by Greg Milner | Jun 2, 2017 | Australia, Featured, Online Marketing, Salon Marketing Online, Salon SMS Marketing
Last year Microsoft shelled out $26 billion – yes, that’s twenty six billion dollars – to take over LinkedIn. Just think about that for a minute – $26 billion is greater the entire Gross Domestic Product of more than half the countries in the whole world.
And why would Microsoft do that? LinkedIn’s total revenue in 2015 was a paltry $670-odd million. So Microsoft is hardly interested in LinkedIn for its profits.
Nope. Microsoft is prepared to make the biggest purchase in its 40 year history to get hold of LinkedIn’s 350 million members. And most of that 350 million are high-value professionals of some kind.
Microsoft recognises that the real money is in the list of customers.
So how does this relate to your small salon or spa in Downtown Anywhere? For exactly the same reason – the real money is in your list of customers, clients and prospects.
Last week, veteran WSM member Nicole Panayiotou, owner of a successful salon in the Victorian country town of Sale decided she wanted to boost sales for June, and at the same time clean up her large database of several thousand clients and former clients.
Here’s what she did:
1) At my suggestion, she shot a short video on her mobile phone, sent it to one of my team at Worldwide Salon Marketing, and we loaded it up onto her salon’s website. You can see that video here.
2) Next, she made a list of 150 clients she hadn’t see in a few months, and wrote them a cute letter – a variation of our famous Rupert the Dog letter – except in this case the letter was ‘written’ by her baby daughter Billie. (WSM members can download a copy of that letter from the Salon Marketing Resources Library here.)
3) At the same time, she used her database – her list – to find another 400 such ‘missing in action’ clients with mobile phone numbers, and sent them a text message that read as follows:
“Want a FREE $50 voucher? Click the link to redeem it! We miss you at Blush x. http://www.beauty-salon-sale.com/we-miss-you – Reply stop to opt out.”
The link in the SMS took recipients to the new video on her website here, and under the video, a simple form to fill in and get the gift voucher.
“I sent 150 letters, got 3 clients back off the first letter. Sent 400 texts, got 11 opt outs and 7 clients back in! Still got more to send so extending it (the offer) thru till end July. Great chance to clean up data base so I’m happy.”
Now, before you dismiss that as a poor result, think about it; with a simple, easily-implemented promotion using just a tiny section of her existing list of clients, she resurrected ten ‘missing in action’ clients, with the chance to turn them once again into regular buyers. At say, $1,000 a year per client, it’s a cheap way to regenerate $10,000 a year revenue.
That’s the value, and the money, in a well maintained list. And that’s why Microsoft is spending $26 billion to get hold of one.
Want results this like this? Sign up for the Lite program now, just $59, no ongoing costs.
by Greg Milner | Dec 29, 2015 | Featured, Selling Salon Products, The Right Mindset, The Smell of Success
You’ve no doubt read many articles telling you what to do to become successful in your personal and business life. This is all very well and good, but I’m sure you have also figured out by now that there is no magic trick to win this race.
There is no quick fix or shortcut to the fame and glamour most of us dream of. So where does that leave us?
As part of my role at Timely salon software, I frequent many expos and networking events. Just recently I attended Beauty Expo Australia, and the highlight this year was talking with Julie Piantadosi. She is a no-nonsense type of gal, with a highly contagious and positive spirit. Her wealth of business experience makes her a powerful and effective speaker. As I chatted with her and listened to all the amazing things she does, I couldn’t help but wonder “How does Julie do it!?”
Check out Julie’s website here!
by Greg Milner | Nov 16, 2015 | Salon Marketing Online, The Smell of Success
What really matters to a prospective buyer – and the nonsense business brokers, accountants and your closest friends will tell you.
“I’m going to put my salon on the market,” said a confident young lady on the phone to me the other day. “I’ve worked hard for five years, it’s time to start a family.”
So, I asked, is the business ready for sale?
“I think so. I take a good salary, we have great products, lots of regular clients, and the salon looks wonderful and it’s in a great location…”
But when I started asking questions, I could tell from the tone of her replies that this was going to be a disappointing conversation for her. And that’s because there’s a gaping chasm between what the owner of a business thinks has value, and what an astute prospective buyer thinks is valuable.
(And I use the word ‘astute’ advisedly. With stars in their eyes, many a beauty therapist or stylist on the hunt for their own business will fall in love with the ‘pretty’ surface and fail to look at what really matters.)
Add value to your business with a Worldwide Salon Marketing membership. Check it out here.
First, the ‘standard’ way to value a business.
An accountant will look at a business the way accountants do, with a calculator, analysing past performance, profit and loss, assets and liabilities, and come up with a ‘valuation’ for you based on those bare essentials. Valid, certainly, but extremely limited, and limiting. Past performance is only half of the story.
Stock, fixtures and fittings and shop lease (again, obviously)
Yes, they may have some value. But have you ever tried to sell second-hand furniture? It’s worth next to nothing. Retail products? You’ll need to be a very good salesperson to get anything like what you paid for it. And an astute buyer will screw you down on the remaining term of the shop lease, knowing you’re legally obliged unless they’re prepared to have the lease assigned to them.
Then there’s that hoary old chestnut,
It’s just air. Business vendors will, usually on the advice of their accountant/broker/business coach, attempt to ascribe a dollar value to that most intangible of intangibles, the ‘goodwill’ or loyalty of the customers to the business. These days, there is little or no loyalty. And buyers know it. Don’t even think about trying to pull that one over them.
Now to the stuff you haven’t thought about, and certainly your accountant hasn’t.
