5 Steps to changing your salon image and creating exciting, profitable new opportunities
You’ve worked long and hard, endless hours on the shop floor, managing staff, raising finance, fitting the shop, paying the mortgage, dealing with sales reps, stock control, looking after moaning clients and finding new clients.
You know everything about hair, style, colour and the latest trends, yet you started to feel a little stuck in the rut, sales are stagnant (or falling), clients cancelling appointments and the competition in your community is growing fast. Sounds familiar?
How do you rebrand yourself, your salon within the industry and the community?
Industries reinvent themselves all the time, opening new shops, extending existing ones – all to take on new challenge, shift into more meaningful, exciting work, decrease workload yet increase profits. As a salon owner you might want to move towards coming off the shop floor, and spend more time on the business, rather than in the business. You may want to delegate your current tasks so you can get on with exciting hair product development ideas.
Sometimes rebranding is subtle, as for the busy salon owner, who serves most of their salon’s clients, to only serving premium clients. Taking control of your personal brand within your salon image may mean the difference between daily, mundane hair job to feeling exciting about going to the salon, knowing you are about to create something new, exciting and profitable.
Here are 5 steps that are key to reinventing yourself within your marketplace, whether you aspire small or bigger transformation.
1. Define your ultimate destination
Want to spend more time on growing your business and dealing less with clients? Rebranding and making the shift is not easy. It can be confusing to your staff, and clients, may cost you money and reputation… imagine your regular client phoning up to book an appointment and the receptionist telling… “erm, Tracy is no longer taking the bookings I am afraid”… not a great message.
So first things first, start by determining where you really want to invest your energy. Think of the ultimate goal in your mind and see the outcome clearly. Then work backwards and determine the skills you may need to either develop, or seek help to support your vision in business. For example, for Tracy, a salon owner, who wants to shift towards opening second salon and work on growing clientele in a new neighborhood, may mean brushing up on smart salon marketing ideas, and invest time and money to develop a strong visual brand identity and mission.
2. Leverage what you have and fill the difference
Reinventing your brand does not mean abandoning entirely existing salon brand. What’s your unique selling proposition? What does your salon stand for? That’s what client remember about you, so use it to your advantage to build on that strength. Perhaps clients mainly remembered your salon as Tracy’s hair salon where the main star was Tracy, you don’t have to discount what you’ve built, instead, think of your ultimate new brand destination, and simply leverage the difference.
3. Develop your story
You used to cut hair all day, every day and now want to rebrand as award winning salon where every stylists delivers a great hair service and experience to its clients? Yet until now everybody knows you as a solo hairdresser where you are the busiest stylist and everyone else is … well kind of busy making cup of coffee in the backroom? The key is not to explain your brand transition from your point of interest (certainly don’t say… I am sick of being on the shop floor), but explain the transition from clients interest point… Imagine your clients having the confidence in your salon’s name that they can get a great haircut and colour anywhere, anytime? Be clear how you tell the story.
4. Reintroduce yourself
Once you are clear on your new salon brand destination and the idea, it’s easy to introduce rebranded salon to the new audience, but what about existing clients? How do you tell the story without confusing them. Start slowing reintroducing yourself and letting the clients know through in-house newsletter announcements about new exciting changes that will benefit them.
Use mixed media to start telling new stories, social media announcement, in-house and client only newsletters. Even giving special offers and celebration client events, depending on the scale of a change in brand direction. Don’t forget to reach out the phone and use the old-fashioned ways to contact the clients and let them know they can now book an appointment new way with enhanced client experience and better service.
5. Prove you are worth it
OK you now have a new salon, new brand direction, new role? It’s one thing making an announcement and another proving you are worth the value. Make a point of leveraging and asking for recommendations, referrals, even telling satisfied clients stories and really showing the proof that your new brand is really worth a try.
Finally, you have to be consistent and committed to the new brand and identity as you move forward. Bouncing back is not an option. A desire to evolve your salon will not go far unless you make an effort to learn new skills that will get you there or invest in good advice or skilled people who can help you make your new directions in salon a raving, exciting and profitable success.
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