One of the most common requests I get from clients is to give advertising help. They say that they need to do marketing and can I help them with an ad? I generally answer “sure” and then ask some questions like, what’s your budget? Where would you be advertising? Why do you want to advertise? What goals have you worked out for the results you want to achieve? These are just some initial questions that need to be answered before advertising can begin. Most people haven’t thought about the answers to these, or even any other questions that need to be answered when considering advertising.
It comes down to what people want is not necessarily what they need when it comes to advertising. What most people I talk to need, is to have answers to questions that they do not yet know to ask themselves. Additionally, advertising is just one aspect of a marketing plan that a salon must have – and marketing starts well before any advertising gets underway.
What I mean by that is marketing is all about what you do, how you do it and how you look and behave whilst doing it – from a salon perspective as well as the individuals within the business.
Most salon owners are trying to gain new clients and some are successful in doing so… but I can guarantee that they are losing the very same client (or a great number of them) that they spent money on to gain because their salon performance was not up to par. Did you know that someone who visits your business is a customer, even twice… a customer… only when they return for a third (and subsequent) visit can you start calling them a client. Unfortunately many salons are in the business of attracting customers and lose them because of their ‘marketing’ within the salon.
So what am I revealing here? Well – Marketing comes before advertising and part of marketing is how you present your salon to your prospective client. Get it right inside your business and you stand a much better chance of securing a long term client than just a fleeting visit by a customer.
If you are currently feeling harried, stressed, worn out and just plain drained when it comes to your salon, I can bet that your salon will reflect that feeling and so will your team (although at a lesser level) – from how it looks through to how clients are treated, in fact its total performance will be under threat. When was the last time you went outside and looked … I mean really looked at your salon, from a prospective clients view? Is it the image you want it to be? Are there lights that don’t work? Is your signage looking old and tired? Are the windows clean? Ask yourself would you walk through the door of this business and trust the people inside with your hair? If not fix what is wrong with the picture as soon as you can, if yes, then what is the reception like? Does someone greet you immediately with a warm welcoming smile? Are you looked after during the visit? Do you get an experience that you would want to come back and experience again and again or do you just get a haircut/beauty treatment from a disinterested operator?
I could continue here with many of the small (and sometimes large) critical mistakes salons are making every day in their salons and not even realising that it is this that is causing either their very own minor or major recession within the business. However I am sure you are aware of at least some of the areas you are underperforming in. The whole purpose of this article is to give you a wakeup call and help you understand that your Internal Marketing needs to be right before trying to attract new clients, and only getting customers. When was the last time you did an internal audit of your salons appearance, client care systems, staff training programme and management efficiency and effectiveness? If it was ages ago (or never!) then it’s time now to review and if necessary to revamp and rev up your business for keeping clients that your advertising is working hard at to attract.
In fact – have your internal marketing working well and you generally will not need to do extensive external advertising, as the continual flow of new clients through recommendations will keep your salon busy and buzzing for a long time. So take time now to review your salons performance and make those changes for the better. Better client experiences, better staff motivation, better revenue and better profit. Oh and also a much less stressful day, week, month and year at work for you.
This post was written by Malcolm Gibbons from Salon Business Coach, The Salon Business Coaching Company. Shock Consult helps salon owners around the world get more from their business by education, motivation and accountability. Book your free consultation call to get your business moving in the direction YOU want.