July 2012

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Time To Go Beyond the Basics

With the many new challenges facing us in our endeavor to create abundance in today's business environment, we need to look at alternative ways of looking for new opportunities, as the past traditional models aren't always the best pathways to future success.

With the reality that guest visitation frequency is slowing down, the old paradigm of basic high client retention is no longer a guarantee to create either individual or collective success.

The reality in this component of our business is that we now need 20-30 percent more clients in volume to produce the same income as we did in the earlier parts of the millennium. Just as much attention needs to be given to gaining new clients as satisfactorily servicing existing guests.

This moves the focus from high quality/ high customer service to retain existing clients to the added focus on marketing and promoting new clients.

The old dynamic of the successful stylist or salon leader was that you had 90 percent return request and 10 percent new request. That was when the average frequency of guest visitations was every five to seven weeks. These guests are now frequenting every six to 10 weeks. Pre-booking still seems to be a strategy to bring guests in more regularly, particularly with a rewards protocol for a reduced service cost if they keep the pre-booked appointment.

One new component to grow business with both new and return guests is to expand the existing service and professional product offerings. These take a commitment to invest both time and financial resources to expand the sphere of influence to assure financial growth and cement customer loyalty.

The first step is to take stock of your current service and product offerings and honestly see if they are current and relevant to today's market demands. With people being both time and dollar conscious are we in tune with the times and perhaps rethinking our services to be more sensitive to these areas of client concern?

Are we then open to see what new techniques, tools and products we can add to our current menus to create new revenues through new services? Some salons that only offered hair services have added in-salon mini-skincare treatments and waxing services that are quick to provide and have the added on home care component as an option.

Many traditional cut, color and style salons are now offering hair extensions and event packages. Pre paid blow dry packages are also appearing as part of many forward- thinking salon business models.

Constant attention to education needs to be part of every salon and spa's culture to keep ahead and on point with current and emerging trends.

Keeping continually vigilant as to new home care products can also reward both the individual stylist and the salon owner since the fact that home care purchases assure higher return guests than salons without solid professional product placement.

Being aware of seasonal shifts as well as image trends can go far in what we offer as well. We need to establish ourselves as the "go to" image experts in all things beauty and grooming. This expands our sphere of influence for all our clients and raises our brand credibility.

Every challenge to a guest's needs are a future service solution with endless creative and financial rewards attached if we mindfully commit to expand our offerings beyond the basics.

Jerry Tyler's column Blue Highways is his "Road Less Traveled" perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. With over 35 years in the salon industry as an industry leader, educator and artist. He is currently "Director of Industry Relations for Carlton Hair , former Board president of the California Board of barbering and Cosmetology and hosts his weekly radio show talking texture, hair and beauty on TEXTURERADIO. www.textureradio.com Tuesdays and Thursdays 9pm PST