Best Marketing Methods to Bring in New Salon Clients

For a salon to be successful, your calendar must be full of appointments. If you are just starting out, you must attract new clients so that your salon doesn’t operate without any customers. To grow an existing salon business, you need to maximize the amount of clients so you can hire more stylists to grow your profits. How do you attract new clientele to your salon? By utilizing the following proven marketing methods:

Utilize Local Social Media Groups

While some people will walk into a salon without knowing anything about it, most people want some kind of referral. In the past, we had to rely on our friends, family members and colleagues. In today’s world social media is king when it comes to referral sources.

As a salon is a brick-and-mortar business, you must concentrate on the individuals in close proximity to you, as they are your most obvious customers. Apps such as Nextdoor and local groups on Facebook are great resources to connect with your neighbors.

Stay on top of these groups – answer questions in which people may ask for services such as those your offer, or inquire about advertising opportunities on these groups.

Start a Referral Program

To motivate your current clients  to refer your salon to their network of friends, simply offer them a reward!

You can offer a special discount or a free service or product for any customer who brings in their friend! Reward top referrers with special prizes to encourage them to keep spreading the word.

Social media can also play a role in this strategy.  Ask your clients to post reviews, upload photos and recommend your business on their social media accounts.

Become an Influencer

Many small business owners turn to influencers, or individuals with large social media followings, to market their services. The problem is that strategy is typically expensive, and it doesn’t target your local audience.

Instead, spend your efforts to become an influencer yourself! Create a YouTube channel, start an Instagram account or open a Pinterest account to share your expertise in a given area—makeup, hair, nails or hair removal services.

With the right photos and videos and relevant advice, you can become an expert in your field and lead new customers to come to you instead of searching for them!

Get Involved in the Community

Another way to achieve brand recognition in your neighborhood is to get involved in your community. Sponsor a local school event, a charity or a little league team. Organize a park or beach cleanup event to do something good!

If you can get local media to cover the event, and create some posters or make T-shirts, that would be amazing advertising for your business.

It has been proven by a study that community involvement is something that customers keep in mind when choosing which business to support, and that it leads to “loyal customers and happier employees.”

Investing into marketing strategies to bring in new clients is never a bad idea. However, if you don’t have the financial means required, IOU Financial is ready to help. Contact us to learn how you can get qualified for a small business loan of up to $300,000 in just 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!

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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How to Create Customer Loyalty to Your Salon, Not Just the Hairdresser

Salon owners are in unique situations when it comes to operating their business as most of these entrepreneurs rent individual stations to hairdressers, who are self-employed. The owners are dependent on the hairdressers to bring in their own business; if they are successful, the salon is busy and profitable. If the hairdressers fail to attract customers, they will not be able to pay their monthly rent, and the salon will suffer as a result.

Another concern that hair salon owners face is that customers become loyal to their individual hairdressers instead of the salon. If the individual chooses to move to a different space, the customers will follow, decreasing business for the salon.
The answer to these potential problems is for business owners to persuade customers to fall in love with the salon instead of just their hairdresser. This can be done with the following tips:

Suggesting Different Hairdressers

When a client calls the salon to request an appointment with a specific individual, they are often simply told that they are not available if they are booked or don’t work during that specific time. Instead, train your receptionist to offer the services of a different person if the stylist they request is not available. This way, your customers will come to rely on multiple stylists in your salon instead of only being loyal to one.

Discuss this option with your staff before implementing the change, as they may be upset if their loyal customers are given the option to book services with someone else. If this occurs, point out that everyone will benefit from this setup, as all hairdressers will be able to share customers if they are not available.

You can also suggest that hairdressers receive commission if their customers are serviced by someone else in your salon. Instead of potentially losing on the sale if they are busy, they can receive a certain percentage or fee from a colleague.

Expand Services

Another strategy to promote customer loyalty to the salon instead of the individual stylist is to expand the services offered in your establishment. Some professionals specialize in only one service, whether it is hair cutting, blow-drying, up-dos or coloring. Instead of having customers visit multiple salons, hire staffers that will offer different kinds of services, keeping the clients in your salon for all their hair needs.

Consider offering other services, such as nails, waxing and makeup in your salon. By doing this, you will save your customers time by meeting all their beauty needs in one space. Not only will you increase revenue for your business with this move, but you will also likely retain more clients if any person leaves the salon as they will become dependent on your business as a one-stop shop.

Incentivize Repeat Customers

To keep customers loyal to your business, you need to create incentives for customers to keep coming back, even if it is to see different hairdressers. Ask all people who frequent your salon to sign up for your mailing list, which you can use to communicate with them. Send coupons, special deals, offers and announcements by mail and email to entice clients to keep coming back through your doors. Share these deals on social media, and consider offering a discount for every like or share from a customer. By your clients to come back, they will become the salon’s customers instead of just the hairdressers!
Some of the suggestions on retaining customer loyalty suggested in this article can be a financial burden to small business owners. For example, expanding services may require funds to build new stations and purchase supplies. Marketing the salon calls for expenditures on paid advertising or consulting a marketing professional. If you would like to invest in your salon but cannot afford to, consider getting a small business loan from IOU Financial. Contact us to find out how you can get approved for a loan in under 24 hours!

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Slow Season Business Tips for Hair Salon Owners

Hair salons have peak and slow seasons, just like most other small businesses. Typically, a decline occurs in the summer, when warmer weather keeps clientele outdoors, according to Salon Today. With children out of school, most families travel or spend more time at home and don’t have the time to stop by the hair salon. However, the slow season is no time to rest for the salon owner. Take advantage of those empty appointment slots by using your time to develop creative ways to promote your small business and prepare for the busy season.

 

Think Outside the Box

Creative strategies can prove to be extremely advantageous during the slow months. Consider ways in which you can encourage walk-ins and increase repeat sales.

  • Utilize social media, such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to share photos of your work and advertise any specials.
  • Have “pop up sales” and offer discount prices on hair treatments or merchandise (hair shampoos and creams) for a few days. Announce the sale on social media, on your salon’s website and on the outside of your salon. Individuals are incentivized by good deals, and may make time for a hair appointment to save money even if they weren’t planning for it.
  • Word of mouth can be the best advertising; create a referral program where you reward your existing clients for bringing in new business. You can offer a free blow dry with a paid haircut or a discount on the next treatment for any customer who brings in a friend.
  • Diversify your services by offering classes. You can teach people how to braid hair, how to give themselves the perfect blow-out, or how to curl hair with their straightener.

 

Improve Operations

During the months that you are booked solid, you likely do not have the time to improve your daily operations. Utilize the free time that you have during the summer to organize your salon.

  • Take stock of inventory to determine what new items you need to order to prepare for the busy season.
  • Clean out your stock room to make everything easy to find.
  • Evaluate the condition of your salon and consider making improvements to improve the space, such as adding more sinks for hair washes or a larger waiting area.
  • Don’t just focus on the inside of your salon; find ways to improve operations online as well. Contact an online marketing professional to discuss marketing campaigns that can help you reach a wider audience. You may need to redesign your website or invest money into advertising to boost sales.

 

Train Staff

During the slow season, you may have had to let some of your staff go, but don’t forget to prepare for the busier months. Give yourself enough time to find experienced salon staff that specializes in the services you offer, such as haircuts, hair coloring, keratin treatments, etc. You may want to give each employee a trial period to verify skills before committing to hiring them when times get busy.

 

Need funding to make some of your new ideas a reality, or just help with your cash flow, before things get busy? Contact IOU Financial for information about small business loans and how to get pre-approved for a loan in 24-hours.