As a salon owner if you were asked to identify areas of your business that upon improving would make a significant difference to your turnover and profits amongst the list would be filling cancellations at short notice, filling gaps in staff columns/appointment diaries and reducing client “no-shows”.
The significance of these areas can not be underestimated in fact it’s often shocking to learn that if on average a salon was to fill two cancellations each week and just 4 gaps that they previously would not fill they would increase their turnover by £11,000 per annum.
Cancellations that you get at short notice say within 4 hours or on the same day of the appointment are traditionally very difficult to fill. You can keep a last-minute list of clients that have said they want a space but how often have you called someone only to find out they have booked elsewhere or since changed their mind? Facebook is something that can work if the cancellation is for an appointment in a day or 2 time however it’s still not that reliable since on average a Facebook post will only get in front of 3 – 5 % of your page followers. You could send an SMS message to all of your clients however this would defeat the object since the cost of the SMS would often outweigh the cost of the appointment.
As a result the cancelled appointments usually don’t get filled. So why are out salon clients saying things like this?
The answer to this is to publish your gaps in an easy to view format in the areas that your current and potential new clients look on a regular basis, your website and your smart phone app. Our system allows this through the administration area and the inclusion of 2 lines of code on your website. Adding these lines of code to your website will produce a ‘Tab’ on the left of your webpage that when clicked will produce a fly out area showing your list of diary gaps over the next 7 days.
The key with this system is that it publishes your gaps to both existing and new clients that view your website. This provides an easy way of potentially new clients to grab a time at short notice without having to check booking systems or calling the salon, a service that your clients want and which they use. These gaps are also shown on your app and current clients over time will start to use this service too. The system keeps track of what revenue you have recovered by using the last-minute times system.
There are currently many Salon Booking Systems and Salon Software solutions to choose from, some simply offer in salon booking of appointments and some go further by offering to book online through your website, facebook and sometimes through smartphone apps. So in this minefield of booking system and salon software what should you be choosing?
All of the above considerations are the basic things that you should be asking of a salon software system. Most of the leading systems will offer these and more services however they have to be considered against the cost per month.
The system works flawlessly in Salon, on your Website, Facebook and App.
Contact us today for more information about this fabulous Salon Booking system.
When running a salon one of the most frequently faced challenges is keeping people coming through the door. You want to encourage new and existing clients to visit you as much as possible and to find ways to incentivise people whilst running a profitable business.
Salon offers are a bit of a balancing act, with the need to entice clients, without losing profit.
So here are some of the best salon offers that encourage clients to return while helping you to build your business.
One of the best marketing tools for a salon are referrals; trusted clients recommending their friends and family to your business, which can greatly increase your client base. With this in mind, why not run a special referral based offer in your salon? Offer bring a friend days, where your client and a plus one get a discounted treatment or a bargain pampering day. Clients will love spending time being spoilt with their friend and you will introduce your services and business to a new face.
Offer clients a little something extra on top of their usual service, a mini treatment for example. Introducing them to a different service may result in them becoming regulars for that treatment too. How about a complimentary blow dry or head massage? Adding value in the form of ‘treats’ is a lovely way to enhance a client’s experience in your salon.
Filling last minute appointments is notoriously tricky in the salon industry. How do you go about letting clients know that you have a cancelled slot available for instance? Pushing notifications through a salon app let clients know about your last minute cancellations and help you to recover lost revenue. If you offer a discount on these appointments you are even likelier to get them filled. A small discount, say 10% off, is no loss to your salon if you can fill an appointment that would otherwise be empty.
Put together packages of your products and run a buy 2 get the 3rd product free offer. Many big names in the beauty industry run these schemes to great success. You can promote a similar offer in your salon, perhaps on a line of hair or nail products. Make sure the product you are giving away is the cheapest.
