It’s all very well having a Salon Business Plan. But if that plan doesn’t include specific details about how you’re actually going to find clients, then it isn’t worth much as a plan.
Here’s a great example of how to ‘put a salon business plan into action’.
George and Kim Astropalitis were in a quandary. Their Chroma Hair Studio business in Highgate Hill, Brisbane was faced with a huge opportunity, but they just weren’t sure how to capitalize on it.
A salon in the next suburb had gone out of business. George had a hunch the failed salon might possess a very large database of past and present clients, since it had been operating for many years. But how to get hold of that database? And what to do with it if he did?
The answer to the first question was simple. He just called the owner, and asked if she’d like to sell her client list. Clearly unaware that the real value of any business is ‘in the list’, she agreed to sell the client roll…for basically lunch money, a few hundred dollars.
But what now? George signed up as a Client Attraction System member, and with the guidance of our Facebook Group, got to work on a carefully-planned strategy to wring as much value from the new database as possible.
First, creating a special ‘hidden’ page on the website and then, developing a series of email and SMS messages directing the target market to that page.
Within two weeks, Chroma Hair Studio had nearly ONE HUNDRED new clients. And that’s just the start. Here’s George on video, describing what happened, and how they did it.
George: So a salon in our area, regrettably, you know, these things happen and they close down. We were able to contact the previous owner. And we were able to buy her database, her computer and database list of clients on.
We’ve taken that and we’ve imported that into our, our Point Of Sale software system and we’ve started a series of campaign with, with Greg’s guidance in terms of offers and how we should structure things.
And we’ve got a series of email and SMS happening and that’s going out to the previous clients of that salon that closed down.
Greg: And what results have you had so far from that, George?
George: Yeah, pretty good, um, what we’re going out by email and SMS at the same time. We did our first round of all sending out about 10 days or so ago. And in that first round we booked around 80 clients looking for appointments with us. And of course, we’re trying to do all the right things internally and you know, get the re-bookings right and get them returning again. And we’ve just, today, done our second round of marketing and again that’s via email and SMS and the phones are running hot again this morning. I can see that in terms of people filling in online forms, and in the first couple of hours this morning, we’ve got 15 or 18 forms (filled in) for us to call people back and book them in. And the girls informed me that the, the phone has been running off the hook again at the actual salon where people ringing to take up the offer and book appointments in.
Greg: And so what are the numbers you bought a database, you paid a few hundred dollars for a database of how many clients?
George: Ah, so look, they had 10,000 – about 10,000 people in the database, not sure how up to date the database was. I suspect some of that was quite old, may be irrelevant, but nonetheless, it still gives us another name or number that you can reach out, that you can, you can, you reach and make contact.
Greg: And how many do you think you’ve reached out and actually made contact with?
George: In terms of the people who’ve rung and made appointments, I’d say that we’re approaching 100 or past the hundred mark. So you know, that’s a hundred new people coming into our salon from a couple of marketing campaigns.
Greg: And a hundred people at say, $1,000 a year each if they stay on?
George: Yeah it’d be nice to keep them as a regular. You know what we’ve got to get ourselves a benchmark of what we’d like to retain of those people are but yes, certainly if we retained a hundred of these people as a regular client, yeah, it would have to be worth $100,000 or $150,000 a year to the turnover of the business.
Greg: So, the process you went through was you set up the offers on your website and then you emailed the client base you SMSd them with links to that page on your website?
George: Yeah, we created like a hidden page on our website. We had the offers on there, we had a video that you recommended we do, and that actually has gone really well. So we did an invitation, a welcome video and then of course, we just used the link to that secret page on our website and that went into the SMS’s and the email. So they were clicking through essentially going through our website and then from there they could either fill out a form or they could just give us a call. Salons and spas close down every day, every week, all over the place.
Greg: So what would you recommend people try to contact those former owners and, and perhaps look at buying their databases?
