“You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

It’s an old cliché but so true.

Salon clients jump to instant judgements about your customer care levels, technical skills and quality based on what they see around them.

The biggest blunder of all

There’s one thing that clients always notice. Cleanliness. Or more to the point a lack of it.

Clients sit in your salon for a long time. They make judgments with their eyes before they have even experienced your salon service. Do you really want them admiring your gooey wax heater or those hair clippings lurking in a dark corner?

Your salon needs to be immaculate – all of the time. Creating that right first impression starts with a dustpan, brush and elbow-grease.

Is your kerb appeal wide of the mark?

Step outside. Does the pavement need a good sweep? Cigarette butts and litter are not great salon marketing tools.

I know it’s ‘not your job’ to keep it clean but let’s face it, the Local Authority isn’t going to do it daily for you.

Are your windows and fascia board clean and the paint fresh? Or a bit tired and down at heel? Are your windows littered with peeling stickers and amateurish posters? Be honest.

Sparkling toilets are good salon marketing. Yes, really.

Toilets and washrooms must be spotless – all day long. Whenever I visit a salon I always check out the loo. It says so much about a business.

Banish unhygienic towels and invest in a hand-drier or at least paper towels. A posh smelly hand wash and cream are a given. Check the lock works properly too.

Reduce the number of people using the washroom. If you have another toilet your team can use then keep them out of the client one. As a client, there is nothing worse than waiting outside an occupied toilet, with a head of foils, in full view of the salon.

It’s the little things that count.

A definite salon marketing ‘No No’

If your salon is in any way grubby, your clients will assume your hairdressing and beauty tools are too. Hair and beauty services are very intimate and tactile so clients want to know that whatever is touching them is squeaky clean.

Look at everything with a fresh pair of eyes. You may serve a mean Cappuccino but if it’s in a stained or even worse, chipped, cup forget it. You’ve just made a brand boo-boo.

Messy blunders that let your salon down

Styling stations should be immediately wiped, swept and cups removed as the client leaves. You’d be amazed how many salons leave sections looking a mess when they are busy.

Take a peek behind your reception desk. Scraps of dusty paper, chewed pens and rubber bands? Or is everything tidied away and shipshape?

Ensure all the team know salon cleanliness is everyone’s responsibility. Provide plenty of storage space to help them keep their area tidy – particularly in beauty therapy rooms. Clutter and unsightly mess can easily be banished to a cupboard.

Don’t spoil your marketing with careless blunders

Keeping your salon spotless and blunder-free can be a tall order when you’re jam-packed with clients and short-staffed. But those grubby nooks and crannies can rapidly undo your marketing effort and damage your brand if someone comments on Facebook.

Use quiet times to bottom out the chores and put systems in place. Above all, ensure your team knows what is expected of them and then make it a habit.