Business Strategy

11 Secrets to making your salon a success

11 Secrets to making your salon a success involves having a plan. Having your own salon can be the most lucrative investment you’ll ever make, or it can be a millstone around your neck and cause you significant issues with, health, wealth and relationships. If you are going to create a salon business and not a hobby, you need to be adopting the correct strategies.

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If you do so, then you will be rewarded well, because your salon has the potential to be inherently successful. How do I know this? Because countless others have had success and where they have had success so can you if only you know what to do. The following 11 areas will set you up for success. 

1) Know where you are going with your salon

Every salon that has ever failed, had a business plan. Every one that has succeeded has also had a business plan. Why does one fail and the other succeed? In my opinion and my experience a salon fails for only one reason, the owner failed it. 

Creating a clear picture of where your salon will be at a point in the future 5, 10 or 20 years time will stack the deck in your favour. It is much easier to reverse engineer success if you have a clear picture of what that success looks like. The clearer the picture and the more you commit to achieving that picture the better chance you will have of success.

 Summary:

  • Get Clear on Your Vision
  • Reverse Engineer your Journey

2) Have a defined services and products offering

Continuing on with having a clear picture of your salon is having a clearly defined services and product offering. Once you have determined your services and products offering, then it becomes much easier to home in on your target. You cannot blindly poke around in the dark in the hope that your marketing will attract the right clients if you have no idea what market you are targeting.

 Summary:

  • Know your services and products offering
  • Target only clients who want that offering

3) Know your target client

Once you have defined your services and products offering, you then have to define your ideal client.

  • Who do you want to serve?
  • What age group are they?
  • What do they want from a salon in your niche?
  • What gets them angry about their current salon experience?
  • What frustrations do they have about salons?
  • What language do they use when talking about salons?
  • Where can you find them online?

Once you have this clear picture, you can start to use that in every aspect of your marketing. You will literally be speaking to them. You will genuinely be able to empathise with them. They will become attracted to you because they know that you know them and that you’ve got their best interests at heart. This level of empathy cannot be asked so if you do not empathise with them at this level don’t try to fake it as they will know.

 Summary:

  • Know who you want to serve
  • Know their problems and frustrations with existing salonss in your category
  • Know what language they use when talking about salons

4) Create a position for your salon

Whether you like it or not your salon has a position already. It is the one that your clients and potential clients have formed in their head based on where they perceive you to be in the marketplace. I will let you into a secret it may not be correct or fair on you, but unless you actively take a position in the market, then your clients and prospective clients will decide it for you. Not taking a position will limit how your clients see your offers and whether they consider them to be of value. 

Positioning yourself can be as easy as saying that you are the number 1 salon in your geographical area. Famously Avis used the positioning statement of “we try harder” when positioned as second in the marketplace to Hertz. They used that position for 50 years until replaced by a new one. So even positioning yourself as not the number 1 can great for business.

 Summary:

  • Actively position your salon
  • Use your positioning in every part of your marketing
  • You can still have a very successful business and not be positioned at Number 1

5) Know why your clients should buy from you

Knowing why your buy from you is another key element of ensuring your success. This one takes typically quite a bit of soul searching and asking yourself the question why should your target client should use your salon. The secret to this is then to apply the so what test to your answer and continue doing this until you illicit multiple layers of the answer, and you can no longer come up with any further reasons why they should buy from you. When you have this, you then include this in every aspect of your marketing.

 Summary:

  • Know why your clients should come to your salon
  • Use your positioning in every part of your marketing
  • Include this why in every aspect of your marketing

6) Calculate the lifetime value of your clients

Without paying clients, you don’t have a business. Knowing how much a client is worth to your salon over the lifetime of your relationship with them is key to understanding how much you can afford to invest to get a guest to buy from you the first time. It is a relatively simple metric to work this out, and it can be estimated if you are just starting up or don’t have good data. The formula looks like this

Ave profit per service x no. of visits per year x no. of years = Average Lifetime Value (ALTV)

e.g. Av Profit £15 x Num visits 6 x Num years 5 = £450 ALTV

 Summary:

  • Calculate Average Lifetime Value of your clients
  • Ave Profit x No. of Transactions per Year x No. of Years = ALTV

7) Determine how much of this lifetime value you can invest to gain your client

Using this example above means that you could afford to invest £200 to get a client to visit your salon for the first time and still make an £250 profit for every client you attract. Knowing this means that you can look at strategies differently than you would if you didn’t know this information.

Each salon is different depending on how much cash reserves you have never bet everything on any one marketing campaign.

 Summary:

  • Determine how much you can invest to gain your client
  • Never risk the salon be conservative 

8) Master copywriting

There can be few skills more important to master owning a salon than copywriting. Even if you don’t plan to do your own copywriting understanding and mastering copywriting will pay dividends for you for the rest of your business life whether that is used in writing copy, scripting vlogs, writing emails, scripting sales calls and the like knowing how to present your offers to your clients will see your business shine. Mastering copywriting is a skill that pretty much anyone can master if you put in the effort.

 Summary:

  • Invest time in mastering copywriting
  • Use this skill in all aspects of your marketing and sales process even if you are not the main copywriter 

9) Write conversationally

Your copy should be written how you would speak. Forget the grammar rules of your English teacher, in fact, one of the best ways to write anything is to record it and have it transcribed. Doing so will ensure that your copy is written conversationally and will engage your audience

 Summary:

  • Write as you talk
  • Forget what your English Teacher taught you
  • Record yourself and have it transcribed

10) Create a Swipe File

We are all exposed to a treasure trove of ads that work every day. From now on any ad that has you clicking to the next level you want to swipe out and keep it in your swipe file. A swipe file is merely a file of adverts or copy that is good and that you can use to come up with your own copy. Never copy someone else's ad word for word. But feel free to use all the headlines you have in your swipe file when you are coming up with headlines for your offer. Your swipe file will become irreplaceable to you once you have collected and learned how to use it.

 Summary:

  • Create a swipe file of ads and copy
  • Use this swipe file as inspiration for your own writing and ads

11) Constantly and actively build your network

There are few better ways to build your salon and get high-quality leads than by referrals from someone in your network. There are multiple businesses who’s only way of gaining new clients is through referral. It works, and the lead it produces is of the highest quality. To get these referrals, you need to consistently and actively build your network. You should put aside part of each day in building your network. It takes time and for it to work you need to build the connection with your network. The most important strategy is to give referrals to your network, by giving you will get referrals from your network. 

 Summary:

  • Actively network everyday whether in person or online
  • Give referrals to your network partners

 Conclusions:

  • Set yourself up for success from the beginning
  • Know where your salon is going and reverse engineer your journey there
  • Define your services and products offering and only market to prospects in that niche
  • Define your ideal client and only market to them
  • Position your salon for success
  • Know why your clients buy from you and educate prospects as to why they should buy from you
  • Calculate your average lifetime value of your client
  • Use average lifetime value to determine your marketing spend
  • Become a master copywriter
  • Write conversationally
  • Create a goldmine swipe file
  • Network your socks off

About the Author George Wells

George Wells is a web copywriter, author, coach and consultant. He helps business owners have a website that actually converts their prospects into clients and through nurturing makes them raving fans of the business who go out and are evangelical in their praise of the business.

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