Now more than ever, consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of the goods they are buying. Today’s savvy clients are leaning towards businesses who are making valid efforts in cutting their environmental impact. And as holistic hair stylists, we are in the best position to turn their awareness into action.
Our solution: A Salon Refill Product Program. Implementing this Program will not only benefit your business sales-wise but, more importantly, it also allows you to become a more sustainable, eco-friendly salon.
Grab our ultra useful Salon Refill Product Program Tips!
Create an eye-catching product refill station.
Your display area is often the first and last thing your clients see when they enter and exit your salon, so it is important to create an eye-catching display area for your Refill Station. This helps generate enough curiosity and interest to get your clients to check out how it works and jump on your newest initiative.
You can either make your own shelves or purchase from thrift stores and craft stores, then neatly arrange the products.
Limited on space? Not a problem! You can use your back bar area as your Refill Station area by simply stocking up on your best-selling products that come in professional sizes, like Oway Hair Baths and Conditioners.
Create an attention grabbing Refill Station Sign.
A Refill Station Sign or shelf talkers are integral to the success of your Refill Station, so make sure they stand out. Place a “Refill Station” sign above the products so clients immediately know what the shelf is for. You can also add business cards and product labels that your clients can read while waiting to be serviced, but be sure to keep the message short and simple. Many salons use Green as font color for their shelf talkers as it’s often associated with being Eco-Friendly.
Make it interactive.
Allow your clients to experience refilling their own salon containers, or watch their stylist do so. This makes them an active participant in solving environmental problems, thus keeping them involved and invested in your initiative.
The Program is also a great opportunity to introduce other Oway products and their benefits to your clients. Let them smell and test the products and you’ll be surprised how this practice can boost your salon retail sales.
Explain your eco-initiative.
Highlighting the benefits of the Refill Station to your clients and how they’re helping the environment by participating is a sure-fire way to get them on board. Below are some of the Program’s benefits to your clients and the environment:
Benefits For Your Clients
- Decrease Product Cost by 15%
- Feel Good About Being More Eco-Friendly
- Have Fun Interacting with Refill Station Display
Benefits For the Environment
- Decrease Carbon Emissions
- Decrease Consumption of Finite Resources
- Increase Natural Purity of Animal Habitats
Reward your clients.
Offering rewards is a proven way to entice clients into participating in your Refill Program. Put up signs like: “Bring me back to be refilled and receive 15% OFF” and you won’t even have to convince them.
Ready to create your own Salon Product Refill Program?
Grab our FREE Salon Product Refill Program Guide below!
Get helpful tips on how to jumpstart your own Refill Product Station for your eco-friendly salon!
Boost Salon Retail Sales With The 3 Ps!
Whether you’re a booth renter or multi-location salon business owner, knowing how to effectively sell retail products is vital to your success. It’s not just about increasing revenue, it’s an opportunity to build trust with your clientele and ensure their needs are met.
In this video training, Rebecca Gregory and Tracy Olson will teach you the 3 Pillars of Salon Retail Success and what has and hasn’t worked in their own salons. Spoiler Alert: they also deep dive into an Oway Product Knowledge Session (one of the main factors that will determine your ability to sell salon retail products).
3 Pillars of a Successful Salon Retail Strategy
Proper promotional planning is vital component to your salon retail strategy. Not only does it set expectations for your team, it can also help purchasing decisions and your ability to maximize retail product profit. In this training, you’ll learn innovative promotion strategies, and how to effectively plan and implement them.
Psychology & Perception
Communication is both spoken and unspoken. Your client’s perception of you and your business begins the moment they wall in the door. Neglecting sensory details like scent and visual merchandising can be detrimental to your salon’s retail sales without you even knowing it. In this section of our training, you’ll learn how to implement experience merchandising, and how to make sure your salon and staff are speaking the same language.
It’s vital for those actively selling salon retail products to exactly what and why they’re selling a specific product, and most importantly, how to use it. In this section, we give our best tips for selecting your ideal retail product line and even a little bonus product knowledge session on our Oway product line.
Can’t get enough retail sales knowledge for your salon? Check out these 8 salon retail sales tips!
1. Your Attitude Will Determine Your Altitude.
Many Hair Stylists and Salon Owners ask “how can I increase salon retail sales?” Meanwhile, you cringe at the word “selling,” and repeatedly tell yourself, “I’m not a salesperson.”
This is mistake #1.
First, the phrase “to sell,” is clearly in need of a definition makeover, so here it goes:
Selling is the identification and fulfillment of a need – nothing less, nothing more.
Many of you have the same clients for years, even decades. You do their hair (maybe even their kids’ hair). You know secrets about them you’ll take to the grave, and you’re the only person they trust to come near them with a pair of scissors.
What does this tell you?
You’re trusted, and for good reasons!
Remind yourself, you’re not a scammy used car salesman, who will do ‘whatever it takes’ to get someone into a Ford Pinto, today – you are a consummate beauty professional. You know the wants and needs of your clients’ hair better than anyone.
Have confidence in yourself and your position of power, and use it to send your clients home with products you know they’ll need and love. You’re more than qualified to make these recommendations, so don’t feel guilty or scared to do so!
Which brings us to our next tip for a successful salon retail strategy.
2. Product Selection
Choose products you believe in!
Once you choose to only sell products you personally believe in, the idea of retailing in your salon becomes a lot easier. You will no longer feel like you’re selling anything – you’re just simply recommending products you know will fulfill your clients hair needs.
Before taking on an entire line in your salon, have every stylist try the products and give an in-depth review. That way, you’ll know if it’s a line that you want to fully commit to and you’ll have different talking points. Hair Stylists with very good client relationships are even encouraged to give their clients a sample to test.
Mauricio of Mauricio’s Hair Studio in New York says, “I give my most loyal clients the opportunity to test and try any new products I am considering. That way, I hear it straight from the source of my sales – they also appreciate the fact that they have a say in which products I carry.”
Say no to salon product diversion!
All of your friendly retail suggestions will come to a screeching halt as soon as your client says, “I can buy it cheaper at Ulta or online.”
Too many companies exploit the expert knowledge and influence of Hair Stylists to gain brand affinity with their clients, then once it becomes profitable enough, they divert their products to large retail stores.
Can you think of a brand that was once salon exclusive, but are now sold directly to consumers?
So, when selecting the right products for your salon we suggest asking yourself these 3 questions:
- Do I believe in these products?
- Are these products unique enough to set my salon apart?
- Are these products diverted?
3. Educate Yourself on Your Products
While it’s great to have an aesthetically pleasing retail shelf, you shouldn’t rely on just the look of your products to make a sale.
