Posted on June 10, 2015
What are you going to do with the extra daylight – and time! – these long summer days bring? Growing your business promises both financial and noncommercial rewards, and it doesn’t necessarily entail adding to your list of salon services. Increase customer loyalty and up clientele by partnering with other Sola Salon Studios professionals to offer referrals, promotions and specials. Here’s how to get started.
Start with the Client
Let’s get real: When current clients have to go to another full-service salon for a treatment you don’t offer, you risk losing that client to another stylist. Your job, then, is to make Sola Salon Studios a convenient, one-stop shop for your clients by forging relationships with professionals who offer services you don’t provide.
Sound like a massive task? Partnering might not be as complicated as you’d think. When you entered the Sola family, you joined a thriving facility that most likely boasts a wide array of pampering services. You can increase customer loyalty, then, by teaming up with professionals in your building, giving your clients (and theirs!) multiple reasons to visit Sola. If you do hair, now’s the time to meet a nail technician or cosmetologist who can take care of your clients and send over theirs.
Augment Existing Services
Identify the services you’d like to add. Get to know your clients, and don’t be afraid to ask them about other services they’d be interested in trying at Sola. A hairstylist teaming up with a brow specialist; a nail technician calling in an esthetician —Any partnership can work, the key is to figure out which salon services will add the most to your current suite of offerings, and which in-house professionals would be willing to engage in a mutual referral program. From there, the possibilities are limitless.
Reaching Out to Professionals
Hyper-local partnerships between Sola professionals operating under the same roof work best because they’re convenient for everyone involved — especially the client. Partnering with a stylist – or two or three – who works right down the hall means your customer gets all of the convenience associated with a more traditional spa.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to know how to get the synergy flowing. Ultimately, it’s up to individual professionals to make connections with fellow stylists. That said, many Sola Salon Studios managers are making partnerships a little easier by facilitating in-house fellowship with monthly or semi-annual events where stylists can mingle with one another. Sola also maintains a reference directory on its website, where stylists and clients can peruse salon professionals and services.
And, don’t overlook the obvious, either; simply knocking on another Sola professional’s door when there’s a lull in your day is a great way to get the ball rolling. Leave your door open sometimes, too, so other stylists will feel comfortable approaching you.
Once you’ve formed relationships with other professionals and agreed to refer clients to one another, you’ll want to coordinate hours. This doesn’t necessarily mean keeping the exact same schedules; but, you’ll want to make sure that your schedules overlap for a few hours a couple of days a week so clients can book back-to-back services. You might even need to work together to schedule certain clients.
Get Creative with Packages and Specials
Handing out another stylist’s card and making verbal referrals is good. But, why stop there? Take partnerships a step further and team up on special packages for holidays and events. Around Mother’s Day, for example, a skincare professional could partner with a brow specialist and hairdresser to offer a special afternoon of pampering that includes a facial, an eyebrow wax and blowout. For a bridal package, a nail technician, makeup artist and hairstylist might work together to deliver the ultimate wedding experience.
Grab a glass of wine with a few Sola friends, and start brainstorming.
Think Really, Really Big
Two or three professionals working together is powerful stuff — But, what if an entire salon came together for a day? The stylists at Sola Park Ridge in Chicago, Illinois recently put on a bridal expo to showcase all of the services offered at Sola Park Ridge. Aside from the obvious benefit of individual professionals snagging new clients, the event reinforced that this particular Sola Salon Studios location is the ideal place for all bridal needs, and that’s a lasting message to blast out to the community.
Keep Things Professional
For the sake of longevity, you’ll want to establish a few ground rules up front. This could mean working out a referral fee for each new guest a stylist recommends. Those terms are ultimately in your hands; just make sure to be respectful and professional: If you flake out on a referring stylist’s client without providing sufficient notice, that could reflect poorly on the referring stylist and damage an existing partnership. When you decide to share clients, you’ll want to partner with folks who share your core values, and that’s something worth discussing upfront.
Don’t be Afraid to Break the Mold
From a convenience standpoint, in-house partnerships with other Sola Salon Studios professionals are ideal for existing clients. Don’t feel limited to your brick and mortar salon, though — or even to the Sola brand. If you have a friend who offers a service outside of Sola, it’s great to recommend Sola to him or her. Invite that massage therapist you know to take a tour of your studio, and you might just land a new partnership driving in external clients.
Partner for the Right Reasons
Partnering with other professionals can be good for your pocketbook, true, but it isn’t just about the extra cash. Forming positive, long-term relationships with other like-minded stylists builds camaraderie, and working in a team environment makes the workday more fun. Partnerships will also allow you to branch out while simultaneously remaining focused on the specific craft that drew you to the industry in the first place. Talk about a win, win situation!