The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,129

    Default Ideas to get more clients in my business?

    I'm just curious to see if other COTHers have any out of the box ideas here...

    I am a hair stylist. I work in a smaller salon in the middle of town, surrounded by a bajillion other salons. Because of our size, we do not have the resources to advertise like the big salons in town (hosting events, radio/tv ads, hiring a PR person, etc). We do what we can, we market online like crazy, obviously this business is a lot of word of mouth, so we are always going around handing out business cards, doing coupons for new clients, meeting new people, etc. The economy is still rough though, and unless you are sitting high on the hog, getting your hair done is not high on people's list of priorities.

    What are some ideas, coming from the client's perspective (or any other hair dressers out there!) that would get your attention, set us apart from other salons, and get you to try us out?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,404

    Default

    Are you on Facebook? Must-have for small business now. I don't use the local spa/nail salon often, but it REALLY helps when I do that I can just pop on their Facebook page, see what the specials are, find out hours, are they still doing the spray tanning, etc. And if I comment on their wall, they respond!

    And if you're the little guy surrounded by big salons, what can you do that they can't? Do you have a loyal client base and if so, what kind of rewards can you offer them for their return business? What kind of atmosphere do you have--personally, if I'm going to a hair salon, I'd rather it feel more like Steel Magnolias than Newbury Street in Boston, where they act like they're doing you a FAVOR when you're paying them $250 for a cut and color so you should shut up and do as the stylist says.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,766

    Default

    Holidays are coming up, discounts for regular customers.
    Maybe "buddy day", bring a friend and do a two for one.
    Offer make over or spa days with one on one hair, eyebrows, nails and makeup, maybe bring massage therapist
    Good luck, I enjoy small, personalize salons.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    502

    Default

    Can you do a deal through Groupon or Living Social? You'd be able to reach a lot more people than you could through your regular advertising, most likely. I've tried several small salons through those deal sites that I'd never have tried otherwise.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Belair View Post
    Can you do a deal through Groupon or Living Social? You'd be able to reach a lot more people than you could through your regular advertising, most likely. I've tried several small salons through those deal sites that I'd never have tried otherwise.
    The math behind these is TERRIBLE for the company that offers it. They usually lose money, and rarely gain new long term customers. There are a gazillion articles online about why it's bad, but here is one: http://posiescafe.com/wp/groupon-in-retrospect/

    talkofthetown, my hair stylist is booked solid through purely word of mouth. I don't think she advertises at all. Is there anything you can do to increase referrals with your current customer base? Offer discounts to people who refer you to others? Some sort of recognition for your customers that bring in others?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,129

    Default

    Most of this we're already doing. We have a facebook, we've done referral rewards and that helps some. The boss doesn't want to do Livingsocial because he doesn't want a bunch of one-time coupon clients that only come in for the discount (his words). I like the buddy day idea. I know that it is word of mouth, but there's only so much you can do to encourage your clients to talk about you....maybe better referral rewards?

    Thanks for the ideas!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2005
    Location
    Elmwood, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,371

    Default

    One thought for getting new customers. Advertise that you
    will offer services to a customer who is going for a job
    interview (must prove they have the interview) at a reduced
    price. Have customer come back for a cheap or free added
    service like nails or make-up consult if they do get the job.
    Remind them then as they celebrate with your shop that
    you hope they will continue to patronize your business as
    you will continue to help them maintain their professional
    image at their new job.
    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, Wisconsin


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,385

    Default

    Do you offer a discounted rate for teens? I take my daughter to a very nice small salon and am thrilled that she gets a discounted cut. I think it's a clever strategy as it gets her used to going to a nicer place instead of frequenting SuperCuts and the like. Her hair looks a million times nicer, too!

    The other thing you may want to do is ask your customers to fill out a short survey card after they visit -- ask them what they like/don't like, what services they would want the salon to offer that it doesn't, etc. and tell them they get a 10 or 15% discount for handing in a completed survey. If they write nice comments you can put them on your FB page, too!

