Owning a salon or spa can be rewarding, both financially and in terms of lifestyle. However, it’s not always easy-going. One of the most difficult parts of owning a salon or spa is figuring out how to create real business growth. Many successful salon owners start out as stylists with little experience in business or marketing, so don’t despair if growing your business seems like a daunting task. The skills needed to grow a salon or spa can be learned. Here are the largest drivers of real business growth:
Consistently provide a great experience
It might seem obvious, but many people forget that real growth is impossible without a great product. Repeat customers are the bedrock of any growing salon or spa, and a great experience is what keeps them coming back for more. This type of experience will also make your customers more likely to tell their friends and family about your business.
A great experience is made up of a few elements. The first is great service. Whether you are providing a haircut, highlight, or massage, make sure your clients are completely satisfied with the end result. You must also focus on providing a great customer experience. This includes booking, check-in, payment, and every other touchpoint where you communicate with your customers. Messing up on even one of these touchpoints can create a negative impression for your customer, even if the end product is great, so make sure the entire experience is a good one.
Consistency is key when it comes to providing this great experience. A single bad experience can outweigh three or four positive ones. So make sure your great service is provided consistently and reliably.
Manage your online reputation
Most businesses are discovered online. And even when people discover businesses offline, usually the first thing they do is Google the business. Developing a positive online reputation is one of the most important things you can do to drive growth.
One important thing to pay attention to when managing your online reputation is reviews. Make sure you have good ratings on Google Reviews, Yelp, and Facebook Reviews. Encourage your most loyal customers to give you positive reviews. Many businesses find success with incentivizing customers to write reviews online. These positive online reviews provide a sense of legitimacy and communicate that you are a reputable business to potential customers.
Another aspect of managing your online reputation is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of making sure that your company ranks highly on relevant searches. For example, if someone searches “hair salon in (your city)” or “spa in (your city)” would your website be on the first page of results? If not, that person is more likely to go to one of the spas or salons that does appear on the first page.
Because Google constantly tweaks their search algorithm, there is no one perfect formula to ensure you always stay on the front page. It is best to either periodically do research and keep up to date with trends in SEO, or hire a professional to help. If you decide to do the research yourself, there are a number of free online resources and classes.
Facilitate word-of-mouth sharing
Your two biggest resources for growing your business are the internet and your existing customers. You can expect your existing customers to naturally spread the news about your business when they are very satisfied, but there are also things you can do to facilitate more sharing and grow your business even faster.
One thing is to offer incentive programs for referring another customer. Many businesses have seen success with programs where both the new customer and the customer who referred them get 25% off on their next purchase. Other businesses put a 50% discount on their business cards to help employees turn casual conversations into new business opportunities and new customers.
By focusing on providing a consistently great customer experience, managing their online reputation, and facilitating word-of-mouth sharing, most spas and salons are ready to realize significant growth. All three elements are indispensable, so make sure to focus in on whichever of the three is your weakest point. When all three of these elements are strong, you are well on your way to driving significant growth for your business.
About the Author
Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer located in Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys writing about leadership, HR, employee engagement and personal productivity. She has most recently worked with BambooHR & CMOE. When not writing and educating herself, you can find her hiking the canyons with her dog and friends.More Content by Annabelle Smyth