Once upon a time in “the good old days” we used to rock along to work, do some great hair and have fun with our clients, everything else just fell into place…we didn’t really need to think about profit, it was just always there! Sadly those days are gone, not that we can’t still do all of the above, now we also need to have a “business brain” to be profitable in the hair & beauty industry and in fact in any industry.
A key indicator of the health of your business is how many new clients are stepping through your door. Here’s an insight into the statistics and strategies that will keep your new client numbers growing.
How many new clients do we need?
As they say “the truth is in the detail” so your salon software is the ultimate tool to understanding your new clients. The benchmark I use is 10%… you need at least 10% new clients stepping though your door to replenish the ones you lose. In general we lose clients because they move out of the area or across town and its no longer convenient for them to visit. This is the key reason, there are a few others and hopefully it’s not because of their last client experience!
Find out how they are finding you!
Why did they choose you? Were they referred from another client, did they find you on Facebook, your website or some other way? This is all vital info that needs to be collected from a new client. It helps us to drive our marketing for new clients. It’s quite simple whatever is working to attract new clients you need to do more of. When you look at your business statistics your new clients numbers need to match your referral reasons, if not your team need to be more proactive in collecting that data from the client, the future of your business depends on it!
New client marketing strategies
People say “word of mouth” is the best form of advertising…and it is! A Refer A Friend card adds a bit more motivation and reward to this concept. Make sure you reward both the new and existing client. I find a $ value works better than a discount…it ‘s more tangible to the client. These cards need to be driven out by the team and its also a great idea to have a downloadable from your website. This isn’t a promotion it’s an ongoing marketing strategy. Set a system in place to manage the reward redemption i.e. send a thank you text to the existing client and make a note on their client card/appt so they don’t miss out on their reward on their next appointment. The key to success here is to keep on passing these out to clients, if you’re not getting any back it’s generally because you haven’t been giving any out!
Networking with other businesses
You should be able to find a like-minded business owner in your area that you could “cross pollinate” your databases with. Hair and beauty always work well together but there are also lots of other opportunities…gyms, cafes, fashion stores etc. You could then send out your newsletter/email campaign and include a new client offer for their business and vice versa. The key is to find someone who is motivated to grow their business and yours too.
Fundraisers, Fashion shows and community events
These are a great opportunity to get your “brand” out there. Whether it it’s a voucher in the goody bag, some service vouchers for the raffle or even being involved hands on by creating the hair or makeup looks for the event. It also is a great experience for your team and an opportunity for you to “give back” to the community.
Catch them and keep them
When you have the new clients flowing there are a few more things to think about
I am a big fan of the pecking order for new clients. This system ensures that the new clients go to the new stylists/therapists that are building clients. Long standing or established stylists/therapists should be “self seeding” and replenishing their own clients through the referral system. Be open about this strategy, the team need to be aware who gets new clients first, second and so on. As a business owner you also need to keep an eye on the Client Retention as well, the clients need to go to the stylist/ therapist who keeps them coming back.
Do you have appointments available?
Most new clients tend to visit on late nights or Saturday, these are generally our busiest times/days so make sure you have a team member who is building their clientele available at those times. I was recently talking to a salon owner who was spending a large amount of money on advertising but their new client numbers were very low. It was a seven day business but the staff they had working in the weekends were all fully booked with their existing clients, the new clients were stepping through the door but being turned away as there were no appointments available! Have a think about your availability at peak times or the opportunity of opening another late night?
When you put energy into a certain area of your business it always improves, by implementing these new client strategies you will be well on the way to future proofing your business.