George: Oh yeah, look, uh huh yeah, buying this database with kind of an off the cuff thought for us, it’s not something that we really considered as a strategic marketing ploy, but based on what we’ve seen already yeah if your thing. Yeah, if you’re seeing a hair salon or beauty salon in your vicinity closing down, it is definitely worth contacting that, that previous owner and seeing whether they’re willing to sell you their client database. It’s definitely been a positive outcome for us.
It's all very well having a Salon Business Plan. But if that plan doesn't include specific details about how you're actually going to find clients, then it isn't worth much as a plan. Here's a great example of how to 'put a salon business plan into action'. George...
'Everybody' is rushing headlong into social media, Facebooking and Instagramming themselves into a lather of red-faced emotional excitement. It's the bright shiny object, and the 'experts' are shouting at whomever will listen, "don't bother with anything else,...
I get literally hundreds of emails every day. And I don't mind, because I study a lot of them for clues to getting better response to my own email marketing. So, if you're using email to market to your clients, here are a couple of things you need to pay attention to....
There are many ways to dominate any given market in the salon & spa industry. You can have product dominance, when your product or service is the only such product or service in your area. You can have demographic dominance, where more people in any given...
Most business owners simply leave everything too LATE to capitalize on marketing opportunities in the hair & beauty business. And you don't have to be a genius to identify many of these opportunities, they're scheduled in the calendar years in advance. For...
"...We are stoked and plan to run this sale the entire month of June in 2011!" Inner Circle member (3 years) Molly Verbrugge of Indulgences in Little Rock, Arkansas, is justifiably glowing after a Worldwide Salon Marketing promotion she used for just two weeks...
‘Everybody’ is rushing headlong into social media, Facebooking and Instagramming themselves into a lather of red-faced emotional excitement. It’s the bright shiny object, and the ‘experts’ are shouting at whomever will listen, “don’t bother with anything else, Facebook etc is where you need to be.”
Well, let’s get a little perspective here. Sometimes, you need to take a deep breath and look at things with a little of what I call ‘accurate thinking.’
Let’s take a quick look at what kinds of media are available for salon & spa owners to use in their marketing. I’ll lump Facebook, Google, email, Twitter, mobile phones and anything else you use a screen to look at as ‘Online’. (And I’ll include in that the ‘daily deals’, which are marketed exclusively online.)
Then there’s everything else. All that old-fashioned, dreary, clunky, ‘expensive’ stuff that suddenly is so Nineties, so last season; direct mail, print advertising, TV and radio, outdoor advertising – I’ll lump all that together and call it ‘Offline’.
It seems pretty clear to me that salon & spa owners are increasingly falling in love with ‘online’, rushing to it like lemmings to the edge of the cliff. And in the mad rush, increasingly ignoring everything else. Email, social media, web marketing are the new Kings, relegating ‘traditional’ media as mere serfs and peasants.
Well, I’m here to tell ya, if that’s how you’re thinkin’, you’re missing opportunity. There IS validity in the argument that says “look around at what everybody else is doing, and do exactly the opposite. The herd, as Warren Buffett is fond of saying, is almost always wrong.
Victoria’s Secret mail 400 million catalogs a year. Hmmm, if online marketing’s so hot, why would they do that?
Here’s why you need to pay attention:
As more and more businesses abandon ‘old-fashioned’ media in favor of the siren call of online, seduced by it’s newness, it’s perceived cheapness, its ‘instant’ results, they’re unwittingly running into quicksand. The law of diminishing returns applies. You can double the power of a car’s engine, but the speed only increases by 30%, not 100%.
The more people rush to online, the more difficult it is to attract attention, to be heard above the ever-growing noise.
And suddenly, back in the ‘offline’ room, you can hear a whisper. Because nobody’s there. And that’s where opportunity lies, my friends.Think about this: your mailbox was once one of the few methods by which advertisers could reach you. Today, almost nobody sends marketing by direct mail any more.
And here’s the secret: those in the ‘almost nobody’ category are reaping the rewards of near-empty mailboxes.
