If you’ve decided to take your love of makeup, hair, and beauty to a professional level, then opening up your own beauty salon can seem like a no-brainer. Getting it launched off the ground and up and running is only the first challenge. If your business isn’t growing, it’s not going anywhere. For that reason, we’re going to look at how you can unlock the profit you need to develop and to create a business that’s efficient, streamlined, convenient, and flourishing.
Make sure you stand out
One thing you’ll learn about the hair and beauty industry is that it’s crowded. There are plenty of professionals and plenty of customers, but if you’re not making an effort to stand out, you will find your competitors snatching up most of the market. Great branding and marketing can help you stand out, but the single best way to do it is to find your niche.
Providing a particular service that others don’t or targeting an underserved market can help you build a base of customers. Something that your competitors aren’t able to poach. Make sure you’re always researching those competitors and finding the gaps in their services that you can fill.
Don’t neglect local online marketing
Unless you’re running a cosmetic e-commerce business, you’re likely going to be targeting local customers most of all. Hair and beauty is a personal experience, after all, so your range is limited. Online marketing isn’t only useful for targeting people in far-flung places, however.
Locally targeted marketing, such as targeted pay per click ads and local Google business listings can help more people in the surrounding area, become much more familiar with your business. Even if they’re looking for local businesses, more and more customers are using Google as the first place to gather information on what’s on offer. Google listings can include not only business contact details and the website but also reviews from customers, so try to incentivize feedback and reviews.
Share the expertise
Another way to improve your online marketing and help your brand stand out are the real experts in the hair and beauty services that you provide. Your website can offer details on where you are, what you offer, the particular products you use, and so on. By building a hair and beauty blog and attaching it to that website, you can use that professional expertise to help customers figure out what they want. It will also help them maintain their standards outside of your store. Valuable content gets shared across the internet like wildfire, helping to spread your brand, and establish a little more trust in your credentials, too.
Choose your suppliers carefully
Profit isn’t just a question of encouraging as many new customers as possible, but also about streamlining your costs. Almost all hair and beauty businesses rely on suppliers like Salon Services to make sure they have the products they need to do their job. Make sure that you’re getting a relationship with those suppliers that is beneficial for you. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
You can offer to use one supplier or manufacturer’s products exclusively or sign a longer-term agreement with them. This will help get them to slash the prices down. It’s worth taking a regular look around the market to see where the best deal for cosmetic and hair equipment when it comes to replacements, too.
Keep your finances organized
Your supplies are but one of the costs you need to consider. Premises overheads like lighting, cleaning, marketing costs, and the many services you rely on to deliver your own are all costs that you should consider carefully. Make sure you’re aware of where you spend your money and how much of it you’re keeping. Online bookkeeping software makes it much easier to track costs across the board and to see your cash flow. As a result, you can quickly identify overspending and see where to cut costs to find the profit that you need.
Use your team effectively
Providing that you’ve hired the right team for the job, your employees are not a cost that where you can skimp out. They are, however, one that can be optimized. Your team’s schedule might depend not only on how many people you need at any one time but, how much it costs you to keep them for the time you need them. Software like Sling can help you keep track of how much you’re paying for every hour of labour. By allocating a labour budget, you can ensure that you’re not paying for work hours that you don’t need to use. It also helps you avoid overtime, which can increase the costs of labour even further.
Happy teams make happy business owners
When you consider who you hire and when you schedule your team, it isn’t just about the economics of payroll. Hair and beauty businesses aren’t just a practical business. Many of your customers see them as an opportunity to indulge and enjoy the company of whoever is serving them. As a result, it should be clear why you don’t want miserable employees.
Doing what you can to help them stay engaged and motivated in their work, from treating them fairly to rewarding good work. It will benefit you as well as them. It creates a lively, happy atmosphere that can become as much of a selling point of the business as the actual services that you provide.
Create consistent standards
Of course, without those high-quality services, you’re not going to convince many customers to return. In hair and beauty, inconsistency is one of your greatest enemies. You want to make sure that your customers can expect the same level of quality with every visit. This includes not only improving productivity but standardizing the way things are done.
Allowing for creativity to a degree is essential, but training your employees will ensure you maintain consistency across the whole team. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t make use of their unique talents, as you may find customers have a team member that they prefer. You want to eliminate the chances that a drop in quality can affect the overall perception of the business.
Make it easier to pay
Convenience is almost as important as quality. Finding a suitable location that’s easily accessible and making your branding clear and easy to understand helps make things more convenient for new customers. You also want to make it more convenient for existing customers, too.
One of the most significant barriers to convenience in local brick and mortar businesses is the payment process. Many companies lack a merchant account from teams like Beauty Professionals, meaning that they can’t accept credit card payments. Opening your business up to card payments and online options like PayPal can help you ensure it stays convenient, which convinces customers to keep coming back.
Invest in your clients
Convenience can help you retain clients; there’s no doubt about that. But you can also do it directly by incentivizing loyalty. Loyalty cards and loyalty schemes are becoming more common in the hair and beauty world as a means to stop competitors from poaching your clients. The more they use your business, the more they get rewarded, either through discounts or exclusive prizes.
You can also incentivize referrals so that they get the same value for recommending your business to their friends. An effective loyalty scheme is backed up by quality service, of course. Customers are a lot more likely to see the company in a more positive light if they feel like they’re getting a little extra from it.
Charge what you’re worth
An important point and one that small business owners often avoid out of fear is the temptation to lower your pricing, especially if you’re up against larger companies, who can afford to cut their prices way down. While being competitive is essential, you do not have the scale to remain profitable at those prices.
You should know what your services are worth and be confident in what you charge. When it comes to hair and beauty, women have shown time and time again that they are willing to pay for quality treatment. Having your prices too low can hurt your brand. You don’t want your clients seeing your business as “budget.”
There’s no one secret to a successful of hair and beauty business, whether it’s a hair salon, nail boutique, makeup studio, or something different. It’s the combination of factors, each of which can add a little profit until altogether it gives you enough to keep growing. The factors above are only a starting point. You need to get creative and find your own opportunities for profit, too.