Tips for Restaurant Owners: How to Take Better Food Photos

What would you do to increase your restaurant’s profits by 30%? What if all you needed to do was snap a photo? That’s right, one study found that taking and sharing photos of food served at your restaurant can increase profit by as much as 30%! Unfortunately, most of us are not skilled photographers, and with the mass amount of competition online, it is imperative to improve your skills to grab your audience’s attention. Read on to find tips on taking better food photos!

Choose Natural Light

While professional photographers don’t go anywhere without fancy lighting, good old natural light is best for taking photos of food. This is because you want to show food as it truly looks without adding any yellow or orange hues from artificial lighting (no one is going to want to eat yellow rice or orange eggs!).

What’s the best way of getting natural light? Go outside! Avoid spots with direct sunlight as that will add shadows in your photo. Instead, try to take your photos on overcast days where just the right amount of sunlight peers through the clouds.

Need to take photos when it’s raining or snowing, and outside is simply not an option? Take photos near windows or a patio, allowing the sunlight to hit the plate from as many angles as possible.

Remove the Clutter

A professional photo only contains what the photographer intended the viewer to see. Look through the lens and remove any objects that are not required in your photo. You can leave objects that enhance the image, such as flowers, a fork and knife or a beautiful landscape; however, you want the viewers to concentrate on the food rather than be distracted by anything else. In fact, the best backgrounds for food photos are neutral, light or dark; avoid reflective backgrounds such as countertops.

Choose the Best Angle

Taking a photo of a plate or pasta, a smoothie or a sandwich all require different angles. The rule of thumb is to shoot from above when the food is on a bowl or plate as this provides the best view of all of the ingredients in the food and minimizes the background (unless you choose to zoom out and include more details in the photo). Drinks and foods with layers, such as sandwiches, lasagna and cakes, best shot from the side.

Focus on the Arrangement

When your restaurant patrons come into your business, they are hungry and don’t pay too much attention to how their food is arranged as long as it tastes good. However, when you want to attract new customers based on photos alone, arrangement is key.

Learn the art of food plating to carefully and aesthetically place the food so that it looks attractive. Consider what ingredients you can add to enhance the look of the food, such as bright spices, green spice leaves or bold sauce colors.

While you can take photos with your iPhone or a cheap camera, the best photos are made with professional cameras. If you need help in financing this expense, or want to truly invest in photo marketing and hire a professional photographer, IOU Financial is ready to sponsor this goal! We help small business owners acquire loans in 24-48 hours. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Start an Online Site for Your Retail Store

Whether you already own a brick and mortar store, or just want to focus your retail efforts online, creating a website is an important step to growing your business. With over half of Americans preferring to shop online, not creating a user-friendly e-commerce site is not a smart decision. Read on for steps on starting an online site for your retail store.

Choose a Website Name

The first step to creating a retail store is choosing a website name. Ideally, you want the name to be the same as your actual business name. If you are just starting a business, consider including relevant keywords into your domain name to make your site come up in Google search rankings. 

Check GoDaddy to verify if your first choice for domain names is available; the site can also recommend domain names for you based on keywords you input into the search field. If available, choose a .com address as that’s the most common and easiest to remember. Although this is not officially stated anywhere, Google doesn’t prefer .biz or .info extensions because a majority of those websites are considered to be spam. Purchase a domain name through your web hosting provider or a different domain name service.

Pick a Hosting Solution

In order for your website to be found online, you need to choose a web hosting platform that will store your site on its server. There is a multitude of web hosts to choose from, both free and paid. Paid web hosts typically provide more options and services that can benefit your site in the longer, such as:

  • Storage: While free web hosting solutions offer up to 10GB of free storage, a paid service can give you unlimited storage space. Images and videos can take up a lot of space, causing you to run out of storage quickly.
  • Domain Name: If you want a custom domain name, you will need to pay for your web host because free options mostly include their own site in your domain name, such as www.wix.com/yournamehere
  • Ads: Free web hosts often make their money by advertising on your site; if you would rather control what ads (if any) you run, you will need to pay a premium fee.
  • Support: It’s very difficult to get support for free web hosting solutions, while paid ones will usually provide a phone number or chat options to a specialist who can help you 24/7.

Consider Wix, WordPress, HostGator or FatCow for inexpensive options for your ecommerce website.

