How to Make Your Salon Stand Out on the High Street
Beauty business expert Hellen Ward shares the five unique selling points that will help your salon stand out on the high street. In light of the current news that retail units are closing on the high street at a rapid rate and rising business rates, it’s definitely worth a read.
“The Brexit outcome remains uncertain but it’s certainly getting the blame for the state of the housing market and the economy this year. But I think we have far bigger things to be concerned about regarding the safety of our industry and the future of the Great British high street. Our identikit local shops seem to be a cookie-cutter style roll-out regardless of location and all signalling the scary and all too familiar demise of our communities’ independent retailers.
We are rapidly turning into a nation whose high streets look set to consist solely of coffee shops, phone shops and charity shops. The charity shops are there because they get specific tax breaks not open to other retailers and if they are raising money for a good cause that’s great. The coffee shops and phone shops speak for themselves. In their midst will be a sprinkling of hair salons, nail salons and barbershops.
I believe we need far more diversity in our consumer offering to ensure not all of our purchasing power is wielded by the mighty online retailers.
In such challenging circumstances not all salons will survive and that is a fact. What will be the magic ingredient that will give some salon brands an advantage? Our industry is relationship based – we know our clients and they love that we know how they like their coffee just as well as how they like their hair.”
Here are Hellen Ward’s 5 key unique selling points that will ensure your business survives the high street:
- Make it about experience
‘Fast food hair’ is price-point led and there will always be people shopping by price alone. We should ignore at our peril the clients who are increasingly willing to pay for a great service and a second to none customer user experience. It’s this demographic’s loyal custom that will prove to be the golden goose.
- Specialist services
Specialisation is something I’ve been focusing on for years because the more specialist you are, the highest price you can charge. Think of surgeons, doctors and lawyers – those that command the highest price point have the most specific expertise and that can apply to the professional hairdressing industry too.
- Maximise the client relationship
GDPR isn’t applicable to the details we know in our heads about our individual clients. Remembering special aspects about people is at the core of what we do and in a faceless society, it will have more and more resonance. The smart brands are capitalising on our unique client relationship because being close to our customer base is at the heart of all our transactions.
- Team CPD
Rarely do I see salons capitalise as businesses on their biggest strength – the long service of a devoted team. You might appreciate it but if you forget to market your team, it will be a hugely missed opportunity.
- Widening the appeal
Salons are a haven for loyal clients and those in the know are increasingly looking to diversify with more hooks to increase that all important repeat visit. Asking clients about the services they receive elsewhere and looking to provide the service instead is the key to increasing that all important average spend without having to chase for new business.
There are rumours that big electrical manufacturers are looking to open salons because they know the service sector is relatively bullet proof compared to retail. My prediction is the independents will triumph over the chains as long as we concentrate on optimising our very special customer relationships.
This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of Hairdressers Journal. The salon pictured in this article is