There’s a lot of great information to share about the products you carry that goes beyond, “it smells good.”
Hair products at Wal-Mart smell good. Tell them why they’re really investing the money in high-quality salon products.
For example, explain to them the importance of pH, and how your products work at the optimal level to prolong color and improve the health of their hair. If you’re one of our Holistic Hair Stylists, there are a multitude of talking points that help your products stand out – not just from a beauty perspective, but also from a health and eco-conscious standpoint.
Once you’re able to make well-educated recommendations, you’ll start building a trusting retail relationship with your clients. Which brings to our next retail tip for salons.
4. Consultation is Key: Press for the Yes
A solid, honest consultation is vital for not just retailing products, but for fully understanding your client’s wants, needs, and lifestyle. As a stylist, it is our job to lead the conversation and make sure the client will be happy with their service.
Be sure to listen closely and help your client decide why they want a certain look. Do they keep bringing in a picture of a certain celebrity because they like hair or because they like the idea of being that celebrity? Do they bring in a picture of them at a wedding because they actually liked their hair, or the nostalgia of happy times?
There’s a reason why Hair Stylists often get the reputation of being therapists or psychologists. Our job is to listen and translate our clients’ thoughts and ideas into a look that radiates beauty from the inside out.
Here are a few basic guidelines for conducting a good consultation:
- How often do you plan on returning to the salon?
- What is your styling routine like?
- What do you like and dislike about your hair?
- What challenges do you have when styling it?
- Are you looking to try out a new look or style? Or do you want to enhance what you already have?
Do the Wet Stretch Test!
The Wet Stretch Test will determine the integrity of your client’s hair, and more importantly, tell you what is missing from the healthy hair equation. Not to mention, it keeps your client engaged with you during the service, as you are educating them on what their hair truly needs and why.
However, understand the consultation does not stop just before your service.
After you’ve completed your cut and/or color, you should have accurate insight into what kind of hair your client has and where their issues lie.
This is where we tell you to softly press for the yes.
Getting a person to say, “yes” a few times before a purchase, is a proven technique to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Here’s an example of some dialogue between a Hair Stylist and her client in salon retail sale situation:
Hair Stylist: You said you use a flat iron and blow dryer almost every day, right?
Client: Yes, I need to or my hair is a mess.
Hair Stylist: I understand, but you are also trying to grow your hair out and hate all of the split ends from your flat iron?
Client: Yes, it’s so annoying.
Hair Stylist: You should try this heat protectant and gloss serum. It will protect your hair from intense heat, and the gloss serum will help smooth down any split ends or frizz. It also contains no plastics, so you won’t have to worry about artificial waxes and petrochemicals that only make the hair appear healthy.
This is just one example. The more you know about your products, the easier it will be to make recommendations that will help build trust between you and your salon clientele!
This brings us to our next tip for selling salon retail.
5. Build Trust
Trust is at the heart of every successful relationship.
Many of you already know that special connection between a Hair Stylist and his/her client is more of a friendship than anything else. Moreover, most true friendships do not occur over night, and must be steadily earned in time.
It is very important in the beginning stages of your friendship with your clients, to focus on earning their trust.
Instead of pushing multiple products on a new client, start with just the basics to enhance and maintain their service. If it’s color, shampoo and conditioner; if it’s a hair cut, just a styling product. If they still show uncertainty, perhaps extend to them a discount they are able to use during their next visit (that is only redeemable with you).
You gain trust through listening to your clients’ problems, you keep trust by solving them!
Once you solve one hair problem, that opens the doors of opportunity to solve more. So, build that trust and be a good friend to your client!
6. Back Bowl/Styling Opportunity
The time at the shampoo bowl is the perfect opportunity to acquaint your client with the products you are using. Tell them what the products will do to help their hair.
Once you’ve done the Wet Stretch Test, your client should be aware of what their hair is lacking. So, while giving them a nice head massage, explain that this shampoo and conditioner/treatment will add moisture/protein and will heal the hair from the inside out.
Washing your client’s hair should be a relaxing experience, and is an opportune time to stimulate the senses.
Paint a picture for your clients – you are the artist, after all.
For example, if you’re using a lightly floral scented shampoo, try to relax the client further and say, “I love this shampoo – not only does it make the hair shiny, it makes you feel like your lying in a bed of roses.”
The same opportunity that exists at the bowl, also exists when you style their hair.
So, show off your styling products!
Instead of just jumping in and styling your clients hair, let them know what you’re using and why. Teach them how to properly use the product and style their hair – they’ll appreciate the tip and be more apt to purchase the product you used!
Another great place to expose your clients to your amazing products is at your retail display.
7. Retail Display Optimization and Visual Merchandising
Whether your retail display is large or small, shopping and browsing for products should be an experience!
Try following these guidelines for a successful salon retail display:
We always suggest having a few shelf talkers – little labels that highlight the ingredients and benefits of your products. If you’re having a sale on certain items, have a tasteful sale label on the your shelf, as well.
Keep your retail shelf organized and clean!
No one wants to buy a product that is dusty – not only is it visually unappealing, it also looks like no one else liked the product enough to buy it.
Try not to have a cluttered retail display, and try organizing the products by color, shape, or brand.
If you want to encourage clients to test products, make sure that they are between 22 and 66 inches; these are proven heights for easy accessibility. Also, try an inviting “try me!” label.
If space and design allows, try creating an “arena effect.” Having the products surround your clients can give them the opportunity to browse (if they are waiting) from any angle.
If your salon allows, try moving your reception desk away from the front door. This forces walk-ins and clients to look at the products before talking to to the receptionist.
Make your retail area inviting.
Having a simple tea and coffee area by your retail area is a perfect opportunity to incentivize clients to rise out of their chairs and to your retail shelves! Notice we said shelves, not cupboards or bookcases – people tend to not like to reach into to these types of displays.
If you only have one wall for retail (not a big deal), try making it stand out with a nice wall color or art that compliments the bottles. Also, be sure your products are well lit – if they can’t see or read your products and shelf talkers, then what’s the point?
8. Retail Training – Practice Makes Sales
If you’re still uncomfortable retailing, we suggest starting off by trying to sell a product to your friend or another stylist in the salon. Have them give you objections to the products, so when a client actually does this, you’re prepared with an insightful and professional response.
Try product flashcards!
Other than using the product, the best way to educate yourself is to put your knowledge to the test. Try remembering unique facts about each item you sell. The more you know about your products, the better able you are to make recommendations based off client concerns and needs.
Do you have any tips for selling salon retail? If so, feel free to comment below!
2016 is officially here!
And with it, some time for planning and implementing your personal and professional goals.
