Q: I’m currently working as a spa employee, but in 4 months I will be opening a solo esthetics practice in a town 24 miles away. Obviously, I can’t take spa clients with me and they wouldn’t want to drive that far anyway. How do I find new clients when moving to a new town?
A: Everyone starts from scratch at some point. The advantage you have are the skills you’ve acquired from working at the spa, and while you won’t be taking those clients, you get to take all your skills with you. The most important thing to remember is that filling your practice is about relationship building.
At this early point, you can begin doing the behind the scenes work of creating your brand, building a website, and planning your opening. What you should also be building now is your presence in the community. Here are two really good places to start:
Begin with your circle of family and friends. Arrange for get-togethers with those who live or work there. Deepen your friendships, but also ask about the local businesses. You want to discover potential referral sources. What are the popular salons that don’t have an esthetic department? Is there a yoga studio with a thriving community? Get to know the town and its service providers.
Look for community events to attend. MeetUp.com is a great place to look for groups of every kind, but especially look in the Career & Business category. That’s where you’ll find other business owners actively looking to network, exchange referrals, and create community events. Other groups that are strong for community building are church groups, mothers clubs, and Facebook groups that meet in person.
When the time comes, your employer may be willing to let you notify clients of your move. Even if your clients find the new location too inconvenient, they will be very likely to refer their friends and family from that city to you. A good relationship with your clients and your soon-to-be former employer will greatly help your transition. Good luck in your new endeavor!
by Jaya Savannah