We all know the argument: When the economy takes a turn for the worst, the first things to go are the “luxuries”. People cut back on dining out, they’ll get their car repaired rather than buy a new one, vacations are postponed, and (here it comes!) salon visits are cut back, or in some cases, totally eliminated. Now, you’re probably thinking that there’s nothing you can do about all this. You’ll just have to try to wait it out, and hope that you can make it through, which is a rather bleak and depressing outlook.
But here’s the thing: There are a number of steps you can take to not only retain the clients you have, but to actually seek out new clients and increase your profitability. You read that right! And the best part is that we’re not talking about spending a lot of money to get you there, and what you do spend will be more than compensated for in increased sales. Interested? Let’s take a look.
Run lean, run mean, and by all means – keep running!
Sometimes it’s the small things that add up. Like not turning off lights when you don’t need them, not ordering in bulk to take advantage of volume discounts, and not keeping discretionary spending in line with the new reality. All these things, and dozens more, fall on the debit side of your ledger. Take a half hour, sit down with a pad (or your computer) and make a list of some of the areas where you could save money by cutting back, or being more astute in the way you operate your business. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with! And remember, every dollar you save goes right to your bottom line.
Increase your marketing ten-fold for zip
Seriously. Get more exposure, pull in new clients, get current clients to come more often and buy more of your products and services. You can do all this without increasing your marketing budget by a dime.
How? You can use your salon management software program to automatically:
- Send text/email messages to your clients reminding them of their scheduled appointments. Eliminate costly no-shows.
- Send birthday or special occasion messages to your clients’ smart phones, tablets or computers. A client who feels special is a client who will schedule more appointments and buy more of your products.
- Increase your business by sending out information about sales or specials. If they see it, they may buy it!
And the list goes on and on. Remember, the more contact you have with your clients, the more likely they will stay loyal, use your services more frequently, and recommend you to friends and family. And to repeat, all this won’t cost you a dime!
Use social media
You could get your own website, and that’s always a great thing to do. But, if you’re not interested in going to all that trouble and expense, there’s social media. And for your purposes, a great place to promote your salon would be Facebook. About 1.5 billion users log on to Facebook every month. Now, not all those people will be flocking to your Facebook page, but you can make it attractive enough that it will catch the attention of prospects in your area.
You can post photos on your work on the page, news about new hires, information on sales and new products, even run contests. That puts you exactly where your clients are. Oh, and it’s free. Setting up your Facebook page is easy, but if you’re not technically adept, hire an intern or part-time employee to manage your social media. All it takes is 10-15 minutes a day to post an update and upload new pictures, so why not take advantage of this method of direct advertising?
Everybody loves a deal
Providing deals is a great way to increase business from your current clients, and well as potential clients. See if you can work out something with one of your suppliers of beauty products to drop the price on a certain item (or items), so you can pass on the savings as a “special”. In most cases, the supplier will gladly do it for the publicity, as well as the potential of increased sales down the road. Again, in bad economic times, people will especially appreciate the offer.
Put yourself out there
Most businesses tend to crawl under a rock when the economy goes south. Those who keep the flag flying are the ones who not only weather the storm, but also come back stronger than ever. So, keep an eye on your costs, use your marketing potential to its fullest, crank up your salon management software, and let the good times roll!
Are you doing enough to keep your salon profitable?