As a Hair Stylist myself, I’ve found these 6 easy ways to have a creative, fulfilling and successful new year.
I hope you find them helpful and encouraging during your 2016 journey!
– Erin, Simply Organic Beauty Education Team
#1 Amp up your credentials to amp up your book.
Education doesn’t end the day you graduate beauty school. As Hair Stylists, we work in an ever-evolving industry, and you are a lifelong student of the craft. New technology, new techniques, and new trends are always on the horizon. And as we know, our well-connected world makes trends travel at the speed of light. Making staying “in the know” more important than ever.
Nothing kills a Hair Stylist’s career faster than being stuck in the past.
Clients are always looking for the latest and the greatest looks and products, so be sure that you can offer them that. Find a class in your area so you can brush up on your skills, learn a new technique, or get some product knowledge. If you are investing money into a product, do yourself a favor and invest in yourself, too! Know what you are selling, why, and how to use it properly.
#2 Stay Calm And Color On
When we think of inspiring ourselves as stylists we often think of the obvious choices.
Of course, you could go to a hair show or maybe check out the latest magazines, but there are many other ways you can find inspiration, some even outside of the hair world. For example, coloring books. Adult coloring books made a huge splash in the news last year. It turns out they can benefit us in a lot of ways.
Not only will they help fine tune those motor skills, but for the imaginative mind of the hair stylist they can be both inspiring and calming. After a good coloring session, our brains are more geared towards creative thinking and much less stressed out. Science calls it “art therapy,” and studies have shown truly remarkable results from it. Plus, it’s nice to work on art without any anxiety of whether your client will like the results.
So if you have a bit of downtime in between clients give it a try!
#3 Stay Connected To Your Peers
Not only can our well-connected world be the driver of trends, it’s also the driver of relationships. With so many stylists opting for a solo salon suite, many of us begin to lack the connectedness we feel when working in a “salon family” environment.
If you haven’t already, try joining an online forum for hair stylists. Become inspired by your peers! Sometimes the best place to find fresh ideas is from other hair stylists, like yourself. It’s a nice way to make new friendships and connections, and really feel engaged in what’s going on in the hair world and your specific products of choice. Plus, it never hurts to have a group of like-minded stylists to bounce ideas off or just a place to feel supported. So start sharing and spread the hair love.
#4 Take A Look At Your Numbers
It’s easy to get into a routine and become very comfortable, but with the new year comes a great time for evaluation and reflection.
Take a look at your numbers. Checking out your number of new clients, number of appointments, retail sales and service prices is a great place to start.
For example, check out the prices of services in your area. Have they gone up or down? How many clients are you averaging on a busy Saturday? Could there be room to book just one more client? With the right tools, booking a few more clients doesn’t have to degrade the quality of your salon experience.
We all know the old saying rings true: time is money.
And adding just ONE extra color retouch client ($80) a week can bring your salon an extra $4,160 a year!
So start cutting down on service times and put some more clients on the books! For our clients, Organic Way’s Hypercolor is going to be your new best friend. It has over 99% natural ingredients and with just a few drops into the color it can process what would have been a 45 minute color service in just 15! Add heat for 10, cool for 5, and you’re ready to rinse and go. The bottle will last up to 70 color treatments, so start rearranging your schedule now.
#5 Take Time to Rejuvenate Your Body
As busy stylists our bodies take a lot of stress, but part of being successful is taking care of our health.
Triumphs won’t mean anything if we can’t enjoy them when we get there. As much as we invest in everything ergonomic it’s inevitable that there is some wear and tear on our joints. We’ve got pain in our backs, our wrists, our knees. So the best we can do is to counteract these damaging repetitive movements with loving and constructive ones.
Even small efforts like taking a hike, a walk on the beach, or a stroll in the park can make a powerful difference.
How about finding a restorative yoga class in your area that you can attend weekly? If you’re in the more holistic / organic salon business, this can double as a way to meet new people and potential clients.
You could also start a salon sports team. Get everyone involved for weekly softball or kick ball games. Involve other businesses in your area to build new friendships/partnerships in the community. This year, however it is that you like to move, whether it’s swimming, biking, running, dancing (the list could go on)… get out there and do it!
Success is worth nothing without health.
#6 Go For Your Goals
What professional goals have you been putting off? 2016 is the year to take the plunge.
Do you want to sell more retail? Do you want to start your own salon? Are you interested in becoming an educator?
“Wake up to your true potential for abundant living in 2016. Turn up your inner power by manifesting your desires of being a star and focus on ways you can and will achieve these goals,” says our Education Director, Rebecca Gregory.
No more holding back, it’s time to put the plans in motion.
Start a vision board. Cut out images or words that represent the things that you are striving for this year, no matter how outlandish they may seem now. Hang this in your bedroom, living room, or salon. Somewhere you can see it everyday and remind yourself of where your focus should be. Then sit down and write out a month by month goal chart. Make them reasonable, but also make sure they are pushing you just outside of your comfort zone.
What are you goals for 2016? Share them below!
The Rise of the Quiet Chair Salon Trend
In today’s world of technology there are an abundance of ways to communicate. For some it has become a luxury to find a moment of silence, some time away from the constant chatter. In the past few years we have seen a rise in the amount of yoga studios and mediation practices across the world. Many people are searching for a place where they can power down and enjoy some peace.
The salon is also one of those places.
An area that many seek out for some “me-time”. It is somewhere to relax and rejuvenate. But it can also be a business of communication. As stylists, we know the salon is built on relationships. Most of us know our clients well, we form bonds and share stories. Some people come to us specifically for the gossip or the therapy sessions we can offer them.
But what about the people who don’t like to chat?
This is a great option for clients who may have social anxiety. Not every person is interested in having a conversation during their service, but they may also be too polite to ask for the quiet they need.
Think about the ones who always come in with something to read, or who discuss their haircut, then flip the off switch for the next 45 minutes. Salons are now looking to offer these clients their own space. “Quiet rooms,” or just a chair where they can avoid the fear of small talk.
“Quiet Chairs” are a rising salon trend all over the world.
Organic Way, a professional salon brand from Italy, has even created the term, “Head Spa.” A concept that takes a twist on the traditional salon service and makes it a tranquil experience. It’s a holistic approach that involves not just treating the hair, but the whole being. From diffusing soothing essential oils, to Ayurvedic massages and herbal teas, they offer a full relaxation of the body and mind.
And on top of that, a silent space or quiet chair to soak it all in.
The Quiet Room Trend Benefits Stylists, Too.
This offering also takes the guess work out of it for the stylist.
Usually, we can get a pretty good read on who wants to talk and who just wants to relax. Yet if the client can book their seat in the quiet room ahead of time, then it saves us from having to figure out how we should interact with them when they arrive.
Being a stylist myself, there are days where a little silence would benefit me too! All day we interact with new people, helping them to find the perfect cut, color, and style while carrying out lengthy conversations about all kinds of other things. It may be a relief to have a couple of moments in the quiet chair in between.
Overall, this is an interesting new salon trend that can expand your business.
Offering a fresh perspective on the salon and spa experience and reaching out to a new group of people who may have not booked an appointment. And your regulars will have another option to their typical appointment.
So what do you think? Will you be incorporating “silent spaces” or “quiet chairs” in your salon?
1)If you don’t have a passion for the art and business of hairdressing, then you’re just cutting hair. [Click to Tweet this quote]
Tabatha has always said the number one key to success for Hair Stylists, and salon businesses alike, is passion.
Passion for art. Passion for hair. Passion for making people feel good about themselves. The passion has to be rooted somewhere!
If you or the people you’re hiring lack passion, then you’re missing the major component that drives a salon in a positive direction and gives it sustainable life!
2) You are a lifelong student of hair, no matter your experience level.
Education doesn’t end after cosmetology school, you’re a life long student of the craft.
[Click to Tweet this quote]
Trends and techniques are constantly changing and evolving, and it’s a part of your job description to stay updated.
Tabatha says she keeps up with trends by attending hair shows, subscribing to trade magazines, and forming friendships with distributors and manufacturers. Well, hello there. 😉
In addition, you should be challenging yourself a few times a year (at least) with hair classes and competitions.
These type of events keep us on our feet – I know, we’re always on our feet – but these outings help build better teams, make us better Hair Stylists and overall, facilitates better business.
Plus, there’s no greater fun than when a group of passionate beauty professionals get together, trust us.
3) Create a memorable and repeatable client experience.
Salons should take a note from Aristotle:
“We are what we repeatedly do; therefore, excellence is a habit.”
So, in order to create the best experience for your clients, you should be staying as consistent and unique as possible.
Don’t worry, consistency doesn’t have to be expensive.
For example, Tabatha Coffey once worked in a salon where they repeatedly had a candy bowl at the reception desk for their clients.
One day, they took the delectable treats away (oh, the horror)!
To their surprise, clients started asking about the missing candy. Even though it was just a tiny detail of their experience, clients had begun to expect the additional pleasure of candy after their service.
Tabatha lists ‘attention to detail’ as one of her essential keys to success, with special attention given to the client experience.
But if we’re being honest, we want you to think outside the candy box and get creative!
Be unique, consistent & stay true to yourself and salon.
4) Exceptional leadership is key to a salon’s organizational success.
Tabatha says the main mistake she sees is the lack of leadership and accountability within salons.
She is an avid proponent of leading by example, and having fair, but firm policies and procedures in place.
Tabatha emphasizes that policies and procedures should be kept simple and precise, and shouldn’t overwhelm staff with a torrent of incomprehensible words and babbling.
She also suggests keeping rules and regulations in the break room or office, along with a signature of each team member, confirming they’ve read and understand each rule.
This helps set a standard in your salon, and everyone performs their tasks better when they have a good grasp on expectations.
5) Focus on hiring and working with the best team of Hair Stylists and employees.
Salon owners and booth renters alike, can benefit from this salon business tip.
The most successful salons have a team of stylists and employees behind them that share in the same mission and above all, value each other.
As an employee or booth renter, if you feel undervalued, taken advantage of, or you ‘just don’t mesh with your team’ you may want to consider looking for employment else where. Staying at a salon that drags you down daily isn’t good for your personal and professional development or for the salon.
As for salon owners, it’s your responsibility to hire people that can work well together, and most importantly, create a working environment that inspires and fosters good team work.
6) Own your role as an empowering and trustworthy leader of your local community.
“Like a therapist… hairdressers are in a position of trust. We are transforming not just how a person looks but how they feel.” Tabatha says. [Click to Tweet this quote]
How great is this position of trust?
In 2008, this study revealed that a hair stylist-delivered message regarding breast cancer health increased the likelihood of women taking preventative measures against it by 70%.
Moral of the Story: Hair salons have serious influence on the health and lives of clients.
And if Hair Stylists can inspire people to start thinking about their health with such effectiveness, can you imagine the greater implications for your community?
You could be using your influential power to organize and lead park clean ups, fundraisers, and other events that empower and help your community.
And trust us, the community role and job of you, the Hair Stylist, isn’t going anywhere.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics has revealed that Hairdressing jobs are expected to increase by 13% from year 2012-2022.
With your growing power and influence, you should be driving positive actions in your salon and beyond. Once you’ve decided to start building trust in your community, you transform yourself from a local business owner to a local business leader (there’s a difference), and people will take notice.
7) Working in a salon can be chaotic, but do NOT lose your professionalism.
Despite what Forbes may think about hairdressing being one of the ‘least stressful jobs,’ the majority of us disagree.
So, the next time you have a client under the dryer, while doing a haircut, and your next appointment arrives 15 minutes early, and you’ve managed to sustain yourself on hairspray coated coffee, remember this:
Do not lose your professionalism!
Professionalism is another crucial key to success according to Tabatha, and those who lack it, are eventually and rightfully ran out of business.
That’s not to say in order to have professionalism, you must be stiff and formal – stay human – but there are basic professional practices that should stay at the core of every business.
8) Always look for new marketing strategies that puts your work in the spotlight.
Salons and individual hair stylists should be looking for marketing strategies that keep the focus on your work.
When asked, “how do I increase the clientele in my salon?” Tabatha suggested the use of social media, “I think a lot of businesses underestimate it.”
Social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, are great visual and engaging displays of your work, as well as an open door for new and existing clients to check out your salon culture and ask questions.
9) Charge what you’re worth, and don’t feel guilty about it.
The costs of services can vary depending on factors like location and experience, but a big mistake many stylists still make is undercharging for their services.
Some feel guilty for charging more (even as they gain more experience), and some base their decisions on fear that they will lose out on business.
Stop doing this to yourself.
Here are some guidelines when it comes to figuring out your prices:
1) How much you want to make an hour (be realistic)
2) Find out the average price of services in your area
3) Look at the cost of your products
If you’re a salon owner, you’ll have to consider the greater picture, like how much overhead (cost of rent, electricity, etc) you have, and your quarterly and yearly revenue goals.
10) Pay it forward!
Important in life and important in business, paying it forward is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and others.
For example, if you’re a senior stylist at a salon, offer to mentor a new assistant. “It is important to give back and share your knowledge,” Tabatha says. “Remember where you came from.”
As consummate hair professionals, we are accustomed to making others feel beautiful. But with rising environmental concerns, it is our social responsibility to turn our attention to preserving the beauty of the world we are living in – and becoming an eco-friendly hair salon is the first step.
How to Become an Eco-Friendly Salon
1. Only Sell and Use Recyclable Products
Did you know over 16 billion pounds of plastic leak into our ocean waters yearly?1 With the world’s population increasing, this number is only projected to increase. Plastic in our oceans is something to be concerned about not only because of its detrimental effects on animal life and vital ecosystems but also on our health.
Most plastics, recyclable or not, contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Phthalates.
These materials are known to disrupt the reproductive systems of humans, cause congenital disabilities, and in some studies even cancer and weight gain. However, some plastics are less likely to contain both Phthalates and BPA, and you can quickly identify them by looking at the recycle codes located at the bottom of the containers. To become an eco-friendly salon, you should put recycling at the top of your list and use only glass salon products when you can.
2. Offer Products with No Animal-Tested or Animal-Derived Ingredients
Over 100 million animals a year die from animal testing, and millions more are captured and caged for the sole purpose of animal testing. Not only is this cruel to animals, but this could also pose sustainability concerns in areas of the world where animals are captured. Disrupting the balance of nature in the name of animal testing is both risky and more expensive than non-animal testing. It is best to choose salon products that do not support animal testing, such as products endorsed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). For example, Simply Organic Beauty offers cruelty-free salon products that are recognized by PETA and has a strict company ethos that does not allow them to carry products tested on animals.
Supporting cruelty-free products not only will make you feel better knowing no animals were harmed in the making of your salon success, but you will be one step closer to becoming an eco-friendly salon.
3. Offer Truly Formaldehyde-Free Keratin Treatments
As salon professionals, we are no strangers to the controversy surrounding the popularity of keratin treatments. A lot of companies hide behind false claims of being formaldehyde-free, but in laboratory tests, many of these companies’ keratin treatments were found to have extremely high levels of formaldehyde. Before you fall for their false claims, ask for lab reports or request a sample to lab test!
Formaldehyde is found organically in nature but is a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing). Thus, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established regulations and limits on the emission of formaldehyde from some industrial facilities and required them to report the amount of formaldehyde used in their products.
Wouldn’t it be great not to contribute to air pollution, as well as offer keratin services that are safe for you and your clients? Simply Organic Beauty’s Smooth Rituals Keratin Treatment does not contain formaldehyde, parabens, and animal-tested ingredients.
4. Use Eco-Friendly Decor
We all want our salon to express our values, and of course, look clean and beautiful for our fabulous clients. And decorating our salon with eco-friendly decor is one way to show our green side.
What is eco-friendly decor? These are art or decorations that are recyclable, produced sustainably, and did not harm animals in its making. To compliment your eco-friendly decor, be sure to paint your salon using VOC-free paint! VOCs are known as Volatile Organic Compounds and are emitted as gas into the air. They are known to cause considerable health threats in those exposed, such as throat irritation, breathing issues, and possible carcinogenic effects in humans.2
5. Adopt Energy-Saving Practices
While there is no Greenstar salon equipment on the market yet, employing little energy-saving tips can help your salon conserve electricity and water. For example, using energy-efficient lighting like the GE Energy Smart Energy light bulbs, and regularly checking your sinks, pipes, and faucets allow you to save on electric and water bills. Using eco-friendly bamboo brushes and hair dryers is another way to cut down on energy costs and puts you one step closer to your eco-friendly salon goal.
Some salons have started to reduce their water consumption by mandating water-saving practices and installing water recycling systems. Re-using rinse water is one of the most common and effective water-saving practices in salons today.
6. Use Ammonia-Free Hair Color
Choosing to offer your clients ammonia-free hair color is one of the best things you can do for both their health and yours. Not only has ammonia been linked to many health issues, it also makes your salon an incubator for toxic smells and fumes.
Ammonia is used to blast open the cuticle so that the color molecules can reach inside the hair. Due to the corrosive effects of ammonia, the hair’s pH is then altered to an extreme and has a hard time closing; thus, locking in the beautiful color you just applied.
Fortunately, latest innovations have enabled us to harness the power of nature to create non-toxic salon products. Color lines that use certified organic ingredients, like Organic Way (Oway), have been made available in recent years. These are products that use ingredients grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides, making the color gentle and nourishing to the hair and scalp.
Choosing an ammonia-free color line will not only let people in your salon breathe again, but it will also make your color services more vibrant, long-lasting, and shiny!
7. Offer Products with a Negative Carbon Footprint
We understand that for a product to have a truly negative footprint is rare, but there are products at the forefront of sustainable technology. For example, Oway’s ingredients are grown and picked with zero chemicals in their biodynamic farms in Bologna, Italy! The packaging itself is 100% infinitely recyclable. They are made with eco-certified recycled paper, wood, aluminum tubes, and amber glass that you can reuse as reed diffusers, candle holders, storage, hand soap dispenser, and even plant holders.
8. Use Refillable Products
This may be another concept that is foreign to many salon owners and stylists. Truly, eco-friendly salons and companies are beginning to understand the value of plastic-saving techniques by offering refillable containers for in-salon products like back bar shampoos, conditioners, and styling products.
Simply Organic Beauty offers a Refill Station Program for their eco-friendly salon products, eliminating the amount of waste dumped into the environment. Also, the refills cost less than purchasing brand new plastic products every month, increasing your retail profits by 20%! Talk about eliminating waste and becoming an eco-friendly salon at the same time!
9. Wash Salon Towels Efficiently
Whether you wash your salon towels at home or in the salon, be sure to try these energy-saving tips. Try purchasing a Greenstar washer or dryer to conserve electricity and water. If that’s not affordable, use gentle and efficient laundry detergent instead. There are many laundry detergents on the market that use less water and soap to clean stains. Some clients are sensitive to towels that have been overly bleached and washed as well, so be sure to choose a more natural detergent. Also, only do laundry when needed. This way you conserve more money, water, and energy.
10. Organize Fun Environment-Saving Adventures with Your Fellow Stylists and Clients
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world!
Most salons are closed on Mondays, so take advantage of this to create a fun event for salon owners and stylists. You can even invite clients to join you in an eco-friendly project once or twice a year. Go to a local park or beach and pick up trash! Have a vegan baked goods drive to generate income, and give some or all profits to your favorite environmental organization. Take pictures! Put them on your salon website or Facebook, and let current and future clients (and the world) know your salon is making a difference. Trust us, people will appreciate the good deed and take notice! The possibilities are endless for you and your salon to make a difference and change salons for the better.
1 World Economic Forum. The New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics. Available: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf
2 United States Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor Air Quality. Available: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq#Health_Effects
Building a successful salon business is a challenge for any stylist looking for something more out of their profession. Maximize your odds of success by understanding the biggest mistakes salon owners make and how you can avoid them.
1. Becoming a “Star”
As stylist, we all want to be the “Star” of our salon. We want our clients to feel privileged to personally be one of the client’s owners. This, we tend to feel, makes us command a certain respect and admiration from clients and employees alike. This makes us feel personally valuable. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
The time when a salon becomes a truly valuable business is that point at which your salon runs flawlessly when you’re not there. This, after all, is the point at which you can go on vacation and still make money. At this point, the risk and hard work you have put in to start and develop your salon truly begins to pay off. More importantly, when it comes time to sell your business, the buyer will intuitively know that when you walk away, all of the salon’s clients aren’t going with you. The buyer will actually see something of value, truly worth paying for, in your salon. That “thing of value” will be sustainable cash flow. This will never be the case if you insist on making yourself the star. Next, we’ll tell you how to avoid this mistake.
2. Working in your business rather than on your business.
As a salon owner, whether you like it or not, you have transcended from being an artist to being an entrepreneur. This step has inevitably changed your role. Now, you must dedicate at least a great portion of your workday, to building a business. No matter how much you like your time behind the chair, it is now necessary for you to work on different problems and only reward yourself with some time with clients.
What do you work on? For starters, building a great staff. So many salon owners decide to invest in great space only to “rent booths”. In almost all cases, they are missing the big picture. In a “booth renter” salon, the salon is only as valuable as the renter’s payments and has little to no additional upside. Instead, salon owners that hire stylists, and create great training and mentoring programs, are investing in human capital that will almost always pay off. Sure, their will be the stylist who builds up a clientele on your back and then leaves to rent a booth in the salon down the street. Don’t sweat it, they won’t succeed in the long run. If you focus on building a great team that thrives in a culture where they can earn a good living, have fun at work, and enjoy a fulfilling creative outlet in an environment that they are growing in, then the great stylists will be with you for a very long time. What’s best, is so will their friends, families, neighbors, and loyal clientele they pick up along the way.
Take your time interviewing and hire slow, but be willing to fire fast. Focus as much time and energy on culture, shared vision, and teamwork as you do on your salon’s image. Not only will your employees notice, but so will your clients.
3. Not having a marketing strategy or not measuring marketing returns.
Long gone is the time when you can simply find a good “high traffic” spot, stick your sign on the door, and wait for the clients to roll in. In today’s competitive salon environment, you have to go in with a solid marketing strategy. Make sure you have a website and be sure your website is registered in Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, and YP.com. This is essential and is the modern day phone book. Build up a referral network with “Invite a Friend Nights”, free product or services for those who make referrals, and local business employee discounts. Attend community events and talk to everyone about your salon. There is no shame in being proud of what you do and if you have a great service, people want to hear about it. Advertise in your local paper. Sponsor high school or community college plays by doing hair for the actors. Whatever you do, have a plan and get out their and do it. Never rely on people just finding you, it will rarely happen that way.
For any marketing strategy to be effective, it has to be executed. For any marketing strategy to be sustainable, it has to be measured and evaluated. Make sure you ask every client how they heard about you. Keep track and write it down. Spend more time and money on those things that bring you more clients. Calculate a cost-per-new-client (CPNC) based on how much time and money you spent in each marketing activity and how many clients you received directly from it. Do more of the activities that have a lower CPNC then others. In the long run, you’ll have a marketing machine that runs as efficiently as possible bringing you in a constant stream of new clients at the lowest cost possible.
4. Picking the wrong product lines to carry.
So many stylists get starry-eyed by all of the fashion and glamour of big-beauty brands. After all, we are in the fashion industry, aren’t we? Isn’t the greatest achievement of any stylist to be cited at a fashion show or for a cover of one of the big magazines? The answer is an unequivocal no, no, no.
Here is a little known secret that is easy for you to test. The secret is that, unless you’re using a small boutique niche brand, none of your clients know what hair color you use on their heads. Want to test it? Pick up the phone right now and dial 5 of them at random and ask them. It would be shocking if even 4 have guesses that are even close. They really care about the results. All professional hair colors are the same to them, they are really paying for the colorist’s skills.
Here is another little known secret, you lose credibility with your clients every time they see the same products you sell in your salon being sold at Target, Walmart, or CVS for half the price. Yeah, yeah, they have heard all of the stories that your Sales Rep has told you about them not being the same product and not being “guaranteed” unless they are sold from a salon. But, do you really think they believe that? Do you? Everyone in the salon industry with any knowledge of business knows that only product manufacturers, directly, can get shelf space at Target, WalMart, or any big retailer. Do you question whether your “salon exclusive” products are sold in retail stores for half of what you sell them for? Simply go to Google and search for them. If they are listed on Target, Amazon, WalMart, CVS, or Walgreens, you’re being taken as a fool and your clients, in turn, think that you’re taking them as fools, too. You’ll be shocked to find Aveda, Pureology, Wella, and Redken; as well as so many others, sold in stores everywhere.
Find a brand that is unique to your salon and is truly professional only. Do your research online before you commit. Identify a niche line that appeals to growing trends of people. We, obviously, recommend Organic Color Systems. If you do choose Organic Color Systems, test out how much we mean to your clients. Five months after converting to us, phone 5 of your clients at random and ask them what color you use on their heads. It will be shocking if at least 4 of them don’t know.
5. Not understanding the business that they are REALLY in.
It’s not styling hair, applying nails, make-up, or skin care. The business you’re really in, is making clients feel good about looking beautiful. Many clients, especially the affluent ones, can pay for plastic surgery, diets, and drugs to make themselves look young and beautiful. This, however, will make them feel cheap, “plastic”, unhealthy, and unnatural. For almost all of today’s women, beauty is not just about looking good, but it is about “feeling” good about how they look. Confidence, self-esteem, wellness, and pride make up the glow of a truly beautiful woman, and the moment you understand how to create this is the moment you have truly evolved into something greater than a beauty professional.
This starts by having great products. Very few women can feel good about looking beautiful unless they know that their well-being is in tact. Employ organic, natural, and nourishing products in your salon to instill that feeling of overall wellness and holistic beauty. Get the ammonia and formaldehyde fumes out of your environment. Don’t use products that have been tested on animals or are loaded with animal by-products. Cleanse the soul as well as the scalp. Create beauty in your clients image while nourishing their hair.
Once you master the art of creating positive emotion along with beauty, your salon will be a truly magical place cherished by your clients.
Be involved with something BIG! The shift in the current salon environment is global, and we must consider different approaches in the way we operate to set us apart from the average.
We live in a time when there are literally salons popping up on every corner and more and more stylists flooding the industry. How are we to set ourselves apart?
We must consider a vastly different approach in which we organize our salons and how we operate in the choices we make. Making quality choices affects us at our very professional core.
The economy has shifted more towards service type of work and soon we won’t be able to run things the old way even if we are set in our current path.
New Products have created intense worldwide competition to the salon business growth and you will certainly find a multitude of competition everywhere to try and keep up with.
Career planning has not been working as you meant for it to? Take control of your career path, if you don’t consider adapting your current thinking and trying new things, how can you ever expect to improve?
It does no good to simply complain or be bitter about what is happening in the industry. In fact, that behavior that will only harm your chance of grasping the new opportunities that await. It is not a time to jeopardize your future on old assumptions on how this industry operates. You have to be the change!
Frankly, the world rewards those that truly catch on to what is happening so invest your energy rather in seizing these opportunities brought by changing your current salon state.
Change always comes bearing gifts!!!
By considering the scope and speed of change these days in salon life, there will be precious gifts and priceless opportunities for those who play by the new rules, position themselves as experts in the new playing field, and take personal responsibility for the salon future.
Meet the challenge: Follow a few simple guidelines for managing your salon during some new industry changes!
Things to consider:
Consider offering products with ingredients that are more natural and even certified organic. Consider going more green in your practices whether in products, materials, activities etc.
Consumers are becoming more aware and educated when it comes to ingredients in their cosmetic products. As a professional, we should add value to your current service by acknowledging the demand for better professional care products in your salon. These consumers are extremely loyal to their salons and are less price sensitive. They tend to understand and accept and appreciate the value of organics. If you patronize this clientele, you will certainly be rewarded as they are more inclined to be focused on the overall salon experience and want to both feel good and look amazing. They know that ingredients matter! You will also reap the benefits as they are typically active in sending you client referrals as they are the type to be fiercely committed to helping and enlightening others.
You should feel passionate about your work and commit to your passion. Clients and consumers want much more quality than ever before. They expect top notch service or they will seek your competition. In today’s world, career success belongs to those committed. To those who work from the heart and invest themselves passionately in their jobs and who can recommit quickly when change is needed, career success can be expected.
Continuous improvement- the Japanese call it kaizen-offers some insurance for your career. Kaizen is the relentless quest for a better way, for higher quality and craftsmanship. It is basically the daily pursuit of perfection. By joining a niche market, you are certain see the expansion of your current clientele. Offering healthier professional products and adding to you valued service will trigger dramatic breakthroughs to your current salon state. Keep abreast of the competition but look for ways to offer them an organic alternative to the current market.
Choose Sustainable products and continue to grow with other green minded networking groups. Network with other Organic Certified Colorists and share your knowledge and current ideas for trends etc. This will not only keep you abreast of new techniques but can grow your ideas for marketing opportunities etc. strengthening your bottom line.
It doesn’t take long for skills and knowledge to become outdated in this fast changing industry. Technological advances and the flood of new products can make it difficult in keeping up with what is going on. Stylists must constantly adapt to new products and techniques. Lifelong learning is the only way to remain competitive in our market. Invest in your growth and continue to consider new products and services that are healthier for your offerings. Attend workshops and seminars regularly. You must be relentless in your pursuit of the best to offer your clientele. The more you are aware and current in your learning, the better positioned you will be in this market and you will increase your job security and a career will flourish from this. Defend your career by developing a better package of knowledge and skills than the next stylist.
Say No to Diversion of your professional products! Find companies that offer professional products that value you as a professional. This means that you must companion yourself with a company that doesn’t sell to local retailers such as Target and Wal Mart. You are the licensed professional not the corner drugstore. It is important to differentiate yourself from offering the same mediocre supposed professional products that can be found in any store. Recommend products that are salon exclusive and mean it. So choose a product line that offers high end ingredients and have credibility so you can create a loyal following from your advertising. It will set you apart more to advertise that you carry truly exclusive professional products that you recommend and create a loyalty among your customer base.
The era of entitlement is ending and instead take personal responsibility for your salon career. Embrace change and develop new habits and practices that are certain to make you stand out from the mediocrity. Go forward into the future of the Organic salon industry rather than revert to the past. Grow!
With today’s growing salon industry, owning a successful salon has helped many salon professionals achieve real financial independence. More and more owners are selling their salons and retiring as multi-millionaires, which only happened in a few rare cases twenty years ago.
But the road to salon success has considerably changed. Yesterday’s salon owner strived to make a good living and be the star in their successful salon. Today’s salon owner aims to build real value and retire financially independent so they can travel the world and enjoy the fruits of their risk and hard work.
The modern salon owner is far more entrepreneurial, creative, savvy, and innovative than their predecessors. There is almost universal agreement amongst today’s young “salon-trepreneurs” that yesterday’s rules to running a salon will, at best, only lead to providing a good living. But to achieve the kind of success that is available in today’s thriving and ever-changing salon industry, salon owners have to master this new set of rules.
How to Succeed in Salon Business
RULE 1: Carry Exclusive Products
Let’s face it: There are 25 salons within a few miles of your business that offer L’Oreal, Redken, Wella, Pureology, Bumble and Bumble, and Paul Mitchell. If you have any doubt on this, just put the name of your town, your state, and then your brand into Google, and you will know. When it comes to hair color, the real consumer sentiment is even worse. In a recent survey of 1,000 non-cosmetologist salon hair color clients, less than 1% thought they knew what brand of hair color their hair colorist used. What’s even worse is that half of them guessed wrong when they identified the brand!
This situation even gets grimmer when we introduce the topic of product diversion. Despite the fact that product manufacturers accuse rogue distributors of selling their products to Target, CVS, Walmart, and Amazon; you would realize that this is simply not true. Given the requirements of these mega-retailers (such as product liability insurance and certificates of trademark ownership), only a product manufacturer can get their products some shelf space in these megaretailer’s stores and that is only after months of effort. While your sales rep is telling you they are selling professional-only products; you can do a simple search on the websites of Target, Amazon, or CVS to find that your clients can find the same products for much cheaper at these stores. We’ve all heard before that these are not the same products, but we all know that they are exactly the same.
If you want to offer a truly salon-exclusive line of products that are only available to licensed professionals that have actually recommended the product for a client’s specific needs, then you should consider Simply Organic Beauty and their line of hair color, hair care, and salon treatments.
