Dear Diary,

The other day I called in on a cafe that I occasionally visit on the way to work. I’ve gotten to know the owner a little, over the years, and on this day, the cafe was empty and she was sitting on a stool, tooling around on her phone.

“Hi Cindy, how’s it going?” I asked breezily.

“Bloody awful,” she said, gesturing around the empty cafe. It was nearly lunchtime, it should have been busy. “I just don’t know what’s happened, business has just…dwindled off…”

I actually DID know what had happened. Another cafe had opened nearby – brighter, better food, happy staff, clever marketing (they were using Instagram to brilliant effect), and Cindy’s business was suffering.

“So, what are you doing about it?” I inquired.

“There’s not much I can do,” she moaned. “I sit here and wait for the customers to come, and they don’t…”

I could have taken her by the scruff of the neck and shaken her. There she was, doodling around on Facebook, for crying out loud, and whining about ‘how bad things are.’

Had she done any marketing to her list of regular clients, with an offer? Nope. Had she sent a staff member out into the street, handing out a ‘buy one, get one free’ gift voucher to passers-by? Ah, no. Instead of idly browsing inane cat videos on Facebook, had she actually done any paid advertising on Facebook to drive people to her website? Negative.

I ran off a string of other ‘actions’ she could be taking to generate business. She shook her head at all of them. Sadly, she was sitting on her stool, waiting for something to happen, rather than taking Massive Action.

To be frank, she’s no orphan in this. Many owners of small businesses are the same. In fat times, most are too busy taking easy orders to even think about the possible lean times ahead. Most pay little attention to threats to the business. And hardly anyone is prepared to take the massive action required to combat such threats, let alone thrive in the face of them.

Success in fat times is easy, even for the lazy. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Churchill said “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.”

But he didn’t mean enthusiasm for failure. In nearly 15 years of consulting to and advising salon & spa owners on their marketing strategies, I’ve spoken to literally thousands. And the statistics never change.

Eighty percent do nothing, change nothing, take little or no action to change their circumstances. They fall at the first hurdle, whine that ‘it’ doesn’t work. And sulk. Ten percent get to the second, even the third hurdle, and give up.

Only the top ten percent keep going. Many of those ‘ten percenters’ have been members of our Worldwide Salon Marketing online and offline programs for years and years. They understand that not everything works, all the time. Success isn’t linear. It’s not about taking consecutive actions. It’s about doing lots of things, simultaneously. Such as…

·        Regularly, frequently reaching out to your list of clients and prospective clients via email, text, social media with compelling offers to get them in the door.

·        Being pro-active about ensuring your business is visible to prospective clients searching for your products or services online. That means either doing your own SEO (search engine optimizing) or paying a professional to do it for you.

·        Being a Nazi about customer service – constantly training your staff, being ruthless about how you want things done.

·        Planning your marketing months ahead, using a big wall calendar, or even the calendar on our Mobile App, My Salon Success.

·        Accessing relevant tools and techniques – like the Client Attraction System website, which houses literally hundreds of done-for-you marketing for salons & spas that you can download and use, any time of the day or night.

·        Planning and executing – well ahead of time – special events like Client Appreciation Nights, new product launches, membership programs, marketing ‘trigger’ events like Christmas, Mothers Day, major national holidays.

·        Taking advantage of ‘news’ events – and rapidly tailoring promotions to ‘hook in’ on what people are already talking about.

·        Monitoring and measuring the results of your marketing efforts, so you know from day to day what’s working, what isn’t working.

If you’re not doing at least some of the above, all the time, you’re sitting on your stool, like Cindy the Miserable Cafe Owner.


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