November 2011

Charlene Abretske

Beauty Business Buzz | Charlene Abretske


Stack the Deck with Teens/Tweens to Increase Business Longevity

As a salon professional, one of the most important aspects of your business is client retention.

The more clients you retain, the less you spend in advertising and marketing to attract new clients that will cycle in and out of your business.

It is important to know the demographic of your core clients, the ones who consistently re-book, refer you new clients and really love your services.

I recently had an experience with a salon owner who had originally thought her core clientele was 25- 40 in age, only to find out after surveying her clients the age range was 40 -55, a difference of 15 years off her target market.

Her survey also showed her salon had been retaining 85 percent of their clients for well over five years. Amazing numbers indeed and they were definitely doing a lot right in the customer service department to keep such a large proportion of their clients.

The only disturbing fact was if this trend continued, their clientele would "age out" of their services. Now that they had mastered the art of retention, they now have to master the art of attracting a younger client in order to stay in and grow their business.

As a business owner you will want to focus on "dealing yourself a good hand" of clients with several age ranges to increase your businesses longevity.

Targeting your core clients to include substantial numbers of loyal patrons will keep your business growing for the next five, 10, 15 years and beyond. Your clients have referrals they can send you to help include other age ranges in your business.

The simplest group to capture is teens and tweens. These two groups will be referred by their parents who are patrons of your salon or spa. Their parents will most likely assist them in the cost of services and take them to their appointments. This is a great opportunity for you to begin really targeting a younger market.

These clients are really in tune to having an experience at your salon or spa; what can you do to provide them with one? Teens and tweens don't just think it is nice when someone personalizes their service, even at their young age they have come to expect it.

In this day and age, we have become very accustomed to businesses knowing our preferences and giving us options, from our coffee, cell phones, and online shopping to everything in between. Your salon or spa is no different; you will want to appeal to the younger crowd while at the same time appealing to mom and dad who hold the purse strings. Here are few items to keep in mind:

Parents are busy and looking for "Quality Time" – We all know what it is like shuttling kids here and there and the less stops you have to make the better. If you know your clients have children ranging in age from 11-18, ask where they get their services performed. If they are not with you let them know about your referral program and they can book their appointments at the same time to cut down on being a "taxi" mom or dad. Teens and tweens are also great to refer to your newer stylists for simpler cuts and less chemical processing, to help build their skills.

Hot, Cool and On a Budget - One of the largest trends the salon industry has seen in some time was the recent explosion of feather extensions. They are cost effective and easy to apply, and hot, hot, hot, -- everyone is wearing them. This is a simple service to get the tweens and teens in the door. Keep on top of the next hot trends as they start taking off. Parents often are happy to oblige with allowing their children to take part in the latest thing, especially if it isn't expensive. When you offer these services make sure to take photos, and post them on Facebook and your websites so you show up in search engines as offering them. Keep your eye open for the "next big thing."

Be Event Ready- When is the last time you were involved in a high school event? Some that work well are: raffles; supplying your services for theater productions and local beauty pageants; offering a deserving student makeover for graduation; partnering with local photographers for pictures at homecoming and prom. When you are at a function make sure you are collecting email addresses of the students or parents, if possible, so you can offer a special to try your salon or spa services too.

Rich In Referrals – Teens and tweens can become some of your best referral clients not only by referring the traditional way but through Facebook and Twitter. There is no learning curve in technology for them and you can capitalize on this by being up-to-date on your digital media pages. When you target a special for this market they will flock to it, allowing you to capitalize on their ability to be social media butterflies.

Your business will always need new clients, start by making the most of the connections you haven't capitalized on and you can really work toward a life long business and clients.

Charlene Abretske is an independent business advisor. To reach her email or call (760)453-1882.