Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Marketing ideas to avoid

Every great salon owner has had many marketing fails. Trial and error is a necessity in finding out what marketing works in getting more people through your door, more often, spending more. Here’s five really simple salon marketing mistakes to avoid and save yourself a lot of money and even more importantly, a lot of time. 1. Daily Deals The guarantee of hopping phones and a busy salon with little or no effort is almost too good to be true. Daily deals may get bums on seats and keep your staff busy, but it’s a complete false economy. Daily deal sites are essentially a virtual salon. For example if a potential client receives an email offering them a facial with 65% off , you may think it’s a once off chance to get them through the door and then the next time, they’ll buy it at full price right? Wrong. That same client will receive another offer for a facial a number of weeks later for a different salon. The daily deal site actually owns the clients in reality and are just using the facilities of other salons around them. Plus, you make virtually no money and can alienate loyal clients by giving strangers discounts instead of rewarding regulars after years of custom. The Solution: an amazing experience coupled with a great loyalty program will drive referrals and increase retention rates. That’s what grows a salon year-after-year. 2. Discounting on Facebook Status update: 50% off this, half-price that for a limited time only. Many salons have gotten deep into the discounting game on Facebook and their business page has become a mini-deal site in itself. There’s a few problems with this: - People won’t engage with your content if it’s salesy. Facebook will then show your content to less and less people if you’re not getting likes and shares. Soon you’ll notice your account feels empty as your content will be seen by about 2-3% of the people who like your page - You’re cutting your margins and devaluing your service and diluting your brand. A page that constantly promotes discounts creates the impression that it’s a struggling salon. The Solution: just provide amazing content that makes you look like an expert – everyone wants to feel they’re spending their money with the best. 3. Adding your salon to a listing site This is a little trickier. There’s lots of sites out there listing salons. You search by area and then click through on your chosen salon with some even allowing you to make a booking. There’s pros and cons to these sites and they need to be handled with care. This is simply because when someone sees the listing site in your salon and searches on the site, they will also see your competitors. If they are already in your salon, don’t give them the opportunity to find out who else is close-by. The Reality: the listing site works for clients who have never heard of you. If you promote it in your salon though, you are simply increasing the chances of other salons being found. The Solution: it’s fine if you want to be listed but promote your own business, not the listing site. 4. Advertising in local press newspaper advert salon You probably get a call every week from your local newspaper asking you to advertise. While local press is great for gossip, local news and a great way to promote your business via PR, don’t fork out cash for column inches. Firstly you are targeting a very broad audience. Secondly and most importantly, some studies show that you are 10 times less likely to read an advertisement than an actual article. Why pay more for the less effective method. Ring the paper with a great story about your business – an anniversary; an award; a visit from a celeb; an event or anything exciting that you hold close to your heart. The Solution: contact your local paper with a news story. Alternatively you can set up a marketing campaign directkly from your salon software. 5. Using a Coffee-type loyalty scheme for your exclusive services Many salons use coffee-type loyalty programs. Buy four facials and get the fifth one free. While you are rewarding clients, you are simply discounting a service that the client is willing to pay full price for anyway. This isn’t the way to do it as it decreases average spend. The Reality: when you run a loyalty scheme such as this, you are discounting services that the client is willing to full-price for anyway. The solution: run a loyalty program that’s based on points i.e. when you build up points you are rewarded with a product or service that you’ve never had before. This rewards and upsells. Platinum has a fully automated loyalty scheme, the loyalty points are saved in the customer's profile and can be converted at a time of your choosing and converted to the amount of your choosing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The benefits of using a Salon Software System

Salon managers around the world benefit from using salon management software every day. 

Using software saves you valuable time, leaving you free to spend more of the working day looking after your clients and keeping your stylists motivated. Salon software helps you with marketing, salon appointment booking and stock management. However, it’s all very well making your life easier, but what about your clients? The benefits of salon management software for your clients are both direct and indirect.

 1. Less time at the till 

 One of the most tedious parts of any shopping experience is having to queue for the till. In many salons, manual appointment diaries are still commonplace, meaning that it can take longer than it should to book a follow-up appointment, particularly if a client is requesting a particular stylist. Salon software makes it quick and easy for your receptionist to bring up details about future appointment slots with each stylist, and you can skip ahead in 1 to 8 week blocks, saving even more time. 

