BUSINESS: 7 WAYS TO REBOOT YOUR SALON IN 2019

With the new year well under way, we’ve rounded up 7 key tips to reboot your salon business in 2019 and beyond. Salon owners, take note.

CREATE AN EXPERIENCE

There’s no doubt the hair industry’s booming. With salon numbers growing – and clients becoming more and more service savvy – maintaining a solid point of difference has never been more crucial. Consider the intangible: how do your clients feel when they walk through your doors? Are they experiencing something unique? Unlike anything they’ve ever encountered? Do they feel valued? Or does their value feel transactional…? Believe it or not, these factors can mean the difference between client loss or retention. It’s unlikely a client who felt neglected or undervalued will return for a second run. Think about how your clients feel throughout their visit – not just the final product (though a fab bouncy blow-dry never hurt!). What steps can you take to ensure their experience is memorable? How can you personalise their service? Whether it be a tea and hand massage on arrival, or perhaps a personalised hair/scalp prescription. Take time to make your clients feel special; we guarantee you they’ll be back for more.

Pictured: Salon Kiin

MASTER THE CONSULTATION

In the words of master trainer George Gougoulis; “Not to consult is an insult”. We all know the consultation phase is pivotal to any service, but have you really got the process down pat? A consult is the foundation of any client’s experience; think of it like a first date. Asking what your client is ‘going for’ simply won’t cut it just as jokes about the weather won’t score a second sojourn. This is your opportunity to ascertain their personality type, lifestyle demands, needs, wants, concerns, and goals; while assessing their physical attributes (hair type, texture, density, face shape, skin tone). George suggests building your consult into conversation so as to avoid any awkwardness or staged dialogue. The process begins the moment a client walks through the door; make eye contact, greet them genuinely and be sure their welcome is memorable. Next address the what (the hair/scalp diagnosis) the how (product and treatment recommendations) and the when (secure their next booking) and you’ll be geared up for glory.

Pictured: A-H Salon

PIIQ YOURSELF UP

While we’re on the consult… did you know 95% of hairdressers say they complete a consultation for every client whereas 7% of clients claim to have only received a thorough consultation once? It’s this gap, and a host of additional concerns that formed the catalyst for piiq; a revolutionary new technology that transforms the salon experience, starting with the consult. While it may look like just a mirror, the piiq pod houses an inbuilt camera, integrated beauty lighting and embedded consultation software to guide stylists and clients through the process in a unique, interactive way. “Hairdressers who deliver a great consultation up their sales revenue, booking rate and client retention by an incredible percentage,” says piiq Co-creator Richard Kavanagh. “So many of us struggle to follow the correct steps, but piiq affords you the freedom as a hairdresser to do your job well, connect with people and ensure every base is covered.” Visit piiqdigital.com to find out more.

Image via piiq

RETAIL, RETAIL, RETAIL

There’s no denying retail is a vital (if not unpopular) part of service; are you giving it the time and credence it deserves? Product walls are a plenty… but is your stock leaving shelves or merely gathering dust? Peter Millard of Millard Kwon Design identifies two prime components for successful product vending: thoughtful inventory display and well informed stylists. Consider the location of your product wall: is it shyly nestled toward the back of your site or centrally located for maximum exposure? Product walls located toward a salon’s front are more likely to garner foot traffic, allowing clients to browse through merchandise before their service. It’s also imperative your stylists know their product. Clients are looking to be educated; so it’s integral your team know the ins and outs of each respective offering so as to make informed recommendations. Integrate your selling into service, tailor workstation samples to each approaching client and never be afraid to make a suggestion. Your clients will thank you in the long run.

Pictured: BYFRANK

CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER

There’s nothing worse for a prospective client than entering a cluttered salon. (Sure there’s the threat of a bad haircut, but we digress). Consider the impression that your space leaves on clients. If it’s messy or dishevelled, there’s a high chance clients will envision your work to be the same. You wouldn’t dine in an unkempt restaurant would you? Whether you’re aware of it or not, your space reflects the care you place in work; it’s a visual representation of the approach you take to business and as such should be treated accordingly. Rid your workstations of personal paraphernalia, photos (clients don’t want a visual recap of last year’s Christmas party) or any other items best suited to your bedroom vanity, and limit styling products to a minimum. Better yet, tailor your display products to each clients’ hair needs; it’s a great way to boost retail and put your customers at ease.

Pictured: Bixie Salon

INSTA PROOF YOUR SALON

Ours is a generation obsessed with sharing. Like it or not, this phenomenon has infiltrated the salon experience. Gone are the days of the quick cut and dash. Today’s clients are looking to share their experience – with their friends, family members and extended follow-ship. After all, if it’s not on Instagram did it even happen? It’s great news for salon owners – provided they get it right. A thoughtful post from a satisfied client does wonders for business; it’s like an online tick of approval, one that will only serve to grow your reach and appeal. So how can you ensure your space is prime for potential snaps? Peter Millard suggests that decorative wallpapers are a great starting point. Clients will feel compelled to take a selfie or stylised product shot if their environment so calls for it. Peter also suggests choosing a design or imagery that’s in line with your brand. Channelling Parisian chic? Perhaps a damask covering is just what you need. Salon’s after a more urban vibe may consider investing in some tasteful graffiti or sprawling trend pieces.

Image via Melbourne Hair Blogger

SET NEW GOALS

As the age old saying goes… new year, new salon (or words to the effect) and January marks the perfect occasion to look back on months’ past; to re-evaluate strengths, weaknesses (and everything in between) while setting new goals for the future. This needn’t be limited to the setting of KPI’s or annual sales targets. Perhaps it’s time to re-invest in your salon’s greatest asset: your staff. In-salon workshops and/or shadow programs are a great way to grow teams’ skills in an accessible format. Team bonding trips or group excursions are a great way to boost your staff’s morale and foster group connection – after all: all work and no play makes both Jack and Jill incredibly dull individuals. Allocate a one-on-one meeting time with each of your staff members and create a list of individual goals for the new year. Identify where they’re struggling, thriving or in need of a little push, and plan your approach accordingly.

Image via Unsplash