Posted on December 10, 2014
Who doesn’t want to make a little extra moolah the easy way? Especially during the holidays! We asked a few of Sola’s successful money makers to share tips and tricks that’ll help you formalize all of the things you’re probably already doing — find out how you can make more money with a few simple tricks of the trade. Get Social How much spare time are you already spending on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? No judgment from us. All we’re saying is make it official by adding a formalized social media program to your business.
Rachelle DeBaca of The Loft 24 in Mission Viejo, California, posts photos of her work on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. “I never show my clients’ faces or names, and I always watermark with my name,” DeBaca cautions before adding, “My photos make a huge statement, and are a great reference for new clients.”
Griff Howard of Studio G Salons in Flowood, Mississippi, agrees that, “social media is a big one.” Howard advertises on Facebook, offering small discounts on products, but never services. “It’s cheaper that way,” he explains, advising fellow stylists, “Don’t come out of pocket way too much; average it out so you’ll still make money.”
Be a Square
“My life revolves around Square,” Howard continues. The app functions as a cash register — a multi-functional cash register, actually, that’ll do your deskwork for you. And, thanks to Square’s easy tipping, which allows clients to select the percentage they’d like to tip, Howard now makes more money on gratuity. Square can also be configured to keep tabs on clients’ hair products, reminding you when a client is likely low, prompting you to contact them about purchasing more.
This isn’t a date, so cut the coyness. “Especially for people who are starting out,” says Erin Boyum, a seasoned stylist in Fargo, North Dakota, “You need to be available, and you need to respond to your clients — even if it is your day off!” The good news is, with so many modes of communication, it has never been easier to make clients feel important. “It’s easy to lose a text message or Facebook message or email if you don’t respond promptly. It’s also easy to lose a client,” reminds Boyum.
For Howard, being awesome means making sure the entire salon experience revolves around the customer. Everyone who walks through his door receives exceptional, tailored treatment. DeBaca uses Pinterest to create personalized vision boards for her clients, incorporating style and color concepts. The process takes ten minutes or less, and the result is a very happy customer.
And, sometimes the result is a brand new customer. “I once met a new client while waiting for a dental appointment,” DeBaca explains. When the then-perspective client mentioned that she liked DeBaca’s bangs, DeBaca gave her a consult right there in the waiting room. A week later, the woman came in for an appointment. DeBaca had created a vision board prior to the appointment, and the special treatment “totally won her over,” as DeBaca puts it.
Pre-book every client — that’s DeBaca’s motto. She ends appointments by offering clients a time slot four to six weeks out. “Prior to the holiday season, starting in October, I count out the weeks to accommodate my clients before Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Debaca adds.
Don’t Underestimate Email
“Not everything is on social media, but it seems everybody has an email address,” says Boyum, who prospers by being connected to clients via email. Boyum is “constantly booked,” but doesn’t keep a “set schedule,” she says. Rather, the stylist emails monthly schedules to her clients. “I have a very good turnaround because of that,” Boyum says, explaining, “Some people might not be thinking about getting their hair done; then they see the email and decide to book an appointment.”
This ploy captures clients who aren’t pre-bookers, and those who don’t plan in advance. Email is also your ally when filling cancellations. “If I have a cancellation, I throw a quick email to clients offering a 20 percent discount to whoever can fill the appointment. In our career, it is better to get paid a little less than nothing at all,” says Boyum.
Stylist and Nail Technician Nicole Krawiec, Owner of The Nail Nook in Palm Harbor, Florida, does a frequent customer card for her regulars — once a client has racked up ten punches, they’re entitled to a 50 percent discount on their next service, which works well when delving out quick, less pricey treatments like manicures and pedicures. The idea is to give the client an incentive to return while still turning a profit, or at least breaking even. "I used to do a free service, but then I came to Sola, and I've got to pay my rent," says Krawiec.
Don’t Sit on Products
Your shelves are filled with products — sell ‘em already! “Every, single client needs a shampoo and conditioner,” DeBaca says. After hooking clients on foundational items, DeBaca tells them about a product, too, often educating them on what she uses, and explaining the benefits. “I try to sell three products to every client,” DeBaca says, lauding samples as a great tool for getting folks interested in a product.
Ask for Referrals
You got into the industry because, among other things, you like people. It’s time to use that charisma to your advantage by asking existing clients to bring in referrals. DeBaca isn’t afraid to ask her existing clients to send friends and family her way. Boyum is a little subtler. She uses referral cards designed on MOO.com, offering 15 percent off for new customers, and $15 dollars off for existing clients when a referral card comes back. “This way, I don’t have to keep track of who referred who. I just hold onto the card until the referring client returns,” Boyum says.
Know a local artist? Do you admire a musician or neighborhood baker? Sync up with area businesses, offering to, say, decorate with an artist’s work in exchange for the opportunity to keep your business cards or flyers on display at his shop. Create ambiance with emerging, local music instead of ubiquitous pop, or set out a bowl of candy from your favorite local bakeshop. Get creative! Not only is establishing synergy with nearby retailers fun — it’ll give your studio some standout flair, too.