Posts Tagged ‘business’

The Top 10 Reasons Salons Fail

by CurlStylist on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a good salon failing. After all, customers love coming in to get primped and permed - and as long as you have some great hairdressers and equally dedicated clients, what could go wrong?

The answer is: a lot can. Salons are no exception to the scary statistic we always hear about - that 50% of small businesses fail within their first five years of business.

So how can you stand above the rest? You’re probably doing a lot of things right. So let’s focus on what you might be doing wrong. Here are the top ten problems that bankrupt a salon.

  1. The Salon Offers Lackluster Customer Service

In this economy, personal grooming can feel more like an extravagance than a necessity. Often, patrons are hesitant to part with their hard-earned cash for “impractical” reasons. Therefore, it’s essential salons make customer service a top priority. Go the extra mile. Make sure your clients’ needs are met and then some! Make their visit to you about a lot more than simply getting their hair trimmed or eyebrows waxed - they need to come to you.

  1. You Skimp on the Details

Offer tea, coffee, or water and chocolate. Make sure the waiting area is comfortable and the environment is relaxed. Don’t deny your clients the little luxuries - this is where they come to be pampered. No one wants to spend fifty dollars on a hair cut if they have to sit in a hot room with old magazines and talk to rude receptionists. Ensure your waiting room is the kind of space you’d want to wait for an hour in - similarly, if you employ unpersonable staff, you might wind up with some pretty negative Yelp! reviews. Kick anyone who isn’t ready to be a team player to the curb!

  1. Your Business is Failing to Create a Strong Client Base

Call and ask for feedback about the service customers received. Offer referral incentives, open houses, and special deals for new and repeat customers! You’ll get more business and word-of-mouth buzz! This is hugely important for startup salons that are just starting to establish themselves. Pay attention to negative reviews online, customer complaints, and outright ask clients what you could be doing better.

  1. You Refuse to Adapt to New Salon Trends

A failure to adjust to the evolving landscape is a major cause of salon closings. In the past, the business model required salons hire permanent staff. Now, many establishments opt to rent out chairs to self-employed aestheticians and stylists.  This makes it easier to keep on top of whatever is en vogue while offering all of the typical, traditional services. Many clients come to you expecting to get some in-the-know advice - research, learn, and study your niche!

  1. You refuse to Diversify Services

While your dream may have been to open a salon that specilizes in high-end coloring, or a boutique that offers blow-outs and perms but little else, you may need to broaden your horizons a bit.  One-stop salons are incredibly high in demand - you save clients time, energy, and gas money by offering them anything they could possibly want under your roof. Many of your customers are working mothers, students, and professional multi-taskers. If you can provide them with a single place for quality cuts, facials, waxing, and manicures, you will become absolutely invaluable. Skin care is definitely having a moment in the salon industry, too, and your shop should rise to meet the growing need for licensed facialists.

  1. Your Ambience is Uninspired at Best

The atmosphere is as important as the service! People want to feel pampered and appreciated. Pay attention to key details like lighting, furniture, color, and design. You need to create a cohesive brand, even if that brand is “eclectic hole-in-the-wall stylist.” Everything you have should look clean, purposeful, and true to your aesthetic. You are an artist - create your studio!

  1. You Forget to Plan Ahead Financially

Are you in the business for its artistry? Fine. Just be sure you have a team in place that will help you handle the financial aspects. Part of being a business owner is knowing when to delegate. And those famous haircuts of yours are going to mean little to nothing if you run out of rent money.

  1. Your Location is Inconvenient for Customers

Are you in a metropolitan area but lack any access to parking structures? Are you too far away from the action to attract customers? It’s a cliche, but location matters! Look at how your salon fits into the general vibe of the scene and do some important analysis. Is it time for a move? Try to be honest and objective. If you absolutely can’t move at this time, try to think of things that would make it better - can you offer valet parking? Are there enough signs to ensure new clients can find your location in a packed mall?

