wrong approach.
It’s amazing, if you do a search for help with your salon business it’s amazing what you will find; firms offering to design logo’s, stationary or websites, people providing Freephone numbers, office space and a range of other services.
None of which are important, well not initially.
Sometimes when working with salons there is shock when I make the suggestion that all the things they have been focusing on are really the last things (if at all on our list) of things to do.
The next question is what should you do first?
As you would expect there is no definitive answer to this, but these would be the starting points.
The definitive response if you like based on 10 years of working with start-ups, 11 years of digital marketing having written some 100,000 words for various trade organisations and working with over 100 new businesses personally (considerably more for the rest of our organisation).
1. Research your competitors find out about their pricing, service levels (delivery etc.), find out their USP (unique selling proposition) what makes them tick, what are they good at, bad at or in the main mediocre at. Who do they sell too. Are their customers happy?
Whilst this might seem to be a lot of work you need to know, you need to find out quickly where the weakness is, and then exploit it fully.
It may be you need to take some action in a couple of key areas and these should be targeted and formulaic, which means you need to check the area of perceived weakness and build a process for targeting whatever it is. There is no business that can survive without a process.
You would not think about driving a thousand miles without putting in place a simple plan, but many business owners are happy to spend a few thousand on Website, a few more on branding (logo’s etc.) and then a bit more on some advertising; of course are soon left wondering what happened to that start-up capital, and are still not making sales.
2. Not having in place a marketing plan that can be monitored.
Your marketing should be about a clear process, that is targeted. Every enquiry or lead should be attributable to a part of your marketing. If they are not, stop doing it immediately and make it so. If you can’t measure it you can’t make it pay.
3.Work out quickly who your target market is.
How much they are prepared to pay for your product or service and then test various price points. You can’t cut your prices to the bone, it does not make sense. By adding more value to your product or service you will be able to charge more. Not everyone buy’s on price, and you should not consider working with those that want it cheaper than you are prepared to do it for.
No business that competes on price ever survives (forget the Supermarkets as they are not like your business).
4.Build and develop a proper sales process that is automated, one that allows you to put in front of your potential customers a range of offers before they have to make a decision.
5.. Now I am not talking here about the issue of sending SMS reminders and follow up appointments I am talking about genuine ‘belly to belly’ stuff, booking appointments 3 or 4 months in advance, offering a discount for advance booking (don’t call it an an advance booking, call it – a Hair Management Programme – get my drift).
Send timely information and updates, cover the stuff your customers are interested in (we can provide automated solutions for this), as you know it’s not only about hair, it’s about a lifestyle
You need to avoid the issue where your customer is buying solely on price, adding loads of value is the best way to increase prices, of course this could mean working late, opening earlier, a home service for ‘occasions’ etc.
Of course if you are looking to increase profits you need be dealing with customers looking to make a decision based on something other than price adding more value solves this problem.
In fact where you have clients who just want a price for a cut and blow dry, direct them to your website, you can’t afford to talk to them; honestly.
Most your customers will opt for the mid price range products or services if you provide the options of Silver, Gold or Platinum services not taking the cheapest but nor the most expensive, immediately you will benefit from an uplift.
The maths are simple – £30 job, £3.00 uplift.
Profit on job £20, profit on uplit £2.50 = net profit increase of 10.5%, now you know why the local steak house is so keen to sell you a ‘pepper sauce’.
Before you start to even consider putting a single advert in the local paper, before you even start to get some logo’s, get these points right and you will never look back I promise.
Our Salon Marketing package comes in at £650, has a complete money back guarantee and does not include logo’s, we also guarantee results. If you want to spend less than that don’t bother calling, honestly.
Richard Smith – Salon Marketing Expert at The Richard Smith.com