By far the most valuable, most measurable part of your business is your list. Your list of clients, customers and prospective customers held in an orderly, well-maintained electronic database containing not only their full contact details (name, email address, phone number, and most importantly, physical mailing address) but their spending habits and booking frequency.
This is the gold. This is the thing that a buyer can look at and determine with reasonable accuracy the current health of the business, and its potential, given a more robust and refined marketing program. If you software program is set up correctly, a prospective buyer will also be able to determine what marketing information you’ve been sending out to that database, and its responsiveness.
Your list has a strategic value in and of itself. If I were buying a salon, it’s the first thing I’d look at, not the financials of the business. I’d then put that list alongside the financials, and try to find cause and effect.
Then I’d take a very close look at the thing that really matters…
Your marketing infrastructure, both online and offline.
The second most important, most valuable, and easily the most measurable asset of any local business like a hair or beauty salon is…drum roll please…your online presence.
Thanks to technology, an astute buyer will demand your Google logins. Why? Give me your Google account logins and within one minute I’ll be able to tell exactly how many phone calls and website visits you’ve had in the last 30 days or 90 days from people searching for a hair salon or a beauty salon in your area. Here’s an example; the Google Insights figures for one of our Member salons, in the little South Australian town of Port Pirie.
It shows that this salon received 74 phone calls in the last 30 days from people who had Googled a beauty salon in Port Pirie and called the business using the ‘click to call’ function provided by Google.
In addition, the salon received 67 clicks through to its website from the Google Plus listing in search results, which would have produced another raft of phone calls.
Here’s what Amber Clayton, the owner of that salon, says about the value of her local search ranking:
This is important, value-adding stuff. For a prospective buyer, it is incontrovertible proof that the investment put into online marketing by this salon owner is paying off in easily-measured numbers.
It means I, the buyer, can count on getting a steady stream of appointment-producing phone calls. And that means sales, and profits. And that means you can put a defined value on that online presence, quite apart and separate from any valuation your accountant might put on past revenue and profit. (You should also know – and Google provides the tools to find this out – how many people are searching online for a hair stylist or beauty therapist in your area in any one month period.)
Your presence in social media also matters, though not to the extent that Google ranking does. How many Facebook fans you have, how many Instagram followers you have, matters in that it gives a buyer a sense of how active and productive you are on social media.
But don’t be fooled, or try to fool – Facebook and Instagram followers are not customers. They’re just fans. People who actually call your business are customers (or potential customers).
You should also be keeping accurate records of responses, sales and re-bookings from your offline marketing – mailbox flyers, direct mail to clients, newsletters, ads in newspapers. As a buyer, I want to know, because those figures give me a precise record of what works for the business and what doesn’t.
These things have real value. They are the value of your business.
So yes, financials and balance sheets matter. But smart buyers know they’re only part of the story. And they are past history. The only figures that can give me a picture of the future are those produced by the marketing metrics above.
If you don’t know what your marketing metrics are, then you – and the buyer – are floundering in the dark.
NOTE: members of our My Social Salon flagship marketing program – such as Amber Clayton – get all the above and more as part of our service. Click here to find out more.
by Greg Milner | Oct 13, 2015 | Salon Advertising Tips
I’d be filthy rich if I had a dollar for every time a salon or spa owner has told me “My product suppliers provide all the marketing I need…”
The image you see here is the kind of marketing ‘advice’ some product suppliers are handing out to their retail partners. (I’ve blotted out the name of the product to save embarrassment.)
“Business growth is easy with (name of product):
- Advertise your unique service
- if the ad pays for itself, run it again”
Wow. Brilliant. So that’s all there is to it. Gosh, and here I was, misguidedly thinking for all these years that business growth was a whole lot more complicated than that. Silly me.
Sarcasm aside, the ‘advice’ above unhelpfully fails to address quite a few crucial questions, such as:
- Who is the Target Market for my advertising?
- What do I say in my ad that will appeal to that particular target market?
- What offer should I make to them?
- How do I get them to pick up the phone and order now, rather than next week, or next month?
- How to I prove that what I’m selling them actually works?
To advertise anything effectively, you need great answers to those questions.
Fortunately, you don’t need to dream up all that stuff yourself. As a Member of our Salon Accelerator program, you get instant access to more than 1,500 tested, proven, done-for-you salon & spa advertising templates.
The writing and graphic design has been done for you. All you have to do is download, edit to suit your salon, and send to print.
NO CONTRACTS. Find out more here.
by Greg Milner | Oct 7, 2015 | Featured, US
Nina Murray joins us from the little lakeside town of Moses Lake in Washington State, about a three hour drive east of Seattle.
“I graduated from Massage school, top of my class, in 2009 and started my business, Knot Release Therapies (www.knotreleasetherapies.com), as soon as I had my license in my hot little hand. I worked by myself for a couple of years, until my oldest son was 14 then I had him working as my receptionist. Two years ago I hired my first employee.
“I had worked with a business coach for a couple of years. I’m always on the lookout for the best way to market my business. That is when I found your book (The Big Salon Marketing Blunders and How to Avoid Them) and really enjoyed what I was learning from it because it was so different from what I had been told or even from what I was used to when I worked in marketing,” says Nina.
So why did you join Worldwide Salon Marketing?
“I try to be cautious when it comes to doing marketing online, so I did a lot of research to make sure that your company was real. I liked what I heard and read, so I thought I would give it a try.”
“I’ve learned that emotional marketing really works! I didn’t realize how powerful it is. Thursday I decided to try the massage template. When I called my receptionist, and told her the deal we were going to do, she got all excited and said that is such a good deal…even though all I had done was raise my price by $20 and put a value on all the included things that we already do!
“We sold $300 the first day. I have one client who is going to let me know tomorrow how many of the packages she wants for stocking stuffers!”