I want you to flourish as a salon business. No matter your size or your location. In this article we will cover some simple ways in which you can be the best salon you can be. A salon that is profitable, busy and gives you growth and freedom.
I’ve worked with salon owners closely for nearly 9 years now, coaching them to grow and find freedom.
And whilst some have multiple locations with 10s of staff and some are solopreneurs, there is a commonality I see throughout all of them.
They very often believe that they are either not big enough, busy enough, clever enough, in the right location, deserving enough or special enough.
So, before we get started, I want to take a second to remind you, that if –
- You survived a pandemic in your business.
- You’ve recently launched a business.
- You’ve taken money in your business.
- You’ve made a client happy with what you deliver.
(ANY of the above applies)
Then you are a legitimate, successful, special, wonderful salon owner who most certainly IS enough.
The belief system that suggests you are not, will only hold you back.
I have seen success in this industry in every size of business and every stye of business offering every type of treatment.
Small, large, mobile, home, nails, aesthetics, staff, solo, new, old…. every combo of any of these factors can have success.
And you can too.
The key to a successful business is NOT your size, or your number of staff.
It’s you – and how you choose to approach your business.
Anyone, anywhere, anyhow CAN be massively successful, and the best salon you can be, IF you follow the right concepts.
Get your numbers right
This is business 101.
You must have more coming in than going out. That’s business in its simplest form.
So, if you have a business that costs more than it takes, it’s not going to last long.
The problem I see so often is that we think that the ‘cost’ of doing the treatments is merely the cost of products used.
There is so much more to be accounted for.
And not accounting for these things is only fooling yourself, to the point you may damage your own business – it’s like standing on scales to see how much you weigh, with one foot on the ground to make yourself lighter.
Ultimately, you’re only tricking yourself.
Being a successful business owner means being clear about what your business costs to operate and factoring those numbers into your pricing strategy.
We must look at the whole picture.
When you account for everything, and use this to work out your prices, you can ensure that every treatment you deliver, is delivered at a profit.
The amount of times I’ve seen salon owners work out their cost and realise they are essentially working for free, or even worse, at a cost to them, is enough to make me reinforce this point repeatedly.
This is not a hobby. This is a business.
Ensuring you have profit margins on every treatment you deliver is where you find your sweet spot in business.
Because it’s THAT profit that starts to allow you to be the best salon you can be.
With profit, you can do so much in your business
- You can invest in new suppliers, brands and products.
- Have more freedom from your salon.
- Hire great staff.
- Upgrade your salon software.
- Reinvest in your business.
- Get brand and supplier led training.
- Renovate and redecorate.
- Grow and develop.
Simply put – profit allows you and your business to flourish. So, making sure you’re in profit, each treatment is the foundational key to have a successful salon.
So, get clear on this.
You’ll want to consider rent, overheads, bills, insurance, staff, your wages, cleaning, software, accounting, products, washing, consumables.
This is the most basic groundwork to any successful business. If you don’t line this up right, its impossible for you to sustain your business.
The 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing myth.
This is a sentence I hear too often.
Essentially, it’s a thought process that suggests that white space should be filled at heavily discounted prices because getting something in the till for that space, is better than nothing at all.
And I can see the logic.
Once that space has gone, we can’t get it back. So, it makes sense that we get something in the bank for it, right?
However, this is a very damaging strategy and can be a quick way to losing business, creating bargain hunting clients, and earning less profit.
Well, in the salon industry, our job is to teach our clients.
We teach them the importance of SPF. Or using a cuticle oil. We teach them to de stress and how to follow aftercare.
the learn how to maximise results or make their lashes last.
Our teams are always sharing knowledge and teaching them and conditioning them.
But as soon as we drop our prices to 50% off – guess what else we teach them.
That our treatments are only worth half price.
Is that what you want your clients to think?
Look at it like this….
If you were desperate for the newest Gucci handbag, but you knew that at the end of season they sliced 50% off it, would you buy it at full price, or would you wait?
Because you know the value drops and you’d want it less – and you’d never pay more.
You’d be conditioned to expect to pay much less than what Gucci originally wanted you to, and you’d perceive it to be worth less too.
So, remember this when you think about discounting. It’s extremely hard to get someone to pay half price and then start paying full.
Use your white space productively
White space happens.
In almost any salon in the world, last minute cancellations and empty space will happen.
Firstly, this should be factored into your Pricing structure too. If you’re running every treatment at a profit, you can manage a little white space if you must.
And white space can be positive for business!
It allows time for you or you team to catch up, reset, turn rooms over, tidy, clean and refocus.
But it’s also a bonus opportunity for something else….
Nope. Not to scroll Facebook.
But to work ON your business.
This is the perfect time to tick off some of your never-ending ‘to do’ list.
Keep a fresh list of tasks that drive your business forward, at your work space.
Last minute no show?
