August 2008

Shannon Wells

Beauty Business Buzz | by Shannon Wells

 

Introducing Trendy New Services and Products to Your Clients

Are you ready to take the plunge and introduce the season’s hottest new products and services in your salon or spa?

Whether it’s offering the latest celebrity extensions or unveiling that great new spray tan machine, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck when introducing a new service to your clients. So rather than stocking your shelves or simply adding an item to your menu and waiting for the money to magically roll in, there are some strategic moves you can make to ensure success.

Research and Consider. With every new service or product you add, there are some very important things to consider.

1. Identify the need among your clients: Is the product or service something your clients are interested in? How will it improve their lives? How many times per month or year will they use or buy the product—or could it just be a one hit wonder?

2. Determine if the product will improve your bottom line. How many will you need to sell to be profitable? What purchase price do you need to be profitable? How much initial inventory will you need in order to maintain flow? How long can you continue to offer this product? Is it a fad?

3. How does this product or service compare to your competitors? Does everyone carry this exact same product? What exclusivity can you claim by offering this product? Are there alternative lines or brands of this product that you can offer?

Education and Trial. Making sure your team is 100 percent on board with your new offering is key in its success. Take the time to thoroughly educate your team on the benefits and reasons behind adding it to your repertoire. Better yet, if time allows, have a brainstorming session and find out what your team thinks would make good additions to your menu. If they help create it, they will help make sure it’s successful.

Each manufacturer and distributor wants to make sure you are excited about what they have to offer. Take advantage of this; enlist them to host training for your team so they are completely comfortable with the new product or service. Fear of the unknown is what causes so many new menu additions to fail. If your staff is completely comfortable with the what, when and why of the product, they will feel comfortable recommending it.

It is also important to do testing of the new product with your staff and your best clientele. Select a test group that can give you honest feedback on its effects. The clients may love the new item and you will have created an immediate client for life. Or you might be surprised to find that a product that everyone is using misses the mark among your clientele and staff.

Fill the Need. The last aspect of successfully introducing a new product or service to your clients is making sure your team is introducing the new item in the most effective way. Have them point out that it is a solution that truly fills a need for your clients. The best way to ensure this is to be certain your team is educated about what the product or service will accomplish, as was mentioned, and then that the team is comfortable finding out if their clients have the need this product will fill.

This step is often overlooked, and it will have a big impact on the success of a new product or service. We assume the person in our chair will tell us exactly what they need. We forget that, when clients don’t know what is available, they are limited to what they think they can ask for. Your team’s job is to ask questions, get the clients talking, use your menu to introduce the services they need, and let your clients know the full scope of services you provide for them and how they will benefit from them.

Introducing a new product or service can be fun and exhilarating. After performing a few of the due diligence steps listed above, you can up the odds of successfully launching exciting new items in your business.

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