Successful Business Strategies Discussed at Goldwell Hub Network

by laurahusband / last updated June 5, 2019


Over 170 salon owners discovered how to win at business during Goldwell’s four-day Hub Network’s official industry panel in Sicily last month.

The focus of this year’s Goldwell Hub Network was how to win at business – how salon owners can win, how salon teams can win and how to stand out against the local competition. Kao Salon Division’s new general manager, Julie Winchester, opened the jam-packed conference.

She said she’s extremely excited to be working with a brand that is focused on helping its customers: “I want you to use this event to reflect on the challenges you face every day and to learn from one another other.” Julie added: “Customers today are not just looking for value, they are looking for an experience and the salon industry is the one industry on the high street that can deliver it.”

Win with your services

Goldwell’s head of education Irene Meikle told attendees there are three key haircare areas that are expected to grow in the next few years. She believes now is the time to include scalp care, anti-ageing and clarifying options on your services menu. She pointed out that 86% of salons found scalp products boosted their retail sales so this could be the secret to winning in business this year.

Trichologist and salon owner Trisha Buller already uses scalp treatments to set her salon apart from local competitors. She said: “You need to change the terminology you use to avoid undervaluing your brand. If a client has a facial, they have an exfoliator, a serum and finally a moisturiser so you need to explain this idea to your clients if they really want to protect the health of their hair and scalp.”

8 ways to win at social media

Social Chain’s CEO Steven Bartlett shared his eight tips for growing a salon business using social media in 2019.

  1. Create a podcast
    “Podcasts are the best way to get die-hard fans. I’ve created podcasts and it’s what most of my customers will email me about.”
  2. Create a personal LinkedIn account
    “Linkedin gives free reach from personal accounts and when you comment the article goes onto every news feed. Remember, emotional stories work best on Linkedin.”
  3. Use IGTV on Instagram
    “IGTV is a new feature on Instagram, which means it is being pushed out to all of its members.
  4. Use your time wisely on Instagram
    “Include captions with every grid post – make them really long, personal and honest. If someone looks at your post for longer, Instagram assumes it is good content. Plus, always end an Instagram post with a question as receiving comments will increase your reach.”
  5. Instagram Checkout
    “Instagram recently introduced checkout so in two clicks consumers can buy products without leaving the app and this could lead to clients being able to book salon appointments on Instagram too.”
  6. Download Whatsapp Business
    “Whatsapp recently launched Whatsapp Business, which will be good for the salon industry as you will be able to use it to interact with clients using automated tools to sort and quickly respond to messages.”
  7. Facebook groups
    “The future of Facebook is based on groups so go and create a hair and beauty group for your local area now if it doesn’t already have one.”
  8. Try a messaging bot
    “If your salon doesn’t have a messaging bot, you’re missing an opportunity as you can use it to collect bookings through your salon’s Facebook page.”

Create a winning team

Psychologist and business coach Simon Clarkson revealed the secret to changing the way your team behave is changing the way they think first. He recommends asking your team to visualise a new behaviour before asking them to carry it out as this will help to create a faster neural pathway in their brain. He also said you will need to create a working environment where you and your team feel comfortable talking openly about failures or issues as this will help everyone to learn from them in the future.

Chair rental challenges

The National Hairdressing and Beauty Federation’s chief executive Hilary Hall gave her advice to salon owners who might be considering switching from an employed salon model to a chair rental variant. Firstly, you will need to give your current staff an official contract that defines what’s included and what isn’t as well as clarifying how you can end the contract with them. You will also need to decide what to charge the person renting the chair from you – will it be a fixed fee, a percentage of takings or both. She says you shouldn’t try and get out of VAT on any chair rental income and you should not make the switch to chair renting without taking legal advice first.

Learnings from the art world

Art historian Claudia Merkle advised attendees to visit art museums and galleries as this will help you to grow your business by thinking outside of the box. She said for many clients the head massage is the most relaxing and enjoyable part of any salon appointment so why not use scent to create an extra indulgent experience, educate your staff on acupuncture so you can tell clients what you are doing and how it will benefit them or place artwork on the ceiling so they have something to look at during the experience. Similarly, if your clientele have healthy lifestyles – ditch the coffee and replace it with detox-style smoothies and health foods.

Walking the Amazon

Ed Stafford’s inspirational talk explored what he learned from walking the entire length of the Amazon river. He did all of the physical training required but the biggest challenges he faced were psychological. There were a number of days where he struggled to stay positive. His walking companios, Cho who did the last leg of the journey with him taught him a valuable lesson. Cho, who had lost all of his family at age 11, told Ed: “When there is, there is and when there isn’t, there isn’t”. This message stuck with Ed and it helped him to focus on the positives as opposed to the negatives.

How to increase prices

Business coach David Drew introduced his talk by asking attendees if they put their prices after April. “If you haven’t put your prices up since April you are losing money because minimum wage and pension contributions all went up.” He believes salons need to charge more for services and you can justify higher price points if you create an aspirational brand that clients will want to visit and an experience they won’t forget. He said that if you give your entire salon team the challenge of selling at least one retail product and one salon treatment every day you will boost the salon’s bottom line over the course of the year.

The Goldwell Hub Network’s official industry panel

Goldwell invited four members of the hairdressing industry onto the stage to share what they’ve learned from running successful salon businesses:

Martin Crean at Mode: “My team get really excited about entering hair industry competitions. I’ve created in-house competitions to discover who’s hungry to win and really wants it and whoever wins gets the opportunity to enter the big awards competitions.”

Beverly C at Cobella: “Think about your salon brand as a type of car – what type of car would you like your salon to be? If you want to be cool, have an edge while still being acesible, you might want to be a Mini Cooper, for example. Once you know what type of car you are, you can focus on how you want to relate everything about your brand to that identify.”

Shane Bennett at Shane Bennett Hair: “Three years ago I rebranded and relocated my salon. We’d been in the same place for 15 years and I felt the energy had gone. We changed our brand imagery and made our own photos urban and fresh. It’s worked really well and given our staff and clients a new lease of life.”

Sam Burnett at Hare & Hone: “Hare & Bone is a brand so it’s important the salon, team, website and Instagram all tell the same story. I always ask clients where they heard about us and whether the salon lived up to expectations. We have the colour bar on show, we have honest pricing and we give clients commentary hairdressing so they understand every part of the process.”

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