Don’t focus on money lost (although booking software can help minimise this, check out some great brands in our software edition of The Source here) instead focus on what you CAN achieve.
Things like –
- Scheduling social media for the next week
- Making some social content – like videos, reels or posts
- Writing a helpful blog
- Reach out to clients you’ve not heard from in a while
- Create a plan for the next 3 months.
- Watch some valuable content online – like training or skill development.
- Write some emails to send to your database.
- Spend time training your team.
- There are a million things you can do that will have a positive impact on your business moving forward – so utilise your white space as a bonus window and make it count.
Work ON the business, rather than in.
Charge your worth
‘But Hollie, what is my worth?’ you may ask.
Well, honestly, the sky is the limit.
If you do something that people want, and you can do it well, you really can be incredibly successful.
For example –
Beyonce can sing. My neighbour Claire can sing.
But one is way more in demand than the other and can command millions for an hour of performance (and no, its not my neighbour Clare)
Queen Bey knows her worth. She knows she isn’t the only person who can sing on the planet. (And sorry if this offends but she’s not even the best singer on the planet) But she is confident in her ability and knows how to charge her worth.
You don’t need to be the ONLY person who does what you do.
Your skills don’t have to be internationally renowned.
The level of experience you hold is irrelevant.
What people want is someone who understands what they need
and can give them what they desire
Whether that’s younger skin, lashes that last, a smooth forehead, plumper lips, hair free legs, a slimmer body….
If you can deliver, you can charge.
Your worth is what someone will pay. Not what the salon down the road charges. Not the offer you’ve seen on Facebook.
It’s what someone will pay.
And when people want something enough, they will pay a lot.
Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t want the cheapest.
You might think that cheap will pull in the punters, but it’ll only pull in one type of punter. One that wants cheap stuff. Cheap treatments, cheap products.
In fact, cheap prices in our industry can actively repel people! Especially when it comes to aesthetic-based treatments.
I would never go for cheap Botox. I would never even travel abroad for surgery because its cheaper.
Trust, knowledge, and ability are all high on my wish list. Not low prices.
And believe me – you don’t want the price driven customers. Those who seek cheap, rock bottom deals, generally become your nightmare clients.
You do not want them!
You want clients who invest in themselves, appreciate your skills, respect your time and pay your prices.
And this comes from one simple thing.
Believing in your worth.
Here’s how to work out if you’re worth the prices you dream of charging…
- You know your stuff.
- You get results.
- What you offer is unique.
Tick all these 3, and you’re on the path to being the best salon you can be.
Be limited edition
Knowing your stuff and delivering results will always push you to the top of any discerning client’s wish list.
But to really create the waitlist mentality, you need to do one more thing.
Offer what no one else does.
Limited always drives demand.
Look at toilet rolls back in 2020. Something we once would only pay pennies for, was suddenly worth pounds. The value of a toilet roll multiplied 20 times in some rare cases.
Because supply was limited.
And when people can’t access these things easily, it drives desire, which drives cost.
If you offer something anyone can get anywhere, the value of services or products will only be in alignment with what everywhere else charges.
But, if you offer something else no one else offers, providing it’s something people want, and you deliver what you say you will, demand will be driven.
And demand drives price.
So limited offers = more money.
Offering something different
A great therapist will never deliver great results without the right product.
And the best product will only ever do what it needs to do, if it’s delivered by a great therapist.
It’s a partnership between two vital factors.
One wont work best without the other.
Assuming you’re a great therapist (or technician / artist / stylist etc) are the brands you work with serving you at the level you need to deliver the results your clients desire, at the prices you want to charge?
If you are promising skin that looks 10 years younger, is your brand producing you with the tools, products and training to deliver that?
If not, its probably time to change. (read our ‘is it time to change brands?’ article here)
I moved brands a couple of times through my 10+ years of owning my spa.
When one no longer served me I decided to change things up a bit.
I knew that no matter how good my team were at delivering treatment, no matter how great their knowledge, and how ambient my treatment rooms, if the product didn’t do its job, my clients would lose faith. (to be in with a chance of winning professional products from one of our partners, enter our prize draw here)
Brand alignment was essential for me because I needed a brand that would –
- Listen to my needs.
- Help me get results.
- Help me reach my goals.
The right systems with the right skills will always help you succeed.
Check out the Source and brands right here.
The key to being the best salon you can be, is charging what you’re worth, for something clients can’t get elsewhere.
It’s a FastTrack system to standing out from the crowd, earning more profit and have a booming, profitable business.
It’s all possible
Don’t let anything deter you.
You’ve had a hard time. Things have been tough and yet you are still standing.
The market is ever changing, you and you need to ride with it.
But team up with the right people, the brands and the right communities and I know your business will flourish.
Just charge your worth, create results-driven, unique experiences and trust the process.
If you are looking for some support from other salon owners who are flourishing, check out our Gold Club from our sister brand, Salonology. Our membership community and portal of courses has helped hundreds of salon owners to garner great success.