According to the Direct Marketing Association of America, Victoria’s Secret ships more than 400 MILLION catalogs a year in the US alone – that’s 1.33 per person. And merchants across the US are sending a total of over 20 billion catalogs annually, a figure that’s increasing by 5% annually.
They’re doing it because
a) it works. And it’s working better and better, as it competes with fewer and fewer marketing messages directed at the consumer’s physical mailbox. The air in the mailbox is getting clearer and clearer.
b) They’ve figured out that ignoring direct mail would actually reduce the effect of the effort their putting in online.
The really smart businesses are increasing their use of old-fashioned media, not decreasing it. Victoria’s Secret sales generated by a combination of catalog-driving-to-online are increasing 10% annually, compared with only 4% annual increase in the company’s stores.
Is online really the ‘holy grail’? Not according to some of the world’s biggest ‘online’ companies. Google persistently uses hard copy to pitch its ad space. Hmmm. If Google can’t figure out how to market themselves using only online media, how are you doing?
Price comparison website moneysupermarket.com has just hired a direct marketing company to manage its first hard-copy mail campaign. Huh? Now, hooda thunk it – why would an online company want to use old-fashioned, clunky letters ‘n stamps ‘n envelopes?
And as more and more email becomes pesky, direct mail becomes more welcomed. According to research by Pitney-Bowes (admittedly a direct mail specialist) more than half of people surveyed got annoyed by monthly emails. Only 23% found regular direct mail aggravating.
There are very good reasons we at WSM focus a large amount of time on creating more and more advertising and marketing templates for our member salons in a form designed to be used in good ole hard copy; print ads, posters, letters, mailbox flyers and more. Email and other forms of online marketing might be efficient. But nothing is as effective, as long-lasting as hard copy.
I get literally hundreds of emails every day. And I don’t mind, because I study a lot of them for clues to getting better response to my own email marketing.
So, if you’re using email to market to your clients, here are a couple of things you need to pay attention to.
Here’s what NOT to do; below is a picture from part of my inbox. Now, in this case I’m using Gmail. As you can see from these two examples, the subject lines (in bold) are dreary enough to deserve instant deletion.
But it gets worse. Right after the subject line, text that screams
“This is a boring, automatically-generated piece of advertising junk, please ignore me!”
Now, the reason this happens is because these businesses are
a) not very clever at this sort of thing, and don’t actually examine their own marketing, and
b) they’re sending email using an html editor, which inserts all sorts of graphics and pictures to make it look pretty.
What they’re too dumb to figure out is that people like to feel they’re being written to personally, not just a number in a mass marketing exercise.
The non-bolded line of the first email above is clearly taken from the first line of the html email below:
Second, there was absolutely zero attempt to mail-merge my name into the subject of the email. These days, there’s no excuse for this.
Third, you wouldn’t email your mother with fancy graphics, headers and pictures, you’d write to her in plain text, with not much more than a ‘love from Mary XXXX’ at the bottom of it. So why would you inhibit your chances of intimacy, of relationship-building with your intended audience, by cluttering it up with obviously-advertising graphics etc?
Back to subject lines – the subject line is simply the HEADLINE for the email. It has one job, and one job only, and that’s to get the damn thing opened and read. Nothing more.
Your email could have vital information in it about the outbreak of World War III, but unless the subject line is compelling, the war’s just going to pass people by.
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Salon owner and WSM member Cherie Underwood is a passionate convert to the power of her salon’s online presence to attract customers
There are many ways to dominate any given market in the salon & spa industry. You can have product dominance, when your product or service is the only such product or service in your area. You can have demographic dominance, where more people in any given demographic come to your salon as against all the competition.
And you can have media dominance, where your marketing message gets the lion’s share of any given media in that particular market.
