“My salon is in a very good place right now business-wise”. “Business is great!” “I have a good thing going”. “I have my hair/beauty clients locked in”.
What is the common denominator in the four statements above? I’ll tell you what it is: The language of a business owner living in their comfort zone. Comfort is a more lethal salon business killer than a capricious economy. That is why, as a salon owner, you must constantly look for ways to boost your bottom line. You have to find better ways to attract and retain clients, raise your average transaction size, and raise your revenue. That’s where technology comes in.
Over the last 2 decades, our society has continually transitioned from paper and pen to smartphones and computers. Clients are now online. Business records are now stored in the clouds. Manual data entry and inventory management are now things of the past. Communication now happens on social media. Convenience has become an important factor of consideration when making purchase decisions, almost overtaking quality and affordability. That’s exactly why your best bet for boosting your salon’s bottom line is investing in the right salon technology.
With that in mind, let’s explore how you can leverage salon technology to improve your bottom line.
1. Create a superb business website
Every salon owner markets their services and products online. If you haven’t started it yet, it is important that you invest in email marketing, social media marketing, SEO marketing, and referral marketing. While at it, invest in online reputation management to clean up the dirt anyone might have thrown at your establishment, maliciously or otherwise.
Whichever online marketing approach you take, you will always need an interactive website if you are to convert most onlookers into high-quality clients. It is the place clients go for more information about your salon. That’s after you grab their attention on Google or social media. For this reason, your website should make the best first impression on online clients.
Here are a few tips for using your website as a tool to boost your bottom line:
- Link your website to all your social media pages so that your online traffic can flow smoothly between the website and your other online resources.
- People want to see the human side of your salon business. They want to see your face as the owner, know your brand story, and feel your positive vibe. When taking photos for your social media profiles, save a few for your “About Us” page. Photos of your happy employees, beautiful interior décor, and satisfied clients will also go a long way in giving your business a good face online.
- Talk about your sophisticated equipment and how eco-friendly your beauty products are.
- Add a blog section on your website and be posting at least 5 blog posts a month. Don’t sell your services directly on these posts. Instead, share useful hair and beauty content that can potentially attract random internet searchers back to your landing pages.
- Work with an SEO company to get your website on the first search pages on Google and other search engines. Place more emphasis on local SEO.
- Integrate a “book now” button into your web content, on each one of your web pages. Clients don’t have to look for your booking page in order to make appointments.
- Add your contact information at the top and bottom of all your web pages.
- Work with a professional web designer to ensure that all your pages are navigable, readable, and fast across all browsers, especially on smartphones.
2. Salon management software
Salon management software will boost your bottom line from two different perspectives: Administrative perspective and client portfolio.
Your salon software can make you a better salon business manager in so many areas. First of all, you can use your software to automate online booking and manage your and your employees’ schedules more effectively. Automated booking eliminates time wastage, overbooking, double booking, and no-shows. That is good for your bottom line. Secondly, you can use your software to automate inventory management, cash management, and payroll management. That enhances accuracy and minimizes your overhead costs.
2. Client portfolio
From a clients’ perspective, salon software is all about convenience. Your software can create databases for your salon that you can then use to create a personalized experience for every client. This is important because your business relies on human relationships.
On their part, clients feel valued and important when enabled to book appointments from wherever they could be, from any device, and at any time of the day. Quality software will also enable clients to pay in comfort and security and through a variety of payment modes (wireless, cash, cards, Bitcoin- name them!).
3. Social media
All your competitors are advertising their salons on the same social channels you hope to meet your prospective clients. To improve your bottom line, therefore, you must be different. You must be better at social media marketing. You can do this by:
- Creating a positive image that your target clients can identify with, and then consistently posting content that aligns with that image.
- Use visual content, especially “behind the scenes” videos to humanize your social profiles.
- Create a community of happy clients around your salon and then leverage it to distribute your videos and photos across the internet and on WhatsApp.
- As much as you should jump on trendy Twitter hashtags to advertise your services, always refrain from controversial hashtags and/or topics that might offend a section of your clientele. Also, create and sponsor unique hashtags and punch lines of your own. And lastly, use regional tags to publicize your location.
- Use viewer feelings to your advantage. You can, for example, engage in a community outreach and development program and then share the event live on social media.
- Work with local Instagram celebrities to promote your salon to local clients. However, you should know that not all celebrities will help boost your bottom line. Only work with influencers who share the same ethos as you.
- Leverage positive online reviews. Happy clients are always ready to give your salon 5-star ratings and detailed positive reviews. All you have to do is ask.
4. Technological advances for the “new normal”
The pandemic has continued to change consumer preferences and expectations. Success in the “new normal” will come to salons that keep up with these changes and adopt futuristic tools and techniques. Here are a few futuristic tech tools and trends that will affect your bottom line going forward:
- Webcam consultations. Video conferencing technology is both easy to use and affordable for hair salon owners. All you need is quality video equipment and a videoconferencing app to kick start your video-based consultation services. Clients will be happy that they don’t have to leave their homes for routine consultations. On your part, you will create an extra income stream and another marketing channel for upselling your products. You will also minimize crowding in your salon– the “new normal” style!
- Hair color blending machines. These machines will help you create your own unique color pallets. Your only limitations now- for as far as hair coloring is involved- are your imagination and creativity.
- Virtual Reality (VR). You can use VR tools to accurately predict the after-looks of clients’ haircuts, hairstyle, or dye via simulation and modeling. Customer satisfaction is no longer guesswork.
Your salon business’ bottom line depends on more than your hairstyling skills. You must market your services better and give clients more than they bargain for if you are to boost your bottom line. The right tech tools will help you do that and more.