June 2008

Shannon Wells

Beauty Business Buzz | by Shannon Wells


Small Changes Equal Big Impact

Easy Makeover Steps That Will Get Your Business Noticed

These days, makeovers are common, especially in the beauty industry. And while it can be easy to convince a client to get a makeover, many salon and spa owners shudder at the thought of making over their own businesses.

The current economy is weeding out and exposing the true business savvy owners so, now more than ever, it’s time to look at what you can do in your business to get your clients to notice.

What do your clients think about your business? Perception is everything. Whenever I drive around my neighborhood, I see a plethora of small businesses dying. One can’t help but feel a sense of worry. On the other hand, when I see new construction or a remodel, I feel quite the opposite. I feel a sense of hope, that things are turning around. I even feel it’s OK to spend that extra $100 to help boost the economy and keep the progress going.

This same effect can happen when you apply changes to your salon or spa. The act of improvement infuses confidence in your clientele and sends a message that your business is not only surviving, but thriving in the current economy. Your clients feel confident spending their money with you and are more likely to do so more often.

There are a few high impact changes you can immediately make in your business that will get your clients to stand up and take notice. You can implement many of them with little or no cost, and they will yield a high return.

Freshen up. Simple furniture reorganization can go a long way in creating a fresh environment in your business. Apply a new coat of paint or place some fresh flowers, your clients will notice the effort. In my experience, many salons could just use a good deep cleaning. This includes a complete wipe down of every surface, including all retail bottles, shelves and picture frames.

A great cost effective idea is to partner with a local florist that has an interest in your clientele. Most florists are looking to service proms, weddings, baby showers, etc. Create a cross-promotional referral system where they provide you with fresh florals and you provide their customers with a referral discount or promotion. Create a win/win for your business.

Unify your staff. Having your staff change to a unified look can have a big visual impact in your salon. To achieve this, many salons suggest their technicians all wear the same color, such as black, which allows for some freedom in selecting outfits, but still gives that cohesive feel. Select a color that works for you and your staff.

You can even create “spirit” days that lift the vitality of your business by having everyone wear something out of the ordinary, like crazy hat day, pajama day or sunglasses day. The key is to have fun, get support from your staff and make a difference in the look and feel of your business.

Infuse technology. Nothing says progress like the adaptation of technology into a business. If you’ve always wanted to automate, now may be the best time to add technology to increase service to your clients without breaking your bank. Online appointment booking, appointment reminders, online scheduling and e-mail newsletters are just a few of the steps you can take in better servicing your clients, with minimal additional effort on your part. If you find the right company to support your increased efforts online, the impact will be great and the expense minimal.

Makeovers may be a cliché in this business, but right now, the act of doing nothing will hurt you more than you can imagine. Be one of the businesses that gets noticed as a progressive, developing establishment and your clients will reward you with steady visits that continue to increase with each new change.

Shannon Wells is the Marketing Manager of Your Beauty Network, a beauty industry ongoing business support service. For more information, call 866-364-4926 or e-mail shannon@ybn.com.