If You Don’t Do This Right – Everything Else Suffers…

In my last blog post,  I went over the two big things that every salon owner should laser focus on in order to improve their businesses.  Those two things are new client acquisition and new client retention.  Those are the two biggest drivers of salon growth today.

But guess what?

There’s one thing that salons continue to do poorly that will literally thwart any real effort to fix either of these salon growth drivers.  And in just a minute…I will tell you exactly what that thing is.

Look, there’s no question that we’re in a slow growth environment in the United States today.  You see it everywhere. Heck even McDonald’s is only growing around 3-4% in it’s latest quarter and they do almost everything right.  So, that means we “other businesses” need to run just to keep up these days.

Do yourself a favor and check your recent “Activity Trend” report out of HairMax and see if your business is growing or shrinking from this time last year.  In fact, check the first half of 2012 versus 2011.  Are you growing or are you shrinking?

Then once you figure that out…be honest.   If the business slowed, what things did you do to improve it?  And if the business accelerated, was it a price change that made it happen?  Was it a new stylist or two that brought over some clients?  Or did you grow “organically”?

Organic growth means one of two things.  Either you attracted more new clients (and kept them) than you lost out of your current client base or you figured out a way to sell more things to your existing clients.  Those are “organic” growth drivers.

If your salon is growing “organically” then it’s a healthy business.  If your business grew only because you raised your prices or you added a stylist “with a following” then that’s growth – but not healthy growth.  Why is that?  Because it’s very hard to replicate non-organic growth year after year.

Unfortunately, if you’re salon sales are shrinking or even staying the same…the problem is “you’re not taking care of the store”.  Plain and simple.  And every time that I’ve looked into “why” this is happening – you can boil it down to one thing – poor attention to detail because of time constraints.

Let me give you a great example.

There is one thing that you can check right now that will tell you (flat out) whether or not you’re minding the store.  And that’s simply this…   How well are you capturing new client information?

Are you getting their email addresses,  telephone numbers,  where they’re coming from,  are you even spelling their names right?   If you’re not…then anything you can do to impact your salon sales is seriously diminished (if not outright eliminated) going forward.   Here are just a few issues that you have – if you don’t get that under control.

1. No ability to resurrect old/lost clients
2. No ability to market or cross-promote to clients in a timely manner
3. Inaccurate client retention figures
4. No ability to thank clients for visiting the salon
5. No ability to confirm appointments (unless doing manually)
6. No ability to know where clients are actually coming from
7. No ability to provide exceptional customer service

Lousy client information is a symptom to a much larger problem…poor attention to detail.   In today’s environment, the cost of getting a new client is higher every day.   Why would you let a potential long-term client…worth hundreds of dollars every year…“walk out the door” and just hope they come back.   Does that make any sense?

Below is a link to a first-time client form that should be every salon’s front desk.   I don’t care if you have a receptionist or not.   Every first-time client should fill out this form.

If you can get this little thing right…everything else is a piece of cake.   In fact, most everything else could be automatic. Go ahead and download the form, cut it in thirds, and start collecting the data.

Don’t worry…I will let you know what to do with it in future blog posts.  Here is the form…

As always, aim high…and dream even higher…

Steve Sampson


One Response to “If You Don’t Do This Right – Everything Else Suffers…”

  1. Chris Perperas on July 29th, 2012 12:27 pm

    Thanks Steve. We usually ask our guest for this information, but it’s great to have a form for them to fill out.

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