It’s easier than you may think

It’s January. For the most part January is known as a slow period for Salons…picture a ghost town with a tumble weed tumbling down the middle of a dusty road. Today’s tale is for all the Beauties of the Salon industry, from the apprentices to the Salon owners. I am here to tell you that January, well, every month for that matter can be highly profitable from retail sales to waiting lists to get into the chair. How do I know? Well, I book appointments for our stylists and personally add names to our “call if there is a cancellation” list, and I see the rewards of retail, from profit for the Salon to smiling faces from our clients who now have the proper products and tools to achieve their new ‘do in between each pre-booked appointment.

A successful Salon is easier than you think. It really is. *To be clear – just because I said it was easy doesn’t mean that some consistent effort isn’t required. The most important aspect to a successful Salon as I see it begins with management. As Salon owners and managers we must be consistent with every aspect of our position, be it dress code, scheduling, payroll, inventory, employee relations, even how we answer the phone. We, as managers and owners need to set the pace, we need to set the example to adhere to. If we are not following dress code, how can we expect our staff to? If we wander in 20 minutes after the Salon opens with no call or reason why, how can we write up our staff for being late?

On any given day at our Salon, you will find me taking inventory, placing orders, talking to the reps and selling products to our clients and our customers. You may also find me looking up a product on the internet for a customer to either find her something I sell that is comparable, or to find a local Salon that sells that product so I can help her find it. You will also find me washing the floors, or dusting the retail products on our shelves, or taking out the garbage, or sweeping the floors or folding the towels. Hence why at our Salon we work as a team, because I do not ask one thing of my staff that I would not do myself.

Being me, I have compiled a little list for you. Seriously, it’s easier than you think.

– Pre-booking appointments is a must. Many stylists are shy about asking to pre-book. They don’t know how to bring it up. Next time your client is paying for their service, try this “Our total today is $100.00. Would you like to make your next appointment for 5 or 6 weeks from now?” – it’s a question that yes or no will not suffice as an answer, it gives you and your client a chance to have a conversation about their next appointment.

– Pre-booking shows your clients that your time and their time is valuable. It shows your clients that you want to be sure the love affair with their hair continues. It lets them know that you do not want to have to turn them away because you are booked.

– Make retail a part of your service. Think about it. While you are drying your client’s hair I am sure you have heard “That smells so good!” about the product you have used in their hair. A perfect time to tell your client the name of the product and to tell her you can have it put up at the front counter for her and she can purchase it as she pays for her service.

– For Salon owners hesitant to invest in retail – talk to your reps. Many times they can offer a small intro. package with a 30 days to pay policy. Many distributor’s offer a consignment program.

– Still hesitant to invest in retail? Remember your points programs! Many companies such as Joico, Matrix and Goldwell offer a points reward system and the great thing about that is you can redeem your points for retail product that you can in turn sell, either for full retail or a discounted price for your clients and customers.

– Keep your Salon clean. Keep your shelves tidy and dusted – no one wants to buy a product that has dust on it.

– Adhere to a dress code. Keep it professional. It is much easier to be taken seriously as a professional when you look like one. …I know your fuzzy boots are comfy-leave ’em at home. Ripped jeans are for the Bon Jovi concert, not the Salon.

– All staff and stylists must have their hair done. Come on people, you work in a Salon and their are brushes and flat irons at every turn. How do you expect to have a client trust you with their cut when your hair is a mess?

Being consistent in every aspect of your business will in turn make it successful. It will. I have the proof. I am the proof, as is our Salon/Retail team. Our head stylist books 2 months out. Our other stylists book 2-3 weeks out. My one stylist is returning from a maternity leave in 6 weeks and is already pre-booking appointments. Our retail revenue is very good. Awesome actually – as I am not the owner, it is not my place to tell you the exact dollar amount…but it is at least 70% higher than the industry average.

If you have a passion for hair and a drive for your business, keeping a plan in action and staying consistent with that plan, you will have a successful Salon every month. It’s easier than you may think.

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