7 Great Ways To Grow Your Salon Business

Uncover seven strategies to expand your salon business. From attracting more clients to investing in your staff, you’ll learn the nuances of each approach and how they can lead to substantial growth. Dive in to discover how to run a successful salon and  foster a loyal clientele and motivated team.

Key takeaways:

  • Attracting more clients can be achieved through referral programs, targeting diverse clientele, unique marketing opportunities, and leveraging social media.
  • Upselling existing clients can significantly boost revenue without the need for new customers.
  • Continually updating and expanding your services and products can cater to evolving client needs and attract a broader audience.
  • Direct feedback from clients provides insights into areas of potential improvement.
  • Investing in your staff, from training to providing a consistent schedule, is pivotal for long-term business growth and success.

While many stylists-turned-salon owners do “okay” running their own shops, their salons could be doing much better if they took the time to really invest in the mechanics of the business and learn what it takes to really grow a salon business. 

Most stylists-turned-owners got their education in cosmetology school, and while it may have covered some points of running your own business, it probably didn’t go as in depth as salon owners would have liked. 

Growing a salon business is more nuanced than starting out. There are a lot of factors at play and you have to learn how to leverage them in just the right combinations. That’s where this guide comes in handy—you’ll get some tips on how to do just that.

Check out these seven ways to effectively grow your salon business:

Did you know that you could save hours each week building the employee schedule. That way, you can spend more time focusing on your salon business and making it grow. Find out how with a free trial of When I Work.

How to boost your salon business growth

Breaking down your goal of growing your salon business into steps like these seven can help you see exactly where you need to dig in. Some of them may seem counterintuitive, like charging more, but give them all a try to see what works best for you. You might be surprised at the results.

1. Attract more clients

That’s a no-brainer, right?  But how do you go about doing that?

Create a referral program to grow your salon business

Car dealerships do it, why not you?  Give current customers the opportunity to earn rewards for bringing in friends, family, and even strangers.  You can offer discounts on services, free products, or consultations—anything to get new people in the door.  Likewise, you can offer new clients discounts in order to eliminate their fear of the unknown.

Target different clientele such as men and children

Offer competitive rates on “standard” haircuts that most go to barbers for.  Dedicate a portion of your salon just to children—not only will it help the stressed-out, busy moms and dads relax a little when they come to get their hair done, you may end up cutting the kid’s hair as well.  The only caveat with this is that the kids’ area of your salon shouldn’t be within sight or ear-shot of your regular clientele.

Look for unique marketing opportunities

Sure, you can use the traditional marketing channels to grow your salon business. But don’t forget that there are plenty of other ways to get the name of your salon out there. 

One entrepreneurial salon owner in Bangor, Maine writes a weekly hair advice column for a weekly newspaper with a circulation of over 17,000.  (That’s a big bang for a few minutes’ worth of work.) Take advantage of the opportunities that pop up in your community to be visible.

Get social

In today’s world, you can’t avoid social media, especially when you’re in the business of making people look good. Post pics of amazing transformations you’re doing, or offer discounts for people who tag your salon when they’re raving about their new cut and color. There are plenty of ways to grow your salon business on social media, and most of them are free. 

2. Upsell existing clients

Your existing clients can provide the most bang for your buck when you’re trying to amp up your salon business growth. You’ve already convinced them to come in your door. Therefore, you should take full advantage of this captive audience.  By upselling your clients to more, better, and higher-priced products and services, you’re mining an existing market to earn more money per individual without spending any more.

In order to do this, you have to practice your elevator speech.  Existing clients don’t want to listen to you ramble on about something for an hour while you’re styling their hair.  They just want to get done and get out (with maybe a little gossip on the way).  But if you can perfect a short pitch for a product or service that gets a client interested, you may make a bonus sale today and several more in the future.

3. Offer new services and products

You can earn more money per customer and attract new clients by constantly revising your offerings.  Whether that means bringing in an aesthetician, a masseuse, a dietician, or offering a membership and subscription service, you have to constantly keep up with what your clients want. Just make sure to spend time doing a little market research to find out what people want before you add on any additional expenses.

4. Ask your clients what they want/need

Always rely on client feedback when it comes to altering your services and offerings to grow your salon business.  But how do you get that feedback?

You can go the old fashioned route and simply ask, but some people are uncomfortable talking.  Plus, they may say nice things just to please you.  To get the real nitty gritty, you have to give them something in return.  Create a contest.  A simple comment box placed in-store with a low-cost prize such as an exclusive bath bundle or a free day of pampering for a customer and a couple of friends may be all that you need to get that feedback flowing.

