Different people measure success differently in the hair and beauty industry. Some measure it by the number of salon locations they have, others see it in terms of the number of celebrity clients they have, and others consider how often they are featured in fashion and beauty magazines. But whatever your idea of success is, it all narrows down to 3 fundamental success targets: Building a solid client base, gaining long-term profitability, and outdoing the competition. And, fundamentally, achieving these targets is what makes a successful hair salon.
How can you tell if a salon business has achieved these targets? Well, successful hair salons are defined by:
1. Happy, repeat customers
One of the greatest keys to a successful hair salon is keeping customers happy every time they visit the salon. Satisfied customers become repeat customers, which translates to consistently growing and increasing revenue streams.
Keeping customers happy goes beyond giving them the best hairdo. Successful salons make their clients feel special and well taken care of from the moment they step in, throughout their stay, and even long after they are gone.
How to entertain your clients as successful salons do:
- Pay close attention to customers when they come in.
Give them a warm welcome. Smile at them but don’t be weird. Compliment their look but don’t overdo it. Enquire about how they are doing in life without invading their personal space. Ask them what services they are interested in and let them make great choices. Accompany them to the waiting area and ensure that they are comfortable. Offer them something to drink or a magazine to keep them entertained as they wait for their turn. All these make customers feel valued and appreciated.
- Give them personalized treatment.
Call them by name or a nickname they like. Never forget how they like their hairdo or the products they prefer. Don’t forget how they like their coffee either, or what their favorite drinks are.
- Create a relaxing environment.
The need for a relaxing salon environment cannot be overemphasized: Salon customers are always in the mood for relaxation and pampering. You can achieve such an environment by playing soothing and calming music in the background and spice things up with some scented candles. Install quality aesthetics, comfortable furniture for optimal comfort, and some indoor plants for optimal air quality.
- Ensure a consistent customer experience.
It would be a huge undoing if your customers receive inconsistent hair treatments resulting from poor communication between employees. To eliminate this, have clear customer experience guidelines that every employee must abide by.
2. Impeccable knowledge and investment in hairstyle trends and products
Hairstyle trends, just like fashion, come and go. Successful hair salons stay updated on modern styles and techniques, keep an eye on futuristic styles, and often borrow from vintage styles. They are creative and innovative enough to come up with unique trends of their own. They collaborate with reputable manufacturers to ensure that the products they stock are of top quality, organic, and pocket-friendly. Their stylists know how to appease conservative clients who want to stay in the familiarity of the past. They also know how to attract and appease the young, adventurous, and free-spirited hair enthusiasts.
Successful hair salons stay on top of hairstyle trends by:
- Reading current hair magazines.
- Visiting beauty blogs that focus more on hair.
- Checking out and borrowing styles from celebrities on social media, movies, and TV shows.
- Attending beauty events and picking the brains of top models and industry leaders on hair-related topics.
- Taking regular refresher courses and reading widely on the evolution of hairstyles.
- Watching YouTube videos that focus on hair, especially the “how-to” videos.
- Being active on hairstylists’ online and networking groups. They don’t plagiarize styling ideas from their peers; they improve on other people’s ideas and create something spectacular.
3. Efficient and effective technology
Successful hair salons are quick to ditch obsolete technologies for newer, more efficient ones. Today, ambitious salon owners are investing in salon software that enables them to not only streamline client and employee management but also automate repetitive tasks. That gives them more time to concentrate on what matters the most: Their clients’ hair.
There are many benefits of investing in salon management software:
- It facilitates online bookings, enabling customers to schedule appointments at their own convenient time, from wherever they are. This enhances customer experience, increases bookings, and prevents no-shows.
- It collects and stores clients’ personal data that’s invaluable to digital marketing and after-sale services.
- Comes with inventory management features. Some systems are, for example, capable of raising a purchase order automatically based on a customer’s purchase history.
4. Happy, motivated employees
Successful salons know that high employee turnover can lead to clients losing trust in their salon; that clients want consistency. That’s why they strive to keep their employee turnover rates extremely low.
They also know how invaluable happy and motivated employees are. Their happy employees have no problem bending backward to make customers happy. They socialize well with clients and help build a happy community around the salon. They convince customers to pay for extra services or to buy hair products from the salon’s retail section. They even willingly participate in the salon’s social media marketing, recruitment processes, and creation of user-generated content.
To motivate employees like successful brands:
- Offer competitive salaries, commissions, and incentives. Don’t overdo it to avoid eating too much into your profits.
- Recognize and reward great work. You don’t have to offer expensive gifts. A mention of employees who hit their goals in the staff meeting can go a long way in uplifting their spirits
- Offer them training opportunities. You can invite industry experts to offer training on the best practices, latest trends, and other relevant education.
- Foster a positive culture. A good business culture promotes empathy, trustworthiness, promptness, and more. Build an environment that inspires these values in your team. In addition, create a comfortable environment where employees feel valued and secure to share their feelings and sentiments about different topics, personal or otherwise.
- Help them achieve work-life balance by giving them flexible schedules and supporting their fitness and wellness efforts.
5. Online presence
Successful salons understand the importance of building a strong online community. They understand today’s customer: The kind that looks up service providers on the internet first before making any purchase decisions. That’s why these salons:
- Create profiles on all popular social media platforms, particularly Instagram and Pinterest. They encourage and leverage user-generated content for their social media marketing. They invest in Instagram-worthy interior décor to encourage clients to take pictures for the gram.
- Invest in professional photography when generating visual content for social media, Google My Business listing, or websites.
- Invest in well-designed, mobile-first, and highly navigable websites.
- Showcase their talents on YouTube as a way of claiming their spot as the go-to hair experts.
- Have their hair salon businesses accurately listed on Google My Business
Are you new in the hair and beauty industry? Keeping an eye on successful hair salons in your area would be a great inspiration; it’s a great way to learn some of the best practices that can come in handy in running your own business. Borrow a leaf from them but don’t plagiarize their growth strategies.