Hire a Web Designer

While many web hosts allow novices to build websites from scratch using pre-designed formats and add-ons, it is always best to hire a professional web designer who will create an easy-to-use, functioning and unique website that will look and feel professional.

Concentrate on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

According to Entrepreneur, SEO is the third vital step to online business success after offering good products and creating a great site. Optimizing your website with keywords that online users can search for to lead them to your site is imperative to gain traffic. 

Utilize Google’s Keyword planner to enter terms relevant to your brand. This free tool will suggest other terms, as well as provide information about competition and search results for each keyword. Once you have this information, you can include the keywords in your website content, blogs, press releases and image tags.

Starting a retail website usually requires an initial investment for website design, SEO and advertising. If you need financial help to grow your business, turn to IOU Financial. We can provide a small business loan of up to $300,000 in 24-48 hours.

 

Three Resources Your Salon Can be Using to Make Life Easier

Hair and nails salon owners know that time is of the essence when it comes to managing their business, which is why it is essential to stay on top of the latest resources that could be making your life easier. A large portion of the time spent managing a salon requires booking appointments, managing staff schedules and marketing to attract new clients. In this article, we will explore the latest resources to help you with these endeavours.

Booker

One of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks for a salon owner is managing employee schedules. Booker takes the pressure off this responsibility by eliminating the need to check in with your stylists and have miscommunications about schedules by automating the staff scheduling process.

You can input a weekly schedule for your staff which will remain constant throughout the year, or give them access to the system so they can update their schedule without your involvement. Your stylists can access their schedule from anywhere at anytime, knowing when they have appointments and whey they have time off.  

Schedulicity

If you are like the typical salon owner, your customers call you to schedule an appointment, you check the appointment book and/ or ask the individual stylists if they are available and write the appointment in. This system is antiquated and not foolproof; how many times have you written down the wrong contact information or name while you were in a hurry? How many clients forgot about their appointments altogether because you simply didn’t have the time to make reminder calls?

Imagine eliminating this entire process and saving yourself time to concentrate on something else. With Schedulicity, you can take yourself completely out of the equation of scheduling client appointments! Simply plan ahead by creating an online calendar based on your stylists’ availability and allow your customers to schedule their own appointments online!

Clients can utilize this calendar from a computer, smartphone or tablet, and can add their personal information as well as notes for the stylist. Plus, Schedulicity has the ability to send text reminders to your clients prior to their appointments, reducing cancellations.

DemandForce

DemandForce is a solution to attract new clients and keep your loyal customers coming back. It integrates with your current business management system to automate communication with your customers via voice, text, email or on social media.

DemandForce offers several features, such as providing the latest information about your business to local listings, such as Google, Bing, Citysearch, Yellowpages.com, etc. To help your customers find you, you won’t need to update your contact information or hours on each website anymore; all you will need to do is update it on the DemandForce site, sit back and let them do the work.

This tool will send automatic surveys to your customers after their appointments, letting them know you care about their feedback and providing you with a chance to correct a situation before you lose a client or get a bad review online. You have the ability to feature positive reviews on your site or on social media.

While some of these services are free, others have premium features which can streamline your operations and help your business. IOU Financial is committed to helping salon owners grow their business. We can offer a small business loan up to $300,000 in 24-48 hours. Contact us today!

Is Your Restaurant’s Social Media the Best it Can Be?

Are you including social media as part of your marketing efforts to promote your restaurant?  Most business owners are aware at this point that social media is one of the best ways to create brand awareness and engage with their clientele. However, many don’t have the time or the skills to understand the best ways to utilize social media. Read the tips in this blog to fine tune your social media strategy to promote your business online.

Focus on a Limited Amount of Platforms

There are a multitude of social media platforms, which makes it difficult for restaurant owners to concentrate and devote enough time to each and every one. Instead of doing a poor job managing various social media profiles, focus on one to three of most important ones, which are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Facebook

Facebook is definitely the most important platform to concentrate on because the site has 1.71 billion users around the world, each of whom has an average of 155 friends. Therefore, creating a Facebook Business page is essential.

Think carefully about what cover image you want to include; it can be an enticing and unique dish or a photo of your patrons having a great time in your restaurant. Consider what image you want your restaurant to reflect – family friendly, hip and trendy or business-appropriate, and then create a consistent look across all of your marketing strategies.

Facebook has tabs and sections that allow you to include text, photos and videos to promote your restaurant. This is the perfect place to share your menu items, photos of food, coupons and specials to attract your clients.