    When I'm looking for a new salon I always read the reviews that users leave on different review sites.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,757

    Default

    What kind of referral rewards do you offer? My massage therapist gives me $10 off a $50 massage if someone comes in and says they came in on my word.

    How would that translate to a $100 style? $15 off? $20?

    Do you only offer hair? What about a beautician? I currently get my no-no place waxed (well, sugared) in one spot, my hair colored/cut in another, my nails (when done) are done somewhere else because neither of those places offer nails. Actually...I think my sugar-ologist does have a girl in who does nails.

    I like the buddy idea. Like, bring in a buddy, and someone is half off. Most people would be probably want to bring in someone and get the half off, but I have a friend who I am slowly making over and I'd let her take the discount fo' sho'!

    Can you place an ad in the local freebie rags? The Thrifty Nickle, or similar?
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    3,069

    Default

    My salon does a drawing for a gift certificate each month if you book your next appointment at the time of service.

    For Christmas and Mother's day they offer gift cards at a 20% discount and are not good until after the holiday has passed. It is only good on the service. You have to tip in cash or credit card.

    They do the free hair cut for me if I refer somebody.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    955

    Default

    I've been going to the same hairstylist for 8 years now - we joke that it's my longest committed relationship. Since moving, I drive 4 hours to see her.

    However, I'm a big user of Yelp for all kinds of services. Do you have yelp reviews? Can you offer something to your clients for leaving a Yelp review of you?
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

    www.sararoxannephotography.com
    www.facebook.com/sararoxannephotography



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2010
    Location
    Where humidity isn't just a word, it's a way of life.
    Posts
    736

    Default

    In addition to the "Buddy Day" idea, can you offer specials for those "hard to fill" times? For instance, offer two cuts for $xx or XX% off a cut between 1 and 3pm or 10 & 11 am, or whatever your light times are. That leaves the "premium time" slots open to be available for last minute appointments, so you don't have to turn away new business.

    In addition, those little extra services get me every time; suggest a quick eyebrow touchup, a simple nail buff or a few highlights to show off a new cut; once I'm in that chair if you offer me an additional quick service for a decent price, I'll snap it up, even if it wasn't on my mind when I made the appt, and I'll feel "more beaut-i-ful" leaving and likely rave about it to friends.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
    3,398

    Default

    My stylist is on fb and offers last minute 20% off if he has cancellations. Today he has a special if you're wearing your 'i voted' sticker.
    I like the business card for a monthly drawing that many places do. It also can give you an idea of where your clients are coming from and possible new advertising.
    What about a frequent client punch card, with a discount after the tenth service?
    Any schools around- discount with student id card? Senior citizen discount? Book a bridal updo and get a free trim (or whatever) after your honeymoon?

    Any other businesses around that would share advertising costs or even advertising space in their businesses (like a small community board)? Can you give coupons out for the employees of nearby businesses (limited time offer, and they show their name tag for verification)?

    I think you have to split your concentration with both holding onto customers and meeting/hooking new clients. I forgot what the statistic is, but in a recent business class I took, the percentage of clients that leave the average business per year was really surprising. Your manager ia right in wanting to attract regular customers, and not one-off visits, but don't underestimate how much potential is in a brand new customer!
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 1999
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,411

    Default

    Contact local clubs - book club, riding club, etc. and offer do one or two make-overs during one of their meetings.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: Dec. 26, 2011, 10:06 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: Dec. 22, 2011, 05:39 PM
  3. Do what you love: Business ideas?
    By mvp in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Oct. 11, 2011, 02:30 PM
  4. Clients chipping in for trainer gift...any cool ideas?
    By TwistofRed289 in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Nov. 25, 2010, 11:26 AM
  5. starting new business - need some ideas
    By dressagemom in forum Off Course
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: Nov. 2, 2008, 11:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness