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Category Archives: Salon Business

6 Things You Must Know When Moving into Your Own Salon Suite

To many stylists, owning a salon is the ultimate goal. Who doesn’t like being your own boss and having the freedom to express your own creativity while making a living? For those starting out, renting a salon suite is a great first step to achieving that dream.

However, it takes more than passion and creativity to become a successful solopreneur. To ensure your success, you must be fully prepared mentally, emotionally, and financially. Below are 6 secrets you must know before moving into your own salon suite.

6 Secrets to Salon Suite Success

Have the right mindset.

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Everything begins with the right mindset. Having that drive to succeed no matter what is what separates successful entrepreneurs and those who aren’t.

Being a solo entrepreneur is no easy task. You need to make crucial business decisions and will encounter many challenges. The clearer and stronger your mindset, the more resilient you will become in times of difficulty.

Know your brand.

Developing and maintaining a brand that strongly resonates with your target market helps build customer recognition. If you intend to cater to potential clients who are maintaining a holistic lifestyle, your website, social media, products, and services should be aligned with their values. This helps create an emotional connection that can last a lifetime and earn you more referrals. As an independent hair stylist, having a loyal clientele is essential to your success.

Establish your mission.

In addition, your salon must establish a mission or purpose that represents your goals and values. This should be powerful enough to make you jump out of bed, excited start your day. Are you aiming to be a fully holistic salon? Do you want to be recognized in your local community as a leader in your field?

Having a clear-cut mission and sense of purpose helps establish a solid foundation for your business and guide your professional decisions.

Have a system in place.

As solo suite stylist, you will be working on your own so you need a reliable system that can help you manage all your tasks. From booking, customer relationship management, marketing, to tax planning, there are several business tools that can help you be more productive and efficient.

TIP: As a small, cash-based business, you will be overseeing every aspect of your business. Thus, making you a target of the IRS. We recommend forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to give you more flexibility in terms of filing deductions, which include:

  • Hair Care Product and Tools
  • Salon Furniture, Equipment, and Space Rental
  • Training and Continuing Education
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Licenses and Insurance
  • Meals and Entertainment Deductions
  • Capital Expenses (Start-up Costs, Business Improvements, etc.)
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Maximize your space.

Your salon suite will be limited in space, so you should maximize every square foot. Keep it clean and organized by displaying select marketing materials and using shelves to display your products.

Furthermore, your space should reflect your brand identity. Using green decors like plants and sustainable, eco-friendly furnishings send a message that you are fully committed to being a holistic hair salon. Diffuse organic essential oils to ensnare the senses and create a relaxing ambience. And lastly, only display products that are made with biodynamic-organic and fair-trade ingredients.

Sell retail.

Selling retail is crucial to your salon’s growth so even if you are limited in space, it is important that you have a dedicated retail display. Take advantage of your vertical space by installing shelves on the walls and using your wash and work station as your retail area.

Another option is signing up for a dropship program. Simply Organic Beauty allows salon owners to place an order in behalf of their clients and then we ship them directly to the client’s door. This method allows you to keep your suite less cluttered without missing out on that extra income.

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5 Essential Steps to Creating an Effective Retail Design for Salons

In the past, salons relied more on their staff to sell products, but as the retail landscape continues to shift, businesses need to rethink how to attract customer attention. Nowadays, people prefer to shop online for its convenience but despite that, one thing remains the same: customers will come back for an engaging, interactive shopping experience.

And that’s where proper visual merchandising and retail design for salons can become the best retail “salesperson” you never knew you had. 😉

With the right design, you can create this ultimate shopping experience by literally putting a retail store inside your salon. But in order for this to be effective and profitable, you’ll need to implement these five essential components of visual merchandising and salon retail design.

5 Ways to Create an Effective Salon Retail Display

1. Plan and assess.

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As soon as the client enters your salon, you have about five to ten minutes to make your first sale. With proper planning, you can turn those five minutes into gold.

Once you’ve figured out which retail products you would sell in your salon, take time to develop a retail merchandising master plan. This includes assessing whether your display is:

  • Clean. Nobody likes a dirty or dusty space, so be sure to prioritize the cleanliness of your area.
  • Accessible. Your retail area should be in a place that customers can easily access, otherwise they won’t bother looking at it.
  • Informative. Most clients won’t ask about products, so use shelf talkers to inform them about the items, their benefits, and pricing.
  • Abundant. Fully stocked shelves sends a message that you’re fully committed to your retail line.
  • Sensible. Are you merchandising by categories? This makes it easy for them to navigate your retail space.
  • Narrative. Don’t just display. Explain the story behind the products.
  • Interactive. Have a Try Me area so clients can see, smell, and experience the products for themselves.

2. Organize.

By taking appropriate measures to organize your retail space, you encourage shoppers to make purchases. But first, you must identify your salon’s selling zones and take advantage of them. Utilize areas like the lounge, entrance, and window to entice clients and passersby. Then, put your display/promo table near the entrance and your retail shelves in front of the salon. Workstations are also a perfect area to display specific products.

In fact, 80-85% of retail sales happen in the workstation.

Do not forget to incorporate images. It’s a great way to showcase your branding and what your salon is all about.

3. Tell a story.

We process and retain information when it’s in a form of a story. When creating that story, you will have to carefully choose the products that you are going to display. Consider the color and theme you would like to showcase. Ideally, your salon should have 6 themes per year with no more than 3 colors per display.

Once you’ve figured all that out, it’s now time to tell your story. You need to think like a designer and create a visual experience in order to convey your narrative effectively. A successful design follows the following principles:

  • Repetition. Repeat themes and objects.
  • Unity. Use like-minded objects or props.
  • Contrast. Create visual interest by highlighting different retail areas with the use of colors, textures, and shapes.
  • Rhythm. Incorporate movement by using a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • Balance. Distribute products, objects, colors, and space evenly throughout the retail area.
  • Harmony. Be sure that the props and colors create an overall cohesive effect.
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4. Connect with clients.

So you’ve got your merchandising master plan and your story figured out. But how do you showcase those in a way that speaks to the client?

According to a 2015 study by Event Marketing Institute, about 75% of clients say they’re more likely to buy a product being promoted if a store offers an engaging shopping experience.1 This includes displays and promotions that appeal to all the senses, including the use of proper lighting.

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5. Convert and measure.

It is recommended that 20% of your salon’s area be dedicated to retail with a goal of turning over your inventory four and a half times a year. For example, converting your waiting area into your retail store allows clients to interact more with the products, which increases the chances of them purchasing.

Of course, all these are tips are futile if you are not getting any returns on your investment. So make sure to measure your ROI to determine the success of your retail space or if there are any changes you need to make.

Source:

1Event Marketing Institute. 2015. EventTrack 2015: Forecast and Best Practices Study. Available: http://www.eventmarketer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015EventTrackExecSummary.pdf

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The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Salon’s Dream Team (and Retaining Them)!

Let’s face it – as a business owner, your salon’s success rides on your employees’ talents and skills. But finding the best employees isn’t always a walk in the park.

Great talents are not just looking for better pay, especially with today’s generation of employees. You must be offering something more than good money to convince them to stay. There are many businesses out there that have the same beliefs and services as yours – so the question is: what makes your salon stand out?

Below are tried-and-tested tips on how to build and grow a successful team of stylists, and how to keep them loyal to your salon.

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How to Hire and Keep Your Salon’s Dream Team

Interview potential employees.

The interview process plays a key role in determining whether a stylist fits your salon environment.  As hair stylists, we interact with people with different personalities day in day out, so we need to make sure our team members don’t leave at the first sign of difficulty. During the interview, we recommend doing the following:

  1. Ask situational questions. Find out how they respond to tough situations by asking how they handle themselves when they join a new team or work with an important client. Their responses will help you assess whether they’re perfect for your salon or not.
  2. Look for people with great interpersonal skills. Stylists are therapists and hair doctors rolled into one, so having solid people skills is highly important. The ideal stylist needs to be great at communicating, listening, problem-solving, and decision-making.
  3. Choose people who share your mission or beliefs. In a recent study by Glassdoor, one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs is Work Culture. While skills, talent, and experience are important factors to be considered during the hiring process, character and passion are equally significant. During the interview, articulate your salon’s mission and vision, then ask them what type of culture they thrive in and if your salon’s philosophy is in tune with their personal beliefs.
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Establish systems, goals, and expectations.

Now that you’ve found your team of salon professionals, the next crucial step is how to retain them. This is where goal-setting comes in. As part of the team, what do you expect from them? Establish clear performance metrics, work system, and a professional development plan. Once you’ve relayed those, be sure to define the incentives or growth opportunities they can possibly receive if they hit your business goals. Doing so gives them a sense of direction and validates their decision to join your salon.

Communicate with your team.

According to a study by Leadership IQ, those who spend about 3 hours a week with their boss (emails and chats included) are found to be 29% more inspired, 30% more engaged, 16% more innovative, and 15% more intrinsically motivated than those who seldom do.1

Spending time with your team sends a message that you value them and you are present for them. Use this opportunity to do the following:

  1. Coaching. This includes providing feedback with how they are doing and how they can improve their overall performance, including increasing client referrals, selling retail, and upselling additional salon services.
  2. Mentoring. After hiring top talents, it is critical that you constantly check in on them during their onboarding. This allows you to effectively mentor them and prepare them for future roles in your salon.
  3. Training. Many stylists are discouraged to take continuing education and training classes because of the cost, but by providing it to them as part of your professional development plan improves their morale and job satisfaction immensely, which bring us to our next tip.

Invest in their education.

Hairdressing is an ever-changing industry. As salon owners, we need to make sure that our team remains abreast of the latest products and techniques in the beauty industry.

On average, employees must receive 8-20 hours of training each year. This can be in the form of:

  • Manufacturer-Provided Training
  • Online Class
  • In-Salon Training
  • Trade Show/Conference
  • Distributor-Provided Training

When employees are given educational opportunities, you are instilling commitment and loyalty from them. They’re more likely to stay when they see that their growth is of utmost importance to you.

Offer appealing job benefits.

First and foremost, we shouldn’t forget that these stylists are offering time and talent. More importantly, they deal with potentially health-damaging substances 8 hours a day (unless you’re an organic salon). Having a competitive compensation plan and an attractive benefits package in place gives an impression that you value their efforts.

Besides bonuses and other monetary rewards, benefits can also come in:

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  • Company-Paid Training
  • Flextime
  • Salon-Provided Health Benefits
  • Career Advancement
  • Job Sharing Opportunities
  • Association Membership

Keeping employees satisfied on the job is more than just providing a lucrative salary. Different workers want different things. So as salon owners, we must be able to strike the right balance among benefits, career development opportunities, and tools to maximize team loyalty and productivity.

Source:

1 Leadership IQ. (2015). All Great Leadership Styles Begin By Spending Time With Employees. Available: https://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35352257-all-great-leadership-styles-begin-by-spending-time-with-employees

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Hair Stylists: These 3 Questions Will Help You Charge What You Are Worth

Hair-Stylist-Charge-What-Youre-Worth

Charging what you are worth as a hair stylist is such an important part of professionalism in our industry. Some stylists start the game with confidence and a deeper understanding and comfort with charging for their skills, time, and product. Many stylists, however, struggle with charging what they are worth.

Why is there such disparity in the hair world? Why is charging what you’re worth so hard for so many? Some of this comes from our own sense of professional worth, our beliefs about the clientele we can attract, and the culture around the products we use.

Are You Worthy?

Do you know your stuff? If you want to charge what you’re worth, you need to be worthy and feel worthy.

charging-your-worth

Being worthy starts with the basics: graduating cosmetology school, maintaining your license in good standing, then taking continuing education every chance you get.

As Holistic Hair Stylists, we take ourselves seriously when it comes to skill and expertise. We take classes to enhance our craft, our skills, and to stay contemporary, inspired, advancing our art.

One of the fundamental aspects of being a holistic hairstylist is INTEGRITY. Continually striving for excellence is a part of that. You are doing the work, you got the skills, you are worthy!

Is Your Vibe Worthy?

Your-vibe-attracts-your-tribe.

As they say, your vibe attracts your tribe. Are you cultivating a clientele that wants what you specifically offer? Are you putting out the vibes to attract what you want?

We are all wonderfully unique and we each have our own special vibe. The vibe you have can either attract or not attract what you want. That energy around us can come from who we are as a person, issues affecting our lives or even what happened to us on the way to work. Having an awareness of what our vibe is in person, online, even on the phone can really be helpful when trying to cultivate a specific professional identity.

Our vibe is connected to our artistic voice.

It is the energy of our personality signature. It is worth exploring and worth nurturing. You have permission to indulge. Do the things that help you feel like the awesome stylist you know you are. Set goals. Participate in self-care. When you show up to work all full of love for yourself and what you do, it’s hard NOT to be attracted to that. Love yourself! You are worthy!

Is Your Product Worthy?

Being a colorist is a magical combination of chemistry, color theory, practical skills, knowledge based on education and experience, and your own personal artistry. You can be limited or given wings to fly with the products you choose. Holistic Hair Stylists who use products that perform at the highest level, enhance the health of the client’s hair and scalp, and provide an environment free of toxins guarantee themselves success in any market.

As an Oway user and stylist, I find extreme benefit in the ability to truly meet my clients’ needs ethically and in a healthy way, for all of us. And how impressed are they when they learn these products aren’t just gorgeous, effective, and organic? The ingredients are farm to chair from Bologna, Italy or fair traded globally!

The more my clients learn about the layers of awesome that is Oway, and how fabulous their hair and scalp feel over time, the more invested they are in me as a stylist and the products they are using. As cheesy as it sounds, the products really do sell themselves. All we need to do as stylists is educate clients on what we are using and why and they happily purchase what they need.

Knowing your product, how it works, why it works, and using it to the best of your professional ability creates value in you as a stylist and helps your clients long term with hair and scalp health. Win-win.

Know Your Worth

You have the skills. You got them good vibes. You are using fabulous products. Now, check in with other professionals in your area, and around the country and set your price points.

You know what you need. You know what you are worth. And you know you are providing an unparalleled experience with the products you have chosen. Charge what you are worth with confidence and pride. And check in each year to see what needs to change.

You are a holistic hairstylist. You are going to grow and change, so price accordingly.

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Oway Hair Stylist

About The Author

Abigail Waldrum

Abigail Waldrum is a Simply Organic Beauty Educator and Holistic Hair Stylist at Sepulveda Hair Studio in Deland, FL. An active member of our #HolisticHairTribe, she continues to inspire our community with her techniques, wisdom, and willingness to help others. If you want to learn more how to bring organic, eco-friendly hair products to your salon, please contact us at 888-213-4744

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5 Easy Ways to Retain Salon Clients & Transform Them Into Lifelong Fans

Attracting salon clients takes a lot of work, but the true challenge lies in retaining them. All too often we see many salons looking virtually empty, which sends a bad message to onlooking potential customers. Empty Salon = Bad Service.

And so you have your salon’s website and salon’s social media marketing down pat, but you can’t seem to re-book and keep clients. What could possibly be wrong? It might have something to do with your client retention system. If you don’t have one in place, then we suggest creating one.

Below are 5 tried-and-tested ways on how to retain your salon clients and create loyalty!

Tips for Retaining Salon Clients

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Measure Your Retention

As a business owner, you need to have a system in place to measure your client retention. Keep track of the dates and how frequent your new and existing clients come to your salon. Doing so helps you set retention goals based on the data that you have and allows you to identify clients that you need to focus on.

Reward Your Staff & Clients

Everyone responds positively to a reward. When you provide incentives to your staff in exchange for improving their client retention, they’ll be more motivated to work. Rewards like giving them a raise or throwing them a mini-party are excellent strategies to inspire your team to reach your business goal.

The same can be said about client rewards. Clients who are offered referral/next-visit discounts or personalized welcome kits are more likely to book a service again. These rewards make them feel that you value their loyalty, thus reinforcing repeat behavior. Programs like Point Rewards, Punch Card, and VIP Tiers have also been proven to be effective in encouraging clients to continue visiting their local salon.

Pre-book Clients

Pre-booking your clients for the next appointment before they leave your salon is an effective way to increase the possibility of them returning. Emphasize the benefits of maintaining their look or booking ahead of time during the busy holiday season.

This is also the perfect opportunity to mention your Pre-Pay Program. This guarantees that they will keep coming and frequent your salon since they’ve already paid for it. Aside from that, it’s also been statistically proven that clients who’ve pre-paid the service tend to spend more afterwards, adding to your sales goals.

Sell Retail

First-time clients tend to return when they purchase retail, especially if they liked the product. And once that happens, you’ve just earned their trust. This is the only opportunity you need to start building a relationship with a new client.

Have them test new products you’re thinking of bringing to your salon and ask for their opinion. This will send a message that you don’t only see them as a client but also a part of your salon family.

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TIP: Carry salon exclusive products like Oway so clients have no option but to visit you to get what they need.

Be Consistent

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Hairdressing is an experience-driven industry.

Clients come to you to relax and have a great time. So when they consistently receive excellent service, they’re sure to book again and again.

Forge friendships with them by sending personal notes, listening to their concerns, and creating a pleasing customer experience each time they visit. The next thing you know, they’ll be telling their friends and family how amazing your salon is.

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5 Untold Secrets of Social Media Marketing For Salons

Years ago, social media marketing was totally unheard of. Facebook and Instagram started off as fun, alternative way to share photos and experiences. But as they gained more popularity, people quickly realized the untapped opportunities available online.

And it’s true. Social media is probably one of the greatest gifts to entrepreneurs. It’s free and you can reach hundreds (even thousands) of potential salon clients with a click of a button – if you know what to do. Luckily, we’ve taken the mystery out of social media marketing for hair salons with our latest salon business training!

Firstly, Facebook has the largest social network in the world, with over 2 billion users. Meanwhile, Instagram has reached over 700 million users this year. Among the many social media platforms available, these two provide the most efficient way to reach and engage current clients and potential customers.

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Below are some useful tips on how you can leverage your salon’s social media pages to attract people to your business.

How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Salon Business

1. Complete Your Profile

To many online users, your social media page is their first point of contact with your business – so be sure all the important information are there. Once you’ve created your Facebook and Instagram page, check to see if you have these on your profile pages:

a. Name, Address, Phone (NAP)

Having these three on your profile helps potential clients know more about your business. Aside from that, Google crawls these pieces of information to verify your business website, so make sure your social media NAP is consistent with your website and Google My Business page.

b. Photos

Photos provide a face to your business, so it’s important that you’re making a positive impression. Upload a professional photo of your salon and a cover picture to add more personality to your page.

c. About

The About section is the soul of your social media page. It’s often the first thing visitors check to see if your salon is worth their business.

d. Website URL

Don’t forget to add your salon website! Doing so helps boost your site’s ranking and verifies your business on Google. Take advantage of the gray verification badge offered by Facebook for businesses as well. This legitimizes your business and helps users discover your page easily in search results.

2. Know Your Target

As small business owners, knowing who your target audience is important as it will set the tone and overall personality of your social media page.

Consider the age bracket of your target audience when posting. Are they 18 – 29-year-olds? Posting fun, colorful hair colors is a great way to attract younger people. Tag those who you want to check out your post, and use relevant hashtags.

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Or are they 30-49-year-olds trying to maintain a holistic lifestyle? Sharing articles that are helpful to them will keep them coming back to your page – which brings us to our next tip.

3. Provide Valuable Content

To attract potential clients, you need to give them a reason to keep following you. Does your page offer any value or benefit to them? You can do this by creating useful content, such as:

a. Inspirational Quotes

Everyone likes to see and hear motivational words before starting their day. Posting inspirational quotes will help increase your salon page engagement.

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b. Ingredient Information

As holistic hair stylists, your prospective clients will be looking for a salon that offers products with safe and healthy ingredients. Sharing useful information about the ingredients used in each of the products you use and highlighting their benefits will help generate interest in your business.

c. Promotions/Discounts/Rewards

Everyone loves to get rewards. It’s classic human behavior. Promotions in the form of discounts and rewards will not only entice new customers to buy your products and services but it will also reinforce repeat behavior.

d. Transformation Pictures or Videos

Your social media page is an extension of your portfolio. Many clients who book online are often people who’ve seen a beautiful hair color on Instagram or Facebook. Share before-and-after pictures and videos to show potential clients what you and your team can do for their hair.

TIP: Take pictures with clean, uncluttered background. They often receive the most love on social media because they’re easy on the eyes and put the focus on the hair. Watermarks are great, but make sure they don’t take attention away from the work.

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4. Post Regularly

To forge relationships with your clients and potential clients, you must be consistent in posting updates. This signals that you are up to date with the current trends and willing to interact with your community.

Facebook allows you to schedule posts ahead of time, and there are a number of Instagram schedulers available. Apps like Planoly, Hootsuite, Plann, and Later offer free basic plans that allow you to upload, schedule, and curate your posts ahead of time.

TIP: Facebook and Instagram business pages have built-in analytics that will tell you when your audience is online. Post during peak hours for maximum exposure.

5. Engage Your Audience

Many people like sharing their thoughts on social media. Use that to your advantage by creating conversations with your clients. Join and create Facebook groups. Ask questions that might interest them. Give away products that they might like and possibly, repost (free advertising!). And most importantly, respond to comments and inquiries. This sends a message that you value their voice. Doing these will not only boost your social media authority, but also help you build long-term relationships with clients.

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6 Tried-and-Tested Strategies to Master Your Salon’s Online Reputation

Marketing your salon business today is not as simple as it once was. These days, getting your salon’s name out there will require some cutting-edge online salon marketing strategies and a plan. When done right, this can instantly give your hair salon an advantage over your competitors. But one erroneous move (or lack thereof) can ruin everything you’ve worked hard for.

While we cannot please every client, as salon owners, it is important that we address any issues immediately. Bad news can spread like wildfire, but learning how to manage your salon’s online reputation can help you grow and protect your business at the same time.

Below are some steps you can take to keep your salon’s Internet reputation glowing and intact.

Strategies to Manage Your Salon's Online Reputation

Salon Businesses Should Focus on Local SEO

As a small business owner, being visible to your target market is crucial to success. Salons are a local business type that requires ample foot traffic, so focusing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts on solidifying your placement on local search engine pages can put you ahead of the competition.

Fun Fact: Local Searches Lead 50% Of Mobile Visitors To Visit Businesses Within One Day

As you can see, potential clients are looking for local businesses daily. Staying on top of Google and other search engines will lead to a steady flow of clients to your chair.

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Ninety-four percent of searchers don’t go beyond the first page of Google, therefore being in that highly coveted #1 spot will instantly translate to sales and new clients. There are various factors that affect Local SEO ranking, but being listed in Local Business Directories and mentioned in Local Citations are the most important ones.

  • Local Business Directories

Local Business Directories play a key role in getting instant ranking, but these three search engines are the major players.

  1. Google My Business
  2. Bing Places
  3. Yahoo Local

These search engines have the most users (with Google getting 63.4% audience share) – listing your salon in these search engines will help put it at the top of the list. Recently, Google has added salon and spa bookings as part of Reserve with Google, another free service of the search engine juggernaut that allows customers to discover and book appointments (so be sure to sign up for Google My Business!).

Aside from that, potential clients tend to trust businesses more if their Business Name, Address, and Phone Number are available online. This makes your business look legitimate and allows them to get in touch with you easily.

  • Local Citations

The average consumer reads about 11 reviews before making a purchase decision. These reviews come from the following:

  1. Review Sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, among others
  2. Blogs
  3. Local Newspapers

Being mentioned in Local Citations help search engines like Google verify your business. When multiple credible sources have the same accurate information about your business, it signals to search engines that your business is legitimate. So, be sure your Business Name, Address, and Phone Numbers are correct and consistent.

Salon’s & Hair Stylist Should Market on Social Media

To this day, many entrepreneurs still regard social media as a marketing fad with no real returns. But statistics say otherwise. Sixty-eight percent of all U.S. adults use Facebook, 28% use Instagram, and 21% use Twitter.1 That’s millions and millions of potential clients online.

Being on social media allows clients to easily find your salon and vice versa. Aside from marketing and customer service, having accounts on those three platforms helps boost your salon website’s Google reputation. Google crawls social pages as it would any other website. Meaning, social media can greatly influence your website’s page rank and Google search results, enhancing your salon’s online presence.

Track Your Business Mentions Online

Once you’ve finished submitting your business name to local directories and creating your social media accounts, start tracking your business mentions online. Waiting for a wave of bad reviews to come in before taking an action can be detrimental to your business. One negative review can send potential clients to another salon.

Be proactive by monitoring your social media channels and responding to both compliments and complaints with carefully though-out responses. This sends a message that you care about them and are willing to improve the way you do business. Below are some of the ways businesses track their online mentions:

  • Google Alerts. This free tracking tool from Google notifies you via email whenever your salon is mentioned on the Internet.
  • Social Media. When you regularly check your salon hashtag and tags on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you get instant feedback and insights from clients.
  • While Hootsuite is mainly used for scheduling posts across social media channels, one major perk of this tool is you get to monitor what people are saying about your business.
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Turn Your Salon Team into Brand Ambassadors

You have talented stylists in your team – they make the perfect brand ambassadors because they have first-hand experience and genuine understanding of what your salon is all about. Furthermore, they use the products and have personal connections with clients. Leverage that relationship by having them create their own professional social media pages where they can promote their work and their favorite products.

Their social media activity will not only help position your salon as an active member of the beauty industry, but also help dispel any negative opinions about your business.

Encourage them to put your salon’s website on their social media bios as well to drive more leads to your site.

Expand Your Network

Your salon’s online reputation is as important as your offline reputation. Many potential clients out there either don’t have social media or are not in your network. Sponsoring local events like meetups can help you tap into a wide network of like-minded individuals. Sites like meetup.com are always looking for people who can sponsor food, gifts, and venues.

Bonus Perk: When you sponsor, your salon website will be linked in the event page, bringing more traffic to your site.

Gather and Respond to Reviews

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Businesses nowadays live or die by their online reputation, especially salons. Over 90% of consumers look up online reviews before booking a service or buying a product, so be sure to get as many reviews as you can. Encourage clients to leave a review on your Facebook or Yelp page and embed them on your website so prospective clients can see them.

Review Management Tips

  1. Cultivate real and authentic reviews. Hand out biz cards before your clients leave to remind them to leave a review on your website.
  2. Respond to good and bad reviews. Acknowledging BOTH positive and negative reviews shows that you appreciate their feedback and opinion. Call them if you must – this way the client will feel how much you value them as a customer.
  3. Maintain and uphold professionalism. Respond in an honest, professional manner. Whatever happens on the Internet stays on the Internet, so make sure to always put your business in the best possible light.

Source:

1 Pew Research Center. (2016). Social Media Update 2016. Available: http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/

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5 Money-Making Features Your Salon Website Must Have

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With many businesses and consumers relying on digital technology, having a well-oiled website is a necessity. But the cost of maintaining a website can be too much for some, not to mention navigating the waters of marketing a salon business online can be very intimidating especially for DIYers.

At Simply Organic Beauty, we strive to help our clients grow their business, so we’re letting you in on our trade secrets! Below are the top 5 money-making strategies you can use to bring in more clients to your salon with minimal marketing effort and expenses.

Must-Have Money-Making Website Features

Newsletter Opt-In

Some people cringe at the thought of creating an email newsletter for their business, but the truth is, it remains as one of the most cost-effective and powerful profit-making machines. In fact, in a 2017 study by B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, email marketing is still the most successful marketing strategy ahead of social media.1

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And it doesn’t come as a surprise. Newsletters help you grow your client list at a fraction of a cost and time. Clients and prospective clients sign up for this service voluntarily. This means they are truly interested in what your salon has to offer, helping you to easily identify who your target clients are and update them on sales and events in a single swoop.

PRO TIP: Our favorite email marketing services for your salon website are MailChimp and Constant Contact. They’re free to start and simple to use. They also offer nice templates if you’re worried about designing your own.

Online Booking

Gone are the days when clients have to personally visit and wait for businesses to open before they can book an appointment. Now clients can do that from the comfort of their own home at any time. By having an Online Booking system in place, you can receive reservations 24/7.

User-friendly Online Booking apps like Vagaro, Square, and Schedulicity allow you to embed their widget on your salon website so clients can view your calendar and book an appointment without having to go to another website. They’re convenient, take the workload off your shoulders, and make for great customer service.

Unlike phone and in-person reservations, Online Booking systems also allow clients to check out what other customers have to say about your salon’s services and products. Which brings us to our next money-making feature.

Testimonials

Here’s a fact: 92% percent of consumers read online reviews and 84% of this number trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Yankelovich, a market research firm, found that 75% of people have negative perceptions about advertising2, meaning they are savvy enough to know when a brand is being dishonest. Hence, they turn to online testimonials to validate claims.

By adding a Testimonials page to your salon website, you are “humanizing” your business and providing prospective customers a glimpse into your salon, which helps convince them to book your services. You can either activate Testimonials on your website or embed reviews from sites like Yelp, Google+, and even Facebook. This way, you get to keep clients on your site and increase your conversions.

Portfolio

Portfolios aren’t just for writers, photographers, and graphic artists anymore. In the age of social media, you’re more likely to encounter a potential client asking about a hair color they saw online. Take advantage of this by including a gallery of your work on your website.

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There are hundreds of website plug-ins that allow you to embed pictures (even your Instagram page) on your website. This way you can show your skills and increase your online visibility at the same time.

Gift Cards

e-gift-cardsGift Cards are powerful sales and relationship-building strategy every business should adopt. Unlike discount coupons, pre-paid gift cards have greater perceived value. They provide instant revenue and motivate clients to purchase your products and services immediately. In fact, 2 out of 3 consumers tend to spend more than 40% of the card’s value, and would almost always do repeat business.

Electronic Gift Card tools like Giftly and Yiftee allow your clients to buy gift cards through your site and send it to people they love. It’s one the most underestimated salon website design features!

Learn more here:

Sources

1 Content Marketing Institutes. 2017. B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends. Available: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2017_B2B_Research_FINAL.pdf

2 Elliott, S. THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; A survey of consumer attitudes reveals the depth of the challenge that the agencies face. Availanle: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/14/business/media-business-advertising-survey-consumer-attitudes-reveals-depth-challenge.html

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Salon Website 101: Elements of a Successful Salon Website

In the age of Google and social media, having a website is crucial for your business. It enables potential customers to find and learn about your salon. But it doesn’t just end in having a website. To take advantage of the incredible benefits of having an online presence, your website should have all the necessary features that will make them feel confident about doing business with you.

Think of a website as an extension of your salon. It should have all the important information about you, your team, and your company. This allows potential customers to know you and trust you with their hair.

We rounded up 4 essential elements of a salon website to help you develop and gain new customers.

Elements of a Successful Salon Website

CONTACT

First and foremost, the main goal of having a website is to provide a convenient way for potential clients to get in touch with you. But if your website does not highlight your contact information, you will most likely lose their business.

  • Putting your Contact Information on BOTH your Home and Contact Page is essential. There are clients who don’t like navigating menus, so having your information in a prominent place on the home page allows them to easily find it and reach you.
  • Contact Forms do not cut it anymore. Clients today prefer immediate information. Whether it is a phone call, text message, social media, or email, your website should display multiple points of contact. This also includes your complete mailing address.
  • Use a Call to Action (CTA). CTAs entice a visitor take an action that’s beneficial to your business. Phrases as simple as “Call Us” or “Book an Appointment” can help convert a regular web browser into a paying client.
  • The Internet is here to stay, so whether you like it or not – we must move with the times. Having an Online Booking System allows your salon to receive reservations 24/7 and immediately notify your clients of your availability in seconds. It minimizes your workload and, at the same time, keeps your clients happy. It’s a WIN-WIN!

CULTURE

Your salon culture is critical to your success. It shapes and influences your clients’ attitudes and behaviors toward your business. Many clients go to salons to relax and feel comfortable and welcome. If your website showcases that, earning their business is going to be easy.

Having the following on your website will help:

  • Your Salon Logo & Colors. Believe it or not – keeping your website’s colors and logos consistent with your brand plays a major role in decision-making.

Neuroscientiest Bevil Conway believes that humans are hardwired for certain hues.1

Greens, for example, can have a balancing and harmonizing effect, which is perfect for a Holistic Salon website.

  • Unique and Professional Salon Photos. As much as you can, avoid using generic stock photos. Clients have unique needs, and by using stock photos, your salon will look pretty much the same as the next salon. Investing in professional pictures will help set your business apart from all the others on your street.
  • Your Salon’s Story, Team, and Values. This will help determine if you’re a good fit for them. As Holistic Hair Stylists, we cater to clients who are trying to maintain a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Highlighting that on your website by sharing your team’s story and values will help attract more clients who are looking to do the same.

COSTS

Admit it – walking into a salon and asking for the cost of a service can be very intimidating, especially for new clients. Disclosing your services and pricing helps alleviate their worry, and thus are more likely to set up an appointment now that they know they can afford your services.

However, be sure to include proper disclosure regarding your salon policies and procedures to avoid any misunderstanding.

Salon-Website-Tips

For instance, include in the fine print that prices posted on your website are base prices, and total cost of service will vary depending on the treatments needed as well as the length of hair. We don’t want to lose their business over a simple mix-up.

CONTENT

Never underestimate the power of an up-to-date website. This can be in the form of a Blog, Testimonials, Portfolio, and Service/Product pages.

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  • Even though you offer outstanding services, prospective clients want to hear an unbiased opinion. They want reviews from real people to validate your claim, and this is where Testimonials/Reviews page come in. Like personal recommendations, people nowadays turn to online reviews before making a purchase. 2 Testimonials provide a human element to your business, bridging the gap between you and your potential clients.
  • Having a Blog can help you drive more traffic to your website, increasing your website’s SEO performance. This puts you at the top of the search results on Google as well as positions your salon as the expert in your field. A monthly or quarterly blog post is recommended.
  • As Holistic Hair Stylists, our work is our business card. Before-and-Afters are an excellent way to showcase your skills and your ability to improve your client’s hair.
  • For customers, nothing can be more annoying than finding out that their favorite product is sold out. Or when a service had a price increase. This can lead to negative reviews and can cost you to lose their business, so be sure to keep your Product and Service pages updated.

Sources:

1 Jaffe, E. (2014). The Fascination Neuroscience of Colors. Available: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3027740/evidence/the-fascinating-neuroscience-of-color

2 Anderson, M. (2013). 2013 Study: 79% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations. Available: http://searchengineland.com/2013-study-79-of-consumers-trust-online-reviews-as-much-as-personal-recommendations-164565

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Salon Visual Merchandising 101: 7 Elements of Retail Displays That Drive Sales

visual-merchandising-for-salons

It’s no surprise that most stylists dislike “selling” retail. Love it or hate it, “selling” or retailing is critical to maintaining a profitable business, and when done right, merchandising alone could increase your retail revenue by 35%.  Not a bad increase for letting your display do the “selling” for you.

Not an artist or designer? No worries. Follow a few key elements outlined below, and your displays will look like you hired a pro.

Salon Display vs Fixture

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a well merchandised display and well merchandised retail fixture.

A fixture is meant to “house” the products that you carry in an organized manner, fully stocked, oriented from left to right then top to bottom with proper shelf talkers.

The purpose of a display is to highlight certain products by increasing their visibility. A display does not need to show all the items in a product line – focusing on three to five products makes a display less cluttered and more appealing to the eye. Displays should be engaging, changed out frequently, and strategically placed to guide the customer through the space, keeping their interest while they shop.

Key Elements of Visual Merchandising For Salons

1. What?

  • Determine what product or products are going to be featured. Displays can be centered around just one product, three, or five. Odd numbers are easier to work with and more enticing to the eye.

2. Why?

  • Know your purpose. What is the product promotion and what is the purpose of the display, specifically? Of course, your primary purpose is to sell more products, but make sure to integrate the display with the needs of your target customer. Start with determining who is your target customer and why would they want to make this purchase.

Don’t forget to educate your team on the details of the product and promotion. This ensures that your salon and staff are speaking the same language.

3. How Much?

  • Set a budget. It is important to set a budget for your display so that your extra profits aren’t spent paying for the display props. Spending a lot on creating a display does not always mean that you will profit more from its sales.

4. Where?

  • Placement is key. As a rule, when we walk into a room we tend to look and walk towards the right. If possible, this would be prime real estate for you to establish a “feature” display.

5. How?

  • Add props. Props are great tools for engaging your customers with your display. When using props, stick to an 80/20 ratio: 80% products, 20% props. Props of varying colors, heights, and texture make your display more interesting. Think about why the customer should want to purchase this item and go from there. For example: If your promotion involves products that provide protection from the sun, incorporating sunglasses, a beach towel, and a pair of flip flops appeals to your customers’ desire to take a vacation while reminding them to purchase products that protect their skin and hair. You may want to try several layouts until you’re happy with your results. Scents and music are also effective if they support your message. The more senses that can be integrated, the more powerful the display.

6. Share

  • Promote your message. Just as important as the display is sharing the message of what your promotion is. Just because you “build it” does not mean “they will come buy it”. This involves the use of proper signage of course. Signage should relay your message in a style suited to your display. Keep in mind the price point of your products and be sure you’re not using a flimsy hand-written sign to sell a $100 gift set.

Don’t forget to utilize social media to promote your message. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are perfect outlets for posting attractive images of your display. Be sure that your message is either expressed in the photo or explained in your posting.

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7. Measure

  • Evaluate your strategy. Be sure to track the sales from your display to measure its success. Also, take into consideration other indicators that your display was a success like client comments, the amount of time clients spent interacting with the display, likes and shares on social media, etc.

TIP: Creating small displays in other areas of the salon like shampoo area, hallway, bathroom, or treatment rooms (if you have them) are also great reminders of a promotion you are having. Repeating your promotional message several times within your salon is more likely to be noticed and produce a sale.

Check out these “shelfies” from our #HolisticHairTribe for inspiration:

For a more detailed look into how Merchandising can help you grow your business, be sure to watch out for our upcoming online course: Secrets of Successful Salon & Spa Merchandising (Boost Your Retail Sales by 35%.)

Tracy Olson

About the Author

Tracy Olson

As the Simply Organic Education and Technical Department Manager, Tracy brings to us more than 25 years of experience in the salon industry. As a former salon owner and artistic director, Tracy has worked with salons, spas, schools, and health clubs in developing design solutions and strategies to help increase their retail sales. If you want to learn more how to bring organic, eco-friendly hair products to your salon, please contact us at 888-213-4744

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