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Starting your own business is a daunting task. You’re solely responsible for the success of your salon, and that’s lot of pressure! Building a supportive network of contacts can help lessen some of that pressure and provide the community you need for your salon to thrive. While social media marketing is a great way to advertise your business, there’s no substitute for face-to-face communication.

Networking is a great way to start building your community and leveraging your connections to bring in a steady stream of business. If you’re thinking about drab rooms filed with men in suits swapping business cards right now, it doesn’t have to be like that! There are many easy (and dare we say fun?) ways to network that will help your salon thrive.

Before you hit the pavement and start shaking hands, there are a few things to remember. Your boutique salon at Sola is unique! Traditional marketing and networking that work for a large salon aren’t necessarily right for the small, entrepreneurial environment at Sola. Play to your strengths, and your efforts will be far more successful. Sola Salon Studios offer a variety of great benefits for you and your clients. Sola offers you the opportunity to be your own boss and do things your way, while still having a supportive community backing you up.

The very nature of being your own boss means that there’s very little distinction between you the person and your business when networking. Like everything, this has pros and cons. The downside is that you are constantly representing your salon – there’s no break or vacation, so you always have to bring your A game. The upside is that even personal socializing can be an opportunity to grow your business!

No matter where you go, you are your salon’s best advertising. Sola also provides a lot of great benefits for your customers. The intimacy, privacy, and one-on-one attention found at Sola are rare at a larger salon. Your customers receive 100% of your attention, and they leave feeling like a million bucks! Whenever you talk about your business, make sure you stress what makes it unique.

5 Easy Ways to Network for Boutique Salon Owners

1. Meet your neighbors!

Go around to the other professionals at your Sola location, and introduce yourself. If you offer a different type of service than they do, offer a discount, pass out goodie bags with samples of products, or simply bake some homemade cookies to share. The other stylists at your Sola location are a great resource! They completely understand where you’re coming from, and they could be great references for you.

2. Reconnect with people you already know.

Take the time to reach out to a former colleague or an old friend. Invite them for coffee, or even think about hosting a small open house gathering at your salon. You never know which connections might pan out in the future.

3. Attend local business owners association or neighborhood association meetings.

Meet the people who are involved in the community around your salon, introduce yourself, and familiarize them with what sets you apart. Getting involved will show that you’re invested not only in making your business successful, but in helping the community achieve success as well. That kind of effort will boost your business’s reputation in the community.

4. Volunteer or donate your services.

Offer to do hair or makeup for a local theater group, or donate a gift basket to the local high school’s auction. Don’t just donate the basket; though, show up at the event! When other attendees are able to connect your face with your name, they’ll be much more likely to remember your salon in the future.

5. Hit up happy hour.

We told you networking could be fun! Go to a popular restaurant or bar where other professionals spend some of their downtime. Making friends and personal connections is just as important as making business connections. Remember, people are much more willing to help out their friends. Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to get out there and starting talking about your business! Stay positive, be inventive, and keep at it. In no time, you’ll start reaping the benefits of expanding your network.

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