Twitter

Twitter has over 67 million users in the US alone; more than 20% of all Internet users have a Twitter account. This platform allows you to share tweets of 140 characters or less, as well as photos and videos. It’s advantageous to include photos because those tweets get read and shared more than those that only include text.


Twitter is great to announce new menu items, specials and coupons and ask followers to retweet that information. Twitter is popular for their hashtags, which are simply words or phrases that are relevant to your brand that your users can search for. These may include: #NYrestaurants; #Chinesefood; #LAcheapeats; #baconcheeseburger, etc.

Instagram

Since Facebook acquired Instagram, it is estimated that 95% of the time a Facebook user shares an image, it also gets posted on their Instagram account. Instagram allows users to post photos and videos only, although they can include a comment and tag their location (to your restaurant location).

It’s vital to use bright, creative and unique images that will stand out from the competition if you want to get noticed. Additionally, Instagram is big on hashtags too, so including them in the comments will help your posts get noticed and shared.

General Tips for Getting Better Results from Social Media

Whether you only decide to focus on one or all three of the platforms mentioned above, you need to utilize the following tips to get the best from your efforts:

  • Be consistent – The only way to build a loyal fan base is to be consistent in your marketing efforts. Posting a few times per week will keep your customers engaged with your business and aware of the latest happenings in your restaurant.
  • Time your posts – You may only have time to post after work, but by then most of your customers may be busy with other tasks. Evaluate when your posts get the most likes, comments and shares, and plan to post during those times so your content will get maximum views.
  • Create contests – Social media is a great way to get free referrals and advertising from your followers. To encourage them to share your posts with their network, create contests that will reward those who repost or retweet your posts with a free dinner!

While simply spending your own time to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy doesn’t have to cost a thing, investing into social media can provide great returns. Endeavours such as social media advertising, paying influencers to spread the word about your restaurant and hiring professionals photographers to create one-of-a-kind images can be costly. If you need financial help to invest in your business, contact IOU Financial. We can help you with a small business loan of up to $300,000 in 24-48 hours.

Creative Ways to Attract Local Customers to Your Small Business

Nothing is more disheartening to owners than an empty store, a phone that doesn’t ring, or a website with few visitors. You know you could make sales if only more customers would visit. Well, don’t sulk, get creative. Here are a few ways to draw in more customers:

Signage:

A sandwich chalkboard in front of your store can be a great attention getter. It’s ephemeral nature (you redo it every day) makes it timely, and when you use it to advertise one-day specials, you can expect to attract more customers. Restaurants use this technique all the time, but your retail store can easily adopt it. If the weather is bad, stick a banner in your window instead.

Flash sale:

An intra-day sale can generate excitement if it’s generous – for example, a two-for-one sale or 40 percent off from, say, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Pick a time when the weather forecast is good. Publicize the flash sale on social media, through emails, text messages, etc. And as mentioned above, list it on you sandwich chalkboard.

Free food:

Nothing packs them in like free food and refreshments. If your store happens to sell snacks, you can use your own inventory for the promotion. Or you can do a cross-promotion with your neighborhood bakery or coffee house. It doesn’t have to be fancy, because the great masses just can’t turn down free food. Hot coffee on a cold day, lemonade on a hot one, Danish on any day – customers and potential customers will enjoy your generosity and might be more willing to buy something from you.

Mobile push:

Double down on your mobile market apps (you use these, don’t you?) to push messages to consumers in the neighborhood who might want to drop into your store while out and about. The message can include a promo code for a special discount or free gift.

Entertain the kids:

A great way to gain the loyalty of local parents is to offer free, supervised entertainment to young kids so that mom or dad can do a little quality shopping. The area can have games, books, a play table, even a balloon-blowing clown. If you run a country store, how about setting up a small petting zoo – you might even be able to charge entry. Make sure you use trustworthy, preferably bonded, employees to mind the kids, and keep your liability insurance up to date. Offer special discounts to parents who bring in their children, that should really heat up sales.

Loyalty:

Many stores have adopted loyalty programs – have you? There are many off-the-shelf programs you can adopt, and the cost is usually low relative to the bump in sales. On a slow day, your flash sale might be triple points for a few hours.

Contests:

We all love to win. Thrill your customers by having daily raffles and contests. For instance, if you are a florist, elicit poems for specific purposes, such as get well or anniversaries. The best poem gets a discount coupon for future use. You can tie this into your email lists (after all, you have to notify winners), which is marketing gold that pays off many times the costs of the contests.