  1. Your Business Hours Are Inconsistent or Inconvenient

Make sure you’re open when your clients have free time! Be diligent! Many salon-goers are mothers or working women who simply don’t have time in the most convenient hours of the day. Be willing to stay open if necessary. If you have a client with special needs, see if their stylist can set up a separate schedule to cater to them. People will remember that kind of generosity and customer service, and they definitely won’t be going anywhere else.

  1. You’re “Vibe” is Exclusive and Snobby

Make people feel great! Be friendly! New companies like Glossier and Nasty Gal are proving that being fun and inclusive is an awesome business strategy! Salons are meant to make everyone feel beautiful. Take part in that objective and make every man and woman coming through your door feel like they’re walking on sunshine.

Now, ready your blow dryers - and start proving that your salon is one of the best!

What do you love about your salon? What do you love about your talents? Showcase these things and believe in them wholeheartedly - your clientele will follow.

Would you implement these strategies? Tell us about your salon experiences! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Maximizing Your Salon Business with Social Media

by Cassadie on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

One of the hottest sessions at this year’s annual Paul Mitchell Gathering was not about how to achieve an avant-garde style or speed cutting. This time, it was a lesson in social media for salons. Lead by Johnny Royal of inDELIBLE, the social media company that powered the 2008 Obama + Shepard Fairey viral campaign and the soon-to-be-launched Paul Mitchell Truth About Curls Campaign, salon owners and stylists learned the ins-and-outs of social media and how a prominent social presence can increase business. Here are some tips from the session:

• 94% of businesses have some sort of social media presence. Social media is now a key part of any marketing strategy so make sure you have a presence!

• Facebook is a great way to promote your salon and leverage the social networks of your clients. For as little as $10 a day, you can also distribute Facebook ads.

• If your following is less than 10,000, make sure to manually post to Facebook and Twitter, rather than using an automatic service like Hootsuite. This will ensure that Facebook’s algorithms don’t skip over your posts and keep them fresh in the feed.

• Use Pinterest to humanize your business and show clients your aesthetics and unique brand personality.

Make Money & Get Creative with TIGI copyright©olour

by Advertorial on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Business basics for a salon are easy: market to the right customer and then keep that customer happy with good stylists and products. Done and done. But the financial basics behind a successful salon can be fleeting.

After all, when you finally get the clients you want, you want to make sure that you keep them happy. Often, that means expensive products and low turn-around which equals no profit. Running a business isn’t easy, especially one that is as client-focused as salons. Of course, if you stay up on the trends and are smart about what you buy, what you stock, what you use and who you hire, the pay off can be big for both the client and YOU (shocker!).

Cashing in on Color

To help on the color front, TIGI is introducing its new copyright©olour, a fully intermixable collection of shades individually crafted to use alone, mix and match or layer and blend to create your own personal coloring palette. Get this: because of the limitless color options due to the intermixability, there are fewer skus to stock and more colors to offer. Insert cash register sound here.

Of course, the product doesn’t just save you space and money, it allows you and your stylists to get creative and give your clients exactly what they want. You will no longer be caged by rules and shade options, and you can now create custom shades for clients and ensure 100 percent predictable results. Think it is too good to be true? Well, with a line that allows you to mix permanent tint with demi-permanent, demi-permanent with a 40 volume activator, high lift tint with permanent tint or permanent tint with an 8.5 volume activator, the sky is the limit on where your color creations can take you and your clients.

Because we know that numbers speak volumes next to words, we asked TIGI to pull some for us after we asked what the benefits for this would be for every colorist.

• Increased consistent coverage by 2x
• Enhanced color by 26 percent
• Improved wearability by 16 percent
• Improved combability by 5x
• Improved conditioning by 21 percent
• Percent alkalinity vs. competitors: 12 percent to 32 percent

So, back to the basics, TIGI copyright©olour is a pioneering innovation for infinite color creativity. Having the ability to intermix all TIGI copyright©olour crème emulsion products has resulted in a highly compact range being created, yet still with the capacity to create limitless color creations.