 2. Appointment reminders

 If your clients booked their salon appointment weeks in advance, or have to make a change from their regular appointment time, it may well slip their mind when the appointment comes around. While no-shows or latecomers are damaging to you and your salon, it’s far from ideal for a client, too. The text message reminder function that salon software provides is extremely helpful to clients. Many will appreciate the reminder about their appointment, and can double check that their other plans don’t overlap with it. 

 3. New treatments 

Here’s an indirect benefit for clients. Salon software saves you time and money, allowing you to invest a little extra in the training of your staff or purchasing equipment. It means that you’ll be able to provide your clients with new salon or spa treatments. Instead of having to travel further to try out the exciting new treatment they've heard about, your clients can come along to your salon as usual. 

 4. Products in stock 

Salon software gives salon managers real-time information regarding the stock levels of the products you sell to your customers. It can also inform you when you reach certain thresholds, ensuring that there’s always sufficient stock of each product. Clients will be pleased that their favourite products are always in stock and available to buy – again, improving their salon experience. 

 5. Loyalty benefits 

Loyalty schemes encourage clients to return for further treatments and invite their friends to come along, too. These schemes increase the client retention rate of your salon whilst boosting the number of new clients. Salon software records everything about your clients’ history – including loyalty points if you choose to offer them, making it easy to keep track of your loyalty scheme and the points collected by customers – so claiming their loyalty discounts will be a breeze.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What a customer will pay!

As a Salon manager you may already be aware that most women view regular salon visits as a necessity rather than a luxury, and new survey results act as confirmation of the fact. The headline statistic is that women spend an average of £28,000 on trips to the hairdresser in their lifetime, with a total of 39 days spent at the salon. These figures equate to an annual spend of £600 on visits to the hairdresser, and 20 hours a year. The average UK woman will get a cut and blow-dry every six weeks, a colour session every ten weeks, and two visits per year for special occasions. There’s clearly a huge demand for salon services, even when times are tough. To ensure that you keep your clients coming back to your salon, you can use salon software to run loyalty schemes and carry out text marketing to notify clients when a free appointment slot has become available.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

MARKETING

Marketing has always been an important part of salon management. Salon managers in the past might have taken out adverts in the local newspaper or put leaflets through doors, but these days there are other, more effective marketing strategies that you can carry out to get more clients through your salon’s doors. One way to make your salon stand out from the crowd is to employ marketing strategies that make potential clients take notice of your salon.

 

Marketing can be used to directly sell products or services to clients, or simply to increase brand awareness. If your business uses salon software to manage appointments and process bills, it’s worth finding out how it can help you with your marketing activities, too.

 

* Know your target audience

If you’re building a new marketing strategy from the ground up, it’s probably best to think about your target market. Depending on the branding of your salon (and the treatments you offer), you might have a specific type of client you want to attract. Pick out some key words describing your ideal client: trendy, adventurous, stay-at-home mum, professional, families, etc. This forms the basis of your marketing strategy. To ensure your brand remains consistent, you need to ensure that the tone of any print marketing or digital marketing you use for your salon is appropriate to the market you have in mind. If you portray your salon as luxurious, you’ll probably need to use more formal language than if your brand is more relaxed and fun.

* Utilise text and email marketing

You probably have some contact details for your current clients on record. That means it’s easy for you to contact them either by phone or email, but how do you do so in an unobtrusive manner? Text marketing and email marketing are great ways of reminding customers about appointments, notifying them of free appointment slots and offering deals and discounts to get them back in your salon.

 

A good salon software package will contain modules that allow you to message certain groups (or all) of your clients at once in this manner. This form of marketing is much more direct than social media and advertising.

Marketing can help your salon stand out from the competition – and salon software can make your marketing strategy far more effective! Not only does it allow you to carry out email and text marketing with ease, it also gives you a significant amount of client data that you can use to base your marketing strategy on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Summer is nearly Upon Us! Some Sizzling SMS ideas!

Summer, a season associated with heat and fun.  And if the current weather is anything to go by, it feels like it's nearly upon us!

There’s a sense of optimism in the air as everybody waits standing by the window hoping the sun stays around for their after-work and weekend fun.

The question is are you standing by the window waiting for after-work and weekend clients? You can’t control the sun but you can be proactive and use SMS to get bums on seats and purses opened. 

Here’s some SMS ideas to create a sales heatwave in your salon this summer and increase your revenue.

