Salon marketing isn’t just about building relationships with your clients. A successful, profitable hair or beauty business needs to actively market itself to its suppliers.

Why?

Viewing your suppliers as just a ‘cost to the business’ and constantly trying to drive prices down is not good for your salon or spa. Of course value for money is essential. But if you make your business important to them, they will work hard for your salon.

Marketing to clients and marketing to suppliers: it’s the same set of rules. Just turn the tables.

And if you’re looking for ways to squeeze more from your salon budget take a peek at our free marketing tools library.

Here are 5 ideas to get you thinking:

Keep suppliers in the loop

Communicate often and consistently with key suppliers – exactly as you do with your salon clients.

The more they know about your hair and beauty business the better they can help you. An easy marketing tip: pop them onto your e-news mailing list and ask them to Like your salon on Facebook. It’s a quick, effective way for them to keep up to date with your business and it may also prompt them to help you in ways they might not otherwise have thought about.

And when you do meet them, talk about your salon business plans and priorities rather than see it as an opportunity for a boxing match about prices.

Compliments and complaints

You like to hear your clients loved their new hair colour or enjoyed their facial. Your suppliers like to know they’re getting it right too. Let them know when you’re happy with them. They are not telepathic.

If you’re not happy with something let them know why and give them the chance to put it right. Most of the time they’ll be delighted to be given the chance to rectify the problem. Just as you are with your clients.

Loyal relationships: the key to a successful salon

We all understand the importance to profitability of loyal salon clients. It costs about 7 times less to keep an existing client than it does to find a new one.

And the marketing principle is the same when it comes to working with your suppliers.

You put in a great deal of time and effort when choosing a supplier so it makes sense to work at the relationship. Constantly switching from one supplier to another takes time and money that could be spent on building your client base. Or developing your team. Or growing your salon.

Of course, you need to keep a firm eye on suppliers’ costs, quality and performance. I’m just suggesting that there is a balance. A win-win for both parties.

Play by the supplier’s rules and save money

Understandably, you don’t like it when hair and beauty clients turn up late, change their minds or cancel last minute. You have a salon to run and need clients to play their part if it is to run smoothly and profitably.

Ditto for your suppliers.

Work to their business systems. It’ll save you time in the long run. And win you friends when you need to call in a favour.

  • Place orders in good time and be clear about delivery deadlines.
  • Pay on time and follow their purchase order system to keep costs down.
  • Make sure your purchasing, stock control and payment systems work well and are kept up to date.
  • If anything changes letting your suppliers know in plenty of time means they can to adapt to meet the new situation.
  • Ask about their plans for development or expansion to make sure they can continue to supply what you need.

Suppliers reward referrals

When you are happy with your supplier be prepared to recommend them.

If you keep an eye open for opportunities you can pass their way you’ll find they will be prepared to do the same for you. Like you, they know word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow their business.

Looking for more ideas on watching the salon pennies? Try this post.