Overall, you lower your stock and increase your profit while allowing your stylists to express their creativity and provide your clients a coloring experience that no other salon can match. Now that’s a business basic.

Beach Waves, Keratin, and Curls…Oh My!

by Megan Dorcey on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

The Pravana Beach Wave

It’s (finally) summer time and although we are all excited about the warming trends, there is something more important that needs our attention: the hair trends. With every season comes a little something different and with beach vacations, pool parties, and everything in between, one trend that is sticking this summer season is the beachy wave. You can catch it everywhere from a Derek Lam runway show to this year’s MTV movie awards. So how do you, as a stylist, cash in on this trend? Do your homework!

Classes all over the country are being offered on a regular basis to help tame the frizzies and promote beautiful waves. Two educational endeavors that will ensure your pocket book success: keratin treatments and the beach wave.

Although many curl pro’s are leery about the keratin treatments, they really are hitting the market hard and curls of all kind are demanding the frizz-reducing treatment. So many of us curlies are at wit’s end during the humid summer months and these treatments are a saving grace! There are many different options when choosing a treatment: Braziliante, Brazilian Blowout, De Fabulous, Global Keratin, La Brasiliana, and the list goes on. The point is, research the products and understand what they offer your potential client.

As for the beach wave, this is a new spin on the “perm” which gives those of the non-curly persuasion a better option when it comes to wash-and-wear hair styles. This treatment gives clients a sense of freedom from their blow driers and flat irons, and letting them fit right in with the summer beach feel that everyone strives to achieve. The company standing at the forefront of the beach wave craze is Pravana. They offer Q&A’s on their site as well as class schedules (they will be on the east coast this summer so check out their schedule to get the nearest class information).

Need more exposure? Tons of stylists are already gaining new curly clients through’s advertising program. With well over 500,000 visits to the site each month, it’s a great way to grab the attention of the curly community. They will post an ad on the salon reviews section in your state so all of the curlies can find you! Make sure your salon is listed for all to find.

Crystal Wright

I am constantly speaking with stylists across the country about what they are doing in their salons to gain more exposure. I would love to hear what you are doing! Have questions about a certain brand/treatment/trend? Go ahead and email me your questions and comments!

Now to leave you all with a few words of wisdom from stylist and beauty guru Crystal Wright about building your business and client base. I prodded Crystal for a few tips for the CurlStylist audience while at the Mizani Forum in Houston. Her advice is precious, so listen up!

MD What are some of the biggest mistakes you see stylists making today?

CW: They don’t know what they don’t know. What I mean is, sometimes stylists don’t realize that they are working in a vacuum with only the limited information they have in their heads about a subject. Whether it’s working behind the scenes, opening up a new salon, adding a new employee, or choosing the furniture for your salon environment, in order to do it right it’s important to read your trades, do your homework, and seek the advice of people who know more than you and who can help you get to the next level even if it costs a little money. Rest assured that I have been penny wise and pound foolish. I’ve learned that the right book, or paying the right person for 30 minutes of advice can save thousands of dollars and so much time. I learned to call someone up and say “Can I buy 20 minutes of your time”.

MD: What is one key piece of advice you can give to someone wanting to change their lives professionally and personally?

CW: Just one! Ahh shucks. Plan to work and work the plan. That’s the advice that my sales manager at Xerox gave me over 20 years ago and it still works. The only time I falter is when I don’t have a plan. A real plan. One that’s written down on paper with a date from which you can work backwards. That date becomes an appointment that you have to keep, and it makes you accountable to yourself.

MD: Can I have two?

CW: Stop trying to fix everything that isn’t working all at once. You don’t have to do everything all at once. When you identify the things that aren’t working (personally or professionally) in your life you don’t have to fix them all next month. Fix one thing every 30 days.