Revamp your website:

If your website has gone a little stale, it’s time to refresh it. There are many techniques to increase website traffic, including fresh and frequent blogging. If you don’t have time to write new content yourself, hire a good freelance writer and flood the zone with interesting stories.

We’ve listed a few good ideas, but there are plenty more out there – use your imagination and, with any luck, you’ll be swarming with new customers before you know it. If you need additional working capital to put these ideas in action, reach out to one of our Loan Officers to see if a business loan is right for your company.

How to Make your Retail Store Stand Out From the Masses

If you believe that you have something truly unique and beneficial to offer your clients, but you simply can’t seem to get anyone to walk through your store’s doors, you are not alone. Many small business owners complain that their brick-and-mortar location stands empty, and they simply don’t have the skills required to attract customers. The problem is that competition from other retail locations and online e-commerce sites is high, and it’s often hard, although not impossible, to set your store apart from the competition. Read below to learn new ways of getting your store noticed and increasing sales!

Get to Know Your Community

The target audience for a retail store is typically the local neighborhood, so getting to know your community is the best way to increase brand recognition. Strategies to make this happen include sponsoring little league games, school fundraisers or local charities. If you are able to create a poster or put your name on sports jerseys, you will create great marketing materials for your store.

Another way to get to know your community is to encourage your staff to volunteer for local causes. Consider setting up a beautification event for a community park or garden or a clean up event at a nearby beach. You can advertise in the local paper, hand out flyers or geo-target your neighbors through online advertising.

When you help your community, the residents don’t just learn about your business, but they want to thank you for your contributions by shopping at your store.

Create a Loyalty Program

Once a customer has visited your store once, do you have a strategy in place to keep them coming back? One way to encourage customer loyalty is with a customized reward program. This can include punch cards or a points system where you offer your customers discounts, extras or freebies for making purchases within your store.

Ice cream and coffee shops are great examples of businesses that can implement a punch card as part of their customer loyalty strategy. When a customer makes a certain number of purchases, they get a free item. A clothing boutique can utilize a points system that rewards shoppers with discounts or exclusive promotions once they have spent a certain amount, such as “10% off your next purchase once you spend $250 or more.”

Research the Competition

Finally, if you want to set your store apart from the masses, you need to know what they are offering. Make it your mission to visit your competitors within a certain distance, such as 10 miles, observe their offerings and customer service and write down thoughts about your experience.

This will provide you with an opportunity to see what things other business owners are doing right, and what you can incorporate into your own operations, and also to see what can be improved, and offer that to your customers!

You may require financial help should you choose to sponsor a local event, cause or charity or offer new services or products to your clients to help you stand apart from the competition. IOU Financial is prepared to finance your goals with a small business loan up to $300,000 in under 48 hours. Call us today!

How to Create a Personalized Customer Experience in Your Store

It’s not surprising news that brick and mortar locations around the country are in trouble, with many closing doors because they are failing to attract and keep customers. Retail owners should not despair, however, and focus on creating a plan to attain brand loyalty and increase sales. The best way to achieve this goal is to create a personalized customer experience inside the store.

“With customers changing quickly and expecting retailers to know their needs and habits and provide them with personalized offers and experiences, the question for retailers isn’t whether they need to change — it’s ‘Where to start?’” states PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC’s) report.
If the process of creating a personalized experience for your shoppers sounds unattainable, take it one step at a time. Incorporate the following tips in your operations to increase your customer base and maximize profits.

Build a Website 

Customers are making their opinions heard, and they are no longer interested in stopping by a store, purchasing an item and leaving. They want a connection with a brand instead of a simple transaction. Business owners can achieve this by infusing the shopper’s experience with the digital element. This is especially important as “modern consumers don’t differentiate shopping on a brand’s ecommerce site versus their store — they want a cohesive experience no matter where they engage a retailer,” another source comments.

To start, create a user-friendly website that will allow customers to view and interact with your products or services, even if you don’t introduce an e-commerce option on the site. A website is useful to engage with your users via newsletter signups, product descriptions and recommendations.

Create a mobile-friendly website or an app that will allow your shoppers a cross-channel experience where they can view an item online and purchase it in the store, and vice versa.

Utilize Social Media 

When it comes to creating meaningful connections, social media is the most important tactic to engage your audience. PwC’s report found that 40% of individuals surveyed reported being swayed by social media content, and 84% of people aged 18-24 based their shopping habits on it.