Here’s an example of Media Dominance that most salon owners would give their right arm for. In Jannali, in the southern suburbs of Sydney, long-time Worldwide Salon Marketing member Cherie Underwood has owned Femme Fatale Beauty & Skin Care for a number of years. Several years ago WSM constructed a website for Cherie, which quickly became the top-ranked website for relevant search terms in her area. Last year, we built her another website – because it’s better to have two, three, ten websites than just one. A quick Google search for ‘beauty salon Jannali’ now brings up the following results on Page One of Google: When you analyze it, there are a number of things worth pointing out here: 1) Cherie’s original website, www.femmefatalebeauty.com.au, is the very first result on Page One. 2) One of the pages from that website is listed at No. 2 3) The YouTube video we set up for Cheri on her own YouTube channel is listed at No. 3 – important because about 30% of all online searches are for videos. Note that the link to the video contains her salon’s phone number; important because getting a phone call to book an appointment is certainly her Most Wanted Response 4) Cherie’s salon is listed at the very top of Google’s map listings for salons in Jannali. Here’s another example of Media Domination online. In Manly (Sydney) the competition among cosmetic clinics is fierce. But WSM member Alice Cassidy of Manly Cosmetic & Laser Clinic is enjoying marketplace dominance on the world’s biggest search engine thanks in large part to the ‘secret sauce’ SEO strategies our Director of Online, George Slater and his team inject into the websites we build for members. High up on the first page of Google search – for the search phrase ‘botox manly’ – Alice’s business occupies no fewer than four of the top five positions. The point is this: a combination of time, careful construction, frequent website updating, and an understanding of what it takes has given Cherie media dominance of her market. By achieving the top four spots on search listings, Cherie’s business has automatically reduced the amount of her competition her prospective customers can find. You simply can’t do it any better than that.
Ashleigh Mills of Ashleigh Renea Hair & Beauty in Katanning, WA; $3,000 in gift voucher sales in two hours
Most business owners simply leave everything too LATE to capitalize on marketing opportunities in the hair & beauty business. And you don’t have to be a genius to identify many of these opportunities, they’re scheduled in the calendar years in advance. For example, Mothers Day. (In most of the world, the second Sunday in May)
But great rewards come to those who plan well in advance. For example, long-time WSM member Ashleigh Mills of Ashleigh Renea Hair & Beauty in regional Western Australia.
With Mothers Day approaching, Ashleigh decided she needed military-style planning and precision to make the most of this major ‘salon marketing trigger’ event in any salon’s annual calendar.
From the WSM Members Only ‘sealed section’ resources website, Ashleigh downloaded a series of templates for email marketing, planned her campaign several weeks out, and drew up a schedule of out-bound marketing pieces to her database of clients.
On the appointed date, she pulled the trigger. On Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, Ashleigh arrived at work early. Just as well. Before she’d even opened for business, the phone started ringing, and didn’t stop for two hours.
And that’s in a little country town of just a few thousand people. Here’s how Ashleigh describes that morning, and the lead-up to it.
Ashleigh and hundreds of other smart salon owners around the world have 24/7 access to the huge library of resources in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ website, plus the world’s best online marketing tools, templates and systems in the ‘done-for-you’ My Social Salon marketing program, ONLY for salons & spas.
All NEW Mothers Day advertising, posters, fliers – instant downloads for Members
We’re adding dozens of new salon advertising and marketing templates to the Members only ‘sealed section’ website site every month – in March, a completely new series of templates for one of the BIGGEST salon marketing events of the year.
Mothers Day is a big day for salons & spa marketing all over the world. It’s when thousands of salons make (or should make!) a large part of their annual revenue.
But so many face the thought of marketing with a shudder – all that work!
Not for Worldwide Salon Marketing members. As always, we provide our members with fresh direct response marketing templates – for all the major Marketing Trigger Events – throughout the year.
You’ll find them in various sizes and formats, both US and A4, postcards, posters etc.
The new templates join literally hundreds of done-for-you advertising only for salons & spas, in the world’s biggest specialist library for salon & spa marketing.
