Posted on March 5, 2014
A lot of people may think that a successful salon has everything to do with image. A successful salon actually has everything to do with customer loyalty. Think about your favorite store or coffee shop. Whether you’re loyal to big corporations like Starbucks and Nordstrom or your neighborhood coffee shops and boutiques, it’s likely they have two things in common – a well-defined identity and a loyal customer base.
Consumers have more options now than ever before. The way to make your salon successful is to create client affinity – or a bond between you and your clients. Client affinity equals loyal, long-term customers. At Sola, you have the freedom to create your own identity as a salon professional. Use these three steps to create your identity and capture client affinity.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET CLIENT
The first step towards client affinity is determining who your target client is. Are you targeting college students? Young professionals? Retirees? Take a few minutes to sit down and describe your target client. Keep in mind your salon location, the median salary in the area, and what businesses or schools are nearby. If you work near a business park, you may want to target professionals who are interested in lunchtime or after-work appointments. Located near a school? Stay-at-home-moms and dads may be your target clients. Whoever your target client is, keep them at the forefront of your mind when completing the next two steps.
2. WRITE A MISSION STATEMENT
A mission statement is a summary of the goals and values of your salon. It’s a great way to focus who you are as a salon professional and how you want your clients to view you. Your mission statement should include who your client is, what product or service you supply, and what sets you apart from other salons.
Ayla Davis of Ayla Davis Salon (located in Sola Salons San Jose, CA), a professional with nearly a decade of hair and make-up experience, wrote a mission statement when she first started out on her own. She knew it was an important first step in creating a strong salon identity. Davis had a clear idea of her target client. She said, “I definitely directed my mission statement toward the Silicon Valley demographic that I am trying to reach. I want to appeal to the working professional, engineers and business owners, basically the ‘higher society’ of the tech-savvy Silicon Valley.”
Next, make sure to specify what services you provide, and also the atmosphere you want to provide to your client. If a soothing, spa experience is what you’re going for, define what that means. If you want your client to rely on you for cutting-edge trends, then that’s what you should write down. Finally, what sets you apart? Do you place a lot of emphasis on in-depth consultations? Are you a highly trained colorist? Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. It’s important to know what you do best, and communicate that with your clients.
Post your mission statement on your website or Facebook page. It’s a great way for potential new clients to get an idea of who you are and whether they would feel comfortable at your salon. Check out Ayla Davis' mission statement for inspiration: Paint a picture of your best self. Color yourself beautiful. My vision is to take personal care and customer service to a higher level of excellence. I provide relaxing hair and make-up services in a peaceful and clean environment so that people may find a sanctuary from the challenging world in which we live and work. I want to enhance the beauty in everyone and to make them look and feel their best. By providing quality services, education and advice to my clients, they are shown how to enhance their physical appearance and wellness. This creates feelings of confidence so they can live fuller, richer lives. I will continually educate myself. In this high-tech Silicon Valley I want to stay up to date with the latest in technology and trends, such as attending regular classes and conventions to discovering the newest ground-breaking services and products. I will also keep a strong social media presence to stay connected with my clients and the industry. I want to use the help of technology to make the experience seamless. I want to be the best hairstylist that I can be. Better than yesterday. I believe there is always room to grow and improve myself, my work and my business.
3. CREATE YOUR SALON IDENTITY
Everything from the services you offer to your customer service strategy to your physical salon space contributes to your salon’s identity. It plays a big role in determining how well your business will do. You already identified your target client and wrote a mission statement. Use them to determine everything from your salon’s décor to your social media strategy, advertising and pricing. Because Davis’ target client is tech-savvy, she offers text, phone and email confirmation services as well as online appointment scheduling in order to make the appointment process as intuitive as possible for her clients.
She also keeps her clients in mind when it comes to advertising. “I'd rather pay Facebook to air my ad than the local newspaper,” Davis explained. “My desired clientele is more technologically advanced. Every element of my salon is with the client in mind.” Davis makes sure to keep in touch with her clientele through Facebook and other social media outlets. She has also designed a website to represent her business and allow her clients a place to book appointments online, read testimonials and more. One final note, as your salon evolves, it’s important to make sure your mission statement evolves with you. Don’t be afraid to update your statement as needed. It’s a reflection not just of who you are, but who you want to be.