Are you a beauty salon manager aspiring to be the best of the best in your neighborhood or beyond? If yes, you need to know that managing a salon is quite a demanding role that necessitates exemplary leadership and business oversight abilities. These are essential for building a solid client base, managing employees, developing competitive marketing strategies, managing inventory, beating competition, and generating profits. It can be quite a challenge juggling between meeting strategic goals and managing operations. But don’t panic. This article shares 5 invaluable insights that can help you stay on top of your salon business management game.
1. Set clear goals
Just like in any other business, setting goals is critical for the effective management of beauty salons. Their clarity gives everyone associated with your business a clear line of focus for what needs to be done to achieve success- how, when, and by whom? They also steer the team in the right direction, gives people some sense of accomplishment, and keep everyone motivated. As the manager, clear goals tell you exactly where to prioritize your efforts, time, and finances at any one given time.
That being said, how can you set clear goals for your beauty salon?
- Make them SMART– Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
- Focus on the long-term vision. What do you want to achieve in the next three or five years? What steps can you take now towards achieving that dream? It could be that you want to buy high-end salon equipment in a year. Pinpoint the areas that you need to cut back in order to save for it or the new revenue streams you can add in order to increase profits.
- Think of short-term goals too. What can you achieve in a few short months to bring your salon closer to its long-term goals? You can look at the previous year’s performance to see the areas that need improvement. For instance, if you had a long client wait time, you can set a goal of hiring another stylist within a month.
- Break down your goals. Each goal needs a series of tasks or projects to achieve. List these tasks down noting what you need to change, eliminate, or introduce within a specified timeframe.
- Get your team involved right from the inception stages. Employees have personal interactions with clients every time so they are better placed to know what changes clients might want.
2. Manage clients’ expectations
Beauty salon customers know exactly what they want: To look good and to be treated exemplarily well in the process. They want to book appointments conveniently, be pampered, relax, and have an all-around exemplary customer experience. You must put these expectations in mind if you are to succeed as a salon manager. You must also learn how to manage them so as not to put too much undue pressure on yourself and your team. These two tips will help:
Being empathetic will help you understand your target customer’s pain points, motivations, preferences, and habits. These factors influence an individual’s expectations. Empathy will also help you engage your online followers in a better way and understand the influence social media has on their expectations.
Closer home, empathy helps you understand your staff members better; their strengths and weaknesses. It will give you a clearer picture of your role in helping them overcome their weaknesses and optimize their strengths in order to meet clients’ expectations with relative ease.
Never oversell your abilities
Overselling or overhyping what your stylists can do only sets them up for failure. It makes clients expect more than your team can actually offer. That is why you should manage their expectations by being honest with them right from the onset. Explain to them how unwanted eventualities can derail their treatment procedures or affect end results. When a client is trying out a new product, for example, explain to them that beauty products work differently on different people. That way, they won’t be too disappointed if the end result falls short of what they had in mind.
3. Automate processes
In salon management, there is always too much to do within a very short workday. You cannot do it all unless you invest in salon software that automates some tasks for you. Good software will help you streamline operations, save time, and enhance efficiency. It will give you these benefits and more:
- Convenient customer bookings around the clock
- Automatic appointment reminders to reduce no-shows
- Easy access to inventory management tools
- Free employees’ performance assessment features
- Access to a free, rich customer information database
4. Have a great marketing strategy
Competition is tough in this industry, both online and offline. All your competitors are marketing their salons on social media, mainstream media, and through word-of-mouth advertising. There is just too much noise in the industry. For your marketing strategies to bear lasting results, you must be creative and innovative enough to rise above the noise. You can do that by:
i. Creating a professional website
- A professional website is the backbone of your digital marketing. It is the “face” your clients see whenever they interact with your beauty salon online. You must, therefore, take optimal care of the face. Here is how:
- Ensure that all your pages are optimally navigable by deleting or archiving old, obsolete content.
- Highlight on all your landing and service pages what makes your salon unique; your value and mission statements.
- Promote your unique customer experience through professionally taken videos and photos. Ensure that the visual content you post is relatable to the target customer.
- Optimize all your web content to increase visibility. Research the trendiest keywords, both primary and secondary, and use them in all your blog posts.
- Ensure that your blog posts provide real value to online searchers.
- Have a dedicated booking page and place “Book Now” buttons in strategic positions on all your service pages
ii. Customer marketing
Attracting new clients is important, but keeping your old customers is even more crucial to salon business success. These customers have already tested and approved your services, so they don’t need much convincing to stay or to spend more money at your salon. Nevertheless, create a strong customer marketing strategy. Call them regularly to confirm how satisfied they are with your services. Email or text them whenever there are new products or upcoming offers they need to know of. Most importantly, give them an improved experience in every visit.
iii. Perfect your word-of-mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing is inexpensive and quite effective especially for businesses that deal with foot traffic. We call it “word of mouth” but it is broader than that in the actual sense. It encompasses what people see, hear, and experience in relation to your salon. To perfect your word-of-mouth marketing, therefore:
- Offer exemplary services so that people in your area can see how good you are from how good your clients look.
- Give clients your business cards and encourage them to share with whoever inquires about their hair or beauty.
- Create referral programs where you reward existing clients whenever they refer new clients to your salon.
- Request and incentivize happy clients to post positive, authentic, and detailed online reviews.
- Participate in community programs and sponsor charity programs in order to earn the respect and admiration of your immediate community.
5. Develop a healthy team
Your team can make or break your beauty salon’s chances of success. How they talk to clients, their body language, and their expertise affects to a great extent how clients perceive your salon. How do you ensure that they always do the right thing?
- Revise your recruitment criteria to prioritize applicants’ personalities just like you do with expertise or experience. Don’t hire a personality that doesn’t fit into your workplace culture no matter how skilled or experienced they could be.
- A salon business environment is supposed to be social and fun. However, you need to draw a balance between professionalism and fun in terms of the language used, music played, and dress codes.
- Be friendly with your staff but keep a professional distance. Don’t get in too deep that your friendship impedes your authority.
- Do the right thing and lead by example.
- Regularly retrain employees to refresh their skills or add new ones. You can also have them attend beauty workshops and conferences to build their networks and confidence.
- Hold frequent team-building events and have break-out moments to enhance teamwork.
To be on top of things in your beauty salon business, you need to stay updated on prevailing industry trends, be a great team leader, and nail your marketing strategies. It is not always easy, but you will find it easier if you have a mentor, take regular business management classes, and read this article again for a better understanding.