5 Things That Can Really Make a Difference for Your Business
When MINDBODY hosted its annual BOLD Conference in Santa Monica it was about more than just a vacation at the beach. (Although there was plenty of access to the ocean!) With a theme of “Forward,” the two-day event was designed for just that—to propel salon owners ahead with great insights and ideas from dozens of business leaders and experts.
Over the course of two sunny days, topics ranged from budget-minded marketing and evaluating key performance indicators to sharing your vision with employees, nurturing savvy business partnerships and all things social media. And since the event was hosted by those super chill folks from MINDBODY, there were also daily fitness and yoga workouts on the sand!
Attendees left with their notebooks and brains bulging with valuable information, and with tools to take the next steps in their businesses. Here are five things to stimulate your own business plans and strategies. To get an overview of all of the speakers’ presentations, visit www.mindbodyonline.com/bold2015!
Be Seen—Google+ For Business
One in three mobile searches occur right before a customer visits a store, and 78% of mobile searches lead to an offline purchase. People searching online are ready to buy, says MINDBODY Senior Director of Marketing Amanda Patterson. So how do you stand out among all of the other salons and spas when people are doing a search? One effective solution is a Google+ account. Nearly 50% of companies rate Google+ as important to their business and acknowledge it as a method for acquiring new customers. When setting up your Google+ business page, advises Amanda, be sure to include the essentials—your location, your hours, beautiful photos and positive reviews!
The Secret to a Healthy Business is Knowing Your Key Performance Indicators
The best way to build your business is to keep your finger on its pulse at all times. According to MINDBODY University’s Emily Nelson Webb, the “pulse” of a salon is measured by three key performance indicators: revenue, client frequency and client retention. She suggests customizing spreadsheets to measure each of these indicators; for example, set up your own revenue categories like haircuts, haircolor and retail services so you can evaluate each one separately. Compare revenue year over year she advises, since most salon businesses vary from month to month. When implementing any new marketing, sales or client referral strategy, keep an eye on these numbers. Revenues should start to increase in three to six months—if not, adjust your program! When evaluating client frequency, ask yourself what is your ideal average and how often would you like clients to visit? If your frequency or retention rates are low or declining, take a good hard look at the quality of the client experience in your salon!
How to Be the Brand of Choice
Why do consumers choose the brands they do? Why do they pick one salon over another? It’s all about the experience when they’re with you says MINDBODY VP of Sales Stephanie Jennings. Studies show these are the things that matter to customers when it comes to a positive experience:
• 80 percent say innovative new products and services. Are you offering in-demand services like balayage and root shadowing? Are you stocking “hot” product categories like dry shampoos and beach sprays?
• 74 percent say regular design improvements to reflect uniqueness. That macrame plant holder in the corner from 1978? Get. Rid. Of. It.
• 67 percent say ongoing improvement of product quality. One word—EDUCATION. Keep it going to keep improving your skills and services.
• 63 percent say engagement causes, philanthropy, or endeavors that reflect beliefs and values. If you’ve ever doubted the value of your fundraising fashion show or cut-a-thon, know that your clients are paying attention!
• 54 percent say you limit distribution to maintain exclusivity. You can’t be all things to all people. Identify and serve YOUR client and everyone will feel at ease!
Instagram—The Stylist’s Friend
Instagram is the go-to platform for users interested in sharing and consuming visual stories, declares Khiem Hoang, co-founder and business manager of Umbrella Salon. Visual stories = hair, which makes Insta the stylist’s most effective social media platform. Here are some of Khiem’s tips for Insta success:
• Publish at least 3 times a week.
• Use your experience and testing to define your ideal type of post.
• Quick and simple captions will keep users engaged.
• Use @mentions as much as possible.
• Employ hashtags to enhance discovery of your brand.
• Post tag locations to increase engagement.
Try the C.R.L.B. Method of Consultation
1. Compliment her to set a positive tone. Say things like:
• “That’s a great point.”
• “I appreciate your patience.”
• “You are very knowledgeable.”
• “We appreciate you taking the time to…”
• “I can certainly see where you are coming from.”
2. Relate to let her know she is valued and understood. Say things like:
• “I completely understand. I’ve been in a similar situation.”
• “We are glad you’re here.”
• “I may have a practical solution.”
• “This is my personal favorite!”
3. Listen. Ask questions and look for opportunities to give guidance or feedback. Say:
• “What brings you here today?”
• “What questions may I answer for you?”
• “What’s most important to you?”
• “I hear what you are saying.”
• “I have some perfect options for you.
4. Benefits. Thoroughly explain short and long term benefits:
• Help your client decide the benefits that may best suit their needs.
• Outline the financial benefits—purchasing a liter duo for example.
• Create a loyal client by educating her. (“I’m going to show you exactly how I want you to blow-dry this cut.”