Make your presence known on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. If you don’t have the time to devote to all of the sites, select the ones most utilized by your specific audience.

Increase your social media reach by paying for campaigns or working with influencers in the space, such as bloggers with a heavy following who can help to spread the word about your brand.

Curate Products

Shoppers are overwhelmed by the mass amount of product ads they are bombarded with every day. Most of them don’t have the time to research the best options, which is why individuals stay loyal to businesses that help make their shopping decisions easy.

Brands that are thriving are not simply selling products, they are curating them. They track their customers shopping habits, and recommend items that are right for them.

Amazon is a perfect example of a retailer that is getting the curation process right. They recommend products based on the shoppers’ searches, which allows them to upsell before the customers checks out. This strategy is so successful that it accounts for 35% of their revenue.

Utilize the same tactic to train employees to remember repeat customers, notate their favorite products and specific needs, and make recommendations based on that.

 

Let IOU Financial help you create a personalized customer experience for your shoppers. We can help with the funds needed to create a website and spend on social media advertising with a business loan of up to $150,000.

Why Restaurant Owners Should Think Carefully About Their Menu Design

There are many things to consider when you are planning to open a restaurant. You need to find the right space, hire employees and create the perfect menu. In the hustle and bustle of trying to get a new restaurant off the ground, one important step is often not given enough importance and is quickly completed at the last minute before opening. This step is menu design, and one that can have significant impact on yo

ur business. Read on to find out why!

Why is Menu Design Important?

While a menu can seem like a simple list of food and drink options offered in your restaurant, it is so much more than that! It is an internal advertising tool that every single patron of your restaurant, as well as online visitors, have access to. This document does much more than describe what people can expect to eat or drink, it “should communicate a brand, the vision, the ambiance and feel of the restaurant and the food and the experience a guest can expect to have,” according to one source.

What are Tips for Successful Menu Design?

Involve the Chef

While anyone in your restaurant can jot down the food and drink choices, it is only the chef that can transform a boring list into an appetizing and enticing experience. By highlighting special ingredients and local and organic products, the menu can provide more details to your customers.

When creating a menu description, focus on senses, such as the look, taste and texture of food when describing “the experience” in your menu. Use descriptive words that will bring the image of the items to life!

Finally, ask the chef to suggest pairings between food and drink options that can help your patrons have a more-pleasing experience (and help you push sales!)

Focus on the Image

Since a menu is typically a one or two-page document, it provides a small space in which to communicate your entire brand. It can be beneficial to employ the services of a professional menu designer to craft your menu.

Consider that the layout, fonts, colors, images and type of paper used in the menu – this will not only describe the food, but will also speak volumes about the type of restaurant (casual or upscale), food (Mexican or French) and environment customers can expect.

Add Value

One source suggests that there is a way to make a dish more enticing by highlighting its value. This strategy includes stating the geographic region where the item is from, such as:

  • Tuscan Olives
  • New England clams
  • Parisian baguettes

To differentiate yourself from the competition, highlight the exclusivity of the item by mentioning the very farm it came from, such as Sun Valley local eggs. You can also mention brand names if they are well-known and considered to be premium.

Whether you are opening a new restaurant, or simply reinventing your image with a new menu design, you may need financial assistance. IOU Financial can provide you with the help you need with a loan of up to $150,000. Contact us today to find out more!

How to Keep Your Clients Engaged With Your Hair Salon

While some hair salon owners have regular clientele, others struggle with maintaining customer loyalty as they are often seeing clients who come in once or twice and then never return. How can these small business owners promote loyalty and increase business? With customer engagement!

There are many reasons why a client may not return to your salon – they forgot about you, found a better price or a more convenient location. However, if you take the time to engage with your clientele, many are willing to drive a little further or pay a little more due to the fact that they are emotionally involved and have developed a relationship with you and your business.

How do you engage with clients? Small business owners are not like large chains and cannot designate millions of dollars to advertising and marketing budgets. However, there are ways that require little financial investment that work, such as:

Blogging

There are hundreds of blogs dedicated to hair online, and a hair stylist is the perfect person to contribute content to this topic. Blogging requires no initial investment, as there are websites such as Wix and WordPress offering free platforms for bloggers. To increase engagement, you can ask your existing clients to subscribe to your blog, which notifies them via email every time you create a new blog.