RULE 2: Make Marketing a Central Part of Your Plan
To have a successful salon, you have to have loyal clients who receive real value from your services and feel an affinity to your brand and ethos. To many salon owners, marketing means advertising. Avoid this mistake. According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is “the set of activities for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for clients.”
Your marketing strategy should include equal parts of advertising, promotion, and communication. Advertising is media that is paid for to attract clients to your salon. Examples of advertising initiatives would be placing a print ad in your local paper, renting a billboard, or running an ad campaign on your local radio station. Promotion doesn’t necessarily require paid media, but it has to be more creative to attract new clients. Examples of promotions would be hosting a “Bring a Friend” night, having a referral program in your salon, providing employee discount programs for large local employers, or appearing as a guest speaker on a local radio talk show. Communication, on the other hand, means creating a clear presence for your salon. Examples of communication would be ensuring you have visible and attractive signage, issuing press releases about noteworthy events to your local newspapers, and having an easy-to-find website that is listed in all local directories.
RULE 3: Identify Your Niche
For most salons, traditional advertising is extremely difficult and will have limited returns. The primary reason for this is the competitive landscape that many salons face where too many salons provide almost identical services and compete for a limited number of clients. To successfully advertise your salon, you must develop USP’s (Unique Selling Propositions). In other words, you must have something different to offer. Otherwise, your salon is going to look like all of the others no matter how attractive your ad is. Most experts say that unless you have a highly specialized or differentiated offering, you are better off not advertising at all. Unfortunately, we agree.
The good news is that if you are offering organic salon products from a company like Simply Organic Beauty, you are offering something different! Advertising how healthy, safe, and nourishing your products will send out a message that sets your salon apart from your competition. This message will certainly resonate with clients that are specifically concerned about their health and well-being. Further, you can target these clients and get a much better return on your advertising dollars. Rather than advertise in your local newspaper where you pay a high price for exposure, why not advertise in your local organic newsletter where the rates are much cheaper, and all of the readers will be looking for a salon just like yours? By targeting your advertising budget specifically to your niche audience, you will spend less money and get many more clients from your advertising budget!
RULE 4: Develop Long-Term Relationships with Your Clients
Today’s consumers want to feel a connection with the products and services they use. Great companies like Apple, Disney, and Coca-Cola have mastered this art and your salon can too. Rather than providing your client with a short service that enhances their beauty until their next visit, develop a program of care that begins with the service and then maintained and enhanced by the use of products, followed up by return visits to your chair. DON’T SELL THEM PRODUCTS – they don’t want or need to be sold anything. Instead, recommend a path for them to achieve their beauty and wellness goals and offer professional yet personalized guidance throughout the treatment. Think more homeopathic and holistic rather than service and cosmetic. This is exactly the sort of expert advice and consultation that the modern salon client is yearning for, and providing them that invaluable service will help you develop a meaningful relationship with them.
The system offered by Simply Organic Beauty is ideal for achieving this purpose. For instance, beginning the treatment with a wet stretch test will help establish a verifiable baseline of your client’s hair. Then, monitor the client’s hair condition after the in-salon treatment and while they’re using your recommended products at home. When the client returns, you can test and verify the results together. Doing so will help reinforce their loyalty.
RULE 5: Focus on Cultivating an Ethos Rather Than Developing an Image
We have all heard it thousands of times before: A salon is all about image. For the modern salon, nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s “Starbucks” and “Whole Foods” consumers are loyal to a salon for what it represents rather than how it looks. Long gone are the days when laser lights, loud pop music, and rhinestone-studded hair brushes are attracting new clients like ants to a picnic. Today, the concept of “building an image” has been replaced by “building client affinity.” Client Affinity is defined as having an inherent similarity, feeling of kinship, or natural attraction to a business. In the modern salon industry, client affinity equals loyalty.
The most efficient way to build affinity with clients is to develop a strong ethos (a set of salon values, goals, culture, and mission) which your target audience is likely to share. Take some time and assess what your target clientele values and build your salon’s culture around those to ensure client affinity and long-lasting loyalty. If you’re an organic salon, your clients probably value their health, well-being, and social and environmental stewardship. These values are consistent with the Simply Organic Beauty Ethos and are an ideal way to promote client affinity.
RULE 6: Be Savvy About Your Prices
One of the most common misconceptions of the salon industry is that when salons raise their prices, they might scare new clients away. While this is normally true in most industries, savvy salon owners have realized that higher prices on their services menu allow them to provide more attractive discounts in their promotional programs.
For example, if you increase the prices on your services by 20%, but offer a 20% discount for friends and family of current clients, you have increased the perceived value of your services, increased client loyalty from your referral network, and allow for higher prices from potential new clients whose perception of higher value in your services has been driven by the positive remarks of your loyal clients. While we do not recommend increasing your service prices to some unreasonable amount, we have found that almost all salons would benefit from adopting this approach to some extent so long as the increase is reasonable.
RULE 7: Have an Exit Strategy
Starting and running a new business is a risky endeavor. As human beings, we instinctually want to identify an exit whenever we step into even a moderately risky situation. For example, when we walk into an elevator or onto an airplane, we instantly want to know where the exit is. Why is it that salon owners rarely have an exit plan?
To define your exit strategy for your salon, you’ll need to develop your personal long-term plan. How much money do you want to have to retire? How much money do you want to sell your salon for? Do you want to leave the business to your children? Is your goal to expand to multiple locations? Understanding your goals for yourself and your business and synchronizing these with your personal finances will help you define what your exit strategy is.
RULE 8: Don’t Be a Star
Whether your exit strategy is to sell your salon, leave it to your children, or slowly pass it on to your staff; it is important that you build an independent business that has value in and of itself. The biggest mistake made by salon owners is developing a business based ON their talents rather than building a business FROM their talents. If your salon is successful, its lifespan as a business will outlast your career, and your payoff will be passing a wonderful business on to your successor (whether that is your children or someone who has bought your salon from you). Whichever the case, the only way to know if you are passing on something of value is if your salon can be just as successful if you are not involved in the business. This should be your ultimate goal. To do this, you will have to put your ego aside and commit to building a great business.
Statistics consistently show that businesses with sustainable profits sell for 7 to 10 times their annual profits. Unfortunately, salons usually sell for two times their annual profit because when their owners leave, so do their profits. Therefore, most salons are sold for less than their furniture and fixtures. To put that into perspective, if you build a salon business that generates $300,000 per year in profits, you could probably sell that business for $600,000 if you built a business ON your talents and made yourself the star of your salon or $3 Million if you built a business with sustainable profits even if you are no longer working for the business.
The modern salon industry offers considerable opportunity to generate real wealth for owners and investors. But the emerging opportunities call for a different set of rules than the traditional salon industry.