Industry • Best Practice
How to Make Your Salon Business Grow: The Complete Guide to Leveling Up
Feb.07.2022By Boulevard Staff
All the tips, tricks, and best practices you need to grow your salon and take your business to the next level.
Growing a business is a balancing act. There are so many interconnected and interdependent systems to organize — do too much of one thing, and you risk ruining your efforts elsewhere. If you plan ahead and learn from the best, though, exciting expansion is within any salon owner’s reach. In this guide, we’ll share how to make your salon business grow and dive into best practices every beauty business should follow.
How to make your salon business grow
Meet your money muse
If increasing your salon revenue seems complex or out of reach, go back to basics with proven strategies. Other beauty businesses have already laid the groundwork, so take a page out of their playbook. Here’s another recipe you can follow: Boulevard surveyed over 800 consumers to uncover their true feelings about beauty business experiences. These are the ten tips every salon owner needs in order to develop an abundance mindset and grow your business.
Facts + goals = success: Study your current revenue so you can develop more accurate goals and design a path from where you are now to where you want to be.
Price check in aisle 3: When was the last time you updated your pricing? If you’re making less than 10% profit, you’re probably leaving money on the table.
Results earn rewards: Get your whole team pulling toward your salon revenue goals by setting benchmarks and offering rewards to incentivize success.
Stylists make sales: You’ve hired expert stylists, but have you trained them to be expert salespeople? When stylists recommend products, clients will be inspired to buy.
Booking is make or break: The experience of booking an appointment is all the info some clients need to make up their mind about your salon. Make it easy and pleasant!
Salon subscriptions are soaring: Salons are a fact of life for your regular clients; turn them into subscribers by offering monthly rates and package deals.
Spread the word with referrals: Find the salon evangelists among your clients (and build better long term relationships) by offering rewards for referrals.
Keep it in the family: Loyalty is another quality you should be rewarding. Show how much you appreciate when your clients keep coming back for more.
Find your focus: Developing a specialty is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition and ensure that clients understand you’re the best at what you do.
Treat everyone like a VIP: When it comes down to it, beauty is a client service industry. Roll out the red carpet and make your clients’ wishes come true whenever possible.
Want to learn more about these strategies for salon growth? Read our full post: “10 Genius Tips for Increasing Salon Revenue (Fast)”.
Learn from the best in the biz
Want to go a little deeper into the formulas that have helped beauty businesses win big? Here’s how four major players in the industry differentiated themselves to achieve impressive growth. Even if your salon isn’t like anything else out there, combing through stories from salon owners that have done it before can help inspire your team and inform your strategy. Learn how to grow your beauty business by studying these success stories:
No cuts or color here; Drybar does wash-and-dry blowout styling services, and that’s it. By focusing on one specific thing, Drybar differentiated itself from competitors and also established its reputation as an expert in the field. Thorough branding ties the whole experience together with a cocktail-inspired vibe, from the service menu and the retail product line to the physical design of each Drybar franchise location.
There are other ways to find your focus — instead of specializing on one service, Devachan focuses on specific clientele. Devachan stylists are known nationwide as the experts in curly hair, even though the brand only has one brick and mortar location in NYC. That’s because the DevaCurlPro training program provides education and certification so that stylists can provide Deva-approved services wherever they work.
Fox + Jane
Salons are client-focused businesses, but who’s backing up the business owners behind the scenes? Fox + Jane balances a progressive, approachable, and comfortable client experience with a deep commitment to building sustainable and thriving salon businesses. Through its community of like-minded beauty industry professionals, Fox + Jane provides a support system of educational programs and business coaching so salons are never in it alone.
Offering a luxurious experience is a surefire way to build a cult following, as Sally Hershberger knows so well. With a star-studded client list and salons in New York and Los Angeles, the Hershberger brand immediately communicates high-end luxury. Having a well-branded product line helps; 24K by Sally Hershberger applies that same luxe branding to products that are more within reach for clients without the budget for a big-ticket hair appointment.
Interested in reading more about how these brands made it big? Check out our article: “How to Make a Salon Successful: Lessons From 4 Top Beauty Businesses”.
Fill those empty chairs fast
Whether you’re opening a new salon in the post-COVID world or recovering from the effects that lockdowns had on your business, filling empty chairs is an extremely common salon goal. The good news is the more specific your goal is the easier it will be to achieve it. Want to learn how to grow your salon business fast? Here are the strategies to pay attention to:
Safer spaces: Comfort nervous and worried clients by posting all the details about your COVID safety measures on your website and on your booking platform.
Instagram FTW: Show off the beauty of your physical space and post a portfolio of before and after shots so clients can fall in love with your stylists’ work at first sight.
Design vibes: Invest in your salon’s ambiance by sprucing up the paint job, boosting the room’s lighting, and decorating with selfie-worthy art and mirrors on the walls.
Community collaboration: Turn your salon into a community hub by supporting local artists and partnering with other businesses in the area to lift each other up.
Repeat clientele: Encourage clients to become repeat customers by booking their next appointment before they step out the door after the first.
Business listings: Take control by claiming your listings on platforms like Google and Yelp; identifying yourself as the business owner unlocks tons of features.
Website design: Your digital presence is as important as your physical space. Design a website that gives clients a sense of your brand and packs in all the up-to-date details.
Is putting clients’ butts in chairs your ultimate goal right now? Read our full post: “How to Increase Salon Clientele: 7 Tips to Fill Chairs Fast”.
New clients, who dis?
One of the most obvious ways to grow your salon business is by bringing in new clients. Even if brand new clients can’t turn your business into a brand new salon, they’ll certainly breathe new life into your bottom line. Here are a few key ways to expand your reach and find customers that are sure to love your salon:
What does “new” mean, anyway?
If prioritizing new clients is the way forward for your salon, start by reconsidering what qualifies as “new.” If a customer that has only ever gotten haircuts at your salon comes in for a color treatment, that opens up a whole new line of business even though that person was already your client. Transitioning clients from one sales vertical to another can mean as much new business as bringing in someone you’ve never met before.
Humblebrag it up
Creating a referral program is a great way to deputize your existing clientele to bring in new customers. In addition to offering rewards for every client referred, you can also incentivize people to leave positive online reviews. By posting their honest feedback about your salon, your loyal clients will be able to spread the word to people they don’t even know.
Pay for ads
If you want to level up your social media posts, invest some of your budget in paid advertising. You can create complete campaigns using Facebook and Instagram’s native ad tools, or just sponsor a few high-performing posts to get them in front of a wider audience. Make sure you use audience targeting to narrow down your demographic and reach potential clients that are local to your area.
Test out promotions
For every sale, a season. That’s how that saying goes, right? Study the calendar to plan seasonal promotions that satisfy the trends of the moment. Hair removal products are probably more popular in the spring and summer, for instance, so price them to move at the right time of year. You can either offer discounts or tack on added value, like including an extra service for free when clients spend a certain amount.
Ready to reach untapped markets and bring in customers you haven’t yet met? Read our article: “How to Get New Clients: 6 Ideas to Drive Growth”.
No matter the current status of your salon, growth is within your reach. Take this advice to heart and follow the inspirational tips that work for you, and your business will be growing in no time.
Boulevard was built to help your business achieve profitability at scale without losing an inch of sanity. See for yourself! Get a free demo today.