Today, the biggest problem of hair salons is not finding new clients nor the bad economy. The problem is to keep the clients coming back again and again with frequency. And the solution to the problem requires a different outlook that consists of two main principals. First, hair dressers must see themselves as an artist who makes changes in people's lives using their talent and sees their business as a journey between them and their clients as we mentioned in "Being the Picasso of Hair Designing". Second, they must see themselves as a businessman or a businesswoman who is aware of the challenges of doing business in today's world, because yesterday's business rules don't work anymore.
Now, there are many hair salons and this situation lowers the service prices and this causes the business to be underestimated. Therefore, hairdressers who want the big profits that their art deserves like in the past times must differentiate their business, stand out of the crowd and provide services in a professional way. So, the stylist who wants to build a terrible hair salon business must do business the old way with the old rules. And here's the old rules that we called the 7 keys to building a terrible hair salon business:
1) Do not Evaluate Your Clients' Visiting History
Have no idea about your clients' visiting information such as which clients of yours haven't been coming, which ones are loyal and more profitable, and which ones are beginning to visit less frequently. Neglecting these things cause you to be unaware of your client profile and to lose your business perspective. So, you won't realize when your clients left you or you will wonder where the big profits of past times are.
2) Do not Do Something Special For Them
Do not remember your clients on their special days or do not offer special deals that they can take advantage of on certain days. And, miss the chance of establishing a relationship or strengthening the relationship that already exists. So, don't make your clients feel unique or important to you and take one more step to build a terrible hair salon.
3) Do not Keep in Touch With Your Clients
Just forget them until they visit you again, if they visit you again because when the customers don't hear from you, they begin to think that you don't care about them and after a while they don't care about you. So, do not communicate or be visible to them and you will make it easy for them to choose another stylist.
4) Focus on the Short Term
"The biggest impediment to high performance is short term focus" says Marty Neumeier in his book ZAG. That is right, because quick money making efforts and reducing the marketing budget in tough economic times focuses on short term and always damages the future of businesses. Conversely, investing to create a great value for your clients creates differentiation, purchase and familiarity. So, focus on short term profit, don't invest the future of your business and guarantee your failure.
5) Do Not Innovate and Do Not Differentiate Your Business
Today any kind of business is required to be able to innovate at the speed of the market to stay alive. 10 years ago your business was different than today and is going to be different in a few years. As Charles Darwin said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." So, keep doing what you have been doing and never innovate and differentiate your business, and let the others push you out of the game.
6) Be Content With Making Your Clients Just Satisfied
"A full 80% of customers are vulnerable to competitive offers, and fewer than 20% are willing to recommend your brand to others," says Marty Neumeier. You might think that your customers are fully satisfied with your services and just because of this they are not vulnerable to competitive offers. But your satisfied clients may only keep coming back to you till their attentions are pulled by a competitive offer because client satisfaction is a must now and is not enough anymore. You can think that 80% of your clients are satisfied and could leave you at any time. So, be happy with your satisfied clients and never ever think to exceed your clients' expectations to make them more than satisfied. Let your competitors do it and so let your clients go to your competitors.
7) Be Unaware of Your Place in Your Market
Do you know the growth of hair salon business last year? Let me answer, it was -3.7%. Do you know the anticipated number of hair salons that will go out of business in the next 18 months in the U.S.? It is 40,000. Probably the downsizing will continue this year. So, what do you plan to do? Did you measure your growth last year? Was it higher or lower than the market average? This information is important because if you don't know your statistics and your place in your market you can't know what caused your revenue growth or profit loss. So, be unaware of this information and do not have chance to plan for the future of your business in the right way.
We will discuss these 7 crucial basics in detail in future articles and explain what should be done.