There are endless topics to write about for a hair blog, such as:

  • Latest hair styles
  • Hair coloring tips
  • Hair treatment options
  • Product recommendations
  • Styling advice

Keeping in regular communication with your clients through blogging will keep you fresh in their minds, and coming back to your business time and time again.

Tutorials

Another way to engage with your customers is through tutorials – either offering in store or online classes to give hair-related advice. Just as with blogging, tutorials can cover any hair-related topic; you will just need to secure a model willing to participate in advance. Consider showcasing how to:

  • Do a french braid
  • Trim your bangs
  • Curl your hair
  • Give yourself the perfect blowout
  • Use specific products for your clients’ desired styles.

If you establish weekly workshops in your salon where you provide styling tips and advertise that with a poster in your store and leaflets around your neighborhood, you will not only promote loyalty with your current customers, but will attract new clientele as well.

If you also share the tutorials on your blog, you could reach customers who were not able to attend your workshop in person. Plus, you can use that content in your online advertising campaigns and social media postings to increase your outreach even further.

Utilize Social Media

Social media is a the perfect tool to connect with current and potential clients without a big ad budget. Websites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram allow you to post photos, videos, and text to market your brand and engage with users.

One caveat is that there is a lot of competition on social media, therefore, salon owners need to be creative about capturing the audience’s attention. Knowing the demographics of your clientele – gender, age group, location, and styling preferences – can help you create relevant posts to engage your target audience.

In addition to normal postings, social media sites allow business owners to pay to advertise and promote their posts on their platforms. For example, Facebook lets salon owners create a daily budget for ads, and then target them to audience based on your specifications.

With a little extra effort and a small budget, hair salons can make a big difference in their client engagement within their salons, and easily create loyal customers that will come in for more than their normal scheduled haircuts.
If you want to engage with your existing clients and attract a larger customer base, but need financial help in doing so, contact IOU Financial. We support small businesses with affordable loans of up to $150,000 in under 24 hours!

Generating Additional Income for Salons with Product Expansions

Once a salon is able to compile a roster of returning clients, the business is off to a good start. However, many salon owners and hairstylists focus solely on providing services, such as cutting, blow-drying and styling hair, without considering other ways of generating additional income.

A salon is limited to the amount of clients you can service daily, depending on the the number of stylists available and their operating hours. Each stylist can accommodate a certain amount of people in a day, generating a profit based on those numbers. When you add a retail element to your existing services, you bring in additional profit that is not limited to the number of stylists or hours in the day.

There are numerous benefits to introducing a retail element to a salon; according to Cosmetologist Life, retail has a higher profit margin than services offered, and selling a product to an existing client base increases the client retention rate by up to 30 percent!

How can you introduce retail products into a salon?

Use the Products During the Service

The best way to introduce new products to your clients is to use them during their appointment. When your customers have had a chance to test the items for themselves, they will be much more likely to buy them. Make sure to market the product when you use it, getting the customer excited about it.

Explain that you just got a new product that will provide a benefit to them, such as shortening the time it takes to blow dry their hair, making their hair look fuller, helping their hair color last longer, etc.

Give Away Samples

Consider offering small samples that your customers can try at home, and follow up with them the next time they come in to see if the item proved to be effective.

“Sampling continues to rank among the most effective tactics in the history of direct marketing, in part because of its ability to do what no other medium can: put a physical product in customers’ hands,” according to An Post. In fact, this source reports that a United States Postal Service-sponsored study conducted by Opinion Research Corp. found that “61 percent of those polled said that sampling a product is the most effective way to get them to try a brand.”

Offer a Deal

Offering a deal on a product is another way to encourage your customers to buy it. When you lower the price of an item, you provide your clients with a sense of urgency to purchase it since they are aware that if they don’t purchase it now, it will likely go up in price. Deals also create a sense of excitement; a 2012 study conducted by Claremont Graduate University found that coupons actually raise individual’s oxytocin levels, creating happiness and lowering stress levels.

There are various deals you can offer, such as:

  • Buy one, get one free (BOGO)
  • A percentage off (20% off)
  • An amount off ($10 off)

Adding a retail element to your salon by selling products will generate more income for your business. However, you will need to have the funds to purchase the products and organize shelf space to display them in your salon, which may be a financial strain for many salon owners. IOU Financial can help you secure a small business loan in under 24 hours! Contact us today to learn more about investing in your business.

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