All you do is simply download them from the website, edit them to suit your own salon’s offers and specialties, enter your own business name and address, and bingo – instant advertising! Never again stare at a blank computer screen, not knowing what to write or how to lay it out.
These templates are being continually produced by our copywriting and graphics team, adding to our vast library every month.
The Members website is a storehouse containing literally years of proven, done-for-you direct response marketing templates. They’ve been downloaded, tested and proven to grab salon clients fast, all over the world.
Online marketing, email, SMS, newspaper ads, radio ads, salon posters, client letters – you’ll find them all on the Members Only website.
Not yet a member?
Still sitting in front of a computer screen, tearing your hair out, not knowing what to put in your ads?
“…We are stoked and plan to run this sale the entire month of June in 2011!”
Inner Circle member (3 years) Molly Verbrugge of Indulgences in Little Rock, Arkansas, is justifiably glowing after a Worldwide Salon Marketing promotion she used for just two weeks in June this year boosted sales to $81,235 – a staggering DOUBLE her takings of $41,956 for the same two week period in 2009.
Now if that doesn’t get your attention, you’d have to be comatose from the neck up.
It came about after a coaching call with Tim & Kanna Reilly in our Arizona office, after they’d modified and implemented a WSM marketing campaign in their own clinic in Scottsdale.
“After speaking with Tim and giving my review of our discussion to Leslie (my spa manager), she and I decided we might benefit from running the promotion ourselves! Well, we started running the sale on June 17th.
We sent email blasts along with approximately 5 newspaper ads totalling a cost of around $750. We began the sale on June 17th and it ran until July 3, 2010. Last year during the time-frame of June 17th thru July 3rd, we had total revenues of $41,956, this year our total revenues were$81, 235!!!
We are stoked and plan to run this sale the entire month of June in 2011.
Thank You Tim and Kanna and Worldwide Salon Marketing for your invaluable marketing ideas!
Husband-and-wife team Tim & Kanna Reilly’s Body Solutions Laser & Skin in Scottsdale, Arizona, grew 63% in 2009 – after a massive 500% increase in 2008 – thanks to the marketing and ‘sales thinking’ tools in the Inner Circle marketing & mentoring program…
Successful marketing is NOT about re-inventing the wheel, unless you’re particularly a) rich, and b) prefer to risk your money on experimentation. Tim and Kanna had proven this particular strategy works, having rolled it out with massive results every year for three years.
Here’s how Kanna describes the promotion:
“We started it in 2008 when we came to our One Year Anniversary, and now do what we call the “Penny Sale” every year. It happens to be June. We ran the Penny sale for the entire month.
We printed the copy on paper with US pennies around the borders. We also e-mailed out to our database of customers 4 times that month. No other advertising at all, just e-mail and in store flyers! You can also mail out to your client database in an envelope with pennies printed on it. This year our total gross sales for June was up 62% over our average monthly sales.
We originally did this for a few reasons:
1. To let clients know that we are celebrating our anniversary and to let them know that we appreciate their patronage and loyalty and to reward them we offer the penny sale.
2. July and August are brutal in Arizona as our temperatures reach 110 degrees F and over. Many people leave town for weeks on end to avoid the heat. So in order to boost sales and keep people coming in we offer the Penny Sale. Originally, this helped us pay the rent for the two months in advance while our books were slower in the beginning for those hotter months. You can also use this strategy to pre-pay for equipment investments or Salon renovations etc.
What we found:
1. We found that many of our higher margin, more costly services was what people bought the most of (which was fine with me).
2. We also found that clients purchased services they didn’t regularly come in for or had never tried before.
3. We received and still receive more referrals in the month of June than any other month of the year.
There are many ways to use this program. You can run it for only a few days, or a few weeks, or for the entire month as we do.
Remember to remind your client base about the Penny Sale and when it will end. We had a majority of our sales come in the final week as people rushed in or called their orders in by phone. And when we ran our final e-mail that in 24 hours the sale would be over we could hardly keep up with the phone volume.