Never underestimate the power of a traditional points-based loyalty scheme. When run properly, they can increase spend in your salon, with little effort on your part. Clients accrue points for every treatment they have in your salon and can redeem them against a service of their choice. Award points based on spend, such as 100 points when you spend £30. Alternatively, you can award points based on service, e.g. a colour is worth 150 points. Then you can work out what those points can be redeemed against. Again you can do this by price or service. Those 150 points could get you a free blow-dry or could equate to £5 off.
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Yell and Thompson are both well known for their printed directories. Historically these were the go-to tools for people looking for a service or business. If you wanted to find a painter in your local area, you would leaf through one of these directories. But it’s been a long time since this was the case, you may have noticed that these directories have been physically shrinking in recent years and Thompson may even stop printing their directory in the near future. The reason for this change is the vast increase in the use of online searching.
With that in mind, the printed directories are pretty much redundant, so how do you make the most of an advertising budget? Firstly, it’s worth thinking about where people go to search for businesses or services online. Around 90% of all searches are on Google. So only a small percentage of people would search through a directory like Yell or Thompson. Yell.com however, has a lot fewer users than Google, with far fewer searches for specific terms, actually giving them a much higher conversion rate than Google. People who do use these directories are in ‘shopping mode’, actively searching to find contact details for a service provider and as a result click through to websites more often. So while having a listing may be worthwhile, remember where most searches are taking place.
Google+ is much more than just another social media site and as a business, should be something you take advantage of. After all Google+ is the social network from Google, the biggest and most powerful search engine. Using Google+ well for your business can result in your salon ranking higher on search engines listings, helping you to be found online.
You need a personal Google profile to create a Google+ page. A Gmail account is fine. From here create a Google+ page for your business. You will be given the option of Storefront/ Service Area or Brand. Choose the best choice for you (probably Storefront or Service Area) From here you will be asked for your business name, which Google will search for on a map. Make sure you add as much information as you can and that it is accurate.
Then you can start sharing content. You can schedule posts through Buffer or Hootsuite like you would on any other social media platform, so you can keep posting consistently.
Google+ Local is partly a powerful online directory, part social and interactive too. The intention of Google+ Local is for businesses to be found easily online and for customers to find businesses easily, but also be able to review and engage with these businesses. There are a few key advantages to having a Google+ Local page appear in Google searches. If a location- based service is searched for on Google, three of these businesses will appear as Google+ Local listings. These listings will show the business name, contact details, a map link and client reviews. Oh, and this will also appear above at the top of the page of search results.
The about page on Google+ is not only a way to give an overview of your services and contact details for your clients. It is also the section that is most frequently indexed by Google, helping in your search engine rankings. Add keyword tags that you want to appear for and that your clients may use to search for your page description.
Post SEO friendly Content
The algorithm used by Google gives more priority to content on Google+ pages over other sites, so making sure you post consistently on Google+ is important. Posting content with relevant SEO keywords will help your search engine ranking on Google. Also post media content, such as photos and videos as these typically have a higher engagement rate.
One of the main differences between Google+ and Facebook is that with Google+ you can actively follow your own clients on Google+. Unlike with a Facebook business page, you can have clients in your circles and communicate directly with them. This is a great way to promote offers, discounts and share news and content directly with your clients.
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Social media is becoming more and more of a necessity for businesses, in particular salons, to ensure they communicate and market to clients on platforms that they are using. We understand social media can be a bit of a minefield, it’s easy to get it wrong and hard to then put it right. But many salons make mistakes on social media that can be easily avoided.
The key with social media is to keep your posts varied and interesting to your followers. You wouldn’t constantly try and sell your new product to a customer in person, so why are you doing it on social media? Obviously, you want to promote your products and services, but you don’t want this to be all that you post. You don’t want to seem like you are constantly selling.
Social media should be ‘social’, this means interacting with your followers. Encourage comments and conversation by sharing interesting articles and asking for people’s ideas on a topic.
