The salon industry is customer service-oriented. This means that customer satisfaction should be the core of your business philosophy. When your clients walk through your doors, they expect to be pampered and treated like a queen. But you can’t expect your customers to feel like royalty inside a shabby beauty salon. Unless you apply for beauty salon financing, renovating your salon can cost you thousands in out-of-pocket expenses.
Fortunately, you don’t have to remodel your existing salon from scratch to improve customer experience. Here are five simple ways to improve your salon ambiance and attract more clients without breaking the bank:
1. Offer Complimentary Beverages
Salons usually offer water to clients, but you can go the extra mile and provide a selection of beverages your customers will love. Keep your beauty and hair salon stocked with drinks like coffee, juice, tea, or soda. You can even offer ‘mock-tails’ on weekends or specialty drinks during the holidays, such as hot chocolate on Christmas or pumpkin lattes on Thanksgiving.
2. Curate a Special Scent for Your Salon
Peppermint, rosemary, lemon, and lavender are just some of the scents that are proven to boost mood and productivity. But keep in mind that the last thing you want to do is overdo the scent. You can use candles, diffuse, and essential oils to infuse the scent throughout your salon or spa.
3. Add Relaxing Sounds
What would you feel if you walked into a salon and rock music played? This shows how sounds and music can impact the salon's ambiance. You can add waterfalls on your walls for a soothing sound, or curate a nature sound playlist you can play on your speakers. Soft, instrumental music helps as well. Combining these sounds helps create a serene and relaxing environment in your beauty salon, which will serve as a welcome escape for your clients from the rat race and the stresses of the day.
4. Revamp Your Waiting Area
Ideally, your customers shouldn’t have to wait long hours for their appointments. However, there will be times when they will probably have to wait for their turn for many reasons. No one wants to wait, but if your customers really have to, best to make their wait as comfortable as possible.
While it doesn’t necessarily mean tearing down the entire area of your existing salon, you can make small changes to improve the ambiance. For instance, you can have a comfortable yet stylish couch. You can also play relaxing music, provide reading materials, and more. Offer them beverages and go out of your way to make them feel comfortable, just like at home.
5. Provide Entertainment
Hair treatments and other salon services can take hours to complete. In order to keep your customers comfortable, install a TV and, perhaps even a high-speed internet as well as books and other reading material available. This will keep them occupied and help make the time go by quicker.
6. Check Your Salon’s Setup
Are your salon chairs properly spaced out? Do your clients have enough privacy when getting their hair done? The setup of your beauty or hair salon is another critical factor to consider in improving the ambiance. When your clients get their hair and nails done, they want to relax in their own space. They shouldn’t worry about nosy and noisy customers. Be sure to give enough room for clients to enjoy and be more relaxed.
If you don’t have enough space, you can still offer privacy and promote relaxation by adding partitions or curtains. You can also add spaces between stations to help your clients feel more at ease in your salon.
8. Exhibit at A Hair & Beauty Show
Most people have surely heard of, or perhaps attended hair and beauty show events. Salon owners often set up an exhibit at a hair show to increase the salon’s brand awareness and get their name out to potential clients.
Hair and beauty shows are a great way to demonstrate the talents of your salon’s stylists in an environment where you know everyone attending is very interested in your profession. You can also meet other salon owners there and create a network that might be useful in the future.
Having plenty of pictures and videos of your hair salon operations at the exhibit to upload to your website/social media will also do wonders for positioning you as an industry leader in your community.
9. Have your own YouTube channel
While everyone is busy with their social media channels, don’t forget about the goldmine that is YouTube! It can be time-consuming to create video content, but YouTube is still profitable for many salons. After all, YouTube reaches nearly 2 billion users every single day. We smell an opportunity!
Try posting videos of your hairstylists working on popular hairstyles or even take it a step further and make it a step-by-step tutorial so that it reaches a broader audience (tutorials are always popular!). Or, salon owners can create a ‘day in the life’ vlog where they feature what they do on a typical day in the salon. That’s always an interesting watch for many potential customers.
Don’t worry too much about your video skills either; people appreciate it when a video looks authentic compared to’ over-edited content with many added effects. Just remember that lighting is super-important! Videos are much more effective than still images in attracting audience engagement.
10. Place Posters in Popular Areas
Although it may seem like an aging practice, print media can still be an effective way of getting your name out there. Plus, it doesn’t cost much. The tricky part is knowing where they will be looked at and read instead of ignored.
Think about other businesses with similar clientele—fitness centers, dance academies, gymnasiums, local cafes, hotel lobbies, etc. If you run a hair salon, you might want to strike up a deal with the local nail salon and refer clients to one another. Co-marketing is a great way to attract new clients. It’s a win-win situation for both salon owners and the other business involved.
The simple act of walking around your community and talking to local businesses is a great way to spread the word about your salon. You may be surprised by the number of companies that let you put up a poster. The important thing with this tactic is investing the money to make them look attractive and professional.
11. Sponsor A Charity Event
One of the most rewarding moves you can make as a salon is to find a way to give back to your community. It will help those in need and make your salon stand out to potential new clients.
