Is apathy ruining your salon business?

It’s easy to find excuses for neglecting to market your hair or beauty business. I’ve heard them all.

You’ve no spare cash.

No time.

And anyway, the salon is ticking along okay… considering.

But why the reluctance to get stuck in, when the difference between a surviving salon business and a successful salon business is often, yes, you’ve guessed it… marketing?


Salon owners: Stop surviving. Start thriving.

Marketing is your investment in the future of your business.

You don’t build a successful salon by accident. It just doesn’t happen.

Business success demands consistent weekly effort. Little and often is my mantra. Not an occasional frenzied bout when business goes quiet (sound familiar?).

Aim to make marketing part of the DNA of your salon – woven into everything you do.


Banish business apathy and get started…

A year from now you may wish you had started today.
– Karen Lamb

There are 4 ways to GROW your salon.

And all are achieved by… marketing.

Gain clients
Retain clients
Often – increase how often they visit you
Wow them – to increase their average spend

Let’s be clear:

Sitting on your salon Facebook all day is not the answer to your marketing prayers. Nor is it cheap marketing. Social media can be a very valuable salon marketing tool but it can also be an expensive waste of time, a huge distraction and one of the biggest ways to procrastinate.

If social media is currently your main salon marketing activity then you should think about making some major changes if you want to grow your business. #GrowYourSalon

As Einstein said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Let’s look at some practical ways you can overcome these 3 excuses for marketing apathy:

  1. Lack of money.
  2. No time for marketing.
  3. Complacency, boredom and procrastination.

And get your salon or spa growing this spring…


#1. Strapped for cash? No marketing budget?

Salon social: For all its potential pitfalls Facebook does deserve a place in your marketing toolkit as it can be both inexpensive and very effective for building relationships.

To make it work successfully, consider who your target audience is – think a 10 mile radius from your business, right age/sex, spending power and above all needs. Now target this audience. Don’t let vanity rule: 5000 Likes on Facebook are utterly pointless if you’re in Bournemouth and they live in Scotland.

Your salon database: A comprehensive database is one of the most valuable assets you can have and it doesn’t have to cost a penny.

Collect email and postal addresses from all your clients and everyone you meet in business. Add them to your salon till software and hey presto you’ve a fantastic marketing tool that is unique to your hair or beauty salon. Remember to tag them as being ‘prospects’ so you can email this group separately if you wish.

The best use for text messages: Text message reminders before an appointment are ideal for reducing no-shows – I think this is their best use.

As a promotional tool SMS should be approached with caution. Used indiscriminately and too often it will alienate clients or encourage them to sit and wait until you send them an offer. And none of us want to be giving money away unnecessarily, do we? The cost soon mounts up too.

And in this post I give you another 25 thrifty ways to market your hair or beauty business.


#2. Speed marketing for the time-pressed

The answer may be that you’re spending too much time in your business and not enough on it.

Here’s the big question:

Are you the main earner in your salon? Tied behind a chair or couch whilst your senior team stand around with no clients?

Hardly surprising you’ve not time to grow your salon, is it?

Richard Branson works on his business…

Think about it. Did Richard Branson build Virgin Atlantic by spending his time flying the planes? Of course not.

There is little point recruiting great people if you don’t then give them the autonomy to take their role and run with it. It also frees you up as the founder to focus less on the day-to-day activities and more on the over-arching objectives laid out in your 10 year roadmap. Over my 40 years in business I have assembled a fantastic team to run the Virgin Group’s day-to-day activities.
– Richard Branson

To ensure you spend time working on your hairdressing or beauty business, try blocking out a fixed morning every week to focus on your marketing.

Freeing up your time whilst running a salon calls for a go-for-it attitude. Try these 9 tips on making more time to work on your salon business.


#3. He who hesitates… doesn’t grow his salon

The third of the obstacles to salon success is complacency.

Are you feeling a tad smug? Perhaps even a touch lazy? Or perhaps you’re hesitating over where to begin?

Don’t wait until profits dive to take action. It may be too late.

Don’t wait for the time to be perfect. It never is.

Start marketing now by breaking the task into manageable bite-size chunks:

Systems: Marketing is best built into your weekly routine. Put systems in place for following up after first visits, lapsed clients, and posting on social media. Marketing systems are a real short-cut to a profitable salon – this blog explores why.

Don’t be a martyr: You do not have to do it all yourself. Involve others. You’ll feel more motivated and they will feel part of a winning team.

First impressions count: Our industry is all about appearances – making clients look and feel good. If your business doesn’t look good it will be costing you clients. And profit.

Take a long hard look at your website, social media and marketing materials. Branding is crucial. If you’re feeling in a rut then the chances are your business reflects your stagnant mood and attitude.

Looking for a salon, spa or clinic website? We’re one of the most experienced hair & beauty website and marketing teams in the UK. Put your business in safe expert hands. Discover more here or get in touch

Complacency is catching: Is your lack of interest making loyal salon clients feel second rate? There’s nothing more galling than sitting next to a new client who is being showered with freebie treatments and gifts and only paying half the price you are.

Stop being complacent… shake up that loyalty scheme and show those devoted clients some appreciation rather than indifference.

When working with salon and spa clients I always like to reward loyalty with indulgent treats rather than a monetary discount:

  • It boosts your bottom-line. Why give profit away to clients who love what you do?
  • It cross-sells services, treatments and retail.
  • You’ll find it’s just as effective at retaining clients.

Why stop at your loyalty scheme? Make them feel important with a bespoke birthday card offering a complimentary treatment or upgrade on their next visit.

I know many till software systems will automatically send a birthday email discount, but doesn’t that just smack of the complacency and lack of interest we’re talking about? Yes, it’s easy. For you. But how much more special does it feel to have a birthday card with a hand written message land on your doormat with a treat from your hairdresser or beauty therapist? You’ll find more birthday ideas for salons and spas here.


Successful salons don’t happen by accident or apathy

And finally, the only way you know if your salon marketing is truly working is by measuring it.

Yes, I know – you’re short of time and it can feel like a bit of a chore. Apathy creeping in again?

But marketing is as much about maths and numbers as it is about creativity. Make measuring and monitoring a regular part of your marketing activities. I find tracking the key statistics every four weeks soon reveals what’s working well for your salon or spa business.

As the oft-quoted saying goes, “If nothing changes, nothing changes”. So, if you want to #GrowYourSalon, shake off that apathy, crush that complacency and start marketing…

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