Idea 1 – Stay trim
Getting ‘trim’ and acquiring that ideal summer and bikini body is at the forefront of every woman’s mind summer-after-summer. Now, how does a hair salon take advantage of this? Well you know more than anyone about trim and can use it to shift some products. Send out the text below to some regulars who get a cut and colour and haven’t been in recently plus encourage them to try a product for the first time:

Hi <<Client first name>>, our prices are like a gr8 bikini body. Trim. Get a cut + colour this week and we’ll trim the price of any shampoo you buy by half! 0845 680 0019

Idea 2 – Get that summer Hair Colour
This is a more obvious approach for a hair salon but with a ‘tint’ of humour that will encourage the ladies in your client books to get a colour for the first time. Remember, you don’t have to push the product in the text there and then. Catch them when they come in and play upon the text at the end of their appointment telling them about products such as a conditioner you sell that will help them keep that ‘summer colour’.

Hi <<Client first name>>, the safest place to get a colour this summer is IN YOUR HAIR! Call us for a bronzed finish that’s truly worth ‘dyeing’ for: 0845 680 0019

Idea 3 – Soft sell beauty SMS with safe and sound advice
No play on words here just some sound advice about safety in the sun while telling them about a new range of products in your store. When the sun comes out, use it to get people thinking about the products they use and create an opportunity to engage with clients about new and supplementary products.

Hi <<Client first name>>, did you put your SPF on today? Talk to us and make sure it’s giving you the protection your skin needs to stay youthful. 0845 680 0019

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RECAPTURING SALON CANCELLATIONS

A no-show can mean a big hole in your profits. Can you recapture those cancellations and make your salon a more profitable place as a result?

Most salons track their projected revenue using their salon software to view appointment bookings made by their customers. They will base their product and material orders on how many customers they are likely to see per day, week or month, and work their staff rotas around the number of employees they need to serve their customers. Employee wages, taxes and benefits are all based on revenue, as are plans made to grow the business and drive it forward. So, when a customer doesn’t turn up for their appointment, the expected revenue is not received, and money may even be wasted on having staff members working when you don’t need them. How can salon owners avoid losing money and continue to generate revenue, even when a customer fails to show up for their appointment? We’ve listed a few suggestions below…

 

Create a no-show policy

Many salons will have a no-show policy that notifies the customer of any consequences they may have to deal with, should they not show up (or show up too late for) their appointment. It is really up to the salon owner to decide what they would like those consequences to be, whether they fine a customer for not showing up, or limit the time they spend with a customer who is late by cutting out one of the treatments they had booked. Be sure to make the policy clear to prevent any confusion. If there is a strict policy in place that your customers are warned of before making their booking, they may be less likely to cancel at the last moment.

A policy can also act as a good customer service tool; should someone show up late expecting to miss out on an element of their treatment, but you’re then able to accommodate them, they’re more likely to sing your praises because you’ve made an exception for them.

 

Take deposits

For treatments that are likely to take a fair amount of time or are relatively costly, you could always ask your customers for a deposit. This way, they will be less likely to simply not show up, as they have already put some money toward the treatment, and if they don’t show up, you’ll have still made some money from the appointment and could even fit in another customer. Make sure your customers are aware that the deposit is non-refundable, though consider offering the chance to rebook, which would allow you the chance to make a happy customer and ensure revenue makes it through the door.
 

Use the time wisely

When a customer doesn’t show, you can suddenly find yourself with little else to do, so why not try to use the time wisely? Use your salon software to check to see if any other customers were desperate for the appointment and send them an SMS message to come in if they are free. 
It’s always worth keeping a list of clients who may be available at short notice on particular days and sending out a text to them using your salon software.

Get to the bottom of it

There’s no point simply ruminating why your client never showed up for their appointment. Instead, consider contacting them to find out why. It’s likely to be that they simply forgot, which would mean you probably need to work on sending regular reminders to your clients, but it might be that they decided against receiving a treatment at your salon and were too embarrassed to telephone and cancel. If this is the case, find out what put them off and correct it. Whether it’s because they were unhappy with the price, the hairdresser assigned to them, or the time they received, these are all things you can work on improving with the help of your salon software, letting you continue to make a profit in the future.

 
No salon owner wants to have to deal with a no-show, but they can be assured that should they have to, they will have the means they need from their salon software system to deal with the problem efficiently and effectively. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A New Year Offer!

Happy New Year to you all.....

Why not make a New Year resolution to simplify the running of your salon and get in touch now. We offer an online demo and promise no hard-sell, so what have you got to lose?

Want to speed up appointment booking, manage financial transactions better and send appointment reminders or marketing messages to clients?

If you've been thinking about getting a computer system for your business but not yet made a purchase, we have a great New Year offer for you. 

Until the end of February, you can get our software with 40% off... 

Get in touch now for further detail.