LeeAnn Miley is the President and Executive Director of The Sovereign Stylist. Her personal experiences as a stylist and salon owner in central Nebraska, led her to educate stylists and salon owners on the legalities surrounding worker classification. LeeAnn’s blogs are typically focused on the rights of beauty industry professionals and general business practices. LeeAnn believes that laws and business are powerful entities when one has knowledge of them. She has dedicated herself to spreading knowledge to the industry she loves.
It’s time to start thinking about your business plan for the next month, season, & holidays. For example, what promotions are you going to run or SHOULD you run? I know, I know, the word on the street is “don’t discount your services,” & “discounts are money out of your pocket.” But, promotions are different. They do just that...
PROMOTE your business!
Business promotions communicate with the public to influence them to choose you as their stylist. Generally, we promote our services & products by trying to bring them to the forefront of our target audience's attention in the hope that they will act as we want them to. In simple terms, promotions get clients in your door. Here are some ways to promote your business without undermining your prices:
Add value instead of discounting- Throw in a complimentary haircut with a color or deep conditioning treatment with a cut. The idea is that the client will love the results & not hesitate to ask for them next time.
Bring a friend- It is said that the best form of flattery is a referral. Therefore, offering a BOGO type promotion for clients who bring in a friend is one of the best ways to increase your client database as the idea is that the friend will be super-impressed and become a loyal (full-price paying) client!
Buy 2 Get 1 Free- Who amongst us can resist picking up some products when we feel like we are getting one for free? A great way to put this special salon offer into practice without feeling you are giving away products is to ensure that only the cheapest three items are given for free. Say, for example, a client is interested in a shampoo, conditioner, and deep treatment. The shampoo would be the cheapest product, and the deep treatment is considerably more pricey, meaning that you should make a decent profit regardless while still giving your client the feeling that they’ve been treated.
Oh, happy day- Have a specific day during the week considerably slower than others? Why not create a buzz in the salon and on your social media about your salon’s ‘Happy Day’? Just choose a day that you think could be busier and spread the word that, on that particular day, all clients will walk away with a special Treat Jar. The jar is filled with sample/small products related to the client’s treatment. For example, if somebody is having a manicure, you could pop in a sample hand cream and a nail file.
Packages- Make it fun and fresh by offering a package based on a particular celebrity each month. This might include a hair appointment to match that celebs style, a makeover, or a spray tan. Maybe also add a healthy smoothie if the celeb is known for being into a healthy lifestyle or back to that glass of bubbly if they like a drink!
Loyalty Cards- Building on the idea of getting a customer to spend a little more to get a lot more, you could implement a simple card-based loyalty scheme. When clients have a particular service, they get a simple stamp or signature on their ‘Loyalty Card.’ For example, if they get ten stamps (or 5 or 15 or 20), they can have their subsequent treatment for free. Of course, this offer takes a bit longer for the client to get their bonus, but it is simple and a great way to build client loyalty and keep clients coming back and spending their money with you.
Treatment Bingo- Similar to the simple loyalty scheme card but with a bit of a twist. Rather than letting your client choose whatever treatment they want and giving them a stamp for every treatment, the treatment bingo card has a predefined list of treatments your client needs to complete to get their reward. Now . . you will be asking your clients to have treatments they may not necessarily have chosen for themselves here, so the reward might have to be a bit more special. But not only will this get your clients spending more, but it will also mean that they try out treatments they may never have had before or may generally have elsewhere. They may just find their new favorite treatment or therapist and keep returning for more and more.
For your promotion(s) to be successful, it takes CONSTANT and CONSISTENT marketing. With social media being the rage, there’s no better place to spread the word. Provide a simple but thorough explanation of your promotion and stipulations. Don’t forget an eye-catching graphic to “stop the scroll” and grab the reader's attention.
The part of having promotions that most salon business owners forget about is analyzing your sales reports and profit margins after a month to ensure the promotion is worth having. That doesn’t mean if you’re not seeing positive results, just pitch the whole idea. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments where necessary.
Promotions do not cheapen your work; they promote your business. Promotions also show that you appreciate your clients' business, and that you also pay attention to business aspects which equals GROWTH! However, promotions do not work without constant marketing. And... don't forget to check your reports to ensure your promotion is working.