End 2009 in Positive Territory

by Staff on Friday, September 25th, 2009

Nick Arrojo

Nick Arrojo

While the holiday season is usually the busiest time of year in salons, it’s also the best time to build business for the coming year by attracting new clients and prepping your loyal base for 2010. P&G Salon Professional, in its ongoing initiative to help salons conquer the current downturn, offers advice from some of its best-known and most successful salon owner partners.

Gift Certificates: Nick Arrojo at Arrojo Studio in New York City details a program that has been very successful in his salon. “Give the Gift of Great Hair” offers a special makeover for the recipient, including a consultation and haircut, a hair color process, a makeup application and lesson, and four take-home hair products. “Offer something out of the ordinary, like a year’s worth of Sebastian Cellophanes, at a special price—that’s the secret to successful gift cards,” says Arrojo.

Transform Referrals Into Forever Clients: Nick also knows referrals are a critical path to building success. “It’s better to have a lot more clients spending a little less money than to have fewer clients spending the same,” he says. The Arrojo Studio offers a “Rewards for Bringing a Friend” program for current or new clients who bring a friend who has never been to Arrojo Studio before. The deal? Two cuts and/or colors for the price of one!

Andrew Poulos

Andrew Poulos

Andrew Poulos of Diva International in San Francisco gives each new client a gift envelope with special offers for future services. He also advises follow-up calls or e-mails to solidify the salon’s and stylist’s connection with their new client.

“We call each client within 24–48 hours of their first appointment to be sure she feels she’s received the ultimate service,” says Poulos. “This follow-up keeps new clients connected to the salon. With color clients, we also call 5–7 days after the service to see how the new color is working for them.”

Use Social Media to Win: Vidal Sassoon’s Stephen Moody uses social media to keep in touch with clients and encourages them to post reviews on to build word-of-mouth business. There’s nothing like a posted recommendation from clients who love your salon.

Lock in Loyal Clients - “At Vidal Sassoon, we want to make each client into a ‘perfect’ client, [one] who depends on us for cut, color and retail products,” notes Moody. Build loyalty by using any open periods on your daily schedule, he suggests, to prepare for quality time with each client. Review your appointment book the night before to identify opportunities for incremental service and product sales.

Stephen Moody

Stephen Moody

Arrojo adds, “Our clients can get free bang trims and neck trims between appointments, free consultations, and free ten-minute makeup applications after a cut or color service.” His “Pre-Booking Discount” keeps clients coming back. If another appointment is pre-booked for within five weeks of the day of the client’s service, she receives a 10% discount when she returns.

Prepare Today for 2010: Capitalize on the busy holiday season to attract new clients and firm up your loyal client base for the year ahead. One reliable way of building revenue is to enhance the quality of the salon appointment.

“Elevate the client experience and create a festive feeling in your salon this season,” counsels Poulos. “We offer espresso and popular wines. We stock only name-brand products for retail sale and we explain how to use each product. Make her feel special and she’ll come back.”

Holiday and everyday retail tips: As a leader in salon retailing, the experts at P&G Salon Professional offer these important pointers for boosting year-end sales.

  • Promote gift and impulse purchases by packaging products in go-together sets. Sebastian offers holiday gift-with-purchase pre-packs that can be displayed prominently in the salon.
  • Merchandise promotions separately from regular stock, and place in high-traffic areas.
  • Position impulse items at the reception desk, such as Nioxin travel-sized products.
  • Announce the specifics of your promotion with signage on or near the product display.
  • Display every product a minimum of 3-deep on the shelves. Now is not the time to run out!
  • Keep your display area neat, clean and clutter free. Have junior stylists straighten and re-stock the retail display every evening.
  • Use shelf-talkers and other manufacturer-provided signs within your display to speak directly to the client.

Check for more ideas.

Average Salaries

by Staff on Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The average salary range for salon professionals in the U.S. is $30,000-$48,000, excluding tips. The Northeast region tends to pay the highest salaries, while the North Central region pays the lowest.

— Source: Job Demand in the Cosmetology Industry 2007, a national survey conducted for the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences

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