If people ask you something on a social media site or comment on one of your posts, take the time to respond to it. Where possible do this quickly. This could be a case of bad customer service if you don’t, especially if someone is asking you something or worse, complaining!
People should be able to look at your social media sites and understand what it is you do and how they can contact you. By all means, share a variety of posts, but keep them relevant to your business, brand and followers. If you are a nail bar, don’t fill your Instagram feed with food photos. Also post regularly, people will follow you as they want to see your updates, if you don’t post anything for a month, people may get bored and unfollow you.
Social media can quickly take up a lot of time and attention. One way to avoid this is by planning a social media strategy, scheduling it and sticking to it. Working out what you want to get out of social media is key, as is sticking to your brand. Don’t feel that you have to use every social media platform out there, work out which are best for you.
Remember you want to start building an engaged audience on your social media platforms, so that when you post people are commenting and sharing your content. Sharing humorous or topical content can be a good way to do this, but tread with care. The joke that you find funny may be offensive to someone else. Obviously, you can’t please everyone, all of the time, but try not to offend anyone too! Once something has been posted on social media it can quickly be shared, making it hard to remove at a later date.
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We recognise that salon owners and managers are busy people, so you may not have much time to market your business. Luckily there are some great tools that make marketing quicker, easier and cheaper for you. Here’s our pick of the best:
A salon app is really the holy grail of salon marketing. They can do so many tasks and improve on many common salon problems. Do you have a lot of last-minute cancellations that you struggle to fill? Push notifications alert app users to these appointments and encourage them to book. Are Client Loyalty schemes expensive with printing costs? An app such as the one by Bright Salon has up to four client loyalty schemes, where you scan a client’s smartphone to redeem them.
There are so many benefits to an app, but in a nutshell all or your marketing tools are in the palm of your client’s hand.
Pinterest is a relatively new social media platform where users ‘pin’ content to virtual pin boards. This then links to websites. The content is predominantly photography; which Pinterest users collate into categories on individual boards. Examples are Bridal Hair, Spring Beauty Looks, Celebrity Styles. Although Pinterest can be used for anything, it is particularly popular for beauty, fashion, food and lifestyle content. Pinterest is a scrapbook style site and a great way to market a salon, as it is so visual.
• Pinterest users are mostly women
• Low maintenance form of social media
• To generate website traffic
• Inspire and find new customers
Here is a great blog from Salon Marketing Ideas on Instagram for salons.
You probably know of Instagram and possibly use it already as an individual, but have you thought about using it for your salon?
More and more businesses are using Instagram as a marketing tool, as it’s a great way to build your brand and show off your salon’s work. Instagram is the fastest growing social media site, with 300 million monthly users. Instagram is all about images and visual storytelling, which are perfect tools for the salon industry as there’re lots of ways to engage with existing and potential clients.
Surely one of the most striking visual elements of a salon is the way people look before and after they have visited. This is particularly true if they have had a re-style, new hair colour, extensions fitted or some new nail art. Sharing a before and after photo is also a great way of showing off your stylist’s skills. If you have someone who does great Ombre or a beautiful blow dry why not show them off?
Music is important to salons for a variety of reasons, with the right music you can improve staff productivity and increase client sales. Salons use music to help represent them and their brand. Whether you realise it or not, you will have some form of salon brand. Think about what imagery you use for your salon, the décor inside and the type of services you offer. Music needs to reflect this. If your clients are older you probably don’t want to be playing heavy metal music. Equally, if your salon has a trendy, young client base you might not want to play hits from the 80’s. If you want to have music in your salon, or put together a playlist, think about what atmosphere you want to create. Many salons provide services that aim to be a relaxing and pampering experience for clients. Think about how you can create this with your choice of music. For the busy mum who has just rushed to make her appointment, entering a salon with calming music automatically starts the relaxation process.
A survey by VisionWorks states that 84% of customers think that playing music makes the salon’s atmosphere more welcoming or exciting.
Another great blog post from Salon Marketing Ideas.