There are some different ways to give back, and you’ll have to find one that you’re most comfortable with. Every community is unique, so you might want to ask around to see where you might be able to help most.
One example would be to team up with the local unemployment office and offer free haircuts to people searching for employment. A fresh haircut is a great confidence booster and can make a difference in an interview situation.
12. Update your Google My Business Listing (GMB)
With “salons near me” searches on the rise, make sure you’re showing up when people search for local salons in their area. When people search for your business on Google – to check opening hours, make an appointment, or find your address– reviews connected to your Google My Business page show up alongside the search results.
Make sure your location and contact details are correct. Link your most popular products and services through your GMB listing. Load up your GMB page with glowing reviews from your clients. After all, five-star reviews are powerful social proof. So, get in the habit of asking happy and loyal customers to leave a positive review. Send an automatic follow-up SMS or email to clients and request a review. Include the GMB page link in your message.
Don’t have a GMB page set up? Don’t fret – this salon SEO guide has got you covered.
13. Promote a Lunch Time Package
Your clients are busy people – a visit to the salon can be a welcomed escape from the hustle and bustle of a workday. Create and promote an express service package that is 30-45 minutes, affordable, and something simple that anyone can enjoy on a lunch break.
Approach any nearby business and drop off flyers to market your new package. After all, what’s better than sneaking in a quick pamper session between meetings? Your clients will love this service, and so will your salon’s bottom line.
With Timely, you can bundle up a single service or a collection of services into a package, and sell it at a fixed (and often cheaper) price. You can even track package uptake and assess how many have redeemed theirs over a specific period.
14. Run Paid Search Ads
Be present at the moment your prospective clients are searching for you. Make sure your salon features at the top of Google’s search results. How, you ask? Open up your line of credit and run a paid search campaign.
When you set up your search campaign, be specific. After all, you’ll pay every time someone clicks your link, so you’ll want to only show your ad to people that are likely to book with you—for example, target people located within walking distance of your salon. You can also define a person’s specific words when searching. This could include the services you offer in your salon. By being targeted with your ad copy, you’ll increase the chance that the visitor will decide to book with you when people click your ad (and you pay).
EXTRA FOR EXPERTS: Check out Googles’ Ad guide to get started with targeted ads for your salon.
15. Create an Insta-Friendly Space in Your Salon
In the world of social media, sharing is caring. Want a sure-fire way to bring in new business? Having people share pictures from your salon is the best form of social proof you can get.
Set up a space in your salon for people to snap selfies after their service. Invest in a ring light to ensure your clients feel picture-perfect when snapping their new ‘do’. Incentivize your clients to share their post-service selfies. Offer clients who share their selfies a discount on their next service. Make sure your beauty salon has a check-in point for Facebook and Instagram. If you’re not sure how to set this up, check out Facebook’s handy guide.
When people share, ask them to @mention your salon’s Instagram handle, use any hashtags you’ve created for your salon, as well as check in to the location. A selfie station generates free, word-of-mouth marketing – think of it as a modern-day testimonial.
16. Advertise on the Radio
Like print media, people often forget how effective radio ads can be. People still listen to their radios during their commute, and a captive audience like this usually pays plenty of attention to help pass the time.
It’s not too challenging to drum up a 30-second clip you can use on the radio. Often people don’t bother enquiring due to the perceived cost, but if you’re targeting a local area, it may be cheaper than you think. Please make sure you get plenty of honest opinions on what your ad sounds like, as it needs to have broad appeal.
Beauty Salon Financing for You
You can improve your salon’s ambiance and ultimately attract more customers by following these tips. Beauty salon loans like a business line of credit, term loans, equipment financing, and others can and do help cover the costs of salon renovations and improvements. You can use the hair salon business loan for any business expense, including operational costs and payroll, to renovations and expansions.
If it’s your first time applying for beauty salon business loans, it’s best to talk to a financial expert. They can walk you through the entire application process and discuss the requirements, including credit score, revenue, cash flow, and others.
Businesses like hair salons have three forms of financing to choose from if they need an additional cash injection for their hair salon. Debt financing can be obtained from banks and alternative lenders in the form of loans, while equity financing involves selling stocks or equity.
While plenty of small business loans is available for salon business owners, the top three beauty and hair salon financing options business owners usually opt for are: SBA loans for real estate purchases or business acquisitions; a business line of credit in case the business needs quick access to cash; and equipment loans for essential equipment needs.
The total revenue of 257,000 salons and barbershops all over the United States is around 67 billion, and it’s estimated that each beauty salon generates approximately $245,000 each year.
On average, salons make a profit of $19,100 each year, and their profit margins could range between 2% to 17%, with an average profit margin of 8.2%. This average is significantly higher than the general business average of 7.7% and is said to be improving year after year.
As mentioned above, improving salon ambiance can lead to a significant boost in the company’s overall profitability. But aside from salon ambiance, you can also increase your salon profits by creating a streamlined booking process, reducing salon overhead costs, and identifying niches that stand out from your competitor’s offerings. You can also create loyalty plans through gifts and certificates to make your customers feel appreciated.