As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to fight for your cause. You do this with your words and the way you speak about what you do in business. In the process, you are inviting people to be part of that. You are inviting them into your dream….your story.
The mission, the vision, the non-negotiables, and the career path – those four components are critical for every salon owner to have, in order to move forward in their business.
The mission: this is what you have planned. When you dream of a salon, at the beginning, what do you envision the salon to be when it’s complete? The mission is more than just a string of business-related words put together. In writing about the salon, you should choose the most compelling words to explain why you went into business.
Creating your own brand story should inspire, challenge, educate, and provoke a feeling. When Terri and Steve Cowan are coaching Salon Owners they ask them, “Why did you do it?” What they’re looking for is the salon’s story.
What happened in that owner’s life that fired them up to want to start their own salon? Why did they set up business in that particular part of town? What problem are you solving currently? When the story isn’t motivating – if there isn’t a clear mission – the owner may not be able to inspire others.
People want to belong where there’s a compelling story. They want to be a part of what the salon is.
Don’t think you have a compelling story to tell? We bet you do. Here’s some key ideas to help you lay it out:
- Identity – who were you when you started this journey (hopeless, frustrated, stuck, etc.)
- Spark – what was that one or two things that happened that start the change (lost job, dropped out of school, rainy Monday, etc)
- Struggle – what was the challenge that popped up when you started to create that change (no support, lack of funds, lack of technology skills, etc)
- Insight – what was the lightbulb moment that helped you succeed past the struggle (an idea while showering, advice from a friend, etc)
- Resolution – where you, successfully, are right now (salon owner, great results/responses, etc)
Service marketing focuses on the optimization of key areas of your salon business. Each area represents an important customer touchpoint. By focusing on these areas, you can create an extraordinary guest experience and, in turn, build client loyalty and word of mouth—two key drivers of repeat visits, referrals and increased revenue.
The Reservation Desk is where the salon experience begins and ends. It’s a perfect opportunity to introduce guests to new services, products and salon offerings. Use this area as a vehicle to increase guest traffic, frequency of visit, and average service ticket.
The Stylist Station isn’t just a chair for cutting, styling and finishing—it’s a place to share knowledge, build rapport and create a loyal guests. Make the most out of the time your guests spend in your chair.
The Wash House
Provide a unique opportunity to transform a simple service into an unforgettable spa-like retreat. Create an extraordinary Wash House experience in your salon.
The Color Bar
The Color Bar celebrates professional hair color, highlights your professional expertise and provides an opportunity for client service upgrades. Build, showcase and utilize a beautiful Color Bar in your salon.
The Tool Bar
The Tool Bar is not just a piece of furniture—it’s an opportunity to provide clients with a hands-on experience and increase tool sales. Build a beautiful Tool Bar and make it work for your salon.
Creating a captivating Take Home area will make your salon look visually pleasing and become a crucial part of the selling process. Use special displays and products to build a beautiful Take Home area in your salon.
Social Media is now an integral part of nearly everyone’s lives and can be one of the most effective tools for marketing your business to new and loyal clients. Maximize your social media presence to promote and support your salon business with best practices, tips and strategies.
To be successful, you have to have in-depth knowledge about every item that you sell. Learn the pros and cons of each product that you carry..
BEGIN AT THE BOWL
The easiest place to prep your client for a sale is at the shampoo bowl. Comment on how much you love the specific products you are using. Let your client play, touch and smell them.
It helps tremendously to be a fan of the products that you sell. You will no longer feel like you’re selling anything – you’re just simply recommending products you know will fulfill your clients’ needs.
Asking questions is a lot more effective than pushing a product on a customer. Be a good listener and provide them with product recommendations that will help to satisfy their specific needs.
Customers are always excited to see what’s new and what’s on sale. Make sure to promote the special deals you offer both in salons and on your social media accounts.
We are fortunate to have a captive audience when the guest is in our chair. The focus is to show guests how we are their go-to service experts.
With this advantage, hairdressers and salons demonstrate what lengths we go to create the experience guests can get nowhere else, and then re-live at home.
-Terri and Steve Cowan
Create an organized area for Take Home products that is aesthetically pleasing and allows your clients to easily find what they need.
We’ve seen in salons upwards of 70% of their profit, before income tax, coming from take home hair care sales. The take home portion is a key part of the business. This goes without saying, and remains a bit of a mystery. – Steve Cowan
Keep your Take Home area tidy, dust-free and stocked at all times. All products should face forward and be aligned with the front of the shelf. Little details like these will keep this space looking clean and create a pleasing shopping experience for your clients.
MERCHANDISING AND POP
Grab your guests’ attention by using compelling POP to start a conversation about product features and benefits.
Create dedicated displays for special occasions like Mother’s Day, bridal season or winter holidays to create a buzz about promotional offerings and encourage your guests to give the gift of great hair.
Keep displays focused on a specific, seasonal occasion to encourage sales.
Your professional recommendation is one of the best strategies you can employ to increase product sales and foster customer loyalty. Offer your guests a way to bottle their salon experience and replicate their salon look at home with recommendations for Take Home products unique to their hair type and daily styling routine.
- Walk guests to your Take Home area and create a step-by-step style recipe using products that are right for their hair type and styling routine.
- Pull each product from the shelf as you explain the features and benefits.
- Provide styling tips and Take Home recommendations at the end of every reservation. Doing so can mean the difference between making a sale and letting your guest leave empty-handed.
Product knowledge is what builds the take home and profit magic.
Steve Cowan: When you walk into a business that’s got ‘IT’, you can feel it. You can smell it. You can taste it. It’s there. No one has to tell you. You just know.
Hairstylists want to get in there and play…be part of the environment! That’s what the creative hairdresser is looking for.
One of the decisions for success you can make is to choose to be happy. This is a real challenge. If you’ve ever considered booth rental or not, or wherever you’re at right now – choose to be happy. People don’t want to be around unhappy people. When you choose not to be happy, you limit the people around you that can help you be your best.
Have you ever caught yourself heading to the back of the salon and realize that person with all the issues is there so you turn around and go the other way? You hope you don’t make eye contact with that person because they’re having one of their bad days?
Or you start talking to that person and you know you’re going to hear the long laundry list of everything that’s wrong in their world today, and you just NEED to get away from them? They’re toxic.
Bottom line is if you don’t choose to be happy, you’re going to limit yourself creatively. You’re going to limit your earning power. You’re going to limit your future in this business. People want to be around those who have a twinkle in their eye. They act like they know their best days are ahead. They’re dreaming about their future, the industry’s future.
In a coaching session, in a brain storming session, it’s about making things better, stirring up the pot to make things better in the salon and the salon industry. And that’s contagious. People will work towards things they value and they see as worthwhile. It’s not about the name of the salon or the address. It’s about the work that is happening inside that building and the contagious people who care.