The closer we get to the new year, the more we reach for ways to make our mark and become even more successful. In this post, we’re making the case that by taking 10 small steps, 2020 will be YOUR year. Being motivated, capable, and busy are major parts of running your own business, so make life a bit easier by breaking your goals into smaller and more achievable pieces.
Check out this video for a summary of these tips from our CEO, Shane Stott.
Tip 1: Analyze Your Existing Brand
Branding your salon may be the last thing on your mind when your head is spinning with all of the other aspects of being an entrepreneur. However, this is a key aspect to gaining and keeping customers. To do this, look over everything your customers see about you and your business. Review these components with the perspective of a critic. If you’re confused on how to start, here are a few questions to ask:
- Is my work station clean and spruced up?
- Do I have business cards printed?
- If yes, do they match the look that you’re going for?
- If not, get some printed!
- Do you have social media accounts set up?
- If yes, are they conveying the image that you want people to know you by?
- If not, consider setting up Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook accounts.
Tip 2 – Refine Your Brand
Once you’ve got a good understanding of your existing brand, we can start the fun part: daydreaming up your dream brand! You’ll want to start by asking yourself how you want to present yourself, both online and in person. Do you want a sleek, modern presence? Are you drawn to a more rustic vibe? Write down what you’re drawn to and how you want your customers to see you.
Now it’s time to make your dream branding a reality! Pick the colors/fonts/tone you want your brand to use, and stick with them! Apply this filter that you’ve created to everything that your brand is associated with – from business cards to social media accounts. Read up on our tips for salon advertising if you’re feeling a bit stuck.
Tip 3 – Be Genuine
Your brand should reflect the real you. People are drawn to genuine personalities because it’s rare to find people who present themselves as they really are. So, consider your tone. This includes both how you speak to your clients in person and through social media. Ideally, this should match how you speak naturally so that when clients see your work online, they instantly associate it with you. This is also a key aspect of building your clientele fast. For example, if you’re a bubbly and fun person, bring that energy online and into the salon!
Tip 4 – Look the Part
This tip can be difficult if you like to hit the snooze button every morning, but it’s a game changer. In an industry where people are coming to you for help with their appearance, it can be hard to trust the advice of someone who looks like they’ve just rolled out of bed. Your personal brand may not include following the latest trends, but it’s important that you look somewhat professional, maybe leaning towards timeless. And remember that while you may not follow what’s trendy for yourself, it’s important to have a grasp on the latest fads so that you can offer them to your clients.
Putting aside a few minutes each day to pull your look together can make such a big difference. It can be as simple as putting on a cute top, pulling on a pair of jeans (maybe in a trendy wash or style), and throwing on some comfy flats. Remember to also put a bit of effort into your hair and skin. You don’t have to wear makeup or spend years on your hair, but a polished low ponytail and a fresh, clean face can go a long way towards making you look more professional. These pieces of advice are great, but our most important tip? Don’t forget deodorant!
Tip 5 – Keep Return Customers
One of the most difficult parts of building up your business can be getting new clients. Once people start booking with you, it’s super important to make every effort to keep those customers. An easy way to keep clients coming back is to rebook their next visit as they’re leaving the appointment.
Make a habit of walking your clients to the register. As they pay, ask if they’d like to schedule their next appointment. Whether they agree to or not, thank them and let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them next time. This little bit of follow through is so important in maintaining a good relationship with your clients and letting them know that you value their business.
Tip 6 – The Little Extras
These are the things that you go above and beyond with. They help you stand out in a sea of competitors and encourage referral and return customers. It’s completely up to you which extras you think would help your business grow. For a simple and cost-effective option, we’ve seen offering complimentary drinks and snacks work wonders!
If you’re looking for an alternative that will set you miles above, try something creative like offering a punch card where every number of services are slightly discounted. If that’s not for you, installing a TV that your clients can choose what to watch might be a fun way to pass the time while their hair is processing.
Tip 7 – Create Content
Having a presence on social media is important. It helps people find you and your work and lets prospective clients know what services you shine at. In order to gain a following on different social platforms, you’ll need to create content. When we mention content, we’re talking about blogs, social media posts, videos, and tutorials. You can create your own, or use content that’s already been created. If you choose to use other people’s content, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using it correctly.
Consider setting up accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Instagram is perfect for showcasing your portfolio online. Using hashtags can also get your work more views. We recommend getting an account started on Facebook for your business because it’s one of the top social media platforms that potential clients use to find businesses or services. Pinterest is perfect for stylists because “beauty” is the 5th most popular category for pins. It’s a great way to network and start getting your best work to trend.
These can quickly help boost your social presence, especially if you’re posting regularly. Creating content regularly can be a learning curve. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for easy posts, showcases your skill with before and after photos! Make sure to get permission from your client to post it though. For a few more simple posts, take a few nice shots of the products that you’ve used during an appointment. You can also ask your clients to tag back in photos. This super easy tip also works as a review. It’s like a photo endorsement of your work because your client’s loving their look, and you helped them get there! So just keep in mind that creating content is a great way to help you bulk up your client base.
Tip 8 – Inform Your Clients
Sometimes, your clients may have no idea what service they’re looking for, or that something like what they want even exists. As the professional you are, you may need to guide your clients to a service they might benefit from and explain the pros and cons of different options (Explaining things can also be a great topic to use in content creation! A few social media posts are an easy way to educate your clients). This is the perfect way to let your clients know how knowledgeable you are!
Make sure you take the time to explain exactly how to take care of your client’s particular hair systems to them. This adds value to your client’s visit and may even let them try out something new for their look as well. It may even help to give them a half sheet of paper with gentle reminders about caring for their hair unit until the next appointment. If you choose to use it, that half sheet of tips can also give you another chance to represent your brand.
Tip 9 – Connect with Your Clients
This is one of the biggest hints we can give you: remember your client. Nothing can make someone feel more special than when they’re remembered. So, know your clients names, send handwritten cards, and follow them on social media. It can also be helpful to take small notes after your appointments. This is a great way to remember to follow up on big topics that your client brought up during their last visit.
Tip 10 – Find a Wholesale Supplier You Trust
We think that finding a wholesale supplier you’re able to trust is a great way to cut down on costs. When you find a wholesaler that fits your needs, it’ll help you save money and keep your cost of operation down. We suggest doing your research and making sure that you find the best supplier for you. If you need somewhere to start, check out our wholesale program. You’ll get access to affordable prices, exclusive deals, and notifications of our new products. Just bear in mind that we’re only able to sell our products directly to businesses and individuals with business/cosmetology licenses.