Distributed by Australian Bodycare

22/07/2022

Jess Kilby, Brand Ambassador & Educator Australian Bodycare

Salon Industry

 

Jess Kilby, Australian Bodycare Brand Ambassador

 

Top 5 challenges you could be facing in your salon

Owning and running a salon can be such a rewarding and profitable business, and in an ideal world you should enjoy every aspect of it. When I ran my salon, I certainly enjoyed it but, like every salon owner, I came across some difficult issues and challenges too.

I know times have changed drastically - especially as the industry emerges from the devastating impacts of Covid and lockdowns. This, along with rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis has presented many fresh challenges, but many of the issues we face are the same as before.  

In future blogs I’ll be looking at how to manage and mitigate the effects of rising costs, inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, but here’s some more familiar challenges you’ll be facing in your business. With my experience as a salon owner, trained beauty therapist and now working on the brand/supplier side, I hope my insight helps you to run a more successful salon business.

  1. Staff- hiring...the dreaded recruitment process

Hiring for a salon is quite a different process compared to many other businesses. In most salon settings, there are different types of services - for example - you may need a therapist that specialises in nails or waxing, or a lash or brow technician. This means you need to hire experts in different fields or find that one needle in a haystack that specialises in them all! As you know, that’s not very common now that training has all changed, so here are some tips from my experience that will ensure you always have the best employees.

  • INTERVIEW PERSONALLY. In-person interviews give you the best opportunity to identify the perfect candidates. When you meet someone, you get a feel for them, you get to know their skills set and see if their personality is right for your business. You’ll also be able to judge whether they’ll suit the dynamic in your team and if they’ll fit in with your way of working. It also gives them an opportunity to get to know you, experience their new work environment and see if you are a good fit for them too.
  • PAY - Do your research on salaries to ensure you’re offering the right pay structure depending on the expertise of the person you’re recruiting. You’ll be surprised how much this differs. Overpaying will place unnecessary stress on your businesses finances and under-paying will leave you struggling to find the right people.
  • DON’T FORGET- make a list and build a portfolio of all applicants, so when another vacancy arises you have contacts that you’ve already vetted.

 

  1. Training, and more training

You need to train your staff regularly for a number of reasons. The most important is to keep your team highly skilled and up to date with the latest treatments and techniques. This also keeps your team motivated and enthusiastic, and it makes them feel invested in. Staff need investment, so invest in them and they will be an investment to you.

Secondly, your team needs to understand and learn your ways of working, such as your preferred service methods. Your approach is all part of your brand and customer experience, so it’s vital that your team upholds the standards and processes you have established as a business.  

Clients visit your salon expecting to receive an amazing service. If your staff fail to meet, or even exceed their expectations, you may lose them to a competitor. Conversely, happy clients return and they tell others, so delivering a superb service and treatment experience not only retains their loyalty, it attracts new clients to the salon too.

  1. Products, choose wisely!

This is such a hard task and I found this super difficult. As a salon owner, you want to choose the right products for you and your team but, most importantly, you want the products to suit your customers and attract new potential customers.

We could dedicate a whole blog to this (and no doubt we will), but here’s my key views on products.

First, make sure that the products you use are perfectly aligned to the treatments and services you are offering. Ensure they deliver the best treatment experience and outcomes, so your client will rebook and rebook again. Also ensure you have a strong retail offering to back up the quality and value of your professional services too! Encouraging clients to take retail variants or equivalents home will not only reinforce the value of their investment in their treatment, it also continues its effect at home and prolongs the benefit – plus retail will boost your incomes and profit too.

Continually ask your clients what they think and what they want, and if there are any services they would love to experience that you don’t currently offer. They may have a friend who tried a new treatment, or they might have seen a celebrity trend for a particular beauty treatment or read about the latest beauty innovation. Make sure that you and your team are always on the pulse of what’s current and popular, so you can continually bring new ideas into the salon to meet demand and offer something exciting and different.

Always do your research and get the right products and treatments to focus on quality. And, of course, make sure your team are fully trained in all protocols and products so they can inform the client well. Knowledge is power!

Lastly – for now – I’d say choose a brand that can offer support and guidance, and the backup to maximise results, sales and outcomes. This ensures your team and clients are always happy - and happy means retaining your staff and the loyalty of your clients - and this creates success!

  1. Marketing, socials!

Social media is taking over the marketing field and there really is no better way to showcase your salon and work. Instagram is a personal favourite of mine, as well as reading other blogs, hearing about other people’s experiences and constantly learning.

Keeping up with engaging content that is difficult when you are busy, so why not give this responsibility to a staff member? I find before and after images of facials and nails works well and attracts attention. It’s also a good way to promote products and run campaigns to get existing and potential customers through the door. If all of this is done right, your business will thrive, I promise!

  1. Customer loyalty

It’s a challenge to achieve and maintain loyal clients, and the main reason I think is because there is SO MUCH competition. The chances are that there is another salon down the road, offering the same or very similar services. Here are a few tips that you may like to consider:

  • Engage: Make sure you focus on the relationship with your clients. Talk and communicate to make sure they’re happy after they’ve come for a service. Rectify any issues immediately and to their satisfaction, and make sure you tell them about new services, treatments and products first.

You could host a gathering of your most loyal clients to experience a new treatment for example. Also, reward your clients for their loyalty with tactical offers and gifts – for example - if they come in for a wax, you might have a new product so you could gift them samples to try and give you feedback. Make them feel they’re part of your evolution and everything you’re doing is designed to give them a better experience every time they visit.

  • Create social media pages and encourage your clients to follow your page. Keep the content flowing with inspiring and high value content. For example, beauty tips and hacks, celebrity inspirations and competitions are great fun and valuable to your social audience. Don’t just post offers, promotions or sales messages as this will not inspire your followers – by all means promote a new service or product, and an offer – but keep it tactical and in-balance with you overall social media content!
  • Create an email list and send out PERSONALISED messages to your customers. They love to feel special but, make sure you’re not always trying to sell. As with social media, add value to the relationship so your clients feel helped and supported – this always keeps you front of mind so let the quality of your services sell themselves. Keep marketing, sales messages and promotions tactical.
  • Make sure you are contactable! Ensure all your customers are aware of a direct channel that they can contact you on. This could be social media pages or even a Whatsapp.

 

Last but not least- stay happy and keep smiling 😊 x