5. Charge more

It seems counterintuitive to try and create more salon business growth by charging more, but it really isn’t.  Salon clientele expect a certain level of service—a certain level of luxury—or else they’d be going to a barber or one of those places hidden inside the big box stores.  You can use a higher price point to actually set yourself apart from the low-cost competition and create an air of exclusivity.

There are two things you must get right in order to pull this off successfully.

  • Don’t burst your client’s price bubble (there is a cap to how much they’re willing to pay)
  • Don’t forget to offer services worth what you’re charging (nobody wants to feel ripped off)

6. Identify a niche and dig in

Whether your niche is organic products, the Zen feel of your storefront, or catering to busy moms who just need to get away from their kids, finding it can mean the difference between success and failure.

Ideally, you should do your market research before you ever open your doors.  Take a look at the salons that are around your potential business and what they offer.  Can you spot any gaps they aren’t filling?  Can you compete with exclusive offerings, top-tier services, or price point?  Make the effort to really identify what your market is missing and then do your best to fill that hole.

7. Invest in your staff

Your staff is your store.  These people are the ones who are creating the experience for your clients, they are the ones that are selling your products, they are the ones on which your business rises or falls.  It’s your responsibility to cultivate them and reward them for excellent performance.

Your stylists are well-trained in their profession, but do they know how to sell other services and products as well? Maybe it’s time to offer some sales training so they can help grow the salon business as well. Don’t think you have to invest a ton of money into it, either. Learn about retail sales for salons best practices and make a fun day of role playing sales techniques.

And don’t forget about the basics of investing in staff. While competitive pay and benefits are essential for securing excellent employees, flexible (and responsive) scheduling is important as well. 

Stylists spend hours on their feet, working hard to give their clients the confidence of a new look. So they deserve a healthy work-life balance just as much as the next person. Your stylists have significant others, kids, family, and friends as well as hobbies and personal pursuits that make them into the individual your clients love. Recognizing and rewarding them for their time, their loyalty, and all of their hard work is easier with salon scheduling software

You can show your employees that you care about their personal lives and keep your salon staffed with a great team.

Start your free 14-day trial of When I Work! Click here to start scheduling your employees today.

Build on the best to grow your salon business

In order for you to grow your salon business and succeed, you constantly need to build its best aspects (customer service, product offerings, and marketing) in order to carve out your market share. 

Identify the things that aren’t working (like outdated scheduling templates, improper/broken equipment, outdated products) and fix or eliminate them. You can start with employee scheduling by signing up for your free 14-day trial of When I Work. 

Your stylists will get 24/7 access to the schedule, and a way to communicate any changes or updates, right within the app. Employees love that When I Work gives them a voice in their schedule, and workplaces that use the software see increased accountability, more employee engagement, and fewer no-shows.

Get started with When I Work today!

How to improve your hair salon business FAQs

What are some effective strategies to attract more clients to my hair salon?

You can create a referral program, target different clientele groups like men and children, explore unique marketing opportunities, and actively engage on social media platforms to showcase transformations and promotions.

How can I maximize revenue from my existing salon clients?

Upselling is a key strategy. Offer complementary services or products during their visit, and ensure your pitch is concise and appealing. This can lead to additional sales without the need for new client acquisition.

Are there benefits to expanding the range of services and products in my salon?

Yes, offering new services and products can cater to evolving client needs, attract a broader audience, and increase revenue. However, it’s essential to conduct market research to ensure there’s demand for these new offerings.

How can I gather feedback from my salon clients to improve my business?

Engage directly with clients by asking for their opinions, or create contests that encourage feedback. An in-store comment box or online survey can be effective ways to gather valuable insights.

Is there a benefit to increasing the prices of my salon services?

Raising prices can create an air of exclusivity and premium service, attracting clientele willing to pay for a luxury experience. However, it’s crucial to ensure the quality of service matches the price point and to be aware of the maximum amount clients are willing to pay.

How can identifying a niche benefit my hair salon business?

Identifying a niche, whether it’s organic products, a specific ambiance, or catering to a particular demographic, can set your salon apart from competitors. It helps in targeting marketing efforts and offering specialized services that cater to that niche.

Why is investing in my salon staff crucial for business growth?

Your staff directly impacts the client experience. Investing in their training, ensuring a healthy work-life balance, and offering competitive pay and benefits can lead to better client interactions, increased loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Are there tools available to help manage my hair salon business more efficiently?

Yes, tools like When I Work offer features like flexible scheduling, which can help manage staff availability and ensure optimal service levels, leading to improved client satisfaction.

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